Food & Drink

  • Best Caesar Salad

    Flanigan's High Tide

    OK, so tons of fresh tuna are going through restaurants in seafood-heavy South Florida, and some of the more expensive, elegant spots surely make it as well as it can be done. And some truly great caesar salads are being made out there as well. But both for nine bucks? Uh-uh. Try to get a big, fresh, medium-rare steak of… More >>
  • Best Restaurant, Broward

    Himmarshee Bar & Grille - CLOSED

    Here's a word we like to throw around but rarely get to apply appropriately: consistency. Fortunately we can use it to describe HBG every time, because this is one restaurant in Broward County where you can bet that the braised short ribs with boniato mash and roasted calabaza will be falling off the bone every time. Actually, gambling might be… More >>
  • Best Fresh Seafood

    Bahia Mar Marina

    You can skip Publix or the local gourmet poissonnerie. Go right to the source. Twice a day, generally at noon and 5 p.m., charter boats cruise in and offer the savvy a chance to buy slabs of fresh fish like dolphin, kingfish, and tuna, often for as little as six bucks a pound. If you want to captain your own… More >>
  • Best Psychedelic-Meets-Swank Décor

    Dada

    Yeah, something deep -- Dadaism, the nihilistic art movement that gave rise to surrealism -- inspired Dada, an artsy Delray Beach coffeehouse/restaurant. But if you're a washed-up ex-hippie who chose protesting the Vietnam War over art history class, Dada represents a generation's journey from dropping acid to buying stock. With bulbous ants painted on the walls, crisp velvet lamp shades,… More >>
  • Best Upscale Chain Restaurant

    Mark's Restaurants

    It's the eternal Zen question: How many links makes a chain? In chef-proprietor Mark Militello's case, we think the answer is several, all located in South Florida. With the recent addition of Mark's CityPlace in West Palm Beach, "Trade-Mark" Militello has expanded the empire he began in North Miami, then moved to Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and South Beach. Many… More >>
  • Best Thing to Come from Albania Since John Belushi

    Tony's Pasta & Pizza

    The high point of Lake Worth's Albanian archipelago of pizzerias is Tony's, where head chef Muharrem (founding brother Tony went on to work for a food distributor) turns out superb, crusty, New York- style pizza and homemade pasta with sauces of surprising delicacy. So good is his product that for some five years Palm Beach's five-star Four Seasons Resort made… More >>
  • Best Comeback Kid

    Dennis Max

    Frankly this local restaurateur, who at one time owned 15-plus eateries in the South Florida area, was in something of a slump for a couple of years there. He separated from his wife of almost two decades, broke up with partner Burt Rapoport, and sold off his empire -- Prezzo, Max's Grille, even his flagship Maxaluna -- piece by piece.… More >>
  • Best Place to Pick Up a Picnic

    Croissan'Time French Bakery & Fine Foods

    If you've been to France, you know that the French are seriously into food. And if you've been to Croissan'Time, the French bakery, delicatessen, and fine-food emporium, you know that Bernard Casse has taken his homeland's culinary obsession to delectable extremes since 1986. From the southwest of France, Casse trained as a pastry chef and has worked many a professional… More >>
  • Best Natural Food/Vegetarian Restaurant

    Sara's

    When you go veggie, must you accept that the days of ordering a McDonald's Supreme Bacon Quadruple Chili Cheeseburger are over? Hell, no! Check out Sara's, a kosher restaurant that boasts a thick menu of vegan and vegetarian food. This location and its sister eatery in Miami serve ersatz-carnivore fare such as no-chicken quesadillas, sandwiches bulging with faux corned beef,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant, Palm Beach

    Zemi

    It only makes sense that this year's ribbon-taker here is last year's Best New Restaurant. We knew from the moment we stepped into this elegant bistro, owned by chef John Belleme and partner Allison Barber, that longevity could be billed along with homemade lobster won tons on the New American menu. The kitchen still turns out stimulating preparations of day-boat… More >>
  • Best Bagels

    Bagel Palace

    Deep in the retirement belt of western Lake Worth, refugee snowbirds and resident Members of the Tribe flock each morning to savor the crusty, chewy treats from this little storefront operation. The bialy bread is to die for, especially early in the day -- a warm, oblong cloud of moist, puffy bread flecked with crisp burnt onion. The pletzl is… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Chinatopia

