Cafe Italia Fort Lauderdale Italian Restaurant Since 1993.

Owner Francesco, from Pescara a city in Abruzzo Italy is highly educated in Italian cuisine and Cafe Italia is prepared to deliver only the best! Owned and operated solely by Italians, we are one of the best Local Italian Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale.

Our cuisine starts with only the freshest ingredients – we don’t take shortcuts. We take pride in cooking with only 100% pure extra virgin olive oil, fresh vegetables, and ingredients so we may serve the most authentic Italian cuisine at your table. All our dishes are made to order and reservation are accepted and recommended. At Cafe Italia we speak Italian, live Italian and cook Italian! The Charm of Old Italy in this small family local owned Italian Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Enjoy freshly served cooked-to-order plates including yellowtail snapper, veal marsala, risotto, lamb, seafood dishes and much more.

Cafe Italia Ristorante Fort Lauderdale
3471 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306
Call: (954) 561-3900

  •   The owners/chef couple take pride in the food and service they provide. Food is authentic, very tasty. Love the bread and olive. Every pasta dishes we ordered was outstanding. Food is not salty or overly greasy. The husband owner stopped by almost every table to...More

    thumb WEBinHarmony

      This was an Italian joint with a big menu. We didn't get a chance to try their pizza but it looked to this former NYer to be the real deal. The parmigiana was excellent and they poured generously on the house wine. They had live...More

    thumb Steve P

      You want real Italian food? this is it! Owners are the chefs and the food, wine and service were outstanding. great pasta, veal, meat and seafood dishes with a wide variety of choices to please any palate. Dishes are more than ample - we usually...More

    thumb Jack G
  •   Not bad at all. Warm bread served with olives and olive oil (Bread from Gran Forno, I believe) started us off. Nice glass of cabernet at 6 seemed like good value, and I had veal masala, and a marinara pasta which was really good. Friends...More

    thumb michaelaT8138GW

      This restaurant is amazing. The food is just perfect. The owner is there with you while you dine and is very friendly. He's been running restaurants for longer than I've been alive.

    thumb Sherpa16711582609

      Dinner for 8. Impeccable service, wonderful menu and wine list. Reasonably priced. Great value. Wonderful atmosphere with Pavarotti and in the background.

    thumb Mike L
  •   This is very popular restaurant with locals. Very good, solid food. Service was okey but need improvement. My only complaint it was very , very cold inside.

    thumb 258beatak

      I enjoyed with my lovely family in a good italian restaurant The quality was excellent, the Waiter was very kind. I liked my linguine with shrimps and clams , was delicious! Also my Family enjoyed the food. The prices were affordable. I recommend this Restaurant!

    thumb Silvie S

      Food great, wine prices reasonable both by the glass or bottle. Owned by a husband and wife team, this is place is a treat. Bread is amazing, pasta cooked perfectly, and all dishes are finger licking GREAT. Husband runs the front, his wife is at...More

    thumb jfs226
  •   This is one of the culinary secrets of Fort Lauderdale. It is run by Sicilian couple from Sicily. The food is fresh, all good quality ingredients and tastes delicious. There is a big variety of pastas and a good variety of meats and fish. The...More

    thumb magichands99

      The owner is from Abruzzi Thought I try this seemingly simple Italian restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. I'm from the north east and lived in Italy so I can be a hard reviewer with Italian restaurants. I started with a glass of red wine. Also was...More

    thumb Steven C

      This was my 4th visit to Cafe Italia and it was a disaster! The kitchen ran out of food and we waited 1 hour and 45 minutes for our dinner. Yes, we should have walked out, as did the table next to us, but we...More

    thumb Jody T

  •   The owners/chef couple take pride in the food and service they provide. Food is authentic, very tasty. Love the bread and olive. Every pasta dishes we ordered was outstanding. Food is not salty or overly greasy. The husband owner stopped by almost every table to chat with the customers and asked them if they liked the food. Very warm and friendly. The prices are very reasonable.

    Skip the big chains or the fancy new restaurants in town and go to Cafe Italia. You will not be disappointed.

    thumb Web P.

      Beautifully prepared and totally delicious! All 7 of us were delighted with our dinner entrees. Osso bucco got rave reviews--large portions, too! Red Snapper Livornese was so good, with olives and capers. Pasta was authentic and cooked perfectly. Salmon and seafood were enthusiastically consumed. House wine ok. Only one anonymous beer: "Italian birra". Tiramisu and espresso finished our memorable meal.

    thumb Faith S.

