Dive into these winners of Best of Broward's Food for 2021.

Best Asian Restaurant/Best Vegetarian: Tee-Jay Thai 

2254 Wilton Dr.

teejaythaisushi.com

TeeJaythai

Photo via Facebook.

There is no shortage of Asian restaurants in South Florida, so capturing the title of Best Asian in our poll is a big thing, especially when you’ve done it for six years in a row, as Tee-Jay Thai has done. Located in the Shoppes of Wilton Manors (there’s also a location on North Federal) this place is a favorite, serving up Thai as well as some Chinese dishes and sushi. It also scored a win in the Best Vegetarian category. It was also runner-up in the category of Best Take Out Food.

Runner-up Best Vegetarian: Bubbles and Pearls

Runner-up Best Asian: Thai Spice

- RK

Best Bang For Your Buck: Shawn & Nick’s Courtyard Café

2211 Wilton Dr.

WiltonManorsCourtyardCafe.com

Courtyardcafe

Photo via Facebook.

Let’s face it, we’ve been through those tough times when the smallest thing in your pants is your… wallet. For those days when you’re watching your money carefully (which seems to be more often now), you want someplace to go where you’re going to get your money’s worth. That usually means hearty portions at bargain prices. Shawn & Nick’s Courtyard Café takes the title in this category, and it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner! 

Runner-up: Rosie’s

- RK

Best BBQ: Dixie Pig

4495 N Dixie

DixiepigBbq

Photo via Facebook.

Barbecue is kind of like sex: it doesn’t have to be fancy to be good. And when you’re done you need to clean up afterward. In that case, Dixie Pig is perfect as is. The place has held the title of Best BBQ for five years and has been around for 33 years and four generations. The family-owned restaurant serves North Carolina style ‘cue and dishes up pork, ribs, brisket, chicken, catfish, and much more. 

Runner-up: Tom Jenkins

- RK

Best Dessert/Best Coffeeshop: Stork’s

2505 NE 15th Ave.

storksbakery.com

Storks

Photo via Facebook.

There’s an old saying, “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.” If that’s true, we’ll all be lined up at Stork’s chosen best dessert for the eighth year in a row. Whether it’s an elegant cake, a slice of pie, or a chewy cookie, you can’t go wrong at Storks.  

Stork’s has been a staple in the community since opening in 1997. Like most businesses though, they faced challenges last year due to shutdowns and restrictions. But unlike some places, they were able to remain open, which allowed them to keep all of their staff employed. 

“We offer so much more than a coffee shop, including homemade cakes, pies, pastries and cookies; soups, salads and sandwiches, full breakfast menu, breakfast sandwiches pastries; delicious prepared foods, and professional catering,” said Pasquale Rizzo, catering manager.  

Their individual-sized tarts are especially popular. Check out the Fresh Fruit Tarts, the award-winning Lemon White Chocolate Mousse Tarts, and their Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake Tart. 

“All this, and we’re open from early morning to midnight every day of the week,” he said.

One of their barista’s took the top prize for Best Barista this year as well.  

Runner-up Best Dessert: Wilton Creamery

Runner-up Best Coffee: Java Boys

- RK

Best Fine Dining/Steak: Capital Grille

2430 E. Sunrise Fort Lauderdale

TheCapitalGrille.com

Capitalgrille

Photo via Facebook.

When you tell Americans “fine dining” they immediately think of a steakhouse, so it’s no surprise that our readers chose Capital Grille in the Galleria, the pinnacle of American steakhouses as their favorite fine dining establishment. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better example. For those who are a bit more adventurous in their dining Kaluz, our runner-up is a better option. Next year expect to see Wilton Manors’ latest dining establishment, Union, enter the competition for this title, as the city’s only fine dining establishment it will be formidable. When we asked readers to choose their favorite steak restaurants, the results were similar, with Capital Grille taking the lead. 

Runner-up: Morton’s

- RK

Best Fried Chicken: Publix

2633 N Dixie Hwy., Wilton Manors 33334

Publix

Photo via Facebook.

