Rustic Inn Crabhouse – A Local’s Take

If you’re searching for ‘rustic inn crabhouse,’ you’re probably curious about what makes their garlic crabs a talk-of-the-town that locals like us flock to and how their waterfront dining stands out in Fort Lauderdale. At Rustic Inn, you can expect seafood specialties while being in a timeless canal-front venue that has been visited by many celebrities. Today I’ll share with you the Rustic Inn’s dishes, ambiance, and its scenic spot along the Dania Canal.

I started coming here when my son was very young. The joy in his face as he cracked crabs that splattered all over his bib produced a million dollar smile. Over 15 years later, we still enjoy this place and get that smile to come out in our now college boy!  Scroll down for the adorable Rustic Inn photos and know that we’ll always update this page when we get more.

Rustic Inn Crab House – An Icon in Broward County

  • Rustic Inn Crabhouse is a seafood lover’s dream with a signature dish of world-famous garlic crabs and a wide array of other seafood options, ensuring every visit offers a new taste adventure.
  • Apart from delicious food, the Rustic Inn offers an enchanting waterfront dining experience on the Dania Canal, with both gorgeous views and a lively atmosphere to complement your meal.
  • Located conveniently close to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the Rustic Inn combines easy access with a charming, maritime-themed setting that celebrates fresh, local seafood.

Seafood Menu at Rustic Inn Crabhouse

Honestly, the menu is about the size of the Cheesecake Factory, so I don’t have the ability to post the entire Rustic Inn Menu here.  They have like five of them, depending on when you choose to dine.  So for brevity, if you want to check out the menu, visit this link here:

Rustic Inn
2009, one of our first visits to Rustin Inn!

Famous for its delectable seafood offerings, the Rustic Inn Crabhouse has garnered global recognition for its exceptional garlic crabs. Patrons from around the globe and even celebrated personalities come to relish this iconic dish that sits at the heart of what makes dining at Rustic Inn truly memorable. The menu offers a wealth of choices including savory crab cakes, succulent shrimp scampi, and exquisite queen crab to delight aficionados of aquatic fare.

Beyond just their famed garlic crabs, it’s the waterfront ambiance that elevates every culinary encounter at Rustic Inn. With picturesque views providing an idyllic backdrop and a lively setting enhancing each visit, guests find themselves fully immersed in pleasure whether they’re indulging in fresh cracked crustaceans by the dock or enjoying a luxurious shrimp meal within the cozy confines of its main dining room – making any occasion spent here uniquely enchanting.

The Signature Dish: World Famous Garlic Crabs

The secret behind Rustic Inn’s exceptional garlic crabs lies in their preparation method. These crabs are an original creation of the restaurant, setting it apart as a distinct culinary offering. The crab clusters are sautéed with garlic and a secret family recipe, a technique that has contributed to their fame.

The world-famous garlic crabs have become a local icon and a magnet for celebrities, enhancing the restaurant’s community reputation. Whether you’re a seafood aficionado or a curious foodie, the garlic crabs at Rustic Inn are a must-try. With each bite, you’re not just tasting a dish; you’re taking part in a culinary tradition that has put Fort Lauderdale on the global food map.

A Seafood Lover’s Paradise

Rustic Inn Garlic Crabs
Anything for the kids!

At the Rustic Inn, garlic crabs are just one of many mouthwatering seafood specialties. Their extensive menu showcases a diverse selection of crab-centric dishes that include:

  • Blue crabs
  • Golden crabs
  • Stone crabs
  • Alaskan king and queen crabs
  • Dungeness crabs
  • Softshell Crabbies

The culinary techniques employed bring out unique flavors in their blue crab preparations, whether sautéed with garlic or steamed with Old Bay seasoning. To savor an assortment of these tantalizing choices, indulge in our Crab Sampler which also features crispy fried frog legs and sumptuous steamed lobster.

Stone crabs served chilled arrive at your table accompanied by tangy mustard sauce but can be enjoyed hot paired with melted butter upon request for a warming delight. Meanwhile, soft-shell enthusiasts have the option to enjoy them grilled or deep-fried—a testament to Rustic Inn’s commitment to providing a broad spectrum of delectable dining experiences each time you dine there.

Other Popular Dishes

While seafood takes center stage at the Rustic Inn, their menu also accommodates a variety of other culinary tastes. From mozzarella sticks to chicken wings, the restaurant offers a range of non-shellfish items that are sure to satisfy your taste buds. These comfort food classics are a testament to Rustic Inn’s commitment to offering something for everyone, ensuring that all guests can enjoy their dining experience to the fullest.

Dessert, of course, should not be overlooked. The Rustic Inn’s key lime pie is a quintessential Floridian treat known for its perfect balance of tartness and sweetness. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, ending your meal with a slice of this delightful pie is a sweet tradition you won’t want to miss.

Appetizers and Starters at Rustic Inn

Sampling the Rustic. Inn’s appetizers and starters are essential for a complete dining experience. Some delicious starters to try include:

  • Crispy calamari
  • Decadent Oysters Rockefeller
  • Conch Salad, which combines the zest of fresh conch with a medley of vibrant flavors, making it a perfect palate opener.

These starters set the tone for the seafood feast to follow.

The appetizers don’t merely serve as an introduction to the main course, they form an integral part of the dining experience at Rustic Inn. Each starter is crafted with care, showcasing the restaurant’s commitment to quality and flavor. So whether you’re a seafood lover or a foodie in search of new flavors, these nautical nibbles are sure to delight.

Conch: Salad and Fritters

At the Rustic Inn, the conch specialties provide a tempting prelude to an extravagant seafood feast. With its blend of finely diced conch, fresh vegetables, and seasoned salt pork, the robustly flavored conch soup exemplifies the establishment’s dedication to freshness in every bite.

Not merely serving as an appetizing kickoff to your dining experience, but also immersing patrons in ocean-inspired savoriness. The briny zest of freshly sourced conch melds harmoniously with savory vegetable pieces and rich salt pork to craft a soup that delights both palate and senses alike.

Fried Shrimp and More

At the Rustic Inn, a selection of starter dishes such as:

  • succulent fried shrimp
  • savory calamari
  • tangy buffalo wings
  • creamy spinach and artichoke dip

Initiate an inviting meal designed for communal enjoyment. These starters are not merely mouthwatering. They are crafted to encourage sharing amongst diners, fostering interaction and elevating the collective dining experience.

This ethos of commensal beginnings transcends mere sustenance. The Rustic Inn embraces eating as an occasion to forge lasting memories and nurture relationships. Whether it’s a family feast or reuniting with old friends, these convivial appetizers serve as the ideal introduction to any shared meal.

The Ultimate Waterfront Dining Experience

rustic inn fort lauderdale
Canal side dining in Dania Beach.

Offering an exceptional waterfront dining adventure, the Rustic Inn Crabhouse is more than just serving food. It’s about crafting memories by the water. Nestled on a dock that stretches into the serene waters of the Dania Canal, this restaurant features a quaint patio perfect for enhancing any meal with its breathtaking views. It’s an ideal spot for both momentous celebrations and relaxed evening eats where every dish is served with a side of scenic charm.

Beyond being merely a place to eat, the Rustic Inn has blossomed into an ‘experience restaurant,’ blending vivacious atmosphere with exquisite seafood fare. As diners joyfully tackle their crab legs amidst communal sounds of delight and glasses toast in harmony within the cocktail lounge, each instance at this rustic inn celebrates not only gastronomic pleasure but also conviviality among guests.

From Dock to Table

At the Rustic Inn, every meal is a testament to their dedication to offering only fresh produce. The restaurant prides itself on serving locally sourced Pompano that allows guests to experience the truest taste of seafood at its freshest. From catch to kitchen, they follow meticulous procedures designed specifically for maintaining freshness until it reaches your table.

The passion for delivering fresh flavors extends beyond just fish – the Rustic Inn specializes in providing an array of freshly caught seafood options including crabs and lobsters. This focus ensures that each dining experience not only satisfies with delicious offerings but also encapsulates genuine quality you can taste. Indeed, nothing compares with savoring expertly prepared seafood that arrives straight from sea to plate.

Outdoor Seating Highlights

The Rustic Inn

At the Rustic Inn, one of the key attractions is the opportunity to savor your food while admiring the serene setting along the Dania Canal. The establishment’s outdoor waterfront patio delivers an exceptional eating experience where guests can dine beneath the vast expanse of sky with views overlooking calm canal waters.

