July 7, 2016
Oakland Park, a small town located just north of Ft. Lauderdale, is finishing a major five-year rebuilding project to renovate its downtown area. Consequently, locals are seeing spots like the culinary arts district, which is right in the center of downtown, begin to attract more and more consistent traffic. Downtown Ft. Lauderdale, which is a mere 15 minutes from Oakland Park, has historically served as the town’s urban presence. But, with the opening of The Funky Buddha and a couple of other new restaurants and bars, the spotlight is increasingly turning to downtown Oakland Park.
The Funky Buddha Brewery opened up in April of 2013. Ever since its opening, it has been the centerpiece of the new culinary arts district, which includes the area around the Urban Farm Park. As a result, Urban Farm Park has been hosting a number of events to try and generate a larger influx of people to come out and visit the wide range of businesses in the surrounding area.
Local business owners and foodies have enjoyed the burgeoning crowds. Although, they have started what seems to be a long uphill climb in creating a vibrant culture in downtown Oakland Park. But, with more and more people heading to the area every night to wine and dine at the five places on our list of the area’s best restaurants and a lot of other establishments, it seems the hard work is paying off!
1. El Guanaco. No matter why you are in town, this Mexican and Salvadoran restaurant cannot be missed. This affordable hidden gem has street tacos that might be the best you will ever try. Don’t let looks deceive you, El Guanaco will have you craving their masterpieces for days and days.
2. Escargot Bistro. This higher end restaurant may be a little pricier than you’d expect – but you will find that the dining experience at Escargot Bistro is well worth the price of admission. While the outside may not articulate the quality of the food, this restaurant has a deceivingly wide array of French cuisine that you will love.
3. Catfish Deweys. A local dive that proves to surprise every new visitor they receive. This big seafood joint features a great bar as well, and truly has unbelievable seafood. There’s a reason this is one of the most popular places for locals.
4. The Funky Buddha Brewery. If you are a fan of the infamous local beer, then you absolutely cannot miss this landmark. Go and sample any of the beers that were brewed right behind the bar at this amazing brewery. There’s a reason the Funky Buddha is listed as a top 100 brewery in the world – it will not disappoint!
5. Angelo Elia Pizza: The best pizza in all of Oakland Park by a mile. An Italian gem that has a myriad of small plates and wine to choose from. Angelo Elia is an award winning chef who owns this small diamond in the rough. This restaurant has been a top choice amongst locals ever since its opening.
If you drive around this suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, you’ll likely notice that the eastern region of Oakland Park is fairly developed. A smart move would be to get involved in the culinary arts district as soon as possible. For instance, we recently leased the property at 3200 NE 12th Ave., in the heart of the culinary arts district, to a new Southern bistro restaurant called Kelvin 3200 that has great potential. The culinary arts district is quickly picking up steam and will be booming in a couple of years – it’s virtually there now! People need to take note of how quickly this transformation is happening, and start to jump on the opportunities before it’s too late.
Are you looking to get involved in a thriving food-centered environment? If so, the downtown Oakland Park Culinary Arts District would be a perfect fit for you to open your dream restaurant or gourmet food store. Check out the commercial property that Metro1 has available in Oakland Park.