Fort Lauderdale has not always been known for its bustling dining scene, but things are changing and meh is turning into yay. I have made a list of restaurants that I particularly like, and I hope it can serve as a starting point if you are visiting Fort Lauderdale and wonder where to eat. It is the U.S. so you will need a car or an Uber to get to most of the places mentioned, but I hope you will agree with me that these restaurants are worth the ride.
Just one word: Scoobies! The delicious crab claws are cooked in garlic and a little bit of chili, and they are amazing. You can’t visit Fort Lauderdale without visiting Coconuts, and you can’t visit Coconuts without ordering Scoobies. Scoobies are not on the menu but ask the staff and they’ll know for sure what you’re talking about.
Coconuts, 429 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
After an underwhelming hotel breakfast, we decided to go and look for a better option and found Moonlite Diner. This retro-style diner offers a great selection of breakfast dishes at very reasonable prices, and especially the eggs-centered part of the menu ticks all my breakfast boxes. They open early and close late, and serve breakfast all day, which is great news for all jetlagged travelers.
Moonlite Diner, 6201 N Andrews Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
I’m a big fan of Ruth’s Chris and the Fort Lauderdale restaurant is just as nice as the other Ruth’s Chris restaurants I’ve been to. The delicious USDA Prime steaks are served on a 500° sizzling hot plate, so be careful not to burn your fingers. The set menu is a good deal, but if you want to treat yourself, go for the lobster tail add-on for your steak. The sides are nice too and the servings so large they can, and should, be shared.
Ruth’s Chris, 2525 N Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale
Jet Runway Café
This hidden spot is right by the apron at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, and while the food is decent, the view is the main reason why you should go. I can recommend the French toast, but you will probably be too busy looking out on the apron, wondering who just got out of that Citation X and into that big black car with tinted windows.
Jet Runway Café, 5540 NW 21st Terrace, Fort Lauderdale
A really nice barbecue restaurant, that I could easily have missed because it doesn’t look like much from the outside. The ribs are good, the smoked beef brisket is great and the prices so reasonable that you have to go back. Also try their award-winning Cuban Sandwich because, well, it won an award (and it is tasty).
Hickory Sticks, 899 E Cypress Creek Road, Fort Lauderdale
I’m not a big fan of hotel restaurants, but the ones at the Ritz-Carlton hotels are usually really nice, and Burlock Coast is no exception. The menu is a nice selection of well-executed contemporary food of the kind that’s easy to love and considering the classy surroundings $20-30 for a main course seems very reasonable. From the tables outside, you have a nice view to the beach, which is just across the street, while the inside of the restaurant is more to the dark and cozy side. During the week, the hotel has its fair share of business travelers and corporate events and around Happy Hour, the bar is often busy with businessmen and businesswomen.
Burlock Coast at the Ritz-Carlton, 1 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale