With a nickname like the Venice of America, you might guess that Fort Lauderdale boasts a number of waterfront eateries perfect for kicking back and dining out. Some are truly high-end while others are perfectly fine for straight off the beach eats. No matter what style you prefer, here’s a guide to great waterfront dining spots in Fort Lauderdale.
15th Street Fisheries
Situated inside the Lauderdale Marina, the 15th Street Fisheries (pictured at top) offers patrons two unique dining experiences, each with a fabulous waterfront view. Those looking for a more laid-back setting will enjoy truly Floridian bar bites like bayou fried gator along with cool cocktails dockside. But for those wanting the full experience, dine upstairs where the view is even more spectacular and the food, including everything from spiny lobster tail and seared diver scallops to Key West snapper, is first rate.
1900 SE 15th St, Fort Lauderdale; 954-763-2777
When in search of lively ambiance and a memorable meal with a great view to boot, look no further than Shooters. This long-time Fort Lauderdale staple has been impressing guests for decades, and though under new ownership in recent years, it continues to shine in a slightly more sophisticated light. Shooters is now the place to go for sleek patios, phenomenal brunches, and even a high-quality house beer: the Shooter’s Ale.
3033 NE 32nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale; 954-566-2855
Those looking to watch the sunset on the water in Fort Lauderdale will want to make a reservation at the Hyatt Regency’s Pelican Landing. Start an afternoon off with any one of their martinis (gin drinkers will want the White Pelican while those looking for a refreshing kick will enjoy the Lemon Fresca), then move on to their “teasers” like Bahamian conch fritters or their ropa vieja smothered tostones. Service is stellar, meals (like their fish tacos) are delicious, and you just can’t beat the view.
2301 SE 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale; 954-525-6666
Dine among the yachts and under the clear blue skies at Boatyard, an upscale, gourmet restaurant with a view to match. The ambiance is set perfectly by the design and decor: ship’s wheels as accent pieces, a canoe attached to the ceiling, a chandelier made of oars, various portholes throughout, and polished wood everywhere. And as for the cuisine, their sea-to-table menu features delights like grilled mahi-mahi, Florida paella, grouper piccata, plus nautical-themed drinks like the Yachstman that can be enjoyed outdoors or dockside for the best water views.
1555 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale; 954-525-7400
Aruba Beach Cafe
Aruba Beach Cafe is well beloved by Broward locals and tourists looking to have a great time oceanside. It’s one of the only places in South Florida that allow you to dine with your feet practically in the sand, and has a tropical, free-spirited atmosphere that keeps guests coming back for more. Indulge in crab cake sandwiches, fish tacos and bimini bread, hear live music daily and do some dancing on the weekends.
1 Commercial Blvd, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea; 954-776-0001
As you might imagine, a place whose motto is “be nice” excels at making guests feel welcomed. Coconuts’ reputation for impeccable service precedes them, as does their reputation for absolutely delicious seafood and comfort food (their two main specialties). Mahi sandwiches, jambalaya, baby back ribs, and something accurately called the Comfort Bowl (a “grown up” mac-n-cheese of sorts composed of pasta shells with sriracha cheese sauce and either chicken, sausage, or lobster) are all found on the menu and are perfectly paired with a splendid view of the water.
429 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale; 954-525-2421
Sea Watch On The Ocean
Sea Watch is an Old Florida style restaurant has been a Fort Lauderdale staple since the 70s because they’ve perfected the art of the quality dining experience. Observe the ocean waves as you nosh on baked oysters and sip fine wine. Feel the breeze even while sitting indoors (the windows are frequently kept open) and relax as your server brings you one of their specialties, such as their ever-popular “Sea Watch Medley” (a casserole of lobster tail, scallops, and jumbo shrimp, brushed with garlic butter and broiled in white wine). All you need is someone to bring along to share the view with.
6002 N Ocean Blvd, Fort Lauderdale; 954-781-2200