Food & Drink

  • Best Restaurant Under $10

    Spicy Jenny's

    Don't say we never did nothin' for ya. Because if we had half a brain or one selfish bone in our body, we'd stay mum about Spicy Jenny's. This tiny, three-table storefront eatery, just off Lake Worth's main drag, is one of those little-known places so unfathomably good that we should just shut up about it, because the only good… More >>
  • Best Chain Restaurant

    Samba Room - CLOSED

    OK, so it's not much of a chain -- yet. This pan-Latin eatery, a conceptual sibling to T.G.I. Friday's, has only two other locations nationwide. Still, more are planned, including two in South Florida, and they're so uniquely suited to our region that we have no problem looking forward to more. Like everyday life in multicultural South Florida,… More >>
  • Best Desserts

    Rhythm Café

    If the aroma of fresh-baked cookies wafting from the café's kitchen doesn't clue you in, allow us to do so: Proprietors Dennis Williams and Ken Rzab make their own. And they're not just tollhouse toadies, either, although the chocolate-chip yummies here are so popular the boys sell 'em by the dozen. This pair gets into the groove with sweets both… More >>
  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    La Palma Grill

    What do you do when confronted with a horny green iguana? Drink it, and fast -- otherwise the aged tequila in this innovative martini might lose its just-shaken chill. Then, once you're sufficiently warmed, take time to examine the rest of the offerings at this splendidly creative Tex-Mex joint. This eatery on trendy Clematis Street has chile-napped winners… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Eddie Hills and Sushi Thai

    Granted, the name's a little strange, perhaps just a bit too weird to be taken seriously. And the sushi part can easily seem like a backup plan for non-Thai food lovers or for those disappointed in the pad Thai, for instance. And yes, the place doesn't look like much more than what it was before chef-owner Todd Boonya took over:… More >>
  • Best Place To Develop Your Wine Palate Without Breaking The Bank

    Gatsby's Palm Beach

    Not only does this place offer 40 different selections of wine by the glass, but you can brush up on your varietals during happy hour every Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. with half-price "flights" of wine. A flight is a tasting of three wines related to one another by taste, geographic region of origin, or type of… More >>
  • Best Restaurant For Gluttons

    Sweet Tomatoes

    Sure, the tomatoes here are sweet. You can pick 'em up off the salad bar, you can spoon 'em out of your soup, and you can even find the juicy fruit on focaccia bread. But that's not all you can eat at this, well, all-you-can-eat, serve-yourself, prix fixe restaurant. The enormous salad bar -- the first thing you… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Rainbow Palace

    Proper linens? Formal service? Decorous clientele? It's all under the rainbow at this gorgeously outfitted Chinese restaurant. On the outside the place looks like just another ethnic neighborhood eatery, but indoors the place really is a palace of sorts, with walls glowing with mauve paint and fresh flowers blooming on every table. And the fare served here is reminiscent of… More >>
  • Best Subs

    Laspada's

    We've tried to find a better sub than one from Laspada's. Really. We've had a year to do it, and we've scoured Broward and Palm Beach counties. But now we have to admit we've failed. So once again we're awarding this minichain the blue ribbon in this category. But trust us, it's not our fault. Blame instead the folks who… More >>
  • Best Burrito

    San Loco

    What could be more satisfying than the burrito loco, a tortilla stuffed with your choice of beef, chicken, or beans, then topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream, taco sauce, chopped onions, shredded lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes, refried beans, Mexican rice, and -- whew -- jalapeņos? Two of them, of course -- if you can handle… More >>
  • Best Caesar Salad

    Vienna Cafe & Wine Bar

    Though it originated in Mexico, the caesar salad is one of those beloved foods that have jumped all boundaries, invaded all countries, and brought all chefs to their culinary knees. Or we should say most chefs. Danish chef Per Jacobsen, who is also the proprietor of this classy, crowded bistro, has raised the caesar to exceptionally well-balanced heights. There's not… More >>
  • Best Diner

