Sweet Melissa's Cafe
Sweet Melissa's Cafe

Sweet Melissa's Cafe

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.sweetmelissascafe.net/
  • Phone: 239-472-1956
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday 5pm Closed Sunday
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Melissa Talmage
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Entertainment: Acoustic Guitarist Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday Evenings

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Casa Ybel
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Sweet Melissa's Cafe
Executive Chef Melissa Talmage offers a divinely creative menu sure to fit any foodies dream. Serving lunch and dinner, Chef Melissa challenges your taste buds to explore an array of different textures and tastes. Our dinner menu is broken into sections and the entrees are offered in half portions to give you the ability to try a few different dishes in one visit. We also offer an extensive wine list to enhance your dining experience. Come join us for another side to island dining.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Sweet Melissa's Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
69 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (45)special occasion (42)neighborhood gem (32)romantic (31)notable wine list (21)great for outdoor dining (8)great for lunch (6)good for groups (6)hot spot (4)kid-friendly (2)vibrant bar scene (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Best tuna ever
    Pc1029VIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Only my second time here, but will try to go back more often. Best tuna sandwich ever!! Homemade pickles on a grilled bun with the nicest piece of tuna I've ever tasted! & homemade chips. My husband got the beet salad and said it was excellent. Definitely worth the trip to Sanibel!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best gourmet food on the island
    Kdubyu
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    We try to eat here at least once every time we visit sanibel. The menu has something for everyone, and there is a variety of fresh seafood. Melissa was not there this time, but her other chef did not disappoint. My wife had Pinot Gris wine, and I had a rum runner cocktail for libations. We started with the 3-cheese plate of may tag blue, tallegio and humbolt. We split a beet salad and they served it in two plates! For main course I had the tuna and my wife had the cobia. Both were cooked to perfection with great spices. We finished with a dish of chocolate gelato. All courses were timed well. We had joined another couple and one of them had the tenderloin filet - she raved about it as well as the twice cooked fries.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • very good
    bernd
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Sweet Melissa is consistently tops in food and service. She is not afraid to try new recipies and most hit home. A very good wine list complete the experience. Melissa does not have much competition in Sanibel, can highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Restaurant in Sanibel Island
    Alberto
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We discovered this restaurant only a year ago, the place is nice, service professional and friendly, now the most outstanding part is the food. There are good chefs and very good chefs, but above there are natural great chefs and Melisa is one of them, it is very difficult to decide between one plate and the next, she adds magic to every recipe that makes it unique. Highly recommended
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fantastic stew
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Great portion sizes. The fish stew was amazing. The cobia was perfectly cooked as well. The staff was very accomidating and provided honest and great recommendations. My wife and I will absolutely be returning.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Great restaurant for good friends to enjoy a special evening.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Its simply great
    mickhol
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Year after year we have been coming to eat here and every year we walk away saying "wow, that was good". We always try new restaurants on the islands and this is still one of the best.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Belisimo!
    Local
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    I love this place. The food is always superb and the service unbeatable. I've never felt like they rush you to turn the table.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Small plate dining a must
    passingthruVIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    My husband and I shared several small plate items, from salad to entrees that can either be small plate or a full entree. Grilled peach salad, short rib ravioli, shrimp/lobster crepes and banana crepe dessert that were outstanding and just enough along with a bottle of wine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding
    KBRSRVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    This restraurant continues to be excellent in your dinning experience The quality if the food is superior and the final product continues to exceed expectations beyond imaganaton You will be glad you booked this restraurant
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Food; Great for + Courses
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Wonderful food. We loved the smaller plates. Plenty of different flavors with each course. The option for half entrees was fantastic! We loved ordering multiple courses and having an appetite for an awesome desert!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding Restaurant
    TheRealETVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Melissa's Cafe is our most favorite place to go out to dinner. The food is always superb! We love the half-portion menu choices as that gives us a nice option and keeps the cost down when we don't want a full entree. We both had the grouper special and beet salad this time. They were both terrific. I had the full portion of grouper and my wife had the half portion. The full portion was almost too much to eat. The prices are very competitive and the servers are very attentive. We were delighted with our special night out and enjoyed the wine also. Sweet Melissa's is a great place for anyone seeking great food and service. We will go back again soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • top notch
    tourist
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Sweet Melissa's is an absolutely top-notch place to dine. The menu is varied & unusual; there's a superb chef in the kitchen!! For most entrees, there's a choice of a regular or petite serving size.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredible dinner
    Casualdiner
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    We had some guests in from out of town and wanted to show them Sanibel and then eat at a nice restaurant .. After some wine on the beach we went to Melissa's and had a fantastic dinner. We will go again and have recommended this fine place them to all our friends '
