Food & Drink

  • Personal Best Mmm. Cheese Fries

    Brent Buckman, TV Reality Contestant

    Maybe he lasted only five episodes on The Apprentice, but Brent Buckman, South Florida's own would-be Trumpster, knows comfort food better than most. Buckman, the portly guy with a penchant for irritating Apprentice teammates with his pushy, plow-through-walls approach, has delved deep into the food dimension. He did this both before his appearance on the show, and he has done… More >>
  • Personal Best: Health Food Blues

    Juanita Dixon, Blues Singer

    "Give me a pigfoot and a bottle of beer," blues great Bessie Smith used to sing. Local blues legend Juanita Dixon is after more up-to-date fare. Give her a mixed green salad and a grilled fillet of tilapia. Maybe it doesn't have the old roadhouse resonance, but it fits the healthful lifestyle Dixon has been pursuing since a doctor told… More >>
  • Best Cheap Lunch

    Taqueria Guerrero - CLOSED

    If you want to hustle through your huaraches, thick, fried tortillas stuffed with barbecued goat (two for $7.99), forget it. Be prepared to linger over chips still sizzling from the fryer with two kinds of fresh salsa (green tomatillo and tomato) while -- on weekends, anyway -- a roving band of trumpet players and guitarists serenades your table. Kick back… More >>
  • Best Meal for Cheapskates

    Beef Eater - CLOSED

    You're not cheap; you're just smart. And far-seeing. You know how to stretch a nickel till it howls for mercy. Let the grasshopper detonate his wad on some so-called "prime" or "kobe," along with the $9 sides of creamed spinach and the $15 martinis and crme brlées. Come winter, that overgrown cricket'll have his frozen jaws fused together anyway --… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant in Broward

    Serafina

    Short of having an actual band of winged seraphim fluttering over that perfect plate of risotto while strumming harps and singing hymns, it's hard to imagine how a meal at Serafina could be any more heavenly. This delicious, romantic retreat in Victoria Park, settled down by a glimmering harbor on the Middle River with jaunty candlelit tables on the outdoor… More >>
  • Best Pizza

    Red Rock Coal Fired Pizza

    Better men than we have come to blows over the definition of good pizza -- the question of whether shellfish belongs anywhere near an authentic pie, the composition and thickness of the crust, the shape of the slice, the list of acceptable toppings and the proportions of each, the origin of the species. So unless you want to find yourself… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant in Palm Beach

    Bova - CLOSED

    Forget it. You can't get in anyway. There are 150 guys ahead of you, and they're all a lot better-looking. Call right now and maybe the girl who answers the phone will put you down for a 5:30 p.m. reservation some Tuesday next month. Of course, you can always try just loafing around outside those elegant doors, pressing your nose… More >>
  • Best Pizza by the Slice

    Sassano's New York Style Pizzeria

    There are a few other victual options in the 1950s time warp that is the Riverland Shopping Center -- a Cuban cafeteria and a time-honored greasy spoon, for instance -- but Sassano's always has the perfect cure for midday hunger pangs. It's not just the superb, thin cracker-crust and home-made sauce at this family-run joint that make it so noteworthy,… More >>
  • Best Service in a Restaurant

    SukhoThai

    Good service doesn't have to mean a matre d' with an accent, waiters dressed in dinner jackets, or a sommelier with a silver cup. You don't always have to shell out the shillings to be treated well either. At SukhoThai, owner Susie and her son Eddie hand out their smiles for free, hailing new and old customers at the door… More >>
  • Best Wraps

    The Daily Squeeze

    Your temptation, when you enter this teensy shop downtown, will be to order everything on the sprawling palette of ingredients, but try to restrain yourself. Thing is, if you cram banana peppers and cherry peppers and pickles and olives and capers and jalapeños into the same wrap, all you'll taste is hot tang. Instead, go mild. Start with turkey or… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Décor

    Jetsetter Lounge

    An unscientific New Times survey has revealed that a liqueur-infused strawberry sundae ($12.95) just tastes better when the nosher is curled up inside the cushiony interior of an exorbitantly pricey Eero Aarnio ball chair. The same survey has also found that it's far more exciting, a real adrenaline rush, to spoon up the last crumbs of a piece of red… More >>
  • Best Pho

    Pho Nam Do

    The legendary 1985 cult film Tampopo searches for the perfect bowl of soup. A contemporary remake could easily find heaven in a bowl of pho at this tiny eatery that's staffed by a superfriendly, always-smiling family. The liquor-license-less joint serves a few other dishes besides pho, but we haven't sampled them in years -- once we became addicted to Pho… More >>
  • Best Tea House in Broward

    One Tea Lounge

    There's an etiquette to drinking tea that one absorbs by osmosis, which is why you won't generally find tea house customers fiddling over laptops or screaming into cell phones. More likely, they're conversing in hushed tones over cups of liquid that smell like new-mown hay and jasmine blossoms. Or reading. Or just staring into space. Coffee hops you up, tea… More >>
  • Best Chicken Fried Steak

    Lester's Diner

    Two amazing facts regarding the chicken fried steak served at Lester's Diner: One, its 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week availability; and two, its sheer size. As long as something as inherently unhealthy as a battered and deep-fried piece of pounded meat is permitted to exist, it only seems right and fair to have it hot and ready for you at 2:30 a.m. after… More >>
  • Best Tea House in Palm Beach

    Serenity Gardens

    Anyone who's ever dissed British food has never sat down to an English cream tea, an entity exactly as decadent as it sounds, in a very proper way, of course. Or put it this way: An English cream tea makes you want to plunge your face directly into the dish of clotted cream, strawberry jam, lemon curd, and scones (a… More >>
  • Best Wings

    Tarpon Bend

    Like drag racers whose extreme speed sustains yet may destroy them, chicken wings live and die by grease. What are wings without it? Scalding orange lipids turn ordinary chicken into one of the great blessings our world has to offer. Yet who among us has not winced upon being served a plate of wings whose drippings could be mistaken for… More >>
  • Best Small Plates

    The Cottage - CLOSED

    Here's a fad we hope lasts longer than celebrity knitting and mood rings: small plates. Because if ever we Americans needed anything badly, it's limited portion sizes. Never mind that you can get around the problem of "never enough" by simply ordering a lot of them -- you'll have a hard time limiting yourself to just one at the Cottage.… More >>
  • Best Falafel

    Exotic Bites

    If you've never eaten falafel, you're missing an entire world. Literally. Falafel, a fried ball of spiced fava beans or chickpeas, is arguably the number-one food in the Middle East, sold everywhere from street vendors to fancy restaurants. Mandoah "Manny" Ebaid, a tireless, friendly, Egyptian-born restaurateur who runs Hollywood's popular Exotic Bites, provides a menu that highlights the versatility and… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Intimate Conversation

    Food Amongst the Flowers

    Red is the rose that in yonder garden grows... but my love is fairer than any. In the soft downlighting at this chic eatery, your paramour will compare favorably with the gigantic floral portraits lining the walls. Lovers both gay and straight rely on Flowers for its cozy, pillow-strewn booths, the respectable distance between tables, and its perfect balance between… More >>
  • Best Bagels

    Boston Bagel Café

    "Ah, now that's a bagel! It's just like New York!" Why is it that every favorable bagel review, whether from a food critic or just the chump next door, has to reference New York? It's always Manhattan this, Brooklyn that. Try peddling that line at the Boston Bagel Café. Sure, the name says New England, but the café is pure… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Out-of-Towners

    Joe's Riverside Grille

    Your Northern cousins arrive on your doorstep with four kids, 14 bags, and their heads full of dated, nostalgic drivel about discovering the "real Florida." It's no use explaining that "real Florida" is that line of hotels blocking their view of the beach, the 12 hours they just spent bumper-to-bumper on 1-95, the highest restaurant prices in the country, and… More >>
  • Best Onion Pletzls and Bialys

    Bagels &

    Given the ubiquity of the bagel nowadays, the self-esteem of its fellow Polish-Jewish baked goods might be suffering. Though West Boynton's Bagels & produces a good version of its namesake, let's get one thing clear: Pletzl! Bialy! We love you too! The bialy is the Jan Brady of Polish-Jewish personal breads, flour-dusted things without holes. When made right, as these… More >>
  • Best Restaurant When Someone Else is Paying

    Marcello's La Sirena

    If Daddy's buying, baby, make him take you to La Sirena. But remind him to make the reservation two weeks in advance, because securing a table here at a reasonable dinner hour is impossible. Easier to persuade a Palm Beach socialite to give up her Lilly pedal-pushers or a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven! (But Daddy loves… More >>
  • Best Black-and-White Cookie

    Family Bakery

    If you've never had a good black-and-white cookie, you won't understand why anyone would want to eat one. We've all been tempted by the two-tone discs the size of UFOs topped with dark-brown and white icing that call to us from behind the counter at every diner. But what's to like about a powdery, crumbly dome topped with a tasteless… More >>
  • Best Diner

    Egg 'N' You

    Fifty years is a good age for a diner. That's about the time it takes to burnish the plastic of the booths to a gentle glow and for the waitresses' "honeys" and "What'll y'all haves" to attain a practiced verbal caress. At that age, the menu contains delightful fossils like liverwurst and forgets itself only in fits of trendiness with… More >>
  • Best Reason to Renounce Vegetarianism

    La Granja's Peruvian Roast Chicken

    The problem with your raw food diet is that you have to eat many pounds of shredded carrots and arugula patties per day to meet your caloric needs. You find yourself pretty much giving up your hobbies, your social life, your volunteer work, so you can spend the bulk of your time foraging for tubers and poring over the instruction… More >>
  • Best Breakfast on the Beach

    St. Bart's Coffee Co.

