The 12 Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale

Lobster Eggs Benedict
LauriPatterson / Getty Images

For many years, Miami left Fort Lauderdale in the dust when it came to four- and five-star dining establishments. Now, the Magic City’s little sister is all grown up. Below, we’ve shared all the best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, from seafood to soul food. Try one or try them all—maybe you’ll even have room for seconds. 

01 of 12

Lona Cocina & Tequileria

Food on plates at Lona Cocina & Tequileria

Lona Cocina & Tequileria

Address
321 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304, USA
Phone +1 954-245-3069

This award-winning restaurant at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort is run by Chef Pablo Salas, and it just might produce the most authentic Mexican dishes in all of South Florida. Grab a table on the patio (it's so close to the ocean, you can smell the salt water). All menu items here are superb, but we recommend the tuna tostada made with chipotle aioli and crispy leeks. The Mexican ribs are a must, as are the lobster quesadillas. Pair your meal with a couple of margaritas, of course, and finish strong with an order of churros—chocolate sauce optional. 

02 of 12

Coconuts

Seafood boil at Coconuts in Fort Lauderdale

Coconuts

Address
429 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, USA
Phone +1 954-525-2421

Catch a glimpse of cruise ships passing through the inter-coastal waterways when you dine at Coconuts, a laid-back beachy spot where all good dogs are welcome to dine (just remember to bring a leash). Enjoy the sunset along with a seafood-heavy menu that includes conch fritters, coconut shrimp, and lobster rolls. Stick around for Outdoor Paella, a real treat every Tuesday and Friday night, and enjoy specials with half-price bottles of wine on Monday and Tuesday evenings. While you're in the area, book a reservation for Sunday brunch. With its seafood frittatas and lobster Benedicts, this delicious affair deserves the hype.

03 of 12

The Foxy Brown

Food at The Foxy Brown in Fort Lauderdale

The Foxy Brown

Address
476 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, USA
Phone +1 754-200-4236

The focus here is comfort food with a twist. Although lunch and dinner are served at The Foxy Brown daily, you mustn’t miss its award-winning brunch. The menu has everything you didn’t know you could possibly want: glazed doughnut holes served with cereal milk, banana bread grilled cheese with Nutella and ricotta as the filling, and chicken and waffle sliders. Round out your meal with a mimosa or Bloody Mary, or if you need a caffeine boost, try the cold brew coffee on draft. Your belly will not regret the impending food coma.

04 of 12

Betty's Soul Food Restaurant

Soul food at Betty's Soul Food Restaurant

Betty's Soul Food Restaurant

Address
601 NW 22nd Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311, USA
Phone +1 954-583-9121

Barbecue and soul food aren’t exactly abundant in South Florida, but when you do find a rare gem like Betty’s Soul Food Restaurant, you hold on tight and don’t let go. In a diner-like setting, Betty’s is the go-to spot for fried chicken, BBQ ribs, corned beef hash, and a tall glass of iced tea. This no-frills restaurant opens at 6 a.m., so it’s the perfect place to start your day when you have an early morning wake-up call—the breakfast menu includes everything from fried chicken and waffles to the filling Blue Plate Special: two eggs, two strips of bacon, two sausage links and two pancakes.

Continue to 5 of 12 below.
05 of 12

Boathouse at the Riverside

Burgers and food poolside at Boathouse at the Riverside in Fort Lauderdale

Boathouse at the Riverside Fort Lauderdale

Address
620 SE 4th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, USA
Phone +1 954-377-5494

Overlooking the New River at Fort Lauderdale’s Riverside Hotel, Boathouse at the Riverside offers an unparalleled waterfront dining experience. Run by celebrity chef Toby Joseph, this restaurant serves burgers, guacamole and chips, hummus, and other fresh dishes on a first-come, first-serve basis. Don’t miss happy hour, which happens Monday through Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with half-off specials on beer, wine, and spirits, and steep discounts on lite bites at the bar. Brunch is available on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., while you can save on small bites until 4 p.m. Prefer to order poolside or at the bar? You can do that, too.

06 of 12

Kousine

A delicious plate of food at Kousine Fort Lauderdale

Kousine

Address
841 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304, USA
Phone +1 954-533-0908

With two South Florida locations (one in Fort Lauderdale, the other in Boca Raton), Chef Danny Kou’s chain Kousine is known for its enterprising Peruvian and Asian menu, which includes interesting blends in cooking styles like quinoa chaufa (Peruvian-style quinoa with fried egg, vegetables, and soy sauce) and camarones a la plancha (shrimp stir-fry with vegetables, served in a spicy soy and chili garlic sauce). You can expect to see traditional Peruvian pleasures like ceviche, tiraditos, anticuchos (savory skewers of chicken, fish, beef, and shrimp), as well as perennial favorite lomo saltado, a Peruvian stir-fry dish served with beef, fries, and steamed rice.

