Updated
May 18th, 2017
First Posted
May 18th, 2017

Cafe Del Mar

213 S Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33316
(954) 767-8233
Overall Rating
2.2
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
04/20/2016

Details

Hours: 8am-11:30am, 11:30am-2am (Food Served until 1am)
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Metered Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Outdoor: Yes
Reservations: Yes
Delivery: No

Pros

Great Beach Location
Great Views

Cons

Part of the "Bad Restaurant" Beach Theme
Dine to Bad Dance Music
Stealthy Service Charge
Small Portions

Insider Tips

Wireless Code is delmar01

Critic's Review

Cafe Del Mar is closed and has re-opened as Del Mar Cafe Ibiza under new ownership.

Review 4/20/16

April is when you go to breakfast. The tourists are mostly gone, but there are still some people at the beach. It's low 70s in the morning. So when it's not raining; it's hard to resist.

I usually park in the metered spots by the western parking lot; I can get rid of my change and it's cheaper than the beach lots. $1 gets you plenty of time for breakfast.

Not a scenic walk to the beach, but just a couple of blocks.

Despite the $Millions being spent to put lipstick on the pig that the beach is, the parking just behind A1A still is reminiscent of the 1980s when spring break ruled the day. Busted fences; small creepy lots.

$10, cash only please.

Cafe Del Mar has been update a little bit, so maybe the food was better? Fat chance, I thought, but it was such a nice day. The place was 1/4 full so there were plenty of tables. "Inside or Out" the hostess asked. There's really no inside here.

A service swings by at high speed and I order coffee. I know they're slow, so I order breakfast at the same time. They're pushing the ham and cheese omelets, but I'm not biting. Who knows what they're using to make omelets. I never order omelets or scrambled eggs when I eat out. I ask for rye toast but you don't get a choice of bread; this place is owned by the Gran Forno guy, so I guess he just dumps whatever is left over at his restaurants?

The coffee still comes in a glass "mug", because that's the way they've always done it. Filled to the tippy top; there was no way to get milk in without spilling a bit. I just had the one napkin that was wrapped around the silverware. Very classy.

While the place is mostly middle aged and older tourists, the music is blasting like the place is still in 1am club mode. Nicki Minaj, Keisha Flo Rida. One shitsong after another. One server walks buy singing along with the music. Another restaurant in Fort Lauderdale that couldn't care less about it's actual customers. The music is for the servers.

The inside has been totally clubbed out; The restaurant is just to secure the liquor license, which is why we have so many bad venues at the beach.

The view is sublime; it's the only reason to dine at the beach.

Breakfast comes out pretty quickly; Same tiny portion, tiny eggs (despite the menu claiming that they are "Jumbo"). Skinny, dried out sausages.

A better piece of bread than I expected. It was pretty close to rye, whatever it was. There was no salt or pepper on the table. I looked around, and most of the tables had none. I saw a salt shaker on a table and went over and commandeered it . But I still had no pepper. A girl sorting silverware behind me asked what I needed and she fetched me some pepper.

Decent grub, and not a bad price for the beach. I don't see why nobody can cook eggs right. It's not really that difficult. The potatoes were kind of nothing tasting, so I decided to smash them and butter them up. Butter is an amazing thing when you're in a pinch.

So I hadn't seen my server and my glass was empty; the coffee wasn't very good so I wasn't going to make a big deal; but my server did swing guy and offer me a refill. Of course I was just about done eating by now.

It took a while to flag him down when I wanted my check. Same old same old.

I took a quick glance at my bill before giving him my card and it's a good thing I did. They add a 15% service charge, but then when they bring you the bill to sign, there's just a total (and no stamp saying Service Charge is included).

Pretty Slimy stuff.

Conclusion

It's amazing that as often as these beach places get facelifts, the more they stay the same. Everything that was wrong with this place is still wrong 3 years later; falsely advertised 'Jumbo' eggs, the bad music and bad service. Same view too, and there's nothing wrong with the view.

This place is way too expensive for lunch or dinner.

Review 5/19/12

The problem with restaurant reviews is that they can quickly become out of date. I have to apologize for recommending this place for breakfast. This place doesn't come close to resembling the restaurant I reviewed 2 years ago.

From a physical standpoint, Cafe Del Mar has undergone a makeover, so it's a little bit nicer than it was before. But they've also gone Disco, just like Spazio down the street, playing a steady stream of crap by Sean Ryan and Melissa Loretta.

The inside has been opened up and they now have a bar along the south side of the restaurant and more booths in the center of the room.