    St. Bart's Coffee Co. is kind of like the bar in the TV show Cheers... where everybody knows your name, if you're one of the regulars. This joint, however, gets going at sunrise, when cooks start turning the day sunny-side-up inside the cozy spot on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Crowds jam in here to check their e-mail for free or spill… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream Parlor

    Jaxson's

    At the risk of repeating ourselves, have you been to Jaxson's? Like about 20 million times since it opened 50 years ago? As a toddler, as a teen, as a dad, as a grandpa, and now as a great granpadoodle? Such is the life cycle of South Florida Man: centered around visits to the oldest, most authentic, and still the… More >>
  • Best Sunday Brunch

    Victoria Park

    If you'd rather cook your own spam 'n' eggs than have to queue at an omelet station at some overrated brunch emporium, make a reservation at Victoria Park, where you can sit down like a civilized person and let Gary Boylan serve you his Benedict di Parma. Or his potato pancakes with poached eggs, sour cream, and a side of… More >>
  • Best Gelato

    Nonna's Cafe

    No one should ever feel guilty about eating dessert. What's the point of ordering a hot fudge sundae if you're worried what'll happen to your waist? So if you want to pile on the cookie crumbs and caramel without worry, you'd better skip Baskin-Robbins and head over to Nonna's Café for some of its fresh-made gelato. Yeah, that's right --… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Kids

    Biddy Early's Irish Restaurant & Bar - CLOSED

    They want to go to McDonald's for lunch. Or Burger King. Or some pizza arcade with jet-engine-like decibel levels of noise. But the choice ain't theirs. They're going to sit and listen to the withered old men at the bar riffle The Mail and call out to the flatscreens showing English Premier League: "Tha's how we yoost to play football,… More >>
  • Best Hamburger

    Hamburger Mary's

    You know when you're in high school and you're taking a quiz and the teacher has put three really simple questions at the beginning so that even the dumbest kid gets some points? That's how we feel about this category. It's like... duh. Where else would you find the best burger? Although we're partial to Mary's modest offerings like the… More >>
  • Best Barbecue

    Texas Hold 'Em - CLOSED

    Although there's a delicious new high-end barbecue emporium in Broward out west of 441, there's something about the shack-on-the-side-of-the-road feel of Texas Hold 'Em that gives it the edge. This year-old spot is the kind of place where you can watch the dude out front manning the massive, oak-fired smoker, and when he walks inside to hand-chop your half chicken… More >>
  • Best Salsa

    Jalisco Restaurante

    "This is spicy," the waitress says, indicating the swarthier of the two bowls of salsa she places on a booth table along with a basket of unsalted corn chips. First, then, the milder salsa. It's a cool mash of tomatoes and onions, with a distinct but not overpowering blast of cilantro along for the ride. Something else too -- maybe… More >>
  • Best Comfort Food

    Deco

    Even the superrich need comforting sometimes, and restaurateur Paul Darrow, whose experience combines the sublime with the ridiculous -- Cordon Bleu training on the one hand, a chain of Cheeburger Cheeburgers on the other -- seems to have put his finger on a lineup of American recipes guaranteed to soothe fretful old aristocrats and picky arrivistes. At Deco's swank Sunrise… More >>
  • Best Carryout Chinese

    Pepper's Chinese Restaurant and Lounge - CLOSED

    Sure, there's some decent General Tso's chicken and moo goo gai pan at the hundreds of identical, stark white, fluorescent-lit Chinese-takeout storefronts that dot the land, but why settle for merely good? Pepper's has a full menu of the dishes you know and love, plus a second menu featuring some of the best, most diverse regional Chinese cooking in the… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in South Broward

    Chez Andrée

    This divine, romantic brasserie is the kind of place visitors to Florida -- or, at least, French Canadian visitors to Florida -- dream of and rarely find. And who'd think to run across it crammed among T-shirt, ice cream, and souvenir shops on the Broadwalk? Chez Andrée's superb oceanfront location offers stunning panoramic views from either the wraparound outdoor patio,… More >>
  • Best Asian Market

    A Dong Oriental Food Mart

    Even in cities with large Chinatowns, shopping for Asian groceries is seldom a one-stop endeavor. One place may have the best selection of dried mushrooms, another the best prices on bottles of fish sauce and sriracha. Which makes A Dong in Lauderdale Lakes so useful. Though a Vietnamese market in name and orientation, it carries a worthy selection of Chinese,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale

    3030 Ocean

    It's time we admitted we've been scooped: New Times readers last year voted 3030 Ocean as Fort Lauderdale's best restaurant. Let us shout it loud: Readers, you were totally on top of it! You had the savoir faire and gastronomical chops to know a mean plate of Australian butterfish when you tasted it. But we've spent the past year catching… More >>
  • Best Tofu

    Myung Ga Tofu & BBQ Restaurant

    Bubbling bowls of soup are a mainstay of Korean cooking born of cold, harsh winters, and the chigae, wherein a fiery red broth meets some combination of clams, shrimp, pickled vegetables, and marinated meat, is about as extreme as a bowl of soup can get: tangy, sweet, sour, fishy, and hot-pepper spicy all at once. Which makes Myung Ga's own… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in North Broward

    Romantico Ristorante

    When Michael di Bella took over Romantico from his mentor, Tonino Tizzano, a few years ago, he didn't hire an interior designer from Miami to hang glittery curtains and space-age uplighting or take on a bevy of PR ladies to spin his "concept" or set up a website with thumping house music and graphic close-ups of dewy basil leaves; he… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    Fat Lou's

    One caveat comes with this hot dog haven: The service is usually slow. Perhaps that's part of the shtick, though: Much of Fat Lou's appeal is in its big-city ambience and the high-minded way it has elevated itself above the mundane, no-frills hot dog stands that dot our suburbs. By contrast, Fat Lou's is a bona fide hot dog restaurant,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Palm Beach

    Saporissimo - CLOSED

    If you are not happy, they are not happy. Signor and Signora Monegatti, originally from the island of Elba, serve a mind-boggling menu of Tuscan classics -- rabbit soaked in wine and chocolate, venison osso buco, cuttlefish with pasta in black ink, parpardelle with wild-boar sauce, quails cooked in a casserole, wild duck, fish so fresh it's practically still flopping… More >>
  • Best French Fries

    Hot Dog Heaven

    The world is aflutter with waffle fries, crinkle-cut fries, sweet potato fries, and parmesan truffle fries. But sometimes a fry is just a fry... and it's all you need. At Hot Dog Heaven, you get your straight-cut fries placed lovingly on a sheet of tissue paper in an old-fashioned red-and-white checkered cardboard basket. It's comforting to know that, if you… More >>
  • Best Steak House

    Gotham City

    Steak houses are like people. Well, not really. But sometimes like our human kin, some are unpretentious old money, solid as a duchess in a pair of Wellies. Others haven't given up the checkered tablecloths and celebrity photos after 60 years of business, but the cuts are still prime and dry-aged -- the Andy Rooneys of the steak world. And… More >>
  • Best Sticky Sweets

    Nirala Sweets BBQ

    For out-of-the-ordinary desserts, it's hard to beat the creations at Nirala, the first American outpost of an Indo-Pak sweets maker with locations in Pakistan and the Middle East. Indian sweets, as they're commonly called, come in spirals, balls, and dense fudge-like squares. From simple orbs of lightly sweetened cheese curds to halwas scented with carrot, cardamom, and saffron, everything is… More >>
  • Best Argentine Restaurant

    Che, Pibe

    If the authentic food and Spanish-speaking staff and clientele aren't enough to convince you that Che, Pibe offers an authentic Argentine experience, then simply take a look around this charming Miramar restaurant. In one corner, you'll find the local newspapers from Buenos Aires. In the other corner, the television broadcasts ftbol live from stadiums throughout Latin America. And for Argentines… More >>
  • Best Milkshake

    Doc's All American

    The 1950s -- a time when most 12-year-olds were virgins, rock music was as wholesome as Wonder Bread, and the frothy drinks Americans sucked down were not lattes or frappucinos (BlackBerry flavored to match their PDAs) but milkshakes. It's hard to imagine such a time unless you were there. Doc's All American remembers. It was there, serving milkshakes before most… More >>
  • Best Caribbean Restaurant

    Sugar Reef

    There are places that make a more authentic jerk or bake their fish in banana leaves or boast a grandmother who cooks from secret recipes passed down through generations of African slaves. But for the slow-time pace of a summer evening on a remote island, it's hard to find a restaurant as redolent of Caribbean airs as Sugar Reef, the… More >>
  • Best Chocolate Shop

    Galler

    When you've been raised on Hershey's kisses, European chocolate may be an acquired taste, like graduating from applesauce to apple martinis. But Belgian candy wizard Jean Geller is betting that the American palate is educable, and his flagship store on Las Olas, opened last Thanksgiving, will test whether Geller can make Floridians googly-eyed over his little mouthfuls of bliss. Geller's… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Hong Kong City BBQ

