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.
THIS INCREASINGLY POPULAR chain recently brought its brand of bird preparation to Fort Lauderdale. Chicken Kitchen prides itself in providing a fresh and healthy menu. Try their world famous “Chop-Chop” by choosing a combination on the menu or creating your own. Chicken Kitchen offers take-out, dine-in and delivery. You can even get them to cater an event.
It’s hard for Fort Lauderdale locals to imagine a summer without taking a dip in the water…well, what about their bagels? Known for a 14-step water filtration process that goes into its authentic Brooklyn-style bagels and coffee, Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. has officially opened its second Fort Lauderdale location. In addition to bagels and coffee, menu items include breakfast and deli sandwiches, baked goods, omelets and “baninis” – bagel paninis, naturally.
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.
Internationally inspired fare meticulously prepared by Chef Hector Lopez is complemented by an extensive wine bar that will have gourmands and foodistas raving. Doubling as a purveyor of gourmet yacht provisions, this restaurant boasts refined elegance in its 55-seat dining area. Dishes like pan-seared foie gras with truffle strawberry carpaccio, cherry gastrique and blinis, and grilled hanger steak with crushed rutabaga, asparagus, and red wine demi-glace make every bite memorable.
A popular beachfront place serving tropical drinks and comfort foods like conch fritters and coconut shrimp. The Bimini bread is baked throughout the day and served with honey butter. With rotating drink specials, the happy hour packs the ocean-view bar.
Chef and owner Mike Ponluang’s elegant Asian bistro offers large private booths and the finest fusion fare, including sushi and a lunch menu with noodles and bento boxes that’ll lure you back multiple times a week. Lobster Pad Thai is Ponluang’s signature dish, but everything is worth trying here, from Chinese dumplings to Vietnamese fresh rolls, and enormous entrees like pan fried Chilean sea bass with pineapple and red curry.
Modeled after classic taverns of New York and Chicago, BCT has high tin ceilings, wood floors, brick walls, and a patio overlooking the heart of Las Olas. The bar offers an extensive selection of libations, from California wines to locally brewed craft beers. The menu includes pan-seared Chilean sea bass with seasonal greens, and rigatoni Bolognese with Chianti-braised beef and veal topped with Grana Padano cheese. For lunch, stop in for a griddled burger with parmesan-truffle fries, or snag a stout-braised short-rib grilled cheese on sourdough with smoked maple cheddar. The late-night menu (Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to midnight) features pizzas, paninis, salads, and appetizers.
Valentino’s cheaper cousin (and occupying its former space), this warm, neighborhood place offers an array of pizzas (including prosciutto with shaved Parmesan and arugula) as well as other tempting Italian dishes. The eggplant sliced thin, fried and layered like lasagna is a popular item.
Chef Oliver Saucy and general manager Darrel Broek have earned this restaurant distinction as one of the nation’s best, with a menu updated daily featuring the best local ingredients. Dishes include: duck confit phyllo purses with raspberry-glazed beets, pearl onions and chives; and three-peppercorn filet mignon with three-cheese potato au gratin and shallot-thyme butter.
The falafel here is no joke. They’re fried to order which means you know it’s fresh. Once prepared, you can go through the various salads and select how you’d like your pita sandwich prepared. I like to stuff mine to the brim, and all of these salads did not disappoint, even down to the authentic Israeli pickles!
Laurent Tasic, chef and owner of popular Federal Highway restaurant Sage French Café, recently opened blues and jazz gastropub QBar Blues & Burgers next door. The wine list looks similar to Sage’s – but that’s where the similarities end.
Suddenly, traditional Hawaiian poke is everywhere. The latest Fort Lauderdale entrant is Poke Lolo, which features signature poke bowls, create-your-own bowls and even poke in a waffle. Located in the MASS District, the restaurant is the perfect stop for lunch or an early dinner. Signature items include Passakos (white rice, tuna, red onion, cucumber, bean sprouts, seaweed salad, sriracha peas, jalapeno and mango wasabi sauce) and a tofu bowl.
Known for its wood-fired dishes, J. Alexander’s serves classic cuisine in a sophisticated setting. Enjoy Tuscan steak, grilled fish with mango papaya salsa, chicken Milanese and seafood czarina. Pair your meal with wine from the full-service bar.
Famous for meatballs, Anthony’s lives up to its name by getting your meals prepared and to your table in no time. However this doesn’t mean they don’t offer made-to-order dishes. Their menu features pasta, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, wings and more.
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.
Located on the sixth floor of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, Ilios is open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Executive Chef Sean McDonald serves up Mediterranean cuisine with a Floridian influence. The Chef’s Three Course Tasting Menu showcases the restaurant’s current specialties.