From frozen treats to healthy food spots, South Florida Family Life readers can't say enough about their favorite places to dine with their families.
Published: June 26, 2023
Favorite Family-Friendly Restaurant
Broward: Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour & Restaurant
Jaxson’s is the sort of place where family memories are made. This Broward institution is best known for the frozen concoctions it’s been scooping up from the same family-owned location since 1956. But the true allure of the place goes way beyond the ice cream. Diners are welcomed into a one-of-a-kind rustic dining room with license-plate-deco walls and a full menu that features belly-busting specialties like Broward’s Famous 1-Pound Burger and the half-pound Mile-Long Dog. Each of the seven offerings on the kid’s menu comes with fries and a kid-sized milkshake, ice cream sundae or cone. There’s also a country store with novelty toys, retro knick-knacks and penny candy. 128 S. Federal Hwy., Dania Beach, 954-923-4445
WTT: Lucky Fish
Places like Lucky Fish make you happy you live in South Florida. This tiki bar by the sea (just south of the Fisher Family Pier on Pompano Beach) offers fun foods and top-notch people-watching, all with an ocean view. The menu includes classic snack foods like coconut shrimp, wings, fish dip, and tuna poke nachos. There are also salads, sandwiches and smash burgers. Plus, you can order to-go for a picnic on the beach. 222 N. Pompano Beach Blvd., Pompano Beach, 954-247-9967
Flanigan’s is as constant as an ocean breeze in South Florida’s ever-changing dining landscape. From its 1959 founding by Joe “Big Daddy” Flanigan, it has evolved into 24 laid-back neighborhood restaurants with an island vibe. The star of the menu is the Legendary Baby Back Ribs — with full and half-rack options, and even a four-bone rack on the kids’ menu. There are eight Miami-Dade locations.
Palm Beach: Yard House
There is something for everyone at Yard House, from the spicy tuna stack to a plateful of classic sliders and fries. Kids will love the onion ring tower. Why? Because it’s a tower made of onion rings. There are plenty
of temptations on the menu (we mentioned the onion rings), like cheese dip, pizzas, and burgers; however, each offering lists calories. Lighter options include an ahi tuna salad, Mediterranean salmon and plenty more. The kid menu includes all the usual suspects. 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, 561-417-6124
Favorite Farmers Market
Broward: Yellow Green Farmers Market
It’s been called the Taj Mahal of farmers’ markets, but just calling it a farmers’ market doesn’t tell the whole story. Sure, there’s lots of farm-fresh food, but with over 30 categories of booths in this open-air space, it’s more like a big, community-minded bazaar. There are artisanal crafts, live music, yoga, art and dance classes, and four 30-foot-high Seminole chickee huts for outdoor seating. 3080 Sheridan St., Hollywood, 954-513-3990
Miami-Dade: Coconut Grove Farmers Market
Though it features about two dozen other vendors, this year-round Saturday haunt is probably best known for its Glaser Organic Farms tent, which specializes in healthful foods — or as its purveyors call it, “food that loves you back.” A variety of organic fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and raw vegan foods are sourced from local growers and from around the world. Epicurean delights from a salad bar to raw food pizzas and fruit pies are also available. 3300 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove,
Palm Beach: Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market
One of the few remaining family-owned and -operated farmers markets in South Florida, the Bedner family isn’t kidding about the “farm fresh” part. Their produce is grown on the farm, right outside the back door — which, good to know, doesn’t use genetically modified seed. Field trips to the Boynton Beach farm come with tractor rides and a petting zoo. There are also locations in Delray Beach and West Palm Beach. 10066 Lee Rd., Boynton Beach, 561-733-5490
Favorite Healthy Food Spot
Tri-County Winner: First Watch
Avocado toast, anyone? A family favorite from West Palm to Miami, this daytime cafe chain has mushroomed with a food ethos that follows the sun for fresh, seasonal ingredients. Breakfast, brunch and lunch are baked, sliced and juiced up for a full menu of dishes with healthy portions and healthful ingredients. Kids will go for specialties like the fruit crepe or chocolate chip pancake. There are over 20 South Florida locations.
WTT: Living Green
If you are looking for a quick and easy healthy meal, pop into Living Green and grab a salad, wrap, bowl or sandwich with an above-average amount of healthy options. All prepared foods are made in-house daily and use free-range meats with no hormones or antibiotics. The original Brazilian Bowl is popular with açaí berry, banana, apple, granola, blueberries, goji berries, chia seeds, local honey, coconut flakes and sliced almonds. Living Green has four locations, two of which include a market.
Favorite Place for Frozen Treats
Broward: Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour & Restaurant
When your kids scream for ice cream, this is the place that’ll stop them. You can get a killer cone from the walk-up window or take a seat in the dining room and get everything including The Kitchen Sink — Jaxson’s signature creation that scoops up a pound of ice cream per person in a metal sink and tops it with treats and sparklers. With about 40 regular flavors and a handful of seasonal flavors, the ice cream, sorbets, yogurts and toppings are prepared daily. Portions are super-sized, too. 128 S. Federal Hwy., Dania Beach, 954-923-4445
Miami-Dade: Cold Stone Creamery
Cold Stone is not like other ice cream parlors. Its specialty is made specifically for you. Churned fresh in-store, each flavor is mixed before your eyes with your choice of candy, cakes, fruits or nuts on the frozen granite stone from which its name is taken. Plus, ice cream, ice cream cakes, shakes and other frozen treats can be ordered online for pickup or delivery. There are six locations in Miami-Dade.
Palm Beach: Menchie’s
Menchie’s takes its frozen yogurt seriously. It employs an innovative research and development team to come up with different flavors every month so that there’s always some new taste sensation to try, including unique items like custom frozen yogurt cakes. Having fewer calories than ice cream doesn’t hurt, either. There are locations in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Lake Worth.