    Boca Glades Gourmet Diner

    Ask a New Jerseyite what a real diner is, and the answer you'll hear -- a wide-ranging menu, friendly and efficient service, and oh, it must be owned by Greeks and serve great Greek pastries -- could just as easily describe Boca Glades. In addition to the usual egg dishes, sandwiches, and burgers, this spacious eatery… More >>
  • Best Greek Restaurant

    Aegean Isles

    No one smashes plates. No one swigs ouzo. Is this really a Greek restaurant? You bet, although an elegantly subdued one. Not only do the décor and the behavior of fellow clientele satisfy propriety, but the traditional fare -- avgolemono (lemon-egg) soup, romaine-fennel salad, swordfish souvlaki (skewered fish) -- is simultaneously sensual and reminiscent of the… More >>
  • Best Restaurant For Intimate Conversation

    Sunfish Grill

    This tiny 40-seater, a renovated luncheonette, can be a little cramped if large parties are in the house. But for the most part, tables for two and four are the norm, which allows couples to whisper conspiratorially and foursomes to gossip about friends and neighbors without being overheard. Even more significant, chef-owner Tony Sindaco's open-kitchen cooking commands other customers' attention,… More >>
  • Best Early-Bird Special

    L'Anjou the French Restaurant - CLOSED

    Call it "le spécial d'oiseau." Or something like that. The French have survived Jerry Lewis, EuroDisney, and Michael Jackson, so why not subject them to the most dynamic of South Florida culinary inventions, the early-bird special? L'Anjou doesn't dare call its presunset dining extravaganza an early bird, but all the ingredients are there. And we call a oiseau a oiseau… More >>
  • Best Wine Selection

    Pineapple Grill - CLOSED

    We can go to the store and pick up a nice low-end bottle of Kendall-Jackson wine for, say, $12, so why would we want to sip the same wine at the inflated restaurant markup of $35? Exactly. So in choosing the best wine selection, we went looking not just for an exhaustive list of bottles but for one that featured… More >>
  • Best Martini

    Mark's Las Olas

    Note scribbled on a bar napkin while researching this category: "There's something beautifully poetic about drinking martinis in the middle of the afternoon at Mark's." Sinatra would agree, and isn't that really what a good martini is all about? We think so. Mark's mixes a mean one, with a rack of gins and vodkas from which to choose, a knowledgeable… More >>
  • Best Restaurant When Someone Else is Paying

    Grill Room on Las Olas - CLOSED

    Whether it's a snowbird paying you back for lodging or the boss treating you on the company's plastic, it's always a delight to be taken to dinner. When this rare occurrence materializes, you want elegance and a worthy wine list. At the Grill Room, you also get quality cocktails, multiple servers, and an appropriately pricey menu, all accompanied by live… More >>
  • Best Takeout Chinese

    Henry's China House

    So the décor's not much to look at -- a couple of tables in a plain eatery stuck in a strip mall. But what do you care? You're here for the take-out, which is a good thing, because that's what this place specializes in. Choose your region: classic Cantonese, Mandarin, Szechuan. The woks here spew forth all manner… More >>
  • Best Restaurant/Palm Beach County

    Acquario

    If you're honest about it, Acquario is a mall restaurant. OK, so that mall is the Esplanade, on chichi Worth Avenue, the aptly named street of commerce in Palm Beach, where real estate is mogul territory. And yes, the complex is hardly Jersey mallrat quality, since all the stores are both genteel and pricey. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that Acquario,… More >>
  • Best Raw Bar

    Southport Raw Bar

    If Fort Lauderdale's known for anything, it's raw bars. In addition to the old guard, avant-garde clam shacks pop up all the time. That makes the competition in this category especially fierce. But sometimes it takes an old-timer to show the young'uns how it should be done. Southport doesn't have fancy bloody Marys garnished with oysters, or tequila-oyster shooters, or… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Sushi Rok - CLOSED

    The name of this upscale sushi and sake bar may sound rock-hard (or rok-hard), but the sushi itself is nothing less than supple. Not soft, because that would imply textureless. Not pliable, because that would denote elasticity. And not flexible, because that might be stringy. No, we're talking fresh raw fish, cut thick enough to give your teeth just the… More >>
  • Best Caribbean Restaurant

    Native Village Café

    If the place first strikes you as a nightclub, that's because it is, at least on weekends. But this Jamaican-Chinese restaurant is also an unpretentious but sophisticated example of island cuisine. The curried goat is meaty, not bony. The brown stew fish is rich and flavorful, not greasy. And chicken sautéed with peanuts and coconut cream is priceless. Make that… More >>
  • Best Restaurant to Die in the Past Year

    Le Pastis

    Hollywood's struggling downtown is either in or out, depending on the year. This year: in, with new eateries such as Red Thai Room and Burt's on the Beach drawing customers from counties to the north and south. Last year: out, with noteworthy restaurants such as Revolution 2029, Tac "O" the Town, and Impromptu all biting the ghost town dust. Le… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Restaurant

    La Brochette Bistro

    Here's the neighborhood part: La Brochette is located in a typical suburban strip mall in southwest Broward County. Here's the restaurant part: an interior crammed with culinary collectibles, a professional staff, and a well-chosen wine list. Now, here's the best part: conch fillet schnitzel with caper-lime sauce, roast duck with ginger-orange sauce, and homemade milk chocolate crème brûlée. Chef-proprietor Aboud… More >>
  • Best Steak House

    Safari Steakhouse

    The absence of antelope chops notwithstanding, this cheetah-spotted steak house fulfills the hearty beef-eater's expectations: luxe décor, high-end meats, and seriously good martinis. You couldn't ask for more in an American steak house, even one that's named for a trek across the savanna. Steaks aren't the only items to stake a meal on, either. Jumbo lump crab-and-avocado cocktails, iceberg salad… More >>
  • Best Seafood Restaurant

    Legal Sea Foods

    Yes, we know this restaurant is part of a chain with more cousins than a family from Appalachia. We're also aware that the outlet-mall setting may make some diners feel as if they're eating in a trendy airplane hangar and that the service can decay into assembly-line style. And yes, we realize that the sea fare here says very little… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Restaurant

    Terrace Oceanside

    Chef Drew Rosen has said it before, and he'll say it again. His eatery, which serves items ranging from a soft duck taco with mango chutney to a rib steak marinated in bourbon and juniper berries, is more of a gourmet restaurant that serves natural foods and plenty of vegetables. The fact that it's Glatt kosher should only reassure diners,… More >>
  • Best Contemporary Restaurant

    Hot Chocolates

    It sounds like a dessert shop. It looks like an elaborate mausoleum, with marble and flowers everywhere. But Hot Chocolates eats like a gourmet's fantasy. The upscale fusion fare, rife with European influences, ranges from ragout of escargot to homemade spaetzle to confit of duck with tomatoes and mushrooms. Not bad for a supper lounge that turns into a disco… More >>
  • Best Pan-Asian Restaurant

    Stir Crazy

    This contemporary eatery in Towne Center makes the most of the pan-Asian fad with a menu of mixed-up ethnicities. Fortunately most of the dishes are not fusion Asian -- they remain true to the countries that inspired them, like chicken imperial rolls (Vietnam), Shanghai noodles (China), and teriyaki salmon (Japan). No matter what ethnicity you feel like noshing,… More >>
  • Best Ribs

    J. Alexander's

    It no doubt sounds like gastronomic blasphemy to declare that a chain restaurant turns out superior ribs. But the barbecued ribs at J. Alexander's really are something special: big slabs of Danish baby-back ribs covered with a dark sauce that's not too tangy and not too sweet. The ribs are pork -- beef can't compete -- … More >>
  • Best Pizza

    Jacaranda Italian Family Restaurant and Pizzeria

    And you thought Sicily's top export to the U.S. was goodfellas? No, it's pizza, stupid. Nick and Joe, who were both born in Sicily, started making pizza in Queens decades before hunkering down in Plantation 21 years ago to bring real ethnic taste to that vanilla town. And what a taste it is: whole-milk cheese, plenty of succulent sauce, and… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse

    Chocolate Moose Coffeehouse

    If the coffeehouses of the 1990s are a throwback to the Cheers era, Chocolate Moose is a perfect example. It's a place where, if not everybody knows your name, at least owner John Helverson makes a point of it. "That's Joe," he says, pointing to a white-haired man in his fifties. "He's having some personal problems and comes here every… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Dining

    Sundy House

    Qualifications for fine outdoor dining are few and simple: The outside of the restaurant has to be especially appealing in some way. Whether that allure comes in the form of foot traffic, as it does on Las Olas Boulevard, or from a great view, as it might from a beachfront eatery, doesn't matter. Or does it? Remember, outdoor dining is… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Dining

    Lester's Diner

    Stainless steel and neon outside; deep-cushioned booths, a thick menu, and friendly waitresses inside. Lester's is one of those old-fashioned diners that beckons with its authentic look and its home-style comfort food. And at the restaurant's original location in Fort Lauderdale (250 E. State Rd. 84), the 24-7 schedule beckons even those with munchies in the weest of hours. Whatever… More >>
  • Best Margarita

    Canyon Southwest Café

    The key to a good margarita is real tequila, about which plenty of amateurs don't know the first thing. Hint: If you think tequila looks like warm piss after a tennis match, just give up now. You're probably one of those folks who believe the best pizza is made by Domino's, in which case you shouldn't be drinking anyway. But… More >>
  • Best Expensive Italian Restaurant

    Pellegrino's Ristorante - CLOSED

    We should note right off the bat that this eatery isn't really one of the most expensive; in fact it just barely makes it into this category. That's fine by us -- we can just order more courses. And a four-course meal is truly impossible to resist in this 50-seater where everyone is treated like "family" even if… More >>
  • Best Inexpensive Italian Restaurant

    Little Italian Tavern - CLOSED

    When a restaurant resembles a trailer from the trailer park that sits behind it, you can bet it's reasonably priced. In fact the motto at Little Italian Tavern (LIT) is that it's cheaper to dine here than it is to dine at home. Cheap doesn't always mean good, but fortunately LIT lights a fire under typical Italian fare --… More >>
  • Best Soup

    Soup Doctor - CLOSED

    This "doctor's" chicken soup will cure whatever ails you. So will his lobster bisque or any of his other six hot soup selections daily ($3.75 to $4.50 for the 12-ounce serving; $4.50 to $5.50 for the 16-ounce) or the dozen or so refrigerated soups sold in pints ($4.25 to $5.50) or quarts ($7.25 to $9.75). Raymond Schamis, age 28, learned… More >>
  • Best Fine Dining To Have A Highchair

    Churchill's

    Frankly you can't get more proper (read: stuffy) than Churchill's. This elaborate English pub, designed like a country manor, is crammed with antique furniture. Decorative and architectural pieces from eight different centuries, plus two enormous fireplaces, further enhance the dining rooms, which are named the "Medieval" and "Churchill" rooms. Indeed, gentlemen are required to wear ties and jackets in order… More >>
  • Best Live Music In A Restaurant

    Boonie's

    Sure, country-and-western music gets short shrift among the R&B, jazz, and karaoke easy-listening that often accompanies our meals these days. But if you have a hankering to be a country boy (or girl) while you down an enormous porterhouse steak, take the country road home to Boonie's. With few decorative frills and lots of Marlboro men populating the bar, this… More >>
  • Best Family Restaurant

    Penn Dutch Restaurant

    If your definition of a family restaurant is one where you can take relatives ranging from grandparents to grandkids, fill their bellies with wholesome food like meat loaf and roast chicken, and come out with a bill so reasonable you wonder whether the server included everything, then you're obviously thinking of Penn Dutch. As are we. Not to be mistaken… More >>
  • Best Restaurant/Broward County

    Canyon Southwest Café

    No doubt we could use some more Southwestern cuisine in this part of the country -- or county, for that matter. But Canyon doesn't take its solitary status for granted. Instead executive chef Chris Wilber continues to reinvent his regional cuisine, providing diners with the likes of smoked-duck nachos, chicken quesadillas with mango-black bean salsa, and filet mignon… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market

    Batten's Farm & Marketplace - CLOSED

    Browsing Batten's gives the fruit-and-veggie savvy a place to meditate. Watch how shoppers glide quietly along while contemplating such seasonal goodies as honey tangerines, acorn squash, and vine-ripened tomatoes. There's a definite reverence toward the bins spilling with gleaming eggplants, plump limes, black radishes, and cactus pears. This open-air market sports the kind of bounty that looks almost too beautiful… More >>
  • Best French Fries

    Cheeburger Cheeburger

    Cheeburger Cheeburger is a hamburger joint, but it's not a fast-food hamburger joint. In other words you have to wait for your food rather than have your food wait for you under a heat lamp. This is a good thing. Everything on the menu is cooked to order, including the French fries, which means that they're made from scratch, not… More >>
  • Best Hamburger

    Shuck-N-Dive Cajun Sports Café

    Since the average hamburger is made not of ham but of beef, we feel no qualm about awarding the blue ribbon to Shuck-N-Dive's burger, which is neither ham nor beef but buffalo, and there's nothing average about it. Yes, buffalo. Humpback on a roll. The good ol' buffburger. The meat from farm-raised buffalo is generally leaner than beef, but the… More >>
  • Best Drive-Thru Donut

    Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

    It's a piece of sin in a crisp paper bag. And you can get through the shiny chrome façade's double-barreled drive-through so fast your conscience won't have time to stop you. Then it's a simple matter of snaring one of those 69-cent, melt-in-your-mouth, fat-soaked Kremes and making it disappear. They taste so good that, for at least one mouthwatering, donut-devouring… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream

    Jaxson's

    Ah, ice cream. In this age of diet and fitness, it's almost a taboo to savor a scoop, let alone think about ordering a sundae somewhere. Well, we have the perfect solution. Abandon this age. Go back in time, just a little, to when ice cream was a sweet pleasure too rare to be scorned for its fat content. Got… More >>
  • Best New World Cuisine

    Darrel & Oliver's Café Maxx

    The term New World may be heading out of favor, but it's a pretty safe bet that chef Oliver Saucy's innovative cuisine never will. As one of the originators of this style of cooking, which uses local ingredients and incorporates tropical influences from the Caribbean to Asia, Saucy produces an incredible complement of dishes. Because the menu changes daily, you… More >>
  • Best Beer Selection

    Biddy Early's - CLOSED

    There once was a lass named Biddy, Who spoke of what she could foresee: That a pub named for her Would have the best beer, And therefore never be empty. So her prediction came to pass. The folks came to drink in great gasps The Irish lager, stout, and ale, And with each pint without fail They'd toast: Thanks be to the lass!… More >>
  • Best Microbrewed Beer

    East City Bistro

    The word bistro conjures up certain images: an elegant yet homey atmosphere, homemade fare, and a good beer to wash it all down. Darrel Broek and Oliver Saucy's newest venture, East City, makes good on all these qualifications, especially the last one. After all, there's no better way to follow mixed greens with house-made blue cheese dressing than with a… More >>
  • Best Place To Sup With Jesus

    Tom Jenkins' Bar-B-Que

    Tom Jenkins' rib shack isn't open on Sundays, because it isn't nice to worship with messy hands or bibs. The menu's motto -- "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift" -- doesn't immediately call to mind good eatin', but don't let the proprietor's inarticulate speech of the heart dissuade you from trying the food. Instead… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    Zemi

    If we could judge best new restaurant by pedigree alone, Zemi would still win. Located in Towne Center, this handsome, trendy spot is owned by executive chef John Belleme and manager Allison Barber, both of whom are veterans of a Dennis Max restaurant, Max's Grille in Boca Raton. The connection to Max is convenient, since Zemi itself used to be… More >>
  • Best Barbecue

    Texas State of Mind BBQ

    Ask a dozen barbecue aficionados about their favorite barbecue, and you'll usually get a dozen different opinions. But lately all eyes have been trained on the same prize: the meaty back ribs offered at this casual, laid-back joint. It's hard to quibble with both the quantity and the quality of the fare at TSoM, especially the beef brisket, which has… More >>
  • Best Stone Crab Claws

    Frankie and Johnny's Horn of Plenty

    Forget the old song of the same name about a woman who shot a man for two-timing -- this place is about love and crabs (but not the kind that ticked off Frankie). It's also about addiction, which is not uncommon in South Florida but is usually less justified. For lovers of shellfish, stone crab claws rival addictive… More >>
  • Best French Restaurants

    La Vie en Rose Café

    We all know Margate ain't exactly Marseilles. In fact, it's strip-mall and fast-food-chain central. But in the midst of all this urban sprawl, this charming French café brings a little country into the city. Aside from the lace curtains and cabbage rose carpet, the restaurant offers up some excellent cassoulet, bourride (Provençal fish stew), and coq au vin. Indeed the… More >>
  • Best Cuban Restaurant

    Mambo Jambo - CLOSED

    OK, so the place isn't strictly Cuban. In fact pan-Latin might be a more appropriate modifier, since dishes like honey-glazed salmon with mango coulis and a half duck marinated in citrus juices and then glazed with raspberry-sesame sauce and honey are on the menu. But it's with his Cuban fare that owner George Quesada really proves himself: flavorful black beans… More >>
  • Best Place To Take The Kids

    GameWorks

    Making our kids happy is important. There's no doubt about that. But entertaining ourselves is equally important, whether we admit it or not. That's why we take the youngsters to GameWorks. We start with dinner, where the kids get huge portions. The food is good, too, and we found the service to be excellent (as rare as that may be… More >>
  • Best Bagels

    Bagel Works

    The logo here features a guy in chef duds trotting around with a tray of steaming bagels. We'd have to say that's pretty accurate. The bagels here are worthy of a chef's efforts. In fact they're what every picky New Yorker looks for -- crusty, chewy, with an indefinable sweetness to the dough -- and that… More >>
  • Best Pub Fare

    Sally O'Brien's

    When you're talking pub fare, you're not referring to delicate little bites of carefully arranged goodies. No, you're looking for home-style country dishes that elicit moans of joy before eating, when the diner is confronted with a steaming platter of well-prepared food, and groans of satisfaction after, when the diner is too full to move. Sally O'Brien's fits the bill.… More >>
  • Best South American Restaurant

    Kona Kai

    Here's a quick geography lesson: Peru is on the continent of South America. Now here's a quick history lesson: Peru has a large Chinese community. So large, in fact, that Chinese food is a staple in that country. Traditional Chinese fare influenced classic Peruvian cuisine, and the results are served at little places called chifas. Kona Kai, Sunrise's own chifa,… More >>
  • Best Place To Eat Walleyed Pike

    Eddie D's

    This five-year-old, family-run restaurant -- once a fancy French restaurant, hence the dark woods and linen tablecloths -- is not only the best place for walleyed pike, it's probably the only place. At least that's what owner Eddie D (short for D'Ambra) says. He wouldn't even be serving it if it weren't for some business associates… More >>
  • Best Delicatessen

    Toojay's

    You can scorn Toojay's for being a chain. You can forswear it for trying too hard, for having a huge menu with every type of Eastern European delicacy imaginable. You can even boycott it for its non-delilike name. Go ahead. That just leaves more for us. And we not only don't argue with the quality of Toojay's delicatessen, we laud… More >>
  • Best Fusion

    32 East

    Nobody cheered when Boca Raton's Nick & Max's restaurant, a joint effort between nationally known chef Nick Morfogen and restaurateur Dennis Max, went out of business less than a year after it opened. But the gastronomically minded were delighted to see both land on their ladles and were particularly thrilled to see Morfogen remain in the region, going straight to… More >>
  • Best Restaurant For A Power Lunch

    Eduardo de San Angel

    It all depends on what you mean by power. If you mean business suits and cell phones, you'll probably see a few of them here during the lunch hour. But if you're talking supremacy, mastery, or even just some serious clout -- that kind of power -- then you're speaking about executive chef-proprietor Eduardo Pria. The… More >>
  • Best Place For Insomniacs

    Rickey's Restaurant & Lounge of Hollywood

    It's 1 a.m., you can't sleep, and there's nothing on TV except infomercials and Bewitched reruns. What to do? Hightail it over to Rickey's, where you're sure to find a few other friendly faces: nurses from Hollywood Memorial Hospital, police officers on the night shift, and other night owls. Take advantage of a special on chicken wings -- … More >>

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