15 Best Restaurants in Stuart, FL

This article is written by local contributor Sarah Brown & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Stuart, FL
Noah Densmore / shutterstock.com

As a resident of the "Sailfish Capital of the World," I can't help but love the countless adventures on the water that the city of Stuart in Florida has to offer.

Located along Florida's Treasure Coast, near Palm Beach and Vero Beach, Stuart was incorporated as a city in 1914 and is the seat of Martin County.

With its pleasant climate, Stuart is an exceptional tourist destination for anyone looking for recreational activities on the water.

I also enjoy taking exciting tours of the streets, especially the historic downtown.

One of my favorite things about living here is indulging my cravings at the many seafood restaurants and dining options representing different cuisines.

Stay tuned for my recommendations on the best restaurants in Stuart, Florida!

The Gafford

Meal in The Gafford
Foursquare City Guide

I recently dined at the Gafford, a restaurant in Downtown Stuart that showcases American cuisine through sophisticated dishes.

The atmosphere is a perfect blend of casual and upscale, making it a great spot to hang out with family or friends.

I decided to try their signature steak, a bone-in prime ribeye served with house-made mac and cheese.

The dish was inspired by the story of one of the restaurant's owners, and it certainly lived up to the hype.

The steak was cooked to perfection, and the mac and cheese was a delicious accompaniment.

I also had a chance to taste their Southern-style meatloaf, which was made even more delicious with a barbecue glaze and caramelized onion sauce.

Appetizer in The Gafford
Foursquare City Guide

The flavors were rich and comforting, making it a dish I'd definitely order again.

The Gafford's menu also features seafood entrées that showcase the flavors of salmon, tuna, grouper, swordfish, and shrimp.

I didn't have a chance to try any of these dishes, but they looked amazing and I've heard great things from fellow diners.

One of the highlights of my visit was the Happy Hour in the entire bar, where I enjoyed some quick bites and sipped on fantastic wines and cocktails.

The Avocado Corn Salad with an added crab cake on top was a standout appetizer, and I highly recommend giving it a try.

Riverwalk Cafe and Oyster Bar

Housed in one of the city’s historic downtown buildings, I always admire the quaint, cozy atmosphere of the Riverwalk Cafe and Oyster Bar.

Its chef and owner, Steven Feder, has appeared in a 2017 local magazine as one of the rising chefs on Treasure Coast.

Riverwalk Cafe and Oyster Bar specialize in fresh seafood such as tuna, clams, salmon, shrimp, and oysters.

I love immersing in the sea flavors from the soups, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and main dishes served at Riverwalk Cafe and Oyster Bar.

Most customers, including myself, love the Oysters Rocka “feder” and the made-to-order Oyster Stew.

Its fresh oyster raw bar is a must-try too.

I remember visiting Riverwalk Cafe and Oyster Bar for a family celebration.

They honored our 7 pm reservation promptly and provided lovely, spot-on service.

We started with Wagyu beef and oysters for appetizers, which were delicious.

The sauces with the beef and potato puff were amazing, and the Caesar salad was excellent as always.

The duck was delicious, but the star of the evening was the Grouper with beurre blanc - it was some of the best fish I've ever had!

They even served nice birthday desserts for our celebration.

Another time, I had a sensational dining experience at Riverwalk.

The crab with corn chowder exceeded my expectations. Generous clumps of crab claw filled the bowl, and the creamy base was topped with microgreens.

My friends and I shared the bowl, and they had Caesar salads that were perfectly dressed.

One of my friends had pasta purses in a cream sauce for an appetizer, while the other had seared Ahi tuna on a bed of grilled Brussels sprouts.

I had a double bone pork chop, which was cooked to perfection.

Michelina’s Italian Restaurant & Catering

Michelina’s Italian Restaurant & Catering is a casual and relaxing dining spot along the Southeast Federal Highway.

The restaurant features a sizeable purple-walled dining area and a private room for special events and celebrations.

For over two decades, Michelina’s Italian Restaurant & Catering has served made-from-scratch dishes and desserts using Italy’s freshest ingredients and flavors.

Besides its regular menu of mouth-watering dishes, I highly recommend checking out its Sunset Menu.

Specials include homemade soup or salad, garlic knots, pasta, dessert, and beverage.

During my visit, I delighted in the chicken parmigiana, homemade lasagna, and spaghetti & meatballs.

The portions were large and seasoned perfectly. The service was excellent, and the owner was very friendly, making for an enjoyable experience.

I also appreciated the warm Parmesan rolls they brought to the table, a nice change from the usual garlic rolls.

I remember my parents used to visit Michelina's regularly when it was at its former location.

I recently took my mom to this new location, and we were seated outside as we did not call for reservations.

The ambiance and food were just as good as we remembered.

Bonefish Grill

Sushi in Bonefish Grill
Foursquare City Guide

Bonefish Grill is a casual dining seafood restaurant chain across the United States, focusing on market-fresh fish, wood-grilled specialties, and hand-crafted cocktails.

Bonefish Grill has earned several awards and recognition for its excellent service and high-quality food.

In Stuart, you can enjoy the Bonefish experience, too, along South Federal Highway!

Reserve a table at Bonefish Grill, and you may start your meal with the popular Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer tossed in its signature creamy, spicy sauce.

As for the main dishes, Bonefish Grill recommends the Cod Imperial stuffed with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and the Lily’s Chicken with goat cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts, and lemon basil sauce.

You may also want to try one of its perfect pairings, the Sirloin & Shrimp, which combines wood-grilled center-cut sirloin and five jumbo shrimps in your plate.

Finish your meal with a glass of its hand-crafted cocktails, fine wines, or signature martinis.

If you’re visiting Bonefish Grill, watch out for its locally created, seasonal menu.

Bonefish chefs work with local fishermen to find the freshest and top-quality ingredients for these featured specials!

I've been to multiple locations of Bonefish, and I have to say the one in Stuart is by far the best.

As soon as I walk in, I'm welcomed by the hosts, Charley and Z.

They are always so welcoming and sweet, and the two of them make the location what it is!

Because I'm usually alone, I sit at the bar and am typically served by Maya or Max.

They are THE best bartenders and always make me my margarita with a splash of strawberry, so it's not too sweet, but just the right amount of sweet.

I will typically come and eat here because they are attentive, and I always have outstanding service with them.

Now for the food! I've always had a good experience with everything I've tried.

They have many options to fit your mood; whether you want an appetizer and a drink or a light lunch to a full dinner, Bonefish has you!

My go-to is the salmon with jasmine rice and broccoli.

I also like their pasta and sometimes get the parmesan-crusted rainbow trout.

Mario’s Restaurant

Mario’s Restaurant is a long-running dining spot serving Italian dishes in the city, just a short walk from Michelina’s Italian Restaurant & Catering.

I ordered one of their signature homemade pasta dishes, and I can see why customers rave about them after dining here.

The pasta was cooked to perfection, and the sauce was full of flavor.

I also couldn't resist trying one of their gourmet pizzas, and I was not disappointed.

The crust was crispy, and the toppings were fresh and delicious.

I also enjoyed their flavorful seafood, chicken, and eggplant plates.

For dessert, I had a tough time choosing between tiramisu, tortoni, and cheesecake, but eventually settled on the tiramisu.

It was the perfect way to end my meal, as it was light and creamy with just the right amount of sweetness.

I was impressed with the selection of beers and wines available at Mario’s Restaurant, which paired perfectly with my Italian favorites.

During my visit, I had the pleasure of being served by Shawna, who was exceptional.

She knew the menu inside and out and even prepared the house salad table-side.

I noticed a group nearby sharing the chateaubriand for three, which Shawna carved table-side, ensuring each person got their desired level of doneness.

It looked absolutely delicious, and I'll definitely be trying it on my next visit.

Uncle Giuseppe’s Lil’ Bit A Brooklyn

During a recent visit to Stuart, Florida, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon Uncle Giuseppe’s Lil’ Bit A Brooklyn, a gem tucked away on Northwest Federal Highway.

The moment I stepped inside, I was captivated by the inviting atmosphere reminiscent of a cozy Italian trattoria.

Their extensive menu brims with a plethora of Italian classics, but it was the Chicken Parmesan that stole the show.

Prepared from scratch, the tender chicken was dressed in a luxuriantly rich and flavorful sauce, a dish that truly encapsulates Sicilian comfort food.

Being a family-friendly place, Uncle Giuseppe's didn't disappoint the younger palates either.

From pasta and meatballs to chicken fingers, their kid's menu was a hit with my little ones.

And then, the dolce - their selection is nothing short of divine.

The star of the show was their cannoli, arguably one of the finest I've ever sampled, while the tiramisu was a dream of creamy delight.

The surprise package, however, was the zeppole, a fried pastry that balanced a crisp exterior with a cloud-like interior, finished with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Equally as commendable as their food was the warm service.

The staff's genuine attention to detail and kindness truly rounded off a remarkable dining experience.

The Black Marlin

Fish dish in The Black Marlin
Foursquare City Guide

Since 1993, the Black Marlin has become a part of downtown Stuart’s favorite hubs to dine and drink.

The Black Marlin’s exposed brick walls and wooden booths make a pleasant, cozy atmosphere where my family and friends can hang out and have a good time.

What was once the oldest tavern in Stuart has become a place to savor flavorful seafood and pasta dishes, and char-grilled fish.

In addition, you can order some starters, salads, sandwiches, and pizzas.

I always enjoy the unique and friendly bartenders at the Black Marlin.

Visiting the Black Marlin on West Osceola Street and catching the Happy Hour for great deals on healthy drinks, house wine, and select draft beers is a must for me.

I remember one time when I was craving clam chowder, so I decided to give the Black Marlin a try.

The clam chowder was delicious, with a thick broth and lots of clams.

On another visit, I ordered the Chilean Sea Bass, Center Cut Salmon Filet, Ahi, Pesto Shrimp Pasta, and Garlic Cheese Bread.

The food was amazing, and the inside was warm and cozy.

It was a busy Friday night, but my waitress was so personable and attentive.

Krua Thai Restaurant

If you want to try another culture's cuisine, you can head to Krua Thai Restaurant, which serves palatable Thai and Asian dishes.

Located along Southeast Federal Highway, this restaurant brings you to Thailand with its intimate setting and interior decoration.

There is something for everyone on its menu, whether you like fried rice, noodles, soups, or curries.

I've been to Krua Thai Restaurant pre-pandemic and a few times recently.

Some of my favorite highlights at Krua Thai Restaurant include the exceptional tom kha gai soup, which they will adjust the spiciness level to your preference.

The vegetarian egg rolls are my little one's favorite, and their pad Thai and curries are above average in my opinion.

Krua Thai Restaurant notes that customers often order duck noodles soup, which combines crispy duck, egg noodles, and bean sprouts.

You may also want to try the classic Pad Thai, duck curry, or Panang curry.

If you’re a fan of spicy food, you might find your next spicy favorite here!

But the mango Thai sticky rice dessert was a revelation.

It was amazing! There are quite a few Thai restaurants in this area, but I find myself choosing Krua Thai Restaurant for pick-up or dine-in.

It's a very solid Thai food spot, and even my 5-year old enjoyed the fried fish with the sauce that came with it.

The Flamingo Diner

Do you love eating breakfast food any time of the day?

I know I do, and that's why I often visit The Flamingo Diner on Southeast Federal Highway.

It's a quaint restaurant serving home-cooked breakfast favorites, and I can't get enough of it!

The staff here is always friendly, and they offer a wide variety of menu options.

I've tried their egg omelets, pancakes, sandwiches, burgers, and other American comfort food, and they never disappoint.

In addition to breakfast, the Flamingo Diner also offers lunch and dinner options based on seafood, steaks, pork, and chicken.

