Sweet Melissa's Cafe

4.6
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2187 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
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.
What 2187 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JA
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Melissa’s is our go-to on s

P
Naples
134 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Grilled Romain was the best while the gumbo was just okay. I had a salmon burger also okay and my wife had the seafood stew. It was good but not worth the money. Will probably come back after the snowbirds leave and try something different.

OT
Milwaukee
31 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. We love this restaurant.

d
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The signature fish stew dish drew stares and comments when is arrived - huge portion with a colorful variety of shellfish and a novel slash of melted cheese. It also happened to be delicious! My wife’s Filet Mignon was also quite excellent. Service was great and place was very comfortable. Highly recommend!

JW
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing! The staff was attentive without being intrusive and they were very friendly. The outside dining was in a screened in area and very pleasant. We had the 2 specials they were offering that night, Watermelon Salad and Tile Fish along with the Goat Cheese Ravioli, all were perfect. Saved room for dessert, Key Lime Pie and the Goat Cheese Cheesecake which was such a large portion we had to take some home. Very nice dinning experience.

JI
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great meal. Steak done perfectly. Gumbo to die for. Two mild complaints...the shashimi Cobia was dry (although never had raw Cobia so it might be normal) and the strawberry shortcake was a yawn. Otherwise a great experience.

OT
Miami
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience4

The food at Melissa’s was wonderful.A little Florida , a little New Orleans. We loved the idea of small plates and half portions. The only problem was the server was no where to be found. Others got their food before us. Another server brought our food and cleared our plates. She never came over to ask if we needed anything. She also didn’t listen to something we requested. I would definitely go back there and recommend the restaurant. But steer clear of any female servers.

C
Indiana
15 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best restaurants I have ever been to and I have been to many in the country and outside. Chef Melissa is really sweet and one of the best in her business. Definitely coming back next year

TM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food2service3ambience4

I went with a group and some give good marks for their food, not me. My friend and I who ordered the special of scallops with pork belly felt quite dissatisfied. We got 2 scallops (yes TWO only) for the entree, two small bites of pineapple and a light smear of sweet potatoes for our $21. The only thing of any quantity on the skimpy plate was the two chucks of pork belly we both disliked and could not eat. In addition another friends did not much like his octopus appetizers. The bread was good but when the 6 of us eat it quickly up no more was offered after the small first allotment of one piece each. The service was slow to start, took about 15-20 minutes to get our drinks and only then could we order food even though we asked to go ahead rather than wait more for the drinks. The whole pace was frustrating. I would say for our $450 for 6 not my idea of a good value or a great meal.

KB
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I found the menu to be somewhat limiting, although loved the number of small plates. The portions on the small plates were full portions. Overall an excellent experieince

BB
London
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2food4service1ambience4

Have had multiple great meals there with excellent service. Not this time re:extremely poor service.
Server short with my wife when asked a question regarding the menu. Water glasses slow to be refilled. Wine bottle on the table and after waiting 15 minutes plus, I refilled the table.

OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The freshest, carefully balanced, never disappointing dining experience!

BC
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Sweet Melissa's is always the best dining experience on Sanibel Island. The menu is always interesting, they are happy to veganize items and the food is always tasty and well presented.

PP
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful dining room(s), excellent service and food. The option of a smaller sized portion on all entrees is a wonderful addition. I highly recommend this venue!

JL
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

tasty and innovative food in a comfortable setting.

SL
New England
40 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food, excellent service, special ambiance!

d
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a delicious dinner. The wait staff was excellent. I appreciated our waiters recommendations.

h
Cincinnati
117 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

The food was outstanding - especially the redfish, fish stew, ravioli, and sweetbreads. Having the option to have half portions of some entrees makes decision making easier - you can try more foods that you are having trouble choosing between.
The dining room doesn't have much ambiance, but once you start on your meal, the ambiance is less noticeable because the food is special. The redfish/collards/crispy grits entree was my favorite - I've not had anything like it anywhere else.

OT
Naples
3 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food was great! Service was very good.

g
Baltimore
48 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food and service. Extensive wine list. Favorites include Missels, grilled lettuce appetizer, duck leg confit appetizers. The fish stew entree is outstanding. We regret that the sensational duck breast entree is not on the menu this year. When it resumes, it is “winner.”

I
Naples
21 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

The lunch menu gave us good reason to make a reservation at Melissa's. The ambiance on the patio was very nice. At 12:30 it was disappointing to learn the oyster Po'boy was already sold out, so I ordered the gumbo which was good, and the salad Nicoise was ok. It was topped with red fish which was very good. We also ordered the fish stew which was bountiful and thoroughly enjoyed. The Key Lime White Chocolate Bread Pudding was superb. Will return again for another try.

SB
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love eating at Sweet Melissa's, probably our favorite restaurant on Sanibel. The specials are always really interesting (and delicious) but they are hard to choose because we have our personal favorites on the standard menu...fish stew for him and red fish for me. Kevin makes wonderful cocktails and we appreciate the continuity of the staff (including lovely guitar music most nights). Whether we eat outside on the porch, in the bar, or in the restaurant, it feels like a treat. When we arrive back on the island, it is always where we go for our first dinner.

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Great all around

g
New England
549 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

On the fence. Nice menu, but setting is tired/lazy, bartender had zero personality & food prep relied on sauces and spices (& overwhelmed the food). So for south Florida, not bad, but a long way from great.

SF
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Each us of got a different entree - cobia, red fish, and the signature dish, fish stew. All of them were excellent.

d
Kansas City
28 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I enjoyed my fish stew. The menu was very limited for my husband. So he just ordered the cheese plate appetizer. The grilled romaine salad was fantastic and plenty to share between 2 people.

LM
Naples
8 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my favorite restaurants on Sanibel. I like that you have the choice to order a smaller portion. I had the scallops, which were excellent. WE split a watermelon and heirloom tomato salad - very good.

B
Naples
2 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always go to sweet Melissa’s Cafe when vacationing on Sanibel Island. Usually make the reservation before we leave home. It’s wonderful. Really enjoy smaller plate option. Very reasonable prices.

MB
Tampa
7 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our meal was exceptional from start to finish. My husband and I went for dinner on our last evening in Sanibel. We shared the special heirloom tomato watermelon salad to start. I had the small portion of sautéed scallops with pork belly and pineapple and he had the fish stew. Both were excellent and just the right portion size for us. We finished with a delicious shared dish of mixed berry sorbet. Our waiter (whose name I’ve sadly forgotten) was very helpful and friendly as well as professional. We will certainly return next time we’re on the island. Highly recommend!

T
Minneapolis
11 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had their ravioli which was outstanding. It had a wonderful new flavor that I could not get from the server!! But that is fair. Then I had shrimp and grits which had a delicious sauce. Sweet Melissa's sauces are the hit of the restaurant. They are all wonderful.

SJ
Minneapolis
11 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Service was excellent; food excellent; but it was so noisy my husband and I couldn’t hear each other. The music was distracting.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food and outstanding service

SQ
Philadelphia
16 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had the fish stew. It was wonderful to share. The food quality was excellent and our waiter was exceptional! Will definitely go again.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is outstanding, service is friendly. We sat outside, and it's pretty quiet and easy to hear everyone else/be overheard. Not a big deal, though - we are looking forward to going back!

OT
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Wonderful fine dining menu & service. Food was extraordinary. The noise level of other diners & the kitchen however distracted from the fine dining experience. I realize that this was because of the building layout & bare floors. We love Sweet Melissa’s for special occasions.

b
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We had the grilled romaine which was good but the dressing was not very flavorful. We also had the seafood stew which was good. The atmosphere was nice and our server was helpful and friendly.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Server was amazing! Great food! Sitting outside is the way to go

CS
Tucson
3 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

One of us had a salad which was great, I had the quiche which was tasty, the croque monsieur though had ham that was like tough leather though and we would not order that again.

KP
Tahoe
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dining at Sweet Melissa's never disappoints. Outstanding quality of food and service. It's so busy it's a bit loud but we look forward to having dinner there everytime we visit Sanibel.

P
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience1

A lovely dining experience. The “counter” seats are comfortable and look into the kitchen. This makes them perfect for solo diners or those with an interest in cooking.