Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Miami - Fort Lauderdale >
Feb 23, 2010 06:30 PM

New York foodie coming to Fort Lauderdale

I've never been to Fort Lauderdale but a friend has invited me down and I'm looking for any hidden gems (he'd probably be happy at a Waffle House...which, of course, I am too but I can't eat there every day). I've searched the boards and haven't found much, Fort Lauderdale probably isn't at the top of the world's must-eat places but there must be some good stuff. Seafood? Cuban? What is Floridian food anyway? Not really looking for fancy...just good, honest, tasty food that I'm not going to find in NYC.

I'll be taking a trip to Miami so I've got plenty of advice for that city. Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Tom Jenkins for good barbecue.

    Tark's in Dania for very casual raw bar.

    Le Tub in Hollywood for a very good burger.

    Woodlands out west in Lauderhill (I think) has good Indian food.

    Zona Fresca for good fresh Mex.

    1. Cafe Sharaku is a wonderful little restaurant with excellent food. Do a search on this board for more detailed information. For seafood with a Caribbean flare, we really like Calypso. The Jib Room is also very good for Caribbean. Coming from NY, I wouldn't even begin to recommend Italian or Asian. For really good Cuban, I think you have to venture in to Dade County unless there's some place that I don't know about. If you find yourself on Las Olas, the crepe restaurant is very nice for breakfast. Johnny V's is also good on Las Olas, as is Noodles and Panini for a casual Italian lunch or dinner.
      Hope you have a good visit!

      1 Reply
      1. re: pilches

        I second Jib Room for Caribbean. It's definitely a place that would be hard to come by in NY. Coconuts is good too and has a nice water view.

      2. I've been to Fort Lauderdale a few times (I like in Washington DC) and the only good place I've found so far was Canyon. We sampled many different appetizers when I was there and everything had really great flavor. I would definitely recommend it!

        Also, when I was looking last time I found many favorable posts on this board for Cafe Maxx in Pompano Beach, but I didn't have a chance to try it so you may want to consider that as well.

        1. These all sound great.

          The more I get to know Fort Lauderdale the more I realize there's lots of BBQ places and raw bars. So, I'm certainly into that. I can't think of anything better than sitting on a waterfront eating fresh fish and oysters and other treats from the sea.

          About how many hours (minutes) away is Miami from FL? I've always wanted real Cuban coffee. I've had good Cuban sandwiches in NYC but I can't seem to find the coffee.

          Is there any good Cuban coffee in FL for my morning pick me up?

          3 Replies
          1. re: pastoralia

            I'm surprised no one has mentioned Catfish Dewey's in Oakland Park, just on the edge of Fort Laurderdale. Search this board for my write-up on Dewey's from late January. Great seafood in all-you-can-eat specials or just regular orders. But the seafood is very fresh and well-prepared. Not a fancy atmosphere, but go there to eat great fish, stone crab claws, scallops, shrimp, etc.

            1. re: pastoralia

              " I can't think of anything better than sitting on a waterfront eating fresh fish and oysters and other treats from the sea."

              It's not on the water... but based on this you should not miss Calypso Restaurant in Pompano. They actually opened the day I moved to FL from NY exactly 20 yrs ago this month. And it was an eye-opening introduction to a whole new world of wonderful flavors. I'm talking about jerk and conch... rotis and flying fish... ginger beer and key lime pie... and lots more. It's in a strip mall but once you are inside the friendly and relaxed "Island Vibe" will take you to another place.

              Search this board for plenty of other discussions on Calypso. And note to self: time for an "Anniversary" visit!

              1. re: CFByrne

                MMMmmmm....Calypso sounds great...I love me a roti.

            2. For casual coffee and dessert, pre-made sandwiches (small selection) or bread for make your own sandwiches go to Gran Forno on Las Olas -DELICIOUS!! I drive up from Miami every 2 weeks to load up on real Italian desserts and breads. I am from NYC and the bread in Miami STINKS! Too soft, no flavor, yuck. Gran Forno's sandwiches are on ciabatta bread, again delicious, but very small selection on sandwiches as this is mainly a bakery.

              5 Replies
              1. re: sobeiam

                Good tip sobeiam...

                Here's a question for anyone: I've never had boiled peanuts. Does anyplace around Fort Lauderdale sell them? If not, I read you can buy the peanuts at Publix and cook them yourself. I'm guessing if I do this these store bought peanuts aren't going to look like the same kind of peanuts I would buy at the circus. Any tips? I have the Lee Brothers Cookbook so I've got a recipe. I just need the right ingredients.

                1. re: pastoralia

                  Raw peanuts in the shell, salt and boiling water. Boil until extremely soft (tender) and eat. You're done.

                  1. re: pastoralia

                    Boiled peanuts are really good, but they might be an acquired taste....more like a bean than a peanut (but I love 'em)...there is a place on Griffin Road, just West of the Florida Turnpike , that sells them, as well as Fresh Florida Citrus, smoothie and Key Lime Pie. Not sure of the name of the place, but it has an Big Orange in the parking lot where someone could stand inside and sell fresh juice. Looks like touristy place, but I go there for boiled peanuts - regular or spicy. Good stuff...

                    1. re: pastoralia

                      I'll second Bob Roth's New River Grove (alluded to by tbone927) for boiled peanuts, it might be the nearest you'll find them to the city - they're usually found at roadside farmer's markets elsewhere in the south...

                      Spicy is the way to go IMHO!

                    2. re: sobeiam

                      Gran Forno is the real deal. When I've sat there and had lunch, most of the people coming in speak Italian. The chicken pesto and Italian paninis are amazing. The salt and pepper each tomato! The cookies by the pound are also great. Chocolate chip and the pecan bars are a must. For great croissants, I go to Croissant Time.