Being a vacation destination, Fort Lauderdale, Florida is ready for any size group whether it is for hotel accommodations, transportation, or business meeting facilities and restaurants, no group is too big. Getting a consensus on what everyone wants to eat may be a challenge, but once that's settled, then comes the fun part. Whether it is steak, seafood, Asian cuisine, Mexican, American fare – you name it, it's probably within blocks away. One of the city's most popular seafood restaurants is the 15th Street Fisheries. Everyone in any group will find their favorite here, along with great service. Now if it's Italian, head west to Davie to Buca di Beppo. This is an amazing experience with to-die-for Italian dishes (each dish is enough to feed an Army) and servers who are experts in guiding diners through their extensive menu. Is your group wanting to eat healthy, yet tasty, food? Head to Market 17 and see what the locals have already discovered. And who doesn't have an Asian favorite? Experience the delightful Coco Asian Bistro and Bar. And for everyone's guilty pleasures, some of Fort Lauderdale's best Bar-B-Q is at Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Q, and it's ideal for any group. And who doesn't like great diner food, either for breakfast, lunch or dinner? It's got to be the local landmark, Peter Pan Restaurant. (No one back home needs to know!) Call ahead because this place fills up fast.
Peter Pan Restaurant
One of the most popular restaurants in Fort Lauderdale is Peter Pan Diner. Just ask anyone. This popular diner-type restaurant has been open for many years and sits conveniently on Oakland Park Boulevard and Dixie Highway, just east of the tracks. Nothing fancy, just a very welcoming eatery that will surely become your favorite. Come early, especially during "season" (December - June) when Peter Pan Diner fills up quickly for breakfast, with a list of everyone's favorites that come heaped on the plate. From omelets to pancakes, eggs made to order and endless combinations of delicious options. This is where snowbirds flutter as quickly as they get back to Florida, as well as those who live here year-round. The decision of what to order isn't easy, so consider yourself warned. This is the fun part. ((954) 565-7177)
Downtowner Saloon & Steakhouse
The Downtowner Saloon is a cozy place, of course, Downtown, that sits perfectly along the Middle River with amazing picture-perfect views of the glimmering high rises and a settling place to watch the impressive parade of yachts and boats that pass by and make Fort Lauderdale the special city that it is. This restaurant and bar offers not only an amazing menu of delectable steaks and seafood as well temping drinks, but also is a gathering place for live music lovers. Any night of the week is ideal for a getaway: Sundays offers a solo artist, Tuesday is trivia and DJ party, Wednesday and Fridays is DJ Booney Tunes, Thursdays brings the featured live band and Saturdays is the Best Live Blues banks with no cover charge. Come and enjoy! (954-463-9800)
Tom Jenkins' Bar-B-Q
Tom Jenkins' Bar-B-Q is known for its succulent ribs and famous BBQ sauce, this cozy eatery bustles with families dining at picnic tables and boasts that this is a taste that you will never forget. Classic soul food dishes such as collard greens, mac'n'cheese, baked beans, corn bread and sweet potato pie complement the meat. Before you leave, be sure to grab a bottle of Jenkins' signature sauce to take home. So, as the friendly staff puts out the invitation to put on your comfy casual clothes and get to know your neighbor at their Southern style restaurant where everybody is family. (954-522-5046)
With more and more people searching out organic foods in farmers markets and specialized supermarkets, there has been much talk about town concerning Market 17 Fresh Farm Restaurant and Bar. Unique, as there aren't many restaurants that boast of an enticing farm-to-table organic menu, what they like to call "wine country cuisine", something you don't see much of in South Florida. Serving only clean, fresh food, the fish and seafood are caught by fisherman, the meat and poultry produced by ranchers, and the produce provided by farmers and none of it will not contain any unnecessary pesticides, chemicals, hormones or steroids. Now that that's settled, think about the menu options. Each is served in a eye-catching, beautiful plating, and every taste can be satisfied here. The menu changes depending on what is available so each visit offers delicious options that will keep you coming back. (9543990017)
