When anyone asks what my favorite restaurant in Florida (where I reside) is, my immediate answer is the Yellow Dog Cafe. It is a romantic local multi-level eatery on the Intracoastal Waterway in Malabar, minutes from Melbourne.
My husband took me to the Yellow Dog Cafe for the first time about five years ago. I remember a sinfully delicious Lobster Newburg being on the menu. To this day, it was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. Now we visit the Yellow Dog Cafe when we want a relaxed, but upscale, lunch or a special occasion dinner.
Location: 905 US Highway 1, Malabar, Florida.
Menu: Chef Stuart and his lovely wife Nancy are the driving force behind the award-winning Yellow Dog Cafe waterfront restaurant. Their attention to detail and darned tasty dishes set this central-East Florida restaurant apart from others. The lunch menu features a nice variety of burgers, chicken/fish/veggie sandwiches, salads, comfort food entrees, and soups. Dinner is more formal with steaks, seafood, and such.
A few of our favorite things on the Yellow Dog’s menu are:
- Cajun Dog (blackened grouper, house-made remoulade)
- Baked Brie (puff pastry, cranberry-cherry sauce)
- Potato puffs as a side dish (think deep-fried mashed potato balls)
- Old Blue Spinach Salad (blueberries, toasted pecans, blue cheese, blueberry vinaigrette)
- Meatloaf (ground beef tenderloin with Bordeaux demi-glace, stuffed with veggies and Parmesan)
- Crab Cakes (lobster saffron cream sauce)
- Pecan Crusted Mahi-Mahi (sweet with vanilla bean infused praline sauce)
A couple of lunch items are available in a half size, such as the Meatloaf and Crab Cake. It makes for the perfect portion and allows you to still order a soup, salad, or one of Yellow Dog Cafe’s delightful desserts.
Thoughts: The Yellow Dog Cafe is spectacular in every way, making everything from scratch in-house. If the menu wasn’t already loaded with way too many tantalizing choices, there are always specials of the day to make it even more challenging to choose between. Cocktails are delightful and to me are hefty pours for classic favorites such as martinis and margaritas. The wine and beer list are equally as impressive. A big selling point of The Yellow Dog Cafe is that the price tag is much lower than a similar meal of the same high-quality standards in most Florida locations.
Dining at Yellow Dog Cafe is a treat any time of the day. The restaurant’s decor is attractive and upscale, yet very comfortable and welcoming. There are several different rooms to dine in, including a huge patio that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway.
Every item I have tasted is truly incredible: the freshest fish you can find, homemade sauces, freshly baked bread, and mouthwatering desserts. I love that the Yellow Dog Cafe uses Himalayan Red Rice as an accompaniment to many meals. If you have never tried it, it is extremely flavorful and unique. The rice also pairs nicely with fish, chicken, and steak plates.
Yellow Dog Cafe’s creamy Crab Bisque is exceptional and it would be a shame to miss it. There are so many layers of flavor here and it comes with a dog-shaped cracker, perfect for dipping. Another dish to start with is the Brie, perfectly oozing out as it is cut. The Brie comes with orange slices (we are the in the citrus capital of the world here in Indian River County), Granny Smith apple slices, crisp handmade crackers, and grapes. Wrapped in puff pastry and topped with a cranberry-cherry sauce, this is finger-licking good!
Although I’m not typically a dessert fan, I never miss having a sweet finish to my meal from Yellow Dog Cafe. Your waiter/waitress will bring around a honkin’ big dessert tray showing the options for the night and chances are, you won’t be able to say no. Delicious cheesecakes, layered chocolate cake, fruit cobblers, and brownies are just a few desserts that Yellow Dog Cafe offers. They are all homemade, too!
Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or simply wanting a phenomenal meal, Yellow Dog Cafe is a remarkable place to try. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Price Range: Lunch $11-19 Dinner $26-49
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