Sweet Melissa's Cafe

4.8
2372 Reviews
$31 to $50
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.

Support Sweet Melissa's Cafe during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
Physical Distancing
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
What 2372 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MG
vipMeganG
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I enjoyed the mussels and frites as well as ramen and shrimp with poached egg. Both tasty. Hubby had fish stew which he liked. Nothing phenomenal but very good. Disappointed that several cooks (open view kitchen) were not wearing masks (how is it possible to not get shut down?!!!) but other than that an enjoyable evening.

S
Seabrooksyd
Charleston
12 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food & Service were both great!

MV
MichaelV
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Been eating there for years. Food , service, ambiance all 5 star as usual. One if the best restaurants on the island .
Please don’t ever change .

MC
MinnesotaCouple
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is our "Go To" place for great dining on Sanibel. Always great atmosphere, often including live entertainment. The menu includes all kinds of great items and nightly specials are usually interesting and very good. All of the servers do a great job of keeping the meal flowing and meeting all needs.

PW
PhilW
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food was excellent and the service was very good but the seating was not as expected. We requested outside seating and were placed next to the parking lot. In the past we were seated in the screened in patio. Where we sat we were bothered by mosquitoes throughout the meal. Location of the outdoor seating made us feel we were not part of the restaurant.

j
jw56
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outside dining met our expectations. The specials were prepared especially well. There was a guitarist playing quietly in the background. It was our first time at Sweet Melissa's. We will be back

j
vipjoe13
Orlando
45 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience4

Food Always amazing. Seating placement a little strange. Was great to be open on a holiday but, Felt rushed out for no reason. Good thing the food is always amazing.

KM
KasiaM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience4

Disappointing. From the small plates we ordered baby kale salad, octopus and squash blossoms. Kale salad was overpowered by bacon. If you love kale, you do not necessarily love that much of salty, fried bacon. Octopus was ok, blossoms were really bland. No taste, except fried blossom itself. For the main course we had filet mignon, which was really good. Seared scallops were good, accompanying pork belly was good, but together it did not make sense. We also had a fish stew. Even half a portion as big. Again, no taste really. Aioli sauce was far and between and it lacked the garlic. The broth was good but needed a punch. Toast itself was yummy. We passed on dessert.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was one of our favorite restaurants on Sanibel. The food was outstanding. Beautiful patio for outdoor comfortable seating. Exquisite flavors in every meal and appetizer we ordered. Kale salad and heirloom special salad was amazing!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

I had requested outdoor dining yet when I arrived, there did not seem to be a notation of this. We have been at sweet Melissa‘s many times in the past. The food was just mediocre this time as opposed to the past. The special snapper was soggy inside and the duck was bland. The server forgot to include our two bottles of wine on the original check and later fixed it. Just an ok experience.

G
vipGreg
Wilmington
22 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The blacken red fish was wonderful and the goat milk cheese cake exceptional!!

ML
MaryL
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food from start to finish was creative, unique and so delicious!! Melissa is an impressive chef and we will certainly return frequently. An expanded menu would be nice.

N
Nantucketeatingonmymind
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious!

Report
LF
vipLocalFoodie
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We have been coming to Sweet Melissa’s since she opened the restaurant and my food at our recent dinner there was the best I’ve had in all those years. The roasted beets and hearts of palm salad (which I have ordered many times) had an outstanding dressing. The pork belly that was served with the scallops was done perfectly - tender and meaty yet crispy where it should be. Our waiter was so knowledgeable about the menu that he was able to explain how the pork belly was prepared when I inquired - even down to the details on the compression technique. He was quite attentive without being overbearing. We felt very comfortable with the table spacing. Our only comment was that the Creole mustard cream sauce served with my husband’s mussels wasn’t quite as good as usual, but the mussels themselves were cooked perfectly. Hope you add some of the Spanish tapas to the regular menu!

B
vipBobbie
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved the tile fish special and the roasted beat, goat cheese salad.

Kevin, our wonderful server/bartender, made excellent recommendations.

The music that was piped in from the guitar player on the patio was a lovely feature.

We'll definitely return, as Sweet Melissa's never disappoints.

JH
JcH2
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Marvelous!! Fish stew is common. You can find it on both coasts and throughout the islands. Seafood, spices, garlic, white wine, stock, maybe some tomatoes. And is usually good to very good because of the fresh local ingredients. Chef Melissa makes a fish stew which is the gold standard of stews. The finest plump shellfish, fresh shrimp and scallops, perfectly cooked fish fillets and you'll be thankful for that grilled piece of bread to sop up every drop of that wonderfully flavorful sauce. Delicious!! The place seems covid safe. The professional Waite staff wore both masks and gloves. Tables inside and out widely spaced. Clean, crisp white linens. Nice quiet piano jazz playing in the background. Take your favorite date for a special event! Maybe a little more expensive than others, but well worth it!! We'll be back!!

r
vipras7
Louisville
48 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The gumbo and blackened redfish were outstanding! We appreciated the social distance between tables . Service was extremely polite and helpful.

DQ
DebQ
Edinburgh
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved the classy outdoor ambiance and our server was wonderful. I highly recommend the Fish Stew!

