When a friend puts out a call for Broward treasures, we listen. We also observe the many great suggestions by locals and collect them all together, along with some of our personal favorites, in one helpful round-up. We’re talking about the lesser-visited areas of Broward, like Plantation, Weston, and Davie. Though we have plenty of suggestions for popular spots like Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, here’s where you’ll find the treasures you might usually drive past on your way to and from the hotspots.
Driving up, you’ll immediately realize that there’s nothing average about Yellow Green. For starters, it towers over itself at a cool 100,000 square feet of fully local goodness. Home to over 300 vendors, it’s South Florida’s largest farmers market. From basically every ethnic flavor under the sun and homegrown produce, to arts & crafts, hidden bars, and even massages – Yellow Green Farmers Market has it all.
It might be a general South Florida thing, but we love heading out to large nurseries and perusing the rows of native and exotic plants, daydreaming of our future luscious gardens. Tree Amigos is one of those plant destinations that offers organic vegetable, flowering & medicinal plants, and provide organic soil, amendments, fertilizer, pest control, and more.
via Flamingo Gardens
Flamingo Gardens is a 60-acre, Tropical Botanic Garden and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, aviary and zoo, located just west of Fort Lauderdale. The sanctuary has hundreds of rescued animals from around Florida, and the site is also home to the oldest residence in Broward County west of University Drive, the historical Wray Home Museum.
Bambú Juice Bar is an adorable spot with a huge selection of juices, coffees and treats. Not often do you see juice bars flex the freshness of their fruits and veggies, but this spot has them on display market-style so you can see first-hand what you’re putting into your body.
This mom & pop restaurant is a regular go-to for families from all around South Florida. Whether you head to their Davie or Sunrise locations, the food at Ally’s Comfort Cafe is nothing short of delicious and, well, comforting.
We love a good breakfast nook and Ella Cafe in Plantation has quite a few. The wood paneled dining room is cozy and rustic, and the staff is always friendly, serving some of the best coffee in town.
via Ella Cafe
If you’re looking for a place that will always be consistently solid, Kristof’s Kafe is where it’s at. Head there for sumptuous breakfast like endless types of French toast and pancakes, or soothing soups for lunch, you can’t go wrong.
For nearly 50 years, Marian’s Bagels has been serving freshly-baked goods to the Broward community out of their home in a Plantation strip-mall. They have a deli where you can buy meats and cheeses by the pound, an array of egg and matzoh dishes, and of course, some of the best bagels around.
If you’re looking for a coffee spot with a flare of European class, look no further than Vienna Cafe. Here, you’ll get a taste of worldly cultures across the pond in a classic bistro setting complete with breakfast offerings, lunch, decadent desserts, and even tea time.
via Vienna Cafe & Bistro
A good coffee shop doesn’t need much to make it your go-to. A nice atmosphere, friendly staff, good coffee–that’s really all we ask. Mystic Coffee has that and so much more with delicious homemade treats, a penchant for healthier living, and comfortable chairs that’ll make you stay all day long.
If you’re never experienced hot pot, you must RUN to Lemongrass now. Let’s break it down: Choose your broth which then gets poured into your very own boiling pot. Then you head to the unlimited buffet of proteins, seafood, veggies, noodles aromatics, sauces and fix’ins to make your own soup from scratch where you can decide on flavors and level of spice. It’s one of the best meals you’ll ever have.
Sunrise offers much more than just being a concert destination. In their strip malls lie quite a few delicious gems, including Embarcadero 41. A flavorful Peruvian fusion restaurant that offers creative rolls, succulent seafood dishes, and more.
With the rise in vegan options and an increasing interest in plant-based goods, there’s no surprise that Broward also has some great offerings in this space. My Organic Corner is voted one of the best in Weston with sandwiches, soups, juices and smoothies for all tastes.
You know a local spot has a seal of approval when it has expanded to multiple locations, and Angelo Elia hasn’t skimped on quality throughout their growth. The award-winning chef shares his homemade recipes for pizzas, tapas, and paninis around South Florida.
If you’re looking for a glimpse into the nostalgic past, head on over to the institution that is Jaxson’s. The kind of old-fashioned Americana vibes complete with carousels, towering scoops, and a whole lot of historical memorabilia. Oh, and the ice cream is stellar too.
Believe it or not, Pompano has a lot of fun things going on, and Dangerous Minds is at the top of the list. The homegrown brewery offers a classic indoor beer garden with an ample courtyard perfect for drinking the day away. Come for the badass selection of brews, stay for the exceptional pizzas and even nicer staff.
The influence of Caribbean culture on South Florida’s landscape doesn’t stop at Miami. You’ll find one of the best spots dedicated to Caribbean cuisine is actually in North Lauderdale, with nearly 1,000 people vouching for Best in Broward Bakery‘s authentically baked goods and homemade flavors.
Since 1995, Cecilie’s has been delivering hands-down the best local Italian Ices in Coral Springs. For those of us who love anything sweet and frozen, you’ll notice a huge void in quality Italian Ice in South Florida, which is blasphemy given the nature of our year-round weather. The authenticity of this creative, yet classic staple is well worth the trek to Broward.
The beautiful Hollywood ArtsPark is not only a great community gathering space, but it’s also home to some of the best free programming around. Concerts by internationally-renown acts, family movie nights–they’ve got it all. We’re going to be spending a whole lot of time over in Hollywood since the launch of their outdoor concert series for the year.
The 669 acre Markham Park in Sunrise is also home to an outdoor rifle and pistol range, extensive mountain bike trails, the Fox Observatory, campgrounds, a radio controlled airplane field, a dog park called Barkham Park, jogging trails, fishing and boating areas, sports fields of all kinds, nature trails and programs, skeet and trap, sporting clay stands, archery range and five stand.
A boardwalk through 23 acres of restored freshwater marsh, nature trails, and an equestrian center are amenities at this park, which sits on property once slated for development as a golf community. Now, you can ride horses, rent shelters for special occasions, and just relax in the luscious greenery.
via Florida Hikes
Quiet Waters Park is a 430-acre Broward County Park in Deerfield Beach, Florida and is known locally for its annual Renaissance Festival and Ski Rixen cable water-skiing system. However, if you’re more of a “let’s escape somewhere for the night” kind of person looking for a feeling of natural wonder yet proximity to civilization, their wood cabins would be a perfect option for a night under the stars with friends.
If you’re ever in Fort Lauderdale, you can’t spend a day in the 954 without paying hommage to the magic of Wilton Manors. A funky, eclectic area filled with LGBTQ strongholds, welcoming bars, and delicious eats, it’s a great place to spend a sunny Saturday. Make your way to Eucalyptus Gardens, a charming lane straight out of a fairytale where beloved local spots like The Alchemist and The Wander Shop airstream call home.
If you want an extensive list of more Fort Lauderdale and nearby favorites, check out our breakdown of the 954 in our Fort Lauderdale takeover.
Are you closer to Pembroke Pines? Don’t worry, we also have a round-up for great eats in both Pembroke Pines and Miramar.
Cover photo Radio Active Records by FujiFilmGirl.