Once notorious as a "where-the-boys-are" (and often somewhat rowdy) spring-break beach destination, Fort Lauderdale has in recent years expanded beyond its lovely beaches to become a well rounded destination with something for everyone, from budget to luxury travelers. Its attractions include peaceful natural preserves, exquisite botanical gardens, inviting marinas, historical sites, interesting museums, and dynamic cultural venues.
After you’ve spent the day gallivanting around the city, there’s a good chance that you've worked up a healthy appetite. That brings us to the Fort Lauderdale dining scene. These recent years have also seen a notable widening of the menu when it comes to Fort Lauderdale restaurants, which now beyond the fried foods and burgers of yore also includes many upscale and international options. To help you get started, here are my own seven top picks - so let’s dig in!
This romantic cafe is not just a great place to eat; it’s also an important piece of Ft. Lauderdale history, located in a 1927 residence designed by celebrated architect Francis L. Abreu. Whether outside on the terrace overlooking the beach or in its cozy upstairs, Casablanca Café offers plenty of ambiance. Plenty of good eating, too, with specialties such as walnut chicken, braised Moroccan lamb shank, and blackened Florida grouper. And patrons have few bad things to say, giving it a Google reviews rating of 4.5 stars out of five with nearly 2,500 reviews.
With its prime location on the eastern coast of Florida, one of Lauderdale’s best features is its beachfront but also its network of waterways, and Kaluz takes full advantage of the latter, with a breezy, delightful patio on the Intravoastal Waterway. Diners love the restaurant’s delicious take on new American cuisine that includes everything from artfully prepared gourmet salads (try the Key lime crab) to slow roasted prime rib and Chilean sea bass. It also garners very favorable patron ratings, with an average score of 4.6 stars out of 5, with over 3,000 reviews.
The Capital Grille
There are few things that can top a juicy medium-rare steak with a baked sweet potato and a side of steamed broccoli - a classic. And the place to enjoy it in Lauderdale is this local branch of the reknowned steakhouse chain, based in the upscale mall known as The Galleria, just in from the beach. Ribeye, New York strip, filet mignon - it's all here, along with various other meats and seafood, tasty appetizers, luscious desserts, and even several vegan and vegetarian options. This menu, plus the classy, refined ambiance and excellent service yield Google reviews with an impressive score of 4.7 stars out of 5, with over 1,000 reviews.
Lona Cocina Tequileria
Located like Casablanca Café right on the Atlantic Boulevard beachfront, this sleek reimagining of the Mexican dining experience offers a comprehensive menu of tostadas, quesadillas, tacos, fajitas, and dishes such as salmon with rich, complex mole sauce. Plus of course, true to its name, a tempting bar with more than 150 high-qaulity tequilas, along with creative margaritas and other mixed drinks. Lona Cocina has an excellent average Google reviews score of 4.6 stars out of 5, with over 1,500 reviews. Patrons simply love the chic, upbeat atmosphere; the exceptionally attentive, courteous service; and the artfully mixed cocktails.
Wild Sea Las Olas
If you’re in the mood for something with a bit of maritime flair, then you’re sure to love this one. A 15-minute drive away from the beach on elegant Las Olas Boulevar, sophisticated, refined Wild Sea offers some of the best seafood you’ll find in the entire area. Whether you’re in the mood for a salmon filet or a healthy serving of buttered mussels, you’ll find it here! This is amply reflected in the restaurant’s Google reviews score, which stands at a very respectable 4.4 stars out of 5, with over 350 reviews. This is due in large part to the restaurant’s impressive selection of artisan wines, cheeses and fine scotch, in addition to its many other excellent qualities.
Premiere Cafe & Bar
This kitschy little cafe is the perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat and enjoy some scenic ocean views as you enjoy the cozy atmosphere and delightful decor and lighting. There’s no place that quite manages to capture the same charming blend of minimalistic design and delicious Argentinian dishes like the Premiere cafe! With everything from grilled salmon to brochettes and wraps, you’re sure to find something to your liking. Patrons of this cafe love to talk about their experiences, and these experiences have been overwhelmingly positive in nature! The cafe has an average Google reviews score of 4.8 stars out of 5, with over 300 reviews, a score that can be largely attributed to its delicious cuisine and delightful atmosphere.
The Foxy Brown
Sometimes a day calls for simple food that forgoes the pretentious nature of more upscale establishments that confuse excess with excellence; on such a day, the Foxy Brown is the place to be! This all-American bistro serves up all-American classics every day of the week, with everything from hamburgers to waffles and more!
But don’t take our word for it; this restaurant has an average Google reviews score of 4.5 stars out of 5, with nearly 1,400 reviews! Patrons of the Foxy Brown love the exceptional cooking, the courteous service, and the chique, modern atmosphere. There are few places like it if you’re in the mood for something simple and delicious!
We hope this list helped you find your next dining destination! With this much variety and selection, it’s safe to say that finding an appetizing place to eat won’t be a problem if you’re visiting Ft. Lauderdale. The only problem you might encounter is difficulty choosing a place to eat, considering all the excellent places there are to choose from!
Once you experience a few of the delightful things that this city has to offer, you might find yourself reluctant to go home; if that’s the case, you’ll want to get in touch with the local real estate agents in Fort Lauderdale FL! These experienced real estate professionals will give you an insider’s perspective on the market, and share some of the available listings in their city. Before you know it, you might just be calling Fort Lauderdale home!