If you’re in the Ft Lauderdale area this is hands down your place to go for beer. Riverside Market is located in a residential area just outside downtown Ft Lauderdale. It may be a little confusing to find since some navigation units will ask you to drive down streets that don’t exist anymore, but with a few additional turns, you’ll find it.
The Riverside Market looks like a small deli, but the craft beer neon signs will tip you off to let you know you’re in the right place. The parking lot in front is small and can only accommodate around 6 cars, but there is additional parking on the left side. After taking a walk inside, you’ll immediately see displays for new or seasonal beers. There is huge set of coolers on the left which houses between 450-500 bottled beers. Directly in the back of the store is the food section. Although I never ate there, I’ve heard a lot of great things about their food. It looks like there’s a lot of sandwiches and other deli-type of foods. Towards the right of the store is an area for seating with tables. The store acts as a beer store, deli/restaurant and bar at the same time.
The beer selection here is the best I’ve seen in South Florida. If you’re visiting the area, I would recommend that you completely skip the trip to the Total Wine and head straight here instead. The beer selection has everything from large brewers in craft beer in addition to a great selection of Belgians and other imports. They also have the best selection of locals that I’ve seen. When I was there, I had about 10 Cigar City beers to choose from, which was far better from what I saw at Whole Foods, Total Wine or any other store I’ve visited.
One thing that I had to note was that the service here is awesome. When trying to decide which beers to get, the owner was able to come by and help out with the selection. When it came time to pay for the beers that I was taking home, a waitress had me sit down on a couch and get comfortable. She then came by, took the total for the beers and brought me the check. It was almost like checking out at a restaurant. I thought this was a very different, but good approach. Probably the most relaxing and easy -going way to make a purchase.
My beer haul from this stop included Swamp Ape IPA, Cigar City – Jose Marti, Cubano Espresso Brown, 100K OT and Bells — Christmas Ale.