Liz recommends: Best restaurants in Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton


These are the restaurants Palm Beach Post Food Editor Liz Balmaseda recommends in South Palm Beach County.

In the list below, click on the restaurant’s address to open the location in Google Maps.

50 Ocean

I love this spot for Sunday brunch (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Not only is the Bloody Mary bar extraordinary, the view is stunning. 

PALM BEACH POST EATS: Search our restaurant reviews for the best in dining

 50 Ocean50. S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach; 561-278-3364.


Casa Do Pao

This small, busy bakery bakes fresh, puffy and addictive loaves of bread known in Brazil as pao Frances, though it bears little resemblance in shape and texture to French bread. But whatever you call these heavenly orbs, you must take home a batch, slather them with good butter and enjoy them with strong coffee.

3 BEST SPOTS: For a taste of Brazil in Boca Raton

Or you can sip your coffee at the family-owned bakery with a slice of any of their cakes - such as the cassava cake (bolo de macaxeira), a rich, moist and quite coconut-y torte that will cause your blood sugar level to samba. The bakery, nearly 10 years old, also serves delicious sandwiches, salads, empanadas, smoothies and juices. 

 Casa do Pao (House of Bread): 22829 N. State Road 7 (just south of Palmetto Park Road), Boca Raton; 561-852-8390.


Chris’ Taverna

You won't find fancy at this casual, strip-mall eatery. But you will find fresh and delicious. The grilled octopus here is insanely good. Then again, just about everything I had at this busy neighborhood Greek spot was outstanding, thanks to owner Christos Charoudis' attention to ingredient quality. 

 Chris' Taverna4774 Congress Ave., Boynton Beach; 561-223-2868.


Dada

Many diners come to Dada for its funky, vintage-house setting, its homey feel and its leafy patio, where one can take in the essence of historic Delray Beach. They come for executive chef Bruce Feingold's comfort classics and his eclectic menu that ranges from his famous 7-Cheese Grilled Cheese to his Serrano chili-laced Caramel Spice Chicken -- all available until 2 a.m. nightly. Those qualities combine to create a hangout like no other in the city. Add any one of Dada's many mojitos or a straight-up sip of Rhum Barbancourt and you've plugged into the timeless tropics. 

 Dada52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 561-330-3232.


Deck 84

Restaurateur Burt Rapoport has created more than a simple waterfront eatery at Deck 84 -- he has created a kind of waterway hub, where boaters can dock and drink or bring their fresh catches to be cooked. Boat or no boat, you'll find a taste of the ocean here in the bar bites, soups, large plates, sandwiches and tacos. The seafood dishes share the menu with American pub classics in a setting that embraces the water view -- the place even made OpenTable.com’s list for top 100 al fresco dining restaurants in America. 

 Deck 84840 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-665-8484.


El Camino

Mexican soul food reigns at this hipster tequila bar in Delray's hot dining district. Try the smoked brisket enchiladas, lavished with a slow-cooked molé negro sauce. Wash it down with your choice of mescal or reposado -- or any of the 200-plus varieties of tequila poured at the bar. Take in a setting that's all funk and fun, but not in the wild, Cancun-on-Memorial-Day way. 

 El Camino15 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561-865-5350.


Farmer’s Table

Welcome to the place that has made healthy foods a big, buzzy thing in Boca. Here, in a sprawling eatery (that's tucked into the back of a Wyndham Hotel), breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in chlorophyll-powered colors. You don't have to be vegetarian or a raw foodist to enjoy fresh, flavorful and healthful ingredients. Short rib tacos share the menu with the "Namaste" raw veggie salad. Likewise, fresh juices and teas are poured alongside craft beers and boozy cocktails. 

 Farmer's Table1901 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton (just south of Glades Road at 19th), 561-417-5836.


Mario’s Osteria

This busy eatery is filled early with Boca regulars. You'll find out why once you dig into your order of eggplant pancakes, crispy discs of eggplant stacked with feta, Asiago, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, and topped with a "syrup" of sweet San Marzano tomatoes. It's no average eggplant stack -- then again, Mario's is better than average. 

 Mario's Osteria1400 Glades Road (University Commons Plaza), Boca Raton; 561-239-7000.


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