Sayonara summer: 10 Naples, Fort Myers barbecue joints to try before fall arrives

Sarajane Sullivan
Naples Daily News

Fall begins Sept. 22, which means there are only a few weeks left to indulge in summer activities. 

Though chowing down on barbecue isn't exclusive to summer, it certainly is a hallmark of the season. So, soak in all that smoky goodness before fall seduces the world with cinnamon, pumpkin and turkey. 

Here are 10 barbecue restaurants to help you savor the last days of summer all the way from Marco Island to Cape Coral. 

Collier BBQ restaurants

Michelbob's: This barbecue joint off Airport-Pulling Road in East Naples has been in operation since 1979, and it still sports that old-time Americana vintage vibe. Families might find Michelbob's especially intriguing for its $55 "The Feast" meal that comes with 1½ racks of baby back ribs, barbecue chicken, sliced or pulled pork, sliced beef, garlic toast, potatoes, corn on the cob, baked beans and cole slaw. The restaurant also ships its ribs and sauce orders throughout the country. There's a sister location on Marco Island that serves take-out only. 

(Locations in Naples and Marco Island;

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Two baby back rib dinners at Michelbob's, 371 Airport-Pulling Road, in East Naples.

Fuse BBQ: Mac and cheese pulled pork sandwich. Oh yeah, you heard that right. Fuse BBQ has classic barbecue dishes along with more inventive options, such as a smoked fish dip topped with melted cheddar, onion and pepper jam or the pimento and belly sandwich with smoked pork belly, pimento cheese, pickled jalapeno and fried onions. The restaurant also features daily specials like the Friday "crusher" with brisket, maple-pepper bacon, fried egg, local tomato, extra sharp cheddar, chimichurri aioli and fried onions on a toasted brioche bun.

(11:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 2500 U.S. 41 N., No. 114, Naples; 239-529-5173;

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The chili beef sandwich from Fuse BBQ includes smoked brisket, chili con carne, onion and pepperjack cheese.

Black Eyed Pig: On the website, Black Eyed Pig's owners call themselves "connoisseurs of fine cue." Cue, of course, being short hand for barbecue. The restaurant serves classic Southern barbecue like fried okra and three varieties of ribs: dry-rubbed, St. Louis cut and baby back. 

(11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday at 5307 Shirley St., Naples; 239-593-5006;

The Black Eyed Sampler from Black Eyed Pig BBQ includes a choice of four meats, two side dishes and either a jalapeño corn muffin or Texas toast.

Nawty Hogg Backyard BBQ: In 2019, Nawty Hogg expanded its operations from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar operation near Golden Gate Estates off Collier Boulevard. Jean Le Boeuf, the Naples Daily News' trusty food critic, called it "smoky, creative and surprisingly delicious." The restaurant is offering options for delivery and pick up. 

(11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday and 12975 Collier Blvd No. 100, Naples; 239-241-2841;

Aric Tousignant slices a brisket at the Nawty Hogg Backyard BBQ food truck in November 2018 at Celebration Park in East Naples. Nawty Hogg's brick-and-mortar restaurant is targeted to open this month on the southwest corner of Collier Boulevard and Pine Ridge Road.

Texas Tony's: There are two Texas Tony's locations, one in Cape Coral and one in Naples. The restaurant serves Texas-style everything, including a Texas jalapeño cheddar sausage, Texas chili and "The Texan," beef brisket on Texas toast topped with slaw, pickles, onions and barbecue sauce.

(Multiple locations;

Texas Tony's baby back rib dinner

Off the Bone BBQ and Rib House: Off the Bone opened right before the pandemic hit, but it's still operating smoothly. It offers dine-in, take-out and delivery with DoorDash. Food critic Jean Le Boeuf called Off the Bone's sauces "the stars of the show." There are four sauce varieties: the Texas sauce with a hint of spice, honey barbecue for sweetness, Jack Daniels for a kick of whiskey and tangy Carolina barbecue. 

(11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 2236 Logan Blvd. N., No. 501, Naples; 239-631-5770;

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Off the Bone BBQ and Ribhouse in Naples serves deliciously classic barbecue food, like macaroni and cheese, cornbread muffins, brisket baked beans and pulled chicken.

Lee BBQ restaurants

Deep Down South BBQ: This small takeout spot switches the barbecue game up a bit by serving Southern style seafood and takes special pride in its fried garlic blue crabs. It also features "Soul Food Sundays" where, in addition to its full menu, the stand serves oxtails, turkey wings and black-eyed peas. 

(10 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at 3500 Fowler St., Fort Myers; 239-332-1227;

Garlic crabs from Deep Down South BBQ in Fort Myers.

Jonesez BBQ: This food truck cooks up barbecue all over Fort Myers. The menu features meal deals like the Jonesez plate with one meat and two sides for $12, the combination plate with two meats and two sides for $15 and the J4 family meal with a whole slab of ribs, one pound of pulled pork or pulled chicken and two large sides for $53. For the truck's current location, visit the Jonesez Facebook page.

(Multiple locations;

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Andre Jones of Jonesez BBQ checks the ribs during the Blues, Brews, & BBQ event in Ave Maria on Feb. 20, 2016.

McCarter's BBQ: McCarter's is a no-frills kind of barbecue eatery. And by no frills, I mean no sign, no tables, no time for credit cards. It's cash only here, and you'd be hard pressed to find a digital copy of the menu. But review after review of this place sings its praises, lauding "meaty ribs smoked so the meat clings to the bones just so. And juicy chicken quarters enshrined in smoky-crisp skin." 

(10 a.m.-5:45 p.m. Saturday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday at 2675 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Fort Myers; 239-645-3468)

Ribs from McCarter's BBQ, Fort Myers.

Smoke 'n Pit: Everyone gets a cup of sweet tea to-go after a hearty meal at Smoke 'n Pit. And those meals can include any number of items from the restaurant's extensive menu, including sweet corn nuggets, a BBQ pork 'n beef plate, a mushroom burger, a three-piece catfish fillet dinner or a pig salad. 

(11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily at 1641 N. Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers; 239-997-7982;

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Spare ribs at Smoke'n Pit Bar-B-Q in North Fort Myers. The restaurant will reopen Thursday after a kitchen fire.

Sarajane Sullivan writes about food and restaurants for The News-Press and Naples Daily News. Email her at and find her on Twitter @bysarajane.