March 17, 2021

Ditch the Italian Chains – Try Citrola’s Italian Food Instead

I grew up thinking places like Olive Garden and Carrabba’s were Italian restaurants. My family is originally from the Midwest (North Dakota) and those places aren’t exactly known for their authentic Italian cuisine.

Then, Sean and I got together and I was introduced to what REAL Italian food tastes like (thanks to Momma Rose and Grandma Fran). And now? If someone so much as mentions Olive Garden I scoff (in my head). I guess I’ve become an Italian food snob now.

Close up of Citrola's Bruschetta appetizer

We’re always on the hunt for great Italian food and we’ve found a few places around worth mentioning. In this blog, we’ll go over Citrola’s.

Citrola’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria in Fort Myers

I can’t recall how we heard about Citrola’s, but I am so glad we tried it. We’ve been on several occasions, and we often take family there for birthday celebrations or for other holidays.

There are 2 locations in South Fort Myers. One is off College Parkway (in the same plaza as The Bagel Factory – we’ll cover that soon!). The other is off of McGregor. We’ve only ever been to the one off College, so we’ll review that one here. I am not sure what the differences are between the two, but it looks like the one on College Parkway serves pizza and the other location does not.

Photo of Citrola's Penne Alla Vodka with blackened chicken

Citrola’s Atmosphere

As soon as you walk in, you’re going to be hit with the aroma of authentic Italian food. The inside is very cozy with maybe 8 tables total. They also have a small outdoor patio, which is where we ate recently. The weather’s not quite too hot yet, so the patio is perfect for the winter and spring months. 

The wait staff is always superb and we’ve never had a bad experience. They’re attentive, friendly, and overall just add to the experience.

Citrola’s Food

The College Parkway location itself is small, but the menu is most certainly not small. They have a lot of what you’d expect from a local Italian joint. Various pasta dishes, appetizers, and the best bread.

Here are the menu items we’ve ordered at Citrola’s and highly recommend:

  • Penne Alla Vodka – THE BEST. WOW. I am usually an Alfredo girl, but this Penne Alla Vodka iis truly mind-blowing. I order it without meat and Sean usually gets blackened chicken, which is also amazing.

  • Bruschetta – this is an appetizer on their menu. You get a lot of food for what you pay for and it’s always super fresh. We order it every time.

  • Alfredo – as I mentioned before, I am an Alfredo girl. When we first ate here, this is what I ordered. It was definitely one of the top Alfredo dishes I’ve had in Fort Myers. 

  • Mediterranean Ravioli – this is what Sean ordered when we first ate here. It was a unique dish neither of us tried before and it was quite delicious.

  • Pizza – we ordered a couple of pizzas to-go a few months ago. They were pretty good, but I would definitely recommend trying the pasta dishes first. 

All in all, everyone knows the local Italian places do it better than the big chains. So, when you’re in the mood to support a local business and have some REAL Italian food, give Citrola’s a try.



  • College Parkway Location: 8841 College Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33919
  • McGregor Blvd Location: 16740 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33908

Phone Numbers

  • College Parkway Location: (239) 466-1113
  • McGregor Blvd Location: (239) 334-6336

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  1. Lisa Hall March 24, 2021 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Looking forward to giving it a try!

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