A Snowbird’s guide to dining in Palm Beach County

You come for the sun, the sea and the right to wear shorts in January, dear Northerner. But no amount of South Florida stone crabs can fix your cravings for the foods of “home,” wherever in the frozen tundra that may be. 

This one’s for you: our local picks for tastes of New York, New Jersey, New England, Maryland, Philadelphia and Montreal. Keep scrolling for some shoutouts to our Michigan and Chicago birds. 

Did we leave out your go-to favorite? Let us know in the comments section!


Junior’s Restaurant and Cheesecake 

409 Plaza Real (Mizner Park), Boca Raton; 561-672-7301  

This “Sixth Borough” outpost of the Brooklyn favorite serves cheesecake that dreams are made of. So, yes, you come for the cheesecake. But first you gorge on a Reuben, maybe some potato pancakes and matzo ball soup. The menu is extensive.

Dorrian’s Red Hand 

215 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-355-1401 

The family behind the Upper East Side fixture opened a West Palm Beach rendition in May, setting out to create a New York pub vibe. The NY style Reuben is Dorrian’s best seller. It’s made as a classic NY style sandwich and is by far the best-selling item on the menu.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria 

11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave. (Downtown at the Gardens), Palm Beach Gardens; 561-625-4665 

This Arizona-based pizza chain has Brooklyn roots serves delicious, thin-crust pies. The menu is simple here – pretty much, pizza, salads and dessert – but it hits the spot.

Manzo’s Deli 

2260 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-697-9411 

This popular deli brings Northern soul to Italian favorites. Mike and Mia Manzo operate the 21-year-old, family-owned spot. Mike makes killer red sauce every morning. It jazzes up his homemade lasagna, the meatballs and other dishes. As for sandwiches, Manzo’s big seller is the chicken salad sub – they sell almost 200 pounds of chicken salad a week.


Boston’s on the Beach 

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

Consider this your south county, oceanfront spot for New England clam chowder, lobster bisque, Ipswich steamers, New England clambake and Maine lobster. To wash it down, there’s a specialty cocktail named The Patriot, of course. Plus, there are more than 30 TVs to watch the big game.

Chowder Heads 

2123 U.S. Highway 1, Jupiter; 561-203-2903 

What began as a green market kiosk selling creamy clam chowder and lobster rolls evolved into a popular Jupiter restaurant. The warm lobster roll stuffed with lobster chunks that have been sautéed in butter and sherry is particularly delicious, as is the chowder. The seafood-centric menu is extensive enough to keep you coming back. Chances are, however, you’ll order your favorites again and again.

Spoto’s Oyster Bar 

 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561-776-9448 

This seafood restaurant, consistently good in food and service, serves a mean New England clam chowder and a pretty terrific lobster roll. 


Baldino’s Italian Restaurant 

791 N. U.S. Highway 1, Tequesta; 561-743-4224 

The logline for this restaurant is “A Taste of Philly,” and that’s evident from the menu, which boasts no fewer than four Philly cheesesteak sandwich varieties. They root proudly for the Philadelphia Eagles and run game day contests (win a free pizza if you’re the first customer to guess the winner and score).

Phlorida Pretzel 

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168 NW 51st St. (Boca Teeca Plaza on Yamato Road), Boca Raton; 561-910-1846 

This Boca Raton shop bakes a variety of doughy Philly-style pretzels, from twists to pretzel dogs to pretzel sandwiches, including a pork roll and cheese-stuffed sandwich. They also offer a good mix of party trays that are perfect for tailgating. (And, yes, this is Eagles territory.)

Caffe Luna Rosa 

34 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach; 561-274-9404 

At brunch/lunch, this Italian spot by the sea serves Philadelphia-style scrapple, a pan-fried loaf of pork trimmings and flour. (Hey, Jersey folks, the restaurant also serves Taylor Pork Roll as a brunch side.)

Russo’s Submarine Shop

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1477 South Military Trail West Palm Beach; 561-964-1014 | 

1246 Northlake Blvd Lake Park; 561-845-7722

There’s nothing complicated about this sub shop. Whether you’re going for the ham and cheese, the meatball or the tuna, Russo’s has been a West Palm Beach staple since 1948, and no one sees that changing any time soon.

Readers’ Choice: Big Al’s Steaks

450 E Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach; 561-819-1888 | 

1000 N Congress Avenue, Boynton Beach; 561-424-0089

This father and son operation has some diehard fans. Must be the sliced, never chopped, ribeye steak and the rolls. 



841 Donald Ross Rd. (La Mer plaza), Juno Beach; 561-627-8000 

This sports grill is popular with Baltimore Ravens fans as well as with fans of proper crab cakes. These are cakes chockfull of crab, not bready filler. 

RELATED: Best local sports bars to watch football

Riggins Crabhouse 

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607 Ridge Rd., Lantana; 561-586-3000 

This restaurant not only bills itself as a Maryland crab house, the menu delivers on that promise with Maryland crab soup, Maryland-style crabs steamed in beer, vinegar and spices and Chesapeake references.


147 SE 1st Ave. (next to Royal Palm Place), Boca Raton 

Pure Baltimore inspiration built this spot, and a love of crabs keeps it going. The cream of crab soup carries hints of sherry, shallots and Old Bay. The True Blue sandwich layers a Maryland-style crab cake, lettuce and tomato on a Kaiser roll. There’s a crab dip that’s topped with cheddar and the Homesick Soup with plenty of Old Bay love.


Chez l’Epicier 

288 S. County Rd., Palm Beach; 561-508-7030 

Set in farmhouse-chic décor, this Palm Beach restaurant offers a most compelling reason for a Montreal fan to visit: The chef is a food star there. Chef Laurent Godbout, who runs the stylish spot with his wife Veronique Deneault, renders artistic yet soulful plates. And, yes, he offers a mean poutine.

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