I particularly love their Flamingo favorites, which consist of homemade meatloaf, roast turkey, and breaded pork cutlets.

Moreover, they have dishes inspired by Greece’s and Italy’s tastes and flavors, which I find to be a nice touch.

Whenever I drop by The Flamingo Diner, I always make sure to find out what’s on their daily home-cooked specials!

On my last visit, I had a Western Omelette, and my husband had two eggs over with toast and home fries.

The food was delicious, and the portions were huge for a great price.

Our food came out steaming hot, just about 10 minutes after we ordered.

Also, the bathrooms are always extremely clean, which is a big plus for me.

Sailor’s Return

Seafood meal at Sailor’s Return
Foursquare City Guide

Sailor’s Return is a popular alfresco dining spot in the city, offering breathtaking views of the St. Lucie River.

The restaurant also has 930 feet of courtesy docking for customers coming by boat, which makes it a convenient spot for boaters like myself.

Located off Southwest Anchorage Way, Sailor’s Return has a casually elegant atmosphere that perfectly complements the tropical harbor setting.

The menu offers a variety of options, whether you're in the mood for a light meal or a feast to enjoy with family and friends.

The dishes at Sailor’s Return mainly revolve around seafood and steaks, and they have an extensive list of wines, beers, and specialty cocktails to pair with your meal.

I decided to try their Wednesday special, which included twin lobster tails for under $50, and I was not disappointed.

Cake at Sailor’s Return
Foursquare City Guide

My husband enjoyed the crab cakes, although they were more like crab balls in size.

We were lucky to have Erin as our waitress, who was one of the nicest servers I've ever encountered.

To top off our meal, we indulged in the Orange Graham Cracker cake, which was absolutely delicious.

The sunset view from the restaurant was gorgeous, and the live music added to the lively atmosphere.

It's a great place to catch a glimpse of the city's nightlife and dance the night away.

Spritz City Bistro

Spritz City Bistro is located on Southwest Osceola Street, and absolutely love it!

The place is famous for its tapas and small plates, and they have items for those on special diets.

The "casual upscale dining atmosphere" was perfect for a fun night out with my husband.

We enjoyed a taste of American classics with a twist.

I was particularly impressed with the variety of creative dishes that were vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, ranging from appetizers to large plates.

We decided to have our dinner there, and I must say, the desserts were a sweet ending to our dining experience.

The wide array of craft cocktails, local beers on tap, and wines made for a fun time.

We happened to visit on St. Patrick's Day, and the atmosphere was lively and enjoyable.

The service was great, and I found the mix of music and decor quite interesting.

It didn't match, but it somehow made the place even better.

I also appreciated the Happy Hour and other great deals they offered.

Pepe & Sale

Taking a gastronomic sojourn at Pepe & Sale , tucked within the heart of Stuart, Florida, invariably catapults me into a realm of refined culinary pleasure.

The eatery's expertise in modern Italian cuisine is an invitation to a delightful tour through the peninsula's tastes, textures, and tradition.

Walking through the doors is akin to stepping onto Italian soil - the ambient sophistication exudes an alluring hint of the cultural authenticity and flair that distinguishes Pepe & Sale.

The star of the menu - a plate of homemade potato gnocchi - is a transformative experience. T

he gnocchi, reminiscent of pillowy cloud bites, dissolves on your tongue with each mouthful, leaving behind a trail of enchanting flavors.

Beyond the pasta, Pepe & Sale showcases a diverse array of main courses, replete with succulent seafood, premium cuts of chicken, and tender beef - all masterfully blended with spices and the freshest local produce.

These culinary narratives elevate the restaurant experience from just dining to an event, an homage to Italy's rich and varied food landscape.

Reservation is key at Pepe & Sale, but every moment spent at this modern Italian haven validates that extra effort.

Between the spellbinding food and the captivating atmosphere, it's a gastronomic narrative I long to return to, again and again.

Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill

Barbecue ribs at Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill
Foursquare City Guide

Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill is a family-run restaurant chain that has been a South Florida institution since 1959.

