The Yard: Where Food, Nature and Eclectic Vibes Meet

To be perfectly honest, when my editor asked me to write this article, I didn’t want to and put it off for a month. I wasn’t being lazy, I was being selfish, and I admit it. It’s not that I don’t want people to know about an amazing place where you can eat anything from breakfast to dinner, have great food and the strongest coffee around, sit outside in a fun whimsical yard with lush foliage and bright colors, or stroll a local market of local artisans, hear live music, meet new people and their friendly dogs, or just sit quietly in the sun with a cup of tea and watch the day go by. It’s that I wanted to keep it a little more secret, just a little bit longer.

The Yard: Three Spots to Eat

I am told that what was once a tile store and lumber yard became the “The Yard” (formerly aka Eucalypts Gardens) about eight years ago. Since then, its expansion and reputation have expanded into one of the coolest, funky, zen spots to be in South Florida. Located at the corner of NE 13th Ave & NE 24th Street, behind Holy Mackerel, east of the heart of Wilton Manors, you will find a trio of choices to eat.

The Alchemist

When I met Carlos Cruz, the manager of the Alchemist, he was behind the counter serving what is known as “Liquid Life” to local coffee drinkers. They make the coffee in front of you all day, and are so dedicated, they use coffee infused ice cubes in the cold drinks so the drink doesn’t get watered down. This crew is fun, and good at what they do. Just ask any one of the 9 AM weekend patrons waiting in the line of people out front what this place means to them.

As the GM, Carlos takes pride in sharing that due to the dedication of the eleven staff members, adhering to strict protocols, and because of the support of the community, they stayed open through Covid-19. In fact they are expanding to two more locations in Dania Beach and Las Olas Blvd.

From waffles, to sandwiches and personal pizzas, they are open 8 am – 4 pm 7 days a week, and are grateful for every minute of it. “We like to make it special, from a cup of coffee, to a special event. The guests make it worth the while every day.”

Voo La Voo Café

As the owner of Voo La Voo Café, Sylvie Le Nouail just celebrated her five year anniversary at The Yard. This charming restaurant has a staff of eight; and are open from 7:30 AM – 3 PM, serving some of the freshest, tastiest French cuisine to people of all walks of life.

When I walked up to the patio area, there was a table filled with Harley Davidson men partaking in lattes, crepes, croissants, and pastries, and loving every minute of this quiet early weekday morning. Sylvie has great connections with her guests, usually knowing many of them by name. I am told they are best known for their buckwheat crepes, and amazing quiches and fresh pastries. But I didn’t see anything on the menu that I wouldn’t want to try for myself. 

Sylvie Le Nouail just celebrated Voo La Voo Café five year anniversary at The Yard.

To make it a little more inviting, they have weekend specials including the most amazing ribs in the area. They also like to be involved in the community by inviting it in to the café. For Valentine’s Day weekend they hosted cats and dogs for a pet rescue event for the community. So if the pastries don’t feed your soul, the animals surely will.

In a nut shell, for a combination of sweet and savory, with a touch of class, this is the place to be.

La Mexicana

Just past the café is a lively patio filled with bright multi colored seating, upbeat music, and an opportunity to get one of the best margaritas in town.

Although the walls are adorned with paintings of Frida, and Day of the Dead themes, La Mexicana doesn’t die down till 9 PM. Ms. Diva Name, the owner and GM, has kept this lively atmosphere going for five years, and things are only getting better. 

Hosting an array of Mexican dishes from lunch to dinner and live music every night at 7PM, including Karaoke Wednesdays for our local talent, this place is a place for everybody. They offer daily specials and to boot, for all those vegans pout there, they offer a plant based menu as well! – For fun food and music, La Mexicana is worth its weight in tequila.

Lola’s Market

Lola’s Market is open on the weekends, and when The Yard is in full swing you can find artists and vendors throughout the market selling anything from clothing and jewelry to handmade lotions and beard oils.

If you’ve made it this far through The Yard, be sure to go just a few steps further where local artists contribute their talents to the walls of an old roofless building in The Yard’s “Gallery Box”. Bright paintings and whimsical themes adorn every wall, and as many have found are great photographic moments.

Mini Wynwood

The Yard itself has future plans of expansion and is open to hosting events of all types and sizes. They want to create an outdoor night scene for the community to come out and enjoy all the beautiful weather South Florida has to offer. Considering all three restaurants are owned, or jointly owned by women, and the Yard property owners, Anthony, Carl and Evan are locals it’s easy to see that happening.

Many people have described the Yard as a mini Wynwood. I find it to be a little more enchanting. If you like the outdoors, and a combination of eclectic atmospheres, Zen vibes, good food and drinks, lively music, amazing people, original art and a place with a heart– get there. So turn the news off, forget the deadlines and forget your chores. Because one hour at The Yard feels like 10 minutes of a daydream, and it’s easy to lounge there all day. Just do me a favor, don’t tell anyone else about it. Let’s keep it our little secret!

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

About the Author

Kim Hill

Kim Hill

Kim is a South Florida native with a background in Non-Profit work, Special Events, Public Speaking, Community Outreach, and Development. Oakland Park has been her home for 20 years. She is a creative catalyst who enjoys creating win-win relationships on whatever project she puts her mind to. She is involved in Animal Rescue, Art events, C.E.R.T., and an American Red Cross volunteer. In her spare time, she does photography, writing and the outdoors.

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