8 Places to Eat a Great Burger In and Around Oakland Park

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A perfectly cooked burger,  cheese that melts in your mouth, a bun that complements the burger and its fixings,  a variety of sides to choose from… now that is an unforgettable burger experience!  Choosing a good craft burger may seem like a simple task, but it’s definitely not. In addition to its preparation, there is an important factor we must keep in mind: our personal taste.

Last year, we asked Living in Oakland Park and Eating in South Florida Facebook group members what was the best place to taste a delicious craft burger, and they responded. As we imagined, the answers were as varied as possible, but we managed to select the best places in and around Oakland Park in order to help you decided where to get your burger fix.

Check out the list below. If your favorite spot is not listed, make sure you leave a suggestion in the comments section.

Brgr Stop Fort Lauderdale

The restaurant is described as a “Funky stop decked out in road signs and murals offering grass-fed burgers with eclectic toppings”, a place with a great atmosphere and friendly staff. All this might help Brgr Stop Ft. Lauderdale to get good reviews, but the burgers are what really matters. With so many options, it might be hard to choose one, but no matter which one you pick, save some room for a delicious milkshake too. You won’t regret, we promise!

Brgr Stop Ft. Lauderdale: 1930 East Sunrise Boulevard | Fort Lauderdale

Jack’s Old Fashion Hamburger House

As the name suggests, Jack’s Old Fashioned Hamburger House serves up just that, old fashioned hamburgers.  So if you like a good old-fashioned fresh grilled burger, this is the place for you. To make the environment even more old-fashioned and fun, the jukebox still works, and the music selection is always great.

Jack’s Old Fashion Hamburger House: 4201 N Federal Highway | Fort Lauderdale

Rosie’s Bar and Grill

It’s true that Rosie’s has a festive and giant patio, it’s also true the staff is always nice is friendly, but let’s be honest, they’re not the only things that make us wanna go there. The good food in combination with the fun environment makes Rosie’s a must go place in South Florida. While burgers are not the only thing on the menu, they’re worth to try. Not sure what to order? Go with the Rhoda Cowboy, a juicy burger with cheddar, barbecue sauce and crisp bacon.

Rosie’s Bar and Grill: 2449 Wilton Drive | Wilton Manors

Burgers and Beers

You’ll feel like home at the cozy enviroment this family owned and operated business offers to its clients. Of course you’re not going there just for this homey feeling, but the great food Burgers and Beers has on the menu are worth your visit. “Limited menu but huge on taste” is what they state on their Facebook page. You better believe it and give the restaurant a try.

Burgers and Beers: 2031-D Wilton Drive | Wilton Manors

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Billy Jack’s Shack

This fun and casual spot by the beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea serves a great menu of burgers, salads and seafood acompanied by good music and a good selection of craft beer. Do you need a suggestion? Try Mike Teeve made with house wagyu beef blend topped with caramelized onions, bacon, cheddar and barbecue sauce.

Billy Jack’s Shack: 218 Commercial Blvd | Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

Peter Pan Diner

You’ve probably heard about the great breakfast and brunch Peter Pan Diner offers, what you may not know is that they have great burgers too. This “staple of the community”, as author Christine Chaparro states in the article Peter Pan Diner: Where Customers Are Family, will make you feel like home… But I wonder if at home you have delicious burgers as well.

Peter Pan Diner: 1216 E Oakland Park Blvd | Oakland Park

Funky Buddha Brewery

Funky Buddha is another Oakland Park’s gem. The great selection – and production – of craft beer is what put the bar’s name out there, but beer tastes even better with some food by its side, right? Well, that’s when the burgers pop in. Give it a try, seriously!

Funky Buddha brewery: 1201 NE 38th St | Oakland Park

Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill

Gilbert’s 17th’s Street Grill is a family owned and operated restaurant that serves up great burgers, ribs, soups, and salads. Although the ribs are very famous in the house, your experience won’t be as complete if you don’t try a burger. If possible, save some room for dessert.

Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill: 1821 Cordova Rd | Fort Lauderdale

Is that noise I hear your stomach growling? Now you have 8 places with amazing burgers to choose from. Don’t forget to take a picture and post it to Living in Oakland Park and Eating in South Florida groups. Bon appétit!

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The Heart of Salon 51: Barbara Ann Ives

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Meet Salon 51’s Barbara Ann

Just east of Andrews and Prospect Road on the north side of the street in the plaza is Salon 51. Salon 51 is a salon “for all ages-the young and the young at heart”! From the receptionist to the hairdressers to the nail technician, the Salon 51 team is made up of dedicated professionals. They make their clients smile and feel good, and for that reason they have kept coming back, year after year, for 32 years!

So what is the secret to Salon 51’s long time success? It is, no doubt, the the charisma of Salon 51’s owner, Barbara Ann Ives. 

Growing Up In Oakland Park

Barbara Ann’s grandfather owned Becker Window Parts and Service in Oakland Park when she was growing up. He was very involved in the community. He would ride his truck in the Youth Day Parade each year. She remembers being a child on the back of her grandfather’s truck riding in the Parade. 

“I grew up loving Oakland Park. I have lived in California, I have been all over, but I keep coming back here.”

Raising A Family In Oakland Park

Oakland Park has been Barbara Ann’s home for years now. She is the mother of two young men, Kevin and Matthew, and both were raised right here in Oakland Park. They both graduated from Northeast High School. Kevin went on to serve in the Army and is an Iraq veteran. Matthew, who lives in Wilton Manors, will be starting law school soon. Barbara Ann beams  when speaking of them, she could not be more proud of her sons and the two wonderful men they have become.

Because she grew up her and raised her family here, Oakland Park has a special place in her heart and that is why she loves giving back to the community. She feels that giving back, is an essential part of her being good citizen of the City in which she grew up. 


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Giving Back To The Community

After Hurricane Dorian Barbara Ann spearheaded efforts to collect donations to those affected in the Bahamas. She called Channel 10 and offered her salon as a collection point. After she collected rooms full of donations she trucked them over to the main collection points.

While this was Barbara Ann’s most recent contribution to the community, it is not her first, nor will it be her last. 

Barbara Ann offered Salon 51 as a collection point after Hurricane Dorian.

On her days off she often takes care of clients that can’t make it to the salon. The day before I interviewed her she had gone to two clients’ homes. Both of them suffer from dementia and coming to the salon is very difficult. So Barbara Ann went to them. 

After the Salon closes Barbara Ann will give haircuts to the homeless and wash their clothes. Recently she was inducted into Oakland Park Kiwanis. As part of Kiwanis Barbara Ann, plans on giving out 500 free haircuts to underprivileged children. “It does not bother me one bit if all 500 of them come back… Just call first“, she says jokingly. 

Barbara Ann is now part of Kiwanis.

In October of 2019, she hosted a haircut-a-thon  for breast cancer awareness. Together she and her staff raised over $250 which was donated to the American Cancer society. 

Barbara Ann was inducted into Oakland Park’s Kiwanis chapter late last year. OP Kiwanis is a powerhouse of charitable work in our community and through them Barbara Ann intends to spread the love even more. 

She relates that she always tries to do as much as she can and is always looking for a place to deposit her goodwill and love of helping others. 

I want to help in any way I can. I have been here all my life just about so I really want to give back to the community that helped raise me up”.


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Becoming a Hairdresser

Barbara Ann never really thought about becoming a hairdresser until a haircut opened her eyes to the possibility. Her husband, at the time, needed a haircut so Barbara Ann picked up some shears and cut his hair. When her mother-in-law saw the do, she said “It looks great, why don’t you become a hairdresser?“. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Barbara Ann went to beauty school and scored the 2nd highest on her entrance exam and state boards. Since then a whole new world of opportunities has opened up for her. She has done work in theater, for commercials, print work and even for funeral homes. It was not what she initially thought it was and gained a new respect for the world of beauty, “It is a science, it is an art“, she conveys.

Opening Salon 51

Her first salon was 750 square feet and was in the same plaza as the current Salon 51. She wanted to expand in order “to create a place where people could come to not only feel better looking, but feel better internally“.

