Snapper at Farlow's on the Water

The dining scene in Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is an eclectic mix of seafood shacks, sidewalk cafés, waterfront eateries, fine dining, and sweet spots, and in 2020 was ranked #2 in the USA Today Best Small Town Food Scenes 10Best list. Check out why Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach is a delicious dining destination.

Plate of food at Ephesus Mediterranean GrillThere’s nothing like being out in the fresh air and sunshine to work up an appetite for our robust, exciting, and multifarious food scene. There are so many independent, locally-owned restaurants in our area it can be a bit overwhelming, in a very good way.

Dining options run the full gamut, from high-end gourmet to neighborhood diners and burger joints, tiki bars, seafood shacks, and bona fide pubs. Find grill-and-bars with live music, savor many flavors of authentic international cuisine, and ride the wave of new (and some refurbished) restaurants offering fresh, healthy twists on old favorites. Best of all, many of our restaurants continue to offer takeout, curbside, and delivery. Find something tasty for delivery here, and takeout/curbside eats here.

Waffle cone sundae at Made in the Shade Ice CreamEating is, of course, a multi-faceted experience, and our local establishments offer many different atmospheres and experiences to go along with the food. Even with social distancing rules and the City of Punta Gorda’s face covering ordinance* in effect, you can still find a place to snuggle into a cozy corner, revel in luxurious surroundings, hang out by the water in your shorts and flip flops, perch on a stool and enjoy a view, relax in a family place, or lean back and dig your toes into the sand. 

Our food truck game is also strong. Local and regional mobile chefs offer authentic Mexican food, barbecue, hot dogs, Cuban sandwiches and pulled pork, lobster goodies, and much more! Check out our dedicated Food Truck page as well as our Restaurants page. 

Don’t forget to save room for dessert! Punta Gorda//Englewood Beach boasts many shops offering hand-crafted frozen goodies and other gourmet baked goods and sweets. Check out our listicle of some "cool" local treat shops.

Hand holding a Fat Point beer in the sunshine

Has the thought of all that delectable food made you thirsty yet? No worries! Our area features wine bars, laid-back neighborhood beer gardens, two wineries (one of which offers make-your-own), a rum distillery, and two craft breweries. Check out our Libations page to find your next great bottle of wine, craft or draft beer, hand-crafted bottle of rum, or special gourmet gift or treat.

Live MusicWe love the outdoors and are always looking for our next adventure, but the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down! Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach is chock-full of bar-and-grills, sports and tiki bars, nightclubs, lounges, and restaurants that offer live entertainment on the regular. Listen and chill or dance your feet off, your choice. You’ll find every imaginable musical genre, from jazz and rock to country, trop-rock, reggae, classical (courtesy of the world-class Punta Gorda Symphony, beginning performances again in 2021!), and everything in between.

The scene may not be as robust at the present time, but there is live entertainment to be found, and even a stellar comedy club that regularly showcases national acts. Plan your jam on our Nightlife page.

We hope we've whetted your appetite to start planning your next visit with us!

* The ordinance remains in effect until Nov. 6, 2020, and states that face coverings are required indoors in all public buildings and businesses in the City of Punta Gorda for all people over the age of two. There are exceptions in the ordinance allowing the following to not wear a face covering, and no fines will be imposed, per Florida's Phase 3 status. View the full ordinance here for additional exceptions. 

  • Persons continuously observing social distancing
  • Persons communicating with an individual who is hearing-impaired who needs to see the mouth of the person speaking to facilitate communications
  • Persons for whom a face covering causes impairment due to an existing health condition
  • Persons exercising while maintaining social distancing