03 Nov The Trianon Hotel Guide to Southwest Florida Seafood
Nothing tastes quite as good as seafood that’s straight from the ocean. Southwest Florida has plenty of fresh, local catches to offer and is happy to serve them up however you want it – grilled, blackened, broiled, or fries. Whether you’re here year-round or just stopping by, don’t miss out on taking advantage of everything that the Gulf Coast has to offer. Here are some of the most popular seafood options available all over Bonita Springs, Naples, Fort Myers, and beyond.
Gulf Pink Shrimp
The Bonita Springs and Naples areas are some of the best places in Florida to get shrimp! San Carlos Island near Fort Myers Beach offers the largest fleet of pink shrimp (also known as “pink gold”) than anywhere else in Florida. This indigenous species is considered one of the sweets in the United States and draws thousands of locals and tourists alike to the area for Fort Myers’s annual Shrimp Festival.
Harvested steadily year-round, hard clams are one of Florida’s top agriculture products. Their firm texture and rich, lean meat with a sweet and salty flavor make them the perfect appetizer or addition to any seafood dish.
Blue crab, or callinectes sapidus, is a year-round favorite that has its flavor right there in its name (sapidus means “savory”). Often served steamed or boiled, you’ll also find these crustaceans in plenty of restaurant seafood dishes and are absolutely irresistible in crab cakes.
Stone crab claws lure tourists to the area in droves. With a fairly limited season from mid-October to mid-May, stone crab is usually in high demand when it begins appearing in restaurants. For big Stone Crab fans, you can kick-off the start of the season at the annual Stone Crab Festival in Naples!
With its mild, sweet flavor and ability to retain its moisture, grouper is one of the most popular white fish in Southwest Florida. It’s often served fried in a fish and chips combo, but blackened grouper sandwiches are a staple and favorite in most Florida restaurants.
Red Snapper is mildly sweet with a lean, firm moist texture that’s absolutely delicious! They can be found year-round and the fillets are served skin-on. Blackened or grilled, these fish are not lacking in flavor!
Unique to Florida, the pompano is one fish you don’t want to miss out on! They’re a mild-flavored white fish that’s delicate, flaky, and not too oily. Usually enjoyed steamed or sautéed, the pompano is a favorite of many.
Named after its sheep-like teeth and face, sheepshead is described as tasting similar to crab or lobster with a delicate, firm flavor. Recommended as fried, sautéed, pan-broiled, grilled, or baked, it can also be used as a crab meat substitute or in soups and chowders.