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19 Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale Florida You must Visit

Looking for the Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, Florida? Great you have come to the right place.

The city of Fort Lauderdale is one of the crown jewels of Southeastern Florida. Known for its lavish beaches, rich culture, and enthralling event scene, it’s a can’t miss stop whenever you’re in Florida.

You’ll find the city located south of West Palm Beach and north of Miami, making it the perfect stop to hit while traveling down the gorgeous coastline. Whether you’re in town to take a stroll down Las Olas Boulevard or sightsee Millionaire’s Row from a water taxi, one thing that you cannot forget to try is the exquisite selection of restaurants that Fort Lauderdale has to offer.

Below you’ll find a list of some of the best restaurants in the area, so get out there and start exploring! The best places to eat in Fort Lauderdale here:

19 Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

1. Dolce Salato Pizza & Gelato -$

Looking for a one-stop shop for classic, casual Italian food? Look no further than Dolce Salato Pizza & Gelato, they’ve got some of the best pizza and gelato that Fort Lauderdale has to offer. Whether you decide to try some of their specialty pizzas such as Cotto e Funghi (Italian ham, mushrooms), Capricciosa (olives, artichoke heart, ham), or if you decide to create your own there is something for everyone.

There are also plenty of other dishes on the menu to try ranging from paninis to soups and salads, and it’s recommended to pair your food with a nice glass of wine or beer.

That’s not all though, as if none of what we’ve covered was enough there is still their decadent gelato! There are over 10 flavors to choose from which include Bacio (chocolate-hazelnut), Stracciatella (chocolate chip), and tiramisu. Dolce Salato is open for lunch and dinner every day starting at noon, except for Tuesday when they open at 4 pm.

One of the best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale.

Dolce Salato Pizza & Gelato

Dolce Salato Pizza & Gelato/ Facebook

2. Mini Pita -$

This Mediterranean cafe serves up some of the best fresh pitas in town along with their incredible hummus, kataifi, and falafel. Their combo platters can give you a look into all of the amazing flavors that the Mediterranean has to offer where you can try their exotic beef, chicken, and lamb shawarmas.

Each combo platter comes with a middle eastern salad and your choice of rice pilaf, french fries, or vegetable torly. Add the finishing touches to your meal with a cup of hot Turkish coffee, fresh mint tea, or hibiscus tea.

Leave some room for dessert too, as their made-from-scratch katatif is the perfect light treat to have before you leave. You can choose up to two flavors and toppings as it is made especially for you when you order. Mini Pita is open daily from 10 am-to 2 am every day.

Mini Pita

Mini Pita/ Facebook

3. Lester’s Diner -$

If you’re looking for some American classics, you’re in for a treat here at Lester’s. This retro-themed diner is the quintessential American experience with huge portions, classic rock, and delicious milkshakes! Operating since 1967, Lester’s is a family owned micro-restaurant chain exclusive to South Florida that serves thousands of locals every week.

If you want to feel like a local, you’ve got to eat like one! Your cravings for breakfast, lunch, or dinner can all be satisfied here as they have an extensive menu for each time of day. For breakfast you can choose from their generous combo platters, omletes, or waffles.

For lunch and dinner, their juicy burgers with crispy fries are a great choice, or if you’re really feeling daring you could go for one of their foot-long hot dogs. Beyond the classics, Lester’s has an extensive menu covering everything from seafood to stir-fry, so there is always something new to try. The best part about this restaurant? It’s open 24 hours a day, every day.

Lester's Dinner

Lester’s Diner/ Facebook

4. New York Marina Deli -$

Continuing on the theme of American classics, this little slice of New York is one of the best delis in town that brings that authentic northern charm right to Fort Lauderdale.

They make their hot pastrami, roasted turkey, and baked ham fresh every day in-store that they use on some of their mouth-watering specialty sandwiches. Perhaps you decide to order the classic reuben sandwich, or you decide to go for the Paul Castronovo which comes with fresh corned beef and pastrami, sauerkraut, melted swiss, and Russian dressing on warm rye bread.

It’s your choice from their selection of 14 specialty sandwiches or even more overstuffed ones. Each sandwich comes with a side of either coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, cucumber salad, and a pickle. In terms of bang for your buck, this is the place to go. The deli opens at 6:30am every day and closes at 3pm, except on Sundays, when it closes at 2pm.

