While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. We're focusing on these ridiculous grouper sandwiches, but you can't go wrong with anything on the menu here.
To learn more, visit the website for Fish Shack in Lighthouse Point. To each own when it comes to the whole fried/blackened/grilled dilemma, but we do have to say the blackened grouper sandwiches at Big Ray's are legendary.
If it weren't for these sandwiches, homemade onion rings could easily be the star of the show. For more information, visit the website for Big Ray's Fish Camp in Tampa.
Check out Big Water Fish Market's website to learn more. Obviously, the fish and chips is the most popular choice, but you can't go wrong adding a bun.
To learn more, visit the website for Gulf Coast Grouper & Chips in Naples, Florida. It's a large part of why this tiny restaurant has made a big splash for 35 years.
Fried grouper might be the classic choice, but do yourself a favor and try the Cajun grilled version, too. It can be a challenge to dine out when you have kids, but Peg Leg's is super family friendly, with lots to see and do while you wait.
To learn more, visit the website for Peg Leg Pete's in Pensacola Beach. The fresh, flaky grouper here is only matched by the view of Sarasota Bay.
Check out the website for Dry Dock Waterfront Grill to learn more. If you're in the area, and you're searching for a laid-back spot with an incredible view and the bestgroupersandwich in town, this is the place to go.
The place may be small and unassuming compared to other nearby options, but don't pass it by, because this is the best grouper around. For more information, visit the Facebook page for The Boardwalk Grill in Madeira Beach.
If you need more dining inspiration, check out our list of the best sandwiches in Florida. For an amazing lunch, head over to Masada’s Original Hoagies in Broward.
Over 27 years ago, owner Pam Pitcher opened the doors of Grouper and Chips. Aside from our popular grouper baskets, we also offer local favorites such as our fresh mahi tacos and our unique French flair includes dishes such as Bouillabaisse and Chicken Milanese.
With a combined experience of over 50 years in the service industry, Pam and her two daughters are delighted to bring you the freshest fish this side of the Gulf! Eat Grouper, Live Longer! Surrounded by water on three sides, Florida has no shortage of fresh fish options.
There are hundreds of great seafood restaurants in Orlando and surrounding cities that feature grouper on their menus. There also are dozens of different ways to prepare grouper, and more side dishes to accompany it than you have digits on which to count.
Whether you visit Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or somewhere else, the food is reason enough to head to grouper country. The restaurant offers all the typical preparations (from char-grilled to deep-fried), but my personal favorite is the grouper Reuben.
Grilled on fresh marbled rye, smothered in Swiss cheese, and topped with sauerkraut and A Thousand Island dressing, grouper never has tasted as good as it does on this sandwich. Viewfinder Tip: To make sure your grouper is local, ask your server where the fish is from before ordering.
Here, you can arrive by boat or car, enjoy live music seven days a week, watch dolphins frolic, and see pelicans at play. Of course the star of the show is the Shook Inn’s famous grouper sandwich, dipped and coated in a beer batter, and deep-fried to a golden perfection.
This grill’s grouper sandwich is pan sautéed, topped with house-made onion rings and zesty key lime tartar sauce, then served with fries and slaw. Park’s of Dania Beach is exactly what you expect from a hole in the wall local haunt.
Peg Leg Pete’s is located on Fort Pickens Road in front of the Lafitte Cove Marina. The standard grouper sandwich comes grilled or fried, and topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and tartar sauce.
Located on A1A, the Market specializes in fresh local whole fish, cut to order. Top it off with sides of homemade mango salsa and hush puppies for a truly scrumptious meal.
A dozen or so picnic tables on the dock outside the fresh seafood market afford guests the best catches and views. Cell's expert tip : Stone crab, a local delicacy, comes directly from fishermen's traps to City Seafood Oct. 15 through May 15.
If you're looking for air-conditioning on a hot summer day, head upstairs to order your breakfast, lunch or dinner and watch the game. Chicken bars are a signature form of the Naples area party scene, and at Shook Inn, the open-air thatched-roof structure also draws a lunch crowd looking for eye candy with their meal.
The chicken at Shook Inn overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway and hosts live island music daily. You can also dine indoors, a popular summer option, with a view of local boat traffic on the Marco River.
That's where the restaurant's salad bar resides, a throwback to old-school lunching with a huge pickle barrel anchoring one end. Overlooking the marina along the Esplanade shopping and entertainment center complex on Marco Island, Mango's provides a pleasant alfresco and indoor venue for breakfast, lunch, cocktails and dinner.
Cell's expert tip : For late breakfasts, the lunch menu includes a large selection of eggs and “Griddle Delights.” Recommended for Waterfront Dining because : It overlooks the harbor at Naples City Dock with plenty of salty flavors.
A leisurely al fresco meal beneath an authentic Seminole-weaved vaulted chicken roof at a place named Coconut Jack's: Does it get any more Florida than that? In fact, it does, with fruity drinks, servers' shirts that scream “tropical” and a menu devoted to seafood, from “Old Florida” style baskets to some ambitious creativity.
Good entrée picks: Mali tacos, pulled pork sandwich, baby back ribs, honey lime glazed salmon, stuffed grouper and filet Mignon. Inside, its vaulted ceiling gives it a sense of grandeur as sculptures depict fish and suggest waves.
The lunch and dinner menus don't try to overachieve but offer well-executed favorites such as lobster quesadilla, crab burger, IPA-braised short ribs, and orange and ginger glazed salmon. Cilantro, lime, purple slaw, pic ode Gallo and chipotle aioli complement the fresh fish of the day.
Located at downtown Naples funky “Tin City” shopping center, River walk gives diners a casual waterfront experience along the Gordon River. Sample traditional fish house fare such as fried oysters or grouper and chips; or be a little more daring with River walk Jambalaya, seafood baked in parchment or Caribbean inspired Down Island BBQ Shrimp.
Cell's expert tip : You can design your own dish by mixing and matching several sorts of seafood, sauces and sides. Staggered floor levels give every guest an eyeful of water and passing boats, whether they sit al fresco, in the main dining room or around the congenial bar.
Brunch, lunch and dinner menus feature organic produce, artisan pasta, local and imported seafood and the finest of meats. For the best of surf and turf, order the sautéed veal and shrimp with herded Marsala wine sauce and spinach and mushroom risotto.
Recommended for Waterfront Dining because : Staggered floor levels give every guest an eyeful of water and passing boats. Cell's expert tip : Ask about live jazz entertainment at Sunday brunch, on Wednesday evenings and, during the season, Friday nights.
Most tables in the main dining room, decorated coastal with wooden boats hanging from the ceiling, and patio offer views of the surrounding waterway, ensuring patrons a scenic setting on top of a sensational meal. Live entertainment plays in the bar Wednesday through Saturday evenings seasonally, and private banquet rooms are available.
Recommended for Waterfront Dining because : From inside and the outdoor patio, views of the wild Cocohatchee Bay include birds and other wildlife. Cell's expert tip : For a casual setting, make your reservations for the riverside patio (in cool-season) or the Claw Bar Tavern.
Known for thousands of miles of coastline, Florida’s sugar-fine sand beaches and sunshine attract over 110 million visitors annually. Don took me to Paradise Key, by far the quietest and most peaceful place I’ve ever experienced in Florida.
This sugar-fine white sand beach stretches for seven miles, with the turquoise Gulf of Mexico waters lapping at its shores. The Naples Pier is not only the symbol, but the gathering spot for residents and travelers wanting to experience the big moment.
Philanthropists Mr. and Mrs. Lester Norris paid $130,000 to rebuild the pier again, rather than add the cost to local taxes. The historic Naples Pier is located on the Gulf of Mexico at the West end of 12th Avenue South.
Naples is a ritzy town with sophisticated shops and restaurants, but it also is nicely balanced by its relaxed and welcoming vibe. Chef Vincenzo owns three restaurants on 5th Avenue alone, but Bar Julia is unique.
It’s small and cozy with a farmhouse vibe, and doesn’t take reservations (which is huge here– people in Naples like to make them). Meander down the property’s paved path, winding nearly a mile past rare and beautiful animals.
You’ll see lions, giraffes, monkeys, pythons, and bears, as well as a rare cat that’s native to Florida. Zookeeper Mary-Kathryn Mitchell introduced me to Athena, a panther who was abandoned by her mother in the wild.
Unfortunately, their male panther, UNO, died shortly after we filmed this segment from complications of his injuries. The whole purpose of the habitat is to educate Floridians and tourists alike about the big cats living in their backyard.
Visitors can take part in the Backstage Panther Experience an intimate six-person interaction where you see the mission of The Naples Zoo in action. When it comes to great food, I always like to find hidden gems tucked away in unassuming strip malls.
I met up with restaurateur Pam Prisoner at Grouper and Chips, the restaurant she’s owned for 25 years. Today, that same recipe has earned her the title of #1 fried grouper sandwich in Southwest Florida.
A few things make her food special, including the fact that all the fish is delivered fresh, daily. Marco Island is known for its wildlife, beaches, and calm waterways, perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding.
I met up with Christina Ortega and Taylor Rydberg, both members of the musical group, The Woodwork. In the land of Jimmy Buffett cover bands, their folk-meets-jazz with a little of swing is a delightful discovery.
Founded in 2016, this group of talented musicians got their name from the idiom “out of the woodwork,” symbolizing a close tie with the mystery of the natural world. The Woodwork plays regularly at The Oyster Society, as well as other venues around southwest Florida.
The thought of hiking through a swamp probably doesn’t make most people giddy with excitement… more like panic with anxiety! However, Big Cypress National Preserve Naturalist Trish Elder changed my mind about that.
Once you get over the fact that there may be snakes and gators very nearby, you’ll find yourself floored with the sounds, scents and understated sights of this foreboding place. The gulf may get all the press in this part of Florida, but once you see this state through the eyes of photographer Clyde Butcher, you’ll start finding beauty elsewhere.
For over 55 years, Clyde has captured the essence of Big Cypress in his beautiful black and white images. He spent time shooting photos in Yosemite and would meet hundreds of people on the path.