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Jan 7, 2008 09:52 AM

Ft Lauderdale Beach Dining

I am attending a conference next week at the Bahia Mar Beach Resort and I would like a place to eat in the area. I would love for it to be walkable from the hotel. Any recommendations?

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  1. I was looking on line and saw a place called Forte and one called Spazio, are either of those worth it? How about the steakhouse Chima?

    4 Replies
    1. re: strephking

      I love rodizio I've experienced; better quality meat and cooked to various levels of doneness. I've found most tend to cook everything med. It's a long walk up Los Olas Ave..not a particularly interesting walk. I've walked it but most people would take a cab and I usually least 1 way

      For casual, I like Bahia Cabana food..think of Cheers on the ICW and overlooking the Bahia Marina..other end from your hotel.

      There's a few other places on that stretch that are walkable; Casablanca comes to mind that look OK but I don't think they're mind blowing.

      If you don't have a car, think about the water taxi. It will get you to a nice part of Las Olas...Mark's, Johnny V's,, few more.. up the New River..or Taverna Opa..up the ICW..TO is good's more relaxing earlier..8 ish..and turns very loud after 9 or so.

      We visit FLL regularly; stay near Bahia..and that's pretty much our routine.

      There's a nice looking stylish place, Trina..good walk up A1A..I haven't been but maybe a local can chime in.

      1. re: 9lives

        3030 Ocean is very close (walk) and very good.
        Not familiar with Spazio or Forte.

        1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

          A little late but I secondTrina and 3030 Ocean. This area has some great great dining. I personally enjoy Trina a bit more. Slightly fancier, "newer" food, but still casual atmosphere. The lamb flatbread is amazing as is the Tagine. Meanwhile you can't go wrong with 3030 Ocean. The food is DELICIOUS.

        2. re: 9lives

          I am always amazed that Mark's on Las Olas still gets attention. Just the prices on the outside menu are enough to spell "rip off". Pay attention to the costs listed for standard "pours" of the various alcoholic beverages (and they are just ordinary brands to my way of thinking). Just amazed!

      2. further up is the casablanca cafe. good food, good view before dark, right across the street from the ocean.

        1. If take the water taxi, Shooters Cafe.
          Steaks, Fish, Ribs. Salads, Pasta, Sandwiches.
          On the North end of ICW. Off of Oakland Blvd. and A1A. Next to Taverna Opa.

          On Las Olas, Big City Tavern, across from Cheesecake Factory.


          Lots of Restaurants on Las Olas. Cheesecake Factory. Riverside Hotel. A little bit of everything on Las Olas.

          21 Replies
          1. re: sunchild45

            avoid mangos at all costs - downhill food alert!!!!! if you are on las olas, try johnny v's.

            1. re: meb903

              i went to Johnny V's last time i was in town. Loved it.

              a local friend of mine mentioned Coconuts. It's a chain, right?

              1. re: strephking

                If you want to venture away from the beach and the hotel here are some other options in the area.
                I neglected to mention Mark's and Cafe Martorano in that post.

                Cero at The St Regis is also very good

                Not sure how many meals you have but some casual spots that are a 5 minute cab ride include Kelly's Landing, Southport Raw Bar, Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza and Tom Jenkins BBQ.


                1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                  Good luck (and I'm not being sarcastic) getting a table at Cafe Martorano during season! One of the best meals I've ever eaten but an almost three hour wait because they do not take reservations.

                  On the water but not beach dining, we love Charlie's Crab. It is always very good.

                  Also like Big City Tavern on Las Olas and Cafe Mezzoluna on 17th Street.

                  1. re: BlueHerons

                    Can you use the strat of going early (right when they open maybe) like you can do at Joe's? After your rec of the "huge" meatball I've been having dreams (good ones:).

                      1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                        Ty sobe! Do you feel like BH that it is a special place? BTW, I tried the link you provided and didn't see any hours posteed do you happen to know? If not its ok I can always call. Thanks as always.

                        1. re: eatnbmerry

                          It's a unique place. I love meatballs and Italian food so Martorano is right up my alley. It's loud but a fun experience. Weekends in Jan/Feb could be a tough time to go but I would give it a shot. If you don't feel like schlepping up to Ft Lauderdale hit Macaluso's for a very good meatball. He has a market next door where you can grab lunch/takeout during the day.

                          1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe


                            Your taste seem to be very much in line with what I like as well. I'll go during the week and to be honest I enjoy schlepping, especially to a good new place.

