Unveiling Naples' Hidden Culinary Treasures: Locals' Beloved Restaurants

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Naples, Florida, renowned for its stunning beaches and vibrant culture, holds a culinary scene that's as diverse as it is delightful. While the city boasts its fair share of high-profile dining establishments, it's the hidden gems cherished by locals that truly encapsulate the essence of Naples' gastronomic charm.

Many times, when guests stay in our luxury Naples Florida rentals, they want to know where the locals love to eat. In this culinary journey, we'll explore five such establishments that have won the hearts and palates of Naples' residents: Fuse, Spanky's, Cracklin' Jacks, The Real Macaw, and Mediterrano.

Fuse: Where Fusion Meets Flair

Tucked away in a nondescript strip of shops on Route 41 in Naples, Fuse is a culinary gem that seamlessly blends diverse flavors and culinary traditions. Here, innovative dishes take center stage, crafted with precision and creativity. From Asian-inspired small plates to Latin-infused entrees, every bite at Fuse is a journey of discovery. Locals flock here not just for the food, but for the lively ambiance and impeccable service that make dining at Fuse an unforgettable experience. We highly recommend heading to Fuse for lunch on Wednesdays when they feature delicious burnt ends. Get there early before they are gone!

Spanky's: A Quaint Haven of Seafood Delights

Nestled along the waterfront since 1984, Spanky's exudes a charming, laid-back vibe that instantly puts visitors and locals at ease. But it's not just the very laid back setting that draws crowds, it’s also the diverse menu. From peel and eat shrimp to prime rib to chicken parmesan, Spanky’s has something for everyone. Pair your meal with a cold beer or refreshing cocktail and soak in the truly local flavor of this Naples classic. .

Cracklin' Jacks: Where BBQ and Local Dishes Reign Supreme

For lovers of barbecue and locally-sourced dishes, Cracklin' Jacks is a hidden oasis amidst the culinary landscape of Naples. Tucked away from the bustling streets in East Naples, this unassuming joint serves up some of the best smoked meats and local fare in town. From gator bites, catfish nuggets, grouper bites  and frog legs to fried oysters and  tender ribs, every dish at Cracklin' Jacks is truly a local gem. Add in a side of their signature sauces and a hearty serving of southern hospitality, and you have a dining experience that's truly unforgettable.

The Real Macaw: A Taste of the Tropics

Transport yourself to a tropical paradise at The Real Macaw, where Caribbean-inspired cuisine takes center stage. A local favorite since 1991, this vibrant eatery captures the essence of island life with its colorful decor and laid-back ambiance. From Caribbean Duck and the day’s local catch to Calypso Calamari, the menu at The Real Macaw is a celebration of bold flavors and exotic spices. And let's not forget the Bamboo Bar where expertly crafted cocktails add an extra layer of authenticity to the dining experience.

Mediterrano: A Culinary Journey to the Mediterranean

At Mediterrano, the flavors of the Mediterranean come to life in every dish. Situated in a cozy corner of Naples, and often overlooked by tourists, this charming restaurant is a favorite among locals for its rustic ambiance and soulful cuisine. From classic Greek flaming saganaki to their delicious lamb shank, every item on the menu reflects the rich culinary heritage of the Mediterranean region. Pair your meal with a glass of fine wine from their extensive selection, and you have the perfect recipe for a memorable dining experience.


In Naples, the true culinary treasures are often found off the beaten path like Cracklin’ Jacks or overlooked in plain sight like Mediterrano. From fusion fare and seafood delights to barbecue joints and tropical havens, these hidden gems offer a taste of the city's diverse culinary landscape. So, the next time you find yourself in Naples, be sure to venture beyond the tourist hotspots and discover the local favorites that make this city a true epicurean paradise. When you visit we’d love to have you as a guest at one of our luxury Naples rentals, and we’d be happy to offer you personalized recommendations for dining and activities.