Going out to eat in Fort Lauderdale is an incomparable experience to almost any other city that I’ve been to. There’s just something enrapturing about cruising down Seabreeze Boulevard lined with luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants and pulling into your favorite spot for a beautiful dinner by the water.
When you’re trying to think of where to eat near Fort Lauderdale, you’ll be faced with enough options to make your head spin, especially if you’re operating on an empty stomach. I thought I’d do my part for my fellow foodies out there and put together this list of the absolute best Fort Lauderdale restaurants and where to find them.
No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it here. I’ve searched high and low to bring you the best Italian restaurants, steakhouses, Latin restaurants, Japanese bistros, and so much more that you’ll never want to leave this tropical paradise.
Hardy Park Bistro
21 SW 7th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Right across the street from the Florence C Hardy Park and Southside Cultural Center is a place called Hardy Park Bistro off of Southwest 7th Street. You’ll find it just east of the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant historical landmark. When you visit Hardy Park Bistro, I think you should try their veggie burger for a nice change of pace, or their beer-battered snapper sandwich. In my opinion, those dishes are so good that it’s pretty much impossible to choose between the two. Hardy Park Bistro also prides itself on being the “Best food delivery in Fort Lauderdale”, so be sure to keep them in mind for those days or nights when you just can’t be bothered to leave the house!
Southport Raw Bar & Restaurant
1536 Cordova Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Up next we’ve got Southport Raw Bar & Restaurant that sits right on the water with its own dock for seagoing patrons to use when they need to stop and grab a bite to eat. They have different specials daily here at Southport, so you’ll just have to keep coming back frequently to experience all of the amazing, fresh seafood that they have to offer. I always go straight for the raw bar, of course, and I get the combo that comes with 4 clams, 4 oysters, and 4 spiced shrimp.
401 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
You’re going to want to start your culinary conquest off strong by heading over to Steak 954 off of North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard on the first floor of the luxurious W Fort Lauderdale 5-star hotel. Only mere steps from the soft sugar sand shores of Fort Lauderdale Beach, Steak 954 provides an idyllic waterfront dining experience. They have delicacies such as prime, dry-aged steaks, imported Kobe wagyu beef that’s just unbelievably decadent. Steak 954 has amazing breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even brunch menus, so you could literally spend all day here!
3033 NE 32nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Up next is Shooters Waterfront restaurant and this is one of my favorite places to eat in Fort Lauderdale, by far. They are conveniently located on the Intracoastal Waterway, just a mile south of the sprawling Coral Ridge Country Club golf course, making it the perfect spot for a delicious meal after 18 holes! You’ll find nothing but the freshest fish and highest-quality meats here at Shooters. My favorite thing to order from here is their mahi-mahi sandwich that comes either grilled or blackened on a buttery brioche bun complete with remoulade sauce.
3300 E Commercial Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Kaluz Restaurant is another phenomenal establishment located off of the Intracoastal Waterway that actually has its own public dock for its seafaring patrons to moor right up to and come eat. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating here at Kaluz where you can eat by the water while enjoying the beautiful Florida sunshine. I strongly recommend trying an order of their bone-in pork chops that come topped with apple chutney and a cinnamon demi for a resplendent twist of savory and sweet flavor profiles.
901 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
The next stop on our list is a 24-hour, counter-serve restaurant that has had some of the best pizza in the city since 1970. It’s what I order every time I go there if I don’t get one of their famous sandwiches. Check out Primanti Brothers off of North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, right near the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. I recommend one of their capicola, egg, and cheese sandwiches for breakfast, but they also have things like burgers for lunch and specialty Italian dishes for dinner.
1 W Las Olas Blvd #700, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
This next place, Rooftop @1WLO, is my favorite place to go when I’m in the mood for a few drinks and a small bite to eat accompanied by a scenic view afforded atop this rooftop bar and restaurant. When you head to Rooftop, I always recommend starting with one of their artisan cocktails or premium imported liquors. After that, try one of their small, gourmet dishes to complement it like their buffalo chicken empanadas. Check out Rooftop off of West Las Olas Boulevard near the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale and The Wharf Fort Lauderdale, directly across the street from Bubier Park.
476 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Next up, you’re going to want to head down the North Federal Highway until you see a place called Foxy Brown just southwest of Holiday Park. Foxy Brown is a hip American bistro with a stunning full-liquor bar, as well as a bar dedicated to their extensive array of various wines and draft beers. The food is what really steals the show, though. I usually visit Foxy Brown during dinnertime, but the brunch menu here is also spectacular, as you would come to expect from a city so big on breakfast foods. They offer well-known classics like crab cake Benedict and even some unique creations of their own like bananas Foster pancakes.
