An Epicurean’s Long Weekend In Greater Fort Lauderdale

Discerning diners know that Florida’s best-kept culinary secret is Greater Fort Lauderdale. From Caribbean cooking to succulent seafood and dockside dining, here’s where to feast, nibble and imbibe in Greater Fort Lauderdale.

DAY 1: Arrive in Fort Lauderdale and enjoy oceanfront dining

After a day of travel, it’s time to relax on the beach and enjoy oceanfront dining at a luxury hotel. Check into Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach  and sample Japanese and Korean sharable small plates and sushi at Takato,   paired with colorful tropical cocktails and sake. W Fort Lauderdale has a couple of great outdoor dining options right on the beach, too. El Vez offers Baja-style Mexican cuisine on a spacious patio, and if you’re more in the mood for steak, Steak954 serves world-class American, Australian and Japanese wagyu steaks alongside fresh-caught seafood for a mix-and-match, surf-and-turf feast.

For an even more intimate and personalized outdoor dining experience, you can charter a catamaran for a champagne sunset cruise or book a Little Gatherings pop-up picnic at Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park.

DAY 2: Explore downtown Fort Lauderdale’s culinary scene

Today it’s time to discover the various culinary delights in downtown Fort Lauderdale. You’ll get your 10,000 steps in on a walking tour with Craft Food Tours, meeting chefs and small business owners along the way. Take a short break from eating to explore the Shops of Las Olas for distinctive finds, from surf gear at Quiet Storm Surf Shop and premium cigars at Havana Republic Cigar Depot to floral bouquets and gifts at Ann’s Florist and Coffee Bar.

When it’s time for another meal, choose between Louie Bossi’s Italian Ristorante or a seat on the Riverwalk at Rivertail by James Beard Award-nominated chef Jose Mendin. The yellowtail ceviche taquitos and crab donuts here are great for sharing—although you may find yourself negotiating with dining companions for the last piece.

DAY 3: Discover Greater Fort Lauderdale’s markets, craft beer and specialty shops

Now that you have a general taste for the restaurants along Fort Lauderdale beach and downtown, it’s time to venture a little farther. Start your day browsing artisan food and crafts at Yellow Green Farmer’s Market in Hollywood, the most vibrant farmers market in Greater Fort Lauderdale, before hitting the Fort Lauderdale Ale Trail for a tour of the region’s best craft beer. Caviar connoisseurs should seek out rare pure beluga caviar at Marky’s Caviar Lounge at The Shoppes at the Guitar Hotel and if you’re craving a taste of the Caribbean, head to Aruba Beach Café at Lauderdale-By-The-Sea for jerk wings and Bimini bread.

Hardcore shoppers can sip a smoothie from family-owned MiaFruta while browsing swimwear at aguabendita and Alma by Angel de la Guarda at Sawgrass Mills. After working up an appetite, savor a leisurely final night on the water with Riverfront Gondola Tours. There’s a dinner cruise option with a pan-Asian Latin fusion menu by Casa Sensei.

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First published at Travel Industry Today