According to Barbara Ann, that dream almost cost her her shirt though. It took her two and a half years to move into the new spot and all the while she was paying both rents. But in her characteristically positive style she shares “No guts, no glory! In this space we can do hair, nails, skincare, everything”.

And just as she dreamed, people leave Salon 51 feeling a lot better about themselves. Barbara Ann has no regrets about the struggle it took her to get here, “the higher the risk, the higher the reward” she exclaims.

Salon 51, A Salon For All, The Young and Young At Heart

Her desire to do good by others is evident in the way she runs her business. She has a staff of 13 that is as diverse as their skill set when it comes to hair. According to Barbara Ann, it doesn’t matter what kind of hair a person has, they can cut hair types from any race. When she speaks of her staff she is clearly proud of the talent she has brought together to form the Salon 51 family: “We are family and I love my people”.

Barbara Ann and her Salon 51 family.

On any given day you can walk into to Salon 51 and there she will be with a smile from ear to ear ready to make you feel great about yourself.  Just like Barbara Ann’s heart, her salon is “for all, the young and young at heart“. 


Read also:

+ Oakland Park Comes Together for the Bahamas
+ Week of January 15th: Proud to Be OP Business Awards


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Be a Part of Oakland Park Online

*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.


About the Author

Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 31 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com , Désirée publishes three other blogs and has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad.  Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology.  She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism and to helping others with their real estate endeavors through education.  Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

Christmas Angels Receive A Special Visit

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Inconspicuous Angels

They are quiet, they are unassuming, but they are every day angels. Let me introduce you to Angel Alvarez and Hunter Miller, the angels next door. 

This inconspicuous couple, fathers of three, grandfathers of two have some of the biggest hearts in Broward County. Seven years ago they started a charity called Christmas for the Innocent. Their goal was to bring happiness and joy to children whose families could not afford to make Christmas unforgettable. 

Their goal was to reach 50 kids the first time they went out as Santa and his elves. When they got to the Boys and Girls Club in Deerfield Beach they realized they had fallen short by over 130 toys. So the joy of giving was mixed with a bit of melancholy because some kids had to be left out.  At that moment, they made a promise that it would be last time any kid would be left out.

Ever since then Christmas for the Innocent has grown and people from all over the county now donate gifts. This year the Broward County chapter of ASTA, a travel organization, donated all the toys from their toy drive to them. And a motorcycle club, the Cartel Baggers, also decided to donate all their gifts to them.  

Read about how Christmas for the Innocent got started here


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The Cartel Arrives

On December 14, 2019 during the gift wrapping party, Angel got word from his friend Gladys Lage, a rider in the Cartel Baggers club, that they were about to arrive. Hunter grabbed his drone and documented their ride to the house. Gift wrappers, guests, Hunter and Santa (Angel) headed out to greet them. 

With Christmas music blaring from their motorcycles they arrived with great fanfare and lots and lots of gifts. It was the spirit of Christmas, giving and sharing on wheels. It was a beautiful site to see and experience, a true testament to what a few can do for the many. 

The Cartel brought 80 to 100 toys, helping Christmas for the Innocent reach their goal of delivering over 600 toys to children these Christmas. 

These Christmas Angels are residents of Coral Springs, and not Oakland Park but their story is one that is inspiring for every community. And who is to say they won’t make an appearance in Oakland Park sometime soon??


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Be a Part of Oakland Park Online

*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.


About the Author

Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 31 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com , Désirée publishes three other blogs and has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad.  Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology.  She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism and to helping others with their real estate endeavors through education.  Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

Oakland Park Honors Its Volunteers

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The City of Oakland Park has a corps of volunteers that help the City with a number of different programs. This past Wednesday, December 4th, the Bruce Garrison, the Volunteer Services Manager, organized a dinner in honor of these selfless Citizens of Oakland Park. Mayor Sparks and Vice Mayor Bolin were also present and thanked the volunteers for their service to the community. 

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Helping In Many Ways

According to Garrison, volunteers helped with the Hurricane Dorian preparedness, checking in with the Vulnerable Population Registry, they distributed close to 7,000 sandbags, the Young Counselors In Training performed 2,533 hours of service in our Summer Recreation Programs, they repainted the concession building at Northeast High School, they became Big Brothers and Big Sisters and they helped increase programming at our Library among some of the things they did.

They were also instrumental in the Volunteer Leadership Academy, special City events, Adopt-a-Street and Waterways Clean-up, Feral Friends, City Hall, Parks Cleanups, Bark Park and Our Neighbor program. 

This year there was 50% increase in active participants with over 15,000 hours of volunteer service this year. That is 4,000 hour increase over last year’s figures.

These  programs and services to the community would simply not be possible without these individuals and “we’re here to celebrate and honor you all” Garrison announced at the beginning of the dinner.


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Cheers to Our Volunteers!

After the volunteers enjoyed dinner it was on to the awards. 

Garrison first honored volunteers that had performed 250 or more hours of service. Those volunteers were 

  1. Linda Holevas / 252 hours with Active Adults
  2. David Sauer / 265 hours with Counselor In Training
  3. Linda Macfarland / 268 hours with Feral Friends
  4.  Sharon Tobias / 358 hours Adopt a Street, Adopt a  Waterway
  5. Linda Yarrish / 365 hours at Oakland Bark Park
  6. Alberto Oliveira / 366 hours with Feral Friends
  7. Tom Hardy / 390 at the Library
  8. Larry Re / 450 with Feral Friends
  9. Nancy Rodgers / 547 at the Library and with Feral Friends
  10. Jose Guido Ferreira / 601 hours with Feral Friends
  11. Hope Gold / over 1100 with Feral Friends 
  12. Nancy Klein / over 1200 with Feral Friends, Active Adults, Tree Giveaway
  13. Luz Maria Biggar  / over 1300 hours with Feral Friends
  14. Pat Crowley / 268 hours with Financial Services and Parks and Leisure Services Departments, Adopt A Street, Waterway Cleanup, Tree Giveaway, Lakeside Sand Pine Preserve Cleanup, Feral Friends, Oktoberfest, Halloween Bash, Stonewall Parade, Make A Difference Day, Operation Our Neighbor, Summer Nights, Graffiti Patrol, Holiday Village, Father’s Day Fishing Tournament, Sandbag Saturdays and Emergency Response
Bruce Garrison with Pat Crowley, Oakland Park’s most diversified volunteer.

2019 Team Of The Year Volunteer Award

Next Garrison announced the Team of the Year volunteer award. This group truly brought the idea of “service to others to a new level” according to Garrison. This team was instrumental in helping chefs serve up their delicious and unique dishes at the Culinary Arts Showcase. Together they have served thousands with a smile. These culinary cooperators were : 

  1. Mary O’Connell
  2. Irma Doerfler
  3. Linda Gordon
  4. Pat Crowley
From left to right, Bruce Garrison, Linda Gordon, Irma Doerfler, Pat Crowley and Mary O’Connell.

2019 Business Partner of Year Award

Next Garrison recognized the Volunteer Corps business partner of the year, Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo has helped the city in many different ways. They have donated equipment supplies, donated lunch for event participants, and offered skilled professional services to hours of labor at projects that have benefitted the community as a whole. They were especially instrumental in helping the City with two projects geared toward enhancement and beautification of the Stunson Nature Trail, contributing 170 hours of were 

  1. Cesar Doza-Perez
  2. Guillermo Formoso
  3. Pedro Alfonso
  4. Rafael Bracho
  5. Jackie Kobialko
  6. Vincent Mattio
Bruce Garrison and the team from Wells Fargo.

2019 Youth Volunteer of the Year Award

Following the presentation of the 2019 Business Partner of Year Award,  Garrison recognized Tatiana Johnson for her outstanding service with the Counselor in Training Program. She amassed over 450 hours of service despite also holding a summer job. Johnson was awarded 2019 Youth Volunteer of the Year Award. 

Bruce Garrison and Tatiana Johnson, The City of Oakland Park’s Volunteer of the Year recipient.

