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.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: A landmark eatery in a convenient location just north of Downtown with great food any time of day or night.
Dale's expert tip: An extensive menu will take some time to leaf through so plan to spend some time here.
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.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Well-known for its quality of food and convenient location, this is a must-visit.
Dale's expert tip: Get here early as there can be a line of eager diners waiting. There is plenty of parking.
A Fort Lauderdale mainstay and local institution, Mai-Kai Restaurant and Polynesian Show is an absolute must-do. This restaurant has served excellent, traditional Cantonese and American dishes in an exotic atmosphere for almost half a century. The décor makes you feel like you are on a Polynesian village, with a thatch roof, statues, tiki torches, and a bridge at the entrance. The restaurant has received excellent reviews for its Cantonese seafood dishes, grilled steak, and Peking duck. Try any of 51 frosty tropical umbrella drinks, and don't miss the Islander Revue, an entertaining showcase of authentic Polynesian dance and costume. Easy to find, just north of Oakland Park Boulevard on Federal Highway.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Dinner and a show of a unique blend that is a local legend.
Dale's expert tip: A great place to impress friends and family with the perfect evening with great food and a something-different experience.
This is probably one of the most unusual hamburger joints around. Known for its famous hamburgers, having been voted the best hamburger in GQ Magazine and also known for being a favorite of Oprah's friend Gail. Set along the Intracoastal Waterway in a former garage guests sit among a number of old bathroom fixtures that are scattered around and surrounded by flowers and plants. The service may be slow but just be patient and take in the beautiful views of the river and the parade of boats that go by and know that when the food arrives it will be memorable. If it's not hamburgers you want decide from the menu of chicken, salads, great sides, desserts and a list of great beers and cocktails.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Everyone in the family will find this place so much fun. With its eccentric decor and intacoastal location its certainly unique.
Dale's expert tip: Parking is a bit tight so be aware.
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.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Every kind of delicious diner food you can think of for the entire family with small-town-like service.
Dale's expert tip: It's not fancy but it is legendary for its great food!
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!
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Buca I Beppo specializes in family-style dining with family-style portions!
Dale's expert tip: Seriously, be ready to eat when you arrive. You won't forget this!
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.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Families rave about this place as it appeals to every age.
Dale's expert tip: Find out what the locals know about this great seafood restaurant!
Warsaw Coffee Company in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is just blocks west of Federal Highway and north of Wilton Manors, Florida and patrons have had no problem finding it. Proudly the city's newest relaxing coffee shop, catering to those can't wait for another cup, all in a sophisticated setting. Warsaw Coffee Company offers single origin, locally roasted specialty coffee along with sweet & savory artisan bake goods, craft beer and wine. Even more, available is an extensive menu of fresh salads, delicious sandwiches and even more, as well as tempting sweets that has convinced many to return over and over again.