Where to Eat in Fort Lauderdale Right Now
From trendy beachside restaurants to Italian staples, these are the best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale has long been in Miami’s shadow in just about every way. While the city may not have the fancy art shows that attract the same sort of global crowds as Art Basel, giant music festivals, or two-star Michelin tasting concepts, the city is increasingly coming into its own. That’s especially true for the dining scene, which has been rapidly expanding and even earned some love on the James Beard semifinalist list for the first time in a while this year. Whether you want to hit up critically acclaimed spots or lean on a recently reopened classic, you’ll find regional Thai, fresh seafood, and more at the 15 best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale.
James Beard-nominee Timon Balloo is one of South Florida’s best chefs. At The Katherine, Balloo and his wife, Marissa (whose middle name is Katherine), offer the same friendly service and creative New American menu with global influences for which the Iron Chef has become known. The narrow, neighborhood restaurant pairs natural wines with dishes like Clam Chowder Fries, Slow-Braised Duck Orecchiette, Thai-Style Crab Rice, and other boldly flavored fare that easily rivals anything you’ll find south of the Broward border.
This buzzy spot in the arts district gets packed on weekends—so make sure to reserve a table if you’re planning to go. The Italian hotspot is the first fine dining restaurant in Fort Lauderdale’s arts district, and has become a go-to for celebrations and fun nights out on the town. The menu features a nice selection of pizzas, pastas, and small plates including Black Mushroom Arancini, Squash Blossoms, and a wagyu-stuffed Sweet Long Pepper that’s earned rave reviews. The Italian Chopped Salad is also a must-try, a mix of greens laced with provolone, salami, mortadella, and pepperoncini.
Larb Thai Isan
Broward County has a fairly large Thai population, so it should come as no surprise that the city is home to one of the best Thai restaurants in South Florida. This place, which lies on Federal Highway, specializes in Isan-style cuisine from Thailand’s northeast. The menu features a greatest hits collection of those regional classics including an excellent larb, herbal Isan sausages, and multiple papaya salad options. While you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, you’re there to sample those spicy and pungent Isan classics.
DUNE by Laurent Tourondel
Set just above the actual dunes on Fort Lauderdale Beach, this indoor-outdoor hotspot highlights its namesake chef’s international influences, mixing Asian- and Mediterranean-inspired seafood with peak South Florida vibes. Anticipate a range of small and large plates that span from Grilled Spanish Octopus with espelette pepper aioli and shiso-Champagne vinegar-scented Yellow Tail Crudo to Fig & Prosciutto Flatbread and an impressive 22-ounce bone-in rib eye complemented by tomato-oregano bearnaise sauce.
Greek Islands Taverna
This nearly 25-year-old Fort Lauderdale Beach classic has been serving hearty platters of Greek favorites to large parties for what seems like a lifetime (which it technically is for some Gen Zers). This place does not take reservations, so expect a wait during prime dining hours. It’s well worth it, though, for the chance to fill up on garlicky lamb chops, greek salad, and just about everything else on the sprawling menu.
Southport Raw Bar
Another Fort Lauderdale stalwart, Southport Raw Bar has been serving Old Bay Shrimp, oysters, clams, and local seafood classics for 50 years. The waterfront haunt recently got a facelift with an updated exterior and a full liquor bar, but it still maintains that Old Florida ambiance that is increasingly absent from town these days. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but no matter what you get, make sure to throw on an order of sweet Bimini Bread as a side.
This iconic Italian-American supper club that’s been a special occasion go-to for decades recently reopened its doors after an extensive renovation. It still boasts the classic red sauce vibes but with even more of a Goodfellas feel. Diners are now welcomed by a neon “supper club” sign that leads toward the jewel-toned dining room, which is lined with circular booths that offer prime views for the nightly live entertainment. The atmosphere may be new and improved, but the menu still boasts the favorites for which it's known including Clams Oreganata, Chicken Parm, Rigatoni Cauliflower, as well as prime steaks and chops.
Croissan’Time French Bakery
This classic French bakery has been a local breakfast mainstay since the 1980s. It's still one of the best places in all of South Florida for croissants, baguettes, and other boulangerie classics. Cooked dishes, including crepes, croque monsieur, and quiche, are also available for those looking to fill up on something other than carbs. Try not to get overwhelmed while you order at the counter—no matter what you order, tack on a croissant—grab a coffee and fresh OJ, then take a seat on the covered patio, where you can also listen to live jazz on Sunday mornings.
This stylish, tropical-inspired Las Olas spot is the place to go when you want vegetarian fare in a trendy atmosphere surrounded by the hot yoga set. The menu pulls in Asian flavors for its vegan sushi rolls, dumplings, and noodles, like the very popular chili peanut noodles with hearts of palm, jackfruit, doubanjiang sauce, and other veggies and herbs. Consider turning up on a Monday, when it offers unlimited maki rolls starting at 5 pm.
Tucked away in the glam Four Season Hotel, this Eastern Mediterranean place is ideal for special occasions. The seafood towers are the stuff of legends, but so are the cocktails and basically everything else on the menu. It’s hard to narrow down what to order at this gorgeous indoor-outdoor space, so you might want to bring a group to work your way through the grand mezze, Jerusalem bagel, wagyu beef kibbeh, and interesting and varied local seafood iterations.
No Man’s Land
This intimate drinking den evokes a playful mood right off the bat with an animated Zoltar fortune telling machine and a hallway decorated in flash tattoos. Dubbed a cocktail parlor and kitchen, No Man’s Land shakes up inventive cocktails like the Nori Sour made with gin, nori syrup, lemon and aquafaba, alongside inspired dishes like the Foie Gras Old Fashioned, a bourbon-cured terrine with Luxardo gastrique, Angostura mascarpone, and toasted brioche.
How to book: Via website
Fancy a seafood fest? Burlock Coast makes it simple with dishes like Steamed Mussels with coconut milk, ginger, and a sambal broth, Old Bay Baby Shrimp, and Catch of the Day with saffron risotto, English peas and roasted oyster mushrooms. No matter what you’re ordering, it’s bound to pair well with something off the rum-focused cocktail menu, and if you’re looking for an extra special experience, book the Rum Room.
LaSpada's Original Hoagies
Coined the “best damn hoagie in town,” this spot is home to hearty sandwiches and South Florida’s famous #meatblanket, an extra layer of meat tacked on top of the assembly to keep the heaping pile of toppings secure. Opt for the Monster, made with turkey, ham, and roast beef. There’s often a line, but—trust—it’s worth it.
Lona Cocina & Tequileria
This colorful, oceanfront escape inside the Westin Fort Lauderdale stocks a menu of flavorful Mexican dishes like Guacamole with Lump Crab, Brisket Quesadillas, and Pork Belly Tacos. Take advantage of Lona’s daily deals like $5 Taco & Tequila Tuesdays, half-off cocktails for ladies on Wednesdays, and bottomless brunch on Sundays.
Salt7 recently expanded from Delray to Fort Lauderdale, bringing its high energy club vibes to Las Olas. Named after the seven salts used to season meat, this menu by Hell’s Kitchen champ chef Paul Neidermann features dishes prepared with bright flavors like Short Rib Pappardelle with lemon mascarpone, Orange and Rosemary Roast Chicken, and a list of classic steakhouse sides cheekily called “Arm Candy.”