About Thistle Lodge Restaurant

2255 West Gulf Drive
Sanibel, FL 33597
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Grand Views... Rave Reviews. At the Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant, delicious cuisine is served in a historical heirloom setting overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Swaying palms and gently breaking waves further set the scene for romance.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Fusion / Eclectic, Contemporary American

Hours of Operation:
Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am - 2:30pm; Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Casa Ybel Road

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(239) 472-9200

Website:
http://www.thistlelodge.com/

Entertainment:
Thistle Lodge provides live Jazz entertainment on Friday nights and Piano on Saturday nights. We also have Sunday Jazz during brunch.

Executive Chef:
John Wolff

Private Party Facilities:
Casa Ybel Resort, along with Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant, has been hosting weddings and events for over 100 years. Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, and situated on 23 acres of pristine private beach, Casa Ybel Resort is the perfect place to host your event!

Private Party Contact:
Jessica Pasek: 2394720693x1351

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

Promotions

1,000-Point Tables

Promotions

1,000-Point Tables

See availability for 1000 point tables

Details
Mon - Thu 5:00PM - 6:30PM 7:45PM - 9:00PM

Thistle Lodge Restaurant Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.4

ambience

4.6

noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Romantic
Southwest Florida
Scenic View
Southwest Florida
Special Occasion
Southwest Florida
8 More
Most Booked 1000-Point Tables
Southwest Florida
Best Overall
Ft. Myers
Best Food
Ft. Myers
Best Service
Ft. Myers
Best Ambiance
Ft. Myers
Romantic
Ft. Myers
Special Occasion
Ft. Myers
Most Booked
Ft. Myers
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scenic view (74)
special occasion (71)
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fit for foodies (37)
great for lunch (21)
notable wine list (20)
great for brunch (16)
neighborhood gem (15)
great for outdoor dining (15)
good for groups (10)
late-night find (3)
kid-friendly (2)
vibrant bar scene (1)
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Newest
533 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5

Simply lovely! Beautiful table view, exc ...

Dined 4 days ago

Simply lovely! Beautiful table view, excellent server, and an amazing meal. There's a formidable wine list and save room for dessert.

food3
ambience3
service3

It has been a few years since we ate at ...

Dined 5 days ago

It has been a few years since we ate at Thistle and we chose it for our 46th wedding anniversary I was very disappointed in the deterioration of service and the food was just so so I have removed it from my favorite list

food1
ambience5
service3
value1

We had Caesar salads and an order of Oct ...

vip
Dined 5 days ago

We had Caesar salads and an order of Octopus. The salads arrived drenched in dressing so that much of the salad was inedible and the octopus arrived charred and burnt instead of grilled and tender. Was so disappointed with the meal!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent meal. We have eaten at many re ...

Dined on May 20, 2016

Excellent meal. We have eaten at many restaurants in Sanibel. This ranks at the top.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5

Great black grouper and great service. T ...

Dined on May 17, 2016

Great black grouper and great service. This is a must and is always great.

food3
ambience4
service2
value2

Just a Fair Restaurant

Dined on May 14, 2016

Service was extremely slow, and the waiter never offered an explanation. We had to flag him down a few times before he paid any attention. We waited 45 minutes after placing our order - much too long. The salmon and snapper (ordered by 2 of the group of 4) were good. The others had soft shell crabs. Mine were almost tasteless and cold to boot.

Tags: scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5

The food was delicious, seafood tower fo ...

Dined on May 9, 2016

The food was delicious, seafood tower for 2 was perfect, the lobster bisque was the best I've ever had (and I'm from New England), great wine selection, keylime cheesecake was delightful. Best dinner on the island, set in a great atmosphere with live piano. Our waiter Chris was the best. I will be coming back the next time we visit!

food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Wow what a special Mother's day

Dined on May 8, 2016

We had a great meal, a fantastic Old Fashion made by Casey the bartender and a very romantic setting as we gazed out onto the Gulf of Mexico. We would definitely recommend the Ahai Tuna appetizer and the fresh fish special of the night.

Tags: romantic
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Thistle Lodge is quaint and reminds you ...

Dined on May 3, 2016

Thistle Lodge is quaint and reminds you of the the past. While sitting and enjoying a wonderful meal and watching the waves roll in you can imagine all the grand ladies and gents strolling along the beach to take in some fresh air before enjoying their evening meal.