    Downtown Hollywood is far from a perfect world, but it offers at least one culinary ideal. Chinatopia indeed aspires to a vision of perfection; its execution of multiregional Chinese fare comes damn near close to it. Mild Cantonese favorites, including tender steak kew or boneless crispy duck, vie with zestier dishes such as eggplant Szechuan flavor with shredded pork or… More >>
  • Best Secret Passageway

    Joe Bel-Air's Diner

    Lord, what foods these morsels be! At Joe Bel-Air's, conventioneers, Port Everglades dock workers, art students, and Fort Lauderdale's common folk (what's left of 'em, anyway) converge at this retrofitted '50s-era diner for no-nonsense grub. The plates of breakfast fare, lunch items, meat loaf, and baked desserts originate, ostensibly, from the kitchen. However, it's worth noting that Joe Bel-Air's kitchen… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for an Intimate Conversation

    Cafe Paprika's

    Since the whole point of having an intimate conversation is that you want no one else to overhear it, you need to find a place that has some kind of cover -- live music, a good crowd, and sound-absorbing acoustics. Paprika's fits the hush-hush bill with Magyar tunes, a regular group of diners who chat but don't scream, and market… More >>
  • Best Jamaican Restaurant

    Aunt I's Jamaican Restaurant

    When you have a taste for some authentic Jamaican fare, do what the Jamaican locals do: Stop by Aunt I's for some tasty jerk chicken, ackee and codfish, or oxtail. Don't be put off by the location, in the middle of a nondescript strip mall; Aunt I's may not have the fanciest digs (maybe that's why it does a brisk… More >>
  • Best Fusion Restaurant

    Affair by Prezzo

    Chefs cringe when food writers use the word fusion these days to describe their innovative fare, and no doubt corporate chef Mennen Tekeli and executive chef Doug Barnhill are wincing as we write. But there's little other way to describe the meld of Italian-Asian flavors at this relatively new, high-end restaurant without resorting to the cutesie -- Asialian? Italasian? --… More >>
  • Best Empanadas

    Empanada Only

    Michael Gadaleta, a former car salesman who describes himself as an "American-Italian-Argentinean from Brooklyn," opened Empanada Only in 1997. "Once I was the best car salesman in the nation, I'm not bullshittin' you," he declares. "But here I don't have to worry about managers or lawyers. I'm my own man." Indeed he owns and operates the shop by himself; he… More >>
  • Best Wine Selection in a Restaurant

    City Oyster

    Is it a good sign when a restaurant's wine list offers too many vintages to count? We think so, especially when at least one third of those bottles are from lesser-known international vineyards and priced less than 30 bucks. With this policy the folks at City Oyster declare that they're not out to screw us with triple the retail. Rather… More >>
  • Best Southwestern Restaurant

    Canyon Southwest Cafe

    We wish we looked as good in black leather pants as Canyon's cool wait staff or got seated as quickly as its high-profile regulars. But most of all, we'd like to be the prickly pear. The key ingredient in Canyon's famed margarita, it spends its whole life swimming in top-shelf tequila. Sip this pale pink drink, and everything seems Southwestern,… More >>
  • Best Place to Take the Kids

    Dave & Buster's

    Just as our definition of family has changed over the years, so have our requirements for a family restaurant. Now, a single mother with twins doesn't demand just a kid's menu and a pair of highchairs, she wants the motorcycles and cars into which the young'uns can climb and pretend to drive. The divorced dad with a teenage son needs,… More >>
  • Best Delicatessen

    Steak Shop & Deli

    If you think, given the name, that this corner delicatessen must serve some awesome steak sandwiches, you're right. Some of the tastiest Philly cheesesteaks originate here, along with other grilled sandwiches such as the steak-and-egg special, chicken Parmesan, or even a Cuban sandwich pressed as beautifully as a shirt. But if you think, given the name, that there's no way… More >>
  • Best Takeout Chinese

    Toa Toa

    When the takeout menu features the phone number in letters as big and scarlet as the proverbial A and includes numerous full-color photos of the dim sum for which this place is legendary, you can rightly assume that these folks do to-go in style. You can order anything for pickup, even the most tricky dishes, such as shrimp fried in… More >>
  • Best Restaurant on a River

    Mezzanotte

    Fort Lauderdale's Mezzanotte, one of four South Florida locations in a chain owned by Tom Billante, has been serving fine Italian dishes on the New River for a little more than two years. It ain't cheap, but it's pretty. From the 30 outdoor tables, you can soak in the live tunes, gawk at tourists, and watch yachts ply the urban… More >>
  • Best Diner

    Jack's Hollywood Diner

    The stainless steel restaurant is a true classic, having been manufactured in 1953 by Mountain View Diners, a New Jersey company that was one of the nation's premier eatery makers. Father-and-son team Denis and Steve Grenier bought the place back in 1989 and have steadfastly maintained the diner's throwback vibe. Their main ingredient: a 73-year-old chef named Louie, whose specials… More >>
  • Best Caribbean Restaurant

    Islands in the Pines

    Curry goat. Jerk pork. Brown stew chicken. The name Islands in the Pines suggests pan-Caribbean fare, but from the cocktail patties to the bammy to the escovitched kingfish, this unexpectedly wonderful joint speaks deliciously of just one island: Jamaica. Live music adds emphasis, as do brightly colored walls, friendly servers, and an ever-changing array of daily soups. (Watch for the… More >>
  • Best Gay-Owned-and-Operated Restaurant

    Hi-Life Cafe - CLOSED

    Gay restaurants are a dime a dozen in South Florida, and most of them have a life expectancy measured in months. But for more than six years now, the Hi-Life has been an oasis of stability and consistency. Transplanted New Yorkers Chuck Smith and Carlos Fernandez started out with an atmosphere-drenched, one-room eatery that quickly gained a devoted following. Fernandez… More >>
  • Best Beer Selection

    Murray's Pub

    Though this pub offers about 130 brands of brew from all over the world, the beer that earns Murray's the prize hails from the abbey of Koningshoeven and is called La Trappe -- because it is made by the abbey's silent Trappist monks. It's fermented in the bottle, a corked crock. We usually choose the "tripple," which signifies triple-fermentation and… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Getting Religion

    Annie's Fresh Fish & Baked Goods - CLOSED

    No matter what your religion, you can't help but get an ungodly kick out of Annie's. This Caribbean-Southern joint practices what it preaches with food that feeds fried kingfish, steamed red snapper, and curry goat to the body along with a dose of Scripture, delivered via the menu, for the soul. Not particularly observant? Don't worry -- even agnostics and… More >>
  • Best Filipino Restaurant

    Manila Shangrila

    Hidden away in Port Everglades, in a very green space carefully decorated as if for a special post-Sunday Mass occasion, Manila Shangrila churns out some of the best -- and most unusual -- dinner dishes ever to emerge from the Philippine islands. Lumpia (spring rolls) are chock full of hearty ingredients like potatoes, shrimp or various meats, and vegetables, served… More >>
  • Best Hamburger

    Gotrocks Bar and Grill

    Yes, it's a mad, mad, mad cow world. But don't let that stop you from digging into the juiciest burger you've had in years. The "inside-out" burger is a cheeseburger in reverse -- an assortment of cheeses melts inside the beef, then oozes out dramatically when you sink your teeth into it. Indeed we like this sandwich so much we… More >>
  • Best Pan-Asian Restaurant

    Echo

    It's rare enough when a new restaurant opens in Palm Beach that has all the elements for success: a stellar management team, plenty of money behind it, and a topnotch bill of fare. But it's even more unusual for one critic after another to crack that oyster and find a perfect pearl every time. That's the reception Echo has received,… More >>
  • Best Microbrewed Beer

    11

    Adam Fine's career began in his living room as a hobby. Then he got the idea that has propelled him to become a veritable pioneer in Broward County. The thought process worked kind of like this: South Florida is really hot. Hot climates tend to call for lighter beers, but a lot of people really love dark beers. So he… More >>
  • Best French Fries

    Mezzanotte

    We're not stupid. We're well aware that this upscale chain has built its rep on high-end Italian. We're not oblivious. We see that the menu lists such prized items as jumbo shrimp and saffron risotto or veal sautéed in Barolo wine sauce. We're not indifferent. We know plenty of steak houses, burger joints, hot dog stands, and a variety of… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse

    Barefoot Coffee

    Coffeehouse mania swept much of the country during the 1990s, but, alas, it didn't make much of a dent in South Florida. (No, Starbucks doesn't count.) So local brew hounds found reason to rejoice when Meredith Huhn and Jay Motley opened Barefoot Coffee in November. It has the bona fides caffeine junkies expect. Start with some eclectic furniture: a crescent-moon… More >>
  • Best Restaurant When Someone Else Is Paying

    Mark's CityPlace

    Here's what unlimited wealth can get you: A powder blue Rolls-Royce à la the dude formerly known as Puff Daddy, Gucci accessories, and the right to rule CityPlace via a table at Mark's. Feeling more like a poor relation than a privileged Palm Beacher? Never fear. Chef-proprietor Mark Militello doesn't care who takes care of the check as long as… More >>
  • Best Menu Typo

    Geronimo's Casual Gourmet Grill & Bar

    You have to love it when a restaurant offers a special called the "10-Ounce Sauteed Lobster Tail with Fresh Muscles." We always told you those homonyms were tricky. Sea watt wee mien? … More >>
  • Best Pizza

    Pizza Girls

    Girls, girls, girls: You've got a good thing going here. You set up shop with absolutely no real pizza experience and manage, in only 18 months or so, to convert everyone in the area to a PG junkie. Your competitors say it's sabotage. They say making a "lasagna" pizza is sacrilegious. They can't quite figure out what you do to… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    Roy's Restaurant

    There once was a chef named Roy Whose Hawaiianish fare was pure joy. He opened some places We're stuffing our faces And now he's a happy boy.… More >>
  • Best Falafel

    Tuti Fruti of Hollywood

    Careless falafel fabrication can result in a deadly dry, throat-clogging orb -- asphyxiation by ground chickpea. But at the improbably named Tuti Fruti, Shehab Breish and Jamal Masoud whip up before your eyes falafel that is crunchy, moist, and beyond palatable. The Palestinian duo took over the Health Food Cafe earlier this year and introduced Middle Eastern fare at reasonable… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Brewery, Broward

    Sporting Brews

    Ahh, the good life in Weston: Sitting at a plastic table on the Sporting Brews veranda and looking over a retention pond for a new development in a swamp. Other bonuses include a nice view of a wonderfully sterile, isolated Adelphia office building, the flowing traffic of I-75, and three guys sitting nearby puffing on fat cigars and chatting about… More >>
  • Best Place to Gamble

    Steak houses

    At stake in the ultimate gamble, as any bungee jumper can tell you, is your life. But these days you don't have to jump off a bridge with a harness around your waist to cop that thrill. You can simply eat the wrong meat. In the current climate that means brain food -- quite literally. Mad cow disease, or Bovine… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Gluttons

    Royal King International Buffet & Grill

    With more than 200 items, including stone crabs, snow crabs, and mussels on the half shell, this buffet restaurant is an obvious choice for little piggies. Help yourself to the Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and American fare time and again -- the cafeteria-style eatery is all-you-can-shove-in-your-face. Even vegetarians and Atkins dieters can get into the action, as an extensive salad bar… More >>
  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    David's on the Avenue

    The gringo lingo of the appellation doesn't give much clue here that chef-owner David Peraza's fare is not just authentic Mexican, but haute as well. Yet one glance at the tongue-twisting menu, filled with items such as ixtapa poblano (guajillo peppers stuffed with blue crabmeat, green olives, and Chihuahua cheese) and xochimilco (an ancho chili-flavored crepe stuffed with cuitlacoche, or… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market

    West Palm Beach GreenMarket

    Most farmers' markets in South Florida don't have much "farm" in them, eschewing the raw in favor of the processed. The West Palm Beach GreenMarket is no exception. Not to imply an utter lack of fresh produce, but the quality of the prepared foodstuffs available every Saturday morning from mid-October through April makes this farmers' market truly superior. More than… More >>
  • Best Contemporary Restaurant

    Sunfish Grill

    It's probably no secret that we've been fans of chef-co-proprietor Tony Sindaco since he opened this cool little joint a couple of years ago. What may surprise you is our loyalty -- we still think he's tops. Check out some recent menu offerings: barbecued mahi-mahi and wild-mushroom torta with Jack cheese, mango salsa, and jalapeņo sour cream; black grouper with… More >>
  • Best Seafood Restaurant

    Fins Dockside

    Take a lot of fresh air, add some tables, and top it all off with some of the most buttery fried clams in the business, and voilà! You have an equation for perfection, otherwise known as Fins. The seafood is served with a sense of humor here -- try the "shrimp and crabsicles," deep-fried pops of juicy seafood. The fishies… More >>
  • Best Drive-Thru Coffee Shop

    Expresso

    Owners Suzie Ludlow and Jon Robichaud have been serving cranky drivers from this charming little stand for seven years. They peddle edible chocolate and almond cigars, which are delivered every morning from Protano's Bakery in Hollywood, as well as low-fat muffins, apple turnovers, and coffeecakes from local distributors. But it's the coffee that makes drivers line up around the block… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Restaurant

    Gusto's Grill & Bar

    If a neighborhood restaurant is all things to all people, then Gusto's is the epitome of a "won't-you-be-my-neighbor" eatery. For the "just folks," it's club sandwiches, chicken quesadillas, and calzones. For the kids, it's chicken tenders, crayons, a place mat that doubles as a coloring book, and a soda with a lid and a straw. For the late sleepers, it's… More >>
  • Best Cuban Restaurant

    Cohiba

    If Cohiba can be considered the Queen Mother of Cuban comfort food, then we're clasped to her big, warm, soft bosom. From her we get our basic nourishment: black beans and rice, fried yuca, chicken noodle soup. From her we draw strength: pounded palomilla steaks, roast pork so tender it brings a quiver to our lips. From her we gain… More >>
  • Best Service in a Restaurant

    Moon Thai & Japanese

    If you want your plate to be served from the left and picked up from the right, don't go here. If you want your water glass to be aligned with the tip of your knife and all other beverages to be placed to the right cater-corner of your agua, see ya later. If you want tuxedo jackets with seams as… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for a Power Lunch

    Brasserie Las Olas

    If the definition of power is embedded in politics, look no further than Brasserie Las Olas. Located just across the bridge from the Broward County courthouse, the something-for-everyone restaurant caters to the ever-hungry -- and those are just the lawyers. Judges and perps alike share a taste for proprietor Mark Soyka's well-known brand of casual dining, ranging from burgers to… More >>
  • Best Barbecue Sandwich

    Georgia Pig Barbeque & Restaurant

    Barbecue snobs have simple but stringent requirements. First of all the standard for judging is a good old-fashioned sandwich. The meat of choice is lean but succulent pork, preferably pulled or in chunks rather than sliced. And it goes without saying that it has to be smoked. Then there's the all-important sauce: tangy but not too tangy, with a hint… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Row

    Atlantic Avenue

    Clematis Street is still out there trying, but it has nothing on Atlantic Avenue. This once-struggling thoroughfare virtually teems with eateries of every type, from haute Mexican to modern American to classic oyster bar. Interested in Italian? You got it. Crave a coffeehouse? That too. Perhaps even more significant are the extensions of the restaurant row. Now that it's practically… More >>
  • Best Greek Restaurant

    Yissou

    If, like Virgil, you "fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts," then Yissou is not the place for you. Every item here is practically a present, from the complimentary skordalia (garlic mashed potatoes) to the rice and ground meat gift-wrapped with grape leaves and beribboned with a froth of lemon sauce. But if, like Thucydides, you "are lovers of… More >>
  • Best Ribs

    Taro's Tahitian Barbecue

    The name pretty much states outright what a diner can expect -- that is, if you have any idea what to expect from a Tahitian barbecue. Here's what not to expect: grass skirts and flaming batons. The only flames here are the ones chef-owner Darroll Tekurio applies to his exuberant barbecue, with its tangy, bright sauces and authentic island side… More >>
  • Best French Restaurant

    Bistro Provence

    We love a restaurant that says what it means and means what it says. Bistro Provence is just such a place: no pretension, no allusion, no illusion. Just honest, warm, French country fare inspired by one of the greatest culinary regions in the world. To wit: Lace curtains, an herb garden, and pungent, back-to-the-earth fare such as tapénade, duck-liver mousse… More >>
  • Best Fine Dining That Offers a Highchair

    3030 Ocean

    Fact is this new, stylish eatery could have made the list in just about any topic: Best Seafood Restaurant for its selection of items like wahoo sashimi with citrus-soy sauce or king prawns with yams and garlic-lime butter, Best Contemporary Restaurant for its influences that range from French (Anjou pear salad with spicy pecans and blue cheese) to local (sautéed… More >>
  • Best Chili