BV
vipBenV
New England
7 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great experience. A very attentive and conciseness staff. We enjoyed the cheese plate which had wonderful cheeses, very nice cocktails and the dinners were excellent. The duck was tender and flavorful, the Waygu beef was cooked perfectly and nicely seasoned. The side veggies and potatoes were delicious and the portions were terrific. We could not have been more pleased with our experience. As an added bonus a nice couple who apparently regulars, picked up part of our tab without us even knowing. We would absolutely go back!

b
bonababe
Naples
20 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We requested outdoor seating and were happy to be seated in the screened in porch. From our corner location the guitarist was just on the other side of the screen and it was like a private concert! Always very special at Melissa’s. My husband’s fish stew was excellent as always. My salad and fried green tomatoes (I’m vegan) were very good. Just a lovely evening and we are never disappointed at Sweet Melissa’s!

JD
vipJohnD
St. Louis
10 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Go to Melissa’s many times a year. Have had everything on the menu. ALL good. Grilled salad is the best ! Wine list is fairly priced. Menu items are varied and well prepared. Can’t go wrong at Melissa’s !

C
Chipnance
Atlantic City
6 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Shelly was patient & professional

T
vipTiki
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The outdoor seating was warm and comfortable on a cool evening. The appetizer was a special beet salad with goat cheese and hearts of palm and a light dressing. We each had the small serving of seafood stew and it was delicious as always. Lots of shellfish, fresh fish and scallops. The bread was delicious and warm. We visit several times each year when we stay in Sanibel and have never been disappointed. We will be back!

BF
vipBostonFoodLover
New England
23 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always excellent! Terrific COVID-19 precautions.

e
ed10
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Excellent atmosphere and food and service. However, my steak was tough, and I ended up giving half to my husband. Despite this, the flavor was excellent. I would order it again. Wonderful place.

RD
vipRichardD
Jacksonville
39 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Great Service. What more could you ask for.

DG
DonaldG
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We truly had a wonderful experience.
The food was fabulous with lots of specialty touches that we enjoyed.
Our server was very attentive & knowledgeable. We were glad we had been forewarned that it was $$$.
A lovely choice for a Special occasion!

DL
DebbieL
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was fine dining at its best. The selection was excellent. It is a credit to Sweet Melissa's to order small plates so that you have the ability to sample a variety of freshly made dishes which we did. It was a excellent way to celebrate our anniversary. It will be a dinner to be remembered. We will be back. Debbie

BM
vipBrettM
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful New American menu in a lovely outdoor porch.

TS
vipTeriS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a wonderful surprise...food and service was amazing. We definitely will be back!

E
Erin
Nashville
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We had a wonderful meal at Sweet Melissa's! The food was very good, aside from getting my "no bacon" incorrect on my salad. They had wonderful live classical guitar music. The only thing that I would change is the lighting on the screened porch. It was a bit bright for such an elegant evening. I could have done without the overhead lights. They had extended the outdoor dining area to a portion of their parking lot so they could accommodate about double the amount of diners.

AL
vipAnneL
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience1

We have dined here many times over the years and the food and experience never disappoints. This year was a bit of a let-down as it was Christmas Eve, we wanted a memorable, lovely dining experience along with a wonderful meal. This can not be achieved under a bright can light. We were seated at a large round table (we were a party of 5), close to the kitchen (which is actually kind of cool because it’s all open and it’s fun to see the orchestrated chaos of a busy kitchen), but directly beneath a brightly beaming recessed bulb. This restaurant has many cozy corners along with some intimate outdoor seating. It was just unfortunate that we ended up at that table, it was cold and unwelcoming. This should not deter you from dining here, it is just a synopsis of our experience and hopefully a suggestion to Sweet Melissa’s to swap out a few bulbs in certain spots. There’s much more to a wonderful dining experience other than the food.

L
vipLeecien
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect in every way!

P
Paige
Naples
7 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have never had a finer meal. I am a salmon snob and Chef Talmadge hit it out of the park tonight.

JA
vipJoAnne
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Small menu, however so so good! Highly recommend.

DB
DavidB
Naples
4 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Love the smaller plate options. This is the 3rd time we spent our anniversary there and hopefully won't be the last.

l
viplovetoeat
Detroit
28 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

They gave us a lovely table far from other people on their pretty porch, which we appreciated. We found them to be quite inflexible about special dietary needs: I am a pescatarian, no dairy or shellfish, vegan otherwise. They said they could not omit the butter from the fish dishes (huh?). I asked for a simple grilled fish - no. I had to settle for their fish stew, the majority of which was shellfish, and their grilled romain salad, which was good - but I’m pretty sure the dressing had cheese. They had no vegan options other than a salad. The food was good, not great. Very disappointed.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding service & the food was delicious. Our new “go to” for special occasions!

k
vipkh6404
Richmond
32 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was fresh & delicious.
Fish stew was the best I've ever had...just fabulous !!

BH
BobH
Calgary
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service ... a wonderful dining experience.

FAQs

Sweet Melissa's Cafe is rated 4.8 stars by 2372 OpenTable diners.

Sweet Melissa's Cafe does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://sweetmelissascafe.com/.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.