Cafe Vico in Fort Lauderdale – My Personal Review

If ‘Cafe Vico’ led you here, you’re likely looking for an Italian dining option in Fort Lauderdale that combines tradition and atmosphere. Located conveniently on Federal Hwy, Cafe Vico offers an array of homemade pastas and classical dishes set in a charmingly authentic Italian scene. Our introduction walks you through just what makes this beloved establishment a local hallmark.

Overview of Cafe Vico

  • Cafe Vico is a revered Italian restaurant in Fort Lauderdale FL, known for its authentic cuisine, inviting ambiance, and the owner’s personal touch in making patrons feel at home.
  • Apart from offering traditional Italian dishes, Cafe Vico’s menu features homemade pastas, a variety of main courses, and expertly curated desserts complemented by a fine selection of wines.
  • Cafe Vico provides a vibrant bar scene with daily happy hours, live music, and is a sought-after venue for hosting private events, earning consistent positive customer reviews for their food and service.

Discovering Cafe Vico: A Fort Lauderdale Favorite

Cafe Vico Ft Lauderdale
One of our favorites in Fort Lauderdale!

Entering Cafe Vico feels akin to stepping into a slice of Italy. Beloved for its warm and inviting ambiance, this Fort Lauderdale favorite consistently garners praise from patrons. The authenticity of the setting, reminiscent of a charming Italian village, provides a blissful atmosphere, perfect for cozy date nights or memorable family dinners.

The enchanting environment and exceptional service are what distinguish Cafe Vico. The welcoming experience is further enhanced by the personal approach of the owner, Marco, who ensures every patron feels at home.

The Heart of Italian Cuisine on Federal Hwy

Cafe Vico, situated at 1125 N Federal Hwy, serves as a beacon for authentic Italian cuisine aficionados in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Its prime location, just half a block north of Sunrise Blvd, makes it a must-visit destination for those seeking to relish the true flavors of Italy. The easy access promises a convenient and fuss-free dining experience, whether you’re a local or a tourist exploring the culinary delights of Federal Hwy.

Welcoming Hours for Every Patron

cafe vico lobby
The gorgeous entrance was all decorated for our Valentines Day date!

Cafe Vico’s doors open for dinner daily from 4:30 pm to 10:00 pm, accommodating both the early birds and night owls seeking an exceptional Italian feast. On Fridays and Saturdays, the welcoming light of Cafe Vico stays on until 11:00 pm, offering patrons an extra hour to savor their meals and bask in the exquisite ambiance.

For patrons who relish a buzzing bar scene, Cafe Vico offers a lively happy hour, daily from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, featuring an array of special treats.

A Taste of Italy: The Diverse Menu at Cafe Vico

Cafe Vico Menu
Here’s a look at the menu at Cafe Vico.

A unique twist on traditional Italian flavors is masterfully orchestrated in Cafe Vico’s menu, making it one of the good Italian restaurants in the area. The restaurant specializes in authentic Italian cuisine, including signature homemade pastas and beloved traditional dishes. Each dish stands out, thanks to the unique combination of traditional Italian cooking methods, homemade pastas and sauces, and the inclusion of daily specials tailored to the diverse palates of diners.

Quality and fresh ingredients, meticulous care in preparation, and a dedication to authenticity ensure that each dish delivers a flavorsome Italian experience at our Italian restaurant. While emphasizing traditional Italian cuisine, Cafe Vico delights customers with occasional surprises, infusing time-honored recipes with innovative twists. As one of the top Italian restaurants in the area, we take pride in offering an authentic dining experience.

Pasta Perfection: From Seafood Ravioli to Rigatoni Bolognese

cafe vico bolognese
One of my favorite dishes, the meat sauce bolognese!

Pasta at Cafe Vico transcends being merely a dish; it is a culinary masterpiece. Take their Lasagna, for instance, a layered delight featuring ground beef, cheeses, and béchamel sauce, voted the best in Broward and considered the best lasagna in Fort Lauderdale. Seafood lovers will find their match in Cafe Vico’s Seafood Ravioli, a patron favorite. Stuffed with crabmeat and ricotta and drenched in a lavish lobster cream sauce, it’s a dish that’s often described as outstanding and highly recommended.

