Island Cafe on the Bay is the one of the best Matlacha FL restaurants for waterfront and sunset dining with awesome food, music, and ambience!
UPDATE JUNE 2017: Island Cafe has new owners and is now called Hooked Island Grill.
It's located on the Cape Coral side of Matlacha and is in the same place that Moretti's and Toucan used to be ........... at one of my most favorite spots for dining in the area.
Toucan burnt down in May of 2012 and everyone has been waiting for a new restaurant to open there.
You'll be happy to know that the new restaurant has come back with new owners, new renovations, new menu ........... and it's better than ever!
They opened on February 1, 2015 and are now serving broasted chicken and seafood; plus steak, chops, sandwiches, basket meals, seafood specials, and more. You've got to make a stop because there's no better place to dine on the water and to see sunsets.
There's seating inside the dining room, at the bar, or outside on the covered side patio. Eventually they'll add seating and a drink rail to the balcony at the back of the restaurant.
Although the patio has open walls, they can roll down see-through plastic shades to block out the weather if it gets too chilly or windy.
There isn't a bad seat in the house, you can see the water no matter where you sit. It's so much fun to watch the boats and kayakers go by.
We've also seen stingrays, pelicans diving for their dinner, and dolphins and manatees swimming near the railing just like in the video below:
There will be boat slips added with dockside service by the fall of 2015, so you can come by boat and avoid seasonal traffic!
At the moment, the bar has a limited liquor license and offers beer, wine, frozen drinks and drink specials.
The restaurant used to be a seafood and fish cannery back in the 1940's and is in what is now a historical building.
So, what is broasting? It's a pressure cooking method that keeps meat juicy and tender inside and crispy on the outside without being greasy. With conventional frying, 30% of the oil is absorbed; but with broasting, only 2% is absorbed.
The food is absolutely delicious ........ I love their broasted shrimp, scallops, and chicken.
For the basic lunch and dinner menu you'll find: 2-piece and 4-piece broasted chicken dinners, 10 broasted wings with a choice of 8 different sauces, shrimp po'boys, cod sandwiches, burgers, and broasted chicken wraps. Also included on the basic menu are broasted shrimp, codfish, scallop, and oyster baskets.
Lunch and dinner specials are changed and added daily to the
basic menu. The cafe has served items such as grouper bites or sandwiches, grouper
dinners, pork chops, seafood stew, crab cakes, and so much more!
Island Cafe has an amazing NY Strip steak, which comes topped with crispy onions and a yummy sauce.
The cafe is home to the T-Rex! It's a broasted, smoked turkey leg and is so delicious ...... and not served anywhere else in the country. It tastes like ham, even better than ham, I think.
Meals are served with some very tasty sides. The broasted potato wedges are better than french fries because they're full of potato flavor without the greasiness. The cole slaw is the best I've ever had ...... it's made with cabbage, of course, and kale ....... very healthy, not sweet, just perfect!
Other sides include salads, black or baked beans, mashed potatoes, mac n' cheese, and rice.
I love their Smoked Seafood Chowder ......... you can get it served in a cup or bowl.
For breakfast, the quiche is excellent and is served with banana or blueberry bread on the side.
You'll also find biscuits with sausage gravy, blueberry french toast, Eggs Benedict, Belgian waffles, eggs, and omelets ....... along with the usual sides of bacon, sausage and Canadian bacon.
All eggs and chicken are hormone free, the restaurant prides itself in using only the freshest and natural ingredients. Meals are cooked made-to-order to ensure the most flavorful and healthy food.
Ask about their gluten-free selections ...... the burger, pan seared items, and some of the lunch or dinner specials.
As for the desserts ........... make sure you either save room, share a piece, or take some home! The cafe makes their desserts right on the premises.
You'll find pecan pie with Jack Daniels and maple syrup, creme brulee, huge brownies, bread pudding, and the best key lime pie I've ever had ........ it's made from Jimmy Buffet's recipe ........... yum!
You'll definitely want to try their specialty ........ the amazing Broasted Banana Cheesecake!
I had mine served with Love Boat Ice Cream on the side. Love Boat is a well-loved ice cream joint on MacGregor Blvd in Ft Myers on the way to Ft Myers Beach and Sanibel.
They have some of the best ice cream in the area. Island Cafe now carries 9 of their most popular flavors ........... vanilla, chocolate, chocolate mint, strawberry, cookies and cream, black raspberry, coconut, butter pecan, pistachio, and jamocha almond fudge!
Live music is featured outside on the side patio on the weekend, usually from 5-8 or 9PM. Music is performed by acoustic musicians and singers in a quieter manner so that conversation can be carried out while dining.
Island Cafe is open everyday for lunch and dinner and breakfast on the weekend, but contact them for hours as they change from season to off-season. They have longer hours during season and may expand breakfast to weekdays.
You can call for ahead for reservations, and to place custom or to-go orders.
Don't forget .......... they've got the best sunset dining in Cape Coral and Matlacha!
Owners Bruce, Debra, and Brianna Pitts welcome you ..... Island Cafe has it all ....... great food, service, location, water views, ice cream, and that special Florida experience that makes vacationing and living here so much fun .......... make sure you go to Island Cafe on the Bay!
Island Cafe on the Bay
4200 NW Pine Island Rd NW, Matlacha
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