Big City Tavern – A Local’s Review

Big City Tavern is the locals’ choice for classic American cuisine and a spirited setting in Fort Lauderdale. Step into a space where friendly faces, premium steaks, and craft cocktails redefine the tavern experience. Curious to see how? We’ll dive into what makes this spot special without spoiling the surprises that await.

What to Know About Big City Tavern on Las Olas Blvd

  • Big City Tavern is a favorite among locals known for its classic American menu, inviting atmosphere, and service that makes you feel like family.
  • With a variety of fresh seafood, house-made pasta, and dry-aged steaks, the Tavern caters to all tastes, including an epic happy hour with half-price appetizers and crafty cocktails.
  • The Tavern isn’t just for dining; it’s a hotspot for brunch with unlimited mimosas, private events, and is run by the culinary expert, Chef Steven Zobel, who’s big on farm-to-table freshness.

I’m personally a fan of their wings.  They made my list of one of the best in the area.

Big City Tavern: A Local’s Favorite Dining Spot

big city tavern
Big City Tavern.

Big City Tavern, once a hotspot for tourists keen to sample Fort Lauderdale’s dining scene, has evolved into the preferred choice among locals. Thanks to a sleek redesign of its dining room and a refined all-American menu, this city tavern has become a beacon for those in search of good food and a great place to dine. Owned by the esteemed Big Time Restaurant Group, known for their successful establishments in South Florida and New York, Big City Tavern’s local allure is undeniable.

Entering this tavern, you are transported to an era gone by, reminiscent of the magnificent urban taverns of Chicago, New York, and Boston. It’s a place where regulars are greeted by name, and new faces are welcomed with the same warmth and hospitality. For a dining experience that truly reflects the community’s tastes, there’s no looking further than Big City Tavern.

Fresh Seafood Delights

Big City Tavern’s menu features fresh seafood, promising to delight your palate. From the Pan Roasted Salmon garnished with Tomato to the House-Made Charcuterie, the dishes are a testament to the tavern’s commitment to quality. And let’s not forget the Mac and cheese with lobster — a dish so divine, it’s been crowned by customers as the best they’ve ever had.

Certainly, it goes beyond just the ingredients. Each dish exhibits Chef Steven Zobel’s culinary brilliance as he unveils novel seafood experiences like pan-seared sea scallops paired with candied bacon and pecans, and Maine lobster macaroni, featuring aged Vermont cheddar. This is where sourced ingredients meet culinary innovation, crafting daily specials that keep patrons coming back for more, including the delicious skirt steak.

Steaks, Pasta, and Salads

However, don’t assume that Big City Tavern’s menu only capitalizes on the sea’s bounty. The tavern takes pride in its variety, offering everything from:

  • dry-aged steaks
  • juicy burgers
  • house-made pasta
  • crisp salads

Daily house-made specialties are the norm here, ensuring that every meal feels artisanal, fresh, and like delicious food, including our jerk chicken, which our team hand select fresh ingredients for.

You’ll hear regulars rave about the Rigatoni Bolognese, a perfect blend of comfort and flavor, and the Mahi Mahi special, which has been described as nothing short of perfection. Whether you’re looking for a quick dinner or a slow-cooked feast, the menu’s diverse offerings cater to all appetites and occasions.

The Ultimate Happy Hour Experience

Craft beer and wine selection at Big City Tavern

When the clock hits four, Big City Tavern morphs into the ideal happy hour haven. With daily specials that include half-price appetizers and $8 martinis from 4-7pm, it’s the perfect spot to unwind after an exhausting travel day or to kick-start a fun-filled evening. The fun bar atmosphere, complemented by the amazing bartenders, makes it a weeknight staple for many.  This makes my list of the top happy hours in Ft Lauderdale.

Specialty Beers and Extensive Wine List

If you have a fondness for hops and barley, you’ll surely be impressed by the tavern’s rotating assortment of craft and specialty beers. Whether on tap or in a bottle, the brews are as diverse as they are refreshing. And if wine is more your style, the extensive wine list offers a range of affordable options that pair beautifully with any meal.

It’s the sort of place where you can discover a new favorite with every visit, all while enjoying the company of friends and the vibrant tavern buzz.

Unlimited Mimosas and More

For brunch aficionados, weekends at Big City Tavern are a paradise. Imagine sipping on unlimited mimosas and bottomless Bloody Marys for just $14 with the purchase of an entree. And it’s not just about the mimosas; the cocktail list features handcrafted gems like the smoked Old Fashioned, ensuring there’s something for every palate.

Whether you’re in Fort Lauderdale FL for business or pleasure, missing out on a brunch at this city tavern should be a cardinal sin.

Here’s my other top brunch venues in the area.

Outstanding Service and Ambiance

Attentive bartenders at Big City Tavern

Big City Tavern is more than just food and drinks; its exceptional service and ambiance distinguish it from the rest. The attentive and helpful staff, including an amazing bartender, are known to remember not just your name but also your favorite drink, fostering a connection that makes you feel right at home.

The warmth of the excellent service, provided by staff with outstanding service skills, is matched only by the vibrant atmosphere, with regular events and a busy urban setting that makes every night feel like a special event.

Chef Steven Zobel’s Touch

Chef Steven Zobel leads Big City Tavern’s culinary triumphs. With over two decades of culinary experience, Chef Zobel infuses every dish with quality and creativity. His farm-to-table philosophy means that only the freshest local ingredients make it to your plate, ensuring that each meal is a celebration of flavor.

It’s his gourmet twists on classic dishes that have made Big City Tavern’s menu a standout in the Las Olas dining scene.

Special Events and Celebrations

Private dining at Big City Tavern

Big City Tavern provides the perfect setting worthy of life’s extraordinary moments. With private dining options tailored to your event, this is the place where memories are made. Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, or a friendly get-together, the tavern’s staff will ensure your celebration is nothing short of amazing.

Event Scheduling and Hosting

While event planning may seem overwhelming, rest assured that Big City Tavern has got you covered. The team offers expert guidance on food and wine selections, ensuring your event is both delicious and memorable. With customizable menus and specific catering options, all you need to do is provide the event details, and the tavern will take care of the rest.

Visual Tour: Inside Big City Tavern

On stepping inside Big City Tavern, you encounter an ambiance simultaneously nostalgic and sophisticated. The unique décor, featuring vintage and antique elements, sets the scene for a dining experience that’s as visually stunning as it is gastronomically satisfying.

The communal table, with its vintage-style barstools, is the heart of the tavern — a place for socializing and enjoying a meal in good company, all while experiencing the selection pubby atmosphere.

While there are many restaurants in Las Olas, Big City Tavern stands out as the true tavern experience in the area.

Summary

From the fresh seafood delights and heartwarming steaks to the vibrant happy hours and attentive service, Big City Tavern is more than just a dining spot — it’s a cornerstone of the Las Olas community. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, this city tavern is sure to leave a lasting impression. So why not make your way to Big City Tavern and experience the charm for yourself?

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the happy hour specials at Big City Tavern?

Big City Tavern’s happy hour specials include half-price appetizers and $8 martinis every day from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Enjoy!

Can I find vegetarian options on the menu at Big City Tavern?

Yes, you can find vegetarian options on the menu at Big City Tavern. They offer a variety of dishes that cater to different dietary preferences.

Does Big City Tavern host private events?

Yes, Big City Tavern does host private events and provides event planning guidance for special occasions and celebrations.

Are there any drink specials during weekend brunch?

Yes, you can enjoy unlimited mimosas and bottomless Bloody Marys for $14 with the purchase of an entree during weekend brunch.

Is there outdoor seating available at Big City Tavern?

Yes, there is outdoor seating available at Big City Tavern, including a sidewalk dining area that adds to the urban atmosphere.

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About 

Tim Schmidt is a 20+ year Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. A Fort Lauderdale-based "Digital Nomad," he enjoys traveling as much as possible with family and friends. AllWorld is his escape to document all of his adventures, including being a hardcore "foodie." He has property in Costa Rica and visits several times each year and is happy to offer his expert advice for planning your trip.

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