Homestyle dining is often the only thing that will hit the spot. Visitors and locals alike know that Fort Lauderdale is known for its amazing seafood, steak, organic and fine dining options, but also for a number of homestyle cooking eateries that are a delight. We at 10best have the pleasure of finding these great restaurants and spreading the news. And where to start? Why not on the very popular Las Olas Boulevard and to a landmark eatery that locals have sworn by for years, The Floridian. This is where businessmen sit down with visiting beach-goers to enjoy an amazing menu. If it’s a diner you're looking for, Lester's Diner just south of Downtown has been a hot spot anytime of the day with an amazing breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Or head north on Andrews Avenue to the tried and true Andrews Diner at the corner of Oakland Park Boulevard. Be prepared to take a seat outside and wait, but know it’s well worth it. But remember that homestyle cooking is not just meat and potatoes. Buca di Beppo is an amazing Italian restaurant that serves up its famous fare family style, and the families return again and again. Fort Lauderdale is well-known as a world-class destination, and these restaurants are ready with their great menus and favorite dishes.
Quality Diner in Wilton Manors is just that – quality. Now don't expect anything grand or even a place with flashing lights and lots of parking, or even a website; Quality Diner has none of these because they really don't need them. But what they do have is a friendly service, a welcoming "come on back" atmosphere with a stream of loyal locals, as well as the snowbirds that come back in the winter, who cherish this local eatery like a secret that no one else knows about. Breakfast favorites such as fluffy pancakes, omelets, crispy bacon, endless coffee – just name it, it's here and they can make it. Lots of seating and nothing fancy, but the food will keep you coming back. (954) 564-2858)
You know what it's like when you have a craving for food that can only be served in a diner, where there's a line out the door, pictures all over the walls, a menu that includes everything from tantalizing breakfasts of every kind to the very best hamburgers, chicken fried steak slathered in gravy, milkshakes that make your eyes roll back in your head, and the very best coffee that never stops being refilled by a waiter that knows everyone's name? Yes, you know the place. This is Andrews Diner. For over 20 years this place has served the very lucky patrons in Fort Lauderdale who know a good thing when they taste it. Gather your friends and sit around the table and get ready for the best food and the friendliest service around – no joke! (954-563-3555)
You know what it's like when you have a craving for food that can only be served in a diner, where there's a line out the door, pictures all over the walls, a menu that includes everything from tantalizing breakfasts of every kind to the very best hamburgers, chicken fried steak slathered in gravy, milkshakes that make your eyes roll back in your head, and the very best coffee that never stops being refilled by a waiter that knows everyone's name? Yes, you know the place. This is Andrews Diner. For over 20 years this place has served the very lucky patrons in Fort Lauderdale who know a good thing when they taste it. Gather your friends and sit around the table and get ready for the best food and the friendliest service around – no joke! ((954) 563-2499)
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)
Egg & You
A popular breakfast spot any day of the week and popular with folks especially in Oakland Park and Wilton Manors, Egg & You offers that old-time diner atmosphere in an eclectic neighborhood with a huge menu filled with breakfast favorites of every kind. Get here early and prepare to wait for a table, but be sure and wait; you won't be disappointed. Tables are close to each other and conversations flow freely, and who knows, perhaps those people sitting near-by can become good friends. Staff is experienced, friendly, quick and knowledgeable and, most importantly, refill coffee cups as they empty. ((954) 564-2045)
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)
Known as South Florida's Largest Diner, 84 Diner is a classic eatery for the entire family. Breakfast served all day with amazing prices and an extensive menu of American, Greek and Italian dishes make this mom-and-pop establishment popular. Spinach pie, mousaka and the feta cheese omelet are among the more exotic offerings while traditional breakfast and dinners staples are also available for less adventurous taste buds. At the end of the meal be sure and order from the dessert and pastries menu, which has an abundance of tasty delights. Remember that kids eat free from Monday-Thursday after 3 p.m. The spacious, casual interior is crowd-friendly. (954-423-1787)
Grampa's Bakery and Restaurant
Grampa's Bakery & Restaurant has been a local favorite since it opened its doors in 1957, serving the very best feel-good favorites of home-style food, as well as fresh-baked breads, biscuits, pastries and breads in a spot just a short drive from Fort Lauderdale. The bakery/restaurant duo was made famous by its appearance on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, when the nation took notice. Crowds line up early to get a seat and order their favorites from the extensive menu. Located in the cozy 'burb of Dania Beach, just south of downtown Fort Lauderdale and amidst antique shops, boutiques and parks, Grampa's Bakery & Restaurant is a must-stop. ((954) 923-2163)
With three locations in South Florida, the legendary Lester's Diner has been around for over 40 years and for good reason. With prime locations, prime food and prime service, Lester's is where locals know to go for the best in a great diner-type breakfast. Infamous for the 14-oz. coffee, top it off and dive into that delicious stack of pancakes, Belgian Waffles, enticing French Toast or an endless array of omelets. Also try the bagels, Gyro & Two Eggs or the "LEO", which stands for Lox, Eggs and Onion, or perhaps the always-favorite Eggs Benedict, all prepared just as they should be. (954-525-5641)
Everyone knows about The Floridian. It's one of those places that's not fancy, walls covered with celebrity pictures – mostly well-known for being a Rachel Rae favorite – and tables close to one another and fellow diners just inches away, and the place that has the best food around. From salads that catch your eye as they go by to another table, and one particular favorite, the Buffalo Burger, mark this place down as your favorite. It's especially busy on weekend mornings, when folks gather for huge omelets, fresh oatmeal, biscuits, and other typical breakfast fare. Don't expect the service to be refined or sophisticated, but do expect the food to be hearty and satisfying. There's an ATM on-site. (954-463-4041)
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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