Sushi has been available on Las Olas for over two decades now, but Thai food is relatively new. Here the menu mixes Japanese and Thai favorites – gyoza and spicy beef salad, miso soup and tom ka kai – and then throws in some twists, like filet mignon green curry. There are over three dozen basic and specialty rolls to choose from.
Dockside dining is just one attraction at this eatery perched on the Intracoastal just south of Oakland Park Boulevard near A1A. The vibe is Florida-casual, and you can expect to see men in Hawaiian shirts disembarking from boats and strutting inside. Traditional bar bites, Floribbean fare, and international offerings comprise the menu, including crabcakes, fried calamari, coconut shrimp, seared ahi, and conch fritters. You can also order half-pound beef burgers, overstuffed wraps, and out-of-the-ordinary takes on fish, like the blackened mahi Reuben sandwich. Cocktails run the gamut, including fruity martinis, thick frozen margarita-like concoctions, and enormous fish bowls filled with fizzy, vodka-based drinks.
Perfect for on-the-go professionals who need a quick pick-me-up throughout the day, Java and Jam sits on Las Olas Boulevard and offers a quick way to get your food fix. Their grab-and-go counter contains pastries, overnight oats, granola and more. For those who have time to dine in, all-day breakfast begins at 7 a.m. and lunch at 11 a.m. Menu items include Taco Eggs (white corn tortilla, two sunny-side-up eggs, bacon, avocado, roasted salsa verde, queso fresco and spatch peri-peri sauce), omelets, pancakes, salads, sandwiches and more.
This snazzy downtown hotspot is routinely packed for lunch and dinner, offering contemporary American dining in a casual-elegant setting. The menu revolves around a wood-burning grill that imparts signature earthy flavor into dishes like grilled artichokes with lemon aioli and grilled grouper with coconut-conch stew and crispy yucca. Meat-lovers will be enchanted by the “forever-braised” short ribs, served with creamy potato risotto, roasted carrots, and crispy shallots.
A swanky restaurant at the office end of main street with a chef, Eric Baker, who has a Superior Diploma in French cuisine. The emphasis is on seafood, though there are steaks (filet mignon, NY strip, rib eye) as well as eight different types of fish served whole. The live lobsters, “steamed and cracked,” weigh in at two, three and four pounds.
Big red wines, martinis, bone-in steaks, and juicy chops combine with Chicago Supper Club sophistication at this high-end Italian-style steakhouse in the heart of downtown. Live music is performed at 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Thursday in Timpano’s Starlight Lounge, providing a backdrop for aged beef, savory flatbreads, and classics like calamari fritto misto and osso bucco.
Yet another stylish and sophisticated restaurant has landed on the Boulevard and is right at home with its equally compelling neighbors. Seafood and steak dishes are paired with wines and cocktails. Menu items include South African lobster (two tails broiled, drawn butter), bacon wrapped filets “Oscar” style with king crab (with grilled asparagus and béarnaise) and sides like crab fried rice with mushrooms and scallions.
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.
This spot, the new Fort Lauderdale location of a popular Delray Beach restaurant, offers an upscale, lively atmosphere and a brunch experience unlike many others. We can guarantee – you’ll come for the food (which is amazing) but you’ll stay for the party. Their dinner menu includes Chianti-braised short ribs (baby portobello mushroom risotto, winter squash, white truffle, pecorino Romano and natural jus), citrus-crusted ahi tuna (roasted jalapeno potato puree and grilled Japanese eggplant) and bone-in ribeye steak.
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.
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.
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.
A lively place to kick back along the New River, the historic Downtowner is a casual bar-restaurant offering live music Thursday and Saturday nights and during Sunday’s blues brunch. This watering hole with a view dishes up wings, burgers, salads, and sandwiches. Specials like Monday’s “rib night” and Tuesday’s “tacos and trivia” attract fun-loving locals aplenty. Wine bottles typically max out at around $30, and there are ample brews available in bottles or on tap.
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.
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.
Traditional pub fair as well as seafood (Guinness barbecued shrimp) served indoors and out, though most people love sitting on the outside terrace filled with nautical paraphernalia. You can watch the traffic on the New River, as well as whatever games are playing on the TVs, and, at night, enjoy the live music. Water accessible.
As the first Fort Lauderdale outpost by James Beard-nominated chef Jose Mendin, Rivertail delivers an incredible culinary experience. The seafood restaurant features outdoor seating with a covered patio overlooking the New River as well as a raw bar and Caribbean décor throughout. Menu items include Bahia-style Brazilian Stew (cod, shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari, dende oil and cashews, served with coconut milk, citrus and cilantro) and Curry Striped Bass (green curry, red curry and aromatic herb salad).
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.
With three other South Florida locations already proving successful, this trendy Mexican restaurant chain is trying Fort Lauderdale. They serve tacos, burritos, bowls and brunch. Menu favorites include the Phili Burrito (grilled rib eye steak, Mexican rice, Oaxaca cheese, rajas, black bean refrito, potato sticks and red chili crema) and the Late-Night Burrito (guajillo braised short rib, roasted pork, roasted chicken, Mexican rice, black bean refrito, Oaxaca cheese, mariquita sticks and salsa rosada).