Cue the Petula Clark because when it comes to a solid dine in Fort Lauderdale... “you can always goooooo... Downtown.” Sorry to Flagler Village, Fort Lauderdale Beach, all the magic on 17th Street, and in the ‘Burbs, you are purposefully left out of this list. There are dozens upon dozens of flashy options when it comes to a stroll down Las Olas Boulevard through the Himmarshee Historic District and its immediate surroundings. But these 10 best spots to eat in Downtown Fort Lauderdale will never let you down.Read More
The 10 Best Spots to Eat in Downtown Fort Lauderdale
Strolling Las Olas and the Himmarshee District? Park it here.
Don’t end your downtown Las Olas Boulevard stroll without venturing east to Bombay Darbar. Indian food in its prime with an undeniably elegant flair, its basics (vegetable samosa, chicken tikka masala, etc.) is as wow-worthy as its signatures (e.g., the vinegar-y meets spicy Lamb Vindaloo).
In a town of bougie breakfasts, snobby brunches, and all that pretension, the Floridian remains Fort Lauderdale’s no-frills diner. If its walls of historic photos and celeb headshots don’t do the trick, its absolutely massive “3 egg” omelets will. Bonus: It’s open 24/7.
Rocco's Tacos & Tequila Bar
The original was born in West Palm Beach in 2007, and today, there are nine locations throughout the Sunshine State. Amid the “fancy Mexican” competition on Las Olas Boulevard, Rocco’s Tacos is a standout for its strong and tangy margaritas and – brace yourself for a non-taco wild card – heaping nachos with pickled jalapenos.
Before arriving in Laudy in 2023, this spot’s three other locations were (brace yourself for two spots Fort Lauderdale residents generally don’t care for): New York and Miami. Nosh on its grass-fed short ribs, kiwi vinaigrette-bedazzled quinoa bowl, or, for breakfast, coconut cream-topped waffles, and you’ll quickly get over your biases.
From the brilliant minds of three-time James Beard nominated chef Timon Balloo and his wife Marissa Katherine, this intimate spot is where the lines-always-out-the-door Foxy Brown used to be. And, with a seasonal ingredient-driven menu and natural/organic wine bliss, this spot has earned its lines, too, since opening in 2022.
Boathouse at the Riverside
Ah, this is “Venice of America” vibes at its pinnacle, with a massive tropical fish tank inside and tables literally feet from the New River’s edge. Boathouse at the Riverside wouldn’t make this without its vast tapas-esque spread, though, including hot honey-layered Brussels sprouts, whiskey-glazed wings, and chipotle cheddar-loaded potato dippers.
Big City Tavern
There is nothing worse than paying Las Olas Boulevard prices and leaving hungry. That is not a concern at the modern tavern hotspot, be it a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with sriracha mayo served on a griddle bun or its “king size” tavern soft pretzel. You may never see the bottom of one of its bottomless mimosas during its brunch.
A long-time local fave for modern Italian and an incredible “Parm to Table” experience where fettuccine is whipped with cheese tableside, Timpano reopened in a re-inspired manner in 2022 after being closed for two years. Its mammoth 32-ounce Tomahawk helps make up for lost time.
Yes, you’ll have to walk just over the Andrews Avenue bridge from true Downtown Fort Lauderdale to get here. But, with live tunes, river vistas, always fresh oysters on the half shell, and fall-off-the-bone ribs, it’s worth the geographic exception and stroll.
The House on the River
Okay, so, yes, this is a house on the river. But it’s not just any house – it’s one of the oldest, still-standing homes in town, dating back to 1903. Its menu lives up to its cozy-yet-mansion-esque ambiance, with a chianti braised short rib and mahi mahi – soaked in a tomato white wine broth – as highlights.
Also featured in: