Casually elegant neighborhood spot with excellent food and friendly atmosphere.
Already a staple in Miami Beach, Sushi Garage picked Las Olas for its second location. The Japanese restaurant’s kitchen is overseen by partner chef Sunny Oh and his protégé, chef Kaoru Chang. Oh’s prior experience includes more than a decade as the executive chef at Nobu on South Beach. Menu items include unique nigiris ranging from truffle shiitake nigiri to hamachi chili tosazu. Behind the dessert menu is award-winning corporate pastry chef Gregory Gourreau – his offer includes matcha mille crepes and a Japanese cheesecake.
Located west of the Himmarshee bars, this is the place to go for a rustic breakfast, featuring the best pancakes you can find in town. Made with buttermilk, organic flour, sour cream and fresh, free-range eggs, these pancakes come served in a cast-iron pan with Vermont maple syrup. Try the “Mexican Ship Wreck,” a play on huevos rancheros served with oven-roasted yukon gold potatoes or scrumptious cheese grits.
Walking along the Riverwalk, or perhaps sailing down the New River, you may have noticed a new addition to the waterfront standing downhill from the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The two-story Huizenga Pavilion is part of the center’s $58 million expansion. A private reception area occupies the top floor, while Marti’s New River Bistro fills the ground floor.
Opened in 2012 at the foot of the Seventh Avenue Bridge, this cozy neighborhood spot in Sailboat Bend sits behind the Broward Center. Concertgoers mix with locals over well-prepared dishes like Spanish mussels served with chorizo, churrasco chimichurri, and mahi mahi in salsa de coco.
National chain Del Frisco’s Grille has opened its first South Florida location in downtown’s newly renovated Las Olas Square complex. The modern menu is curated by chef Shawn Quinn and features prime, hand-cut steaks and freshly caught seafood with bold flavors and fresh ingredients. The award-winning wine list and handcrafted cocktails are also worth trying. The 8,083-square-foot restaurant includes a private event space.
The Italian restaurant features modern décor with plants and greens as the main aesthetic throughout. Staying true to the theme, they offer salads, smoothies and healthy bowls (like the Vegan: tofu, quinoa, arugula, avocado, alfalfa, sprouts, sunflower seeds, carrots, radish, pickled cabbage and green tahini dressing). In addition, menu items include the Marsala Bistec (sliced steak medallions with Marsala sauce and four cheese potato gnocchi) and lobster ravioli.
A trendy chain in the center of downtown, Cheesecake Factory is known for its massive menu with more than 200 selections and its decadent cheesecakes available in over 50 varieties. Inspiration comes from the world over. Unexpected offerings include the Moroccan chicken with spicy harissa sauce, miso-glazed salmon, and a macaroni and cheese burger with deep-fried macaroni and cheese balls and cheddar cheese sauce. Lunch specials cover all areas of the menu and are reasonably priced. For cheesecakes, go all-out with Dutch apple caramel streusel or wild blueberry white chocolate.
After a long four-year process, Bar Rita has finally opened its doors. The two-story, 5,500-square-foot restaurant serves up modern Mexican food with an eclectic margarita menu. You can enjoy rooftop city views alongside menu items such as build-your-own bodega bowls and a selection of tacos including truffle barbacoa and carne asada cheesesteak. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.
Occupying the west side of the historic Riverside Hotel, this upscale restaurant has a changing menu heavy on seafood, though there is also back-40 honey brown ale-braised beef cheek. The raw bar is stocked with shellfish as well as royal red shrimp ceviche. Dinner only.
Valentino’s cheaper cousin (and occupying its former space), this warm, neighborhood place offers an array of pizzas (including prosciutto with shaved Parmesan and arugula) as well as other tempting Italian dishes. The eggplant sliced thin, fried and layered like lasagna is a popular item.
Modeled after classic taverns of New York and Chicago, BCT has high tin ceilings, wood floors, brick walls, and a patio overlooking the heart of Las Olas. The bar offers an extensive selection of libations, from California wines to locally brewed craft beers. The menu includes pan-seared Chilean sea bass with seasonal greens, and rigatoni Bolognese with Chianti-braised beef and veal topped with Grana Padano cheese. For lunch, stop in for a griddled burger with parmesan-truffle fries, or snag a stout-braised short-rib grilled cheese on sourdough with smoked maple cheddar. The late-night menu (Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to midnight) features pizzas, paninis, salads, and appetizers.
With elements of a friendly Roman trattoria in the heart of Las Olas, Gran Forno Pronto serves up authentic Italian comfort food in a fresh and informal atmosphere. Wood fired pizza, award-winning Ciabatta, modest prices and an extensive wine list.
Owners Sean and Blaise McMackin revamped the former Brownie’s Bar location with this eco-friendly gastropub known for American craft beer, bourbon, and artisanal burgers. Many unique dishes are offered, such as tuna-watermelon sashimi with jalapeno and lime, and Berkshire crispy pork belly with huckleberry jam and farro. Burgers come with surprising toppings like fried green tomatoes, beets, Bibb lettuce, apples, and Rogue River blue cheese.
Headed by two-time James Beard-winning chef partner Guillermo Pernot, the 9,200-square-foot eatery celebrates Cuban culture through its interior design, music and of course, cuisine. The menu is as authentic as it gets as chef Pernot takes his inspiration from travels throughout the island and experiences with the local chefs and restaurants. Selections include Octopus a la Parrilla, malanga fritters and Pernot’s Pineapple Guacamole Cubano. The rum bar offers more than 90 premium varieties of dark, light, spiced and aged rums.
A libation-lover’s paradise, this gastropub produces American-style grub and serves up frosty pints of craft beer, more brews from frozen “pour-it-yourself” beer taps, and spirits infused with sweet fruits. The decor incorporates old gas lanterns and Chicago bricks with an array of historic Life magazines. Flatbreads with barbecue chicken and marinated pork and snacks like parmesan-truffle fries and short rib sliders with bacon-onion jam pair well with darker, bold-bodied brews, while the arugula shrimp salad with toasted pecans, cranberries, and goat cheese works with lighter Belgian white beers including Hoegaarden.
As you might have guessed, the Capital One Café on Las Olas belongs to Capital One Bank. Their goal is to have customers experience their digital and financial tools while grabbing some coffee and mingling with their ambassadors. Plus, they have free Wi-Fi.
The dark mahogany interior and crisp white linens are trademarks of this upscale steakhouse. Begin the evening with the ahi tuna tower or oysters Rockefeller. Entrees include Chicago-style prime bone-in ribeye and Chilean seabass fillet a la nage. For dessert there’s Morton’s Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake or the Upside-Down Apple Pie.
Local pizza joint with fast delivery.
Empanada Top specializes in Argentinian-style empanadas and serves wines and beers perfect to wash down the Latin delicacy. Their menu includes unique empanadas such as Hawaiian (ham, mozzarella cheese and pineapple), corn and pumpkin (corn, pumpkin, onion, red bell pepper, mozzarella cheese and seasoning) and guava and cheese.
This quaint French provincial restaurant is known for crepes that come filled with just about anything you can imagine. Sweet crepes include fresh fruit, Nutella, caramel, and ice cream. Savory ones come with seafood, meat, scrambled eggs, and cheese. Signature crepes include the Crepe Orleans, with blackened chicken breast, sliced tomato, and Gruyere cheese. The Crepe Nova Superbe is stuffed with smoked salmon, asparagus, capers, and béchamel. For dessert, try Johnny’s Favorite crepe, stuffed with fresh strawberries, banana, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate sauce.