07 of 12

Takato

Sushi at Takato in Fort Lauderdale

Takato

Address
551 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304, USA
Phone +1 954-414-5160

Located inside the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach hotel, Takato’s Executive Chef Taek Lee (Taka) serves up the ultimate in Japanese and Korean fusion, with palate-pleasing dishes like duck or shiitake mushroom bao buns, Wagyu kalbi sliders, and short rib kimchi tacos on the menu. You’ll also find a variety of seafood and land-based options like lobster with Yuzu shiso butter, Chilean sea bass, Wagyu skirt steak, and lamb chops, as well as a 26-foot sushi bar sure to satisfy anyone in the mood for nigiri, sashimi, or maki (sliced sushi rolls). Takato translates to “a state of extreme happiness,” which you’ll definitely be in after dinner and some of the restaurant’s signature cocktails, like the Fugu Cup (made with watermelon, Thai basil, ginger beer, lime, and tequila blanco), Shitoku Margarita (made with mezcal, passion fruit, pineapple, agave, and cardamom) or Sekushi Sour (made with apricot liquor, cognac, apple syrup, and lemon juice), among others.

08 of 12

Padrino's

Pan con lechon at Padrino's Fort Lauderdale

Padrino's

Address
1135 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304, USA
Phone +1 954-210-8989

Padrino’s has become a venerable Fort Lauderdale institution over the years, a third-generation family owned restaurant chain dedicated to serving family style Cuban food since its first outpost opened in 1976. What started as a small market in Cuba in the 1930s has since grown into a South Florida empire, with six restaurants (Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Dania Beach, Hallandale Beach, Plantation, and Orlando) and traditional Cuban dishes still being made from their grandmother Rosa’s recipes. Get your fill of Cuban comfort foods like mariquitas (plantain chips and garlic sauce), croquetas de jamon (ham croquettes), tostones (made with hand-pressed green plantains), and black bean soup. Paella, blackened mahi mahi, arroz con pollo (chicken and yellow rice), and a variety of Cuban sandwiches are also on offer, as are flan and tres leches cake for dessert.

Continue to 9 of 12 below.
09 of 12

Rendezvous Bar & Grill

Food by the water at Rendezvous Bar & Grill

Rendezvous Bar & Grill

Address
2525 Marina Bay Dr W, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312-2307, USA
Phone +1 954-797-0054

You’ll find this popular seafood restaurant and all-around fun neighborhood hang-out spot along the water in Marina Bay, where patrons arrive by car or boat. Whether you choose to dine out on the waterfront deck or stay cool in the air conditioned dining room, start with an appetizer like cracked conch, mussels, middle neck clams, or bacon wrapped scallops. The menu is vast, with a mostly seafood focus, while you’ll also spot tasty land-based options like jerk chicken, tacos, pasta, Po’ Boys (clam, shrimp, haddock or buffalo chicken), and steak. Whatever you go with, know that it’s made with fresh and locally sourced seafood, produce, and other ingredients provided by producers in the area.

10 of 12

Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery

Food at Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery in Fort Lauderdale

Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery

Address
115 NW 6th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311, USA
Phone +1 954-833-7686

This expansive 24,000-square-foot Fort Lauderdale food hall is home to everything from a brewery and a distillery to a co-op boutique shop, butcher, and an arts market. As far as food options, choose from Senbazuru (Asian fusion tapas), Needa’ Pita (Mediterranean), The Empanada Bodega, Nellie’s Southern Table, Cuzzy’s Italian Eats (Italian food cooked in a wood-fire oven), Hot Lime (craft tacos and ceviche bar), Poke OG (poke bowls), Sushi by Poke OG, Osom Crepes, Kasai & Koori (Japanese desserts), and Bean & Rose Craft Coffee House, or create your own schmorgasbord with all your favorite dishes from each. Be sure to reserve a space online at one of the outside patio tables or for indoor seating online before you go to avoid disappointment, as capacity is limited.

11 of 12

Casa Sensei

Charred octopus at Casa Sensei in Fort Lauderdale

Casa Sensei

Address
1200 E Las Olas Blvd STE 101, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, USA
Phone +1 954-530-4176

If you’re in the mood for upscale Pan-Asian and Latin American cuisine, come to Casa Sensei, which brilliantly blends both styles for a delicious night of dining along the water near Los Olas Boulevard—there’s even a dinner cruise option if you’d prefer to enjoy your meal while cruising down the canal thanks to a partnership with Riverfront Gondola Tours, located next door. Enjoy classics like pad Thai, kimchi fried rice, lo mein, bao buns, and bulgogi, hit the sushi bar, or sample signature plates like lobster guacamole or Korean grilled steak chimichurri, among other specialties. There’s also a full bar sporting a variety of Japanese Whiskies and Sake. Don’t miss the Rock N’ Roll brunch, held on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm–4pm, featuring live music and, on the first weekend of the month, a raffle where the winner scores a gift basket and two nights at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Guitar Hotel.

12 of 12

Rivertail

Seafood at Rivertail in Fort Lauderdale

Rivertail

Address
4 W Las Olas Blvd Ste. 120, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, USA
Phone +1 954-306-2665

Located on Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s bustling Riverwalk, executive Chef José Mendín has created a menu made up of dishes found in and inspired by oyster bars all over the world. Start with oysters from the raw bar or seafood ceviche before tucking into chef specials like Bahia-style Brazilian stew (made with white fish, shrimp, mussels, scallops, clams, coconut milk, and dende oil) or mussels frites. Visit on weekends for brunch (11am–4pm), Tuesday for free taquitos with every Tito’s cocktail, Thursday for three free oysters with every martini, and happy hour Tuesday through Friday featuring specials on oysters, beer, wine, and other classic cocktails.

Was this page helpful?
Back to List

The Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale