Ten Best Seafood Restaurants in Broward County

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For a state surrounded by water you'd think Florida would practically be swimming in seafood establishments — but not so. While South Florida seems to be chock-full of great sushi joints, hole-in-the-walls, and lots of new Peruvian places popping up everywhere, they aren't a ton of establishments that deal just in fish. 

But there are some seafood joints keeping it real. From giant raw bars and casual seafood joints on the water to the fancy, high-end concepts and longtime fish favorites, here are the ten best seafood restaurants in Broward County.
10. Pirate Republic Seafood & Grill
400 SW Third Avenue, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-761-3500, or visit piraterepublicbar.com.
This lively, pirate-themed riverfront spot offers a Caribbean-Mediterranean menu featuring all types of seafood — from whole fried snapper and shrimp alfredo to a number of island-style specialties you won't find anywhere else like the fish and shrimp vatapa, a thick Brazilian fish for two that takes several days to prepare. There are also several large seafood specialties including a traditional Brazilian seafood moqueca, Italian-style cioppino rife with lobster and octopus, and the restaurant's very own Pirate Bowl (mixed seafood including clams, calamari, shrimp, and mussels in a butter, garlic, and white wine broth).
9. Kelly's Landing
1305 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-760-7009, or visit kellyslanding.com.
New Englanders are crazy about many things: the Patriots, the Red Sox, Narragansett Lager, and, most important, massive piles of critters from the sea. So there was no way we could compile a list of seafood spots without a pick to represent the great Northeast. At Kelly's Landing, you'll find the favorite regional beers as well as everything indicative of the area, including steamers (medium-sized clams in the shell), whole-belly Ipswich clams, lobster rolls, and some of the finest New England chowder you can find this far south. 
8. 15th Street Fisheries
1900 SE 15th St., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-763-2777, or visit 15streetfisheries.com.
This 30-plus-year-old dockside restaurant is a prime seat for people-watching and enjoying a boat parade. Nestled adjacent to the Fort Lauderdale Marina, this spot offers fresh catch for good value. Fish and chips, smoked fish dip, and conch fritters are among the offerings. The restaurant is also one of the few to stock Florida lobster. A more polished upstairs dining room offers an ambitious menu, with items to please even a food snob. Black mussels get a Florida pairing with local citrus and star fruit, in a wine and shallot broth. And a spinach salad goes tropical with passionfruit and pineapple accouterments. Happy hours lure a crowd for the two-for-one house wines, domestic drafts, and $5 menu, weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m. 
7. JWB Prime Steak & Seafood
1111 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood. Call 954-874-4444, or visit margaritavillehollywoodbeachresort.com.
Though "seafood" is often thrown next to "steak" in great steakhouses so that nonmeat eaters know they have an option, it's a lot more than mere extra verbiage at JWB, which is just right of the giant flip-flop at the Margaritaville resort, in case you were wondering. While, yes, the prime cuts here are the main attraction, the seafood is what sets it apart. A raw bar that greets you upon entrance is full of seasonal oysters from all over the hemisphere, curated to offer the best that’s currently available. Each day has a spear-caught special, essentially seafood that someone went out and nabbed spearfishing that morning. (And although you won't even see it on the regular menu, ask your server about the secret sushi menu).
6. Southport Raw Bar
1536 Cordova Road, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-525-2526, or visit southportrawbar.com.
There's something about a raw bar that has been around for ages and has changed absolutely nothing. This waterfront Fort Lauderdale spot has been shucking and serving oysters to eager locals and tourists for more than 40 years — and it's still just as busy as ever. The spot has earned New Times' pick for Best Raw Bar on more than four occasions. While the place is best known for its namesake items like oysters, clams, and Old Bay shrimp, it also serves up a wide selection of delicious cooked items, such as dolphin, New England clam chowder, and some of the best conch chowder you can find on this side of the Gulf Stream. If it passed the test of generations, it's good enough for us. 
5. Billy's Stone Crab
400 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood. Call 954-923-2300, or visit crabs.com.
While Old Florida has pretty much up and left the area, this Hollywood spot offers vintage dining charm. Situated directly on the Intracoastal Waterway in Hollywood, Billy's has been around for over 38 years. The restaurant features two floors and an outside dining area, with an upper level reserved for fine dining, while the downstairs and outdoor areas offer a more casual atmosphere. Love stone crab? Both the restaurant and the market offer fresh ones during season, purchased directly from local fishermen. Order an all-you-can-eat meal every night, seven days a week — provided they haven't run out, that is. Prices range and can go upward of $120 (for superjumbo-sized claws). The meals include bread, butter, mustard sauce, and plenty of lemons.
4. Tarks of Dania Beach
1317 S. Federal Highway, Dania Beach. Call 954-925-8275, or visit the tarksofdaniabeach Facebook page.
Tarks has been a Dania institution since 1966, and the folks here know local seafood as well as anyone in the business. Sure, the blue- and white-painted seafood counter is like a time warp when you walk in — but it's a lovable little slice of Old Florida heaven. Take a seat at the counter (that or a few tables out front are your only options) and you're sure to go elbow-to-elbow with tattooed bikers and leather-skinned laborers, all enjoying Tarks' cheap beer, tasty bivalves, and delicious dive favorites like conch chowder and buffalo shrimp. This isn't some stuffy, fancy seafood restaurant by any means, but if you take a date and he or she likes it, you know you've found yourself a foodie.
3. 3030 Ocean
3030 Holiday Drive, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-765-3030, or visit 3030ocean.com.
Long hailed as one of the best places for seafood in Fort Lauderdale, 3030 Ocean has racked up numerous accolades over the years. New Times alone has awarded it everything from Best Chef in 2009 to Best Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale 2006. Known for its modern-American approach to seafood, the restaurant offers all manner of ocean-dwelling fresh catches prepared in a manner that respects and highlights individual ingredients, whether it be a locally caught grouper or Florida-farmed pork. It's common knowledge restaurant founder Dean James Max left in 2013, but executive chef Adrienne Grenier is following in Max's protege's footsteps (Paula DaSilva) most admirably, bringing with her a new — albeit consistent — take on Max's original fresh seafood preparations.
2. Blue Moon Fish Co.
4405 W. Tradewinds Ave., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Call 954-267-9888, or visit bluemoonfishco.com.
With more than 17 years under its belt, this Intracoastal Waterway spot should be considered the grandfather of the upscale waterfront seafood restaurant. To stay in business that long, you have to be constantly striving to step up your game. Since its inception, the restaurant has brought home numerous New Times awards, including Best Outdoor Dining, Best Seafood Restaurant, and Best Waterfront Dining. That doesn't mean that's all it deserves. With its all-inclusive brunch that includes a massive raw bar, budget-friendly happy hour, frequent wine dinners, and occasional cooking courses specializing in — you guessed it — fish and other ocean fare, it's no wonder the restaurant keeps racking up awards.
1. Boatyard
1555 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-525-7400, or visit boatyardrestaurant.com.
If you remember Bimini Boatyard 20 years ago, chances are you don't remember the food much. Today, everything at newly renovated and reimagined 8-month-old Boatyard in Fort Lauderdale is nothing like the Old Florida establishment. That includes the all-new menu, one that will make you forget those mediocre Bimini Boatyard meals of the past. The Restaurant People cofounder and executive chef Peter Boulukos has taken the helm here; his mantra is "Eat Local, Be Coastal," what translates to a decidedly contemporary-American take highlighting fresh-caught seafood, wood-fired premium steaks, and a portable raw bar.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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