    Le Tub

    Correct bean-to-meat ratio? Check. Trace amounts of cayenne? Roger. Chunks of ground beef, not minuscule scraps? Oh yeah. Not too tomatoey? But of course. Le Tub is one of those last remaining bastions of true funkiness left in Broward and Palm Beach counties -- rough wood tables, checks and credit cards not accepted, no tap beer -- and the victuals… More >>
  • Best Bloody Mary

    The Entrada Resort Motel

    Half the fun of a bloody mary is where and when you drink it. That's because people almost always consume these spicy delicacies when they really shouldn't be drinking -- in the morning. And if you are going to drink in the morning, you might as well do it at a joint that opens at 7 a.m. That would be… More >>
  • Best Meat Loaf

    Jerk Machine

    You know meat loaf, right? It's greasy, dense as a brick, and forced upon you by your mother; the kind of meal that makes you want to cough, shovel everything into a napkin stashed in your lap, then head for the john. Well, when you travel to Jamaica, you can forget everything you know, or think you know, about meat… More >>
  • Best Margarita

    Mexican Cantina

    If you want the absolutely best quality margarita around, there are, admittedly, better places than Mexican Cantina. However, there is something to be said for quantity, and this home of the 46-ounce margarita has that in spades. One does not quite grasp what 46 ounces of margarita looks like until that massive glass is set in front of you. A… More >>
  • Best Martini

    California Café

    Javier is behind the bar tonight, not that it would really have mattered. The stalwart drink slingers of California Café are all experts in the art of the martini. "On the rocks or straight up?" There's only one right answer to this question. Upon hearing "Straight up," he nods and flashes a smirk, suggesting that he would have scoffed at… More >>
  • Best Dim Sum

    King Palace Chinese Bar-B-Q Restaurant

    It wouldn't be dim sum without shrimp and pork playing leading roles. And in this otherwise nondescript strip-mall Chinese eatery, the little crustaceans and the "other white meat" combine to steal the show -- which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. (The restaurant is open until 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday.) Whether steamed… More >>
  • Best Inexpensive Italian Restaurant

    Poppy's Pizza & Subs II

    OK, this place may be best known for its pizza, which blisters your mouth so appropriately. But a slice that would make any New Yorker grin isn't Poppy's only claim to fame. The pizza oven embraces an enormous steak calzone, for example, stuffed with sirloin, ricotta, mozzarella, onions, and peppers. It puts the finishing touches on a chicken, cheddar, and… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Kyoto Sushi and Sake Lounge - CLOSED

    Cookie-cutter sushi bars abound in South Florida. But if you took a picture of Kyoto's product -- some of the freshest fish around -- and compared it to the outputs of three other random sushi bars, you'd quickly notice that one of these things is not like the others. The reason is simple: Chef Lee, proprietor and master sushi chef… More >>
  • Best South American Restaurant

    Las Totoritas

    You can't miss the place: An oversize red-and-white Peruvian flag, nearly always stretched taut in the breezes that whip across the North Perry Airport, perches atop the smallish storefront eatery, serving as a beacon for all lovers of the Andean nation's sophisticated cuisine. Inside the tiny, wood-paneled dining room, which is lined with medieval-style paintings of saints, this third outpost… More >>
  • Best Bakery

    Gran Forno

    To find Gran Forno, you could look for the storefront window that displays bakers at work, or you could simply close your eyes (mind your step) and follow your nose. The smell of bread, savory with rosemary, wafts to the street. On weekends Gran Forno is crowded and clubby. Regulars gather in tennis togs to consult maps for their upcoming… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Dining

    Lester's Diner

    The coolest thing about Lester's Diner isn't the vast menu, although it's an impressive one: daily specials, 70 or so different sandwiches (including such quirky combos as meat loaf and fried egg), nearly two dozen salads, homemade soups du jour, 35 desserts "baked on the premises daily," Greek and Italian specialties, a children's menu, and such mainstay entrées as chicken,… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Siam Cuisine

    As new property owners and the city continue to spruce up Wilton Drive, this little free-standing gem remains a delicious constant, its neon sign beckoning locals to partake of its peerless Southeast Asian fare. For two decades the brother-sister team of Sam and Patty Suwanpiboon has warmed the hearts and burned the tongues of Thai-food lovers with such fine starters… More >>
  • Best Relief Effort for Single Parents

    Tout Sweet - CLOSED

    In a time when so many restaurants reluctantly provide one highchair or maybe a booster seat, Tout Sweet is a godsend. Not only does this restaurant and ice cream parlor offer succor for adolescent dietary stress with an appealing kid's menu, it mitigates parental economic stress with "Kids Eat Free" on Sundays. Tout Sweet also runs generation-gap specials such as… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream

    Sloan's

    Even the bathrooms at this neon-color monument to all things fattening are deliciously tempting. People flock to the lime green-and-orange ice cream parlor to dare friends and strangers to step behind the clear glass doors of the bathrooms, which are in full view of those waiting in line for their favorite confection. Luckily for those who prefer to keep some… More >>
  • Best Soul Food

    Betty's Restaurant and BBQ

    Few places offer a taste of black Southern cuisine as complete and inexpensive as this place tucked between Sistrunk Boulevard and 22nd Road. Lunchtime brings local businesspeople together while Matlock reruns mime on two muted televisions and gospel classics rotate on the jukebox. The dining area is kept cool, and regardless of where you sit, you can't miss a big… More >>
  • Best Desserts

    Stork's Bakery and Coffeehouse

    This elegant little café offers a wide range of happy endings -- from a simple ginger cookie to a sinful Chocolate Decadence. It's all good. In addition to classic cakes, this neighborhood favorite mixes things up with trendy chocolate bread pudding or an upscale rendition of carnival fare. "It's all air and sugar," laughed one recent customer after happily biting… More >>
  • Best Pub Fare

    John Bull English Pub

    When you say that this place is a trendy, traditional British pub, that's no bull -- and it's no oxymoron either. On the trendy side are salads -- such as the Tuscan garden with smoked turkey, comprising artichokes, roasted peppers, button mushrooms, and bacon-mustard dressing -- and main courses including fresh fish of the day with Creole rémoulade and toasted… More >>
  • Best Place to Boat to Dinner

    Cap's Place Island Restaurant

    The ferryboat to Cap's Place is interesting (think of a refurbished, polished, and well-covered African Queen), and it's free. It's not a long ride, just a nice jaunt across the Intracoastal, but once you get there, you're going back a long way. Meyer Lansky and other gangsters still haunt the place. In the bar you can almost still smell the… More >>
  • Best Cuban Sandwich

    Tropical Café

    Why such passion for a sandwich that's not even good for you? Because it tastes so good, that's why. And the sandwich at Tropical Café is an exemplar of the genre. A huge, pressed Cuban roll stuffed with ham, Swiss cheese, and home-cooked pork (roasted to tenderness for four and a half hours) can easily get you through the day… More >>
  • Best Homemade Pasta

    Mimi's Ravioli

    Other than your Italian relatives' house on a major holiday, this is the place to be for fresh homemade pasta. The place got its start in 1970 when Joe and Mimi Termine brought a couple of ravioli machines from New York City. Joe figured he'd make some ravioli, maybe sell a bit, and have a nice little hobby. A few… More >>
  • Best Donuts

    Krispy Kreme

    Yes, we named this place last year, too. But when something is the best, it's the best, and that's all there is to it. Krispy Kreme rules the donut world; all else is just fat-fried dough. Arrive when these deliciously soft, airy treats are fresh out of the oven, and you'll finally understand why the good Lord gave you taste… More >>
  • Best Ethnic Food Store

    Middle East Bakery

    Just a stuffed grape leaf's throw from the county courthouse, Adib Salloum's little gem of a store would be worth the trip for the fresh pita alone -- earthy, chewy, and delicate all at once. The fresh hummus and tabbouleh are terrific; big barrels of imported olives from all over the Mediterranean take up the shop's center stage. The cooler… More >>
  • Best Early-Bird Special

    Sonoma Grille - CLOSED

    The restaurant prefers to call them "sunset specials," which made more sense before the end of daylight savings caused the sun to set at, oh, 8 p.m. or so. But why quibble? The fact remains that this eatery, which opens daily at 4 p.m., offers a great gourmet deal: soup or salad, main course, potato and vegetable of the day,… More >>
  • Best Subs

    Monster Subs

    Subs, hoagies, grinders -- call them what you will, the essence remains meat, cheese, veggies, and bread, over and over again, no matter where you go or whom you patronize. How then does one differentiate the good from the bad? It's the little things, really: the crisp sweet peppers and nutty provolone playing tag on your tongue, the lettuce shredded… More >>
  • Best Hot Sauce