Whether you opt for a seat right on the dock or inside at their cocktail lounge, Rustic Inn presents various atmospheres tailored to your dining preferences. You’ll find distinct appeal in each spot. Choose between embracing nature at water’s edge or settling into comfort amidst nautical-themed decor indoors. Regardless of your seating choice, it is guaranteed that both your meal and the view will be equally impressive at this quaint inn.

Rustic Inn’s Prime Location In Ft Lauderdale

Nestled in Fort Lauderdale, the Rustic Inn boasts an idyllic spot that greatly enhances its allure. The restaurant is a mere five miles away from the hustle and bustle of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, providing air travelers with an exceptionally convenient dining option. It’s not only this accessibility that draws patrons to the Rustic Inn. It’s equally about the captivating ambiance of the establishment.

With its proximity to sea waves lapping at nearby shores, Rustic Inn delivers an authentic ocean-inspired culinary journey. Step inside and be greeted by nautical-themed decor featuring ship wheels and draped fishing nets which contribute to its maritime vibe. As for sustenance, expect nothing less than mouthwatering seafood delights – from just-caught fish specialties to seasonal favorites – ensuring every meal served is as fresh as if you’d caught it yourself.

Getting to Rustic Inn Crab House

Situated near the Fort Lauderdale airport, the Rustic Inn stands as a go-to destination for both residents and visitors seeking sumptuous seafood dishes. Its proximity to the airport allows diners to indulge in a tasty meal shortly after landing without the need to travel extensively into the city.

Its strategic position isn’t only about easy access. Being close to downtown Fort Lauderdale positions Rustic. Inn ideally within reach of urban attractions, offering tourists an opportunity to dive into local flavors while providing regulars with yet another reason to drop by this esteemed establishment.

A Stone’s Throw from the Sea

Located near the ocean, the Rustic Inn offers a true coastal culinary experience. Its interior is adorned with nautical artwork and maritime relics that enhance its seaside ambiance.

Rustic. Inn’s proximity to the water not only influences its atmosphere but also guarantees the freshness of its seafood offerings. Whether it’s fish, crabs, or lobsters on your plate, they are probably sourced from the sea just a few hours prior to being served. This dedication to serving freshly caught seafood within an environment steeped in maritime tradition provides diners at Rustic Inn with an exceptional dining experience.

Why Residents Adore Rustic Inn

For more than three decades, the Rustic Inn has been an integral part of Fort Lauderdale’s dining scene, cherished by both locals and tourists. With its long history and deep ties to the community, the restaurant has become more than just a place to eat; it’s a place where memories are made and traditions are born.

Rustic. Inn’s enduring popularity stems from its ability to offer more than just delectable meals. From its origins as a roadhouse saloon to its evolution into a renowned seafood haven, the restaurant has always been a place where people come together. Whether it’s a family celebration or a casual dinner with friends, the Rustic Inn offers an inviting atmosphere, delicious food, and a sense of community that keeps people coming back.

This is a more blue collar experience, but don’t let that deter you.  The food is incredible, and it comes with a price point, but this is a casual setting.  If you want the white glove service where everyone dresses up, I suggest checking out Lobster bar on Las Olas or Billy’s Stone Crabs in nearby Hollywood.  Both are on the more upscale side.

Community Ties: The Local Patronage

Rustic. Inn’s strong connection with the local community is evident in its loyal customer base. The restaurant has become a traditional spot for family gatherings over multiple generations, signifying its deep-seated bond with the locals. Regulars are often greeted by name as the Rustic Inn staff cultivate an atmosphere of warmth and allegiance.

The establishment is not only familiar to its guests, but also plays host to significant personal events. Whether it be someone’s 18th birthday bash or a celebration of another year spent together, countless milestones have been observed within the Rustic Inn’s walls. This enduring relationship between the patrons and Rustic Inn underscores the eatery’s dedication to serving and celebrating with its community.

Celebrating Special Occasions

Rustic, rustic style. Inn is more than a mere eatery. It’s a place where cherished memories are made. This beloved restaurant is the go-to spot for Fort Lauderdale residents looking to celebrate various occasions, be it anniversary meals, festive gatherings or birthday festivities.

