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Poutine at Dairy Belle Ice Cream
Photo Credit: Foodspotting

16 Broward Dishes Worth The Drive From Miami

From poutine to all-you-can-eat gelato

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Poutine at Dairy Belle Ice Cream
| Photo Credit: Foodspotting

Miamians tend to overlook Broward County as a dining destination. Nevertheless, the more understated neighbor to the north has a wealth of unique foods that one would be hard-pressed to find in Miami. The cultural diversity of Broward means that locals have access to some of the most authentic international fare in South Florida. Everything from South African meat pies to Korean barbecue can be found just north of county line road.

Note: points are organized geographically from north to south. Points aren't rankings.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Vietnamese food at Saigon Cuisine

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Broward County has a sizeable Vietnamese population, which not only means that there are enough Vietnamese restaurants to fill a separate map, but also that Broward’s Vietnamese culinary scene is as authentic as it gets in South Florida. Pho, banh mi, and hot pot places abound in Miami’s neighbor to the north, and every local has his or her favorite. Saigon Cuisine in Margate has one of the most expansive menus of any Vietnamese restaurant, and it cater to a mostly Vietnamese crowd. The menu features the requisite pho with a range of toppings from the quintessential rare beef to the connoisseur’s favorite, soft tendon. There is also a selection of banh mi along with rice and noodle bowls. The menu also has quite a few other items that cannot be found in Miami, like tapioca noodles.

Photo credit: Yelp/Burjs S.

Korean food at Gabose Korean & Japanese

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While people in Miami may get excited when they see bulgogi on a pan-Asian menu, Broward residents have long had their choice of multiple exclusively Korean eateries. There are Korean restaurants scattered all throughout Broward County, but the area around University Drive between Commercial and Oakland Park can be seen as South Florida’s unofficial Little Seoul. Everything from expansive markets to bakeries and late-night all-you-can-eat barbecue are to be found north of County Line Road. Perhaps the most famous is Gabose, which specializes in grill-at-the-table barbecue specialties like galbi, along with hearty stews and savory pancakes. The popular restaurant has most recently opened an authentic Korean-styel bar, Gabose Pocha, in the same strip mall where people can enjoy classic Korean bar snacks along with soju and a playlist of K-pop hits.

Photo credit: Facebook/Gabose

South Indian food at Woodlands Indian Cuisine

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Miami may have a few British-style curry houses, as well as some expertly reimagined haute Indian cuisine, but Broward residents have easy access to no-frills, authentic regional South Indian food. This is the zestier, lighter, and more vegetable based counterpart to the rich, ghee-laden gravies many diners may be more familiar with. Woodlands Indian Cuisine in Lauderhill offers an exclusively vegetarian menu of favorite specialties like idli and uttapam. The restaurant also specializes in Southern India’s most iconic dish, dosa. These are enormous crispy crepes stuffed with a variety of spicy fillings that can include anything from curried potatoes to Chinese-style stir-fried vegetables. Woodlands serves them with several chutneys and a soul warming lentil soup called sambhar.

Photo credit: Yelp/Tom I.

North Carolina BBQ at Dixie Pig

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Miami does have some iconic barbecue restaurants, but Broward County is perhaps the only place in South Florida where you can find Carolina style barbecue. The hallmark of this style is the pulled pork served with coleslaw and an optional dash or two of pepper vinegar. There is no sweet, sticky barbecue sauce to detract from enjoying the smoky, tender goodness of the meat. Dixie Pig, aptly located on Dixie Highway, serves up the smoked pig just like it’s done in the Carolinas.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Ariel W.

Bobotie at Meal in a Pie

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Miamians may be experts on pastelitos, but Broward residents have bragging rights when it comes the diversity of pastries on offer. There are authentic bakeries from just about every continent in Broward County, and Meal in a Pie in Fort Lauderdale is South Africa’s contribution to the global baked goods scene. The specialties here are savory, puff pastry pies with a variety of fillings. To translate that into Miami speak, that would be like an empanada, but bigger and spicier. The signature is the bobotie, made with ground meat studded with dried fruit and seasoned with fiery South African curry powder. The crust is tender, flaky, and buttery. The filling is moist and addictive enough to forget about those guava and cheese things for a while.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Jennifer C.

Tiki cocktails at Mai Kai

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Tiki cocktails seem to be having a moment in the spotlight now as bars and restaurants ironically feature them as quirky throwback items. Fortunately, there is a place in Fort Lauderdale where flamboyant tropical cocktails have never gone out of style since it opened in 1956. Mai Kai offers a pretty spot-on, mid-twentieth century tiki experience that includes everything from pupu platters to a live Polynesian review. The bar has some of the best old school tiki cocktails in the state, if not the world. The historic restaurant was named best tiki bar in the world in 2015. The best part? There is a happy hour every day with half priced drinks and appetizers.

Photo Credit: PUNCH

Desi pizza at Tandoor Pizza

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Purists will probably not appreciate it, but those who like a little creativity cultural expression on their pizza will fall in love with desi pizza, India and Pakistan’s take on the pie. Instead of tomato sauce, the dough is dressed with a rich and spicy curry sauce before getting covered in cheese. Tandoor Pizza does a standout job with their desi pizza, and even brushes the crust with ghee. Typical toppings include chicken tikka, seekh kebab, and butter chicken, as well as halal salami. Every pizza gets a light sprinkling of chopped cilantro. Besides pizza, this joint also serves up some exemplary kebabs and a monstrously baroque falooda, the Subcontinent’s answer to the sundae.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Sam M.

Uncle Lui's Restaurant

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Stepping into Uncle Lui’s in Sunrise feels like being at an Eastern European grandmother’s house, or at one of many similar restaurants found in the Midwest. Regardless of where it transports diners, Uncle Lui’s is quite the departure from anything found in Miami. The fare is simple Hungarian home cooking, served generously and economically. Expect large, crisp schnitzel, fragrant chicken paprikash enriched with sour cream, and freshly made spaetzle. A meal is not complete without a piece of strudel or palacsinta, which are both said to have originated in Hungary.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Tairyn A.

Cincinnati Chili at Skyline

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Cincinnati Chili will completely change whatever notion of chili you may have had in your head. It is a love it or hate it kind of dish, but Cincinnati natives are fiercely loyal to their local specialty. There must be many transplants from Porkopolis (as Cincy is sometimes known) in Broward County because Broward is home to two locations of the Ohio city’s most famous chili purveyor, Skyline. The chili here is not as thick as other varieties and is seasoned with Greek spices, which Skyline’s founder brought over from his homeland. It is famously served atop spaghetti with cheese and onions (a 3-way), or on top of miniature hotdogs called coneys.

Photo Credit: Skyline

German food at Old Heidelberg

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Tropical weather and rich German food don’t seem to go together, but every now and again the weather dips below 80 degrees and sends South Floridians off in search of warming comfort. While this may be the most ideal time to enjoy hearty plates of bratwurst and sauerbraten, any time is a good time to visit one of Broward’s many German eateries. Few are as iconic or instantly recognizable to Broward locals as Old Heidelberg. The traditional Bavarian façade and permanent Oktoberfest trappings straight from Munich make the restaurant hard to miss. The interiors are perhaps even more authentically German than the exterior, and the dirndl-wearing waitresses and live music transport you back to the old country. The food is reliably good and filling here, and the beer selection is incomparable with its small beer stein considered an extra-large anywhere else. The beer boot definitely should not be missed.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Old Heidelberg

Poutine at Dairy Belle Ice Cream

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From Halloween to Easter, one is likely to hear more French spoken in Southeastern Broward than English. Quebecois have made cities like Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, and Dania Beach their winter escapes, and they fortunately brought one of their most iconic dishes with them. Poutine is a popular street food found throughout Quebec and consists of French fries topped with cheddar cheese curds and beef gravy. Dairy Belle in Dania Beach has been giving French Canadian snowbirds a taste of home since 1998, and it is one of the few places in South Florida where one can reliably get poutine, as well as several other Quebecois fast foods.

Photo Credit: Foodspotting

Israeli food at Pita Xpress & Grill

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Stirling Road between Interstate 95 and State Road 7 is arguably South Florida’s Israeli corridor. It is hard not to notice the concentration of kosher eateries offering hummus, falafel, and shawarma, and shakshuka. Each business has its devoted fans, but few offer a shawarma as flavorful as Pita Xpress & Grill. The shreds of meat are headily perfumed with warm, sweet spices and it is so generously stuffed into every pita sandwich that it is difficult to gracefully enjoy it. Pita Xpress also offers an enormous bin of complimentary pita chips, as well as a complimentary salad bar featuring a garlicky carrot salad and spicy chickpeas. There is also homemade couscous on Thursdays.

