This month’s edition of our Blogger Bite series is taking a road trip south to explore Fort Lauderdale with one of its leading lifestyle bloggers, Diana, also known as Lauderbabe. A Massachusetts native who fell in love with South Florida, she created Lauderbabe to document her new hometown discoveries and share that culture with the world. Since 2016 she’s amassed a loyal tribe of more than 15,000 on Instagram that follow her Fort Lauderdale adventures.
Now it’s our turn–what will we explore as she takes us on a tour of Fort Lauderdale? Buckle up and keep reading to find out.
We’re starting the morning off with an iced “Good Karma” at BREW Urban Café. The Wells Coffee Co. No. 9 espresso blend with vanilla and caramel is how Diana kicks her day into high gear. The charming décor and wall to wall bookshelf bar makes this cozy coffee shop her go-to caffeine retreat that makes her feel right at home.
537 NW 1 Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954/357-3994; drinknextdoor.com
“If Elaine, George, and Jerry lived in Fort Lauderdale, this would be their Monk’s.” Top Hat Delicatessen is an old school–inspired modern deli offering knishes, Reubens and reinvented dishes that transports you to New York City. “Food and hospitality shine here and the Northeasterner in me has a soft spot for this local gem.” Today she orders the Good Morning Ramen “because two words: bacon broth.”
415 NE 3 St., Fort Lauderdale; 954/900-3896; tophatftl.com
VITAMIN D BREAK
Lucky enough to be able to work from anywhere, Diana heads to Park & Ocean inside Hugh Tayor Birch State Park for some fresh air and ocean views while she types away on her keyboard.
“You can’t come to Fort Lauderdale without visiting our beautiful beaches. Whether you’re having a beach day or passing by on a leisurely stroll, Park and Ocean is an oasis to seek refuge and enjoy all the good vibes.”
3109 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954/357-2610; parkandocean.com
Kousine is one of her favorite restaurants in Fort Lauderdale. “It’s the move for when you’re in the mood for fresh, mouthwatering ceviches, colorful tiraditos and savory anticuchos.” Diana orders La Copa, the catch of the day, with aji limo, rocoto pepper, fried calamari and corn kernels. She pairs it with the lomo saltado, or stir fried beef with onions, tomatoes, cilantro soy sauce, fries and rice.
841 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954/533-0908; kousine.com
FUN FACT: its second outpost is open now in Boca at 1668 N. Federal Hwy.
Before heading to happy hour, Diana heads to Coconuts and its neighboring sister restaurant G&B Oyster Bar. Also created by Be Nice Restaurants, which brought us Top Hat, this quintessential Fort Lauderdale restaurants serve up fresh seafood complemented with bright sunsets. Her snacks today are an order of Scoobies, blue crab in oil with lots of garlic, and shucked East Coast oysters.
429 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954/525-2421; coconutsfortlauderdale.com
The Wharf is a Miami transplant that took over downtown’s Riverfront and features live music and fantastic happy hours bites from The Piefather, Mrs. Balloo, Lunchroom, and Even Keel. They all pair perfectly with a cocktail or beer.
20 W Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954/372-7606; wharfftl.com
“Fort Lauderdale needs more restaurants like this one. There is an intimate and welcoming feeling when you walk through the doors of this MASS District eatery and it’s something that is entirely unique to Heritage. Chef Rino’s Cerbone receives you with open arms, always ready to throw down something wonderful (and delicious) in the kitchen.”
She orders the baked razor clams in a lemon crema, squash blossoms stuffed with mascarpone, the Mafaldine Bolognese with housemade pasta in a veal, wagyu beef and pork sauce and a traditional New York style cheese “The Bronx” pizza.
903 NE 5th Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954/635-2335; heritageftl.com
Have you been to any of Diana’s favorite spots? Let us know your go-to dish in the comments. Or are you a local food or lifestyle blogger who is interested in taking a tasty tour around town with us? Comment below.