Not to mention, the Penne with Arrabbiata sauce offers a spicy kick for those who love a bit of heat in their meal, and for an added touch of flavor, consider pairing it with some delicious broccoli rabe and a side of lemon sauce. Alternatively, you can try it with a classic marinara sauce for a milder taste.

The Main Courses at Cafe Vico

cafe vico linguini with clams
Linguini with clams. Unbeatable!

Beyond pastas, Cafe Vico demonstrates its mastery of traditional Italian food with a range of exquisite main courses. The Veal Marsala features tender veal scallopini bathed in a savory sauce composed of lemon, white wine, and capers, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that dances on the palate.

For the adventurous diners and seafood enthusiasts, the grilled octopus appetizer and elegantly pan-seared Branzino come highly recommended, both celebrated for their exceptional flavor and presentation as innovative and exceptional dishes.

cafe vico mens room
The men’s room features classy pictures of models over the years.

Sweet Endings: Decadent Desserts and Fine Wines

Cafe Vico guarantees the completion of an Italian meal with a sweet finale and a glass of fine wine. The dessert offerings are expertly curated to provide the perfect conclusion to an Italian dining experience. From refreshing sorbets offering a tropical explosion of flavors like coconut, lemon, mango, orange, and pineapple to a thoughtful selection of wines accommodating both red and white wine preferences, Cafe Vico has got you covered.

Cheers to Good Times: Bar and Happy Hour Offerings

cafe vico filthy martini
Dirty Martini specials are the best bet at happy hour!

As the clock hits four in the afternoon, Cafe Vico morphs into a bustling hub, courtesy of its daily happy hour. From 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, patrons can enjoy special discounts on drinks and bar bites like lamb lollipops and baby meatballs. The bar scene comes alive with the clinking of glasses, laughter, and lively conversations, making it the perfect spot to unwind after a long day or kickstart a fun-filled night. The discounted martinis and wine by the glass, among other drink selections, are a favorite among the happy hour enthusiasts.

Signature Sips and Classic Cocktails

During happy hour, Cafe Vico offers a range of discounted drinks that cater to every palate. The bar menu includes:

  • Signature beverages
  • Classic cocktails
  • Timeless martinis
  • Full-bodied wines

Whether you’re looking for a refreshing cocktail or a glass of wine, Cafe Vico has something for everyone.

These discounted drinks, paired with their tempting bar bites, create an irresistible combination that has patrons returning for more.

While we are on the subject, here’s my list of the top happy hours in Ft Lauderdale.

Live Music and Entertainment

Beyond delicious Italian food and drinks, Cafe Vico serves as a center for live music and entertainment. From Wednesday to Sunday, starting at 5:30 pm, the restaurant comes alive with the melodious tunes of live performances. Special performances by Piano Keys on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM add an extra layer of allure to the experience.

Whether you’re a fan of jazz or prefer the rhythmic beats of disco, the live music at Cafe Vico caters to a diverse audience, making your dining experience all the more enjoyable.

Celebrating Special Occasions at Cafe Vico

More than a dining destination, Cafe Vico functions as a memorable venue for celebrations. The restaurant offers customized services for private events, including custom menus tailored to the specific needs of the event. Each occasion celebrated at Cafe Vico is made truly exclusive and memorable, thanks to the dedicated service and attention to detail that is a hallmark of Cafe Vico’s approach to hosting private events.

The restaurant is recognized as a special venue for celebrations, with customers repeatedly choosing it for their significant occasions.

Private Dining and Event Hosting

Whether you’re planning an intimate gathering or a large-scale event, Cafe Vico has got you covered. The restaurant can accommodate group dining for up to 100 guests, offering private spaces suitable for every occasion. Cafe Vico’s strength lies in its flexibility and personalization.

Groups hosting private events can collaborate with Chef Vico to curate a menu that celebrates Cafe Vico’s signature dishes and beverages, tailored to their preferences. From the food to the service, every aspect of the event is meticulously planned and executed, ensuring a successful and memorable event.

Memorable Milestones

Cafe Vico does more than just hosting events; it crafts memories. The restaurant has been the backdrop of many memorable milestones, like a commemorative 80th birthday party celebrated with outstanding food and customer service. From birthdays and anniversaries to corporate events, Cafe Vico ensures each celebration is marked with exquisite Italian flavors, an enchanting ambiance, and impeccable service.

The staff’s dedication to making every occasion special has made Cafe Vico a favorite choice for those looking to celebrate their milestones in style.

Customer Acclaims: Rave Reviews of Cafe Vico

Customer satisfaction serves as the true yardstick of a restaurant’s success, and Cafe Vico excels in this aspect. The restaurant has consistently garnered rave reviews, with patrons highlighting menu favorites like lasagna and spaghetti with seafood. The exceptional service, with the owner personally ensuring guest satisfaction, is a recurring theme in the reviews, reflecting Cafe Vico’s commitment to customer care.

The enchanting ambiance and consistently delicious offerings have earned Cafe Vico a stellar rating of 4.6 stars by 290 diners on OpenTable, underscoring the high level of customer satisfaction achieved at Cafe Vico Ocean.

Testimonials of Satisfaction

Cafe Vico’s success can be measured by the satisfaction of its patrons. Here are some reviews from satisfied customers:

  • One Tripadvisor review praises the lasagna
  • Another OpenTable reviewer claims it to be the best they’ve ever eaten
  • The friendly and unpretentious staff are praised for their prompt service, contributing to an overall great experience.

The ambiance is acknowledged for its comfort and warm beauty, with the tempting bread and garlic olive oil adding to the restaurant’s attractiveness for both special occasions and casual dining.

Stories of Return Visits

Stories of repeat visits from contented customers bear testimony to Cafe Vico’s quality. Long-time patrons continuously praise the freshly baked bread, exquisite olive oil dip, and the beef carpaccio, highlighting these delights as consistent reasons for their repeated visits.

Customers have noted Cafe Vico’s maintenance of cozy vibes and excellent service over the years, cementing its place as a staple for authentic Italian dining. The staff’s flexible approach to customer service, such as:

  • preparing off-menu items from previous specials
  • accommodating special dietary needs
  • providing personalized recommendations
  • offering attentive and friendly service

The serene and leisurely atmosphere have made many plan for future visits.

Contact Cafe Vico:

1125 N. Federal Hwy. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304  Sunday – Thursday 4pm – 10 pm

Friday & Saturday 4 pm – 11 pm

(754) 399-4021

Other Italian Restaurants Nearby:


In a city teeming with dining options, Cafe Vico stands out as a beacon of authentic Italian cuisine. Its enchanting ambiance, exceptional service, and culinary masterpieces have won the hearts of many, earning it rave reviews and a loyal customer base. So, whether you’re looking for a cozy spot for a romantic dinner, a lively bar for happy hour, or a memorable venue for your next celebration, Cafe Vico promises an unforgettable Italian dining experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the owner of Cafe Vico Fort Lauderdale?

The owner of Cafe Vico Fort Lauderdale is Marco Vico Rodrigues, as confirmed by the opening of his new restaurant at the former Nick’s Italian in Fort Lauderdale.

Is Fort Lauderdale good for partying?

Yes, Fort Lauderdale is excellent for partying, offering a vibrant nightlife with energetic clubs, live music, and a variety of entertainment options to keep you entertained throughout the night.

Why is River Cafe so popular?

River Cafe is popular due to its numerous accolades, including a Michelin Star and recognition as one of the most romantic restaurants in 2023, among other prestigious awards.

What are the operating hours of Cafe Vico?

Cafe Vico is open for dinner daily from 4:30 pm to 10:00 pm, and until 11:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, with a daily happy hour from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

What are some of the must-try dishes at Cafe Vico?

You must try the Lasagna, Seafood Ravioli, Veal Marsala, and Grilled Octopus at Cafe Vico. Don’t miss out on the selection of sorbets for dessert.

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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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