With offerings that include unique banquet packages designed for 35 guests or more, Rustic Inn welcomes group events such as corporate meetings and family get-togethers. The vibrant ambiance coupled with the dedicated staff’s commitment to ensuring each event is memorable secures Rustic Inn’s status as an esteemed location for revelry within the Fort Lauderdale area.

Rustic Inn Vibe: Roadhouse Meets Seafood Haven

Steeped in a deep heritage, the Rustic Inn Crabhouse offers patrons a unique gastronomic experience. What began as a roadhouse saloon six decades ago has transformed into an iconic destination celebrated for its steamed crabs and sumptuous seafood offerings.

The transformation of the establishment is mirrored in its interior design which combines elements of old-world rustic allure with oceanic motifs. The seasoned wooden dockside tables and maritime relics that decorate the walls serve to narrate the tale of how the Rustic Inn transitioned from a classic roadhouse saloon to become an esteemed sanctuary for crab and seafood lovers.

Crack Open the Fun – Dining with Wooden Mallets

At the Rustic Inn, the act of eating is transformed into an extraordinary event. The establishment’s standout feature includes wooden mallets provided to diners for breaking open crab legs, infusing a bit of amusement and camaraderie into the meal as guests engage directly with their food.

The entertainment extends beyond just sitting at the table. Once guests have enjoyed their crab-filled feast, they are invited to throw their discarded shells into the nearby canal, offering a distinctive flourish to al fresco dining. Rustic. Inn isn’t just about delighting in exquisite cuisine. It’s about forging enduring moments that stay with you long after you’ve left.

Cocktail Lounge & Bar Area

Guests can retreat to a rustic retreat. Inn’s cocktail lounge to unwind after a gratifying meal. This exclusive setting, separate from the main dining area, offers a cozy spot to relax and enjoy a drink. Decked out in maritime-inspired decor and comfortable seating, the cocktail lounge creates an inviting atmosphere that’s perfect for winding down after a delicious meal.

Whether you’re enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail or enjoying a casual drink, the cocktail lounge offers a comfortable space where you can take a moment to relax. And with its convenient location, it’s an ideal spot for those who want to enjoy the Rustic Inn experience without the bustle of the main dining area.

If you are in the mood for seafood, make sure to view my top picks for Fort Lauderdale to see if Rustic Inn made the list.


Transformed from a simple roadhouse saloon into a cherished spot for seafood, the Rustic Inn Crabhouse has established itself as an integral part of Fort Lauderdale’s culinary scene. Boasting a varied menu and nestled in an ideal location with deep historical roots, this restaurant provides not just food but also delivers an experience that remains etched in memory.

The act of relishing the cracks of crab legs on the dock or delighting in key lime pie is elevated at Rustic Inn, where each visit becomes more than mere dining. It’s about savoring every aspect—the scenic waterfront view included—with friends and family. Make your way to the Rustic Inn—where dining out is synonymous with creating lasting memories.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long has the rustic inn been around?

For about six decades, the Rustic Inn has stood as a landmark in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It started its legacy as a roadhouse saloon and continues to be an enduring establishment in the area.

What is the signature dish at Rustic Inn Crabhouse?

When you stop by the Rustic Inn, be sure to indulge in their signature dish – the world-famous garlic crabs. These crab clusters are expertly sautéed using a proprietary family recipe that’s not to be missed!

What are some of the other popular dishes at Rustic Inn?

Don’t miss out on the mouthwatering seafood at the Rustic Inn, but make sure to also savor their mozzarella sticks and chicken wings, topped off with their indispensable key lime pie!

What makes the dining experience at Rustic Inn unique?

Dining at the Rustic Inn offers a distinctive ambiance highlighted by its charming waterfront patio, coupled with an exuberant atmosphere. It stands out because of the interactive dining experience it provides where guests use wooden mallets to engage with their meal.

This establishment presents a truly singular dining event that is unparalleled.

Where is Rustic Inn located?

Situated just five miles away from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the Rustic Inn is easily accessible for those arriving in Fort Lauderdale.

Rate this post


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.

Leave a Comment