The reason to have breakfast at the beach is the view.

The view is pretty nice, as long as you don't look up at the rusty awning supports.

I usually like to load up on protein in the morning so the #3 Combo, dubbed 'Meatlovers', was my choice. Unfortunately, they were out of bacon, so that was out. I just went for the 2 eggs with sausage for $6.95. I ordered the eggs over easy and asked for rye toast; of course they don't have rye toast, so I settled for white. Coffee here is served in the dreaded glass mug, but they do give you cream in a nice pitcher rather than the 7/11 type plastic containers. On the negative; no Splenda.

Coffee never looks good in these glass mugs; it always just seems so weak. It's not very good coffee anyway. It took my server quite a while to bring me coffee; I was sitting at an empty table for a long time.

After 15 minutes or so, they put this in front of me.

If this isn't the epitome of everything that's wrong with Fort Lauderdale Beach I don't know what is. 1/2 slice of toast. Are you joking with me? A small portion of potatoes, 2 skinny sausages and the mini eggs. This isn't enough food for a child.

Adding insult to injury, my coffee mug sat empty for a while, and my server finally came over and asked if I needed something, Duh. More Coffee please. So he heads off and I see him serving some other tables, and then I saw him look at my table and he remembered that he was supposed to bring be more coffee.

As with Spazio, they tack on a 15% gratuity to the check. So make sure you check it before over-tipping.

While prices seem fair for breakfast on the surface, they don't give you enough food to make it to lunch. They're very pricey for lunch and dinner. At dinner they have live music and a special ambience; but I can think of no reason to come here for lunch. If you're staying nearby I suggest you walk right by this place and go somewhere else.

Review 7/15/2010

This time of year, if you want to enjoy outdoor dining you'd better be doing it early in the morning. There's nothing better than the beach area in the morning after a morning shower, which has a tendency to clear the area. Cafe Del Mar is the "other" Italian cafe on Fort Lauderdale beach and like Spazio, its serves breakfast lunch and dinner. The breakfast menu is more comprehensive, and one thing that I noticed is that they advertise that they use Jumbo eggs, which seemed promising. One of my peeves is when restaurants use miniature eggs.

From a physical standpoint, Cafe Del Mar does everything right. They have nice cultured marble tables, pleasant Italian music playing, a flower on the table, a very clean-looking interior and a view that is perhaps even better than Spazio's.

The have some nice booths as well.

I usually like to load up on protein in the morning so the #3 Combo, dubbed 'Meatlovers', was my choice. It comes with a slice of virginia ham, bacon, sausage, potatoes, toast and 2 eggs. I ordered the eggs over easy and they didn't ask what kind of toast I wanted. Coffee here is served in the dreaded glass mug, but they do give you cream in a nice pitcher rather than the 7/11 type plastic containers. On the negative; no Splenda.

When the food arrived my first impression was that it was a lot of protein!

My second impression what that there was no way that these were Jumbo eggs. A second look at the menu and it seems that they don't specifically say Jumbo eggs with the combos, so I can't say that its falsely advertised. But its pretty sneaky. It's plenty of food regardless. All of the meat is very well done; I mean cooked well not the quality. I like well-done bacon, but the sausages just look like they've been sitting around for hours and hours. The ham is very dry. Good for a protein fix; but not as good as it could be. Butter is too hard to spread without destroying the toast, so I had to wait until it softened a bit.

Service is annoying as it seems to be in all of these Euro-run places. One time my coffee was filled when it was 3/4 full (annoying as it has to be re-creamed and sugared), and another time an empty glass sat for awhile. It took a good 15 minutes for me to cash out, which is way too long when there are only 2 tables occupied in the restaurant. I understand leisure, but I also have a parking meter to contend with.

As with Spazio, they tack on a 15% gratuity to the check. So make sure you check it before over-tipping.

Prices at Cafe Del Mar are reasonable for breakfast, but a bit pricey for lunch and dinner. At dinner they have live music and a special ambience; but I can think of no reason to come here for lunch. If you're staying at the Ritz or W the short walk here is well worth it for breakfast or dinner.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Administrator
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Horrifying news from the beach; the guys that operate Spazio, Sangria and Rock Bar have purchased the building that includes Drunken Taco and Cafe Del Mar, and they'll now be operating Cafe Del Mar.

So any hopes of the beach improving in our lifetime are pretty much out the window.
Pina
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Is Café Del Mar still open?
Administrator
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Closed while transitioning to new ownership. Probably not for too long.

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