Foodie Touring through Wilton Manors
Less than 10 minutes north of Downtown Fort Lauderdale is an “Island City” that truly is a foodie hub. Getting its start as a farming city, Wilton Manors has grown into a vibrant urban village with character and plenty of locally owned food spots. Wilton Drive, which you could say is Wilton Manor’s “Main Street” is home to over 10 restaurants… and that’s just one street!
Here we’ll share some spots we’ve checked out in this local island. There are still many we want to go to, so we’ll keep you posted as we discover more gems!
NY GRILLED CHEESE (NYGC)
Before we get to the actual sandwiches, LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THIS BISQUE! Man… it’s not as easy as you would think it is to find a reaaaaally good and savory tomato bisque soup. I have come back here JUST for the soup several times because it’s THAT good (and I really like tomato bisque soup). It’s creamy, flavorful but not viscous… everything a bisque should be, in my opinion.
Alright, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get to the sandwiches. NYGC has done away with the average grilled cheese and revamped it. The menu is loaded with a variety of melts that come can come filled with everything from mac and cheese, slow roasted premium beef, caramelized onions to vegan friendly alternatives. There’s also an assortment of munchies to choose from that includes over 5 kinds of fries (including waffle fries!!!!)
SAVARA ACAI CAFÉ
Modeled after Brazilian juice bars (sucos), Savara is a one stop shop for guilt free and healthy bites. All of the acai bowls and smoothies are refined sugar free, and most already are, or can be accommodated to be, dairy and gluten free. The cherry kombucha smoothie was my fave. It was refreshing, tasty and sweet (but not overbearingly sweet).
I typically prefer the taste of pitaya (dragon fruit) bowls over acai bowls, but I tried more than one acai bowl here and I really enjoyed them. The acai was packed with flavor and the consistency was perfect. I favored the #4, aka the “Baiano”; acai topped with stevia, raw cacao nibs, fresh bananas, granola, almond milk, cacao powder and mesquite powder. Nomz.
Fun fact: coffee beans aren’t brown/black. They’re roasted into that color, and the Alchemist begins their roasting at 4 a.m. every day. The aroma of the roasting beans hits you as you enter the vivacious yard, which could easily be called a garden of plants, knick knacks, artifacts, antiques and a sense of wonder. This is really a local’s wonderland. Many of the items you see around the Alchemist were gifts or curated by local artists and antique enthusiasts. But aside from aesthetic, the coffee is delicious.
Iced coffee could be a hit or a miss. It’s not like you can just add sugar and move on. Not enough sweetness could leave your coffee bitter and lacking flavor; too much sweetness and your coffee comes out nauseating. Not at the Alchemist. They have the iced coffee formula DOWN and it was a perfect balance of strong and sweet.
BUBBLES & PEARLS/CHEF JOSIE
We are so excited for what’s to come for Chef Josie! Former ‘Top Chef ‘contestant, Chef Josie opened her oyster and champagne bar restaurant in the heart of Wilton Manors and has just added a noddle bar to her resume.
Bubbles and Pearls is funky, with a small, but open kitchen with just enough insight so with just a peak you can see the magic happening. Chef Josie put together a bowl while we visited the location and the smell and taste was mesmerizing. This item isn’t on the menu, so you won’t find it at this location. But now with the new addition of her plant-based noodle bar at Green Bar & Kitchen, there will be plenty of noodle tasting to go around. We are hype!!!!!
NAKED GRAPE WINE BAR & TAPAS
Last, but most certainly not least, is one of my favorite things: wine. The Naked Grape is quaint and cozy and offers some of the best happy hour specials in town. This is really a wine lover’s haven. The wines that are offered here aren’t typical grocery store wines, they are hand-picked, individually, by both the owners and its patrons. If you participate in the bar’s wine tastings, you are also participating in selecting new wines for the menu. Aside from the carefully selected wine offerings, the bar also offers tapas. All pairing are carefully thought out, with flatbread options, cheeses and even caviar.
Happy Hour is on Wednesday and Thursdays with $5 wines, and they often have 50% off bottle specials. Check out their Facebook for updates on the specials!
EXTRA! A FUN SHOP: TO THE MOON
This stop isn't a restaurant, but it is filled with treats! I don't have a category for this shop, but its the perfect stop for a sweet tooth, or in search for some novelty gifts. The store has over 19,000 items ranging from collector items, to note cards, and candies from all over the world and from different decades. If your reminiscing on your favorite candy from the 80's or 90's lets say, the Moon probably has it. It's definitely worth checking out if you're in the area. So much fun and sweet things to see.