Discerning diners know that Florida’s best-kept culinary secret is Greater Fort Lauderdale. Food, drink, and hotels are luxurious yet laid back, and there are so many great places to eat in that it’s hard to hit them all in just one weekend. As downtown dining has shifted from national chains to sophisticated indie spots, there’s a fair share of award-winning chefs making a splash, but even more small mom-and-pop gems to discover. From Caribbean cooking to succulent seafood and dockside dining, here’s where to feast, nibble, and imbibe in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
Itinerary / 4 DAYSPLAN YOUR TRIP
DAY 1Arrive in Fort Lauderdale and enjoy oceanfront dining
For an even more intimate and personalized outdoor dining experience, you can charter a catamaran for a champagne sunset cruise or book a Little Gatherings pop-up picnic at Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park.
DAY 2Explore downtown Fort Lauderdale’s culinary scene
When it’s time for another meal, choose between Louie Bossi’s Italian Ristorante or a seat on the Riverwalk at Rivertail by James Beard Award-nominated chef Jose Mendin. The yellowtail ceviche taquitos and crab donuts here are great for sharing—although you may find yourself negotiating with dining companions for the last piece. Another Italian option, if you’d rather head to the beach, is Cafe Martorano, which offers hearty meatballs and late-night DJs on Friday and Saturday nights.
DAY 3Discover Greater Fort Lauderdale’s markets, craft beer, and caviar
Hardcore shoppers can sip a smoothie from family-owned Mia Fruta while browsing swimwear at aguabendita and Alma by Angel de la Guarda at Sawgrass Mills. After working up an appetite, savor a leisurely final night on the water with Riverfront Gondola Tours. There’s a dinner cruise option with a pan-Asian Latin fusion menu by Casa Sensei, or you can grab dinner afterwards back at your hotel. After all, what’s more luxurious than late-night room service?