It was one of the best italian meals-ever!!

Cafe Italia Restaurants is a sure thing!


My husband said the chicken marsala was the best he’s ever had! The marinara sauce was delicious.

Service: Perfect
Food: Divine

We were looking for a highly rated restaurant for dinner before our first time at The Parker Playhouse. The reviews for Cafe Italia were outstanding and the menu had vegans options (for me). From the olives and cheese given as soon as we were seated; then the most exquisite warm rustic bread and all that we ordered, it was one of the bests meals-ever!!

The chef came out and asked us how we enjoyed our meal.If you want authentic Italian food in an unpretentious setting, Cafe Italia restaurants is a sure thing!

Joan Pilchick Kaufman


Love this Place! Fort Lauderdale Italian Restaurant Cafe Italia

Family owned, quality food, reasonable prices. Love Love LovE

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 Fort Lauderdale Italian restaurants in town and go to Cafe Italia. You will not be disappointed.

Great Little Place

We were the first ones to arrive on a Saturday and when we left the place was very busy. They cook to order and the only waitress was kept busy that night. The bread olives and cheese was delicious. The owner was visible and spent time talking to all his customers. My table had: LAMB MEATBALL RAGU OVER CHITARRA SPAGHETTI; SALMON; YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER; VEAL SALTIMBOCCA . All was delicious.
They took our redemption number and phone number to call if there was a problem. HIghly recommend this place! Will try to go during the week or when they first open on a Saturday again! Our new Italian restaurant!
Date of visit: August 2019

Love This Place

With its friendly, attentive staff and a nice, reasonably priced wine selection, Café Italia is a neighborhood Italian restaurant that will win you over with its high quality, well prepared dishes. Owner Francesco has been greeting guests here for over 25 years. It’s a small family operated restaurant where you can hear Italian spoken and all dishes are made to order.

Word of mouth is how we learned about the place which is located on the ground floor of an office building. We were seated immediately and presented with a plate of excellent cheese and olives and outstanding fresh baked Italian style bread. The menu is somewhat limited with emphasis on pasta and seafood. I chose the veal Marsala dish and a side of angel hair pasta with garlic & olive oil. Very high quality, perfectly prepared veal and excellent pasta. My dining mate chose the pasta and shrimp served with a side salad. Wine by the glass is priced at $6 per. Total tab was $65 which was more then fair considering the quality of the ingredients. Thank you for an excellent dining experience!


So I’ve lived in Fort Lauderdale over 43 years and I have to say this was the best yellowtail and red snapper preparation I’ve ever had. It’s a tiny storefront restaurant with maybe 10-12 tables?  Run by an Italian couple that have been there 23 years. How did I miss this gem? If it hadn’t been for a Groupon coupon I never would have found it. We started with mussels.. they were big, plump and delicious and spicy the way I like them.

We each had fish and it was cooked to perfection. Amazingly fresh as the tail was still on it so it was a nice small size yellowtail snapper or red snapper and the sauce was perfect. We ordered a side of broccoli cooked in garlic and oil and pasta done the same. It reminded me of what I cook at home and I’m a real foodie. We had the Tartufo with pistachio ice cream covered in chocolate and whipped cream yum! It reminded me of a little Italian restaurant I went to growing up in New York.

This is definitely our go-to Italian restaurant from now on.  It is beer and wine only …we had Prosecco for a very reasonable $25 a bottle. This whole dinner cost is $90 which was amazing in itself for a five-star restaurant in my book. I would make reservations if you go on the weekend, during the week it seems good but we went early….love this place!

Red Snapper


Great Ambience. Perfect italian date night spot in Fort Lauderdale

most authentic italian restaurant fort lauderdale

The people are friendly, the food is good and so is the wine! Our waitress knows what we drink and eat most often and usually tells us what we are ordering before we can tell her! We enjoy the atmosphere as well. The prices are mid range. We try new dishes often. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for an Italian restaurant to make their favorite!


Real Authentic Italian Food. Nice Menu Selection Great Service

Cafe Italia
Open for Christmas Eve

A Real Italian Restaurant, Priced Right, Nice Menu Selection – Great Service

Four weeks ago I had walked passed, and evidently the owner noticed my reviewing the menu in the window. A nice, polite, mature Gentleman asking if I had any questions. I advised I was just looking. Well over these past several weeks, I could not forget the impression he had left with me. So on Saturday, I decided to go back and pay the Cafe Italia a visit. As he explained to me when leaving in an apology, he had just had an operation, and walking was difficult, so thus difficult to personally greet myself at the table. I reminded him of my previous time there, looking, and my promise to return. It’s a small but very comfortable restaurant located in the Roselli Building. There were about seven of the square tables, two round tables for five and an oblong table for eight. Immediately after the presentation of the menu and the wine list, a plate of house made bread with butter was presented, together with a plate of provolone cheese and a round metal cup of Italian Olives. Everything was very tasty.
For anyone eating out on a budget, the pasta dishes were exceptionally reasonable. I selected the Eggplant Rollatini for my appetizer, and the veal cutlet with mushrooms in a Marsala wine sauce. Also a side of pasta with a marinara sauce. It was the largest pasta side dish I have ever been served. The eggplant was delicious, and three nice sized slices of veal were so tender you could break them with your fork. They had a nice selection of house wines by the glass, and the prices were at least half of what you would normally pay in a Ristoranti. I forgot to mention the tables had a nice light tan first table cloth, topped with another white linen top table cloth, and of course real linen napkins., Service was just perfect, where you were not rushed, and you leisurely enjoy the appetizer, before the entree and pasta were served. While there, a group of six arrived and selected the round table in the front by the window and adjacent to the table for eight, and they were not over-crowded. Would I return. YES, in a heartbeat. I enjoyed my short conversation with the owner who was seated at an outside table when I was leaving. A wonderful way to spend a Saturday evening.

