Sweet Melissa's Cafe

4.7
2083 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 2083 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best food on Sanibel hands down. Something for everyone but high quality and well-prepared. Also, best bartender on the Island. Service is personal and knowledgeable.

LO
Naples
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food and service... absolutely best!

DH
Tampa
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 1

3rd time on our anniversary for dinner while staying in Sanibel down from Sarasota. Quality of the food is wonderful, the decor leaves a little to be desired but hey you dont eat that.

JB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We just celebrated our 30th anniversary at Sweet Melissa’s and everything was so delicious and attractively presented. Blackened redfish was outstanding, especially the greens. My wife’s duck was outstanding too. A memorable meal for sure

OT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite meals of the year. I have never had an item from their menu that I didn't enjoy. Nicely made cocktails, delicious small plate choices, amazing entrees, tasty desserts, and lovely service. I love Sweet Melissa's!

GF
New England
40 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Probably the best fine-dining option on Sanibel Island. Grilled Romaine salad had a nice char, and the truffle oil was an elegant touch. Artisan Greens, however, would have benefited from more acid. Cauliflower small plate had a good kick and the charred pineapple complimented the arugula and pickled peppers. Beef tartare was a hit. Octopus was disappointing, lacking flavor and proper grilling, although the chorizo and romesco sauce were solid. Don't miss the tuna timbale, featuring watermelon and avocado. The spice-dusted grouper special excelled. The seared duck breast needed better seasoning, but the duck confit fried rice was on target. The wine list was a pleasant surprise; look for the Greywacke Wild '16 and Avancia Godello '16. The desserts also were top-notch, with a flourless chocolate torte that is a chocaholic's dream, and an outstanding goat cheese cheesecake with blossom honey.

B
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Second time dining at Sweet Melissa's. Wife and I love the menu, the ambiance, and the friendly service. Kudos to our server, Edna, for making our special evening memorable.

MV
Miami
12 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great service and great food. Definitely the nicest restaurant on Sanibel Island

SH
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious, well presented food. Service was friendly, professional and knowledgeable. Great wine list. Have been to Melissa’s three times recently and will definitely go back. Will certainly recommend. Plan to try their happy hour next. Noise level is a bit high but not a deal breaker.

s
Miami
30 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Redfish was perfectly prepared! My husbands duck was also outstanding! My initial bite of the kale mix took my breathe away (literally) much too much vinegar-inedible unfortunately. The grit cakes were good but lacking spice-Parmesan crusted may have been a good addition. My husband and I were initially taken to a room with a large moderately loud party -upon request moved to a quieter table (probably shouldn't have had to ask). Our server was very knowledgeable and very prompt with service! This is our third visit and will DEFINITELY return! Would definitely recommend as one of the finer restaurants on the islands.

DC
Naples
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were a table of four and thoroughly enjoyed our meal. We will be back!

OT
Detroit
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I recently dined and sat once again at the chef’s raised table. This gives you a Birdseye view to the kitchen and the ability to watch the chefs create! We are foodies so enjoy the process as much as consuming the finished product. A few new wines have been added to the list particularly a white wine from Spain’s Rijoa district which was bright and crisp. All around another delightful dining experience at Sweet Melissa’s.

OT
Miami
9 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went to Sweet Melissa's for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. They offer half portions of entrees which lets you try a couple of items so you don't have to feel like you missed out on anything. There are daily specials. The service was excellent. The wine list is long enough but not budget busting. Was happy to find a Gruner Veltliner, which paired well with our meal. We both had 2 appetizers and a half portion entree. We split a dessert and left very satisfied. We will make sure to come again next time we are on the island.

P
Naples
3 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We are long-time customers and thoroughly enjoy Sweet Melissa's!

A
Miami
10 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A word of caution: I would advise against making a late reservation. We arrived promptly for an 8 pm reservation on a weekday. We soon realized we were the last party to be seated. Shortly thereafter it became apparent via several cues that the staff seemed more interested in our timely departure rather than our dining experience. Otherwise I believe the experience could potentially rival anything we are accustomed to in Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beach.

DD
New England
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite restaurant on the island, never disappointed.

R
Naples
4 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Stimulating food. The empanadas had a delicious sauce (with a fair amount of garlic though), and the curry chicken sandwich had perfect flavor balance.

GH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fish stew was awesome as always. Grilled romaine and the octopus are great small plates.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

Terrible food

f
Denver
23 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

This place smelled like a sewer. It was off season so not crowded. The waiter was fine but hovered over us in a very weird way. The food was good but not great with the exception of the reddish which was really good. It is expensive without justifying the cost for the quality of the experience. I am sure there is better dining in the vicinity.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We dined at Melissa’s for our anniversary and it was a fantastic dinner. Food was great, servers were extremely knowledgeable and professional but warm, and the craft cocktails and wine list were great for those of us who are veterans of the high end restaurant world. Great experience all around and we hope to go back soon!

