Spending time in Fort Lauderdale as a local or a tourist means that you’ll need to know where to find the best restaurants for groups in the Fort Lauderdale area. That’s why if you’re wondering what to do in Fort Lauderdale, dining out should be number one on your list! No matter what type of food you’re craving, the city can deliver options that are sure to satisfy. There’s a wealth of seafood as well as dishes inspired by different regions of the world. The only hard part is deciding where you and your group want to go to find your next great meal. So, whether you’re craving lobster, filet mignon, or just want to stop for a happy hour cocktail, we’ve put together a list of all the best spots in Fort Lauderdale!
What type of food is Fort Lauderdale known for?
The Fort Lauderdale area is famous for offering foods and flavors that are inspired by different cultures. With access to fresh seafood and natural fruits and veggies, chefs around the city have no trouble creating culinary delights for all.
Here are some of the most popular dishes in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida:
- Arroz con pollo is a classic Caribbean comfort food. The name translates to “rice with chicken,” but the dish includes much more than that. It also features onions, peppers and tomato sauce.
- Cuban sandwiches are always delicious, whether they’re served hot or cold. People throughout South Florida flock to sandwich joints to savor ham, roasted pork, cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread.
- Conch fritters come from the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands, and the sweet meat is from a large sea snail. To make the fritter, the chef finely chops up the conch meat and mixes it with a flour and egg batter before deep frying it in oil.
- Stone crab is a succulent delight for seafood lovers. When it comes to these delicious crustaceans, part of the appeal is that they’re only available for a limited time each year. Be sure to visit between October and May to enjoy them.
- Ceviche is a refreshing dish for seafood fans. Restaurants make it either with raw fish or seafood cured in lemon or lime juice. The end result is much like a cold seafood salsa that you enjoy with a spoon.
- Key lime pie has to be on any list of Southern Florida desserts. This creamy pie combines tartness and sweetness, thanks to the key lime, graham cracker crust and whipped cream topping.
This is far from an exhaustive list, as there are so many other delicious foods in Fort Lauderdale, including frita (or a Cuban hamburger), jerk chicken and frozen cocktails.
Flagler Village is one of the top destinations for the best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale for brunch and lunch
Emerging as one of the trendiest spots in Fort Lauderdale, Flagler Village offers a wealth of restaurants that can meet all your brunch and lunch needs. There’s so much variety and so many delicious food options that the area offers something for everyone.
If sandwiches are calling your name, you’ll want to make a stop in the FATVillage Arts District of Flagler Village to dine at Henry’s Sandwich Station. Named after Harry Flagler of the Florida East Coast Railway, the Fort Lauderdale restaurant features industrial décor and delicious bites.
The menu includes phrases like “small batch,” “artisanal” and “local.” The result is mouth-watering sandwiches that you won’t find anywhere else, including the Slow Roasted Prime Rib with the House Horseradish Cream.
Another great option for hungry folks is JB&C Juice Bar and Café on North Flagler Drive. Bright, fresh and inviting is the name of the game when it comes to this restaurant. However, the ambiance is only part of the appeal.
This establishment is well-known for serving a wealth of enticing smoothies, but its offerings go much further than that. The restaurant also offers trendy and healthy options, including avocado toast, acai bowls, superfood bowls, sweet toasts, salads and paninis.
Flagler Village also offers great dinner destinations in Fort Lauderdale
When it comes time for dinner and drinks, Flagler Village has you and your group covered. You can find so many different cuisines, including Cuban, Italian, and Asian dining options that are sure to become your new favorites.
The MASS District features a wonderful dinner option called Heritage. Because the Italian restaurant is on the smaller side, it’s best to make a reservation, especially if you want to dine during peak hours or with a group.
You won’t want to miss out on this fine dining experience. Making a reservation is worth the effort, thanks to the incredible food, drinks, and atmosphere. With enticing dishes like stuffed calamari and caprese pizza, you’ll be sure to walk away from dinner satisfied with your choice.
Christina Wan’s Mandarin House is a must-visit for anyone who loves Chinese and Asian food. Since 1996, the restaurant has been serving up high-quality food and delivering a delightful dining experience for all.
Some of the top items on the menu include classics like dumplings, spring rolls, wonton soup and honey garlic chicken. However, the offerings don’t end there, as the restaurant has an extensive food and drink menu.
Colada Cuban Café is another great place to stop for a bite to eat. Found in FATVillage, this hotspot brings authentic Cuban food and coffees to the adventurous eaters of Flagler Village and the surrounding areas.
The restaurant provides enticing eats for any time of day, but the dinners at Colada truly stand out. You can enjoy fritas, sandwiches and combos with friends in the friendly and lively environment of this fun establishment.
Other parts of Fort Lauderdale also offer amazing food
A list of the best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale wouldn’t be complete without listing some favorites from other parts of this vibrant city. The following list includes some top destinations for everything from seafood to Latin American flavors.
- Southport Raw Bar has been operating for more than 40 years as a relaxing waterfront restaurant. It’s a great place to enjoy a beautiful South Florida sunset while munching on seafood and having a cold one.
- Siam House provides patrons with authentic Thai food that’s affordable and yummy. The service is known to be excellent and the lunch buffet is famous in the area for offering something new every day.
- Tap 42 Bar and Kitchen knows there’s nothing like enjoying a good burger and an icy beer with friends and loved ones. One of the most popular Fort Lauderdale bars, this destination offers an extensive menu that features a variety of food and drink favorites.
- Rendezvous Bar & Grill is known as one of the area’s best-kept secrets. However, it doesn’t have to be a secret from you. Stop in to enjoy waterfront dining and delicious dishes like cracked conch and Cajun chicken penne pasta.
- The Field Irish Pub and Eatery is a great option if you’re looking for a little piece of Ireland in Florida. The cozy and woody interior makes you feel right at home, while the food and drink fill both your stomach and your heart.
- Lona Cocina Tequileria is a Fort Lauderdale favorite, thanks to its location, great service and amazing food. The restaurant tries to (and succeeds at) providing “eclectic, soulful Mexican cooking” in “a chic, yet funky environment.”
- Canyon Southwest Café has been a fan favorite for locals and tourists alike for over two decades. Although primarily American in style, the food also includes influences from Asia and Central and South America. It’s the best of multiple worlds.
- SuViche should be on your list of restaurants to visit if you’re a fan of Peruvian food. Patrons love the fun and relaxing atmosphere, but not as much as they enjoy the affordable and flavorful options that range from ceviche to sushi.
As with most popular restaurants, it’s always a good idea to make a reservation before stopping in. This is especially true if you’re coming during the dinner rush or want to make sure you can sit with everyone in your party. With so many wonderful places to visit, you’ll want to make sure you and the people in your group can enjoy them together.
Move to Flagler Village to enjoy these flavors every day
If this list of restaurants has your mouth watering, you should consider joining the Fort Lauderdale community.