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Greater Fort Lauderdale Dining & Nightlife

By Angela Caraway-Carlton

From food and sips with a view to distinctive ways to party, Greater Fort Lauderdale’s burgeoning dining and nightlife scene offers anything you crave from day to night.

Eat Up

ann's florist

We don’t mean to brag, but we know how to dine in Greater Fort Lauderdale, thanks to a bounty of restaurants that fit any taste, style, and mood. Start your morning at Ann’s Florist & Coffee Bar on Las Olas Boulevard, where the marked aroma of fresh flowers and coffee wafts through the air; move on to neighboring Java & Jam, which serves everything from on-trend avocado toast to buttermilk pancakes; or for major indulgence, snag at table at the popular gastropub Foxy Brown for over-the-top pancakes and their coveted crab cake Benedict. If you’re craving a deli experience, mingle with the locals at Top Hat for mile-high Reuben sandwiches and corned beef hash.

Beach House Pompano Beach

When it comes to lunch and stunning water views, Beach House Pompano, with its chic-surf vibe, is a prime spot to watch the ocean waves roll in while devouring fresh seafood. Other must-try waterfront haunts in Greater Fort Lauderdale include Blue Moon Fish Company for their mouthwatering fish dishes, 15th Street Fisheries where you can feed the hungry tarpon in the marina, and Aruba Beach Café, which is beachside in the adorable seaside town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. If you happen to visit during our beloved stone crab season, don’t miss a waterside meal at Billy’s, a longtime institution in Hollywood for cracking crabs. Mexican abounds in Greater Fort Lauderdale with spots such as El Camino, El Vez, Tacocraft, and Taco Beach Shack. A hidden gem that’s favored by locals is New York Grilled Cheese Co. in Wilton Manors, where they’re famous for their melts that you can dunk in homemade tomato soup.

For patio vibes and people watching, drop by for a lively happy hour at the Japanese bar/restaurant ETARU. Dinner is always a hard choice with options like Andy’s Live Fire Grill & Bar for mouthwatering meat and fish dishes cooked over the fire. For fine dining or a chef-driven meal, make a reservation at Italian favorite Café Maxx in Pompano Beach, or at the globally-inspired One Door East, which also offers a unique Dark Dining experience on certain nights.

We Like the Nightlife

Hard Rock Hotel

When the sun goes down, Greater Fort Lauderdale’s energy escalates and the revelry heats up with our exciting nightlife options. Head to the new Guitar Hotel at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, where you can start at the day pool with a club-like atmosphere, then jump-start the evening with an eye-popping light show that happens every night (and can be seen from miles away), then decide between dinner and drinks at 14 on-property restaurants. There’s also the neighboring Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for gambling, night clubs, and music venues like Hard Rock Live for high-profile concerts. If you’re looking to test your luck, Greater Fort Lauderdale has several casinos like Gulfstream Park Casino, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, and The Casino @ Dania Beach, for the opportunity to bet on the world’s fastest sport, jai-alai, and many more.

New to the scene is The Wharf Fort Lauderdale, which is an event space situated on the scenic New River. Open on the weekend, you’ll find a mix of restaurants from some of Fort Lauderdale’s best chefs, pop-ups, and plenty of spots to sip creative craft cocktails. For something totally unique, hop on the Cycle Party bikes for a boisterous pub crawl; this pedal party fits up to 15 guests. On the last Saturday of the month, you can also join the locals in FATVillage and the MASS District for the monthly art walk, filled with live entertainment and rows of vendors selling their wares.

The Wilder

If you’re looking for a spot to sip inventive drinks, cocktail connoisseurs should escape to havens like Apothecary 330 Cocktail Club or The Wilder. Wine lovers can sip and swirl at wine bars like the cozy Naked Grape in Wilton Manors, which has a killer happy hour and always has under-the-radar wine to sample; longtime Hollywood Vine in Hollywood, which is home to more than 600 wines from around the world; and several locations of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant. Greater Fort Lauderdale also has its share of breweries from Invasive Species Brewery to 26 Degree Brewing in Pompano Beach.

For cocktails with a stunning view, elevate your night at one of our rooftop bars like Sparrow at The Dalmar; Rooftop which feels like a garden oasis in the sky; Balcony, an airy rooftop bar perched above Las Olas Boulevard; and Bar Rita for a rooftop meant for indulging in tacos and margaritas. Soak up the bar scene at Glitch Bar in the burgeoning MASS District, where you’ll try new-to-you craft beer and play like a kid at the adult arcade. Locals also know that you should pop in neighboring Batch, The Cookie Company for their off-the-charts cookies. 

Greater Fort Lauderdale hotels are also shaking up the cocktail scene; the nautical-themed Atlas Bar at The Conrad boasts some of the most creative cocktails in town; and for something so-Fort Lauderdale, grab a table at the Wreck Bar at B Ocean Resort, to peep through portholes for the famous mermaid show.

There’s so much to do, you’ll never need to repeat a day or night out.

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