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City Guide / Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Neighborhood Guide: Downtown and Las Olas

By Bri Hand | Aug 16, 2021

If you’re planning on moving to Fort Lauderdale, FL, you’re likely trying to figure out the best neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale and which one would be the right fit for you.

If you feed off the hustle and bustle of life, Las Olas is the district for you. This energetic city center has every urban commodity imaginable—restaurants, waterfront homes, nightlife, parks, and more. It’s arguably the best neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale for the young and hip. 

Thinking about moving to Las Olas? Here’s our guide to the best restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, outdoor attractions, gyms, nightlife, and transportation in the neighborhood. 

Food and dining

The Las Olas food scene is equal parts chic and casual, filled with lively bar-restaurants and cosmopolitan cuisine:

  • Phat Boy Sushi & Kitchen: In Phat Boy’s modern-industrial Japanese dining room, you can order an array of delicious ramen, yakitori, katsu, and, of course, sushi made with fresh-caught seafood.
  • Padrino’s Cuban: A longtime Florida enterprise, Padrino’s serves heartwarming and authentic Cuban dishes. Don’t miss out on the Vaca Frita!
  • Blue Moon Fish Company: When beachside, it’s only right to load up on the daily catch—and Blue Moon’s prime ceviche makes good use of it.

Groceries

Fresh Market and Publix Greenwise have all the upscale and everyday items you need for gourmands and take-out aficionados. And for a special treat, pick up some truffles at Hoffman’s Chocolates right on the Riverwalk.

Coffee shops

Whether you’re running to work or biking to the riverfront, grab your morning cup of joe at one of these stylish downtown cafes:

  • Alchemist Cafe: Sip on specialty infusion coffee or munch on shrimp salad while lounging on Alchemist’s gorgeous patio. 
  • Cyth & Co.: For that classic coffee shop experience, Cyth & Co. has the latte art and breakfast fare to satisfy every taste. Waffles, anyone? 
  • Wells Coffee: As a family-owned shop, Wells’ gourmet coffee goes the extra mile in every way, with special thanks to its house-roasted beans.

Outdoors and recreation

The best part of the Las Olas district? Sun-filled activities are just within reach. Newcomers can get to know Fort Lauderdale’s unique layout with a charming gondola tour via Las Olas Gondolas or Riverfront Gondola Tours

The Riverwalk, an urban heartline filled with shops, historic monuments, and eateries, is another beautiful locale within the city. 

Fill your afternoon by traveling to Bubier Park’s relaxing plaza, anchored by a large fountain and plenty of picnic tables for a midday snack.

Gyms and fitness

There’s no shortage of sweat palaces in Fort Lauderdale’s center. Channel the hustle of downtown into a personal training regime, courtesy of Fitworks Academy. Or, for that boutique-class vibe, try muscle-boosting circuits at RoxFire Fitness or infrared HIIT sessions at HOTWORX.

Nightlife and entertainment

If nocturnal life is your calling, Las Olas is the neighborhood for you. Groups small and large can take a moonlit sea adventure via party cruises by Lagerhead Party Boats or Coastal Yacht Tours. For a more low-key night (and thrilling views), sip on cocktails at the glamorously fun The Wilder bar or greenery-filled Rooftop @1WLO.

Transportation

Fort Lauderdale’s city center is within walking distance and filled with public transportation options, like the Sun Trolley or wave-rocking Riverwalk Water Trolley (which are both free). For a quick getaway, Brightline’s downtown train stop connects to West Palm Beach and Miami beach.

Downtown and Las Olas living

If you want city life at your fingertips, then Las Olas is it. Take advantage of the riverfront view with sleek condos, or sit deeper into the urban landscape with a cozy apartment. Either way, you’ll be right in the middle of the action.

If you like the idea of moving to Las Olas, Landing offers fully furnished apartments with flexible lease terms, concierge services, seamless transfers, and all the amenities you need. Browse our available apartments in Las Olas, or contact us to learn more about how Landing works.

Still looking for the right Fort Lauderdale neighborhood for you? Browse our other Fort Lauderdale neighborhood guides!

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About the author

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.