Politics be damned, when it comes to the fried bird folks are willing to look the other way and grab a wing (or breast, thigh, or drumstick) and get Publix’s fried chicken, although the daughter of the company’s founder gives tons of money to right-wing extremist groups. Say, has anyone checked to see if there are left wings in these boxes of salty, greasy goodness? I guess we should be grateful it’s not the chicken that shall not be named! 

Runner-up: Popeyes

- RK

Best Hidden Gem: Le Patio  

2401 NE 11th Ave. Wilton Manors 

LePatioWiltonManors.com

Lepatio

Photo via Facebook.

We changed the name of this category from Best Kept Secret because we just couldn’t stop raving about the places nominated. The tiny, tucked away, Le Patio just off the drive can only manage a dozen or so diners at a time, and the folks that dine there regularly would like to keep it that way. The petite slice of heaven also took the runner-up spot for Best Menu Item for its authentic French onion soup, a heart-warming mélange of crisp white wine & port, beef & chicken stock. Enjoy French food with an Italian touch. Or is it the other way around? Either way, you’ll walk away enchanted by Le Patio’s secret garden of earthly delights. 

Runner-up Hidden Gem: The Alchemist

- RK

Best Italian Restaurant/Best Take Out/Best Pizza: Bona Italian

2468 N. Wilton Dr.

bonaitalian.com

Bonaitalian

Photo via Facebook.

As with Asian fare, there is no shortage of restaurants featuring Italian cuisine from simple sandwich shops to fine dining. Located right in the middle cost-wise is the local landmark, Bona Italian. Since it was taken over by Mark Byrd and Glen Weinzimer in 2016, it has quickly found a spot in our hearts and home on the Drive. As devoted to the community as it is to them, Glen and Mark host many events that give back to the community including Give-Back Mondays where 10% of each check is donated to a different not-for-profit each week. Although it’s been open since the 1970s, it now has a new focus and drive. Bona, a triple threat, also managed to score for Best Take Out Food and Best Pizza.

“We are so excited and truly grateful to the community that  chose us as the best of for 2021 in three categories. The pandemic and the past two years of challenges in the restaurant industry have made it difficult for most restaurants to survive,” Weinzimer said. “We know we are still on the drive with our doors open because this community went out of its way to support us with deliveries, pick-ups and dining outside even in the summer! That’s love and this is the topping on the cake. We all have an obligation to support the services and organizations in our community. If we work together we can all stand strong.”

Runner-up Best Italian: IL Mulino

Runner-up Best Take-Out: Tee Jay

Runner-up Best Pizza: Dolce

- RK

Best Restaurant/Best Hamburger: Rosie's Bar & Grille

2449 Wilton Dr. Wilton Manors

Rosiesbarandgrill.com

Rosies

Photo via Facebook.

Well, at least you won’t have to travel far to check out the winners of the Best Restaurant category. The winner (for the 8th year in a row) is Rosie's. Marking the entry to Wilton Drive, just south of Five-Points, these restaurants share a lot of the same qualities, good food at reasonable prices and friendly servers. What puts Rosie’s over the top is its extensive outdoor facility and raucous atmosphere. The lush garden blocks out the view of any nearby streets and traffic and the colorful umbrellas can easily trick you into thinking you’re dining on the beach. Rosie’s also took the prize for Best Hamburger for the 8th year in a row. Probably America’s favorite meal, there’s nothing better than a good, juicy burger. You know, the 12-napkin kind, where the juices just run down your arm, and you have to unhinge your jaw to get that first bite. With its dozens, if not nearly 100, options (all burgers can be made with regular ground beef, ground turkey, a plant-based burger, or a chicken breast) Rosie's has something for everyone. The tiny kitchen at The Pub also cranks out a burger good enough for honorable mention. 