    Hot Pot Jamaican Restaurant

    Along with the tasty Jamaican specialties served up at this Lauderhill eatery -- callaloo; mackerel; jerk pork, chicken, and fish; brown stew chicken; and curry goat -- some of the spiciest yet yummiest hot sauces in the land are made at Hot Pot. This golden-red dew of the gods is full of floating seeds harvested from the Scotch bonnet pepper,… More >>
  • Best Barbecue

    Charlie's Bar-B-Q - CLOSED

    The takeout menu notes that Charlie's is located between Pizza Hut and McDonald's. The astute observer might also realize that the exterior of the joint looks like an extant fast-food restaurant. And the truly brilliant eye will notice that Charlie's is a self-service, cafeteria-style place, where you kind of point to what you want and everything is plated for you… More >>
  • Best Restaurant to Die in the Past Year

    East City Grill

    You could say it was a victim of greed. One of the most popular fine-dining restaurants on Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard and the eatery credited with revitalizing the area, East City Grill got unceremoniously kicked out of its space this past year. The landlord decided to sell the lot to a condominium builder. Goodbye pan-Asian/fusion fare, hello prefab apartments. No… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Brewery, Palm Beach

    Brewzzi's

    Restaurant breweries are about as hard to find in South Florida as wool sweaters. The dearth of handcrafted brews here isn't really that surprising, as subtropical climes tend to foster a thirst for icy, fruity drinks like rumrunners and margaritas. But we like beer, dammit, and that's where Brewzzi's comes in. Granted it doesn't have much competition (it's the only… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Dining

    Tails Tropic Island Grill - CLOSED

    This being South Florida and all, the competition for this category is fierce. Particularly this year, given that the exceptionally dry weather has pushed almost all of us diners firmly out-of-doors. Aficionados of the alfresco thing make much ado of water views, sea breezes, and lots of shade. Tails complies with all those qualifications, going a few steps further with… More >>
  • Best Middle-Eastern Restaurant

    New Tel-Aviv Restaurant

    To take a look into this Israeli deli, you'd never know it's "new." The place is always so full of loyal customers it might as well be called Old Tel-Aviv. The eatery's signs and menus are written in both Hebrew and English, and the place is Glatt kosher. That means you won't find any dairy on the premises, but you'll… More >>
  • Best Expensive Italian Restaurant

    Bice

    Yes, it's a classic, this link of a very popular, worldwide chain of high-end Italian restaurants. And yes, some of the menu items -- carpaccio, for example -- tend toward the tried-and-true. The restaurant is also loud, crowded, and filled with socialites. But really, when you're talking about receiving such delicacies as squid-ink ravioli filled with minced fish and seafood,… More >>
  • Best Steak House

    Rumba's Latin Grill - CLOSED

    Granted, the name of the venue is a little confusing. Formerly one of two West Broward places known as Parrilla's Latin Grill, the restaurant's neon sign still reads Parrilla's. But the billboard advertising the eatery now calls it Rumba's, since the Parrilla's partners split, each keeping one restaurant. And you might be a touch baffled by the menu, which lists… More >>
  • Best Burritos

    Tacos al Carbon

    "Autenticamente Mexicano" reads the sign above this roadside eatery, a tiny little place surrounded by the Guatemalan and Mexican districts of central Palm Beach County. There's hardly a gringo in sight within. (They probably wouldn't know how to mix and match the pineapple, guava, and tamarind sodas with the rich selections from the cooks' steam table, anyway.) But even the… More >>
  • Best Chain Restaurant

    Buca di Beppo - CLOSED

    Is awarding a restaurant "best chain" a backhanded compliment? We doubt Buca di Beppo would think so. A cavernous Italian dinner house where portions are prodigious -- two-pound meatballs make this place a contender for the "Best Restaurant for Gluttons" category as well -- Buca di Beppo is one of the fastest-growing and most profitable chain restaurants in the nation,… More >>
  • Best Mediterranean Restaurant

    Finjan Bar & Grille - CLOSED

    If you think of the Mediterranean as a crossroads-type culinary region, then you'll have no problem assimilating this joint. Headed by owners and chefs whose heritages include French, Belgian, and Israeli, Finjan takes all those influences and swirls them into an intriguing compendium. In other words it's the perfect place for a little salade Niçoise with your falafel and a… More >>

Best of Award Graphics

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