Savor the local flavor with these must-try foods.
From the Gulf of Mexico to sun-kissed fields, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach — located on the southwest coast of Florida — dishes up tantalizing tastes.
1. Stone Crab
Harvested from the Gulf of Mexico only one claw at a time, stone crab rules local menus during its Oct. 15 through May 15 season. Steamed fresh to a brilliant red and cracked by an expert, these claws are best served chilled with mustard sauce, although melted butter is perfectly acceptable.
2. Key Lime Pie
The ultimate local dessert is a creamy, tangy treat (with no hint of sweetness if it’s made right). Purists will insist on a graham cracker crust, but coconut macaroon is also delicious.
The creamy, tangy, light yellow filling of an authentic Key lime pie, reflecting the color of its namesake ingredient
3. Alligator Bay Distillers Rum
Based in Punta Gorda, this craft distillery produces small-batch, award-winning, hand-crafted rum from cane molasses grown in Florida. Tours operate regularly along with tastings and a retail shop.
Award-winning spirits on display at Alligator Bay Distillers
4. Fat Point Beer
Many area restaurants serve this beer crafted in the town of Punta Gorda, but the opening of the brewery’s tap-room lets you try small-batch introductions and order tasting “flights.”
6. Gulf Shrimp
Pink and sweet, these plump beauties come right from the Gulf to your table — cocktail sauce optional.
Plump, sweet Gulf shrimp and succulent crab make a delicious combination
Gator meat, usually battered and fried, is just one of those foods you have to try. It’s chewy with a taste of its own (and some say, low in cholesterol).
8. Blue Crab
Harvested in the waters of Charlotte Harbor and known for their delicate meat and sweet taste, blue crabs are a must-eat staple of the area. You'll find them featured on many restaurant menus and available for purchase at local seafood markets.
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