Broward County's culinary prowess has been historically overlooked by foodies who look to its neighbor to the south — Miami-Dade — for its luxe, world-famous restaurants. But over the last few years, the 954 has experienced a restaurant Renaissance with the opening of notable high-end restaurants, which have in turn brought attention to long-beloved eateries in the county.
From breathtaking oceanside spots to practically unmarked strip mall locations, here are the ten best restaurants in Broward County.
1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
This breezy, beachfront hangout inside the Ritz Carlton recently welcomed Brooke Mallory as Chef de Cuisine. Mallory, along with Chef Paula DaSilva, has introduced new dishes like sea salt-roasted beets with parsley-mint pesto ($14), burrata salad with golden raisins, toasted pistachio, arugula, and orange zest ($17) and the grilled swordfish with carrot puree, roasted root vegetables and romesco ($32). Meat lovers will enjoy the roasted pork chop with warm Dutch potato salad, braised greens, and spicy pepper jam ($34).
3555 S Ocean Dr., Hollywood
Chef Rashaad Abdool, formerly of Stephen Starr’s Steak 954, is the new chef behind the indulgent hotel steakhouse known for meats that can go for as much as $95 (that's the 28 oz., 45-day dry-aged porterhouse, for those wondering). Starters include sweet corn bisque with blue crab, black truffle, crème fraîche, and caviar ($16), octopus with edamame hummus, black olive, french feta, and daikon radish ($21), and roasted chicken with baby heirloom potatoes, braised escarole, and herb jus ($32). You'll also get traditional steakhouse sides as well, from whipped potatoes ($10, add truffles for $5) to jumbo asparagus ($15), duck fat steak fries ($10), and roasted mushrooms ($14).
2200 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
The tranquil touch of Auberge Resorts Collection has arrived in Fort Lauderdale. Take in the sweeping ocean views and settle in with a cocktail. Nostalgia may drive you to order a Windows of the Past ($16) made with bourbon, angostura bitters, orange zest, and a sugar cube. Or opt for the Playa Picante ($15) with tequila, orange liquor, pomegranate, lemon and lime juice, sriracha, and crowned with a salted rim. Oenophiles craving a glass of wine will be pleased with the generous wine list, offering over 25 options by the glass. The food menu is separated into "raw," "before," "garden," "sea," and "land" sections. Dishes include crab spaetzle ($21), poached monkfish with cauliflower couscous ($32), and grilled prime skirt steak with parsnip, chimichurri, and cipollini onion jus ($31).
Etaru Hallandale Beach Bar
111 South Surf Rd., Hallandale Beach
Head to this waterfront Hallandale restaurant to enjoy dishes like tuna poke with avocado, crispy rice, and apple wasabi ($14), mountain pizza with mixed mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and truffles ($18), cheeseburgers ($18), and chicken wings with barbecue or spicy sauce ($16). Drinks, like margaritas or sangria, come by the glass ($12) or pitcher ($30). For those looking for the full vacation vibe, Etaru's Beach Bar offers fresh coconuts with a shot of vodka, tequila or rum for $11.
Even Keel Fish & Oyster
4100 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale
Chef Dean Max, who helped put Fort Lauderdale on the culinary map with his tenure at Ocean 3030 at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort, is back in town with this new seafood-centric restaurant, deemed "Modern Floridian coastal." Together with chefs Dave MacLennan and Brad Phillips, the restaurant aims for a model of sustainability and locally-sourced food. Start with the house-smoked local fish dip ($10), and then pick from countless seafood starters like the royal red rock shrimp ceviche ($16), roasted oysters ($7), and Caesar salad with anchovy caper dressing and white anchovy toast ($14). Top it with fried oysters for an extra $3. There's an extensive raw bar with plates that increase in selection and price as their nautical names imply: skiff ($35), ketch ($80), and mega yacht ($195). Popular dishes include the adult grilled cheese made with brie, truffle, crab, and pear chutney ($16), white clam pizza with clams, dollops of lemon zest ricotta, garlic herb puree, and arugula salad ($19), hot lobster roll with ginger butter ($25), and Florida red snapper with sunchoke puree, English peas, and baby shiitake ($32). Meat lovers can choose from dishes like the Wagyu burger ($18) or the hanger steak with chimichurri and parmesan fries ($25).
Originally from Tampa, you'll find eight Fresh Kitchen locations throughout Florida, including restaurants in Davie and Boca Raton. Diners make their own bowls choosing from fresh greens, quinoa, sweet potato noodles, rice, and roasted veggies, then add on hormone- and antibiotic-free grilled meats, tuna poke, home-made sauces like creamy white ginger and coconut sriracha, plus add-ons such as kale, pesto, tomatoes, and citrus avocado. Bowls range from $9.99 for a Six Bowl (two bases, two veggies, two proteins, and one sauce) to $8.29 for a Four Bowl (two bases, one veggie, one protein, one sauce), and $6.99 for a Kid’s Bowl (one base, one veggie, one protein, and one sauce).
1 Seminole Way, Fort Lauderdale
Set inside the gambling glitz of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, this modern Japanese restaurant is a sure bet. The restaurant aims to give diners a complete culinary experience, from the beautiful decor to the high energy open kitchen in the back. The fish is locally sourced or flown in from Japan. Standout dishes include the
1032 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Pizza, people-watching, and pasta are all the rave at this all-encompassing Italian destination. The restaurant recently introduced new items including three pizzas: the Giardino with fresh mozzarella, mushrooms,
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9723 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation
Tucked inside yet another washed-out South Florida strip mall is a
Tasty Cafe Restaurant
6477 Stirling Rd., Davie
Don't come here for the name (which is rather deceptive). Come for the food, which is the real deal Cantonese Chinese. The prices are an added bonus. A must is the Hong Kong roast duck, one of the best in all of South Florida, for the whopping price of $25 for a whole duck. Want rice with that? Just one dollar gets you a generous serving. Other dishes include Canton-style beef brisket tendons on rice ($8.95) and the roast pork belly ($12 per pound) served with crispy skin and tender meat. Salted egg and shrimp fried rice ($9.50) hits the spot for