Bozo's Sub & Sandwich Shop

Over the swing bridge and through the park, to the best damned stifling-hot, people-packed, appetite-mocking sandwich shop we go. Would you like your cheeseburger on a normal bun or in the form of a gut-busting sub for just over five bucks? While you're thinking, close your eyes. It's easy to imagine you're on some rambling Deep South byway, hearing the sizzling grill and feeling the impotent gusts of the ceiling fans. Now open your eyes and look at that rack of homemade cakes, available by the slice. Holy mother.

Charcuterie Too!

Downtown Fort Lauderdale has no shortage of restaurants, from basic sandwich shops to upscale eateries that morph into clubs at night. Yet those of us who work and live in this panoply of gustatory diversity somehow still find ourselves wondering what the hell we're going to eat for lunch. Many downtowners have found the ideal solution: "Let's just go to the library." Truth is, the food at the Main Library's Charcuterie Too is just really freaking good. The dishes are simple and well-prepared, and the menu is posted online, so you can check the day's special before you head over. The curry chicken is arguably the most delicious dish in Fort Lauderdale. The line is quick, the staff friendly and efficient, and at about $8 for the whole meal, you won't go broke.

The words comfort food may not immediately bring to mind galbi, jjigae, and bibimbap — not unless you're Korean, anyway. But the heart and soul of comfort food is the idea that it should be something that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Myung Ga, a humble Korean restaurant in far-off Weston, definitely delivers on that front. On any given night, the place is filled with families sharing hearty, soul-affirming meals. Central to that is the way in which those meals are eaten. In typical Korean fashion, each table is packed to the brim with all manner of food, so that almost every inch of bare space is taken up. There are plates of banchan (little appetizers that come complimentary with every meal), sizzling platters of char-grilled meat like short ribs or shrimp, and bubbling cauldrons of soup filled with roast pork, tofu, and plenty of heady spice. When it's time to dig in, folks pass bowls and reach with their chopsticks. They serve one another helpings of noodles coated in spicy chili sauce and sip from short glasses of Hite Lager. Most of all, there's this overwhelming sense of conviviality that spreads throughout the restaurant. Although Myung Ga may not serve comfort food of the meat loaf and mashed potatoes mold, it definitely has the same effect: Your heart warms, and your belly grumbles. It's time to eat.

Larry's Olde Fashioned Ice Cream & Yogurt

Maybe it's because ice cream parlors are such ubiquitous fixtures on the American landscape, but for some reason, kitsch and gimmicks have become the rule rather than the exception. Seems that nowadays they all sell ice cream in bathroom fixtures so large that the flavors ooze together, or via a do-it-yourself scheme that tricks people into loading up on toppings only to realize at the register that you pay by weight and chocolate chips are much heavier than you thought. And then, of course, there's the singing. Oh, the singing. If you just want to get a couple of decent scoops on a sugar cone and enjoy it in peace, then pay a visit to Larry's Olde Fashioned Ice Cream & Yogurt in Coral Springs. This tiny spot will serve you ice cream in a normal, individual-sized container. The only work you'll have to do is to decide between colored or chocolate sprinkles. (Go crazy — have both.) And best of all, no one — repeat, absolutely no one — will break out into off-key song should you drop a dollar in the tip jar. It's like heaven. And if you find yourself going through gimmick withdrawal, order a sundae and spin the wheel to find out how much you'll pay. You might even get it for free.

Barbara Young Bake Shop

Instead of grabbing the same old Starbucks croissant, pop into Barbara Young Bake Shop for a slice of homemade heaven. Barbara Young, a 35-year pastry chef, opted out of retirement to open her dream bakery on the Las Olas strip in 2010. The interior has a traditional Americana-meets-retro look, giving it a welcoming feel. When you walk in, the savory aroma of freshly baked goodies and brewing coffee will call out to your taste buds. The counter is lined with tempting delights just waiting to be devoured, including flavorful muffins that are as big as your head. One bite is guaranteed to start the day off right. In addition to the specialty breads and pies, Barbara's signature cheesecakes are not to be ignored.

Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries
Tabatha Mudra

People who should go here: those who like hamburgers. People who should not go here: those with peanut allergies.

Diner 24

Late-night eats or anytime treats... Oakland Park's Diner 24 knows what diner lovers desire — all things greasy, hearty, and home-style. And what's better than a filling portion of good, ol'-fashioned French fries smothered in a symphony of glistening beef gravy and creamy mozzarella cheese? A second portion of them! These fries, most likely invented during an inebriated moment of genius, will have you performing the night fever hustle in celebration. (Insider tip: Since some diners didn't know what "disco fries" meant, the menu was changed to list only "gravy fries." But if you ask for disco fries, you'll get 'em.)

Sugar Rush

At Sugar Rush, the four-wheeled version of Miami's Sweetness Bake Shop, you can have your cake and drink it too. The dessert-oriented food truck hocks tasty sweets in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. And one of its signature frozen treats is something called a cake 'n' shake. It's essentially a vanilla or chocolate milk shake blended with a thick slice of cake — your choice of either vanilla, chocolate, or red velvet. The secret to its success is the fact that each individual component is so good on its own: The cake is dense, rich, and moist. And the shakes are dynamite too, especially the chocolate version, which is made all the more special by the addition of tiny chunks of real chocolate in the mix. Combining the two is a near perfect pairing — like eating a hot dog at a ball game or watching a double rainbow in the company of a hippie. Sugar Rush also makes other amazing confections, from fudge-stuffed chocolate chip cookies to Krispy Kreme doughnut bread pudding.

Kubo Asiatic Cuisine
Candace West
Kubo means "long life" in Japanese and "small house" in Tagalog, the language of chef-owner Roy Villacrusis' native Philippines. "Asiatic cuisine" is Villacrusis' fiercely individual, breathtakingly inventive take on the cuisines of Asia, inspired by sushi but blasting off to an entirely new and different universe. Though open less than a year, Kubo earns its Best Restaurant honors by being simply the most exciting place to dine in Palm Beach County. With dishes like liver surf and turf (using monkfish liver), green-tea-cured salmon, and a Kobe hot dog with kimchee, it's the kind of restaurant that would set palates drooling in such sophisticated, foodcentric cities as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, never mind its exceedingly modest, design-on-a-budget appearance and location in a corner of an almost-deserted North Palm Beach shopping mall. Now there's no reason to complain about a same ol', same ol' local restaurant scene. If you're hungry for food that excites and challenges your taste buds, you'll hope the small house that is Kubo has a very long life indeed.
Sonny's Gelato Cafe

You know a gelato restaurant knows its shit when Sylvester Stallone has gone through the drive-through. Sonny's Gelato Café in Boca Raton is within walking distance of Florida Atlantic University's main campus and apparently within driving distance for "Rocky" to feed his habit. The popular gelato café features more than 40 flavors on its menu. When asked to name the most popular one, staffers couldn't pick and instead spouted off flavors like banana, Nutella, and peanut butter. The family-run business also serves cakes imported straight from Italy, plus panini sandwiches and subs for those craving an actual lunch.

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