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Ft. Lauderdale Dives

Staying next to the Harbor Beach Marriott in Ft. Lauderdale for 5 days. Looking for good, lower-price range food. Not terribly worried about atmosphere, just delicious food.

Breakfast: Looking for either somewhere with great pancakes or something Cuban inspired. Willing to drive.

Lunch: Would prefer something on or within walking distance of the beach. Possibly fish tacos or something Cuban.

Dinner: Hoping to find at least one great seafood/fish place. Have my eye on Tom Jenkins for BBQ. Also interested in Cuban food here too.

Any other suggestions for good Ft. Lauderdale dives would be appreciated (i.e. places where nothing matters but the food, and preferably <$20 per person)

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  1. Tom Jenkins would def be high on the "Good cheap food" list. Keep in mind: Closed Sunday and cash only.

    Rok Brgr downtown in Himarshee area could be another to check out. Consistently gets praise as one of best burgers in Broward if not South Florida.

    I haven't been in ages so can't speak to the food, but Southport Raw Bar is quintessential FtL joint, off 17th St Causeway.

    2 Replies
    1. re: CFByrne

      Tom Jenkins is closed on Monday as well. If you have a car. Georgia Pig is a legit dive with cheap prices and at least in the case of the chopped pork sandwich, an exceptional dish.

      1. re: CFByrne

        Jenkins & definitely order the PEACH COBBLER!

        Another hidden gem is The Postcards Lounge at The Pelican Grande on Fort Lauderdale Beach (you can eat oceanside on the covered porch in the rocking chairs). High-style, very reasonable - where I take all my out-of-town-visitors! Old-fashioned ice cream shoppe on promises, but not as reasonable as the lounge menu. The actual restaurant is pricey, don't check that out unless you want to pay more. When you walk in, go to your LEFT to the lounge, get some menus and find your rocking chairs on the porch! ENJOY THE VIEW & THE FOOD. :) Sometimes there's free popcorn too!

      2. For breakfast, try Cypress Nook in Pompano Beach-Wonderful pancakes and omelets!
        They also get excellent reviews for their dinners.

        Lunch-Coconuts has a great outdoor deck on the intra-coastal.


        2 Replies
        1. re: gblcsw

          NO TO COCONUTS!!! - Do not listen to this advice!!! I signed up for this forum, just to warn the world what a terrible place this is. The food was disgusting and overpriced!!! This was the worst money I have ever spent. Kudos to the person who suggested Tom Jenkins though. That place is awesome!

          1. re: iebrutus

            Thank Chowhound, I do every time I visit the Pig as that is how I found it.

        2. I'm a really big fan of Sushi Rock on Las Olas. they have some fun delicious rolls.

          also really like Rok:Brgr.

          for lunch, i REALLY suggest checking out 11th st. annex. its not within walking distance of the beach, but its a great spot for a good sandwich of creative dish (the menu has 4-5 items that are changed daily).

          also, if youre not from Pitt, there is a primanti bros near (read: right across the street from) Ft Laudy beach. worth checking out i think because its the only place outside of pitt you can get this country-famous sandwich (and it IS good), but be ready for a greasy semi-gutbomb of a lunch.

          fort laudy isnt really the spot for Cuban in SoFl. have to head closer to Miami for that IMO

          1. as i've recommended on here often, i second the vote for 11th St Annex. It's a converted 1950s Florida style house where lunch is served and cooked by two sisters, menu changes daily. It;s only open for lunch m -f.

            For Cuban food, I suggest Las Colinas in Wilton Manors/Oakland Park. It's some of the best cuban food i've had anywhere. It's a dive, but it's cleanly, delicious, and homemade.

            great pancakes are at the Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House, but the prices are high and the staff is really unpleasant. But they do have oven baked in a cast iron skillet pancakes that are heavenly.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SouthFloridaFoodNerd

              Regarding Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House...was there today. Lots of new staff and I couldn't help thinking that they (as well as the owner) are much more pleasant than in the past...They will, as of 5/15, also be open for dinner 7 nights a week...Love their cron pancakes!