S
Nashville
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my all time favorite restaurants! Melissa NEVER disappoints!!!

TA
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been coming to Sanibel Island for 25 years and this was our first visit to Sweet Melissa’s. It was the best meal I had in the island! Can’t wait to visit again!

s
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved our dinner at Sweet Melissa's Cafe. Everything was extremely good; excellent homemade pasta, fish prepared perfectly, interesting and innovative flavors, loved that they have small plates available for those who are looking for smaller portions or to share around the table. Desserts are a highlight here,, and the Five Spice ice cream was as good as it sounded, as was their Cheesecake made with goat cheese and topped with orange blossom honey. Excellent, attentive service too. While there's no view here, the live music added to the already pleasant atmosphere created by the good food. We'll be back next time we are in Sanibel.

OT
Naples
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Last day on Sanibel dinner with the family. This has been a long standing tradition. In short our meals were great in concept but lacked flavor and seasoning. We come to sweet Melissa’s and we are willing to pay more in return for an elevated experience. We did not have a dinner worth the money and the atmosphere was so loud we barely could hear each other speak. Next year we will be breaking from our tradition and trying something else.

Z
Naples
15 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Even before we arrived for our 6:45 reservation , I received a call inquiring if, due to weather, we would be better inside than outside. Yes, yes and thank you.
Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted, shown to our table and our waiter engaged us. Love this attention. Service was exceptional. In fact, we had four or five staff, at different times, attend to our table. Ok, now the food. Wow! And Wow again. Melissa and her crew made an outstanding meal. Every course was crafted and delicious! Even our wine was great and perfectly chilled, enhancing the bouquet takeaway .
We are discerning about our restaurants and food. This was exceptional. So much so, I applauded Chef Melissa and her staff on my way out the door.

MM
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The wine selection was good; the service was excellent, and the ambiance was unexpected but very good. Yes, I would return.

ED
Miami
8 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hostess, service and food are always 100%! This is our 3rd time here and we keep coming back because its a great place to eat. Highly recommend!

SD
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our dinning experience at Sweet Melissa’s was wonderful! Our waiter was delightful, the menu is fabulous and we thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience. We will definitely return.

OT
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is amazing. The service was charming and attentive. 5 stars!

OT
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed our first dining experience, and plan to return many times in the future.

OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simply fantastic!!!

JM
Naples
2 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Once again the best food on the island!! And our waiter was superb

NO
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent evening meal, as always (lunches are great too!) Lovely place, attentive, professional staff. My scallops on citrus risotto was wonderful, the fish stew was delicious and copious, and the redfish too. We had shared the heirloom tomato salad with parmesan dressing to start out with, and the tomatoes were actually flavorful!
I had made a reservation for my guests and myself the previous afternoon through OpenTable (the only practical way to do it evidently), very straightforward, I reserved and was subsequently confirmed for outdoors on the screened-in veranda; the June evening was pleasant. When we arrived we were informed that there would be no seating outdoors, which was disappointing; more disappointing was the total lack of any explanation or apology, just a "them's the facts" response to our mildly expressed complaint. That's the only reason for an Overall 4 stars instead of 5.

OT
Naples
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always top shelf

OT
Montreal
4 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. The food was fantastic! I had the signature fish stew and it was terrific. My husband had the steak and it was perfectly prepared.

H
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I travel to Sanibel every other month for dinner at sweet Melissa’s. It is our favorite restaurant and if it was closer we would be there once a week. Our servers were fantastic especially Frank with his wonderful and most helpful personality, he was the best ever!!! The food is some of the beat in Southwest Florida and they have so many fantastic choices it’s hard to choose. We love it that they have so many small plates as we love to share everything. Some of our favorites are the cheese plate, mussels are divine, scallops and all of their salads are to die for. It is a must try and definitely be open minded with their cocktails they always have something fun to try and great wine list as well. We will be back again soon!!

JW
St. Louis
2 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service and food was fantastic. No problem recommending Sweet Melissa. We will be back

P
Naples
4 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been coming to Sweet Melissa's for many years and enjoy not only her food, but the pleasant atmosphere and the service!

A
Naples
2 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Our favorite restaurant !! Food is always delicious and service excellent. However we did meet friends for dinner and they reported that when arriving, they were not given a very nice welcome! Unusual for this restaurant - must have been a new host - but the wonderful meal convinced our friends to return!!!

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