Don’t be mistaken – the sun going down on beautiful Fort Lauderdale doesn’t mean the party has to stop. Despite the 3,000 hours of sunshine we see per year, there are opportunities for drinking, eating, dancing, and listening to music long after dark in this awesome city! And we know the best places Fort Lauderdale’s nightlife has to offer.

We’ll show you what some of the best bars and nightclubs in Fort Lauderdale – places where locals go. But also show you where you can find live music in this energetic city, where some of the best happy hour deals are so you can get the most from your hard-earned dollars, and more!

No matter your interests, age, or budget, there is something just for you thanks to the fun nightlife in Fort Lauderdale! (Related: Scuba Diving in Fort Lauderdale).

The Best Bars in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale has no shortage of bars, ranging from cocktail lounges, wine bars, and brew pubs. For those trying to avoid the spring break crowd, a higher end bar will probably be your best bet.

Cocktail lounges like Boatyard provide waterside views that are perfect for viewing yachts that pass by. Situated right near Lauderdale Harbor, Boatyard is a relaxed and upscale cocktail lounge with amazing views and ocean breezes.

For beachside views but bargain prices when it comes to food and drinks, we always head to McSorley’s Beach Pub. There’s a sports bar on one level and a rooftop bar with beach views above. The staff are friendly, the DJ tends to be very good in the evenings, and the prices are extremely reasonable for a place so close to the sea.

Fort Lauderdale nightlife

One of the coolest spots in the city is Elbo Room. This is another beachside spot, but one that is regarded as being one of the best bars in Fort Lauderdale and America thanks to it’s vibe, strong drinks (at good prices) and live music throughout the day every day. This famous Fort Lauderdale bar is a no-brainer must visit for anyone coming to enjoy Fort Lauderdale’s nightlife scene.

Off Las Olas Blvd you can find lounges that offer views of the water and downtown Fort Lauderdale. Hyatt Centric Las Olas is placed in the middle of the action of the city, and has high-end cocktails that use local ingredients.

Sparrow, on Federal Highway, offers the same views but with the charm of mid-century kitsch. While The Wilder is a swanky three-room lounge with outside patio that serves gorgeous cocktails and has a ‘Great Gatsby-esque’ ambience

In the same area, you can find the more modest Big City Tavern. This bar specializes in a classic but cool setting, with American cuisine, craft beer and cocktails.

For more wine options, check out Mod Wine Lounge and Wine + Garden. Mod Wine Lounge is the city’s only wine lounge, but it also has beer in addition to an amazing wine selection. Their small plates of cheese and other snacks offer some decent nibbles while you sip on various wines.

Wine + Garden is another seaside bar, but their focus lies in boutique wines. Their garden atmosphere and wine selections fool you into thinking you are in an Italian villa, while remaining right by the ocean.

The Best Nightclubs in Fort Lauderdale

Some of Fort Lauderdale’s most renowned nightlife is actually at their variety of casinos. Places like The Big Easy and Seminole Hard Rock Café and Casino are sure to fulfill your desire to have a flutter into the late hours of the night. The casinos also offer full restaurants where you can escape from the intensity of the blackjack tables and slot machines.

If you are looking for more dancing than gambling, check out Club Euro. This is one of the most energetic nightclubs in the area and feels like a true party experience. With a DJ, dance floor, main room, smoking lounge, and back bar, you are sure to have fun here! You may end up dancing with a celebrity or athlete if you remain long enough, as it’s a popular venue with both. Expect hip-hop and reggae.

Fort Lauderdale nightlife

SWAY is a newer nightclub to the area. This spacious club offers a typical, and a VIP experience for those who want bottle service. If looking for an elite and vast club experience, try SWAY for high-energy nightly entertainment and a lively party experience.

If you’re looking for something a bit more down to earth with more of a house party feel, then head to Klub Kutters Bar & Lounge. This is a friendly local’s spot with a laid-back vibe, big lights, and is known for playing good EDM tunes.

For a tavern-turned nightclub where locals and tourists frequently mix, head to Lucky’s Tavern in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Expect great craft beer, live music, and a dancefloor where fun is always being had.

Fort Lauderdale nightlife

Where to See Live Music in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is home to some amazing blues, jazz and rock clubs that pulse with live music every night of the week.

Blue Jean Blues, named after the ZZ Top tune, offers live music every night of the year. The goal of Blue Jean Blues is to attract both local music lovers and travelers alike. The trendy atmosphere and talented performers here are well worth the visit. It also offers a variety of food and drink options, so you can’t let hunger deter you from listening to incredible music every night of your trip!