New York Marina Deli

New York Marina Deli/ Facebook

5. La Costa, Olas -$

In business since 1994, La Costa, Olas is a Mexican/Honduran fusion restaurant that aims to bring authentic family Latin American recipes and share them with the world. Located right on Las Olas Boulevard, this restaurant is one of the hidden gems in the area.

If you’re looking for a place that will treat you like family, this is the place for you. Their dishes range from tender carne asada to flavorful shrimp and seafood tacos, there is a lot to love on their menu. As for drinks, they have a refined selection that includes mimosas, sangria, beer, and wine, which are all perfect complements to your food.

If you happen to be in town on Tuesday they run a Taco Tuesday special, or if you’re interested in lunch they run daily lunch specials that give you incredible value! La Costa, Olas is open every day from 11am to 10pm.

La Costa

La Costa/ Facebook

6. Zona Fresca -$

This quick-service eatery was founded 26 years ago with the goal of bringing Mexican food to the South Florida community, where it is not as well represented as it should be.

Their menu has lots of staples of Mexican cuisine, such as the customer favorite siesta burrito made with charbroiled chicken and stuffed to the brim with fresh vegetables, cheese, and sour cream.

They also offer various tacos such as baja fish and machaca street tacos. You can order a delicious combo plate to try all of their mouth-watering types of tacos. No meal is complete without a good drink, and they have a large selection of both domestic and imported Mexican beers that pair perfectly with your food.

If you still have room for dessert they offer both Mexican wedding cookies and flan, so you better come hungry! Zona Fresca is open from 11am-9pm every day except Fridays, when they stay open until 10pm.

Zona Fresca

Zona Fresca/ Facebook

7. Golden Lyon Vintage Pub -$

Situated right off of Las Olas Boulevard, this pub has a reputation for being one of the best spots to kick back and relax. They offer incredible deals during their daily happy hours from 3-7pm which gives you half off your drinks priced at $12 and under, plus their food happy hours from 5-7pm offer some zesty appetizers.

Be sure to try the salmon cake sliders served with mustard creole, the smoked fish dip with pickled jalepeños, or their asain chicken wings served with a sweet chili sauce. Outside of happy hour, their regular menu is full of unique dishes such as the hearty N’awlins Jambalaya, the decadent New England Lobster Salad Roll, and the tangy Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich.

They have an impressive list of imported wine and domestic beer on tap to pair with your food too, all served with a smile by some of their amazing bartenders! The pub is open Sunday-Thursday from 11am-10pm and 11am-11pm on Friday and Saturday. 

Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill

Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill/ Facebook

8. Athena Must-Have Greek -$

If you’re looking for the definition of a hidden gem, this Greek restaurant should be at the top of your list. Located southwest of the famous Las Olas Boulevard, this tucked away restaurant has some of the best value that you could ask for.

They use fresh ingredients daily to give each and every customer the taste of Greece and treat them like a part of the family. They specialize in gyros and falafel balls, their recipes have been made into a fine science over the years. They offer other traditional Greek dishes such as kebabs and hummus platters too, but you better come hungry as they are known for having big portions!

This restaurant does not have a website of its own so it’s best to just stop by if you’re in the area, you will not be disappointed. The restaurant is open Monday-Friday from 9am-2:30pm.

9. Bombay Darbar Indian Restaurant -$$

Authentic Indian food is known for its rich flavors and outstanding use of exotic spices, and this rings especially true at Bombay Darbar. The modern interior is supremely decorated to give you a pleasant dining experience, and the wait staff is very knowledgeable and attentive. There are a multitude of dishes to choose from here that are all customer favorites.

Some of the options that you have to choose from include the creamy Chicken Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken, and Mango Chicken Curry. The Tandoori dishes (clay oven) are also a hit, with their succulent Tandoori Chicken Tikka and Lamb Chops being favorites of patrons.

Traditional drinks such as imported beer and Mango Lassi are go-to choices that complement your food perfectly. Their menu has extensive vegetarian options for those who would like them as well, there truly is something for everyone here.

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner at various different times throughout the week, but they are closed on Tuesdays.

Bombay Darbar Indian Restaurant

Bombay Darbar Indian Restaurant/ Facebook

10. Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar -$$

The service that you get in a restaurant can make or break the experience for you, so if you’re looking for a restaurant that consistently has one of the highest rated customer satisfaction scores, you should check this place out.