Authentic Italian RISTORANTE

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.  Best italian restaurants fort lauderdale.
Husband runs the front, his wife is at the stove making meals to make you want to come back for more. Reservation

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!


Date Night Restaurants Near Me

If your date night restaurant revolved around amazing authentic Italian cuisine in a friendly local establishment of over 20 years then Cafe Italia Ristorante is the perfect date night restaurant.

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

The Charm of Old Italy is in this small family owned Italian Restaurant. Enjoy freshly served cooked-to-order plates including yellowtail snapper, veal marsala, risotto, lamb, seafood dishes and much more.

Amazing little restaurant near me has the best pasta dishes and sauces around. I stopped in to see what the place looked like since it has been there for over 20 years and never went in! It was a small cozy romantic restaurant with Italian music playing. I liked the round chandeliers and asked where he got them.

One of the best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale for authentic Italian cuisine. I ordered the Bucatini Amatriciana and it was the best pasta I ever had in Fort Lauderdale.”

The Miami Herald Dining Section

It seems as if I spend my life in Italian restaurants picking apart menus, dining rooms and meals, trying to discern the relative value of a dining experience.
But the truth is that I believe the best restaurants, Italian or otherwise, are not necessarily the ones with the finest Riedel glasses, French- trained waiters and the oldest balsamic vinegar — though that certainly can help — but rather those that give diners a good feeling of welcoming and home. The ones that convey a feeling of conviviality, that entice the appetite not only with fine food but with fine hospitality.

Café Italia is just such a place. Though the decor is strictly generic strip mall and the tableware equally unimpressive, owner Francesco Lapi is such an omnipresent source of warmth that it is hard to find much fault with the place.


Best Italian Restaurant Fort Lauderdale

One of the best Authentic Italian Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, owned and operated solely by Italian descent. Owner Francesco, from Pescara a city in Abruzzo Italy is highly educated in central Italian cuisine and Cafe ITALIA is prepared to deliver only the best! Loved it, loved it. Great Italian cuisine. The best Italian in Fort Lauderdale.

If you Squint, you’re in Italia!

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 had an eggplant parm (tasty but apparently not quite hot enough – although why they didn’t ask the server to please ask for it to be made warmer I don’t know). Another companion had pasta with shrimp, clams, and scallops, which I have to say looked amazing, but he found a little bland. I tasted it and liked it, but I’ll admit the sauce was pretty watery. Flavourful though. All in all, a very good Italian restaurant at very reasonable prices. It’s been here a long time. “Capo” was at a table near the door and looked like he’d been there for 40 years. Looked like a good natured and friendly guy…and there are many pics of him and his resto from years gone by.

Trip Advisor – Date of visit: April 2019

Real Family Run Restaurant

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 the stove making meals to make you want to come back for more. Reservation is suggested on the weekends. Free parking in the adjacent lot. Credit cards accepted.

Trip Advisor – Date of visit: June 2019

Old World Italian

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 Italian bread is like good New York bread. The clams and mussels excellent. Pasta take your pick, all good. Tartuvo good way to end your dinner. Prices are very reasonable. Go and enjoy a delightful night out!

Very authentic Italian Food

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 given bread, cheese and olives to start with. The bread was amazing which is hard to find in Florida. Very authentic Italian bread.
I then had prosciutto e melone. I know it is tough to ruin this dish. All I can say it was perfect. The ingredients were fresh.
I ordered pasta carbonara next. It’s a great dish to test out authenticity. guanciale.. eggs etc.
It’s was excellent and authentic.
Only tiramisù for dessert so I forced myself to try it.
This is a definite must.. Food is cooked to order. So it’s fresh and classic.

Trip Advisor – Date of visit: March 2019

Very good dining experience

Thoroughly enjoyed our dinner experience when staying at the nearby Pelican resort. Service was fantastic! Efficient and friendly. Much better experience than what we had experienced at Dal Contadino and Cafe Italia is now our local favorite. The bread to start off with was just great! We had the shrimp and broccoli and Rignatoni Bolognese and both were very good. Only slight suggestion I would have is that they should drain the pasta for a little longer as it seemed as it a little water was in the sauces. Great house wine and fantastic tortufu capped off a very good dinner.
Trip Advisor – Date of visit: December 2018

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