Top five traditional Italian restaurants in Fort Lauderdale 

Italian food is one of the most popular cuisines in America and has been that way for over 100 years, but people still don’t know what a traditional day of eating is like in Italy. 

How about trying out some of the best traditional Italian eats that Fort Lauderdale has to offer? This list has got you covered for every Italian meal of the day as if you were eating in the heart of Italy. 

A plate of food and a cup of coffee

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Cappuccino with a pastry and some sweets at Gran Forno Bakery (Yam Hunter Preisler/Caplin News)

Gran Forno Bakery
1235 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale 
(954) 467-2244 

Located in the heart of Las Olas Boulevard, Gran Forno Bakery is the best place to get a typical Italian breakfast. Breakfast in Italy is quick and simple, usually consisting of coffee paired with a pastry or sweets, like cake and biscuits. Gran Forno Bakery specializes in crafting traditional Italian sweets and breads made fresh every morning, like cannoli for $4.95 and croissants for $3.75. 

A sandwich cut in half

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A traditional focaccia sandwich with prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula and basil (Yam Hunter Preisler/Caplin News) 

La Mia Focaccia
6330 Powerline Road, Fort Lauderdale 
(954) 772-9499 

Getting lunch in Italy is often on the run, and La Mia Focaccia is a great place to get a delicious light Italian sandwich to go. With fresh salty focaccia baked every morning and imported cuts of meat sliced right in front of you, it’s no surprise why La Mia Focaccia stays true to Italian street food tradition. The light savory bread is delicious on its own, but when made into a sandwich, it’s impossible to refuse. The shop offers six varieties of focaccia, with one sandwich costing $12.99. La Mia Focaccia’s hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, so get their focaccia while you can.    

Pan of pesto gnocchi at Dal Contadino Trattoria (Yam Hunter Preisler/Caplin News)

Dal Contadino Trattoria
2775 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale 
(954) 900-2714 

Roughly translating to “from the farmer’s small restaurant,” Dal Contadino Trattoria is true to its name, serving up rustic home-style Italian dinners that would make any nonna, (grandmother in Italian) proud. Their delicately hand-crafted pastas and slow-roasted beef has their customers smiling ear to ear and coming back for more. 

 “It’s magic, I never had that taste before, it’s the real deal,” said James Brown, a first-time customer at the restaurant, as he finished his first bite of freshly made pesto gnocchi.  

True to tradition, Dal Contadino Trattoria specializes in crafting dinners that one would find in a typical Italian home. The average price of one of their authentic pasta dishes is $23. 

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A wall of wine at Sapido Restaurant and Café (Yam Hunter Preisler/Caplin News)

Sapido Restaurant and Café
111 SE. 8th Ave., Fort Lauderdale 
(954) 488-8000 

Wine is a large part of Italian life, so this list would not be complete without the best place to get authentic Italian wine vibes. Specializing in imported Italian wines, Sapido Restaurant and Café is a great place to grab a glass and wind down after a large Italian dinner. With a warm and cozy atmosphere, and a friendlier staff, Sapido Restaurant and Café embodies the laid-back and sociable Italian lifestyle. Bring a buddy, a date, or just hang out with the staff, no matter how you go, you will definitely enjoy your time. A glass of wine will cost an average of $11, and a bottle will cost an average of $44. 

Two tiramisus and a takeout bag outside of Pan’e’Dolci’s Oakland Park Boulevard location (Yam Hunter Preisler/Caplin News) 

Pan’e’Dolci Italian Bakery
3341 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale 
(954) 564-7871 

613 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale 
(954) 306-2028 

207 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea 
(954) 635-2385 

Getting some dessert with the family is a wonderful way to end the day, and Italians really do love their sweets. Top off the evening with some traditional Italian desserts like delicate pastries and rich gelato. Pan’e’Dolci serves up dozens of aromatic gelato flavors that the whole family can enjoy, and if you’re craving something more light, fresh tiramisu and cannoli will defiantly hit the spot too. With one of Pan’e’Dolci’s three locations open until 1 a.m. every day except Sunday, you’ll always have a chance to get a sweet Italian midnight snack.  

Yam Hunter Preisler is a senior at Florida International University majoring in broadcast journalism. He is passionate about reporting on medical advancements. Yam is currently working as a freelance video editor.