                            I had already wanted to try the meatball parm hero (I think I saw you rec it on another thread) at Macaluso's. I'm a sucker for that type of stuff (like those great Sonny cheesesteaks)!

                            1. re: eatnbmerry

                              You have to do Macaluso's. Get the meatball salad or go to the market. It's all good. Back to Cafe Martorano- apps are great and portions are large so don't over order. Man, I might have to head up there tomorrow night

                              1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                I'm telling you, ever since BH posted about that gigantic meatball I've been dreaming! But Net just confirmed that Mi Rinconcito (Miami) does incredible carnitas/pastor/carne asada tacos and thats got me going too! So I'm gonna do the the Macaluso meatballs on Saturday followed by those tacos on Sunday. Muscle Man's meatball will have to wait til next week:)

                              1. re: nhealy

                                Sorry about that. It's off of Alton Road on South Beach.

                                Macaluso's Restaurants
                                1747 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                                1. re: nhealy

                                  Just having been there let me add that it may be a bit tricky to find since its hidden in the back of a "sideways" strip mall. If you're going north on Alton it will be on your right hand side right before the span over the canal and Dade/Resnick blvd. Like sobe says, well worth the finding.

                          2. re: eatnbmerry

                            Yes, the only problem is we can't seem to get there before 7PM.

                            OMG we are eating there next Friday night and I'm drooling thinking about it!

                          3. re: BlueHerons

                            If you're referring to the Charlie's Crab in Deerfield, it's gone. The entire restaurant has been levelled and the land is for sale. I believe the Charlie's Crab in Palm Beach is still there; but they're not on the water; but rather across the street from it.

                            1. re: zook

                              I'm referring to Charley's Crab in Fort Lauderdale that is on the water on NE 32nd off East Oakland.

                              I was just there about two weeks ago?? Are we talking about the same restaurant?

                              1. re: BlueHerons

                                ooops, nope! I was thinking of the place on the Intracoastal on Hillsboro. Thanks for the correction!

                            2. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                              Martorano may be the best Italian food I've had. However, get there before it turns into a "club". Cheesy mafioso styled club with lasers moving around. Had the unfortunate experience first time I went to be facing the mirror and having one of those lights flashing at me incessantly. After the fried eggplant salad, the meatballs and the gnocchi, it either did not bother me so much, or had given me enough mini-seizures to induce a sort of euphoric reaction that in hindsight was not the work of the food.

                          4. re: meb903

                            mangos down mountain...wait was it ever up the hill?

                        2. With Tom Jenkins closed on Sunday and Monday, we wound up hitting Southport Raw Bar on Sunday night. Great dive of a place with good oysters and mahimahi. Looks like the locals hang there. If you wear Ts shorts and flipflops, you're home.

                          Don't understand all the fuss about Anthony's Coal-Fired Pizza. Ours was definitely fired a bit too long over the coals. Talk about blackened crust. Looked like everyone's pizza had an extra 2-3 minutes in the oven that night.

                          Lester's diner for breakfast!! Great pancakes!

                          1 Reply
                          1. My husband and I stay in Pompano Beach, so most of the places we know of are really between Pompano and downtown Fort Lauderdale. Last time we were there, we kept driving past this cute place on Atlantic called Kitchenetta. I'm glad we stopped, because they had the most amazing coal-fired pizzas! The place is charming as well! We had the caprese salad and risotto balls, and both were fantastic. The quality of everything else looked top notch. Anyone else been there?

                            Also (I know it's a chain-sorry), but we love to go to Houston's when were in the area. They're sited on the intercoastal, so you can sit at the bar and watch the hugest yachts pull up for dinner. The ribs and prime rib are fantastic, as is the smoked salmon.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: keslacye

                              Yes, we like Kitchenetta. Loud indoors because of the hard surfaces (industrial style decor with stainless steel tables) but very good food. If you keep going south on Federal Hwy a couple more blocks, you come to Cafe Shakuru, a tiny place (replaced Colors Bistro in March of 2007) with a wonderful chef who does French with a touch of Asian fusion. We ate there last night for the first time and I hope to return often. Had horse mackerel carpaccio with a soy dressing--wonderful, then chilean sea bass with a miso based thickened sauce over mashed potatoes--excellent, and finally the smoothest bread pudding ever, in a very good way. Prices are amazingly reasonable--some mains under $20, and the decor is like dining in someone's modern home with a touch of retro glass block. Only about 20 seats. Check their website at Very worthy little place.

                              1. re: JmVikmanis

                                Oops. I gave the wrong name for my cute little cafe--It's Cafe Sharaku. So the url is wrong too. That's Try it, you'll like it.