203 N. Collier Ave., Everglades City, (239) 778-6656, facebook.com/evergladesfishingco
Located inside Everglades Fishing Co., which doubles as a Marathon gas station, Nely’s is the place to fill up at breakfast time before hitting the swamp. It has the best coffee in the region, and the fish and grits are better than a meal at most fine dining establishments.
Mile Marker 36, U.S. Highway 41, Miami, (305) 894-2374, gladeseats.miccosukee.com
With a mix of traditional diner fare and Native American specialties like catfish, frog legs and alligator, Glades Eats is a convenient rest stop near the Miccosukee Indian Village and Everglades National Park’s Shark Valley Visitor Center.
191 Smallwood Drive, Chokoloskee, (239) 695-2214, havanacafeoftheeverglades.com
Open only Oct. 15-April 15, Havana Café provides a taste of Cuba in the tiny town of Chokoloskee, with sandwiches like the medianoche, as well as fresh fish and shrimp entrées. The patio, ringed by bright purple bougainvillea flowers, is a perfect setting.
Camellia Street Grill
202 Camellia St. E., Everglades City, (239) 695-2003
One of the few places open after 6 p.m., Camellia Street has a wonderful riverfront patio, as well as a lively screened porch you can move to if the mosquitoes get too aggressive. The stone crab tacos are exceptional, and the beer selection is a cut above.
Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe
39395 Tamiami Trail E., Ochopee, (239) 695-2682
The hours can be unpredictable at this rustic shack, where the walls are decorated with photos of nude women in the swamp, but the food is worth seeking out. The menu includes an excellent crab cake sandwich and the servers are so friendly you’ll feel like a regular on your first visit.