Being on vacation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida does not mean the healthy eating has to go by the wayside. Oh, sure, who doesn't indulge now and then during their anticipated days off, eating food that's not a part of the regular diet, and that's perfectly OK during vacation. But it can't be the rule. No one wants to return home having added weight. And those who visit Fort Lauderdale have a wide range of options to keep their diet on track, and even possibly discover some new food items that they were aware of that can be eaten in moderation without the guilt. From wherever you are in the city or throughout Broward County these ten restaurants are just a short walk or a short drive or cab ride away. Without doubt, for fine dining and an amazing menu see why the locals love Sublime. Looking for an eatery with a dedication to organic foods? Market 17 as well as the various Whole Foods stores cannot be beat. And, yes, you can eat Asian favorites. Two local favorites are Coco Asian Bistro and Bar or Christina Wan's Mandarin House. Believe it, or not, those of us who love pizza even have an option. Pizza Fusion. You'll be surprised at the taste, the quality and the service. So here's the plan: Indulge a little but also try out many of these options and go back home without the guilt and impress friends and family that you followed, oh, some of the rules. Enjoy!
For those who desire to eat healthy organic and gluten-free food, the real Granddaddy of all stores and eateries is Whole Foods, and Broward County is lucky enough to have three locations Fort Lauderdale, Plantation and Coral Springs. This cherished national grocery store is also a great place to dine and not just take out. Offering a buffet-style setting, patrons choose from an amazing selection of fresh entrees, many of which are gluten-free (just ask), amazing prepared vegetables and desserts. Seating is offered inside or out and there is no doubt that first-timers will declare right then and there that they will be back. (954.565.5655)
The Whole Enchilada
Mexican food lovers love The Whole Enchilada. With a delightful menu of favorites with delicious, fresh ingredients, The Whole Enchilada is here to stay. Appearing in Fort Lauderdale a short time ago (and now with two locations: one in Fort Lauderdale and the other in Oakland Park. With an enticing menu of a variety of salads; tostata, including Chili-Chicken, Mexican Caesar and Go-Green; Burritos with creative names such as The Bob, Benito, One Of Those, Fah-Hee-Tah Barita, Tree Hugger, Beaner, Red, Ensenada, Not Yet Famous and Black Tiger; and taco baskets with a generous helping of chicken, steak, pork or ground beef, fish or shrimp, there is nothing left behind. Also available, under the description of Los Otros ("The Others") are Pancho Villa Quesadilla, the Fajita Quesadilla and the Fah-Hee-Tah Platter and, of course, the namesake item, The Whole Enchilada. It's a generous platter and a particular favorite. Bring the kids along as there is a menu of tacos, burritos and a quesadilla for those under 10 years old. ((954) 306-6218)
Gluten free does not have to mean pizza free. Everyone loves pizza but this Italian delight is often frowned upon by those watching their diet due to the carbs and the calories. But there is an alternative, which sets a standard in healthy, gluten-free, Vegan-friendly and kid-friendly pizza and other delicious menu items. Pizza Fusion caters to those with gluten intolerance with a gluten-free crust. This is made from a mixture of garbanzo beans, fava beans and rice flour, and their cheese and sauce are gluten-free as well. Check out their Fusion Life Menu which includes ingredients that are known to promote heart heath, eliminate toxins and boost brain function. (954-358-5353)
Tequila Sunrise Mexican Grill
Located in an out of the way place off Dixie Highway between Commercial and NE 44th Street, the family owned and operated Tequila Sunrise has been delighting South Floridians since 1995, and offering a lot of food for a great price and even better atmosphere. Having been voted "Best Margarita" by the "New York Times"! "City Link" and "Sun Sentinel" have named it the Best Mexican Restaurant AND (drum roll, please) this place offers over 50 different brands of tequila. If you want Mexican food that isn't like all the rest, Tequila Sunrise is your place. Period. . .case closed. Plan to stop by for a great dinner with friends, or slip away from the office at lunch and indulge. Oh, you'll be back, no doubt about it! Buen Provecho and ENJOY!!!!!! (9549384473)
Christina Wan's Mandarin House
Christina Wan's is the comeback of the famous Wan's that was in Fort Lauderdale since 1966. Originally located on S.W. 8th street in Miami. The family has continuously served guests at various locations in Miami, North Miami Beach, Hollywood, and Fort Lauderdale since its creation. With a mouth-watering menu and a welcoming atmosphere in this comfortable plaza in Victoria Park on Federal Highway, Christina Wan's is an experience you won't soon forget. Dine in or carry out from their enticing menu, or even remember them for catering. What a great way to impress your guests. Christina Wan's is a local favorite. Come and see why. ((954) 527-0228)
J. Mark's Restaurant & Bar
Whether your lunch is for business or pleasure, or perhaps both, J. Mark's is just the place. With two popular locations, one on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale and the other on Copans Road in Pompano Beach, J. Mark's has a delicious lunch menu consisting of Soup & Salad, Spinach Salad, the popular Ahi Tuna Sliders, Buffalo Chicken Sliders, Footlong Hot Dog for the more traditional lunch, or the very decadent Five Cheese Pasta. Lunch prices are very affordable, starting at $8.99. J. Mark's also offers a Midday menu from 2-5 p.m. for a later lunch, which consists of some of their maost popular items at a reduced rate. (954-782-7000)
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)
Seasons 52 - Ft. Lauderdale
With a focus on healthy and satisfying dishes, this fine-dining restaurant is the perfect choice for those who want the best quality along with impeccable service. The menu here is seasonally-inspired and represents a unique blend of art and science. Using natural cooking techniques such as wood-fire grilling, brick-oven cooking. For the health-conscious, menu items are naturally lower in calories and the restaurant prides itself in the fact that nothing on their extensive menu is over 475 calories, and considering the enticing choices such as Cedar Plank Roasted Salmon, Caramelized Sea Scallops, Wood-Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Mesquite-Grilled Garlic Shrimp, diners can enjoy guilt-free! The result is great tasting, highly satisfying food that is conducive to most every diet, and has become the talk of the town! (9545371052)
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)
Sublime has become one of Fort Lauderdale's favorite restaurants for health-conscious diners. This delightful eatery is an innovative concept in vegetarian dining with its cholesterol-free menu, but has been known to satisfy even the most ardent meat-lovers. Sublime's award-winning menu features mouth-watering and tantalizing dishes featuring natural and organic foods and spirits from around the world. Ask about specific gluten-free appetizers and entrees and enjoy the restaurant's beautiful and relaxing decor with skylights that enhance the dining area with its cascading waterfalls, Italian glass tiles and exotic trees that celebrate nature. This restaurant's dedication to animal welfare and the vegan lifestyle is confirmed as they give 100% of their profits to organizations that promote both. (9546151431)
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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