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Fort Lauderdale: Kelly's Landing or Southport Raw Bar

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Each winter we like to try a different restaurant in FLL before our cruise. This year I have narrowed it down to Kelly's or Southport (we will walk from the Marriott Renaissance). Both get good reviews.  Do you prefer one over the other? Any opinions would be welcome, and thanks!

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I will follow this with great interest.  Never been in FLL before and we are staying  on SE17th and have spotted that Kelly’s Landing is just a short walk from our hotel.

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Kelly’s is more formal and tends to offer flavorings that are more New England.

 

Southport is decidedly Fort Lauderdale through and through. It’s a much simpler menu.

 

Quarterdeck, across the street from Southport (but moving a couple of blocks soon) has a more diverse menu than Southport. They’ve recently changed their menu a bit taking away a little of South Florida flavorings, but is a long-time favorite (my childhood home was less than a mile away. We went to both Qdeck and Southport for my 21st birthday, a long time ago).

 

 

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5 minutes ago, FOPMan said:

Kelly’s is more formal and tends to offer flavorings that are more New England.

 

Southport is decidedly Fort Lauderdale through and through. It’s a much simpler menu.

 

Quarterdeck, across the street from Southport (but moving a couple of blocks soon) has a more diverse menu than Southport. They’ve recently changed their menu a bit taking away a little of South Florida flavorings, but is a long-time favorite (my childhood home was less than a mile away. We went to both Qdeck and Southport for my 21st birthday, a long time ago).

 

 

Thank you for so much information for a first time visitor from UK.

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We were just in Ft Lauderdale last week staying at the Embassy Suites.  Kelly’s is an easy walk but we were very disappointed with the food and service.  The next night we went to the Boathouse just a little further and had a wonderful dinner.  Check out their happy hour for drinks and great appetizers.

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42 minutes ago, tsxgray1 said:

The next night we went to the Boathouse just a little further and had a wonderful dinner.  Check out their happy hour for drinks and great appetizers.

Do you mean the Boatyard?  Yes, we have been there and it is a great spot! Thanks for your comments on Kelly's.

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The Boatyard has gone through some changes and the happy hour is not what is was.

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As a local who eats frequently at all four restaurants (and drinks) I'd put them in this order:

 

Kellys Landing

Boatyard

Quarterdeck

Southport Raw Bar.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love all four but those are the order.

 

Kellys has an amazing lobster roll, lobster night, and fried oysters.

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1 minute ago, BlueHerons said:

As a local who eats frequently at all four restaurants (and drinks) I'd put them in this order:

 

Kellys Landing

Boatyard

Quarterdeck

Southport Raw Bar.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love all four but those are the order.

 

Kellys has an amazing lobster roll, lobster night, and fried oysters.

 

Well, that’s my dinner plans sorted for the evening before we board the Silhouette. Thanks for the info.

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Southport for sure. Like FOPMan said, it's much more Floridian and is located right on the water.  Why would you want to go to a New England seafood place when trying new spots in Fort Lauderdale!  Kellys is fine but nothing spectacular.

 

Quarterdeck is a local chain and to me it feels like a typical chain sports bar through and through.  If you wanted to try a Quarterdeck though, then go to the one located on the Dania pier - at least the location is amazing.

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We went to Southport Raw Bar last year after reading so many great reviews.  Must say we were underwhelmed.  Food was average at best, it was loud and chaotic and not very pleasant.  We just didn't get why it's so popular.  It's sort of a dive bar atmosphere which is fine and not what turned us off, we love Key West after all :classic_tongue:  

 

Usually we'll give most places a second try, but when we're in FLL next week we will be trying the Quarterdeck.

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24 minutes ago, bouhunter said:

We went to Southport Raw Bar last year after reading so many great reviews.  Must say we were underwhelmed.  Food was average at best, it was loud and chaotic and not very pleasant.  We just didn't get why it's so popular.  It's sort of a dive bar atmosphere which is fine and not what turned us off, we love Key West after all :classic_tongue:  

 

Usually we'll give most places a second try, but when we're in FLL next week we will be trying the Quarterdeck.

 

I would never claim that Southport has the best food!  It's the atmosphere, locality, and on the water.  Not for everyone I guess.  If you didn't love Southports food, I don't see you loving Quarterdeck either.  It's not a foodie place.  It's a chain restaurant - think TGI Fridays, Chilis, etc with a tiny bit of a seafood/South Florida bend.  I'd do Kellys over Quarterdeck all day if you want to try something new.  Or as I mentioned in another post, if you do Quarterdeck, then make sure you go to the one on the pier for the atmosphere.

 

Southport is a spot we go to on our boat.  It has a nice day on the water type vibe.  Cold beer, decent food, low key.

Edited by BNBR

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1 hour ago, bouhunter said:

We went to Southport Raw Bar last year after reading so many great reviews.  Must say we were underwhelmed.  Food was average at best, it was loud and chaotic and not very pleasant.  We just didn't get why it's so popular.  It's sort of a dive bar atmosphere which is fine and not what turned us off, we love Key West after all :classic_tongue:  

 

Usually we'll give most places a second try, but when we're in FLL next week we will be trying the Quarterdeck.

That's why it is at the bottom of my list.  It's dirty, grungy and the whole 'waterfront' thing is that it is at the end of a boatyard.    You don't want anything to do with the outside eleven months of the year because there is zero breeze and the bugs will eat you alive.  We mostly go when we take the boat over to eat and can't  get dockage at 15th Street Fisheries.

 

I don't mind sitting at the bar for a few and a snack but the food is much better at Kellys and Boatyard and the sushi is excellent at Quarterdeck.  Plus the HH at Quarterdeck is awesome.

 

That said, we are still regulars there.

Edited by BlueHerons

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Forgot to add, the most important thing, Quarterdeck has TATOR TOTS!!!!!  Reason alone to eat there.

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On 2/19/2019 at 12:34 PM, BlueHerons said:

As a local who eats frequently at all four restaurants (and drinks) I'd put them in this order:

 

Kellys Landing

Boatyard

Quarterdeck

Southport Raw Bar.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love all four but those are the order.

 

Kellys has an amazing lobster roll, lobster night, and fried oysters.

I would offer a similar ranking.

We always it Kelly's Landing. And while you may have a wait, and some of the wait staff have a little "tude" (that's o.k., I can give as well as I take), the food and atmosphere can't be beat.

Next month we have two days pre-cruise and will hit Kelly's the first night, the Quarterdeck for Happy Hour the second.

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You could also add 15th Street Fisheries info the mix. It’s 1/2 block north and a very long block east of Southport Raw Bar.

 

There are two dining rooms. Upstairs, which is more formal, and Dockside downstairs, which is more casual. It’s on the water (it was the building with all the lights on it in the Southwest ad featuring Fort Lauderdale this last December).

 

Theres’s both Florida and New Englandish items    on the menu.

 

if you drive, it’s free valet.

 

https://www.15streetfisheries.com/menus.html

 

 

 

 

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On 2/18/2019 at 4:56 PM, FOPMan said:

Kelly’s is more formal and tends to offer flavorings that are more New England.

 

Southport is decidedly Fort Lauderdale through and through. It’s a much simpler menu.

 

Quarterdeck, across the street from Southport (but moving a couple of blocks soon) has a more diverse menu than Southport. They’ve recently changed their menu a bit taking away a little of South Florida flavorings, but is a long-time favorite (my childhood home was less than a mile away. We went to both Qdeck and Southport for my 21st birthday, a long time ago).

 

 

I am a little confused about the statement that Kelly’s landing is more formal.

 

Isn’t Kelly’s Landing the casual place with Boston bar flavor?  

 

Or have they changed?

Edited by jagoffee

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On 2/19/2019 at 5:31 PM, BlueHerons said:

That's why it is at the bottom of my list.  It's dirty, grungy and the whole 'waterfront' thing is that it is at the end of a boatyard.    You don't want anything to do with the outside eleven months of the year because there is zero breeze and the bugs will eat you alive.  We mostly go when we take the boat over to eat and can't  get dockage at 15th Street Fisheries.

 

I don't mind sitting at the bar for a few and a snack but the food is much better at Kellys and Boatyard and the sushi is excellent at Quarterdeck.  Plus the HH at Quarterdeck is awesome.

 

That said, we are still regulars there.

 

Couldn’t agree more!

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1 hour ago, jagoffee said:

I am a little confused about the statement that Kelly’s landing is more formal.

 

Isn’t Kelly’s Landing the casual place with Boston bar flavor?  

 

Or have they changed?

Kelly's is very casual. One of our favorite places to eat when in Ft Lauderdale. 

 

Darcy

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2 hours ago, WatchHill said:

Kelly's is very casual. One of our favorite places to eat when in Ft Lauderdale. 

 

Darcy

I am glad to hear that it has not changed.  I suspect FOPman just made a typing error or was thinking about a different place.

thanks

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4 minutes ago, jagoffee said:

I am glad to hear that it has not changed.  I suspect FOPman just made a typing error or was thinking about a different place.

thanks

 

He didn't say it was formal. He said it was MORE formal than Southport which is correct. 

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4 minutes ago, BNBR said:

 

He didn't say it was formal. He said it was MORE formal than Southport which is correct. 

I suppose it is a matter of definition and all the other places mentioned.

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1 minute ago, jagoffee said:

I suppose it is a matter of definition and all the other places mentioned.

 

Only Kelly's and Southport were mentioned.  The poster said Kelly's is more formal than Southport.  Other posters later chimed in with other restaurants. 

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2 minutes ago, BNBR said:

 

Only Kelly's and Southport were mentioned.  The poster said Kelly's is more formal than Southport.  Other posters later chimed in with other restaurants. 

Well, you certainly have explained why you and others would consider Kelly’s Landing “more formal” than some other particular  place.  I hope you are not offended.  You did clear up my confusion, so thank you.

I just consider Kelly’s landing casual and excellent, which you would probably agree.

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6 minutes ago, jagoffee said:

Well, you certainly have explained why you and others would consider Kelly’s Landing “more formal” than some other particular  place.  I hope you are not offended.  You did clear up my confusion, so thank you.

I just consider Kelly’s landing casual and excellent, which you would probably agree.

 

I'm not offended at all, lol. I was just clearing up the confusion as you mentioned another poster may have made a typo.  Kelly's is more formal than Southport, it's true! But Kelly's is absolutely not formal.  I agree it's casual and excellent. 

 

I'd still rather go to Southport if visiting and I stand by that.  Getting New England food in Fort Lauderdale isn't something I'd recommend to a visitor unless they weren't concerned about the Floridian aspect. Southport is much more Floridian.  Kelly's is good, but it would be like recommending a Texas BBQ restaurant in Maine. 

Edited by BNBR

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