In Greater Fort Lauderdale, group dining takes on many shapes and sizes. From beachside hotels with celebrity chefs to hip food halls and dockside rooms, here are some of the best spots to gather around the table while in town. The best part is the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center is just a quick stroll away from the beach and some of the top restaurants in town.
Private Restaurant Dining
Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach’s buzzy Japanese-Korean eatery, Takato, helmed by Zuma Miami’s former executive sushi chef Taka Lee, has recently debuted an adjacent and private 10-seat lounge. Dubbed Oku by Takato, the eatery features rotating chefs who guide diners through the multi-course menu of decadent dishes like scallops with shaved truffles, oysters with ponzu granita, and uni toast with caviar.
Featuring a private dining room for groups of 15 or more, dine at Steak 954, a nautical-themed steakhouse at W Fort Lauderdale — known for its centerpiece jellyfish aquarium. Along with chef Bob Nowell, parties can plan a pre-fixe menu of some of the waterfront eatery’s standout locally-caught seafood or premium beef like Australian ribeye or Japanese Kobe strip steak.
The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale, is home to prohibition-era-inspired Burlock Coast that serves seasonal farm-to-table fare and rum-centric cocktails. The space features a few different components, including a bar, restaurant, café, and market, and groups looking for a private space can host parties for six to 40 people in one of the private dining rooms.
For larger groups, Mexican chef Pablo Salas’ Lona Cocina & Tequileria at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort offers several spaces for groups to dine. Some of the options are the alfresco Tequila Terrace, which overlooks the promenade and Atlantic, accommodating 50 to 100 guests. Meanwhile, the Tequila Room seats 32 and features floor-to-ceiling ocean views, and the open-air Lona Patio seats up to 150. Besides its prime oceanfront locale, the eatery is also known for its extensive tequila menu and modern Mexican fare.
Local institution Coconuts on Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal is a favorite for its views, especially from the bimini top dock bar, where groups of up to 50 can host a sunset cocktail soirée or paella dinner.
The waterside spot has plenty of al fresco dining space for groups to gather over classic South Florida fares like conch fritters and coconut shrimp, but if you’re looking for something less casual, neighboring G&B Oyster Bar is the place. The upscale oyster “shack” shows off sweeping views of the water and places its oysters on prime display thanks to the mirror mounted right above the oyster bar. Groups of up to 50 can opt for a buffet or full-service lunch dining on a selection of spruced-up seafood like crab cakes with creole mustard sauce and local Mahi sandwiches.
Less than a 10-minute walk from the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, the coastal chic Boatyard features a deck overlooking the Intracoastal and offers 120 feet of dockage for parties who want to dock and dine. Private indoor and outdoor event spaces cater to groups with 200 guests maximum. Its menu centers around fresh seafood, raw bar options, and a vast selection of shellfish.
If you want to network and socialize on the water, hop on the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi and tour the mansions-surrounded waterway on a sunset cocktail cruise.
In Fort Lauderdale, local hangout spot Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery offers groups versatile cuisine and seating options. The combination food hall, brewery, distillery, and arts and events space feature private and semi-private areas, as well as laid-back picnic table outdoor seating. With a dozen eateries to choose from, guests can opt for anything from sushi to crêpes. The food hall’s industrial-style private lounge accommodates up to 150 people, but for larger events (750 guests max), you can rent out the entire marketplace.