Dining From Dawn ‘Til Dusk: Fort Lauderdale’s Best Bites

by  Matthew Wexler | Feb 18, 2014
Beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida / danindub/iStock

Whether you’re headed to Fort Lauderdale en route to a cruise, or have chosen the city as a vacation destination in itself, Fort Lauderdale’s blossoming food culture is stronger than ever. From funky fusion to high tea, there’s plenty to choose from, with budget-friendly options, starting with breakfast, and continuing on to the wee hours.

8 a.m. Breakfast
A craft beer hangout for breakfast? You’d better believe it. Riverside Market and Café might offer more than 550 craft beers, but the real happy hour is in the morning, when those in the know enjoy freshly baked omelets like the “305,” which is filled with tomatoes, onions, and peppers and served with homemade salsa, potato of the day, and breakfast bread. 

12 p.m. Soul Food
Don’t be fooled by its modest strip mall setting. The husband-wife chef team, Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy, churn out globally inspired comfort food with a splash of New Orleans flair at Hot and Soul. Half-portions make it easy to share delectables like Aunt Dewey’s Gumbo and house favorite Chicken Adobo, which combines vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar for the perfect punch of flavor.

3 p.m. High Tea
Step out of the heat for a proper afternoon respite at Oscar’s Tea Room, where you can indulge in a traditional English tea served on fine china at tables set with Victorian linens. The menu features inspired desserts like white chocolate cake layered with lemon curd, and the Bakewell tart, an almond sponge cake layered with jam and topped with toasted almonds.

7 p.m. Sunset and Scooby Snacks
To most comfortably enjoy al fresco dining, wait until the sun begins to set. Coconuts – once home to Florida’s iconic spring break scene – has grown up and now offers a picture-perfect backdrop for photos, as well as seafood-inspired dishes. Only the locals (and now you) know to ask for Scooby Snacks, an off-menu preparation of blue crab claws.

11 p.m. Late Night Cravings
Sightseeing can work up quite an appetite, and even if you’ve been noshing throughout the day, your taste buds will thank you for a final stop at Rok: Burger for gastropub fare. Burgers feature a special blend of certified Angus beef, and hand-cut fries make a delicious accompaniment. If you’re craving other upscale comfort food, try macaroni and cheese topped with lobster – or a short rib grilled cheese with caramelized onions.

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