Blake Renda and Julie Koester
The Capital Grille
9005 Mercato Drive
Blake Renda and Julie Koester enjoy The Capital Grille for all sorts of occasions.
Sydney Robicheaux and Nicole Montenegro
Dolce & Salato
300 Fifth Avenue S.
Sydney Robicheaux and Nicole Montenegro, the founders of Casa Creative, have discovered a culinary haven that resonates with their tastes and sensibilities at Dolce & Salato. The duo enjoys spending a special Saturday brunch at the 5th Ave cafe and the occasional working lunch during the week. “We love to sit outside on the terrace and people watch and occasionally bring our pups!” They favor the Italian sub and crispy prosciutto salad paired with a refreshing Aperol Spritz. “Dolce & Salato is always consistent and you always know exactly what you’re going to get. Next time you're looking for a new weekend brunch spot before the beach, head over to Dolce, grab a seat outside and order yourself an Italian sub and spritz!”
1234 8th Street S.
Phil McCabe has his share of favorites in the Naples area. When it comes to special occasions, Bleu Provence is a notable choice. “My favorite thing about Bleu is the wine list, which is well-regarded as the best list in Naples. It is one of the reasons we have had many special occasions here, and will continue to in the future.” Some memorable classic French dishes include escargot and house-made foie gras. He also enjoys the beef bourguignon. “All of the staff are fantastic with personalities that make the restaurant feel whole. Of course I am closest with my good friend Clement, but the whole team makes me feel welcome every time I am in. I actually worked a shift at Bleu bussing tables a couple years back — a moment I got an inside look at an amazing team culture, with a close-knit family mentality. It is always the people and genuine hospitality that make the dining experience worthwhile, and they have it.”
Andrea and Christian Galt
466 5th Avenue S.
Andrea and Christian Galt of Galt Insurance Group have a special connection to the restaurants of 5th Ave. The couple has dined on 5th since 2002 and enjoys the many options downtown has to offer. “At the moment, I’d have to say Osteria Tulia is most near and dear to our heart as a couple,” Andrea says. “We ate at Tulia on our very first date away from our first born son, Boston, and I can remember it as if it was yesterday. We lived on 5th for a time, chose our current office location and had our first son during our stay downtown. Without all the delicious options I’m sure we wouldn’t be as happy!”
800 5th/8th Street Ave S. Unit 102
Roberta Baranek was born and raised in Chicago and has also lived in LA. “There are days where I miss the versatility of the vibrant restaurant scene in a big city. Ichi Togarashi scratches my foodie itch and is a breath of fresh air for downtown Naples. It has a casual ambiance with unexpected elevated food dishes.” Roberta savors the Asian street garlic noodles and the beef ramen teriyaki — “make it level 5 spicy!” she suggests. She appreciates the owners and staff for their kindness and level of care for the quality of food and dining experience. “I love taking people here because a lot of people missed this hidden little gem right off 5th Ave and it's a great ‘new' spot to show guests something different. It is a small intimate venue with limited seating. It's casual and inviting. Pro tip, If you run hot you will want to sit near the air/fans because it can get a little warm.”
368 5th Avenue S.
Nancy Weiss and her husband nominate Molto as their favorite spot to dine. “I’m passionate about well-prepared Italian food, and one of my favorites on the menu is the spaghetti carbonara with pancetta, eggs and black pepper, topped with lots of pecorino Romano cheese,” Nancy offers. She appreciates the fun eclectic style and suggests checking out the autographed photo of Sophia Loren at the bar. “This is a place where families meet to celebrate special occasions, friends share plates while drinking wine, and couples dine intimately. Everyone comes to Molto because good food helps to create lasting memories.”
Missy and Matt Anzivino
1205 3rd Street S.
Matt and Missy enjoy The Continental for its fabulous cocktails and light and airy atmosphere. Their cocktail highlights include "Mezcal Maybe" and "Tequila Express." "This was the first time I tried Mezcal and I'm hooked. The Bartenders are attentive and make amazing cocktails." "We have been here a few times the first time on April 19th to celebrate Matt's Birthday. We were so happy to see them reopen after Hurricane Ian, as we hadn't been here since we moved to Naples. We recommend them to our guests."
