Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant 2016 | Boca Breakfast & Lunch Club | Food & Drink | South Florida

At this adorable brunch spot, man and man's best friend alike can come enjoy pancakes or paninis under the colorful umbrellas on the outdoor patio. The omelets are fluffy and mimosas fresh at the Boca Breakfast & Lunch Club, where your pup can enjoy the sunshine and a treat right by your side. The staff will kindly bring out a water bowl for your furry friend. Breakfast is served until close at 3 p.m., and everything on the menu is under $15. The French toast is particularly delectable, but fresh salads and crisp sandwiches are available too, if lunch is more your style.

As the host, you'd like to find a respectable place that won't break the bank, but you're not sure grandma will appreciate Hooters. The kids can't be trusted in a chi-chi setting, so options are limited... until you remember Deck 84. The food is well-presented and skews slightly fancy (pear-and-brie flatbread wows 'em every time). Most importantly, there's something for everyone, including options that will please the young'uns, like sweet potato fries ($6) and popcorn shrimp ($12). Spacious outdoor seating means you won't bother anyone when you're gossiping on about Cousin Jack, while views of the water distract your spawn and keep them from punching one another.

Every adult person should enjoy the supremely liberating experience of dining alone. You can choose to eat lazily—and messily—while reading your new book or playing on your phone and no one will judge you or be offended. Alternatively, you can experience your food. That means you taste and savor every bite, without distraction. It's the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to something new and adventurous that none of your boring friends are up to try. Lemongrass Hot Pot is the perfect spot for dining alone. Hot pot could be compared to fondue, but that would be selling it short. Each guest is given a pot of broth—hence the name—ranging from mild to hot and spicy which sits in a slot on the table that will quickly bring it to a boil. Noodles and veggies move past you on a conveyor belt, a remnant of the floating sushi bar that used to call this location home. Proteins are presented buffet style and vary from the familiar chicken and beef (cut lean for quick cooking in your broth) to the more exotic pork brain, blood clot, and tripe, as well as tofu. Have no fear: The staff is knowledgable and happy to help you make your dining decisions. Once you've got all your mix-ins, set your soup to cooking. Now's a good time to hit the sauce bar for some garlic chili oil. Then, tuck in—but make sure to let your creation cool or make sure you've got a cold glass of water nearby.

Best Place to Eat When Someone Else Is Paying

Six Tables

Part of the glory of letting someone treat you to a fancy dinner is just sitting back and letting them do all the work. This includes making the reservations, and when it comes to Six Tables in Boca, you'll be glad you let the other guy figure that one out. It's not that the staff isn't accommodating and helpful, it's just that with only six tables (yes, the name is literal) and one dinner seating only three nights a week, making reservations at this highly acclaimed and beloved-by-locals spot is a challenge. The American-French restaurant serves a five-course prix fixe meal for $89 with its lone seating at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The menu changes seasonally but will likely include traditional French fare like roast duck and at least one dish served with Bordelaise sauce, followed by decadent chocolate desserts. The restaurant doesn't post available slots on Facebook (with so many private events, you just have to call and roll the reservation dice), and the wine list is also purposefully vague, since the chef personally selects wines to go with the menu and buys only a few bottles of each; thus, they run out quickly. Prices are $50 to $95 on average, or you can BYOW for a $30 cork fee. With all this mystery and intrigue, you might be wondering whether it's all worth it. It is.

Christina Mendenhall

When Monroe Udell opened his ice cream shop in 1956, it was a modest storefront. But in the 1960s, Udell expanded by opening up the back dining room and began collecting American antiques and memorabilia. More than 800 license plates currently line the walls of this beloved restaurant (the earliest a 1911 plate from Pennsylvania), and guests are always bringing in more to add to the collection. Though Udell died in 2014 at age 86, his venture remains ever popular with families lined out the door late on summer nights. Among the antiques are old telephones, a photo of Ronald Reagan in the 1950s from an issue of LIFE magazine, and Udell's favorite: a gramophone built in the 1920s from an English dance hall. All of this is fun to peruse as you sit in the same metal cafe chairs Udell bought more than 50 years ago and savor the best banana split you've ever had.

This South Indian restaurant in a strip mall off Oakland Park is 100 percent vegetarian—and also 100 percent delicious. The $9.99 all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is packed with value. Fill up with vegetable medleys, soups, salads, and chutneys. To really explore the variety of the kitchen, it's best to order off the a la carte menu. Dosas (crepes made of rice and lentil batter) are exceptional, with fillings like fresh vegetables, flavorful chutneys, and cottage cheese. Indo-Chinese dishes meld Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques with Indian tastes, as with the baby corn chili and Tofu Manchurian—both standouts. Save room for dessert: homemade mango or pistachio ice cream, or a banana split.

Ravioli? Check. Lasagna? Check. Caprese salad? Check. You can find all the typical Italian-American dishes at Sosta Caffe, but what sets this place apart are the more authentic eats. The family-owned and operated restaurant prepares all of its breads and pastas fresh daily. In the mornings, this rustic and homey café serves homemade pastries and Italian bagels known as taralli—savory bread seasoned with black pepper, hot red pepper, fennel, or anise seeds. Come lunch, try a panini or piadini (Italian flatbread) sandwich like the Toscano, a blend of herb-flecked chicken oreganato with fontina cheese, arugula, tomato, and a freshly whipped olive mayonnaise. For dinner, try the Ravioli Duo ($16.99): a few homemade three-cheese ravioli in a rich Alfredo sauce served beneath a braised beef bolognese sauce. And then there's always chef Maria's Italian meatloaf, her mother's recipe. Known in Italian as polpettone ($15.99)—a mixture of meats stuffed with a blend of herbs, spinach, cheese, and mortadella—it's delectable hot or cold. The recipe also makes for a stellar ciabatta de polpettone which, with a layer of melted provolone between two freshly baked ciabatta rolls, is perhaps the most flavorful meatball sub you'll ever get your hands on. For dessert, the homemade tiramisu arrives fluffy and decadent, but the Nutella cheesecake steals the show.

Readers' choice: Casa D'Angelo

It's becoming harder and harder to find good Asian food these days, with everyone trying to pull off some French-Filipino fusion nonsense. Luckily, Red Ginger in Coral Springs is still doing its (mostly Chinese) cuisine right. From sushi to comforting traditional entrees (garlic shrimp, $13.50) and perfectly spiced soups ($5), Red Ginger checks all the boxes—and then some. Dishes like the Chirashi Deluxe (bowl of rice mixed with fish, vegetables, and additional ingredients of your choice) make even the pickiest patron feel like they made the right choice. The Japanese wontons and Asian spice spare ribs are favorites of regulars.

For the uninitiated, eating at a Korean restaurant can be overwhelming. There are the barbecue restaurants where you're expected to cook your own meats and fish right at the table, or hot-pot spots where you do the same with a heated bowl of broth. Often the only drink besides water and beer is soju. And then all those tiny dishes come out at once, like tapas gone crazy. One might think, "Oh, I didn't order these!" or "These free appetizers are awesome!" Try Korean Bistro in Hollywood next time. Here, you aren't required to do anything but sit back, relax, and eat. Foods are prepared by a mother and daughter duo and served by a soft-spoken Korean server dressed in a whimsical printed apron. Everything is casual, from the simple décor and K-Pop on the TV to the mismatched plates. Each meal at U-Know begins with the usual arsenal of side dishes—AKA banchan—chosen to balance one another with taste, texture, and color. Try Korean-style steamed eggs and chap chae (long rice noodles and thinly sliced, stir-fried vegetables) or the popular dolt bibimbap (cooked rice with an assortment of vegetables, meat, or tofu topped with an egg and a dollop of hot red pepper paste). Crisp and spicy kimchi will offset anything oily or bland. At the end of your meal, the waitress will arrive with the check and a small, plastic container of sweetened probiotic yogurt known as Yakult for each guest. Don't ask; just drink it.

Courtesy of Gou Lou Cheong BBQ

Forget Americanized fried rice, orange chicken, and wonton soup. Instead, steer yourself to Gou Lou Cheong BBQ for authentic Chinese dishes like roast duck ($14.95). The founding owner of this small, decade-old takeout spot was once the proprietor and chef for Hong Kong City BBQ in Tamarac, considered one of the area's best dim sum restaurants. Despite Gou Lou Cheong's diminutive size (standing room only), dining here is akin to walking into one of the best spots in New York's Chinatown—or perhaps an eatery in China itself—complete with whole ducks and slabs of pork hanging from the ceiling. Order the Xa Xiu Mat (honey roasted pork, $6.50), and you'll get a styrofoam container filled with slabs of freshly roasted meat served over a bed of rice. A mixture of honey, a five-spice powder, hóngfuru (red fermented bean curd), dark soy sauce, hoisin, and a touch of rice wine stain the meat's exterior layer a deep red, while a touch of malt sugar gives the chasiu its characteristic shiny glaze. A note: The restaurant is closed on Wednesday, and only accepts cash.

Readers' choice: Temple Street Eatery

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