Looking for a good restaurant in Delray Beach is no task at all. Walk a few steps and you’re bound to pass one to fit your craving or mood.
Delray’s bustling dining districts – Atlantic Avenue and Pineapple Grove – have other issues. The restaurants often are packed, the bar crowds boisterous. And finding a nearby parking spot can be a challenge.
Here are eight places that are worth braving the bustle for:
With a renovated back patio and a new menu, Max’s Harvest is celebrating its sixth year in business. This is restaurateur Dennis Max’s ode to the harvest season, an approachable spot serving excellent dishes by executive chef Eric Baker.
Chef James Mills’ menu at is eclectic and tempting, ranging from hearty comfort dishes to lighter offerings. A star on this menu is the daily fish special, usually inspired by the morning’s local catch. Despite its proximity to Atlantic Ave, Jimmy’s Bistro offers an intimate setting in which to enjoy the good grub.
9 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 561-865-5774
Get your Mexican soul food fix at this hip tequila bar. From smoked octopus with peanut Romesco to tamales filled with braised pork to carne asada tacos, there’s plenty here to keep your ultra-premium mezcal in good company.
This Pineapple Grove spot serves a healthy mix of inspired small plates and heftier bistro-style dishes. The influences here range from classic French to modern American. The place is lively. The wines are interesting. The food is downright delicious.
The family that owns and operates this merry little restaurant makes diners feel at home – and feeds them some outstanding food. The dishes are inspired by Papa’s (that’s owner Cristobal Parra) native Spain and made even more delicious by the New World accents from his wife’s native Dominican Republic. The result is a journey best taken in small plates (hence tapas), with some house-made sangria that’s not too sweet. Papa’s Tapas’ handmade empanadas, croquetas and charcuterie boards make perfect bar snacks. Or pack them up and take them with you to watch that night’s concert at nearby Arts Garage.
CAFFE LUNA ROSA
Here’s an oceanfront restaurant that takes you from hearty breakfast to sumptuous dinner, with a side of salt air. For the daylight crowd, the extensive menu offers brunch classics, sandwiches and hearty lunch main plates. At dinner, Italian classics rule the menu – and they are expertly prepared.
Once you have a daylight meal with a view like the one captured by the second-story picture windows at 50 Ocean, you may be spoiled. Along with this view, the upscale restaurant serves a seafood-centric menu that also includes meats and pastas.
An intimate, upmarket steakhouse, Cut 432 also ventures into seafood dishes and crudos. It’s a modern spot where one can enjoy updated, expertly prepared classics.
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