1. Laser Wolf/Taco Bellus
901 Progresso Dr., 954.667.9373, laserwolf.godaddysites.com
When the Bellus brothers, Chris and Jordan, first unleashed Laser Wolf on an unsuspecting Fort Lauderdale more than a decade ago, “craft beer bars” remained largely a thing of mystery here. That’s no longer the case, but the brothers’ bar remains among the best in the biz, even more so with its food-truck-in-residence parked out front.
2. Papa’s Raw Bar
4610 N Federal Hwy., 754.307.5034, papasrawbar.com
Papa’s Raw Bar is all about seafood and live music. The casual, laid-back restaurant prides itself on being a hot spot for locals. Oh, and while the food and beverages are the main event, it helps that they also have some of the coolest merch in town.
3051 E Commercial Blvd., 954.776.0258, umbertosfl.com
Like many people we now consider proper locals, this Italian restaurant and pizzeria originated on Long Island. Umberto’s of Long Island offers authentic Italian dishes and – you guessed it – New York-style pizza.
4. Café Vico
1125 N Federal Hwy., 954.565.9681, 3496 N Ocean Blvd., 954.563.6441, cafevicorestaurant.com
For more than 25 years, Café Vico has been serving up hearty Italian fare in Fort Lauderdale – and in June, they opened an additional location.
5. Lester’s Diner
250 W State Rd. 84, 954.525.5641, lestersdiner.com
Debuting in 1967, Lester’s Diner started in Fort Lauderdale and has since branched out to three more locations around South Florida. There’s nothing complicated about Lester’s; this local legend specializes in hometown vibes and American staples.