Trendy and festive best describe this Italian restaurant, which has plentiful portions that are creatively presented. Not the place for a quiet, intimate dinner, this bistro is known for its upbeat late-night crowd. If you like a party atmosphere and you want the best veal chop in the city, this is your place. Voted the "best chop" several years running, this dish is huge, tender, and flavorful. Served with roast garlic and wine reduction along with fantastic mashed potatoes and vegetables. This is a meal fit for a king or queen. Upscale casual attire. Reservations accepted only for parties of six or more. (954-522-6620)
Coco Asian Bistro and Bar
Located near Port Everglades on the popular 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale is the Coco Asian Bistro and Bar. This elegant, upscale restaurant is a draw to locals and the many visitors that visit annually. Asian food lovers savor striking flavors and international wines in this sophisticated dining room. Chef Mike Ponluang has taken Asian dining to the next level of fine dining. With his more than 30 years of cooking experience, 15 of which were spent at the acclaimed Thai Pepper, he has transformed this cuisine to a level rarely seen. The menu features mouth-watering dishes that must be tasted. Coco Asian Bistro and Bar is an experience not soon forgotten. (954-525-3541)
Dining at Chuck's Steakhouse is one of those great experiences that is unforgettable. Diners tell their friends and family of the incredible food and great service, and it isn't long before they show up, too. If a juicy cooked-to-order steak is what you're craving, Chuck's Steakhouse is the place to go. Chuck's opened its Florida location in the late 1970's and continues to offer a family-friendly neighborhood atmosphere, knowledgeable and dedicated staff and the finest aged Western choice beef available. Steak options include the Porterhouse Steak, Top Sirloin, Filet and Prime Rib, alongside other menu musts like house-made fish dip and Black Diamond Tuna. Unmistakably one of Fort Lauderdale's most treasured eateries, Chuck's Steakhouse will continue their proud tradition for many generations to come. (954-764-3333)
Grille 66 & Bar
No question about it, this enchanting local favorite waterfront steakhouse exudes luxury. Located in the Hyatt, Grill 66 offers balcony dining that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway. Available for the boating enthusiasts who want to arrive in style is a convenient 400 foot dock. The award-winning menu offers popular appetizers such as crispy shrimp and calamari, filet mignon carpaccio, and a charcuterie platter. Main course offerings include lobster, crab cakes, veal and lamb chops in case a strip steak, filet mignon or porterhouse doesn't do the trick. Artfully prepared potatoes and green veggies provide a satisfying accompaniments to the meat. Grill 66 & Bar has set a new standard in Fort Lauderdale for the finest in steakhouses. (954-728-3500)
Buca di Beppo - Davie
With an almost legendary status in Fort Lauderdale, Buca di Beppo is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Serving family-style classic Italian dishes, this is a great place for families and friends and office gatherings, the food here is what everyone thinks of what Mom makes. With two locations locally, one in Fort Lauderdale and one in Davie, not to mention 84 other locations nationwide, you will love the incredibly friendly staff and be dazzled by the unique decor, with photos lining the walls of Italian icons such as Sophia Loren and Joe DiMaggio. And, of course, the food! Dive in and try an amazing list of delicious appetizers, salads, pastas, pizzas, entr�, desserts, beer and fine wines. Go online and make a reservation today! (9545773287)
15th Street Fisheries
Voted Best Waterfront Restaurant in South Florida in a 2011 local media poll, 15th Street Fisheries has rustic charm and waterfront views that make this Lauderdale Marina seafood house a popular destination. Take advantage of its unique location in this most famous nautical landmark to arrive in a car or a boat. There is no better way to enjoy this restaurant's many choices of fabulous seafood, drink specials, and their $5 Happy Hour menu, which includes chicken wings, calamarie, mini burgers and conch fritters, than in its ideal location right on the waterway near the amazing 17th Street Causeway drawbridge and Port Everglades inlet to the Atlantic Ocean. (954-763-2777)
About Dale Mack
Dale Mack has been involved in Fort Lauderdale tourism and promotions for over twenty years. Working for Travelhost Magazine in Dallas, Texas, he was especially drawn to the edition published by the Fort Lauderdale Associate Publisher; the city's beauty, its energy and the fun-in-the-sun atmosphere. When an opportunity came to relocate to Fort Lauderdale by another company, Dale accepted. He has spent the last eleven years discovering "the Venice of America" and South Florida itself.
Dale is the author of three children's books and numerous articles. He has also worked as a copywriter for the South Florida real estate market.
Read more about Dale Mack here.
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