      We came across this little gem by a google search. Looking for somewhere we haven't tried.   The reviews were all very good and describing authentic Italian.  I was craving a pasta sauce like mamma used to make and this is just what I got.  It was delicious. The bread was served warm and scrumptious and the house Cabernet was very nice.  The owners sat at a table near the window speaking Italian and being very friendly, gracious and welcoming to all their guests.  The prices are very reasonable and it's a quaint little place with 10 or 15 tables.  I was very happy to have found this place and highly recommend it .

    thumb Maria D.
  •   This is the greatest little hidden gem right in my home town. I recommend everyone to come in!! It's a fantastic family restaurant where everyday the owner will great you and recommend a great meal just for you. Five stars for sure!!! 🙂

    thumb Bree B.

      Cafe Italia really has what you would call old school charm! It's not much to look at from the outside (obviously located in one of Florida's Endless strip malls) but it's what's inside that counts!

    We randomly decided to check out Fabio, the Venician wine bar, but they had stopped serving food so we walked next door and low and behold we found something excellent.

    Francesco, the owner introduced himself at the door with his charming Italian accent and gave us a few recommendations.  I ordered the penne with shrimp and broccoli and my bf ordered the veal Marsala. Both of our dishes were outstanding and so flavorful. The prices were also very reasonable and our server was very friendly and accommodating. The ambiance was also very minimalistic, but charming and there was even a live piano player.

    Cafe Italia is my new neighborhood Italian go-to!

    thumb Lindsay Y.

      I absolutely love this restaurant I love that is family owned the wife cooks and the husband is at the door to always greet you. Authentic Italian food homemade you will never get going here for a great meal

    thumb Barb T.
  •   Wow! What a surprise! I swear I thought it was closed because of no signage and the fact it is directly next door to another Italian restaurant-

    Upon arrival, the owner, a 84 year old gentleman with a bum hip greeted with a smile and authentic accent.  The place is sparse but clean, and the menu with prices from a bygone era was filled with Italian favorites!

    Delicious bread, olives and Italian cheese wa swiftly brought to the table and our main courses were out in a jiffy with a smile, hot plate and aroma that made me feel like I was in mamas kitchen!

    The pasta was beyond good and I must say, the lasagna was the best I ever had!  Once the bill came I couldn't believe, dinner for two with wine and the 20 percent off for checking in with yelp was under 40 dollars!!  Find this obscure hidden treasure right on US1 just north of Oakland!


    thumb Mike R.

      What a find!!! Loved this place, friendly welcoming atmosphere. The owner Francesco is a wonderful man, we were delighted that he joined our table and shared some life stories with us.  The wait for the food was long but it was so DELICIOUS, we will definitely return.
    Our only disappointment was our waitress Rebecca? Who spent more time with her "boyfriend" outside rather than her customers inside

    thumb Mary A.

      I am Italian and from NY.   I know great Italian food and this is it.    After going a few times you are like family.   For starters and a good indicator the bread to 10 plus.    The food is off the charts good! Freshest fish.  The pastas are amazing the owners wife is the cook.   You can't find anything wrong with this place.   Be careful this place is located next to another Italian restaurant which is not so good.    Get to the right place it's amazing.

    thumb Dan P.
  •   We read the reviews and there was a coupon available, so went after church and arrived at 8pm. They were out of both osso bucco and another option I choose (we went a couple of weeks ago, so I forgot what it was). I was very disappointed. Also, we saw other people got olives and cheese as "free" appetizers and this was not offered to us (like in the reviews), so, this was disappointing. But the waitress made up for it with her generous wine pours. My fiance' had the "fruitti di mare"; I had the veal with capers and wine; my son had veal with prosciutto; All delicious. FYI: The owner is so cute (I love the elderly) and directly from Italy!

    thumb Tracey T.

      Authentic Italian food. Delicious & fresh!  When you arrive, servers immediately bring fresh, warm bread with a soft center & crunchy crust.  A flute of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a plate with green olives & chunks of fresh Parmesan cheese also arrive. Additionally, they bring a bottle olive oil & balsamic vinegar. For a neon-sign exterior, this attention to detail was truly unexpected.