Tags: romantic, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Thistle Be A Great Meal

vip
Dined on April 30, 2016

Thistle Lodge is an ideal place for a special dinner or celebration. Beachfront, with a view (unless wedding tents are up) and so elegant inside. Outdoor dining also possible. The food is extraordinary, with seafood, meat, and veggie entrees, as well as a host of starters. My wife opted for a iceberg wedge with French dressing that was not as good as my lobster bisque. ON the opther hand, her scallop with lobster meal was outstanding, besting my overpriced nightly fish special, tripletail. Their private label wine is a bargain, and the experience is worth the expense. Service was terrific, and we got to chat with the pianist, who is an accomplished songwriter and professor! It's still 5-star, but once a year is appropriate.

Tags: great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Fine dining on Sanibel

Dined on April 29, 2016

We were looking for a good restaurant to end our week on Sanibel and Thistle Lodge exceeded our expectations. From Richard our excellent server to the great food, we had a wonderful evening. The live background music was just right. Will definitely be coming back.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food3
ambience4
service5

Beautiful view although ours was slightl ...

Dined on April 29, 2016

Beautiful view although ours was slightly blocked. Service was excellent, mojito was perfect. Snapper was very salty (and I like salt), surf and turf was just ok. A lot happening on the plate and the sauce was rather bland. Cut of steak was mediocre.

food4
ambience2
service4
value3

Still wonderful

Dined on April 28, 2016

My friend and I have made The Thistle Lodge our 'last night swan song on Sanibel' dinner for the past 3 years. Under normal circumstances the view is absolutely to die for, especially if you go before but leading up to sunset. The manicured lawn, well groomed trees and tall lean shadows draw your eye right to a gorgeous view of the Gulf. You don't see the sunset directly, you catch the glow and all it's colorful play on the water, waves and the clouds that may hover above the horizon. Glorious! The well groomed grounds, quaint bar, player piano and wonderful outdoor eating patio add up to old plantation charm. My star rating reflects my third visit to Thistle Lodge. The whole entire lawn and view was blocked by a HUGE white tent that was set up for a next day's wedding. Those lucky guests will get that Gulf and sky view, not anyone dining in the restaurant. Saving grace was Rosie, a wonderful waitress and the food. In the past my friend and I had enjoyed the uniqueness of the Ahi Tuna Trio (amazing explosion of all kinds of exciting flavors all centered on perfect Ahi Tuna) for the appetizer. This year we both went for the Lobster Bisque. Hands down it was the creamiest and most wonderful preparation I've ever had. Note here, it was served in the widest brim bowl I've ever seen! That brim caught every drip that didn't make it to my mouth instead of on my dress or table. Main course, both of us chose the treasured Lobster & Lump Crab “Diver” Scallops. Presentation was great and the taste was grand...but, something was missing of which my friend (who gets this dish every year) discovered quickly. What makes the dish over the top exceptional is the Citrus Buerre Blanc sauce. Once alerted Rosie brought us a very small dish of the buttery sauce to add on our own portion. Our final good bye dinner on the island was less than the usual spectacular, but still wonderful! Thistle Lodge Wines are better than some high dollar wines and at a great price point.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

A lovely upscale spot

Dined on April 25, 2016

Loved the lodge and it's quiet, upscale, yet very unpretentious atmosphere. Our waiter was very attentive and willing to accommodate or special requests. The menu has some outstanding selections we would have loved to try but alas, we had eaten such a large lunch that we had to go light on dinner. Had we known what the menu would have been like, we would have saved ourselves for a more scrumptious dinner! As it was, we each simply had a salad and had appetizers as our main course, but we were quite happy with that. The food was fabulous and we loved the peace and quiet.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

outstanding

Dined on April 20, 2016

food is consistently excellent, with wonderful specials

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Just Perfect!

Dined on April 20, 2016

Thistle Lodge was our favorite of the several wonderful restaurants we sampled in Sanibel. The cocktails and food were exceptional, perfect attentive friendly but not intrusive service, beautiful surroundings and a nice view of the Gulf. The baby lamb chops were outstanding, and we really enjoyed the portobello Napoleon appetizer that we shared. All in all, it was a perfect evening. We ate inside, but the spacious outdoor patio looked quite inviting, too, maybe we'll try it next time.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food4
ambience5
service5

Great experience again. Food was good. W ...

Dined on April 17, 2016

Great experience again. Food was good. Would love more farm to table or organic choices but that's my preference. Everything was cooked perfectly and had great flavor. Lovely setting and ambiance. Service was great.

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversa ...

Dined on April 10, 2016

We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary overlooking the Gulf while a wedding was taking place on the beach - great timing! A card signed by the staff was most thoughtful and our dinner was excellent.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food1
ambience4
service2
value2

Nice venue work on food-service

vip
Dined on April 3, 2016

Not very good on food or service. This could be a great spot however multiple visit show inconsistent service and food quality. It will take a lot before return.

Tags: romantic, scenic view
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

Special occasion disappointment

Dined on April 1, 2016

We booked this restaurant for a special occasion after having such great experiences in the past. Upon arrival we were extremely disappointed to find that our view of the beach (one of the most charming things about this restaurant) was completely obliterated by a large white banquet tent on the lawn. I would never have driven 45 minutes had I known that we would have NO view! Dinner was good but not as exceptional as we have experienced in the past--perhaps our feelings about it were also tempered by our disappointment in the view (or lack thereof). Overall, an expensive yet disappointing evening.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Romantic dinner with delicious seafood.

Dined on March 27, 2016

We had the Grilled Octopus appetizer and it was cooked perfectly. My husband had the Filet and Lobster and the lobster melted in our mouths. I had the scallops topped with crab and lobster meat. I wish the lobster pieces were more prominent, but it was delicious. We had been there before for Valentines Day and our most recent meal was just as romantic as the first time. We will be back again soon.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Amazing Salmon! Extraodinary Chef creations!

Dined on March 26, 2016

This quaint dining lodge built in 1929 is a hidden gem! Overlooks the Gulf of Mexico with a nostalgic old Florida feel . It's just a special place with exceptional cuisine and an impressive wine list to match. I almost didn't want to share this review and keep this wonderful place for ourselves! LD - Ft Myers, FL

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Beautiful water view setting with grand ...

Dined on March 22, 2016

Beautiful water view setting with grand piano music and wonderful lunch menu including lobster bisque and fresh fish selections. The service was absolutely perfect. Could not have found a better way to celebrate my father's 85th birthday.

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Always good

Dined on March 21, 2016

I love the Thistle Lodge because of it's historical significance on the island and it's always a place where you can talk and hear each other without shouting. Great spot for lunch and lovely for dinner. You can depend on the food being good and the service excellent.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
food2
ambience1
service1
value1

They got one of our orders incorrect three times.

Dined on March 20, 2016

One of our orders was wrong three times and our guest gave up and did not eat. We were not offered anything for the poor service. We asked that the meal be comped. They agreed to 1/2 and then changed their mind and gave us two free meals while stating they would not charge us for the omelette that we never received.

food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Traditional elegance

Dined on March 20, 2016

Thistle Lodge has a "country club dining while viewing the water" feel. Dark paneled wood, white ceilings and black/white bistro chairs give it an elegance unusual for Sanibel where decor is often more casual and Florida pastels. There is a live piano some nights which adds to the supper club atmosphere. Food is good, and service is attentive. Lobster bisque excellent, Caesar served w a real anchovy filet, not the bony skinned standard. Similar restaurants: Il Cielo, Mad Hatter, Traditions. Thistle is located within a resort.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Fantastic Evening

Dined on March 17, 2016

We had not visited the Thistle Lodge before. We were meeting friends for dinner that we had not seen in over 10 years. Because we had so much to catch up on we did not focus heavily on the menu and went with the recommendations of Jake the bartender and Richard our waiter who were both great guys. This ended up being the right decision. All of our meals were absolutely amazing. I had the Blackened Yellow Tail Snapper and don't remember ever having as good a dish anywhere. My wife had the Herb Crusted Lamb Rack which also was exceptional. While we really enjoyed our meals I have to admit we were so caught up in conversation with our friends I don't think we got the full enjoyment so we will definitely be making plans to go back in the very near future so we can focus on the food and the great scenery. My only ask of the restaurant is to please lower the volume on your pre-programmed player piano. I'm sure the intent is to have this as background music but unfortunately it was more out front than behind.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Vacation Date Night

Dined on March 16, 2016

So glad we had the chance to dine here. Was perfect for a date night away from the in-laws. Recommend going while the sun is still up and requesting a window seat. Beautiful view of the water when it is still light out. We ordered a couple of cocktails, when they were brought, our server Natalie asked us is we wanted to just relax and enjoy our drinks or if we were ready to start ordering. We chose the escargot appetizer which came out quickly and bubbling hot. Rich flavor. My husband ordered a salad and I ordered the lobster bisque. Both were tasty. Followed up with a surf and turf for him. Perfectly cooked filet medium rare with just enough sauce to accent the whipped potatoes and the lobster was tender. I ordered the tritail/trifin with a roasted red pepper sauce and risotto (some bites where a little chewy on the risotto). We ordered the truffles to go for dessert. A great night overall and would come back again.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Gracious and charming

vip
Dined on March 14, 2016

We stopped for a drink and snack at the Thistle Lodge last November when we were at Casa Ybel for a wedding. The staff were so welcoming and the appetizer so great we were excited to go back. Restaurants on Sanibel can be a mob scene, especially in March, so it was a treat to find a place that was quiet and pleasant and offered a dinner reservation at a reasonable time. We had a window table with a view across the lawn to the beach. An attentive waiter named Richard, and the food was delicious. Even though there was a table of parents and children nearby, they were well-behaved and it was possible to have a conversation with our old friends. In my book, getting a reasonable reservation, and water-view table, great food, and an a pretty room with an ambiance that allows for conversation is an A+. Maybe I shouldn't share all this? Now you will go there and get my table.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food2
ambience4
service1
value2

Disappointed two time at Thistle Lodge

Dined on March 13, 2016

We went on Sunday for brunch. The online menu mentioned Prime Rib. Our waiter said he had been there 3 years and Prime Rib was never on the brunch menu. He did not introduce himself and had a very lackadaisical attitude. We ordered the salmon appetizer. When it came the salmon edges were green. We asked another server to see about a new and fresher plate. It came and was fine. Our waiter returned and gave us an argument about the salmon, saying that maybe it was a different species salmon than we are used to! We have dined in fine restaurants all over the world and certainly know if a dish is fresh or not. The brunch potatoes were mushy, as if they were kept in steamer. I had the crab benedict, different but okay. Overall, we will not be visiting this restaurant again. Sad, because the grounds and building are quite relaxing and pretty.

Tags: scenic view
food3
ambience4
service3
value2

Not a big wow

Dined on March 12, 2016

I had dinner here with two others and we agreed that the atmosphere was very nice but that the food was nothing special considering the prices. I had scallops that cost almost $40 and the portion was average. The best item was the risotto special, but I also felt the waiter should have pointed out that my scallops would come with rice (this was not listed on the menu) - rice and risotto are a bit redundant. I could see coming here for a special occasion where you want the atmosphere, but if you are looking for a good, fresh meal on Sanibel there are better values for the money to be had.

Tags: special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

delicious meals

Dined on March 11, 2016

We had dinner at Thistle Lodge twice on our recent visit to Sanibel. Both times our meals were delicious, and the service was wonderful. We will go back at least once when we go back to Sanibal next year.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

Overall, excellent experience. As soon a ...

vip
Dined on March 10, 2016

Overall, excellent experience. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted and seated to our table right away (we had a reservation). They were going to seat us next to a very noisy crowd, so we requested a different table. They happily accommodated us and moved us to much quieter area. It has a nice ambiance to it and the chairs were super comfortable. Our server Daniel was very attentive, polite, and knowledgable. Our food was delivered to our table at a good pace, and every bite was delicious! Although it was all a bit pricey, food and drinks included, I'd say it was all worth it. Definitely stop by the Thistle Lodge Restaurant!

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Look forward to returning !

Dined on March 9, 2016

It was great experience made special by the staff . Food is delicious and presented well .

Tags: romantic, great for lunch, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5

Very nicely prepared food. Light and sub ...

vip
Dined on March 7, 2016

Very nicely prepared food. Light and sublime sauces. Great cocktails and fantastic dessert.

food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Beautiful setting

vip
Dined on March 6, 2016

This is a lovely restaurant tucked away in the Casa Y Bel resort. The views are absolutely stunning. The food is always delicious and the staff are very welcoming.

Tags: great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Good Dinner Experience

Dined on March 6, 2016

Four of us went in early March 2016. Enjoyed the piano player, liked the menu, and all four thought their food was very good. All would go back again.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Special Occasion

Dined on March 3, 2016

My wife and I braved heavy seasonal traffic between Naples and Sanibel just to have lunch at the Thistle Lodge as part of a day out for our wedding anniversary. It was our first time at the Lodge and we were very pleased with the whole experience. The service was prompt and competent and made us feel welcome. We found the lunch menu to have a good selection of familiar Bar and Grill type food. Having said that, the presentation was outstanding and the food delicious and of very high quality. I had prearranged to have flowers delivered and brought to the table as a surprise and that was done very well by the Lodge. My wife was indeed surprised and has been telling family and friends about it enthusiastically. All in all it was a great experience and we hope to have dinner there when the winter season winds down at bit. Well done Thistle lodge!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5

Fantastic in every way! My favorite on ...

vip
Dined on March 3, 2016

Fantastic in every way! My favorite on Sanibel!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Dinner on Sanibel

Dined on March 3, 2016

Lovely old world charm unusual on the island. Our party ordered the Surf and Turf and the pecan encrusted Salmon. Both got high praise, only to be topped by the dessert-a chocolate mousse pie. The service was excellent! We will definitely return!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list

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