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Where to Eat in Fort Lauderdale – a food and dining guide

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It may have been the playground of rowdy 1990s spring breakers, but nowadays Fort Lauderdale’s pulling in a more grown-up crowd, who like to sail on the crystal Atlantic waters, cycle along the sandy palm-fringed shoreline, sip martinis in sleek bars, and eat really good food. It might not be as flashy as Miami, or as upmarket as Palm Beach, but Fort Lauderdale has plenty of multi-cuisine restaurants offering all sorts of truly tasty temptations.
Typical dishes

 

 

If anything, Fort Lauderdale appeals because of its vast array of food – from American to European or Asian. But if you like seafood, you’re in for a treat, as this city has fresh fish aplenty.

Downtown

 

A maze of Venice-like waterways makes an appealing backdrop for Downtown’s galleries, shops, and restaurants, of which there are plenty to choose from along Las Olas Boulevard. If the fresh marine air is making you crave seafood, Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille will satisfy your taste buds thanks to its one-of-a-kind seasonal menu, offering high-end delectable dishes, like grilled salmon fillet with summer squash, garlic cream, and Florida oranges. Another top spot is Johnny V Restaurant – run by acclaimed Florida chef Johnny Vinczencz who serves up fresh feasts, like his BBQ-spiked seared jumbo shrimp ‘picnic’.

 

• Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille, 620 E. Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale; Tel: +1 954 4672 555

Johnny V Restaurant, 625 E. Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale; Tel: +1 954 7617 920

 

Fort Lauderdale Beach

 

The sunshine playground of Fort Lauderdale Beach is tucked at the edge of downtown. Famed for its sea, sand, and sailing, it’s also brimming with tempting restaurants, many with spectacular beach views. Casablanca Café is a favorite with holidaying couples looking for romance. Head here to eat dinner overlooking the Atlantic, and try tasty Med-inspired entrees like herb chicken rigatoni, all while listening to the restaurant’s piano lounge music. Another of Fort Lauderdale’s best-rated eateries is Coconuts Waterside Grill, where you can feast on comforting food like crab cakes, lobster rolls, and pasta dishes.

 

• Casablanca Café, 3049 Alhambra Street, Fort Lauderdale; Tel: +1 954 7643 500

Coconuts Waterside Grill, 429 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale; Tel: +1 954 5252 421

 

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

 

Head north to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea if you fancy some seaside town atmosphere. Less swanky than Downtown – think vacationing families picnicking on the sand, and kids splashing around in the water – there’s still some seriously good food joints here. Run by Chef Tony Sindaco – who trained at Michelin-starred European restaurants and in top-notch US hotels before starting his own place – Sea Restaurant boasts delights like seared sea scallops and Florida snapper. A Fort Lauderdale institution, and fab lunch spot, La Spada’s Original Hoagies serve the best subs this side of Philly.

 

• Sea, 235 Commercial Blvd, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea; Tel: +1 954 5332 580

La Spada’s Original Hoagies, 233 Commercial Blvd, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea; Tel: +1 954 7767 893

 

Hollywood Beach

 

For a completely laid-back vibe, try Hollywood Beach. Its long palm tree-lined esplanade follows the wide stretch of sandy beach, and has plenty of easy-going, eateries. For some of the best value food in town head to the Taco Spot. You’ll find it hard to choose between the fish or spicy Korean tacos. With a view of the sea, it’s hard to beat for a quick bite. Another Hollywood favorite is Oceans 13 Sports Bar & Grill – an all-American restaurant, serving up juicy burgers with a side order of beach views.

 

• The Taco Spot, 1500 North Broadwalk, Hollywood; Tel: +1 954 9217 711

Oceans 13 Sports Bar & Grill, 3111 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood; Tel: +1 954 6134 026