Fort Lauderdale’s 10 best bars and restaurants only locals know about
Fort Lauderdale is a wonderfully charming and diverse city. It has so much more to offer than it’s beautiful beaches and Las Olas Blvd. So the Sterling Teetor Realty Group has decided to take some time out of our busy work day to share our 10 best bars and restaurants in Fort Lauderdale from a local’s point of view. These are Fort Lauderdale’s hidden local treasures.
1. Southport Raw Bar
Southport has been a Fort Lauderdale institution since the day it opened its doors more than 40 years ago. This wonderfully low key waterfront restaurant and raw bar is one of our favorite places to eat, drink and be merry. Whether you just pop in for a quick lunch during the week to get a break from your office; or you go for dinner with friends and end up having one too many pitchers of beer(easy to do at these prices) while enjoying a beautiful south Florida sunset, Southport will always be there to remind us why we live in South Florida and what it means to be a local.
2. Ernie’s ( Dirty Ernie’s )
Ernie’s is another one of Fort Lauderdale’s iconic institutions. Their food is nothing to write home about; it’s just decent as far as bar food goes but Ernie’s is all about the atmosphere. From the moment you walk in the front door Ernie’s has a glorious “locals only” sort of feel that very few establishments possess or could ever achieve, but Ernie’s has it and “it” is something I love about this place. The second floor of the restaurant boasts a covered open air patio, bar, pool table, juke box, plenty of flat screen T.V.’s and a stripper pole. I have never seen the pole put to much good use, but it’s there if you need it. This is one of my favorite spots to spend a stormy Saturday or Sunday because when the weather is too bad to go anywhere else outdoors you can feel right at home, have a cold beer and just watch the rain come down from your perfectly dry bar stool but still feel like you’re outside enjoying the weekend.
Address: 1843 S Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
3. My Market
My Market is essentially a sandwich shop with a convenience store problem. This hidden treasure of an eatery started out just like any other convenience store until one day when they decided to start making sandwiches in the back. Now it seems like the isle displays are just an obstacle preventing me and everyone else from getting to the deli and ultimately my Roast Beef Special (one of the best deli sandwiches I have ever tasted )! That’s just one of many fantastic sandwiches and salads this little store offers. If you like sandwiches and such this place just might be your Shangri-La.
4. Mr. Nick’s
Mr. Nick’s is a great sandwich shop that specializes in inexpensive, fast, delicious sandwiches and wraps that just can’t be beat. For those of you who are looking for something quick, easy, and cheap downtown and don’t want to pay usual downtown prices this is the spot. The Fort Lauderdale chicken sandwich at about $6 is one of my favorite lunch options when I am on a tight schedule running around slangin’ real estate in the downtown area.
5. Siam House
Siam House is a delicious and authentic Thai restaurant that is sure to impress any aficionado. The dinners are reasonably priced and the service is always outstanding. Now lets get down to brass tacks… THE LUNCH BUFFET IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO LUNCH IN FORT LAUDERDALE, EVER! For under $10 not including tip this buffet is offered every day with something new and different. DELICIOUS!
Tap42 makes a fantastically simple and delicious burger that is sure to satisfy any appetite. They also serve plenty of other great bar munchies, like “two hot dates” ( a personal favorite of mine ). Pair their food with one of the largest beer selections in the area, a simple and comfortable atmosphere and you’ve got this Realtor hook, line, and sinker. One more thing worth mentioning about Tap42 is the location. A few years ago when the word got out that a new bar/restaurant was going in where Brownies’ package lounge had been since the beginning of time most people I spoke with about the matter thought “whoever was opening the place had lost their mind”. Being in the real estate business as well as a born and bred local I thought it was a great idea and had been waiting for someone who was intelligent and bold enough to see the potential of the area us locals are calling “SOLO” (south of Las Olas).
Rendezvous is truly one of Fort Lauderdale’s best kept secrets. The food is excellent and reasonably priced. The drinks are cold, arrive fast and are served at an indoor/outdoor bar. You have the option of sitting inside a well appointed dining area or outside on the patio with water and marina views. It may be a little off the beaten path for some east siders but it is just minutes from downtown and they have free dockage if you arrive by boat. Try the coconut crusted fish sticks!
8. The Field
Field is about as authentic as authentic gets. The moment you walk in the door you feel as if you were transported to a pub in the Irish countryside, or to The Prancing Pony (if you are a Tolkien fan like myself). Dark wood covers the interior from floor to ceiling and the lights are dim. I always feel merry when I walk into The Field especially on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night when Celtic Bridge ( a great local Irish folk group ) is playing live. The food is as good as traditional Irish fare gets and the staff always seem to be as happy to be there as I am.
9. Laser Wolf
Laser Wolf is a craft beer bar on the north end of downtown that serves nothing but cold delicious beer and attitude. If you like good beer and the people who drink it, go to Laser Wolf.
10. The Downtowner Saloon
The Downtowner Saloon is in my opinion probably the most overlooked and underrated bars in Fort Lauderdale. It is located directly on the New River with great views of the river and downtown. Seating is offered on the river as well. The food is on par with any good neighborhood bar/restaurant and the drinks are reasonably priced. They have free boat dockage for those of you who arrive by water and plenty of parking for everyone else. It is one of very few restaurants and bars located directly on the New River and Riverwalk and is easily accessible by foot or bike from Las Olas and downtown.