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il Paesano Italian Gourmet Food & Wine Market Review – A Taste of Italy in Fort Lauderdale

il Paesano Italian Gourmet Food & Wine Market Review – A Taste of Italy in Fort Lauderdale

We discovered this wonderful gourmet cafe, deli, and wine market called il Paesano about five minutes from our home on East Oakland Blvd in Fort Lauderdale.  It’s on the north side of Oakland Park Boulevard which I pass by several times daily but I passed it by for months without noticing it until my husband suggested that we stop one day.


il Paesano Italian Gourmet Food & Wine Market Store Front


il Paesano is a cafe in the classical sense of the term; not a restaurant. It’s also very thoroughly Italian, so much so that I wouldn’t know the difference between eating here or in Italy.  It’s a family run business that not only serves fresh authentic Italian meals, but alway sells delicious products, mostly imported from Italy.


il Paesano Italian Gourmet Food & Wine Market Indoor Seating


Besides having a display case of daily food offerings, they also have a blackboard of daily specials, generally consisting of Panini Sandwiches. The menu changes daily and the food is made fresh daily.


il Paesano Italian Gourmet Food & Wine Market Food Selection


We ordered the Italia Panini with prosciutto de parma, fresh buffalo mozzarella, homemade pesto, tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil.   As we waiting for our paninis to be prepared, they bought us a plate of olives and assorted cheeses and cured meats.


il Paesana Italia Panini and Food Selections


My Italia was delicious, prepared with Italian panni bread, and was true in every detail to those I’ve had in Italy. And, the simple small dining arrangements also held true to the cafes of Italy.

We enjoyed our lunch so much that we went back again for dinner.  This time I went for the eggplant lasagne, and a salad of fresh arugula, buffalo mozzarella with slides of prosciutto.  My husband had their gnocchi, which I tasted and it too was delicious. The owners Vergilio and Paola are incredibly friendly and happy to accommodate.  It’s more like being a guest in someone’s house than being in a commercial restaurant.


il Paesana Dinner Selections

il Paseano Gnochi


We were stuffed but couldn’t resist ordering one of  their Italian desserts on display.  The Nutella cake was scrumptious.


il Paseano Nutella Cake


As both  a cafe and market, il Paesano has a vast selection of Italian wines, cheeses, sausages, pastas and other food products.


il Paseano Cheese and Breads

il Paseano Meats, Olives Oils and Pastas Selections


The Italian wine selection is fantastic and you take it off the rack.  The wine cellar area is also used for private dinners, and can seat up to six adults.


il Paesano Wine Cellar


iL Paesano hosts wine tasting classes for beginners.  It’s a fun way to spend a few hours and tasting a selection of 5 wines, paired with food to accompanying the wine.   Space is limited to 15 persons per class.

 I can’t say enough about the excellent food and wine and unbelievably charming hosts. The food is one of the best Italian food I’ve had in South Florida! The prices were very affordable and we cannot wait to go back.


il Paesano Italian Gourmet Food Cafe, Deli and Wine Market                        2645 East Oakland Park Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306
(954) 396-1700

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Taste of Italy

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.


  1. Kathy Kirby

    We discovered il Paesano last February and I believe we probably ate there 15 times before heading back to Michigan late April. We made a huge effort to share this little piece of heaven with all our friends who live in the area year round. Virgil and Paola are just like family and we are hopeful that they’ll have a great summer and fall so we can join them again in January. The market and the dining are truly authentic, fantastic and delicious.

    • Carmen Edelson

      That’s wonderful! Just like you we have been there multiple times as well for either lunch or dinner. When I don’t want to cook, I go by and pick up some homemade pasta and salad for dinner. All the meals are delicious and I can eat their everyday.

  2. You just can’t go wrong with Italian food, they take real pride in it! I hope you enjoy the wine tasting class if you go
    Suze – Luxury Columnist recently posted…Reykjavik, Iceland – What To See and DoMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      You cannot go wrong with pretty much anything on their menu. I haven’t had the chance to do the wine tasting class yet, but will eventually.

  3. I just love Italian food. Restaurants serving authentic Italian foods are rarely missed in our travels. It’s so nice that you guys got to discover this little Italian gem.
    Andra recently posted…Can Bucharest Be Pretty?My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      I can eat Italian food everyday. We just happen to drive by one day and my husband said lets stop here for lunch. It was truly a great find.

  4. It looks and sounds lovely – Italian is my favorite cuisine! Will definitely look this place up when I am in the area! Looking forward to hearing how the wine tasting goes if you make it.
    Vicki Louise recently posted…Should We Stop Using AirBnB?My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      I happen to miss the wine tasting event this month because I was traveling, but will definitely make their next one.

  5. Nice to know that even after we move back to the US from Europe that we’ll still be able to find little gems that remind us of life in Europe!
    LeAnna Brown recently posted…Brexit: What Does this Mean for Travel?My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      One of my favorite things when we travel to Europe is dining in little off the beaten track places like this one.

  6. Sounds very good and pretty authentic! I am not suprised you ended up feeling very full!
    Fiona Maclean recently posted…Back on the 5:2 Diet – I need your help!My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      Of all the Italian food that I have tasted in the states, this is one of the best restaurants.

  7. Its always exciting to find new restaurants in the area, I should make it a point to try eateries I’ve seen but never tried. Love the authenticity in this cafe!
    Mar Pages recently posted…Slow Travel in Tuscany: Chasing ancient Maremmane cowsMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      I really like finding local restaurants like this one that I consider a gem. The food is fantastic!

  8. I love Italian food and this post made me hungry! Everything looks so delicious, especially that nutella cake 🙂 Great find!

    • Carmen Edelson

      I can eat here everyday, but would put on 25 pounds by the end of the month.

  9. You just can’t beat a family run business. They survive for so long because they’re so good! Love the look of their wine selection!
    Carly Moore recently posted…UNESCO # 8 – The Historic Site of LyonMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      Being a family run business makes it extra special for us. It’s like having a home cooked meal each time we go.

  10. This looks like a great little place to have a glass of wine and a sweet treat. Very cute.
    Jennifer Melroy recently posted…Spring Break on a Deserted Island ~ Dry Tortugas National ParkMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      It’s the perfect place to stop for a glass of wine and some fine Italian cheeses and snacks.

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