Proclaiming itself as One Happy Restaurant, Aruba Beach Cafe at One East Commercial Boulevard in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea has a great reputation not only as a restaurant, but a great place to enjoy awesome jazz music every Sunday. Picture it: Enjoying seafood, large fresh salads, pastas and burgers in the company of friends and family, feeling the balmy breezes right off the ocean just steps away, and being in the company of those who enjoy a relaxing Sunday listening to the top-notch jazz that keeps people coming back. Aruba Beach Cafe has been a favorite among the locals for many years, and they have perfected the art of service over the years, and they are the experts.
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!
Recommended for Lunch because: Talk about a satisfying lunch. Whether it's a sandwich or something more hearty, you'll walk away satisfied.
Dale's expert tip: Don't worry about waiting in line; there are benches along the front to sit. Take a seat and scoot down as those ahead of you go in. It's part of the charm.
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 Lunch because: This is a true experience. Outside or in, take advantage of a great menu and great people-watching!
Dale's expert tip: It's not fancy but it is legendary for its great food!
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 Lunch because: A locally celebrated restaurant with the best burgers, quirky decor and great outside seating.
Dale's expert tip: Not much immediate parking available, but be patient as parking does open up.
Enjoy outside dining in the heart of the Las Olas Boulevard area at Mango's. Plenty of seating lines the street where you can dine on great chicken and seafood sandwiches and pastas. Inside, you'll find a large, cozy dining area with a bar that's popular with the locals. This local gem offers live music every night of the week and many times to a packed house. Try a specialty drink like the Mango-Lada or Las Olas Lemonade while you enjoy classic renditions and contemporary innovations. Show up a bit early with friends or that special someone and enjoy an amazing meal then an incredible night of incredible music. Great place to see and be seen!
Recommended for Lunch because: Mango's is tops when it comes to great food, atmosphere and fun, and it's right in the heart of Downtown.
Dale's expert tip: This scene is great on most weeknights and weekends and plenty of parking in the rear
Offering a two-for-one lunch special, Sage is a pleasant French restaurant that has appealed to the fans of country French cuisine for some time. With an elegant, bistro-style atmosphere with two locations, one in Fort Lauderdale and the other in near-by Hollywood, this establishment features such delightful entrees as Daube de Boeuf, brie-topped Steak Maurice and roasted duck doused in a heavenly honey raspberry sauce. Perfectly prepared crepes, including the Crepe Languedoc with garlic sausage, cheese, apples and tomatoes, are equally as impressive. End your delightful meal by pairing purely sinful desserts like créme brule with a smooth, rich espresso for the perfect finish. Sage is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Recommended for Lunch because: Well-known locally and especially ideal for that perfect lunch with a friend or business associate.
Dale's expert tip: Sage is conveniently located in a busy shopping district with plenty of parking and great shops to linger in after lunch.
It's hard to imagine that in just four short years the amazing Yolo has become the talk of the town. And that's a tough thing to do in Fort Lauderdale. But there is good reason why. Located on the very chic and elegant Las Olas, this beautifully designed eatery welcomes its patrons in its modern and comfortable setting and presents its delightful lunch menu consisting of delicious starters, soups, sandwiches and specials of prime rib, a daily fresh fish selection, a vegetable stir fry, BBQ Port Ribs or the health-conscious special vegetable plate. Sides consist of everyone's favorite macaroni and cheese, delightful Green Apple Slaw or Roasted Beets and more. And don't rush back to the office before trying their delectable desserts and topped off with your favorite coffee. And remember the restaurant's name is short for You Only Live Once, so enjoy!
Recommended for Lunch because: If you're downtown at lunchtime enjoy what lunch is supposed to be!
Dale's expert tip: If you have enjoyed Yolo for dinner you will certainly love it for lunch!
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.
Recommended for Lunch because: Increasingly popular with its great vibe, atmosphere and great lunch menu.
Dale's expert tip: If you don't have much time for lunch get to J. Mark's early as this place fills up quickly any day of the week.
Choose seating inside or out, whether to enjoy a drink from a list of beers (both domestic, imported or draft) or signature cocktails, such as the Kaluz Cadillac margarita, chocolate martini, coconut mohito or a Voli skinny cosmo. Also, choose from a stellar list of wines, including sparkling, Chardonnay, alluring and aromatic whites, Cabernet Sauvignon, bold reds, Pinot noir and others. Take in the calming waterway and subtropical scenery, and peruse the exceptional menu. This brings back diners back again and again. Choose from a list of enticing appetizers, flatbreads and salads. From a list of burgers and sandwiches for a lunch or casual dinner, Kaluz offers the veggie burger, classic cheeseburger – who can resist? – or the very decadent-sounding prime rib burger.
Recommended for Lunch because: One of the most talked about restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, and perfectly situated right on the Intracoastal.
Dale's expert tip: Ideal for a long or quick lunch, taking in the sub tropical breezes, entertaining friends.