Note from Jeremy: this is a guest post from J. Matt Hoch, an ecologist at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale. Thanks very much to Matt for sharing his local knowledge–and for going so far as to poll his whole college for suggestions! He even told you where to eat in Miami if you have time to pop down there. He’ll be at the ESA meeting, so if you see him thank him in person!
There are three main areas with concentrated food and drink establishments in Fort Lauderdale. 17th Street (the road where the convention center is) has many bars and restaurants, from cheap to expensive with many types of food. Most are walking distance from the Convention Center if you can stand the heat. There is a stretch good restaurants and bars stretching east from downtown on Las Olas Blvd, which is a short bus or car ride north of the convention center (Las Olas is famous for its great dining). Finally, there are many places on Fort Lauderdale beach that are notable for their proximity to the ocean, a couple miles east of the convention center, over the causeway. Here I include some of my favorite places and some recommended to me by my colleagues at Nova Southeastern University.
Finally, if at any point you want to get out of the heat, see some nice art and maybe have a coffee, the Nova Southeastern University Art Museum, downtown, has a nice permanent collection and a Chuck Close photography exhibition presently (1 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, http://nsuartmuseum.org/).
-J. Matt Hoch, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale
15th Street Fisheries Seafood for lunch and dinner, on the water. 1.5 miles from Convention Center. 1900 SE 15th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Boatyard Seafood and steak. Close to convention Center. 1555 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316.
Brass Tap Gastropub just north of Downtown. 551 N Federal Hwy #600, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Briny Riverfront Irish Pub A nautical Irish Pub with food. On Riverwalk in Downtown. One River Plaza/ 305 S Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Carlos and Pepe’s A Florida attempt at Mexican food that comes highly recommended by many NSU faculty. Only about a half mile from the Convention Center. 1302 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Coconuts A fun seafood restaurant out on the Bay-side of Fort Lauderdale Beach. 429 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Day Market Kitchen Local, organic, sustainable. Convention Center adjacent. 1850 SE 17th St #104, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Fork & Balls A meatball specialty restaurant. They have vegetarian meatballs even. 1301 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Funky Buddha Brewery A great craft beer brewery with food. Lots of fun and game. 25 Minutes north of the convention center by car: 1201 NE 38th St, Oakland Park, FL 33334
Kelly’s Landing New England style seafood. 15 minute walk from Convention Center. Southport Shopping Center, 1305 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Louie Bossi’s Italian and pizza, but also one of my favorite places for breakfast. 1032 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Noodles Panini A small, casual place for Italian style sandwiches and salads and desserts (very good!). 821 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
O-B House “The Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House”. Probably one of the best breakfast restaurants I’ve ever been too. Great fresh baked goods. Next to the science museum, downtown. 333 Himmarshee St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
Riverside Market Not so much a market but a laid back specialty beer and food restaurant. It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere; not actually on a riverside. Four miles NE of Convention Center: 608 SW 12th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
Rocco’s Tacos Very popular Tex Mex and tequila bar. 1313 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Rok:brgr Burger joint at that has a really awesome selection of burgers. They also have a good craft cocktail list. Downtown: 208 SW 2nd St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Royal Pig Pub A great pub with excellent food. Downtown: 350 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Southport Raw Bar Recommended by multiple NSU faculty. Southport shopping center is a 15 minute walk from the convention center and also has a Laspada’s (local sub chain), a Burger Fi, a Panera, and a great seafood shop/restaurant called Finster Murphy’s (where I’m told you can eat invasive lionfish). 1536 Cordova Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
St Bart’s Coffee Company A diner right on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Nice location. 441 S Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Tacocraft Taco joint with good selection of cocktails. Downtown: 204 SW 2nd St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33388
Tap 42 A great food and beer establishment with indoor and outdoor seating. Two miles west of Convention Center: 1411 S Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
If you have time to head to Miami, get Cuban food.
Puerto Sagua My favorite Cuban place. It’s in South Beach, which makes for fun people watching. 700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139.
Versailles This is a very famous, very good, very large Cuban place in Little Havana. All the politicians that come through south Florida have to go there. Great bakery too. 3555 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135
El Palacio de los Jugos There are several locations of this open air market with traditional Latin American food stuff and lots of tropical fruits. Locations all over Miami.