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 Group Friendly because: Bring the group here for down-home diner food, including great breakfasts, entrees that only Mom could make and to-die-for desserts.
Dale's expert tip: An extensive menu will take some time to leaf through so plan to spend some time here.
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!
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Very few eateries have the views and the ambiance of The Downtowner Saloon. It's part of the Fort Lauderdale experience.
Dale's expert tip: Finding it can be tricky so set your GPS.
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.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Just dive in at this South Florida favorite – and what group can turn down great Bar-B-Q?
Dale's expert tip: Well known for its sauce, take home a bottle.
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.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Very classy environment, only the best service and classic Italian fare.
Dale's expert tip: Convenient website to make reservations and plan your evening and plenty of parking.
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.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Easily located with the very best Asian favorites with plenty of room and great service.
Dale's expert tip: A short cab ride from Port Everglades.
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.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Serving some of the city's best steaks for decades, and ideal for any group.
Dale's expert tip: There's a good reason that this steakhouse has been successful for so long. You'll soon see why.
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.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Arrive here by boat and enjoy a meal watching the playful Intracoastal. This is pure Ft. Lauderdale.
Dale's expert tip: Great steaks with great views of all things Fort Lauderdale.
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 Group Friendly because: Truly a great experience for any group dining together who love Italian food.
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.