“We are so excited to win Best Restaurant and Best Burger again this year. It has been such an honor to be an active part of this amazing community, and all of us at Rosie’s treasure all the love and support we have received through the years,” said owner John Zieba. “We all have to continue working together to keep South Florida as a unique and welcoming home for our community and allies.”

Runner-up: Bona

- RK

Best Restaurant Outside of Wilton: J Marks

1245 N Federal Fort Lauderdale

Jmarksrestaurant.com

Jmarks

Photo via Facebook.

We added this category a couple of years ago to give places outside Wilton Manors a chance to enter the competition, but the same two names keep popping up. J Marks takes the title again this year. Could it be the late-night happy hour or the fact that the food is just that damn good? Probably a little of both.

Runner-up: Kaluz

- RK

Best Ice Cream/Gelato: Wilton Creamery

2301 Wilton Dr #C4, Wilton Manors 33305

Wiltoncreamery

Photo via Facebook.

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Wilton Creamery makes it a triple scoop with its third win in a row. The small-batch specialty shop has been a favorite since it opened in the community. The beautiful loft space offers two levels inside. The decor has an industrial-meets-50's vibe. ​​ 

“We are the highest rated Ice Cream shop in Florida on Yelp, Google and Trip Advisor,” said D.J. Colby, Managing Partner Wilton Creamery.  

All of the ice creams, gelato and sorbet are chef-curated, with seasonal and rotating flavors of ice cream. There are dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan and even dog-friendly options.  

Their most popular flavor is "He's Not Worth It…,” a vanilla and English Toffee Ice Cream with Oreos, crushed Heath Bar, chopped soft caramels and a sea salt caramel swirl. Coming up in December is Cherries Armagnac, Colby’s favorite, a triple vanilla sweet cream ice cream with dried sour cherries rehydrated in Armagnac. 

Don’t forget to check out their weekly wide small-batch artisanal offerings – available every day after 5 p.m.  

“They may not be something you are interested in eating an entire scoop of, but certainly worth trying for the experience,” Colby said. They only make 2.5 gallons of each so “once we are out, we are out. They only last a few days.” 

Since opening, they’ve made over 600 flavors.

Additionally they make two limited large batches each month. Current flavors include Maple Walnut and Pandan Latte.

Runner-up: Dolce

- RK

Best Greek Restaurant: Ethos

2055 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors 33305

Ethos

Photo via Facebook.

When a visit to your restaurant is like a trip to Greece, you’re a shoo-in to win for best Greek Restaurant. Although the food at the category’s winner, Ethos, is wonderful and abundant, the attractive wait staff and a beautiful patio and dining room are also contributing factors. Relax on the patio with some retsina, a plate of feta, and olives, and see if you don’t yell, “Opaaa!”

Runner-up: Greek Islands Taverna

- RK

Best New Restaurant/Best Mexican Restaurant / Best Menu Item: Tulio's Tacos and Tequila 

2150 Wilton Dr. Wilton Manors

Tuliostacos.com

 TuliosTacos

Photo via Facebook.

This contest was almost a foregone conclusion as Tulio's Tacos and Tequila has been a hit since it batted it out of the park on opening day.  And it’s only gotten better since then. The friendly, saucy, servers wear pants so tight you can almost read their… hips. That only adds to the charm, as does the large sidewalk café. The people-watching is good, but not as good as the cuisine, which focuses on its namesake food and drink.  

Not only did Tulio’s Tacos and Tequila take the prize for the Best New Restaurant, but it managed to knock La Bamba off the perch to win Best Mexican restaurant. It also won the coveted “Best Menu Item” for its Lobster Tulio. The dish features chilled lobster, corn salsa, diced avocado, and microgreens topped with Tulio’s remoulade sauce and served in a flour tortilla. The expansive array of tequila, Mexican beer, and sodas are the perfect accompaniment to the tasty fare. 

Runner-up Mexican: La Bamba

Runner-up New Restaurant: Chef Nate’s

Runner-up Menu Item: French Onion Soup at Le Patio

- RK

Check out the rest of the winners at SFGN's Best of 2021 Winners.


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