His early memories stretch back to days spent on the beach and authentic dinners of fresh fish cooked simply with the best ingredients right off the fishing boat — no compromises.
Owner Francesco Lapi grew up in Pescara, Abruzzo by the Adriatic Sea.
It is these recipes, prepared by his mother and grandmother, a former professor at Villa Santa Maria, the famed Italian cooking school where Lapi learned much about his trade, that he now serves in his Ristorante.
Cafe Italia Restaurant. Since 1993.
At Cafe Italia we speak Italian, live Italian and cook Italian! The Charm of Old Italy in this small family owned Italian Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale!
If you Squint, you’re in Italia!
Not bad at all. Warm bread served with olives and olive oil (Bread from Gran Forno, I believe) started us off. Nice glass of cabernet at 6 seemed like good value, and I had veal masala, and a marinara pasta which was really good. Friends had an eggplant parm (tasty but apparently not quite hot enough – although why they didn’t ask the server to please ask for it to be made warmer I don’t know). Another companion had pasta with shrimp, clams, and scallops, which I have to say looked amazing, but he found a little bland.
Flavorful. All in all, a very good Italian restaurant at very reasonable prices. It’s been here a long time. “Capo” was at a table near the door and looked like he’d been there for 40 years. Looked like a good natured and friendly guy…and there are many pics of him and his resto from years gone by. – Trip Advisor – Date of visit: April 2019
Real Family Run Restaurant
Food great, wine prices reasonable both by the glass or bottle. Owned by a husband and wife team, this is place is a treat. Bread is amazing, pasta cooked perfectly, and all dishes are finger licking GREAT.
Husband runs the front, his wife is at the stove making meals to make you want to come back for more. Reservation is suggested on the weekends. Free parking in the adjacent lot. Credit cards accepted. – Trip Advisor – Date of visit: June 2019
Old World Italian
This is one of the culinary secrets of Fort Lauderdale. It is run by Sicilian couple from Sicily. The food is fresh, all good quality ingredients and tastes delicious. There is a big variety of pastas and a good variety of meats and fish. The Italian bread is like good New York bread. The clams and mussels excellent. Pasta take your pick, all good. Tartufo good way to end your dinner. Prices are very reasonable. Go and enjoy a delightful night out!
Very authentic Italian Food
The owner is from Abruzzi. Thought I try this seemingly simple Italian restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. I’m from the north east and lived in Italy so I can be a hard reviewer with Italian restaurants.
I started with a glass of red wine. Also was given bread, cheese and olives to start with. The bread was amazing which is hard to find in Florida. Very authentic Italian bread.
I then had prosciutto e melone. I know it is tough to ruin this dish. All I can say it was perfect. The ingredients were fresh.
I ordered pasta carbonara next. It’s a great dish to test out authenticity. guanciale.. eggs etc.
It’s was excellent and authentic.
Only tiramisù for dessert so I forced myself to try it. This is a definite must.. Food is cooked to order. So it’s fresh and classic. – Trip Advisor – Date of visit: March 2020
Very good dining experience
Thoroughly enjoyed our dinner experience when staying at the nearby Pelican resort. Service was fantastic! Efficient and friendly. Much better experience than what we had experienced at Dal Contadino and Cafe Italia is now our local favorite. The bread to start off with was just great! We had the shrimp and broccoli and Rignatoni Bolognese and both were very good. Only slight suggestion I would have is that they should drain the pasta for a little longer as it seemed as it a little water was in the sauces. Great house wine and fantastic tortufu capped off a very good dinner.