Dining destinations: The top 5 restaurants in downtown Fort Lauderdale

Dining destinations: The top 5 restaurants in downtown Fort Lauderdale
Photo: Lobster Bar Grille/Yelp
By Hoodline - Published on September 17, 2018.

Looking to uncover all that downtown Fort Lauderdale has to offer? Get to know the heart of the city by browsing its most popular local restaurants, from a high-end gastropub to a seafood spot.

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top places to visit downtown, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of neighborhood businesses. Read on for the results.

1. Royal Pig Pub

Photo: renzo i./Yelp

Topping the list is gastropub Royal Pig Pub. Located at 350 E. Las Olas Blvd., it's the highest-rated business in the neighborhood, boasting four stars out of 795 reviews on Yelp.

Menu items include free-range buffalo chicken fingers, bacon mac and cheese with andouille breadcrumbs and shrimp with Danish blue cheese. An array of burgers, sandwiches, sliders and salads are also available. The full bar offers craft beer, wine and handcrafted cocktails like The Lazy Pig with Nolet's Gin, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, muddled cucumbers and lime.

Take it from Yelper James K., who reviewed Royal Pig Pub on Aug. 18: "This is a pub with the best kitchen and staff we've ever been in. We had four appetizers and they were all outstanding. ... The bar does a wonderful job with cocktails, and you can hear each other over the pub background noise. Staff were outstanding, very helpful, friendly and efficient."

2. Beehive Kitchen

Photo: lindsay y./Yelp

Next up is Beehive Kitchen, a fast-casual New American spot that offers freshly pressed juices and healthful bowls. Situated at 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Suite 110, the restaurant has proven to be local favorite with 4.5 stars out of 149 reviews on Yelp. It has a second location in the Cypress Creek area.

On the menu, look for the Vegan Bowl, made with whole-grain brown rice, smoky white beans, baby spinach, roasted Brussels sprouts, fresh herb dressing and herb-marinated tomatoes. Or build your own bowl with protein options that include sesame citrus tofu, barbecue pork, marinated steak and ahi tuna, among others. 

3. Timpano Italian Chophouse

Photo: timpano italian chophouse/Yelp

Timpano Italian Chophouse is another top choice. Yelpers give the steakhouse, cocktail bar and Italian restaurant, located at 450 E. Las Olas Blvd., four stars out of 410 reviews. Stop by the lounge Wednesday through Saturday nights for live music from local jazz musicians and singers.

On the menu, start off with appetizers like skillet clams oreganata with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, rosemary and fresh garlic; fire-roasted meatballs with house-made marinara, basil chiffonade and garlic crostini; and mozzarella bocconcini with pomodoro sauce. For your main course, try the lobster ravioli, served with spinach and tomato concasse. 

4. Osteria Acqua & Farina

Photo: Sherry W./Yelp

Osteria Acqua & Farina, an Italian restaurant that offers wood-fired pizzas and more, is another much-loved neighborhood go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 112 Yelp reviews.

Menu items include antipasto misto, made with cured meat, cheese and bruschetta, and classic lasagna with Bolognese, béchamel, mozzarella and Parmigiano. A soup of the day is also available, as are a variety of salads and appetizers. Head over to 1145 S. Federal Highway to try it for yourself. 

5. Lobster Bar Grille 

Photo: lobster bar grille/Yelp

Last but not least is Lobster Bar Grille, which has earned four stars out of 344 reviews on Yelp. You can find the upscale restaurant, which is led by executive chef Jeff Pfeiffer, at 450 E. Las Olas Blvd.

The appetizer menu includes grilled East Coast oysters, seared ahi tuna, Maine lobster bisque and white asparagus served with a soft-boiled egg. For your main course, check out the restaurant's specialty: grilled fresh whole fish with lemon vinaigrette, Santorini capers and braised Tuscan kale.

"The restaurant features a phenomenal whole fish menu that includes fish from all over the world," wrote Yelper Brendan B. "In addition they've developed a quick three-course prix-fixe menu that includes smaller portions of some of their most popular appetizers, entrees and desserts. I'd absolutely recommend this menu, not only is it a great value but it gives you an opportunity to really experience the depth and execution of the kitchen talent."