    Hong Kong City isn't the fanciest Chinese restaurant around, though the small, simple room is warm and inviting enough. With the arrival of some more ambitious and diverse Chinese eateries in the area, their Hong Kong and Cantonese cooking is no longer as exotic as it once may have seemed either. But Hong Kong City is like a river, flowing… More >>
  • Best Coffee

    Bacio

    No surprise that the best coffee in South Florida, with apologies to the Cubans, comes from Italy. Everything from the clean, polished design of Bacio's little shops to its kiss-inspired logo to the snowy peaks of gelato in ball-gown colors and textures of silk tulle to the dark-eyed girls and boys answering questions in halting English is as suave and… More >>
  • Best Cuban Restaurant

    Mario's Catalina

    Enough that Mario serves you the sourest, strongest mojitos, the most melting skirt steaks doused with citrusy, peppery mojo, and the sweetest, stickiest plantains you've ever tasted. Enough that he has kept pouring the wine, carting out the grilled shrimp and tamales and ham croquettes and shredded pork and red snapper and cuatro leches and coffee until you feel like… More >>
  • Best Crepe

    La Creperie

    There are 43 varieties of crepe to dither over at La Creperie (32 dinner, 11 dessert) -- to say nothing of the duck, frog legs, fillet of sole, and pepper steak -- all of them fashioned in the traditional Breton style from buckwheat flour and served steaming from the griddle. Dinner crepes, priced from $9 to $13, are crisp and… More >>
  • Best French Restaurant

    Chez Jean-Pierre

    It's official: French is out. South Florida is evidently still nursing a grudge over that silly Iraq thing, because good French restaurants here have become as rare as ivory-billed woodpeckers in a Louisiana swamp. You think you glimpsed a flash of a red-, white-, and blue-striped flag or heard the distant notes of the Marseillaise, but it's an illusion --… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market in Broward

    Tater Town

    Forty-four years ago, Joan and Dale Jesus parked their truck full of locally grown fruits and vegetables on Sunrise Avenue and opened for business. They soon moved to an empty lot on the west side of NW 27th Avenue, put up signs that said, "You are entering Tater Town," and watched as their brightly colored umbrellas and tarps attracted a… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Taj

    For once, the best is synonymous with the most. In the form of an $8.95 lunch buffet where you can fill and refill your plate with all the spice-redolent delicacies of India: a deliciously gooey sag paneer of spinach and homemade cheese; fragrant eggplant bharta; onion bhaji doused in cream and yogurt sauce; belly-warming channa masala; and creamy spiced peas… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market in Palm Beach

    Woolbright Farmer's Market

    Turn-of-the-century foodie buzzwords: locally grown, organic, sustainable, cuisine de terroire. If you live in Santa Monica, California, you merely throw on your yoga pants and traipse down to the daily farmer's market. But eco-friendly virtue is hard to come by in South Florida, unless you happen to live near Boynton Beach. There, the tiny but thriving family-run Woolbright Farmer's Market… More >>
  • Best Expensive Italian Restaurant

    Rino's Tuscan Grill

    Not many chefs can strike an ideal balance between simplicity and surprise -- they leave you either yawning over another plate of calamari or spooning up pig's-foot ice cream -- but Naples-born Chef Rino Balzano, well-schooled throughout Northern Italy, takes Tuscan classics and brings them up to date. Balzano, known for "miking up" to serenade his customers with Italian arias,… More >>
  • Best Winetastings

    Naked Grape Wine Co.

    Wilton Drive got a bit classier when Brian BeCraft opened this well-designed store last year. Wines here are grouped by characteristics, such as fruity, earthy, etc., with more than 200 choices for under $25. Helpful placards accompany each selection and describe the wine's origin, flavors, and compatibility with particular foods. That's the kind of detail that makes winetastings at the… More >>
  • Best Inexpensive Italian Restaurant

    Papa Pistola's

    For decades, you could count on the checkered tablecloth and the bottle of Chianti, the proprietor who knew the latest dish on everybody who walked in the door, the bread soaking in garlic butter, and the 12 kinds of spaghetti all cooked in the same heavy red sauce. Then, overnight, they were gone. Our cozy neighborhood Italian restaurants morphed into… More >>
  • Best Raw Bar

    Southport Raw Bar

    Those scary written warnings that accompany servings of un-cooked shellfish are so uninviting, it's a wonder anyone eats raw oysters or clams. Risking hepatitis or vibrio just to swallow something salty and slimy takes a particular breed of cat (or kitten). But raw oysters are, in fact, a delicacy and reputed aphrodisiac, and South Florida's a prime spot for both… More >>
  • Best Jamaican Restaurant

