Top 10 Casual Waterfront Restaurants


Top 10 Casual Waterfront Restaurants

Whether it’s on the ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway, Broward County has some of the finest beach bars, and each restaurant has its own story to tell. Serafina Italian Restaurant and Kaluz Restaurant on the Intracoastal Waterway provide a high-end experience with a fantastic view of the water.  On the other end of the spectrum, Le Tub Salon in Hollywood has refined the definition of waterside chillin’. This list of waterfront locations comes with a strong drink and a boat-bobbing view.  Whether it’s a tiki bar, live music hotspot, or a sports bar with all the action, here are the very best waterfront restaurants in Broward:

10. Aruba Beach Cafe:

Aruba Cafe Fort Lauderdale Florida

Aruba Beach Cafe encompasses the laid-back South Florida living vibe.  This restaurant hasn’t changed much since it opened back in 1983.  Both tourists and locals frequent this classic Floridian upbeat eatery located on the water alongside the Commercial Blvd. Pier.  Their menu consists of seafood favorites like conch fritters, a fresh mahi-mahi sandwich, and a blackened seafood trio, plus turf specialties like the Aruba burger and a goat cheese salad.  You can see the beach through the vast ceiling-to-floor windows. Flip-flop your way in to hear live music any day of the week. Steel drums supply island music of your favorite tunes. The biggest decision you’ll have to make is whether to sit indoors or outside on the deck overlooking the beach and enjoying the sea breeze.  Location:  1 E. Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.   Call 954-776-000 or check out their website:

9. Bahia Cabana Beach Resort:

Bahia Cabana Beach Resort Fort Lauderdale Florida

Just south of all the turmoil at Beach Place is Bahia Cabana, as an oasis of local Fort Lauderdale culture. This jewel is tucked away between the docks. The Bahia Cabana resort bar offers strong cocktails and a ceiling littered with all types of knickknacks, such as street signs and Florida license plates; it has a real Key West feel to it.  With the beach right across the street, locals, and tourists hang out at the bar, in the attached restaurant area, or out on the dock overlooking all the yachts.  For those sailors arriving via Intracoastal Waterway, dock space is complimentary for bar and restaurant patrons.  3001 Harbor Drive, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-524-1555 or check out their website:

8. Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill:

Bokampers Sports Bar Grill Fort Lauderdale Florida

Sports fans, we’ve got you covered! This is the supreme waterfront sports bar, full dockage, expansive waterfront outdoor patio seating and a huge indoor area with water views throughout the establishment. This Fort Lauderdale location is the second from Dolphins veteran Kim “Kimbo” Bokamper, who initially started with a neighborhood hangout further west to indulge his ongoing sports fetish.  With more than 50 plasma televisions streaming every sport and any team, all day and all night.  Bokamper gets points for its loud and energy-filled atmosphere and the food and drinks it’s all there, from big juicy hamburgers to delicious sushi to a large selection of draft beers and martinis.  A few entree’s like the blackened swordfish sandwich, stand out on the menu. Bokamper’s speciality is their beer, wings, and especially football:  Their trusty trifecta is constantly going strong at Bokamper’s.  3115 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-900-5584 or check out their website:

7. Dania Beach Bar & Grill:

Dania Beach Bar & Grill Dania Florida

This restaurant is appropriately called Dania Beach Bar, and Grill has been around for years with a mix of no-frills charm, delicious, cheap food and drinks and excellent live music with a sensational waterfront view.  The owners clearly didn’t invest a lot of time and money developing an elaborate menu or a host of “themed” nights to bring in the crowds.  They developed a laid-back bar that makes you feel like you’re hanging out in your best friend’s backyard.  You’re seated at wooden tables, chairs, and benches.  The menu is also very basic: hamburgers, boiled peanuts, and hotdogs. The bar keeps things going, serving a handful of bottled and draft beers, wine, and sodas.   No liquor, no drink-till-you-drop college kids hanging out, and the best thing of all a local crowd who will not make you feel uncomfortable for just showing up in flip-flops from a day at the beach.  65 N. Beach Road, Dania Beach. Call 954-923-4148 or check out their website:

