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"Must Try” South Florida Restaurants, From Jupiter to Miami

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

This article was originally published in Up and Away Magazine. It is reprinted here with permission. To view the original article visit this link: Up and Away Magazine.



The dining options in South Florida are vast. From Jupiter to Miami with stops in West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Lighthouse Point, Fort Lauderdale, and Hollywood, deliciousness abounds. You will find both fine dining establishments and budget-friendly eats, all with something special to offer. These “must try” restaurants introduce you to the distinct flavors of international fare, from Peruvian, Cuban, Middle Eastern, Italian to Asian. You will also find some places to enjoy homestyle American meals. All of them will wow you with their delicious offerings.


Jupiter, FL - Dune Dog

It sounds crazy but one of the best places to get grilled local fish in South Florida is Dune Dog Cafe. This Tiki Hut restaurant is located on Alternate A1A. It is the best value in Jupiter. Besides serving a large selection of hot dogs and burgers, they serve seafood, wings and smokey, saucy Baby Back Ribs. On the seafood side, they serve crab, lobsters, and clams steamed. They also offer shrimp and fish grilled, fried and blackened. Grilled fish can be a tricky thing if not done just right. It can so easily be dry. Dune Dog has perfected grilling fish. Try to catch them on one of their special nights, Monday is all you can eat ribs. Tuesday is two compete dinners for the price of one. Thursday is lobster night, a whole Maine Lobster with two sides for a “ridiculously low price.” This is an incredibly casual place, you can go right from the beach to the table. www.dunedog.com


West Palm Beach, FL - Nick’s 50’s Diner

Wanting to try some true American food head to Nick’s 50’s Diner. This “blast from the past” restaurant has an extensive menu that includes meatloaf and mashed potatoes, country fried steak and roast turkey with dressing, plus a wide range of burgers, sandwiches and salads. They serve breakfast until 11:30 daily and all day on Saturday and Sunday. With a juke box loaded with 1950’s music, a true “lunch counter,” 1950’s movie posters on all the wall and a nostalgic menu, you will step back in time when you walk into this Diner. Located just west of Interstate 95 on Okeechobee Blvd, this homestyle American food restaurant is open daily from 7:00am to 2:00pm and on Sundays from 8:00am to 2:00pm. www.nicks50diner.com


Essential Online Links For Booking Your Trip to Southeast Florida


Logistics:

There are 3 airports that service Southeast Florida, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach: Uber and Taxis are available. Tri Rail and Brightline trains service Fort Lauderdale and Miami Airports. Private and Multiple Passenger Transfers are available from all three airports: ☆Transportation Service Miami Hotel - Miami International Airport


Advanced Tickets for the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi.


Save on entry fees: If you plan on visiting multiple museums or attractions, it is more economical to purchase a Miami Sightseeing Pass to save money, you can buy this pass for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days.


Top-rated Southeast Florida Tours and Experiences:

Seven Isles of Fort Lauderdale Kayak Tour (one of my favorite Southeast Florida experience)

Downtown West Palm Beach Food Tour (great for foodies)

Wynwood Graffiti Golf Cart Small-Group Tour (perfect for art lovers)


Top Places to Stay in Southeast Florida:

1 Hotel South Beach (Luxury, Miami)

Yotel (Budget Friendly, Miami)

Hollywood Beachside Boutique (Budget Friendly, Fort Lauderdale)

The Pillars Hotel (Luxury, Fort Lauderdale)

The White Elephant (Luxury, Palm Beach)

The Canopy (Budget Friendly, West Palm Beach)

Crane's Beach House Boutique Hotel & Luxury Villas (Amazing Tropical Vibe, Delray Beach)


My favorite Guidebook for Florida: DK Eyewitness Florida

My favorite Novel about Southeast Florida: The Last Train to Key West



Delray Beach, FL - Rose’s Daughter

In the Pineapple Arts District of Delray Beach is a gem of an Italian restaurant, Rose’s Daughter. Visitors are treated to hand-crafted, made-from-scratch pizzas, homemade pastas, imported charcuterie, house-made cheeses and gelatos. A favorite is the Spinach Dumplings with Pecorino Cream. It is velvety and slightly salty with the spinach adding a delicious freshness. It is served with a side of their bread, which is baked daily in a wood fired oven. You can not go wrong with any of their Italian classic dishes prepared with a modern twist. The menu is extensive and diverse. The restaurant has two covered patios and outdoor bar that are delightful places to enjoy a meal. Rose’s Daughter is open Wednesday to Sunday starting at 4:00pm. They do not take reservations. www.rosesdaughter.com



