Looking for a veg-friendly restaurant in Fort Myers? Don’t despair. There are some amazing vegetarian oases (yeah, that’s a real word, look it up) in this relatively carnivorous area. Here are our picks for the top spots:
10. Happiness Healthiness Cafe – Naanwich
This one’s a genius lunch idea: Indian spiced tofu wrapped inside flatbread (naan). The cafe offers lots of great vegetarian and vegan options, including filling curries and even naan bread (get it without butter).
9. Rene’s – Hummus Wrap
A local favorite for decades, Rene’s has relatively few veggie options; however, this wrap is a great light lunch on a hot day– fresh, crispy veggies and hummus with a side of fruit.
8. Bacchus – Hummus & Pita Chips
I kind of wish this appetizer didn’t make the cut. It’s just well-crafted hummus plated with fried and baked pita chips. That’s it. But if you are anywhere near the vicinity of Downtown Fort Myers–an intensely unfriendly area for vegetarians– words cannot explain how happy you will be to demolish this dish in between beers.
7. Two Meatballs in the Kitchen – Skinny Italian
Another carry-over from the 2012 “Ten Best” list, this is a delicious and healthy dinner option. With whole wheat pasta, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, and about twenty pounds of garlic, you can’t go wrong.
6. Square One Burgers – Very Vegan Veggie Burger
Okay, okay. Technically, Square One is a chain with a handful of other locations. Technically, the place is covered in cow skins and skulls. Technically, it’s a burger joint that probably should have no place on this list. But, have you tried their veggie burger? It’s a big, sloppy concoction composed of beans and rice and slathered in avocado and smoky hummus. You’re guaranteed to love or hate it, and either way, they’ve got a pretty nice beer selection to boot.
5. Siam Thai – Green Curry with Steamed or Fried Tofu
Despite growing competition (Phensri Thai in North Fort Myers is excellent), Siam Thai still makes some dang fine curries. The green curry in particular is earthy and complex, and the accommodating staff will make it without fish sauce.
4. Pizza Fusion – Uh… Pizza
Look, I know Pizza Fusion is a chain (actually, franchise). But the locally-owned Fort Myers and Naples locations are still some of your best vegetarian options in the area. Soy and Daiya cheese alternatives are available. Thin-crust pizza with organic ingredients… I’ll just stop typing. If you haven’t been there yet, just go order your favorite pizza and a local Fort Myers Brewing Company Gateway Gold brew to wash it down. Or, show up on a Tuesday night and get a free bottle of wine.
3. Kabab Village – Falafel and Hummus
A newcomer to Fort Myers, Kabab Village is doing lots of things right. A few great veggie options on the menu make it very welcoming, including babaganoush (eggplant) and amazing falafel and hummus. Seriously, do not skip the hummus appetizer.
2. Nice Guys Pizza – Truffle Shuffle Pizza or Pizza Sub
The incredible, nice mid-westerners (yeah, it’s aptly named) who own this place have a refreshingly quirky taste in food (and music– get to that in a moment). White truffle oil and mushrooms on a pizza, followed by deep fried oreos? And tons of unique options for meat eaters as well? Sure. A vegan cheese alternative option means that you can get creative– I’d recommend the truffle shuffle (described above), or order off-menu and ask for a pizza sub. This place is hard to beat. On top of all of that, Nice Guys has become an excellent venue for pizza and beer-fueled punk rock shows.
1. Chef Brooke’s – Any Daily Special
Walk into Chef Brooke’s any day of the week, close your eyes, and pick a random vegetarian special off of her board. Congratulations, you just ordered the absolute best thing you could have eaten in Fort Myers. Creative, healthy, filling, worldly cuisine that will make you wonder what Chef Brooke is doing in our neck of the woods. I’ve stopped asking and just started enjoying it. Do not skip dessert! There are tons of vegan and gluten-free options.
Honorable Mentions: Ada’s market in Fort Myers has a restaurant area with an incredible menu, but unclear labeling as to which items are vegetarian/vegan was a problem during visits, and staff were unable to shed light on the matter. I have no doubt that will improve! Loving Hut in Cape Coral and Naples are both worth a visit with an incredible array of veg options. India Palace is a long-time favorite, but new owners have gotten questionable reviews. Ichiban in downtown Fort Myers (and North Fort Myers) makes a mean General Tso’s Tofu, which offers a convenient segue…
Downtown Fort Myers, you’re looking great these days, you really are. But how about some decent restaurants? Sure, a car suspended from the ceiling is fun for tourists, but with over a dozen restaurants in the vicinity, there should be something better than fries on the menu for vegetarians.