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome addition
    NvizbleVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    It's been almost 10 years since we visited this area, and this is a nice new venue to try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not so Sweet Melissa's
    Dana
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    After all the write up's this was a big disapointment. Both entree's had to be sent back. We had to ask for bread, salt and pepper. The ingredients in the beet salad were old. The waiter was untrained. This will be our one and only visit.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Interesting cocktails - I had the spicy jalapeno margarita. Just the right amount of heat, tart and sweetness. The lobster and shrimp crepes were perfect. We loved that the dinner entrees are set up so that you can order smaller portions. This allowed us to try more things. We had the cobia - the english peas were substituted by snap peas which made me happy - over the coconut rice. It was absolutely delish!! We also ordered the grilled smoked beef tenderloin. Although the filet was cooked perfectly, the smokey flavor on the meat as well as the spinach was almost too much. I would choose to put it in one or the other but having it in both really distracts from the flavor of the dish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good
    FloridaFlash
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Just not quite great. Appetizers were outstanding (beet salad, steak tartare), main courses ranged from great to acceptable, dessert (banana strudel) to die for. Nice, reasonable Chardonnay. The renowned fish stew was in a thick tomato base rather than a fish broth, which was a surprise and a disappointment. The mushroom risotto under the guinea fowl was amazing, while the bird was good, but largely reminiscent of well prepared chicken (tender with crispy skin). We'll be back, but read the menu more carefully.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best restaurant on Sanibel Island
    NYCCalgal
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    My husband and I stay on Captiva Island and always make the trip to Sweet Melissa's Cafe in Sanibel. The food is always excellent! Forget all those over rated and over advertised restaurants on Sanibel & Captiva Island, and go to Sweet Melissa's Cafe for the ultimate dining experience!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great dinner experience
    foodie44
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Most enjoyable. Decided to dine only appetizers and was rewarded by well-seasoned and creative dishes. Very nice and helpful staff who provided prompt and cheerful service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome. Must go when at Sanibel
    RichVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Fish stew, Beef Tenderloin and Cobia awesome. Try anything on menu and you won't be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unbelievable!!!
    Shunt10
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Best restaurant in Sanibel - hands down! Every dish perfectly prepared and presented. Interesting and very special food. One of my three all time favorite restaurants!!!!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect
    StanUsual
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    23rd anniversary for me and my wife - took a night to leave the family and celebrate our special day. Food, service, ambiance - all great.. Highly recommended. Fish stew is highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Dining on Sanibel
    DMMH
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Chef Melissa continues to tantalize the taste buds with great preparations and even better execution. The asparagus appetizer is amazing and the scallops were perfect. It will be one of my stops on the Island going forward
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anniversary Experience
    Just2foodies
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    We are from Orlando and celebrated our anniversary several years ago at Sweet Melissa's, so this year as we made our plans to celebrate our anniversary at Sanibel, we knew Sweet Melissa's was the perfect place for us. The food is exceptional. Bill tried the Fish Stew and stated that was the best meal he had ever had. We have already recommended Sweet Melissa's to friends in Fort Myers and know that we will return whenever we are in the area.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Celebration Sat June 21
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    We have been to Sweet Melissa's before which brought us back again--previously the food, ambiance and service was what we talked about when we left. This time only two of the three were positive….our service was less than good….way less. Our server was disinterested in us……he apparently did not understand one of the guest's request and blamed it on the guest (very rude!)………he was aware that one of the guest's was there for a birthday celebration but as we did not order desserts no mention was made….we had called in about the birthday and also the hostess reconfirmed the same. Overall the experience was very nice except I would hope that we would not have as our server the next time.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special Find
    margarita4
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Melissa is one of the most innovative and personally involved chefs we have encountered, on Sanibel or anywhere. We especially appreciated that each dish was cooked from scratch with fresh and local ingredients. We loved the ambience for dinner, and our waitress was so pleasant and knowledgeable. Our seafood meals, with excellent sauces and vegetables, were truly delicious - fantastic! - and we can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anniversary Diner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    My wife and I had our first anniversary dinner at Sweet Melissa's. The wine list was wonderful but the pour was terrible. Three sips and its done. The ambiance was best on Sanibel and service was professional. Started with Mussels and they were the best I have had in years. BUT my wife's medium rare steak was well done and my "small plate" scallops had only two (2) scallops on the plate. For $17 are you kidding me? We may come back for a glass and wine and the mussels but for diner no way.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food created by an artist
    Byron
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    There is good food, there is great food, and then are dishes that have been created by a true artist that uses flavors as their medium. Melissa works at the latter level. A little pricey at first glance at the menu, but that feeling disappears at first bite. This was our first visit to Sanibel, but not our last, and Sweet Melissa is one of a few places on our ' must go back again' list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious !
    DCarne
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Located on Sanibel Island. The food and flavors were out of this world!! Great menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Terence Daly
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Had great time with wife, daughter son-in-law and granddaughter. Fine food and "great" service from waiter Paul! We go to Sweet's whenever we visit Sanibel!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wow!
    SunnyTravelerVIP
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    So we stopped in to Sweet Melissa's for late lunch. The restaurant was quiet as it was about 30 minutes before close. (Lunch is 11:00 - 2:30) Our server was attentive and the atmosphere was clean, relaxed and classy. The crab cake sandwich was outstanding - a large crab cake, fresh, flavorful and light. The homemade chips were great too. My dining partner had the beet salad with grilled shrimp. It was so good she didn't share! Our cocktails were well made and a good size for the spend. The fresh bread on the table was a bonus - very delicious! We split the key lime parfait for dessert and it was the "cherry on top" of a wonderful lunch. If you are in Sanibel, go to Sweet Melissa's!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    Excellent food & service. We were there for dinner. There was a guitarist playing at an appropriate noise level. Already recommended it to others.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Seasonal menu, small plates
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/26/2014
    Inventive food, including a nice selection of local fish and food, good wine and cocktail list, professional and friendly waiter with great homemade ice cream for dessert! Nice bar are, outdoor dining.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Big Disappointment
    gr8foodie
    Dined on 5/26/2014
    My wife and I were somewhat disappointed with the tamale appetizer because it was so dry tasting. Following that we were each served a hanger steak that was tough as shoe leather, a blob of sautéed spinach and nearly cold French fries. The steak was so tough we couldn’t cut it with our steak knives. We advised our waiter of the toughness of the steaks, and after consultation with the manager, we were offered a free desert and cup of coffee. A more appropriate result might have been Chef Melissa apologizing for the steaks, providing new steaks or taking the steaks off the check. None of the components of the meal or the quality of the individual components warranted being on Sweet Melissa’s menu or anybody’s menu for that matter.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Yummy!
    LpstkbizdinerVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Pleasant surprise on Sanibel. Loved that they had small plates / smaller entree portions available. Well executed dishes. Chocolate dessert was crazy good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoy small plates together!
    KarenK
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    We had a lovely meal with lots of small plates to sample. The wine was good, great service, and really appreciate the gluten free items. Best place in Sanibel, hands down
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So so
    Peter
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    The food was fairly good and unique. They need to offer bottled water cause Sanibel municipal water has that awful taste. Drinks were very good. Service was attentive and professional, but for such a seemingly upscale place, they wait staff needs to stop referring to my wife and I as "guys". That really kind of takes the specialness out of dining out. And, we were dressed up for the occasion and "guys" just doesn't show respect. The chairs are bottoming out - they need new seat cushions. Otherwise everything else was good - good food, good timing, overall well done.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • best Sanibel restaurant
    foodie4sure
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    We travel to Sanibel each May. The best food on the island--by far--is at Sweet Melissa's Cafe. Love the menu... roasted beet salad and fish stew are delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cute Eatery - Wonderful Food
    paljoeysmom
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    My boyfriend and I visited Sanibel while we stayed in Naples. I saw some very good reviews o Yelp So we decided to check it out. Our server was absolute delightful, but more importantly she knew about the ingredients and preperation of the foods. We had the grilled Caesar and beet salad. Both were very tasty with fresh flavor. The bread is to die for. Next we had the shrimp and lobster tamale. This was good but a bit on the bland side. It could use a salsa or a bit of spice to dress it up. For dessert we had both the homemade Carmel ice cream and the praline ice cream. Both are outstanding! We had a lovely fruit tart, and the banana strudel in the phyllo dough. Pleasant but nothing special. Overall a very good dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.