            2. Some options worth checking out:
              Rocco's Tacos or JoJo's Tacos for fish tacos
              Coconuts is small but decent on intracoastal
              Gilbert's 17th street grill for great burger or Rok Brgr but it's pricier
              Las Vegas Cuban cuisine serves great basic Cuban food
              Floridian on Las Olas is total breakfast dive

              1 Reply
              1. re: FtLaudyEATS

                I second Gilbert's - great burgers!

              2. Don't forget Lester's on State Road 84. Certainly not trendy but lots of breakfast choices.
                And Tacqueria Dona Raquel's in Pompano Beach, for some excellent Mexican food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: crewsweeper

                  I just ate at Lester's last weekend. For those unfamiliar with the history and culture of diners like the Germans I went with, it was a cool experience.

                2. I just was at Gilberts on Saturday and was pleasantly surprised that the burger lived up to the raves I have heard. GREAT burger and super friendly staff and owners. I am a fan of Southport Raw Bar. It is not the most amazing food our there, but fresh oysters, good fried seafood and just a great Old Florida atmosphere. I know lots of people have mixed opinions of Coconuts, but you can't deny that it is one of the best views in the area. I have been going to Georgia Pig for years and the chopped pork sandwich slathered in their BBQ sauce never disappoints! For breakfast dives, I always return to Egg and You on Federal off of Oakland. Best fish tacos- for me, Zona Fresca on Federal or University.

                  1. was at Grandpa's last week in Dania, good breakfasts there and free cinnabons when you sit.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: smartie

                      Just in case someone is looking up, it is actually spelled "Grampa's". Great place - was featured on Diners, Drive-Thru's, and Dives I believe.

                      1. re: smartie

                        Hey Smartie, tell me about Grampa's please. A good breakfast place right near the airport would be a big find. TIA.

                        1. re: smartie

                          Have not had breakfast at Grampa's but, IMHO, the dinner menu is over priced and the food is meh! Way too much hype on this place.

                        2. To all who replied, I want to give a long overdo thank you. Your suggestions were exactly what I was looking for and I wanted to take the time report back on what I was able to try. Unfortunately I was only in town for 3 days with friends who weren't as excited about driving around for food, but despite this, I was able to try Tom Jenkins, Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House, and Las Colinas.

                          At Tom Jenkins I had the Half Chicken with an extra side of BBQ, Collard Greens, Mac n Cheese, Corn Muffin, and a slice of Sweet Potato pie while I waited for the rest of my food. Everything was absolutely terrific, and I would go out of my way to come here again.

                          At Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House I had the Cast Iron Pancake, as recommended, and it was indeed heavenly. So enormous and so delicious.

                          At Las Colinas I had a dish that was basically Chicken cooked with Peppers and Onions. It looked boring when it came out, but once I tasted it, I was blown away. The flavor was incredible.

                          I would highly recommend any of these places to people I know, and I will have to try some of your other suggestions when I'm back in town. Thanks again everyone!

                          1. I think this thread is a very good list for low to moderately priced places that serve good food. While I may not agree across the board, its a welcomed departure from the Las Olas tourist traps that tend to accompany these sort of questions.

                            While late for the OP, I thought I'd throw in one of my favorites for breakfast and lunch. The Marina Diner on 17th. This is the only deli type place in Ft Laud that would remind a New Yorker of what good deli food is like. The place is family owned and run, delightful people. Service is order at the counter, brought to the table. Not a place to impress a date. But the ingredients and cooking is first rate. Consistency is also there, no matter how many times I've ordered eggs over easy, they are always perfect. Well above any breakfast place I've tried in 20 years of living in Ft Laud. Lunch, if your into deli food, is also good. Not sure where they source their meats but its a cut above the other deli's/sudo deli's in the area.