Photo Credit: Yelp/ Rami P.

Tavern pizza at Villa Rose

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The United States has many styles of pizza, and some may be less well known than others. Case in point: the tavern pizza. This thin crust pizza is popular in the Midwest, particularly in Chicago where deep dish tends to steal all the limelight. That doesn’t mean that tavern pizza is not as good. It is, after, the inspiration for the thin crust pizza found at many chains. Villa Rose in Hollywood has been drawing in customers since 1957 for just this type of pizza. The crust strikes the balance between crunchy and chewy, and the bold tomato sauce is good enough to eat with a spoon.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Christopher G.

Romanian food at Chocolada

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Hollywood is home to a pretty significant Romanian community that has brought over a very rich culinary heritage to the area. The cuisine has influences from the Middle East, as well as its European neighbors that are best appreciated in dishes like mititei, tiny grilled ground meat fingers, with sides of mamaliga, a rich polenta typically served with sour cream. And of course there is a tradition of decadent pastry making. Downtown Hollywood has a couple of places where you can sample this cuisine, but Chocolada is an ideal venue to enjoy both the savory and sweet sides of Romanian food with its café menu and abundantly stocked pastry cases.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Marina A.

All-you-can-eat Gelato at Tasta Gelato & Cafeteria

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Tasta in Downtown Hollywood is the first foreign location of the Italian chain of gelato shops. The gelateria has really given South Florida some of the best Italian-style ice cream around with many ingredients being imported from Italy. On top of gelato, Tasta also offers Sicilian-style granita, as well as homemade gelato cakes, sandwiches, and even cannolis. While Tasta certainly makes the drive from Miami worth it at any time, Tasta becomes a major attraction for the gelato addict when it throws its all-you-can-eat gelato parties. For only $10, fanatics can enjoy all the gelato and sorbetto they can handle until 3 a.m. while dancing to the beats of a live DJ.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Dim Sum at Gold Marquess Fine Chinese Cuisine

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There is no question that Miami has some restaurants that serve dim sum, but there are none that offer the experience, variety, quality, and value of Gold Marquess in Pembroke Pines. Dim sum is offered every morning at this elegant Chinese restaurant, and the wait can be pretty long during peak hours on weekends when the venue is packed with Chinese families enjoying feasts of traditional Cantonese fare. Carts laden with everything from dumplings to congee are constantly being pushed around the dining room, stopping at each table for diners to take their pick. As a true sign of authenticity, the restaurant also offers an impressive selection of loose leaf teas to pair with the dim sum. Ask for Chrysanthemum blossoms.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Yuhan W.

Vietnamese food at Saigon Cuisine

Photo credit: Yelp/Burjs S.

Broward County has a sizeable Vietnamese population, which not only means that there are enough Vietnamese restaurants to fill a separate map, but also that Broward’s Vietnamese culinary scene is as authentic as it gets in South Florida. Pho, banh mi, and hot pot places abound in Miami’s neighbor to the north, and every local has his or her favorite. Saigon Cuisine in Margate has one of the most expansive menus of any Vietnamese restaurant, and it cater to a mostly Vietnamese crowd. The menu features the requisite pho with a range of toppings from the quintessential rare beef to the connoisseur’s favorite, soft tendon. There is also a selection of banh mi along with rice and noodle bowls. The menu also has quite a few other items that cannot be found in Miami, like tapioca noodles.

Photo credit: Yelp/Burjs S.

Korean food at Gabose Korean & Japanese

Photo credit: Facebook/Gabose

While people in Miami may get excited when they see bulgogi on a pan-Asian menu, Broward residents have long had their choice of multiple exclusively Korean eateries. There are Korean restaurants scattered all throughout Broward County, but the area around University Drive between Commercial and Oakland Park can be seen as South Florida’s unofficial Little Seoul. Everything from expansive markets to bakeries and late-night all-you-can-eat barbecue are to be found north of County Line Road. Perhaps the most famous is Gabose, which specializes in grill-at-the-table barbecue specialties like galbi, along with hearty stews and savory pancakes. The popular restaurant has most recently opened an authentic Korean-styel bar, Gabose Pocha, in the same strip mall where people can enjoy classic Korean bar snacks along with soju and a playlist of K-pop hits.

Photo credit: Facebook/Gabose

South Indian food at Woodlands Indian Cuisine

Photo credit: Yelp/Tom I.

Miami may have a few British-style curry houses, as well as some expertly reimagined haute Indian cuisine, but Broward residents have easy access to no-frills, authentic regional South Indian food. This is the zestier, lighter, and more vegetable based counterpart to the rich, ghee-laden gravies many diners may be more familiar with. Woodlands Indian Cuisine in Lauderhill offers an exclusively vegetarian menu of favorite specialties like idli and uttapam. The restaurant also specializes in Southern India’s most iconic dish, dosa. These are enormous crispy crepes stuffed with a variety of spicy fillings that can include anything from curried potatoes to Chinese-style stir-fried vegetables. Woodlands serves them with several chutneys and a soul warming lentil soup called sambhar.

Photo credit: Yelp/Tom I.

North Carolina BBQ at Dixie Pig

Photo Credit: Yelp/Ariel W.

Miami does have some iconic barbecue restaurants, but Broward County is perhaps the only place in South Florida where you can find Carolina style barbecue. The hallmark of this style is the pulled pork served with coleslaw and an optional dash or two of pepper vinegar. There is no sweet, sticky barbecue sauce to detract from enjoying the smoky, tender goodness of the meat. Dixie Pig, aptly located on Dixie Highway, serves up the smoked pig just like it’s done in the Carolinas.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Ariel W.

Bobotie at Meal in a Pie

Photo Credit: Yelp/Jennifer C.

Miamians may be experts on pastelitos, but Broward residents have bragging rights when it comes the diversity of pastries on offer. There are authentic bakeries from just about every continent in Broward County, and Meal in a Pie in Fort Lauderdale is South Africa’s contribution to the global baked goods scene. The specialties here are savory, puff pastry pies with a variety of fillings. To translate that into Miami speak, that would be like an empanada, but bigger and spicier. The signature is the bobotie, made with ground meat studded with dried fruit and seasoned with fiery South African curry powder. The crust is tender, flaky, and buttery. The filling is moist and addictive enough to forget about those guava and cheese things for a while.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Jennifer C.

Tiki cocktails at Mai Kai

Photo Credit: PUNCH

Tiki cocktails seem to be having a moment in the spotlight now as bars and restaurants ironically feature them as quirky throwback items. Fortunately, there is a place in Fort Lauderdale where flamboyant tropical cocktails have never gone out of style since it opened in 1956. Mai Kai offers a pretty spot-on, mid-twentieth century tiki experience that includes everything from pupu platters to a live Polynesian review. The bar has some of the best old school tiki cocktails in the state, if not the world. The historic restaurant was named best tiki bar in the world in 2015. The best part? There is a happy hour every day with half priced drinks and appetizers.

Photo Credit: PUNCH

Desi pizza at Tandoor Pizza

Photo Credit: Yelp/Sam M.

Purists will probably not appreciate it, but those who like a little creativity cultural expression on their pizza will fall in love with desi pizza, India and Pakistan’s take on the pie. Instead of tomato sauce, the dough is dressed with a rich and spicy curry sauce before getting covered in cheese. Tandoor Pizza does a standout job with their desi pizza, and even brushes the crust with ghee. Typical toppings include chicken tikka, seekh kebab, and butter chicken, as well as halal salami. Every pizza gets a light sprinkling of chopped cilantro. Besides pizza, this joint also serves up some exemplary kebabs and a monstrously baroque falooda, the Subcontinent’s answer to the sundae.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Sam M.

Uncle Lui's Restaurant

Photo Credit: Yelp/Tairyn A.

Stepping into Uncle Lui’s in Sunrise feels like being at an Eastern European grandmother’s house, or at one of many similar restaurants found in the Midwest. Regardless of where it transports diners, Uncle Lui’s is quite the departure from anything found in Miami. The fare is simple Hungarian home cooking, served generously and economically. Expect large, crisp schnitzel, fragrant chicken paprikash enriched with sour cream, and freshly made spaetzle. A meal is not complete without a piece of strudel or palacsinta, which are both said to have originated in Hungary.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Tairyn A.

Cincinnati Chili at Skyline

Photo Credit: Skyline

Cincinnati Chili will completely change whatever notion of chili you may have had in your head. It is a love it or hate it kind of dish, but Cincinnati natives are fiercely loyal to their local specialty. There must be many transplants from Porkopolis (as Cincy is sometimes known) in Broward County because Broward is home to two locations of the Ohio city’s most famous chili purveyor, Skyline. The chili here is not as thick as other varieties and is seasoned with Greek spices, which Skyline’s founder brought over from his homeland. It is famously served atop spaghetti with cheese and onions (a 3-way), or on top of miniature hotdogs called coneys.