I love the island vibes and saltwater adventures that the interior design and photos on the walls evoke, showing families and friends having fun on the water.

The Stuart branch along Southeast Federal Highway is my go-to spot.

One of my favorite dishes at Flanigan's is their Legendary Baby Back Ribs, which are marinated in a tangy-sweet BBQ sauce.

The rich flavor always leaves me craving more.

For appetizers, I highly recommend Joe’s Rockin’ Rib Rolls.

They also have a great selection of signature burgers, sandwiches, and seafood dishes that never disappoint.

The service at Flanigan's is always top-notch.

On my last visit, my server Bri was very attentive, and all the staff members were excellent.

The manager even came by to check on us, which I appreciated.

The bar at Flanigan's is also worth checking out, as they serve dessert martinis, beers, wines, and more.

Fruits and Roots Juice Bar and Vegan Café

What sets Fruits and Roots Juice Bar and Vegan Café apart from other restaurants in the city is its thoughtfully crafted 100% plant-based vegan offerings.

I love going to this restaurant located along South Colorado Avenue, as it has a warm and relaxed ambiance, and I can choose to sit either in its interior dining setting or outside on the expansive patio.

I always enjoy their extensive menu of inventive vegan fare, ranging from appetizers and small plates to salads and sandwiches.

They even have healthy options that kids will enjoy, such as cheesy flatbread, mac, and cheese, house-made hummus, and sliced cucumber.

One time, I stopped by looking for some healthy food and decided to try their black bean burger wrap.

It was very delicious! They also had a peanut dressing that was absolutely amazing.

The refreshing drinks at Fruits and Roots Juice Bar and Vegan Café are not to be missed.

They're made with locally sourced and organic ingredients, and the selection includes cold-pressed juices, smoothies, flavored mylk, nourishing elixirs, and shots.

I'm not totally vegan, but I do try to eat healthily and lower my cholesterol, so Fruits and Roots is perfect for me.

Dune Dog Cafe

Exterior of Dune Dog Cafe
Foursquare City Guide

Dune Dog Cafe started in business in 1994 in Jupiter, Florida, to give locals and tourists a spot to experience a “happy island” atmosphere as they enjoy great food and company.

As a resident, I've been visiting this place for years and it never disappoints.

Located on Southwest Federal Highway, just south of Roosevelt Bridge, Dune Dog Cafe provides indoor and outdoor seating for its customers.

I love the relaxed atmosphere and the great tunes they play.

The menu offers a wide array of hot dog plates with different toppings to make them rich in flavor and texture, plus burgers, sandwiches, combo platters, and more to satisfy your hunger!

I recently tried their garden salad and it was gigantic!

Dune Dog Cafe also has a “puppy menu” for the kids consisting of a corn dog, fish fingers, and grilled chicken sandwich served with waffle fries, beverages, and ice cream.

My kids absolutely love it.

Sandwich in Dune Dog Cafe
Foursquare City Guide

Some of my favorites include the crispy fish and chips, crunchy fish sandwich, clam chowder, and grilled mahi mahi sandwich.

I highly recommend checking out their weekly dinner deals!

During one of my recent visits, I noticed the work ethic of the busser Marty.

He was hustling and friendly, an excellent asset to the team here.

My partner and I often visit Dune Dog Cafe after catching a Cardinals game in Jupiter.

The rear patio with picnic tables is a great spot to enjoy your meal.

Overall, Dune Dog Cafe is a fantastic place for locals and visitors alike to enjoy delicious food in a laid-back atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

Living in Stuart, Florida, I can definitely say that it's truly the “Sailfish Capital of the World.”

I've had the pleasure of experiencing the vast array of restaurants in the area, tasting not only the delightful local flavors but also dishes from all around the world.

I've also found that there are great options for people on a special diet, making it easy for everyone to enjoy the culinary scene in Stuart.

I highly recommend saving this list of the best restaurants in Stuart, Florida, and embarking on a gastronomic journey in our beautiful city!

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.