    My husband is a pasta fagioli soup connoisseur & devoured this version.  The Caprese salad was OK. They were disappointedly out of buffalo mozzarella & could have added more fresh basil; the balsamic vinaigrette served with it was an odd choice, as the olive oil & balsamic vinegar on the table is more traditional, so that's what we used.

    We dug into our main dishes before taking photos, so any perceive lack of perfect presentation is our fault!  He loved the lasagna & I highly recommend the baked to perfection eggplant parmigiana. I opted to pay for the side of paste ($3, I think). I
    chose pappardelle, which was prepared well but could have used more marinara.

    We were too stuffed to get dessert. We used a 20% off Yelp coupon. Super deal!  This is a must-stop Italian dinner in Fort Lauderdale. Don't let the strip mall exterior deter you!

    thumb Nicola S.

      Great little place on Federal Hwy.  Found this place on Yelp while working in town.  The cheese and olive plate was a great touch.  Will be back.

    thumb Robert C.
  •   We visited Cafe Italia based on a recommendation from an acquaintance. He did not steer us wrong. This place is open for dinner only. It's not huge about 12-14 tables but is nice with cloth tablecloths and napkins. Franscesco the owner makes the rounds of the dining room and makes you feel welcome. He's a jokester. The food is very good. I had pasta and it was well prepared. My husband had the snapper also well prepared and a good sized portion. Prices are reasonable. We are looking forward to going back!

    thumb Becky F.

      This place serves really good Italian food that is freshly made to order so be prepared to wait for it. I ordered the zuppa di pesce with red sauce and it was delicious! Will come back again!

    thumb Robelyn B.

      Went there last night for the first time. Very impressed everything was delicious the bread was so good just like Brooklyn bread. The cheese was also delicious. We will definitely be back.

    thumb Joanne C.
  •   Love eating at Cafe Italia. The food is fresh and delicious. The atmosphere is very relaxed like all European restaurants.The staff are very friendly and make you feel like you are part of their family! Great job, and thank you!

    thumb Gene C.

      Found this place last week while doing an Internet search. I lucked out because it turned out to be excellent. Very friendly staff. Wonderful food. Great service.

    I was a little sad that they happened to be out of the swordfish that night but my second choice of the Gnocchi turned out to be excellent. Probably the best I have had. My friend had the salmon and she found it delicious.

    thumb Bryan B.

      The owner welcomes you as soon you walk in. The service was great and the food was delicious.  They are attentive to food allergies, so we will definitely come back again!

    thumb Irene R.
  •   Visited cafe Italia last night. The meal was excellent. We began with warm Italian bread. We had the antipasto platter which had salami prosciutto and a wonderful parmesan cheese. 3 of us each had different entrees. I had veal saltimboca. My friends had the yellow tail and pasta with clams. All delicious.  
    We each had wine by the glass and each was also very nice.
    We finished with lemoncello sorbet and teramiso.
    The owners came by our table and they were both very gracious.
    I highly recommend this restaurant if you are looking for authentic Italian cuisine.

    thumb L N.

      This is one of my favorite comfort Italian restaurants in Fort Lauderdale.  From the bread, soup and entrees everything is so fresh.  You must try this place... come hungry!!!

    thumb Eugene S.

      The food was excellent, but the service was extremely lacking. Had to go to the bar to ask for water/drink refills and no one checked on us once. Apparently the 20% off coupon via Yelp is not supposed to be there - but luckily they honored it this time.

    thumb Jordan B.
  •   Loved this place.  Very authentic Italian.  Down to earth, no pretension here at all.   Family owned and operated by Francesco and his wife in the kitchen.  Had the rigatoni with shrimp and broccoli in a garlic olive oil.  Very good.  Bread comes out warm!  They serve a little olives and cheese plate to start while you wait for your food to come out.  We had also a very nice Chianti that was very reasonably priced at $25 a bottle. My husband had the grilled tuna with olives
    Which he loved.  Perfectly cooked.  Lastly the tiramisu was the perfect end to the evening.  Will definitely be back!

    thumb Gina B.

      Sorry to say but poor service trumps good food. From beginning to end our evening was spent tracking down our waitress who was as inattentive as they come (this despite a nearly empty dining room). Besides not bringing our drinks in a timely fashion, asking how our meal was or seeing if we needed anything, she seemed ill informed about menu and offered no suggestions or insight. Four times we had to practically scream across dining room to get her attention. This went on throughout the night even as the owner sat 1 table away texting and entertaining friends while showing little interest in our experience.

    The food was good but unremarkable. It did not make up for the poor service.

    Note about dining room - it needs serious attention. Not inviting at all.

    thumb Phil B.

      This place is terrific, from the ambiance to the staff. This is definitely a neighborhood gem. They give great portions sizes and the prices are fair. It is quite and great for a date. The chef came out a spoke to us briefly. I would absolutely recommend visiting.

    thumb Yolanda W.
  •   Excellent , excellent in every aspect!
    Greeted by the very warm & very friendly owners. The food was delicious & very, very fresh,
    The Resturant was understaffed yesterday not thinking they would be busy- still great warm friendly service.
    This is like being in someone's house in Italy

    thumb TAmi S.

      Very low standard. My wife and I , when ordering, were repeatedly told  " Sorry, we don't have that."  We finally settled on food that was unimpressive to say the least but the absolute worst was at the conclusion of the meal I asked for espresso and was told "Sorry, we don't have that" We wont go back.

    thumb David C.

      Vile!  From mealy hunks of
    Tomatoes in the crappy lettuce to the three hours from start to son nearly threw up the veal when he took a bite.  Not much was open after hurricane Irma, but a can of soup on the grill would have been 5-star compared to this disgusting has been.

    thumb Jill K.
  •   I recently spent a few days in Fort Lauderdale. Café Italia was so good, I had 2 of my 4 dinners there!  This is a family business with incredibly friendly service.  The food is amazing!  You start with delicious daughter ate every piece in the basket, so I didn't get to try any 🙂  But it was hot...crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Delicious.  They also serve a bowl of green olives and pieces of the best asiago cheese I've ever had.  My first dinner there was the porcini risotto.  When I ordered it, the server let me know it takes the longest to cook...20 minutes  I didn't mind and it was totally worth the wait!  They clearly cook everything to order.  My second night I tried the Chicken Marsala, which was also amazing.  Nice mushrooms an a great sauce.  They offered me a variety of sides, including pasta with basically any sauce I wanted.  My daughter enjoyed the penne a la vodka both nights and absolutely loved it.   I wish I lived closer so I could eat there all the time!

    thumb Karen K.

      We have seen this restaurant around for many years but made our first trip this past weekend.  I am not sure what we were waiting for as this was such a pleasant surprise!  All the dishes we tried were well prepared and delicious.  Cafe Italia also prepares Penne a la Vodka in my favorite way - by flambe!  When you flambe the sauce, it adds a nice smokey flavor to the sauce.  Very few restaurants make it this way and this is the second one in South Florida that I have found that will use this method.  The lasagna appears to have been made with fresh pasta which creates a lovely texture to the dish.  One thing to note, we purchased the lasagna dish to split for our kids (7 and 10).  The staff was kind enough to split it for us before they brought it out.  

    I am truly impressed that Cafe Italia has been in business for 20+ years!  Unfortunately, many restaurants loose their focus on quality but I do not think this is the case for this restaurant.  We look forward to making Cafe Italia as one of our go-to places for excellent Italian food!

    thumb Angie N.

      We like their Italian food and wine served with family enthusiasm... simply an occasion we share often with our friends and family. Try them, you will go back for more often like we do.

    thumb Jim F.

Warm Welcome makes Cafe Italia Restaurant Special – The Herald Dining Section
The Charm And Taste Of The Old World – Sun Sentinel
Love This Place – Google
Beautiful Italian Restaurant Decor Romantic Space – Miami Diner
Straight From The Heart – Sun Sentinel
Perfect Italian Restaurant Near Me – Yelp
Fantastic Family Restaurant Fort Lauderdale – Yelp

I am truly impressed that Cafe Italia has been in business for 20+ years! Unfortunately, many restaurants loose their focus on quality but I do not think this is the case for this restaurant. We look forward to making Cafe Italia as one of our go-to places for excellent Italian food!

Read some reviews left by our diners

✰ Beautiful Italian Restaurant Decor & Romantic Space
✰ Cafe Italia brings Charm of Old World to Lauderdale – Sun Sentinel
✰ Straight from the Heart – Sun Sentinel
✰ Warm Welcome makes Cafe Italia Restaurant Special – The Herald Dining Section
✰ The spaghetti carbonara was the BEST I’ve ever had
✰ The charm and taste of the Old World – CityLink
✰ Fantastic… real Italian
✰ A hidden gem
✰ Trust in the Reviews!