    Annie's Fresh Fish and Baked Goods - CLOSED

    Good Jamaican and Caribbean food abounds in South Florida. Drive ten minutes from anywhere and you can get decent jerk and oxtails that taste pretty much the same as the ones you had elsewhere. Are they all using the same recipes and sharing one big kitchen? Annie's is one of a handful of places where such thoughts never occur. The… More >>
  • Best Fish Sandwich

    Tiki Waterfront Sea Grill

    Bikers, boaters, and bobos rub beer bellies under the thatched roofs of Tiki's upper- and lower-story bars at the Riviera Beach marina, shaking booty to live music on sunny Sunday afternoons. It's Old Florida meets Eastern Europe: luscious Romanian girls, wearing last-decades' gold eyeshadow and hot pants, maneuver baskets of peel 'n' eat shrimp, hot blue crab dip, and Bahamian… More >>
  • Best Japanese Restaurant for Pyrotechnics

    Sakai Japanese Restaurant

    You thought old-fashioned hibachi pyrotechnics had gone the way of the samurai? Not so, Grasshopper: The spinning knives and the flying fillets are still dancing through their paces at Sakai Japanese Restaurant, where -- depending on how sociable you feel -- you can reserve a seat at one of four communal hibachi tables. Kids, of course, love to belly up… More >>
  • Best Sub

    Colombino Italian Bakery and Deli

    You make a submarine for 20 years, you get to know what you're doing. The current owners of Colombino took over the decades-old business just five years ago, but the family's carrying on a serious tradition to exacting specifications -- while Taco Bells and Subways have sprung up around this tiny deli and bakery like pokeweeds around a violet, nothing… More >>
  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    Silvana

    If you've run through the menu at your local taqueria a few dozen times and think your burrito tour has made you an expert in Mexican food, it's time to get cozy with Silvana. The focus here is seafood, and we don't mean fish tacos: Chef Antonio Brodziak takes his classical Mexican culinary training and gussies it up in contemporary… More >>
  • Best Croissant

    EuroBread & Café

    Let us school you on the croissant. The best ones are covered with a thin, tan crust that's hard enough so that it resonates a little if you tap it with your fingernail but thin enough to "break" when it's given a little squeeze, like the shell of a robin's egg. Inside, the bready material should be slightly moist, with… More >>
  • Best Philippine Restaurant

    Horizon International

    Open the front door to Horizon and it'll look like a tiny Asian food mart. But follow the murmur of voices and clanging of pans coming from the back and you'll discover a busy little kitchen with seating for about 20 and lunchtime fare that'll snap you out of your burger complacency. Come here during the weekend and you'll likely… More >>
  • Best Bread

    German Bread Haus

    When it comes to the staff of life, Europe rocks. If you're looking for something awesome with which to mop up your gravy, go straight to the Italians, the French, and the Germans. While the first two favor a crusty, airy loaf, the German version is typically too heavy to carry one-handed. It's also lugubrious in mood, slightly sour in… More >>
  • Best Salvadoran Restaurant

    El Tamarindo

    Two days after Wilma hit, the power was out everywhere. The streets were a mess. The airport was dark and silent. Taking a walk before curfew as twilight set in, we smelled carne asada. A policeman in a parking lot radioed another patrol: "I'm at Tamarindo. They're open. Come on over." A powerline repair crew sat at a table outside.… More >>
  • Best Bakery

    Le Petit Pain French Bakery

    Somehow during each year's Best Of search, we find ourselves inexorably drawn by the scents of baking brioche, cardamom coffee cakes, and fruit tartelettes, the mixed berry custard strips, the lovingly handmade baguettes and loaves of country and Vienna and dark sourdough, the chocolate mousse cakes and the cream horns -- as we were saying, we're drawn by a mysterious,… More >>
  • Best Sushi in Broward

    Wasabi Cafe

    Now that even Wal-Mart is selling raw fish, you might say the sushi craze has jumped the shark -- or maybe jumped the maguro. But about a year ago, Yoshi Sakata closed the dual sushi place/fish market he'd owned for more than 20 years and moved across the street to reopen as a small Japanese restaurant. That's a loss for… More >>
  • Best Prepared Foods

    C'est Si Bon

    When a wealthy Palm Beach matron throws a party -- which she does pretty often -- you can bet you won't find her in her kitchen six hours before the big night rolling hundreds of tiny pigs into hundreds of tiny blankets. More likely, she'll be perusing the flats of refrigerated finger foods in the cooler at C'est Si Bon… More >>
  • Best Sushi in Palm Beach

    Sushi Bon

    Scruffy single types, guys in suits, and a local chef or two are bellied up to the bar here at odd hours, like old barflies with the DTs. But it's the wahoo, not the whiskey, they're hankering for, and they'll have it straight, no chaser. Sushi Bon is a secret we'd really rather not share; this place tucked into a… More >>
  • Best Seafood Market in Broward

    Fish Peddler East

    It's a minefield, buying fish these days. Almost daily, headline news trumpets that the seafood we thought we were virtuously buying (our morally incorrupt, farm-raised, Omega 3-loaded friends) is actually radioactive Godzillas simultaneously decimating the entire food chain and wrecking our immune systems, giving our unborn babies brain damage, and, yes -- killing dolphins! And all you wanted to do… More >>
  • Best Tapas

    Paella Seafood Grill

    Those Spaniards really know how to work a room. Their idea of a good meal is something you can carry with you, all the better for movers and shakers who like to make contact -- or need to make a quick exit. At Paella, the tapas are a little hard to manage one-handed, but Wednesday night's flamenco floor show will… More >>
  • Best Seafood Market in Palm Beach

    Palm Beach Fish Market and Bistro

    Yeah, yeah, the only way to buy fresh fish is to get it whole, take it home, and fillet it yourself. Or better yet, put a worm on a hook, cast the hook in the water, blah blah blah. Here's another idea: Find a fishmonger you trust and let him deal with the smelly fish guts. Then you won't have… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Tamarind Asian Grill

    Eaten enough pad thai to add extra padding to your thail? Now that tom yum has become the ubiquitous Asian equivalent of spaghetti with red sauce, Thai-aholics desperate for a little novelty will really appreciate the menu at Tamarind, where a skewer of grilled quail eggs yakitori is enough to file the edge off creeping Thai-dium. A plate of sweet… More >>
  • Best Conch Fritter

    Calypso

    Many people can catch a conch -- after all, these shellfish don't move so quick -- but rare is the soul who can cook one. At Calypso, the kitchen staff takes what looks like a shred of blown tire (the ones you're always swerving to avoid on I-95) and turns it into something not only edible but unforgettable. Here, you… More >>
  • Best Seafood Restaurant

    Blue Moon Fish Co.

    The list of seafood we can consume without compromising our nervous systems or the entire ecosystem has dwindled to a handful, but there's still enough to eat with pleasure and sans guilt from the menu at Blue Moon. Grab a table for two on the dock at sunset and order from the raw bar, where fresh oysters priced at $1.95… More >>
  • Best Key Lime Pie

    Aruba Beach Café

    Take in a key-lime-flavored double feature at Aruba Beach Café: The key lime pie martini ($8.50) is a smooth, decadent cocktail for folks who like their desserts in liquid form, created to match a late-afternoon mood. It's made with Licor 43 (a potent Spanish citrus vanilla liqueur), Rose's lime juice, and cream and served in a tall martini glass --… More >>
  • Best Waterfront Dining

    Windows at Ireland's

    Time marches on at Ireland's Inn Beach Resort, where the 60-room '60s hotel, undulating like a gigantic, pink tsunami, is slated for demolition in the next couple of years to make room for a 600-unit condo-hotel and what the owners hope will be a five-star restaurant. Ireland's third-generation proprietors, Andy and Kathy Mitchell, are thinking big -- but for the… More >>
  • Best Museum Café

    Café 1451 at the Norton Museum of Art

    In thematically seamless style, Café Chef Marc Benoit has whipped up a little something to pair with the Norton's excellent impressionism and Matisse exhibits this year, not to mention its stellar permanent collection of impressionists -- a menu of French-accented small plates, soups, and salads as varied as the many faces and moods of Monsieur Matisse's favorite model, Laurette. Nibble… More >>
  • Best Place to Dine With Gramps

    Brazilian Tropicana - CLOSED

    Don't second-guess the old man -- he hates early-bird specials. And as long as his teeth and his nether parts are still in working order, he'd much rather eat grilled steak and ogle booty, thank you very much. There's hardly a better place to do both than Brazilian Tropicana, the oldest churrascaria in town, where the meats -- lamb, chicken,… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Dining

    Ristorante Luna Rosa

    The gravitational force exerted by this big pink moon upon the ocean waters directly opposite its outdoor terraces is roughly equal to the forces of attraction exerted between a plate of Luna Rosa's ricotta-stuffed ravioli and your mouth. Or between your giant South African double lobster tails and your dining partner's fork. Which is to say that, scientifically speaking, if… More >>
  • Best Place to Dine Alone

    Lemongrass Asian Bistro

    Feeling that hollow sense of emptiness deep inside? Are you alienated, cut off, isolated, disconnected from all meaningful human contact? Can't get a date because you're too (paralyzed/terrified/stoned) to pick up the phone? Got the post-Cartesian metaphysical blues? Well, here's a little pill to make you larger, friend: It's shaped like the homemade chicken wonton in a jewel-colored bowl of… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Dining

