Donnie's Place

Get a good home-cooked meal from a guy who grew up eating some of the area's best home-cooked meals. This restaurant is clean and comfortable with friendly service and a relaxed vibe. Just one year ago, the place reopened after a fire at its old location forced chef and owner Donnie Dobson to shut his doors. When he reopened, his devoted crowd was waiting, ready for more. Come hungry, because the place specializes in hearty meals like oxtail, chicken gizzards and souse, fried pork chops, and chicken, and the ribs are guaranteed to be fall-off-the-bone tender. The best of both worlds comes with the ribs and chicken combo. Sides include mac and cheese, fried okra, pigeon peas and rice, collard greens, corn bread, and lima beans. Wash it all down with Donnie's own version of Kool-Aid, the "Parker's Special" fruit punch made with real fruit and flavored naturally. End it with a slice of homestyle sweet potato pie, red velvet cake, or peach cobbler.

Rustic Inn

Children are wonderful, except when you have to take them out in public. Scratch that — they're still wonderful, but constantly ignoring the sighs and reproachful stares of child-haters in a restaurant can get old. It's best to find places that are kid friendly — or at least so loud that no one notices Junior jumping up and down and pounding his sippy cup on the table. At the legendary Rustic Inn, no one is going to notice a little extra pounding, as most eaters will be gleefully smashing through crab claws with wooden hammers. Diners won't notice your kids' impromptu food fight because they are accidentally flinging bits of crab meat into their own hair. In fact, everyone in the place looks like an overgrown 2-year-old pulling crab legs from metal pails while wearing plastic bibs and dripping melted butter off their chins. While everyone here has reverted to childhood, Rustic Inn still takes special note of the little guys, offering a menu of kids' specials, including chicken fingers and hamburgers, so you don't have to convince a cringing toddler to eat a spiny water animal that looks like a giant bug. A delicious giant bug, but still.

Boston's on the Beach

For three decades, Boston's on the Beach has been serving live music and good libations to beachgoers. Times change, Delray's restaurant scene exploded, and it seems now that everyone has a Chihuahua in her Louis Vuitton tote. When a city goes to the dogs, the best thing to do is join in! The restaurant invites you and your pooch to dine alfresco. Widdle Puddles will enjoy the fresh sea breezes ruffling her fur as she chooses from a special doggy menu. The petite pup might want chicken strips or a hot dog (four "bones" each), while the hardier hound can dig into a steak dinner (nine "bones"). This is the perfect place to make up for all the times you throw some kibble in a dish and leave for the day. If you don't want your new Jimmy Choos... well... "chooed," we suggest pampering your pup here. Because little Bitsy is keeping score.

Squiggy's NY Style Pizza
Tabatha Mudra

They say nothing good happens after 2 a.m. Whoever "they" are, they're dead wrong. As bars are shoving the last wasted patrons out the doors, the streets fill with only the most entertaining of antics. And where do said patrons stumble off to? To sober up on drunk food, of course. We like a late-night drunk spot just as crazy as its customers. Squiggy's Pizza in downtown Fort Lauderdale manages to be just that: The pizza shop has been host to a couple of X-rated film soirees, some of which occurred during business hours. Three bucks for a slice of cheese and a show? That's a way better deal than heading out to the movies.

Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar
Christina Mendenhall

Let's face it. Once we get past 25, we spend the rest of our lives either trying to find the fountain of youth or drinking to forget the fact that too much Botox makes us look like crap. But what if we told you that a drink could actually be the key to staying young? Sounds like magical hocus-pocus, true. But there is some science behind Rocco's Tacos' Antioxidant Margarita ($11.50). The libation is made with Cedilla açaí liqueur, a spirit distilled from the açaí berry, which is known to have antioxidant properties. What's an antioxidant, anyway? Well, as you age, your body, much like the Tin Man's, oxidizes. Antioxidants cause a reaction that inhibits oxidation and has been thought to ward off lots of nasties like cancer and heart disease. So this is a margarita that's good for you. But how does it taste? Well, made simply with Maestro Dobel Diamond Tequila, a premium aged tequila that's been filtered until colorless, a little fresh lime, and agave, it's what a margarita should taste like — bright, fresh, simple — and devoid of any corn syrup and antifreeze-colored syrups. And, should this wonderful libation add years to our lives, it's simply more time to enjoy another round of cocktails.

Steak 954

You wake up a groggy mess, your head pounding to the rhythm of your heartbeat, thanks to an all-out binge drinking fest the day before. You know what you need, and you know you need it fast: more alcohol. What better way to get it than a vitamin-soaked bloody mary? Steak 954's version of a wake-up call — the tomatillo bloody mary — comes with a combo of roasted tomatillo, cilantro, basil, garlic, fresh lime juice, and house-smoked tequila. Garnished with a house-cured pickled cucumber, it's available only on weekends — or until the fresh-made mix runs out. It's hard to choose over the original bloody mary, a spicy-sweet recipe made fresh with several types of chili peppers, tomatoes, and a secret blend of spices and ingredients that make for one hell of a drink, garnished with the restaurant's own dill pickles. No matter which way you go — or how many you put down — they're definitely worth getting up early for to make it one hell of a Sunday brunch.

Kahuna Bar & Grill
Liz Dzuro

This is South Florida, where the frozen drink reigns supreme. Ask any tourist what sums up the Sunshine State experience and he'll probably wax poetic about his love for the piña colada. Cliché but true. Well, Kahuna Bar & Grill has the most amazing version of the coconut/pineapple concoction. The bamboo-lined walls and kitschy décor make this place a beach bum's paradise. There's no better spot to drink the day away. Made in-house, its colada is frozen and mounted in a handy-dandy wall dispenser. (Premixed is better when it comes to frozen drinks, trust us.) So play tourist and unabashedly sip away at a sweet, potent frozen dream. And if you're feeling particularly fruity, pair it with a banana liqueur floater. Jimmy Buffett would be proud.

Mai-Kai
CandaceWest.com

One day many, many years ago, two brothers set out for a vacation in the Polynesian Islands, where they found a small tiki idol and decided to take it back home as a souvenir. Once back in Fort Lauderdale, the tiki idol spoke to them. It said it missed its homeland — especially the fantastic rum-based cocktails. The idol told the brothers that if they built him a fabulous bar, he would share his drink recipes with them. The brothers agreed and named the palace after the god. And so Mai-Kai was born. Every day, the tiki god is celebrated by a ritual called "happy hour," wherein 57 of the tiki god's own recipes are half-priced before 7 p.m. Who doesn't love a menu where the cocktails are divided into mild, medium, and strong? The Mara-Amu ($13.50) is a blend of rums and fresh fruit juices served in your own tiki that you can take home. Try the Black Magic ($14), a potent concoction of dark rums, tropical fruit, and coffee. All are served by pretty girls in sarongs and bikini tops. If you haven't been to Mai-Kai in a while, it's time to go back. If you've never been — for shame. It's time to pay homage to the tiki gods... and a slice of living history.

The Seafood Bar at the Breakers Hotel

Like a smooth, potent piña colada dream, the Seafood Bar's pineapple-infused martini ($12.50) is a tropical delight. The oceanfront establishment is known for fruity vodka infusions — and it's a well-deserved reputation. While bartenders marry kiwi, strawberry, oranges, and other sweet treats with the clear spirit, it's the pineapple that packs a punch in this cocktail. First, fresh-cut pineapple steeps slowly (two to two-and-a-half weeks) in a vodka bath; then it's paired with coconutty Malibu rum and pineapple juice. The icing on this tropical cake is the drunken pineapple pieces. So sit under the open-beam ceilings and sip your fruity concoction. Gaze out at the water. Watch as brightly colored fish weave their way through coral right underneath your cocktail napkin (yes, the bar top is also an aquarium). This is a little piece of South Florida heaven. It's what millionaires' dreams are made of, at a price your average joe can afford — every once in a while.

The Coffee District

Some local purveyors of craft beer may offer more draft selections; others may offer more bottles than the 150 microbrews here; but what this bar/coffee shop/café offers is a well-curated mix. The tap list changes often and may include anything from Ballast Point's Victory at Sea barrel-aged imperial porter to Dogfish Head's potent 120 Minute IPA to any number of Florida-born-and-bred brews. The beer geeks at this watering hole have friends in high places, often getting their hoppy little mitts on kegs that escape the grasps of dozens of other well-connected crafthounds in the region. Oh, and they like to share.

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