The service provided here from the second you enter to the second you leave comes second to none. You will feel seen and heard in ways you didn’t think were possible from a restaurant. Outside of the amazing staff, the food is also just as incredible.

They offer an upscale American cuisine that is finely tuned to deliver a delightful experience from the food to the drinks. For starters, you could order their homemade guacamole or their 1 lb. angry meatball which are perfect to share with others. For an entrée you could order one of their expertly crafted burgers, barbeque ribs, or chicken kebabs.

It’s best to leave room for dessert too, so you can try their decadent double decker chocolate cake or cinnamon toast crunch cheesecake. There is quite a selection of wine and specialty cocktails, such as The Internal Affair, if you so choose as well. Doc B’s is open from 11am-9pm Sunday to Thursday and 11am-10pm on Friday and Saturday. Happy hour is from 4-7pm.

Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar

Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar/ Facebook

11. Heritage -$$

Food can be, and often is, considered to be an art form. This doesn’t ring truer than here at Heritage. Each item on the hand-crafted menu is so well put together that you can clearly see the passion of the owner and chef in every single dish that is served to customers.

These dishes truly look as good as they taste, and they taste phenomenal. With diversified lunch and dinner menus there is a great selection to choose from, and even the most picky of eaters will find something that they will like.

For lunch, maybe you decide to order Mafaldine Bolognese with wagyu beef, or for dinner, you decide to order Bucatini White Clam with a ‘Cheer Up Charlie’ rum cocktail. The choices here are truly wonderful, you need to bring friends/family in order to try them all! Heritage is open from 11:30am-3pm and 5pm-11pm Wednesday-Sunday.

Heritage

Heritage/ Facebook

12. Casablanca Cafe -$$

This historic beach-side restaurant was originally built in 1927 as a two story luxury house, which has now been converted into this stunning restaurant, and is one of Fort Lauderdale’s oldest remaining structures. Enjoy stunning views of the ocean while relaxing with either breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks with family and friends.

Start your morning off with a mimosa and avocado toast, while for lunch you can try some east coast chowder, and for dinner you can indulge in a Moroccan lamb shank.

Dessert is always just around the corner with dulce de leche ice cream or a slice of mascarpone cheesecake. If you’re looking for a place to kick back and enjoy some of the best scenery and history that Florida has to offer, this is your place. The Casablanca Cafe is open everyday from 8:30am-10pm.

Casablanca Cafe

Casablanca Cafe/ Facebook

13. Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill -$$

If you are looking for a seriously good restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, don’t miss Gilberts.

This mom-and-pop shop located at the Harbor Shops has served burgers, ribs, salads, and homemade soup for the past 10 years. The restaurant is owned and operated by the Gilbert family, who have over 40 years of experience in the foodservice industry.

Some of their specialty burgers that would be worth a try are the “Louisiana Style Cajun Burger with Cheese” and “The Brie” burger, which comes with bacon and crispy fried onions. In addition to their classics, they also have rotating daily specials that can consist of pan-seared tuna and ‘The Hottest Burger in South Florida.’

Gilbert’s is also known for their desserts, which have a unique and fun look to them! The kitchen sink cookie would be a fun one to try, and kids that get taken here would love it! The restaurant is open Monday-Saturday, 11 am-9 pm.

Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill

Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill/ Facebook

14. Thai On The Beach -$$

If you’re looking for a restaurant with a fabulous view of the beach and wonderful, fresh food to boot, then you should check out Thai On The Beach!

This restaurant offers authentic Thai food and sushi while you dine on the second floor next to Fort Lauderdale Beach. Some of their specialties include traditional Thai street food such as fried soft shell crab papaya salad and Tom Yum Goong Soup (shrimp, lemongrass, mushroom, lime juice, scallions).

They also offer Thai classics such as pad thai, pad se-ew, and crab rangoon. Their desserts are unique and flavorful, such as the fried cheesecake with vanilla ice cream and the Thai donut. The service staff here is wonderful too, you will really enjoy this quaint spot! This restaurant has varying opening times throughout the week, with the exception of being closed on Mondays.

Thai On The Beach

Thai On The Beach/ Facebook

15. Osteria Acqua e Farina -$$

Run by Attillo Reale, this restaurant prides itself on the passion it has for the food and the customers that it serves. Wood fired pizzas, paninis, and pastas served with wine are the specialty here.

