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The newly renovated Cafe Italia invites customers to experience the authentic flavors of Italy. Owner Michele Romano is from Naples, Italy, and attended culinary school prior to working in Italy and Europe. "I've been cooking for 30 years," Romano explained. "Cooking and giving the customer the best dining experience is my passion” Romano's delicious dishes and his attitude that the customer is number one, keeps the customer coming back. Cafe italia is open for lunch from 11am-4:30pm with a variety of menu items ranging from appetizers, soups and salads, sub sandwiches, pastas and desserts Cafe Italia is open for dinner from 4:30pm-9pm The dinner menu includes appetizers, soups and salads chicken
$9 - $30
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner
Italian, Sicilian, Southern-Italian
Reservations, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Seating, Parking Available, Free off-street parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (163)
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All reviews crepes gelato lasagna rum cake penne al salmone mini meatballs pancetta peas salad fresh mozzarella the owner chef ai funghi publix shopping center sanibel island made from scratch family owned restaurant house wine
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Reviewed 1 week ago

I read a review of Café Italia in the local paper and it sounded so good I had to try it. Didn't even know this shopping plaza existed... There are a number or seriously good authentic Italian restaurants in the Fort Myers/Cape Coral area, and...this one belongs right up there. Lunch with a friend; she ordered the Parma piadina romagnola, also described as Italian flatbread -- she expected a cripsy-crusted pizza-type item, which as we found out later would be termed a croccantella -- but what she got was a soft folded flatbread sandwich, with delicious, fresh, prosciutto, house-made mozzarella, tasty arugula, and basil pesto. I ordered the penne alla papalina, penne pasta in a light parmesan cream sauce with green peas and prosciutto, exquisite! We each had a glass of an Italian red blend that was featured. The restaurant is small, attractive, but not particularly rich in atmosphere. Chef Michele appeared to be alone in the kitchen, and there was one very helpful and efficient server. Prices are more than reasonable. I can't wait to go back!More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed July 18, 2021

The food was very good. Carpaccio and meatballs were both very good and the orange and fennel salad was fresh and delicious. The crepes were light and loaded with quality ingredients, the baked ziti was as expected and good and the chicken piccata was prepared...well and thoroughly enjoyed. The server was friendly and efficient. The restaurant is located in a Publix shopping mall and has plenty of parking. It is small restaurant with very simple decor and no atmosphere. There are three outside tables. I only saw four tables all night and they closed at 7:45pm on a Saturday. All food is made to order so it can take a while to get your orders. If you decide to try this restaurant be sure to make a reservation. Fair prices. Beer and wine only.More

Date of visit: July 2021
Reviewed May 9, 2021 via mobile

Service was good and food was excellent! The lobster ravioli was excellent! Meatballs as appetizer was good! Highly recommend this place!

Date of visit: May 2021
Reviewed April 6, 2021

After reading all the marvelous reviews, we thought we'd give Cafe Italia a try. My husband and I each ordered a glass of house wine. The area where the wine was being poured was open and visible. I saw the waitress bending down and pouring...the wine into each glass, as if she were visibly measuring the pour, to the point of a drop at a time! House wine, come on! Our appetizer was a Caesar salad. The croutons were soggy, the dressing was bland, and the romaine lettuce was wilted. My husband ordered the gnocci. The dish was prepared well, but to charge $18.99, a cup and a half of cooked gnocci was a paltry portion, honestly, the size of an appetizer. The chicken in my Piccata was not good quality. It contained quite a bit of nerve, and it was also unevenly cut, so one end was very dry and the opposite was too thick. Overall, we feel there are a lot of corners being cut in this restaurant, and they are not using the best quality of food. Give patrons good quality, good tasting food, and good quantity and they'll always come back for more. Once was enough for us.More

Date of visit: March 2021
Reviewed March 2, 2021 via mobile

This place is just a hidden Italian paradise in Florida. The service is excellent and the food goes above expected. If someone knows about real Italian food, then you will enjoy this place. Got pasta with mini meatballs and my husband had ravioli with mushrooms,...both highly recommended.More

Date of visit: March 2021
Reviewed February 17, 2021 via mobile

Very good spaghetti with arugula and nuts. No pancetta please! Would have been better served with a spoon. “Fresh mozzarella “ is not soft fresh mozzarella and would have been a welcome addition if it were true fresh. My husband had Enzos special. Very good....White House wine is very good. Service was ok.More

Date of visit: February 2021
Reviewed December 4, 2020 via mobile

Nice, unpretentious family-run place. We tried the penne trapanese, which had a sauce based on eggplant, and the spaghetti with arugula and pancetta. The penne was excellent, the spaghetti very good. It was a nice, affordable lunch.

Date of visit: December 2020
Reviewed November 15, 2020

Cafe Italia serves the best Italian food I've had in South Florida. A small, unpretentious, family-owned restaurant, the owner and chef uses fresh ingredients to prepare delicious Italian fare. I've enjoyed several of their salads and pastas and all have been excellent. I love the...eggplant parmesan with spaghetti and the radicchio salad. My mom's favorite is the salmon piccata and my dad goes for the baked ziti, aka Italian mac and cheese. They have a few outdoor tables, so best to call ahead for a reservation.More

Date of visit: November 2020
Reviewed November 9, 2020

We ate lunch here on a whim, and discovered a gem of a place! Food was delicious and beautifully prepared. The husband/wife team were delightful and very helpful.

Date of visit: October 2020
Reviewed June 27, 2020 via mobile

We had great authentic Italian food. The restaurant is tucked away in a strip mall but the food and service makes up for the atmosphere. We had great service. Highly recommend trying this hidden gem.

Date of visit: June 2020
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Questions & Answers
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October 30, 2019|
Response from Jennifer J | Reviewed this property |
I am not sure about gluten free choices.
Pat F
August 9, 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Michael_R1234 | Property representative |
Dear Pat, Cafe Italia has several Gluten Free menu options including Soups, Salads, and Eggplant. He also has chicken, sausage and meatballs. Ask Chef Michael and he can accommodate you with other items as well. Buon... More
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Frequently Asked Questions about Cafe Italia

Yes, Cafe Italia offers takeout services.

Cafe Italia is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 5
  • Value: 4.5