800 5th Avenue S.
Michael Mazzei appreciates Caffe Milano for all occasions, calling it a “great place to celebrate life!” He tends to order the veal Milanese or pappardelle al ragu while watching the action from the back of the restaurant. He also takes pleasure in a smoked old fashioned at the bustling bar. “The food is authentic and flavorful, always spectacular! The icing on the cake is the experience which could not happen without the smart and involved ownership as well as the staff being so kind and attentive.” Notably, he can also order a bottle of wine with his namesake - the #417 Philip Mazzei Cabernet Sauvignon.
Gregory Sofranko and Kate Steinmann
301 5th Avenue S.
Gregory Sofranko and Kate Steinmann delight in the culinary experience at Sails. For a special occasion, they recommend the Sails fine dining experience. Alternatively, for a casual night out they enjoy the a la carte bar menu. Gregory favors the crab and avocado appetizer and the “little Joe” tenderloin paired with a virgin Moscow mule, while Kate enjoys a Passion de Mer specialty cocktail paired with the linguini or tagliatelle. “The potato purée is like heaven on a spoon,” she says. “Service is always top notch and friendly since our first experience years ago. Everyone works as a team to go the extra mile. The food has yet to disappoint and every dish is unique, packed with flavor and beautifully presented.”
2500 Tamiami Trl N. #114
Local Kate Cervoni champions Fuse as her favorite Naples restaurant. She loves to sit at the small and intimate bar on date night or any table when going with a group. “It is a small place with the heaviest door in Naples. The vide is personal and not over done yet welcoming. The owners and staff remember you and you can only acquaint that to the fact that once you go it’s a place you will frequent and be recognized.” Kate is a fan of their unique take on bolognese (“nothing like you’ll find in typical Italian restaurants”) and the Thai braised short ribs. Her favorite cocktail is the white cosmo prepared by Monika, part-owner and craft cocktail guru. “Monika really is the best mixologist in Naples. She prides herself on knowing her liquors and highlights new trends and tastes. The selection of whiskey and flights they offer is outstanding. Her husband is exceptional in the kitchen. The delicacies on the menu range from Kangaroo and Tom Kha soup to Burnt Ends and BBQ.”
Tod and Charlotte Schneider
835 Vanderbilt Beach Rd
Stepping away from the realm of downtown, Tod and Charlotte Schneider indulge at Trattoria Angela for any opportunity from date night, to nights out with friends or family, and special occasions. As regulars, they suggest to always see what they have for specials. “They are consistently a mouth-watering true taste of their hometown in Bacoli, Italy. Their tortellini and gnocchi are otherworldly.” They enjoy the authenticity of the establishment, explaining how owners Angela and Enrico often host their family members from Italy. “If you have ever had the fortune of traveling to Italy, you know that feeling of sitting in a small cafe decorated with Italian decor, the distinct aroma of home-cooked food, and the chatter of Italians working hard to delight you. One of the charms of eating at Trattoria Angela is that Enrico will happily take care of your wine selection. They have wines to cover everyone's taste and all are very reasonably priced,” Tod shares. “Enrico and Angela have been wildly successful restauranteurs for decades, often in larger format establishments. All of this experience culminates into an intimate, authentic, family-run Italian trattoria sure to impress anyone.”
465 5th Avenue S.
Kristine Mundl wrote into our Instagram in favor of The Vine Room. Referring to it as a classy, romantic, New York-style establishment, Kristine always spreads the word to family, friends and neighbors. “My two favorite items on the menu I would say would be the cheese trolley, and lobster roll. The cheese trolley has such a great presentation, great variety, and so tasteful. My favorite cocktail is the jalapeño margarita I typically have two per visit. Seriously, all staff members are so kind, polite, and so helpful.”
878 5th Avenue S.
Stephanie Reda, one of our cover models, has an affinity for La Trattoria. This comes as no surprise. “If I could tell you one thing about La Trattoria, it is to experience it for yourself. Massi, Luca, and the entire staff have done an incredible job in making this restaurant as great as it is, and it is one of the best restaurants on 5th Avenue for a reason. Every time I have a guest in town, it is the first restaurant I bring them to. They also have the most incredible bartenders that will make you one of their famous cocktails that look just as good as they taste! (Run, don’t walk to go try one of their espresso martinis.) La Trattoria is my family’s favorite restaurant to enjoy a meal together at because when you are there, you are with family.” While she feels it’s impossible to choose a favorite menu item, Stephanie suggests the pizza Margherita or the Caprese salad with grilled chicken. "One of the reasons I love La Trattoria so much is that whether you go during the week for a quick bite, for a birthday celebration, or for a late-night drink, you can always be guaranteed an amazing experience. The staff, the vibes, and overall atmosphere promise you a great time whenever you dine there. I celebrated my birthday there this past year and my friends and I had the best time ever! My family and I also ring in the New Year there each year and you can’t beat the celebration there.”
300 5th Avenue S.
Lisa D’Angelo splits her time between Washington, DC and Naples. When in town, Lisa is fond of Bice on 5th Avenue. “I love to sit outside in the front for the people watching and live music. The side section outdoors for date night because it is romantic and intimate. In addition, the side section outdoors with family visiting because it is quieter and easy to have conversations. The bar area is also fun and easy to strike up conversations with locals or out of town guests visiting Naples.” Lisa delights in the branzino and calamari dishes, and typically orders an Aperol Spritz or a Negroni from the bar. “The staff are always friendly, professional and attentive. When you enter you feel welcomed. The menu is diverse and it is authentic Italian food. Some Italian classic dishes and other selections of non traditional appetizers. Their Happy Hour is a great deal to enjoy the food and beverages. We love dining at BICE then going to see the sunset a few blocks away or stroll 5th Ave to continue the night.”
280 Vanderbilt Beach Rd.
At the time of this writing, the reopening of Gumbo Limbo at the Ritz-Carlton Naples has been highly anticipated. Breeanna Ebben crowns this beachside delight as her favorite in Naples. “It is a relaxed beach atmosphere with good music and everyone is having a good time. How can you not when you are overlooking the beach in Paradise? The bell ringing at sunset is so fun. My kids love it! We love to go with friends and their families to spend a few hours.” The lobster quesadilla and coconut shrimp are her family’s favorites for a night out. Paired with a stunning Naples sunset in the backdrop, Gumbo Limbo is a crowd pleaser. “The Ritz motto is ‘we are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen’ and Gumbo Limbo staff and the whole Ritz staff in Naples have lived up to that motto! Breathtaking views of the Gulf, the sunset, the incredible food and casual fun environment make you want to keep coming back.”
The Real Macaw
3275 Bayshore Drive
If you're looking for a true "Old Florida," casual Key West feel, The Real Macaw is for you. "I love that when you arrive you are greeted with a hug and a smile, transported away from the “fancy” Naples. But… at the same time on any given night you can have the “fanciest” of Naples socialites in the dance floor with the most local of locals. Truly is the “real” deal (pun intended) in the heart of the Bayshore Arts District." The Key Lime pie and grouper sandwich are some of Amanda's favorites.
Ariel and Hailey Baptista
336 13th Avenue S.
Enchanting and reminiscent of the Mediterranean, Mediterrano's atmosphere transports you as if you are on vacation. "As you enter Mediterrano, your first sight will be the vibrant florals as you go deeper inside it will melt into a serene color palette of blues and whites. The entire staff works in unison to make sure you are taken care of. All the entree's flavors layer beautifully together, and all the details the chef puts into each plate compliments so well. This is a wonderful place to take your family and leave with another wonderful memory of an exceptional dining experience!" Twins Ariel and Hailey enjoy the branzino and beef tagine. "Every day is a celebration, when we go out to eat we are either celebrating an accomplishment or simply just another day of life!"