Mornings With Gina Birch

Lee County is fortunate to have not one, but two spring training facilities. Both the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins call Southwest Florida home this time of year. Ask any baseball fan and they will tell you it’s customary to get a hotdog, bag of peanuts and/or a beer during a game. While those are quintessential to a day at the ballpark, they are not for everyone. Perhaps you want more variety either before or after the game. Here are 7 places to eat near the Twins stadium in Fort Myers for Spring Training.

The Twins Stadium, is officially known as Hammond Stadium and located in the Lee Health Sports Complex off of Six Mile Cypress and Daniels Parkway, west of I-75. The Red Sox stadium sits on nearly the same corridor but east of the interstate. The area around Hammond Stadium has boomed over the years with numerous chain restaurants and grocery stores to stock up on game day.

A bar glass filled with bloody mary cocktail and garnished with a long skewer that has shrimp, fried oyster and more on it

Cold Water Oyster is known for their fresh seafood and even using it for garnishes in their signature Bloody Mary. It’s a drink and an appetizer in one and it’s good.

However, if you are like me, you like sitting down for good food at those sometimes hard to find, mom and pop gems. That is what this list is full of, with one exception. Also, if you are going to a Red Sox game, here is a list of local spots that are closer to JetBlue Park. Some of those spots could also fit into this list. Check out Artisan Eatery and Fat Katz Sports Bistro. All of the restaurants listed here are well within a five mile radius of Hammond Stadium.

Finally, check out these places to eat near the Twins stadium in Fort Myers for Spring Training.

  • Potts Sports Cafe

    This is perhaps the stadium area’s most iconic sports bar. It was serving ice cold drafts long before the area began booming. Potts gained the reputation of a dive bar with great food when it first opened. However, it has  since moved to a less divey location and feel, in a strip mall right behind the stadium. It’s still just as casual and fun but with more room to move. The sandwiches are big, the burgers are juicy and the wings just right.
    Find out more here.

  • Cold Water Oyster Market

    This is a quick drive south and west from the stadium on Six Mile Cypress. It sits in a small strip mall behind Home Depot and is a must stop if you are an oyster lover. They even serve them fried and with waffles for brunch. The seafood is fresh, plentiful and the classically trained chef prepares it in numerous ways. There is more than seafood on the menu and the burgers get rave reviews. The place is spacious, has live music, and is casual and inviting if you are in game attire.
    Click here for menus and more.

  • MAKS Asian Kitch and Sushi

    If you like Asian cuisine and sushi, this spot has got to be on your dining list. It is tucked away in strip mall a little east of the ballpark off of Daniels. Operated by two brothers with a long history in the local restaurant scene, they are both artful and thoughtful when it comes to preparing and presenting food. Don’t skip the crispy the rice appetizer. There is a nice selection of sake here as well.
    Click here for menus and more.

  • Trattoria Mia

    This is a great little Italian place owned and operated by two sisters. One is in the kitchen while the other is primarily in the front of the house. It’s another hidden gem in an obscure strip mall by the hospital on Daniels Parkway, just west of the ballpark. Many of the dishes are family recipes. Others have a twist, all are good and comforting. It’s not a big space so the bar and dining room can fill up quickly.
    Click here for menus and more info.

  • La Ola Surfside

    The restaurant’s original location on Fort Myers Beach was washed away by Hurricane Ian. In the meantime the owner has been operating temporarily out of a converted shipping container. In addition, he has opened this inland outpost at The Bell Tower Shops on Daniels and US41. It has a beach vibe and the menu has lots of tropical inspired dishes. There is also a good selection of rum and sweet cocktails to cool you down. Seating is both in and outdoors and there is entertainment nightly.
    Click here for the menu and more.

  • Two Meatballs In The Kitchen

    This Italian spot is a great place for the family. Pizza and pasta are always good and that is not all they serve here. Think veal, chicken, salmon and more. There are areas for larger parties and the portions are hearty. No kids? Head to the bar for craft cocktails and some sweet Happy Hour deals.
    Click here for the menu and more.

  • Cooper's Hawk

    This is a chain, however, it is a popular new addition to the area’s dining scene and is almost in the stadium’s backyard. The seating is both indoor and outdoor. In addition, there is a sizeable bar and wine tasting room. Because it is new, it has been pretty busy so if this is on your radar, call ahead for reservations and seating. The menu covers a lot of ground and there are wine suggestions listed for each dish to create a perfect pairing.
    Click here for the menu and more.

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