Delray Beach, FL - Amar Mediterranean Bistro

Craving the bright and earthy favors of the Mediterranean, visit Amar Mediterranean Bistro on Atlantic Ave. in downtown Delray Beach. The owners of the stylish restaurant have Lebanese roots. They offer simply prepared dishes including cold and hot mezze, various grilled meats, kebabs, fresh seafood, and creative homemade desserts. There is something for everyone. At Amar, the plates are meant to be shared. You will want to soak up the aromatic spices and herbs of this Mediterranean cuisine with their handmade Pita Bread baked in their wood-burning oven. If you are unsure what to order, try the Hummus with Lamb, the Mediterranean Shrimp Skillet or the Mixed Grill Platter for Two. Amar is open daily from 4pm to 10pm. www.amardelray.com


West Palm Beach or Boca Raton, FL - KaPow Noodle Bar

With two locations in South Florida, KaPow Noodle Bar offers contemporary Southeast Asian cuisine in a vibrant, art adorned space with outdoor and indoor dining. Their vast menu contains dumplings, buns, noodles, small plates and creative cocktails. Highlights on their menu include Red Oil Dumplings, Crispy Mushroom Bao Bun, Spicy Skirt Steak Gyoza Taco, Duck Lo Mein and a Shinjiro Mule made with Japanese Vodka. You can find them on Clematis Ave in West Palm Beach or Mizner Plaza in Boca Raton. www.kapownoodlebar.com


Lighthouse Point, FL - Cap’s Place

Cap’s Place offers a taste of local history along with fresh seafood. Recognized as a national landmark in Broward County, it is Florida’s oldest restaurant. Starting as a 1920’s casino and rum running speakeasy, this restaurant is on an island off Lighthouse Point and can only be reached by Cap’s motor launch from their parking lot on mainland Florida. Cap’s Place offers casual waterfront dining with fresh native seafood including Snapper, Cobia, Stone Crab and Caribbean Lobster. Make sure you save room for their tangy Key Lime Pie. Cap’s Place is located halfway between West Palm Beach and Miami, just north of Fort Lauderdale. The combination of fresh South Florida cuisine and it’s unique history attracts notables from Al Capone to Winston Churchill to Joe Namath. It open Wednesday to Sunday at 5:30 pm with the first launch leaving at 5:20. Reservations are recommended. www.capsplace.com



Fort Lauderdale, FL - Southport Raw Bar

Do you like to eat where locals eat? When you visit Fort Lauderdale, do not miss Southport Raw Bar. They have been feeding locals for 50 years from their Cordova Road location. They are open 7:30am to 11:00pm daily serving breakfast, seafood, salads, sandwiches and hoagies. They offer indoor as well as patio dining over looking the waterway, with live music 7 days a week. One of the major attractions are the oysters. If you are an oyster lover, you can get them fried, baked or raw on the half shell. They also offer steamed, baked and fried clams and shrimp. Southport Raw Bar is children friendly and pet friendly. You can arrive by boat or car. www.southportrawbar.com


Hollywood, FL - Le Tub

Wedged between the intracoastal and A1A in Hollywood FL, LeTub Saloon has been serving up Burgers, Hot Dogs and fresh Seafood for 32 years. In 2006, GQ Magazine named their Burger #1 in the United States. Their Burgers are made with 13 oz of top ground Sirloin beef. They are made to order and served on a bun with American or Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion. Add an order of French Fries and a cold drink fir a complete meal. Enjoy this deliciousness as you watch the boats cruise up and down the intracoastal. Everything is made in house including their Chili, Salad Dressing and Key Lime Pie. Make sure you take time to admire the interesting decor, all created by the owner, where many of the tables have bathtubs as their base. www.theletub.com


North Miami, FL - Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop

Any foodie visit to Miami must include a Cuban Sandwich and Cuban Coffee, called Cortadito (a sweet Cuban coffee that’s half espresso and half milk). If you are in North Miami, Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop is the place to try them. Located on the edge of the Wyndwood neighborhood, this is an unassuming little cafe. Enriqueta’s is open from 7:00 am to 3:00pm Monday to Saturday serving breakfast and lunch with a distinct Cuban Flair. Their menu is extensive, although most people order Cuban Sandwiches, Pan con Bistec Especial (a steak sandwich with cheese, tomatoes, onions and crispy potatoes sticks) or Sandwich Pollo Especial (the chicken version). There is a walk up takeaway window, where patrons can order anything from the menu to go. Cortadito is only $1.00 from the takeaway window.



Miami, FL - CVI.CHE 105

With five locations including Downtown Miami, South Beach-Lincoln Road, Aventura Mall and Dadeland Mall, CVI.CHE 105 is known for a large selection fresh ceviches, as well as Peruvian dishes. If you are not familiar with Peruvian food, your waiter can make recommendations. Ceviche is the centerpiece of the menu. You will find all types of seafood and citrus combinations in the Ceviche. There are multiple large plates that are easily shareable, as well as Rolls, Rice Dishes and Tacus ( a fried rice and bean dish.) The decor has a stylish tropical vibe. That tropical vibe carries over into their cocktail offerings. CVI.CHE 105 is open 12pm to 10:30pm daily. Reservations are recommended. www.ceviche105.com.


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