551 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Takato is a fine-dining Japanese restaurant that’s located inside the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach luxury hotel off of North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. The menu is smaller than most other restaurants, but that is likely due to the fact that such care and effort is put into every single dish. I recommend trying something from their stir-fry menu like their delicious shrimp fried rice, but if you really want to treat yourself, I suggest ordering their Kobe wagyu striploin steak to really send your tastebuds to Japan.
Lona Cocina Tequileria
321 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Londa Cocina is a lively, colorful Mexican restaurant that you can find on the first floor of The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. Here, you’ll find an absolute haven for anyone, like myself, that enjoys tequila and mezcal by the water. My favorite dish to order from the menu here at Lona Cocina has got to be either their lobster quesadilla or their chicken poblano. No meal is complete, however, without a refreshing frozen margarita.
6250 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
If you’re in the mood for some fine French cuisine during your time in Fort Lauderdale, I wholly recommend heading over to La Crepe off of North Federal Highway near the Imperial Point neighborhood. As their name suggests, crepes are the specialty here and you can order all kinds of breakfast crepes, savory crepes filled with things like chicken or roast beef, and, my favorite, dessert crepes to satisfy that sweet tooth.
1135 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Padrino’s Cuban is a beautiful, stylish Cuban restaurant that’s been a family-owned fixture of Fort Lauderdale since the 1930s. Here, you’ll find authentic Cuban food like nowhere else—except Cuba, probably. I always stop in here for my all-time favorite: the Cuban sandwich. The roasted mojo pork is so tender and flavorful that just thinking about it is enough to make my mouth water. Check out Padrino’s Cuban off of North Federal Highway near the Lake Ridge neighborhood, right next to The Link Hotel on Sunrise.
Aruba Beach Cafe
1 Commercial Blvd, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL 33308
Aruba Cafe is a beachside eatery that you do not want to miss out on if you’re looking for fresh seafood in Fort Lauderdale. I recommend starting with the Caribbean conch chowder and then moving into an order of their grilled Jamaican jerk wings, just don’t forget one of their fruity, refreshing tropical cocktails. You can find Aruba Beach Cafe right next to Anglin’s Fishing Pier and Anglin’s Square beach pavilion off of Commercial Boulevard.
Sea Watch On the Ocean
6002 N Ocean Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Sea Watch On the Ocean is a refined, upscale dining destination that is sure to impress on any occasion thanks to the gorgeous waterfront dining area and exquisite cuisine. You can head to Sea Watch for brunch, lunch, and dinner, so you’ve got basically every meal for the day covered in one spectacular establishment! I recommend their challah French toast if you’re heading over for brunch, but if you’re coming by in the evening for dinner, then I think their most impressive dish has to be the char-grilled swordfish.
The Capital Grille
2430 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Up next, we arrive at The Capital Grille, a well-known, fine-dining restaurant located off of East Sunrise Boulevard inside The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale shopping mall. The Capital Grille is one of my favorite places to go for steak because not only can you sit down and enjoy a premium cut of beef, but you can also visit their in-house butcher and get fresh cuts to take home with you! My favorite cuts are either the dry-aged, hand-cut New York strip or the grilled, bone-in ribeye with a side of parmesan truffle fries. For me, going out for a steak dinner is always one of the most fun things to do in the area.
1555 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
When you want to eat fresh seafood directly by the water, then you’ll want to come down to Boatyard. This seafood restaurant is located off of Southeast 17th Street near the Holiday Inn Express and they have some of the greatest waterfront views in the city. Boatyard has fantastic lunch and dinner menus, but on Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00, you can try their delicious brunch menu, too! I recommend one of their giant seafood towers. The Captain’s Tower comes with ½-pound of king crab legs, 3 Blue Point oysters, 3 West Coast oysters, 6 cocktail shrimp, and ½-pound Maine lobster, chilled.
Old Heidelberg Restaurant
900 Marina Mile Blvd West State Road 84, SW 24th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
Old Heidelberg Restaurant is a classic, fun German eatery that has beer, food, and live music on the weekends. They’re located off of Marina Mile Boulevard across from Lauderdale Memorial Park near the River Oaks neighborhood. I always recommend trying the wiener schnitzel here at Old Heidelberg, seeing as it’s a traditional German dish. Other delicacies include a sausage sampler platter and a delicious pork roast. This is the perfect place for beer-lovers, as well. This restaurant has a massive selection of imported beers from Germany and all over the world for you to try!