Opened in 2012 at the foot of the Seventh Avenue Bridge, this cozy neighborhood spot in Sailboat Bend sits behind the Broward Center. Concertgoers mix with locals over well-prepared dishes like Spanish mussels served with chorizo, churrasco chimichurri, and mahi mahi in salsa de coco.
Dockside dining is just one attraction at this eatery perched on the Intracoastal just south of Oakland Park Boulevard near A1A. The vibe is Florida-casual, and you can expect to see men in Hawaiian shirts disembarking from boats and strutting inside. Traditional bar bites, Floribbean fare, and international offerings comprise the menu, including crabcakes, fried calamari, coconut shrimp, seared ahi, and conch fritters. You can also order half-pound beef burgers, overstuffed wraps, and out-of-the-ordinary takes on fish, like the blackened mahi Reuben sandwich. Cocktails run the gamut, including fruity martinis, thick frozen margarita-like concoctions, and enormous fish bowls filled with fizzy, vodka-based drinks.
Walking along the Riverwalk, or perhaps sailing down the New River, you may have noticed a new addition to the waterfront standing downhill from the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The two-story Huizenga Pavilion is part of the center’s $58 million expansion. A private reception area occupies the top floor, while Marti’s New River Bistro fills the ground floor.
Vegan Fine Foods is a grocery store, deli and café specializing in what else? Vegan food. That means everything is 100 percent plant-based and doesn’t include bone-char refined sugar, honey, eggs, dairy, etc. Their deli-café features prepared foods and drinks such as smoothies, cappuccino, kombucha, beer and wine
Located west of the Himmarshee bars, this is the place to go for a rustic breakfast, featuring the best pancakes you can find in town. Made with buttermilk, organic flour, sour cream and fresh, free-range eggs, these pancakes come served in a cast-iron pan with Vermont maple syrup. Try the “Mexican Ship Wreck,” a play on huevos rancheros served with oven-roasted yukon gold potatoes or scrumptious cheese grits.
Owners of the Pirate Shop and Pirate Bar on Fort Lauderdale Beach, Roberto and Claudia Guerios jumped at the opportunity to pillage, er, purchase the dilapidated property a few years back and have since transformed it into a full-scale pirate’s lair draped with skull-and-crossbones flags and decked out in a decor reminiscent of wooden pirate ships. You’ll find an array of seafood specialties, including sweet and sour shrimp, conch fritters, and herbed chardonnay-shallot mussels.
This Himmarshee gastropub serves up mouth-watering gourmet burgers, fries, apps, and craft beers in a rustic, brick-walled setting. Noshes like lobster corn dogs, truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, and Canadian-style poutine complement the array of burgers, including the lavish “Las Olas,” featuring Wagyu “Kobe” beef topped with caramelized onions, cave-aged gruyere, and garlic aioli on a brioche bun.
Not to be confused with Tex-Mex, a taqueria primarily focuses on tacos themselves. Short rib, prime rib-eye carne asada and other premium cuts of meat are brined, smoked and braised then stuffed into homemade corn masa tortillas for an upscale version of Mexican staples. Did we mention there’d be tequila? TacoCraft has a collection of more than 100 varieties of tequilas — blancos, reposados, anejos, and super anejos — ranging from $8 to $100 per shot.
The kind of fish restaurant you expect to find in a city by the sea, though it’s not as old as the décor might suggest. With an appealing indoor-outdoor ambiance, Tarpon Bend attracts a lively crowd to munch on in-house smoked fish dip and dolphin Reuben sandwiches. The front bar is a popular place to congregate on Friday and Saturday evenings (only partly due to the extended happy hours).
This restaurant and sports lounge enlivens the corner opposite Tarpon Bend in Himmarshee Village with its open door, inside/outside feel and its well-executed menu of “global modern comfort foods” like tacos, flatbreads (including fig and prosciutto), fried chicken and maple bourbon pork chop.
Jerk Machine specializes in Jamaican Style Jerk Cuisine and has become famous for its smoky, spicy, Jerk Chicken and other delectable dishes like Jerk Pork, Oxtails, Curry Goat and of course, Jerk Machine’s own favorite, Jerk Stew Peas.
As the first Fort Lauderdale outpost by James Beard-nominated chef Jose Mendin, Rivertail delivers an incredible culinary experience. The seafood restaurant features outdoor seating with a covered patio overlooking the New River as well as a raw bar and Caribbean décor throughout. Menu items include Bahia-style Brazilian Stew (cod, shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari, dende oil and cashews, served with coconut milk, citrus and cilantro) and Curry Striped Bass (green curry, red curry and aromatic herb salad).
Need a midafternoon pick-me-up? Grind Coffee Project prides itself in providing a safe haven for coffee aficionados who need a little break and energy to continue their day. If you’re not a coffee drinker, they have something for you too: a selection of teas, pastries and smoothies. In the meantime, you might engage in some conversations with other locals looking to relax. As their website says, “Drink coffee, be awesome.”
Traditional pub fair as well as seafood (Guinness barbecued shrimp) served indoors and out, though most people love sitting on the outside terrace filled with nautical paraphernalia. You can watch the traffic on the New River, as well as whatever games are playing on the TVs, and, at night, enjoy the live music. Water accessible.
A lively place to kick back along the New River, the historic Downtowner is a casual bar-restaurant offering live music Thursday and Saturday nights and during Sunday’s blues brunch. This watering hole with a view dishes up wings, burgers, salads, and sandwiches. Specials like Monday’s “rib night” and Tuesday’s “tacos and trivia” attract fun-loving locals aplenty. Wine bottles typically max out at around $30, and there are ample brews available in bottles or on tap.
Perfect for on-the-go professionals who need a quick pick-me-up throughout the day, Java and Jam sits on Las Olas Boulevard and offers a quick way to get your food fix. Their grab-and-go counter contains pastries, overnight oats, granola and more. For those who have time to dine in, all-day breakfast begins at 7 a.m. and lunch at 11 a.m. Menu items include Taco Eggs (white corn tortilla, two sunny-side-up eggs, bacon, avocado, roasted salsa verde, queso fresco and spatch peri-peri sauce), omelets, pancakes, salads, sandwiches and more.