Photo Credit: Skyline

German food at Old Heidelberg

Photo Credit: Facebook/Old Heidelberg

Tropical weather and rich German food don’t seem to go together, but every now and again the weather dips below 80 degrees and sends South Floridians off in search of warming comfort. While this may be the most ideal time to enjoy hearty plates of bratwurst and sauerbraten, any time is a good time to visit one of Broward’s many German eateries. Few are as iconic or instantly recognizable to Broward locals as Old Heidelberg. The traditional Bavarian façade and permanent Oktoberfest trappings straight from Munich make the restaurant hard to miss. The interiors are perhaps even more authentically German than the exterior, and the dirndl-wearing waitresses and live music transport you back to the old country. The food is reliably good and filling here, and the beer selection is incomparable with its small beer stein considered an extra-large anywhere else. The beer boot definitely should not be missed.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Old Heidelberg

Poutine at Dairy Belle Ice Cream

Photo Credit: Foodspotting

From Halloween to Easter, one is likely to hear more French spoken in Southeastern Broward than English. Quebecois have made cities like Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, and Dania Beach their winter escapes, and they fortunately brought one of their most iconic dishes with them. Poutine is a popular street food found throughout Quebec and consists of French fries topped with cheddar cheese curds and beef gravy. Dairy Belle in Dania Beach has been giving French Canadian snowbirds a taste of home since 1998, and it is one of the few places in South Florida where one can reliably get poutine, as well as several other Quebecois fast foods.

Photo Credit: Foodspotting

Israeli food at Pita Xpress & Grill

Photo Credit: Yelp/ Rami P.

Stirling Road between Interstate 95 and State Road 7 is arguably South Florida’s Israeli corridor. It is hard not to notice the concentration of kosher eateries offering hummus, falafel, and shawarma, and shakshuka. Each business has its devoted fans, but few offer a shawarma as flavorful as Pita Xpress & Grill. The shreds of meat are headily perfumed with warm, sweet spices and it is so generously stuffed into every pita sandwich that it is difficult to gracefully enjoy it. Pita Xpress also offers an enormous bin of complimentary pita chips, as well as a complimentary salad bar featuring a garlicky carrot salad and spicy chickpeas. There is also homemade couscous on Thursdays.

Photo Credit: Yelp/ Rami P.

Tavern pizza at Villa Rose

Photo Credit: Yelp/Christopher G.

The United States has many styles of pizza, and some may be less well known than others. Case in point: the tavern pizza. This thin crust pizza is popular in the Midwest, particularly in Chicago where deep dish tends to steal all the limelight. That doesn’t mean that tavern pizza is not as good. It is, after, the inspiration for the thin crust pizza found at many chains. Villa Rose in Hollywood has been drawing in customers since 1957 for just this type of pizza. The crust strikes the balance between crunchy and chewy, and the bold tomato sauce is good enough to eat with a spoon.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Christopher G.

Romanian food at Chocolada

Photo Credit: Yelp/Marina A.

Hollywood is home to a pretty significant Romanian community that has brought over a very rich culinary heritage to the area. The cuisine has influences from the Middle East, as well as its European neighbors that are best appreciated in dishes like mititei, tiny grilled ground meat fingers, with sides of mamaliga, a rich polenta typically served with sour cream. And of course there is a tradition of decadent pastry making. Downtown Hollywood has a couple of places where you can sample this cuisine, but Chocolada is an ideal venue to enjoy both the savory and sweet sides of Romanian food with its café menu and abundantly stocked pastry cases.

Photo Credit: Yelp/Marina A.

All-you-can-eat Gelato at Tasta Gelato & Cafeteria

Photo Credit: Facebook

Tasta in Downtown Hollywood is the first foreign location of the Italian chain of gelato shops. The gelateria has really given South Florida some of the best Italian-style ice cream around with many ingredients being imported from Italy. On top of gelato, Tasta also offers Sicilian-style granita, as well as homemade gelato cakes, sandwiches, and even cannolis. While Tasta certainly makes the drive from Miami worth it at any time, Tasta becomes a major attraction for the gelato addict when it throws its all-you-can-eat gelato parties. For only $10, fanatics can enjoy all the gelato and sorbetto they can handle until 3 a.m. while dancing to the beats of a live DJ.