    The Floridian

    If the late Edward Hopper were around to re-create Night Hawks -- his celebrity-filled ode to late-night dining -- he'd probably put his four famous faces at the Floridian (AKA, the Flo'). With the sort of retro diner look that befits a 24-hour joint, the Floridian takes on a surreal, time-in-reverse quality during the wee after hours. And yet, the… More >>
  • Best Wine Deal

    Wine Living's Wine of the Month Club

    Joining Wine Living's Wine of the Month Club is like hiring a personal organizer at a fraction of the cost. Owners Giancarlo and Mary de Falco will let you keep the junk in your closets and file cabinets, but they'll streamline your wine profile into something chic and sophisticated, clear your head of unnecessary wine factoids, and help you focus… More >>
  • Best Soul Food

    Jesse's Place - CLOSED

    Jesse's bills itself as "a fine soul food restaurant." No argument here. This spacious strip-mall café cooks up soul food with a twist of Caribbean and a dash of Haitian. There are, of course, the hardcore dishes: fried chicken livers and gizzards with fries for $4.99 and side dishes, such as collards, speckled butter beans, and okra/tomato, for $1.50 each.… More >>
  • Best Deli in Broward

    Pomperdale New York Style Deli

    Truly transcendent deli, the ultimate comfort food, is all about trust. Some will quibble over details -- the altitude of the sandwich, the sourness of the pickle, the correct brand of house mustard. Those elements are important; at the deli altar of Pomperdale, they're implicit. Step inside the Lauderdale landmark and take a look at the grinning, crinkled mugs working… More >>
  • Best Deli in Palm Beach

    Ben's Kosher Deli of Boca

    Ben's has seven locations, and six of them are in an area bounded by Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. The seventh has trailed a flock of hungry, kvetching snowbirds down to Boca Raton and set up a palace big enough to hold anybody who happens to be looking for whole rotisserie-roasted empire kosher chickens, beef-tongue Polonaise with raisin gravy, homemade stuffed… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Gluttons

    The Jungle Queen

    If we're going to sin, let's sin extravagantly. By all means, let's precede the sin with a boat trip down the New River past the glittering manses of even fatter and richer sinners. Let's indulge our sin -- an "All You Wish to Eat" barbecue of ribs, chicken, and shrimp ($32.95 per person!) including piles of potatoes, cole slaw, bread,… More >>
  • Best Sunday Sauce

    Ruggero's

    Used to be there were three, not two, certainties in life. There was death. There were taxes. And there was Sunday sauce. If you were Italian and it was Sunday, your mother would most definitely be up to her elbows in breadcrumbs, raw egg, and pounded meat, putting together the veal or pork meatballs, rolling up the braciole, separating the… More >>
  • Best Supper Club

    Spice Resto-Lounge

    It's not like you need a reason to visit happenin' Hollywood these days, but Spice Resto-Lounge makes a hell of a good one. You can park your fanny at a table at 8 p.m. for dinner (with a reservation, friend!) and not have to worry about going anywhere for another eight hours or so -- except up to the dance… More >>
  • Best Breakfast Special

    Rendez-vous Bakery & Bistro

    You won't find greasy-spoon fare at this charming bistro, whose calm, Old Country interior seems a world away from the snarling street outside. One particular item on the petit dejéuner menu has been dubbed "rustic," but the breakfast campagnard is fit more for a prince than a farmer. The meal comes with scrambled eggs, bacon, sautéed potatoes, and a fresh-baked… More >>
  • Best Food Court

    Swap Shop

    Forget Sbarro's, Starbucks, and Ben and Jerry's. Every food court in every two-bit mall in the nation holds out those same few fast-food chains to their captive audiences of weary shoppers. Only in the chaotic, Third World atmosphere of the Swap Shop do the conformist food pods give way to something different. The main food court floor in the center… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse

    Brew Urban Café - CLOSED

    Surrounded by the hubbub of Himmarshee Street saloons and Las Olas Riverfront tourist traps, Brew is an oasis of calm and caffeine. Its Seattle-style ambiance and fastidiously prepared drinks have won over the following of a large group of regulars who chat together in half-moon booths, lofty tables, and plush chairs. It's wi-fi friendly for the bring-your-own types, but several… More >>
  • Best Desserts

    Shore Restaurant and Beach Bar

    Shore scores points for getting a very basic premise of dessert: If ever a course deserved the full dog-and-pony show, it's not the apps and the entrées. When it comes to those early dishes, we're still ravenous; we couldn't care less if our escargots are wearing rolled-basil-leaf hats or if the waitron wants to turn our steak poivre into a… More >>
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