Sometimes you just want “ordinary” food – and Fort Lauderdale’s old-fashioned diners know how to dish it out like no other. So work up a good appetite, then slide softly into a vinyl booth or plain-jane comfy chair at one of these cozy old-school diners. But don’t limit yourself to the same-old standards such as mac-n-cheese and pot roast; comfort cuisine is a multi-layered affair these days.
Just about every authentic American diner has chicken fried steak on the menu – and Andrews Diner in the Wilton Manors section of Fort Lauderdale is no exception. You know the kind: tenderized, coated steak cutlet pan-fried and smothered in thick, rich gravy. The owners, Gerri and Angelo, have owned the diner for 25 years, and are just as famous for their blueberry pancakes as they are the chicken fried steaks and corned beef hash. Lines typically snake out the door on weekends, and coffee is all-you-can-drink. Save some room in your belly for one of their famous milk shakes.
2980 N. Andrews Ave., Wilton Manors
Mom’s Kitchen on NE 45th Street tucks itself in a cozy spot not far from Coral Ridge Country Club – but is miles away in ambiance and cuisine. It’s comfort food with no apologies. Can you just say sweet potato pancakes and cheese grits?? Add 80s music, kitschy vintage décor, hearty portions and a waitress that you want to call Flo – and that’s Mom’s Kitchen. They’re only open for breakfast and lunch, so get over there early.
1940 NE 45th Street, Fort Lauderdale
If any place in Fort Lauderdale needs no introduction, it’s the Floridian Restaurant. Like a bucket of bright yellow splashed along East Los Olas Boulevard, the Floridian epitomizes “Old Florida” in its colorful simplicity and penchant for local tales. A big plus is its operating hours: 24 of them, every single day. Head there for an after-concert or post-show get-together with friends – and stay over for early morning omelets and bacon biscuits. The fact that Rachel Ray calls it a Florida fave isn’t likely to impress the crowd at The Floridian, but it’s a well-deserved stamp of approval nonetheless.
1410 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
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