2019 Volunteer Of The Year

Finally, Garrison recognized one person as 2019 Volunteer of the Year. Linda Macfarland, the Feral Friends Program leader described this person as a saint and a hero. She was passionate and dedicated and had put in over 2400 volunteer hours fostering kittens and their mothers. This saint and 2019 Volunteer of the Year is none other than my mother, Dulce Avila. 

I am suspect to opine, but I am going to do it anyways! My Mom is the most selfless person I know. I have always seen her help people and animals in any way she can. She gets it from her mother, who has also been described as a saint in her own right. She is a tireless humanitarian and champion of animals and I have no doubt she will put in as many hours next year too. 

When I asked her how she felt about receiving this award she said :

“I was humbled by the experience. I never expected that my work with kitties was going to bring me such an honor….meow meow meowwww”.

So a big congratulations to my Mom, Dulce Avila, the City of Oakland Park’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year!

Dulce Avila, The City of Oakland Park’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year recipient with Mayor Sparks.

For more pictures of the Volunteer Recognition Ceremony, click here. 

Do You Want To Volunteer With The City of Oakland Park?

Click here for more information about the City’s different volunteering opportunities. Helping each other is one of the greatest things we can do for one another. The helping spirit in Oakland Park is what makes this community great and that is why #TogetherWereOP ! 


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Be a Part of Oakland Park Online

*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.


About the Author

Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 31 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com , Désirée publishes three other blogs and has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad.  Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology.  She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism and to helping others with their real estate endeavors through education.  Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

Oakland Park’s Peter Pan Diner Wins Big!

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When you walk into Peter Pan Diner you take a trip back in time. The famous Oakland Park diner has maintained its old Florida charm and its tradition of serving up timeless classics and Greek favorites at affordable prices. As a result Peter Pan Diner is a place where Oakland Parkers from all walks of life feel at home. 

Becoming Peter Pan

But the Peter Pan we know today was not always Peter Pan. Back in the 1960s the diner was Sir George’s Buffet. In 1979 Peter Kourkoumelis bought the diner with the idea of transforming it into Peter’s Pans. His idea was to cook food in sautée pans for the customers, according to his son Jeronimos Kourkoumelis, the current owner.   

Kourkoumelis sent the paperwork to the State of Florida with the name of his new business. When the State of Florida returned the paperwork instead of it saying Peter’s Pans it said Peter Pan.  So from an innocent mistake, Peter Pan Diner, an Oakland Park icon was born.  


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A Local Favorite

Over the years Peter Pan has became a local favorite. Once open 24 hours it was the place to go after hours for those craving good ol’ comfort food. Now, despite not being open 24 hours, it is still home to locals and employees alike. According to Jeronimos Kourkoumelis, the current owner, Peter Pan is one big family. They have regulars that come several times a week and employees that have worked there for over 30 years. Kourkoumelis shared with Living In Oakland Park that 

“Peter Pan is like Cheers where everybody knows your name”

 The pictures of Peter Pan speak for themselves! One big happy family enjoying good times, day in and day out. 

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The Big Win!

Over the years Peter Pan has been recognized by the New Times as having the Best Breakfast. To drive this win home Channel 10 voters also voted Peter Pan the Best Breakfast in town. But big win came recently with a phone call from the Food Network.

Kourkoumelis shares that when he got the call he was a little diffident. “Surely they want to sell me something”, he thought. Nevertheless he figured he had nothing to lose and agreed to the interview with the Food Network. Everything went well and he and the interviewer had a good laugh when she confirmed they really were not selling anything. 

Kourkoumelis didn’t hear anything for weeks and thought nothing came of the interview. Then last week he got the big news, Peter Pan had been named Florida’s diner by the Food Network! Kourkoumelis was overjoyed with this national accolade. On his Facebook page he posted

Want some of the deliciousness that Peter Pan serves up?  Stop by Peter Pan any time between 6:00 am to 12:00 am and enjoy!!


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Be a Part of Oakland Park Online

*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.


About the Author

Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 31 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com , Désirée publishes three other blogs and has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad.  Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology.  She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism and to helping others with their real estate endeavors through education.  Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.