6. Jimbo’s Sandbar:

Jimbos Sandbar Dania Beach Fort Lauderdale Florida

Right on the water in Dania Beach Florida you’ll discover Jimbo’s Sandbar, a tiki bar overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.  This bar is long and narrow, and there’s not a single seat in the house that has a bad waterfront view.  There’s also an indoor bar. However it’s rarely full; most patrons can be found outside, soaking up the salty sea air and the sun.  Jimbo’s Sandbar is part dive bar and part waterfront hideaway and has a blended crowd throwing back drinks at the bar and enjoying a few of the restaurant’s more delicious entrees. A the self-proclaimed “House of the Redneck Cuisine,” you can have everything from a Key West Rueben sandwich or the heat attack / flatliner hamburger to a wonton tuna nachos or a crab cake sandwich. Totally casual, this outdoor watering hole has “Sunday afternoon” relax and kick back all over it.  Whether you’re traveling by boat or car, Jimbo’s Sandbar is among the very best waterfront restaurants in Broward County to spend a hot summer afternoon.  6200 N. Ocean Drive, Dania Beach. Call 954-927-9560 or check out their website:

5. Sea Watch:

Sea Watch Restaurant oceanview fort lauderdale florida

Barely visible from A1A the Sea Watch has been a waterfront restaurant located on a stunning strip of oceanfront property only 50 yards from the Atlantic Ocean.  This restaurant balcony and patio area has provided panoramic views of the ocean all framed by swaying coconut trees, rolling dunes and sea oats. Over the decades the Sea Watch is still one of Fort Lauderdale’s most popular seafood restaurants and with, killer seafood, wide variety of cocktails, it’s still a great place for food and cool drinks.  6002 N. Ocean Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Call 954-781-2200 or check out their website:

4. Shooters Cafe:

Shooters Cafe Fort Lauderdale Florida

Shooters has been among Fort Lauderdale’s favorite waterfront dining destinations.  It has been anchored on the Intracoastal Waterway since 1982. Today, after a recent facelift, Shooters has decided to shed the party atmosphere and begin catering to a more mature audience.  They have a brand-new alfresco dining deck with 300 seats poised to make the most of its Fort Lauderdale skyline and Intracostal Waterway with its panoramic view and beachy-chic setting.  Enjoy it all from a dockside table to watch the yachts and cigarette boats cruising by.   3033 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-566-2855 or check out their website:

3. Joe’s Tiki Bar Grill & Sushi:

Joes Tiki Bar Grill and Sushi Fort Lauderdale Florida

As you’re driving down A1A in Hollywood, out of no where you’ll see a large tiki bar and it’s called Joe’s Tiki Bar & Grill.   This is a completely outdoor bar and grill right on the Intracoastal Waterway without a bad seat in the house. There’s a good possibility that you might even see a dolphin.  Joe’s Tiki Bar & Grill is entirely authentic in decoration and isn’t a tourist trap or destination.  Coming back from the beach in your bathing suit and flip-flops? No problem mon, everything is casual at Joe’s Tiki Bar & Grill.  Open 7 nights a week with live music and drink specials to quench everyone’s thirst.  1318 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood. Call 954-929-9897 or check out their website:

2. Rustic Inn Crabhouse:

Rustic Inn Crabshack Fort Lauderdale Florida

The Rustic Inn is recognized as one of Fort Lauderdale’s historic landmarks and after 55 years in business, this spacious restaurant is still jam-packed daily with clientele ready to chow down on some delicious blue crabs.  The Rustic Inn Crabhouse restaurant sits on a finger canal overlooking a very busy boatyard.  Draped in heavy, seafaring ropes and very reminiscent of Old Florida dive bars and seafood hangouts.  Tables are both inside and outside on a covered dock covered in white butcher paper supplied with wooden mallets.  It’s the ideal setup for garlic crab or blue crab or Dungeness crabs steamed and then sautéed in garlic infused oil. Today, this waterfront restaurant is the go-to hole in the wall that locals prefer.  Indulge in steamed crabs, seafood, linguini with homemade sauces and other popular seafood dishes and also serves a wide variety of cocktails.  Tie up to the dock and delight in delicious seafood in the main dining room with a picturesque panoramic view.  4331 Anglers Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-584-1637 or check out their website:

1. Nauti Dawg Marina Cafe:

Nauti Dawg Marina Cafe Lighthouse Point Florida

When it comes to waterfront dining they don’t necessarily have to be right on the ocean or Intracoastal Waterway to be one of our top picks. One of the very best places to enjoy the natural beauty of Florida is at the Nauti Dawg Restaurant in Lighthouse Point.  Open six days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this serene dockside eatery has actually a laid back Key West feel, tucked into a lovely tranquil marina cove and best of all you can bring your dog.   Your dogs will enjoy a fresh bowl of ice cold water on the patio while he dines on a special “K9 Cuisine” menu.   2841 Marina Circle, Lighthouse Point. Call 954-941-0246 or check out their website: