Bordered by pristine beaches and the Florida Everglades, Naples, Fla., has become a culinary enclave in the Sunshine State. The city is making it easier to visit new restaurants and bars and old favorites too (and to not worry about drinking-and-driving) with JOE, the Jump On Express, a free, air-conditioned, hop-on/hop-off shuttle service that began service in December.
The shuttle makes stops at newcomers like Vincenzo Betulia’s Osteria Tulia (where the Sicilian-born chef and owner, formerly at nearby Campiello, prepares Italian peasant food) and Masa, the latest Naples venture by the D'Amico brothers (their fourth), which brings modern Mexican cuisine here by way of the original Masa in Minneapolis, as well as local favorites like seafood and steak spot The Chapel Grill, located in a former First Baptist Church, and chef Alberto Varetto’s Alberto’s on Fifth, featuring Northern Italian fare.
Those taking JOE for a ride on Valentine’s Day will get a special valentine card, which they can use to get deals at such places as wine bar/pizzeria Barbatella, champagne and caviar bar Osetra, and cigar bar BURN by Rocky Patel along its route between the Mercato center in north Naples and the downtown Naples Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South districts. JOE runs between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
In addition to the new shuttle bus service, the area is hosting the second annual Naples Craft Beer Fest at the Bayfront on March 2. Tickets are $50 per person, with proceeds going to charity. The ticket includes a tasting glass, all beer samples, food pairings, and entertainment.
Lauren Mack is the Special Projects Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.