If you’re looking for a delicious four cheese pizza or a heavenly lasagna, this is the place. Fair warning, unless you speak Italian you may need a translator with you as this place looks to be as authentic as it gets outside of Italy!

The menu is refined and the restaurant only serves dinner, so you should expect to have great quality food when you visit. You should also ask for the special when you arrive; you might just get offered something that isn’t on the menu. Osteria Acqua e Farina is open at various different times throughout the week, starting at around 5pm and closing at around 10pm.

Osteria Acqua e Farina best restaurants in fort lauderdale

Osteria Acqua e Farina/ Facebook

16. Chima Steakhouse -$$$

Operating since 2003, this restaurant is a Brazilian steakhouse named after the traditional Brazilian drink, chimarrao, which symbolizes hospitality and friendship.

Located on beautiful Las Olas Boulevard, this steakhouse is one of the better places to go if you plan on having a fancy night out. Lunch and dinner function a bit differently here than in any of the other restaurants covered so far, you pay a flat fee then you have access to Rodizio (the food service).

In this service you have access to the gourmet salad bar stocked with the freshest ingredients, where you can find high-end seafood, endives, and frisee salad with peaches, to name a few. In addition, you will also have Gauchos (servers) who roam the dining room offering exquisite cuts of 15 different types of meat to diners.

Some of the cuts of meat include top sirloin, lamb, filet, fish, and ribs. Desserts follow soon after, where diners can select from options such as crème brûlée, papaya cream, and Brazilian fudge. Chima Steakhouse is open for lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday, but only for dinner Monday through Friday. 

Chima Steakhouse

Chima Steakhouse/ Facebook

17. Cafe Vico -$$$

Started in 1996 by Chef Marco Vico, the restaurant is entirely family owned with a single location up until 2021, when a second location in Fort Lauderdale was opened. This restaurant pushes the boundaries of your traditional Italian dining experience by immersing you in world-class fine dining.

Their menu is hand-crafted to deliver you an unforgettable experience with phenomenal service and precise attention to detail. Their starter menu includes Italian classics such as Caprese served with fresh buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes, or Beef or Salmon Carpaccio marinated with lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

For the main course, you cannot go wrong by ordering the customer favorite, Lasagna Bolognese, or the masterfully crafted Beef and Truffle Risotto.

Other options on the menu include succulent lamb, veal, and chicken dishes that pair beautifully with their imported Italian wine and extensive cocktail menu. You can make reservations online at their website to avoid long wait times, and get yourself that much closer to enjoying their magnificent food. The restaurant is open for dinner only every night of the week.  

Cafe Vico

Cafe Vico/ Facebook

18. Takato -$$$$

This oceanfront sanctuary is located in the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Hotel and is a Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant. Head chef Taek Lee designed this restaurant to take customers on a journey through his Asian heritage through food while providing exquisite flavors and masterful craftsmanship in the dishes.

The sushi and meats that they offer are of the highest quality, with some examples being the A5 wagyu beef appetizer or the chef’s choice sashimi. For dinner, you can look forward to being spoiled by the highest quality dishes with perfectly blended flavors.

Perhaps you decide to order the Ora King Salmon plate with caramel miso and lemon, or you select the A5 Wagyu Hot Stone served with sea salt, fresh wasabi, and shichimi. The restaurant even offers breakfast and daily happy hours for patrons who may not have the time for full dinner service.

The restaurant is open every day from 8 am-10:30 am and 12-10 pm. It’s best to make a reservation online, particularly for dinner services, as there are a limited number of spaces available.

Takato

Takato/ Facebook

19. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood -$$$$

Located on prime real estate right off of Las Olas Boulevard, this restaurant is the epitome of the fine dining experience.

They pride themselves on having some of the best food and service in the industry, and you will not be disappointed if you pay a visit. All of their food is as fresh as it can possibly be, and the presentation of their dishes is some of the most creative and inspiring works of art that you may ever see.

From their elaborate Shellfish Towers consisting of Maine lobster, shrimp, oysters, and jumbo crab to their exotic Chilean Sea Bass entrees and butter-poached lobster mashed potatoes, you will experience unrivaled decadence dining here.

In tandem with their world-class food, they have an equally impressive selection of drinks from around the world that will enrich the already preposterous flavors of dinner. Seating can be limited at this location, so making a reservation online before arriving is recommended. The restaurant is open for dinner every night of the week. 

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood best restaurants in fort lauderdale

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood/ Facebook

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