Where to eat in Greater Fort Lauderdale

Anna Walker

Cities don't come much more laid back than Fort Lauderdale and the cuisine scene is no exception. Here are the very best restaurants for enjoying a relaxed taste of Florida. 

B Ocean, Seabreeze Blvd

B Hotel, which was once frequented by none other than Marilyn Monroe, has been hosting a one-of-a-kind mermaid show since 1956.

Guests of their “Mermaids and Mimosas” brunch buffet can enjoy the company of mermaids for 30 minutes while chowing down on any and every breakfast food imaginable.

“If you don’t need a nap after my brunch, I haven’t done my job,” a waiter chuckles as he tops up my mimosa glass for what seems like the hundredth time.

He’s right, the delicious ceviche, salmon, eggs and Key Lime Pie leave us incredibly full by the end of the meal. But a short walk out of the B Hotel onto their private beach is the perfect remedy. Nothing like the fresh sea breeze and the warm Floridian waves to wake you up.

Best for: Family fun or a boozy brunch

 

Louie Bossi, Las Olas Boulevard


Louie Bossi's courtyard. Image via Shireen's Favorite Things

Located in bustling Las Olas Boulevard, the go-to district for trendy fashion boutiques and stylish art galleries, Louie Bossi is the place for authentic Italian food with a Floridian twist.

The venue was founded by its namesake, chef Louie Bossie, who grew up in an Italian home in New York and taught himself to cook at just eight years old.

With a delightful outdoor terrace and bustling, stylish interior, it’s the perfect place for families or groups of friends, and the atmosphere is always relaxed, even with the hustle and bustle of busy weekend trade.

The cocktail menu is extensive, but you must try the unique vegan Amaretto Sours, made with chickpeas in place of eggs. There are no weak spots on the menu, but the fresh pizzas steal the show.

Best for: Filling Italian fare, sharing with friends

 

Beach House Pompano, Pompano Beach

You’ll struggle to find a restaurant closer to the ocean than Beach House.

Sat right on the beachfront, this casual venue boasts a playful atmosphere and an extensive cocktail menu, created by “beverage artists” and inspired by the beach concept.

Even if you dine inside, you can’t miss the beach-feel—the entire front of the restaurant opens up like a giant window, meaning even those sat at the back won’t miss out on that sea breeze.

Be sure to sample the fresh sushi and the craft tacos.  

As your evening progresses why not make your way up to the rooftop, and enjoy a cold beer as you watch the sunset over the ocean. Bliss.

Best for: Evening drinks and light bites

 

GG’s Waterfront Bar and Grill, Hollywood

If you like your eateries to come with a side of history, look no further than GG’s, which has been operating here since the 1940s.

Guests can enjoy the delights of this quintessentially American menu in the restaurant where the plot to kill Castro was first formulated. In fact, the restaurant was once such a mob favourite that it was wiretapped by the FBI.

The spot was also a favourite with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, who would routinely bring their dates here. Sat relaxing on the waterfront as luxury yachts cruise past, it’s easy to see why. Service is phenomenal, and the food is to die for: some of the best fresh seafood you’ll find in all of Florida.

Be sure to order some of the Fort Lauderdale stone crabs to start—GG’s get through 500 tons of the stuff a year, as well as 20,000 lobsters. My choice of main is the lobster sandwich (above). Preorder some of the molted chocolate Lava cake for dessert too, it's the ultimate decadent dessert.

Best for: Stunning views, fresh crab and impressing a date

 

Point Royal at The Diplomat Beach Resort, Hollywood

If it’s class you’re looking for, the Point Royal is the answer. Sup on oysters and champagne in this luxury restaurant which offers approachable American dining, a raw bar and locally flavoured cocktails.

Arrive early and you can benefit from "Oyster Hour", serving the freshest catch between 5.30 and 7.30pm.

If you’re feeling the effect of those cocktails, it’s just a short walk across the lobby to the new Japanese inspired bar and restaurant, Monkitail, where you can enjoy more drinks and even partake in some karaoke.

We’d heartily recommend sampling the soft-shell crab sandwich, or a little of everything with The Point Royal Tower platter, which includes oysters, clams, blue crab claws, pink shrimp, a whole Maine lobster and Alaskan king crab.

Best for: Luxury dining, oysters

 

TRP Taste and Rooftop 1WLO, Las Olas Boulevard

For something a little different, TRP Taste offers a unique blend of flavours and cuisines, prepared by some of the finest chefs in the state.

Guests can watch their food being prepared, and enjoy a chat with the chef while he works, learning more about the ingredients and the history of the dishes.

On the night I visit, we experience a fresh, surprising menu prepared by an engaging chef who once cooked for the president.

An intimate venue accommodating just 26 people, this is the place to go for a unique experience.

Events and menus change all the time here, so be sure to check the website and book in for something special.

When you’re finished with your meal, head upstairs to Rooftop @1WLO for spectacular views, the comfort of open fire pits and a tempting drinks menu.

This is Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s first ever rooftop bar and it attracts some of the coolest crowds in town.

Best for: Something unique, views of the city 

 

Billy’s Stone Crab, Hollywood


Image via THINK magazine

Billy’s Stone Crab Hollywood is a charming, family-run seafood restaurant offering the very best all-you-can-eat stone crab in Fort Lauderdale.

Native to the area, these crabs are unique because once harvested for their claws, they are re-released back into the waterways. Unlike most crabs, they have the incredible ability to regrow their claws, making this dish sustainable as well as delicious.


Image via THINK magazine

Service at Billy’s is black tie and exemplary. The staff here feel like one big family (in fact, many of them are family) and they’re all extremely passionate about the menu.

Sat overlooking the waterways, we’re treated to a fleet of frisky dolphins playing in the streams of passing yachts as we dine on crab, lobster tails, grouper, and snapper: all fresh and all delectable.

Don’t miss the Key Lime Pie (above)—the exact recipe is a secret and Billy’s receive regular requests to ship it across the country. It’s the best I’ve ever sampled, and after a week of dining in Fort Lauderdale, that’s really saying something.

Best for: Key Lime Pie and authentic Floridian fish