There's a reason Fort Lauderdale is host to one of the largest boat shows in the world. With over 300 miles of navigable inland waterways, Greater Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America.
A lot of the region's land space is taken up by multimillion dollar waterfront McMansions with 100-foot yachts. The 53rd Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show -- taking place Thursday October 25 through Sunday, October 29 -- caters to these folks, of course, but it also offers fun for commoners--dinghy owners included.
In preparation of boat show, we have a list of ten south Florida's places with dockside dining.
Blue Moon Fish Co.
Just off of Commercial Blvd., on the intracoastal, in Fort Lauderdale, is Blue Moon Fish Company. This local legend has won numerous New Times award including Best Waterfront Dining 2010, Best Seafood Restaurant 2006, and Best Outdoor Dining 1999. With 300 feet of deepwater docks, it's the perfect place to pull-up with your yacht--or Boston Whaler.
Houston's might be a chain, but it does well for a reason. And the location of this one in Pompano helps it to stand out from the rest. Located on the west side of the intracoastal, just north of East Atlantic Blvd., it is not uncommon to see a 200 foot yacht on the dock.It's the perfect place for that on-board power lunch you've been after.
This North Palm Beach hotspot is a Jimmy Buffet fanatic's paradise. Panama Hattie's has two outdoor bars in the sand: one tiki bar and a rum bar with a misting system. The restaurant has live music every Friday and Saturday night, Monday through Friday happy hour, and early bird specials. The dock can accommodate boats up to 70 feet at high tide.
Le Tub has been a local haunt for years, but ever since GQ named their burgers best in the nation, the place has been packed. That being said, if you want to gain some extra cool points for visiting this famous old Florida restaurant, pull-up dockside. The restaurant has 400 feet of dockage.
Southport Raw Bar
Yes, this dockside dining list is full of high-end places perfect for yacht-owners and captains of industry, but do not fret, non-yacht owning south Floridian, you can still check out inexpensive old favorites. Southport Raw Bar is another one of those old favorites. It may not have a GQ award, but New Times recently named it the 2012 Best Place to Stumble Off a Boat for a Meal. And, on the bright side, people have been doing so for decades. Topping our list of Top Raw Bar for numerous years, it's definitely worth checking out.
Obviously, we have a fairly long list of restaurants with waterway parking, but Deck 84 takes the draw of south Florida's water event further. Aside from the usual dockside parking, oceanic-inspired fare, and party-loving outdoor bar crowd, this spot offers a fisherman's special. With the "cook-your-catch" menu diners and fishing enthusiasts can bring their own fresh caught fish and let the staff take care of the rest. We love the idea of fresh seafood, we're just hoping said fisherman take a quick rinse in the water.
Cap's Place Island Restaurant And Bar
One of south Florida's oldest restaurant's Cap's Place was first started in 1928. Originally opened as as gambling spot and restaurant, it literally is set on an island--even novice boaters must come via the restaurant's tender. While the surrounding Lighthouse Point area has certainly changed over the years--back in its original day it was surrounded by basically nothing--this spot has sure seen its fair share of history: from bootleggers to FDR and Churchill. Because of these unique aspects, we've voted it Best Place to Take Out-Of-Towners 2008 and Best Place to Boat to Dinner 2001.
The Pirate Republic Seafood Bar & Grill
In the same spot as the once infamous boater's destination, Shirttail Charlie's, The Pirate Republic Seafood Bar & Grill is actually easier to find by boat, than by car. With twelve feet of water and 100 foot face dock, the restaurant can actually accommodate a fairly decent-sized yacht. But we prefer this place for the small-boats. With multiple bars and a swimming pool, we think this place is more about the pirate party--as long as you have a designated boat captain onboard.
With great views of the Jupiter lighthouse, Jetty's is an ideal spot for boating enthusiasts. While the interior feels like the bridge on a yacht, you won't find any big white boats here--the restaurant recommends 32 feet max due to shallow water. We think those are the real boaters anyway. A great place to find some Florida seafood favorites and relax.
Old Key Lime House
Established in an old Florida pastel-colored house in 1889, Old Key Lime House literally is a slice of old Florida. The multilevel, indoor and outdoor restaurant specializes in seafood, but also features amazing burgers: the fresh meat is ground and delivered daily. And as implied in the name, the restaurant is known for its key lime pie; receiving accolades in Bon Appétit.
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