Ten Best Late-Night Eats in Broward County
The saying goes, "Nothing good happens after 2 a.m." We say "good" is an awfully subjective word. In any case, we don't believe it.
Whether leaving a concert, a fun night out at the bars, a long day of work, or whatever other entertaining (but socially unacceptable) activities you may have been engaging in previously, we think plenty of good happens in the wee hours of the morning.
The only problem: It's not always easy to find something good to eat.
Sure, you could gorge yourself on a pile of 7-Eleven taquitos or some McDonald's drive-through -- it'll most certainly fill your gut, but it's not exactly going to be a pleasurable experience in the morning.
But just because you're out late doesn't mean you need to let go of your gourmand side. Palatable options exist.
Although you may need to find a sober driver or hail a cab for a ride, there are plenty of late-night bites in Broward County that would be deemed worthy even during the day.
From pop-up taco stands to sushi gems to world-famous burgers and everything in between, we bring you the ten best late-night eats in Broward County.
10. Beach Pizza
Just a few storefronts down from the Elbo Room, right on Las Olas Boulevard, this pizzeria has been serving daytime beachgoers and drunken bar-hoppers for the past decade. It's worth stopping by whatever time of day. Although the counter-order shop serves an array of items ranging from Boar's Head subs to salads to burritos, its namesake item draws the crowds. The fresh-baked New York-style pies (and slices) are good at all hours of the day and night. It's open 11:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and till 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
When it comes to filling up late at night, there's no need for pomp and pretension: It's all about good food without judgment. This place has that angle covered. For more than 40 years, this waterfront Fort Lauderdale spot has been shucking oysters, steaming clams, and dishing out Old Bay shrimp until 1 o'clock in the morning without changing a thing, and that's exactly what we like to see. The spot has earned New Times' pick for Best Raw Bar on more than four occasions. Besides its namesake items, Southport Raw Bar serves a wide selection of delicious cooked items such as dolphin, New England clam chowder, and some of the best conch chowder this side of the Gulf Stream.
Tacos are one of the best fourth-meal options out there -- and no, we don't mean from that one ubiquitous "taco" chain. We like our Mexican food authentic. This Hallandale Mexican joint is sure to satiate any South of the Border craving. After the restaurant closes at 9 on Friday and Saturday nights, it moves its operations out front with an ad hoc taco stand, serving some of the best tacos around. Cooks grill juicy carnitas and carne asada in the South Florida breeze, hitting each fragrant stack of meat with chopped onion, cilantro, and lime before wrapping it in a fresh corn tortilla. It's a scene you won't see anywhere else in the Broward confines; it's always filled with hordes of Spanish speakers noshing on spicy tacos until 4 in the morning.
This Pittsburgh-based chain has multiple locations across Broward; however, it's the original 24-hour beach location that has a special place in our hearts. It serves breakfast and all sorts of great gut-busting grub to jump-start your morning -- or finish you off for the night. You can get massive portions of subs, pizza, burgers, and hot dogs that are hearty enough to satiate the largest steelworker appetite. While it's all worthy of the impending food hangover, the small counter shop is best-known for its "Almost Famous sandwiches," monstrous slices of Italian bread stuffed with meat, cheese, coleslaw, and salty/delicious hand-cut French fries.
6. Roccos Tacos
Las Olas is one of Fort Lauderdale's busiest drinking streets. Sure, it's not as crazy as Himmarshee, but sometimes happy hour gets in the way of, well, eating. Fortunately, this trendy taco joint serves its full menu until midnight, followed by a late-night menu until 1 a.m. Beef tamales ($17.50), California fish tacos ($18.50), and chili rellenos ($16.50) pair perfectly with the extensive selection of margaritas and the array of more than 225 tequilas. If you pass the midnight mark, hunger-solving tacos ($2.95) ranging from chicken to cochinitas achiote (slow-roasted pork) and carne molida (spicy ground beef) will surely fill you up and get you on your way to the next bar in a jiffy.
Broward is known for its nocturnal party scene overall, and the gayborhood is one of the most happening of all. So it should come as no surprise that a small town known for its hopping bars would need some places to grab a good bite to eat in the wee hours of the morning. For sushi lovers (or anyone looking to forgo the fat and grease), this would be your place. Open until 11 on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends, Gaysha serves a wide selection of nigiri, ranging from shrimp ($1.50) and local snapper ($2) to bluefin tuna; creative rolls like the Red Dragon Roll ($12), with shrimp, romaine lettuce, cucumber, schiracha, and eel inside out with red tobiko and avocado slices; and rotating chalkboard specials of ramen and other small plates. However, if you're looking to continue your adventure throughout the night, we suggest the omakase, or the chef's choice.
A Fort Lauderdale institution, this classic diner has been serving locals at all hours of the day and night since the '60s. The vast menu boasts a wide range of daily specials, 70 or so different sandwiches, nearly two dozen salads, homemade soups du jour, 35 desserts "baked on the premises daily," Greek and Italian specialties, a children's menu, and mainstay entrées like chicken ($12.99), seafood ($11.99 to $17.99), steaks ($11.99 to $16.99), and chops ($13.99) in addition to the all-day breakfast with staples, such as ham and eggs, Belgian waffles ($6.19), and eggs Benedict ($7.89). The food is good, but the setting is the best of all. The classic décor fills with a strange mix of drunk locals, out-of-towners, truckers, Port Everglades workers, and random nightclubbers that only gets more surreal as the night drags on.
3. Sushi Song
With locations in Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, and soon downtown Fort Lauderdale, these cozy sushi joints offer a taste of big-city late-night scenes to laid-back Broward County. The atmosphere is dim and cozy with candles and brick walls. The sushi is fresh and creative, with options ranging from straightforward nigiri to over-the-top signature rolls such as Japan Red Hot ($15), shrimp tempura, cucumber, and jalapeño topped with tuna, black tobiko, and house special sauce and the A1A ($22), with Maine lobster, avocado, cilantro, and spicy mayo topped with seared wild salmon and special sauce. This place proves eating late at night doesn't have to mean you're stuck at a dive.
The three things most needed after a long night out are grease, carbs, and comfort. This place serves all three in one scrumptious handheld bite. Open until 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 3 a.m. Thursday and Sunday, and 4 a.m. on weekend nights, this Wilton Manors shop makes grilled cheese sandwiches that will blow your inner-child's mind. Options like the Soho Sweet Cheeses! ($8.50) with Brie, caramelized onions, crunchy bacon, and berry marmalade on toasted oatmeal wheat bread; Manhattan Grilled Mac 'n Cheese ($8.50), American cheddar cheese and homemade mac 'n' cheese on toasted country loaf; and the Wall Street Grindr Award ($9.95) with American cheddar cheese, French fries, bacon, caramelized onion, garlic butter, and fried egg on country loaf are all served with a dipper of creamy tomato bisque.
Heralded by GQ as serving the best burger in America, this Old Florida dockside eatery has been serving locals burgers and bar food on Hollywood's Intracoastal Waterway since 1974. It's now packed all day long, but it's still the perfect place to get a good dose of grease late in the night (it's open until 1 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends). With kitschy flotsam and jetsam hanging from the walls, dockside picnic benches, no-B.S. service, and an interesting late-night crowd, this famed Hollyweird eatery is ideal for those looking to get a great bite late at night. Though it's full of tourists pretty much year-round now, it's a relic of what South Florida once was: a great place to get drunk and hang out.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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