NI’s 2018 Dining Awards: The Experience

Looking for Naples' most craveable late night dining, hottest happy hour, or best breakfast? NI readers have voted and the results are in.

Best Late-Night Dining: Bar Tulia

Bar Tulia’s happy hour offers daily wine and draft beer specials, along with snacks like its Bucket O’ Chicken.
Photo Credits: Michael Caronchi

One of downtown Naples’ hottest nightspots, Bar Tulia serves its full menu until it closes around midnight. Late night munchies? House chicken sausage pizza, Roman Ramen noodles, a short rib and brisket burger with burrata cheese, crisp fried pig ears, and Wisconsin cheddar cheese curds to the rescue.  

Honorable Mention: 7th Avenue Social

Up to last call, at midnight on weekends, 7th Avenue Social serves an abbreviated menu of its stylized Southern cuisine. Choose from a selection of street tacos, the ever-popular chicken and waffles, fried green tomatoes with red pepper jam, and honey hot wings.

Best Dog-Friendly Dining: Campiello Ristorante & Bar

The extensive, tree-shaded courtyard at Campiello will keep Fido content. The friendly atmosphere and laid-back vibe means dogs love it here as much as humans. Which is a lot!

Honorable Mention: 360 Market

Dogs rule on the patio outside at Three60 Market in Bayshore. Enjoy breakfast or lunch waterside with your furry best friend.

Best Sports Bar: Tavern on the Bay

Photo Credits: Michael Caronchi

Given its 130-inch HD TV and outdoor seating with views of the Gordon River, Tavern on the Bay at Bayshore Place has game-on in so many ways. In addition, the menu lists game-time favorites: wings, nachos, pizzas (try Momma Linda’s meatball pie), handcrafted burgers, and baby back ribs.

Honorable Mention: Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill

At its locations in Estero and North Naples, sports TVs cover every conceivable space. Football weekend drink specials and a sporting menu that runs long score touchdowns here.

Best Sunset View: The Turtle Club

Set in the Vanderbilt Beach Resort, this dining destination never fails to surprise and delight with its exacting menu of seafood and fine meat favorites served right on the beach. Whether you choose an outside table or a more formal setting inside, the view of the sinking sun is front row.

Honorable Mention: Baleen
As the sun makes its final curtain call, beachfront Baleen at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort has your table, whether you prefer toes in the sand, al fresco on the patio, or inside the plantation-style dining room walled with glass.

Best Breakfast: Jane’s Garden Café

Perhaps the homemade muffins and courtyard settings first lure you into Jane’s. But as you return again and again, you discover seven types of bennies, a dozen omelets, quiche, crepes, and other wonderful Euro-American specialties on its all-day breakfast menu.

 

Honorable Mention: Cove Inn Coffee Shoppe

If you like your breakfast old-school, slide in to Cove Inn for a retro diner feel and a plate of craveable thin pancakes that are hard to resist.

Best Happy Hour: Bar Tulia

Wine and draft beer specials daily from 4 to 6 p.m. draw a crowd ready to blow off workday steam or cap a day in the sun. They also come to nosh on food specials such as $1.50 raw oysters, veggie and hummus crudité for $4, and house-cut potato chips with mascarpone sour cream and onions for $3.

Honorable Mention: Truluck’s Seafood Steak & Crab House

A cut above most happy hours, Cocktail Hour here runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. daily with appetizer specials—we suggest the elegant shrimp cocktail or salt-and-pepper calamari—and special wine and craft cocktail offers.

Best Place to See and Be Seen: Campiello Ristorante & Bar

Photo Credits: Michael Caronchi

Everyone who’s anyone knows that Campiello is a social nucleus in downtown Naples, where its street-front courtyard invites intermingling and puts dining out on a convivial stage. Lunch and dinner both set a tone of casual high society made merry by the mutual enjoyment of fine Italian fare, exquisite wines, and classic cocktails.

Honorable Mention: Bar Tulia
Starting with happy hour at 4 p.m., this Fifth Street darling fills with the bon vivant of social butterflies. The Italian gastropub keeps up the momentum until midnight.

Best Kid-Friendly Dining: Tommy Bahama

Eating outside is a childhood pleasure that remains constant generation after generation. Besides the sidewalk setting, Tommy Bahama has a varied kids’ menu with puzzles and other activities to recommend to families with children. Then there’s dessert! From key lime to malted-chocolate to peanut butter pie: Need we say more?

Honorable Mention: Tacos & Tequila Cantina

Ultra-casual dining indoors and out make parents and their energetic little ones feel immediately comfortable. Tacos and quesadillas, chicken fingers, and cheeseburgers give them choices from both sides of the border.

Best Brunch: BrickTop’s Naples

Brick Tops’s Naples’ Chicken and Waffles

Think out of the Bloody Mary here, and start your Sunday repast with a prickly pear margarita or a Charred Grapefruit made with red ruby vodka and the juice from a grilled grapefruit. From there, the choices get tougher: homemade donuts with three dipping sauces, lobster benedict, brioche French toast, grilled grouper, meatloaf—to name just a few of the many superb selections.  

Honorable Mention: 7th Avenue Social

Celebrate Sunday with $12 bottomless mimosas and something that inspires a Southern accent. Maybe shrimp and grits or chicken and waffles, y’all?

Best Live Music: The Continental

The classic rock and rockabilly live music in the courtyard at The Continental gets toes tapping and feet dancing. Enjoy Link Montana and the Rough Riders Tuesday through Saturday nights and Rick Howard Trio for Sunday brunch and on Monday nights.

Honorable Mention: 7th Avenue Social

From classic rock to Latin licks, downtown’s trendsetter delivers live music every Thursday through Sunday in a hipster setting that attracts both young and mature crowds.

Best for Romance: The Grill

The Grill at the Ritz Carlton Naples offers an aelegant-yet-intimate to treat your special someone

Ever the inimitable dining experience, The Grill at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, adds grandeur and culinary excellence to date night. Linens, soft candlelight, crystal chandeliers, and a roaring fireplace set the mood; elegant steakhouse fare and a chocolate soufflé finale prolong the devotion.

Honorable Mention: Baleen

Tiki torches light the fire of romance on Baleen’s beachfront patio at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort. Bump up the mood even further with a table for two planted gulf side.

Best Power Lunch: Campiello Ristorante & Bar

Whatever your definition of “power lunch”—a light salad of chicken and caramelized pear or homemade pasta with a hearty red wine—Campiello makes midday business meals as pleasant as productive. A little fresh air always clears the head, so choose a table in the courtyard, and enjoy.

Honorable Mention: Osteria Tulia

For a meal that’s bound to impress clients or the boss, take advantage of Osteria Tulia’s intimacy and out-of-the-ordinary selection of salads, pizza, pasta, and paninis.

Best Special-Occasion Dining: Sea Salt

Sea Salt’s gorgeous decor and Mediterranean-inspired menu offer the perfect setting for a night out.
Photo Credit: Vanessa Rogers

The artful Mediterranean-inspired menu, crafty cocktails and divine wines, quintessential Naples indoor and outdoor settings, and meticulous service can turn any meal into an occasion at Sea Salt. Wine dinners, theme meals, and a customized over-the-top chef’s table provide opportunity to boost further the “special” quotient of your dine-out experience.

Honorable Mention: Bleu Provence

When the occasion calls for an intimate setting and simply magnifique French cuisine that allows you to lose all sense of time and place, call on Bleu Provence.

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