Opening back in 1938, Elbo Room is a Fort Lauderdale staple, and this trendy beachside bar is known for having live music from 11am until 1am every day. Expect classic rock, country and rock n roll.

Fort Lauderdale nightlife

If you are looking for a sleeker atmosphere, Blue Martini has live music and is sure to deliver what you desire. This is the perfect spot to meet and mingle with locals in Fort Lauderdale, as it is always busy people enjoying amazing drinks and music. Try their Blue Martini, it’s a blend of vodka, Cointreau, Blue Curacao, sweet ‘n sour mix, and orange juice. If you are willing to pay the cover, you can even enjoy your drink under the blue skylight in the VIP lounge. 

For a Jazz-loving crowd, check out All That Jazz Café, just a few miles west of downtown Fort Lauderdale. This café asks no cover charge of its patrons, so make sure you get there early to secure a good seat for their shows! Their in-house band plays genres ranging from Classic Jazz, Pop Hits, and music from the likes of Latin America, Brazil, and the Caribbean. They also offer a range of entrees on their menu. We love their seafood as well as their tacos!

Fort Lauderdale nightlife

Fort Lauderdale nightlife: Happy Hours in Fort Lauderdale

If you are travelling on a budget but still want to maximize your fun in the city, we recommend seeking out happy hours at the local bars and restaurants. While most end around 7 p.m., it still gives you the time to enjoy drinks cheaply as the sun goes down each evening.

Just a car ride from Hollywood Beach, is the Tipsy Oar. This gastropub celebrates happy hour(s) every weekday from 2pm – 7pm, with 1-2$ deals on beer and wine and discounts on appetizers if you sit at the bar.

If you’re looking to celebrate happy hour with incredible rooftop views, check out Rooftop @ 1WLO. You can enjoy 10$ cocktails, 5$ Tito’s cocktails, and half-off food for most of the week. Their happy hour runs from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Fort Lauderdale nightlife

A mainstay in the city of Fort Lauderdale is Aruba Beach Café, which has been in operation since 1983. Having the ocean as its background, this restaurant has not one, not two, but three bars for you to enjoy your happy hour on weekdays between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. They have 50% select appetizers and drinks, so you can enjoy a cocktail with your oyster starter.

Some other honorable mentions with great happy hour deals are The Cook and the Cork, Wine + Garden, The Foundry, Shooters Waterfront, and Oceans 234. Wherever you decide to spend your hard-earned dollars, make sure you give us a cheers for pointing you in the right direction for drink deals!

Fort Lauderdale nightlife

Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale

This metropolitan area’s thriving food scene has a little something for everyone, regardless of your tastes or dietary restrictions. As a seaside town, there’s endless spots for amazing seafood and cuisine that you can enjoy while mere steps away from the beach.

Some refer to Fort Lauderdale as the “Venice of America”, due to the expansive canal system throughout the city. The Intracoastal Waterway runs 3,000 miles along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, finding its way to Fort Lauderdale and contributing to the beauty of the city. And less than half a mile from the Intracoastal Waterway you can find amazing restaurants like Wild Sea Las Olas, Golden Lyon Vintage Pub, and Luigi’s Coal Oven Pizza.

At Central Beach there are even more seaside options, with fine steakhouses like Steak 949 and delicious seafood from S3. Another commonality of the area is the incredible Latin cuisine, served by Mexican restaurants like Lona Cocina Tequileria and El Vez Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale would not have an amazing food scene without its vegetarian and gluten free options. For vegan options, check out SoBe Vegan, Vegan Bruder, and Green Bar and Kitchen.

Fort Lauderdale Nightlife: Keeping Safe

Of course, despite all the fun you will have in Fort Lauderdale, remaining safe in town at night is essential.

Travelling in groups, remaining in busy areas, and being aware of your surroundings, especially when intoxicated, will aid in your safety. If you follow the typical precautions for safety, your travels here will be safe and comfortable.

Make sure you don’t leave any drinks unattended, and organise a safe way back to your home or hotel before going out for the night.

It is also important to consider the weather conditions of the area before traveling, since the coast is particularly vulnerable to storms and natural disasters.

Fort Lauderdale nightlife: Our Final Thoughts

No matter how you decide to spend your nights in Fort Lauderdale, you are sure to have a blast in this famous Florida region! (Recommended: Miami or Fort Lauderdale).

The endless options for food, drinks, and music, with a range of prices and atmospheres, makes Fort Lauderdale nightlife suited to people of all tastes. We hope that you enjoy some of our recommendations, and they enhance your travels to this beautiful coastal city!