Located just north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale is best known for its beaches and boating canals. Once the popular site of blaring college spring break parties, Fort Lauderdale has evolved into a city replete with stylish boutiques and restaurants. Check out our list of the top 10 restaurants to visit in Fort Lauderdale.
Coconuts Waterside Grill
Coconuts Waterside Grill is a great casual spot to enjoy some sunshine and awesome food. Sit outside on the wooden patio overlooking the Intracoastal and sample a variety of fresh seafood dishes like lobster rolls, coconut shrimps, oysters, or swordfish. There are also steaks served with herb butter and even alligator on offer for the adventurous. On Sundays, you can catch the boat show, which features extravagant yachts of all kinds. The food is a great value and the staff is pleasant and helpful. This is truly is an iconic South Florida dive.
When it comes to making decadent French pastries, La Crepe is not fooling around. We suggest you try the raspberry-passion fruit or the pistachio chocolate layer cake. The crispy exteriors of the almond croissants are generously dusted with powdered sugar. La Crepe also offers both sweet and savory crepe varieties. The French Reblochon crepe with bacon and potatoes is a crowd pleaser. La Crepe also has healthier options including delicate salads abundant with fresh veggies and fragrant olive oil. For something sweet after, they also have an enormous selection of homemade ice cream. This place really is one for the books.
At Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill, prepare for perfect burgers made with juicy patties, gooey melted cheese, ruby red tomatoes, and crispy lettuce. Each burger is served with a pickle, coleslaw, and fresh cut fries as well. You can also order a multitude of other sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads, which feature daily specials. For dessert, delve into one of their outstandingly creative caramel and chocolate kitchen sink cookies, which is like nothing you’ve ever seen. It’s piled high with chocolate caramel candies and even cookies.
This restaurant’s style is minimalist, but that’s because the food takes center stage. Hardy Park Bistro serves its dishes with excellent presentation. It makes great use of the colorful, aromatic vegetation available in this tropical climate. Meat dishes come with vivid green chutneys, abundant fresh veggies, and even pieces of tropical fruits. The menu selection is expansive, serving items from duck confit to burgers and fries, to lobster salad to green Thai chili. It’s also a great place to grab some breakfast. The French toast comes with berry compote and the breakfast on a ciabatta is highly satisfying.
This classy harborside restaurant offers you quintessential Floridian balmy elegance. The white windowpanes beautifully complement the lush tropical exterior and present a great view of the water. You can also sit outside and watch the sunset. The food is equally as high end. The menu is small, but this is a good sign as it means that dishes are served thoughtfully and with precision. The lamb and the scallops are particularly laudable. It is a quiet place that rarely gets crowded. Secret Garden at Pillars Hotel truly is Fort Lauderdale’s best kept secret.
A true steakhouse, Tropical Acres Steakhouse specializes in serving the most succulent, high quality cuts of beef. Offering many different kinds of steaks, each entree is served on a platter with delicious accompanying sides and sauces. The surf and turf is a crowd favorite, and two sides to try are the famous hash browns and the spinach-stuffed tomato. This restaurant décor has a classic ambience. The wait staff are dressed in collared shirts and black vests. It’s a great place for special occasions.
An American regional specialty, the hoagie, is something you cannot find just anywhere, and a good hoagie can be even harder. Laspada’s Hoagies is your number one spot for hoagies in Fort Lauderdale. Get sandwiches loaded with veggies, cheese, and cold cuts. The deli meat is fresh and thickly sliced, and you can choose from a multitude of different style hoagie rolls. Hoagies really ought to be eaten with potato chips, and Laspada’s offers more varieties of potato chips than you even knew existed. It’s a great spot to stop for a quick bite. The staff are attentive, and they make everything to order. If you don’t feel like making the trip, Laspada will deliver a hoagie right to your door.
La Dolce Vita is an Italian kitchen and wine bar. The terra cotta colored, Mediterranean-style exterior will draw you in at first sight. The subdued, candlelit interior with framed images of iconic Italians completes the atmosphere. Come here to get your fix for homemade Italian just like grandma makes. All pastas are fresh and made by hand. Pasta dishes are served with tangy, aromatic tomato sauce made from scratch along with fresh Italian cheeses. The antipasti are authentic and there are a multitude of wines to choose from. Between the authenticity and the outstanding Italian cuisine, this place is perfect for a romantic evening or special occasion. La Dolce Vita draws an international crowd, and is consistently acclaimed across the board.
Transport yourself to Spain at Café Seville. This restaurant features authentic paella made to order, as well as other seafood dishes rich in golden saffron. The ceviche is extraordinarily fresh and picante. Pair any meal with Spanish wine. It also serves Mediterranean classics like tiramisù. The staff is chummy, and you can expect to be treated like family from the moment you enter Café Seville. The interior is rustic Spanish, with Moorish tiling, wrought iron light fixtures, plaster walls, wooden beams, and lovely murals of the sea.
This innovative restaurant offers New American-style cooking with Latin inspiration. You can be sure to find classic Floridian seafood dishes like fish tacos, shrimp, grouper, sea bass, and scallop risotto. Some other imaginative items include the goat cheese-stuffed poblano, filet mignon served with fresh guacamole, and chicken fried steak. Canyon Southwest Café is also known for its fabulous cocktails and sprits like the bright fuchsia prickly pear martini or pomegranate tequila. The menu also includes many different tapas. Come for happy hour, sit at the bar, and the appetizers are half price. The interior is groovy and modern. The bar is expansive and the halogen lights installed in the wave-shaped shelves give the atmosphere a warm glow.