On the surface, Palm Beach County, with its tony island dwellers and western horse set, doesn’t automatically come to mind as a haven for hipsters, the authenticity-conscious connoisseurs of carefully curated experiences.
But there are corners of the county providing places to eat, drink and do stuff with a youthful, iconoclastic flavor. The words “curated” and “artisanal” may be used there without irony. There may also be carefully sculpted beards (So. Many. Beards.)
None of these places has the large, walkable feel of Brooklyn and Portland, but there are pockets in that tradition that minimizes the mainstream and prizes the real. And also beards.
7) Tequesta: There’s a lot of hipster-flavored findings up north, but the lower ranking reflects the wide-spread, non-walkable nature of the place, as well as the location of some of these places in strip-malls and planned communities, which is not a hipster thing. For locally owned and roasted coffee, try Tequesta’s Oceana Coffee and Perk Coffee House, and when you’re ready for the hard stuff, head to Tequesta Brewing Company.
6) Boynton Beach: There’s a lot of hipster action going on in downtown Boynton, like Copperpoint Brewing Co., serving up beer as well as quirky events like “Paint and Pint” art classes and yoga. Then there’s craft cocktail headquarters Sweetwater, funky eatery The Living Room and no-frills waterfront classics Banana Boat and Two Georges, whose low-key qualities couldn’t get any more authentic. And there’s the cool annual Kinectic Art Festival in the downtown art district, too.
5) Jupiter/Juno:Crux Coffee Roasters and Civil Society Brewing Co. are located in the consciously pre-fab environs of Abacoa, which, honestly, isn’t the first thing you think of when you hear “hipster,” but it works. And as far as local and hand-crafted go, you can’t beat Jupiter Donuts. Also, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, dedicated to conservation and saving endangered sea turtles, speaks to the hipster dedication to changing the world.
4)Delray Beach: Sure, the glossy bars and restaurants of Atlantic Avenue scream more slickly hip than hipster (no, they’re not the same thing), but there are some identifiably hipster portions. Stop at Pineapple Grove’s farm-to-table Max’s Harvest, Kismet Vintage, Coffee District Cafe and eclectic music venue Arts Garage, a space re-purposed from an actual garage. Speaking of the love of repurposing, the eclectic DaDa and Death or Glory are both located in historic homes. And you can’t get more retro-hip than the Silverball Pinball Museum off Atlantic.
3) Lake Park: The hipster district of Lake Park is basically one block long - the 700 block of Park Avenue - but the arts district there packs a lot of indie, authentic punch, from the reborn Kelsey Theater and local beer-focused arts venue Brewhouse Gallery and custom tattoo shop Ivy and Oak. One block over is vinyl institution Confusion Records, which speaks to the love of vintage and one-of-a-kind rarities.
2) Lake Worth: Always quirky and sometime lovingly shabby, the Gateway to the Tropics is also the gateway to authenticity. Hear a band at dark and edgy Propaganda, or wander over to cozy Common Grounds Coffee Bar. Then you can peruse the rare vinyl at Top Five Records, before heading a block over to Lucerne Avenue to craft cocktail mecca C.W.S. Kitchen, which is where they keep the bourbon and the beards. And even though it’s way up Dixie Highway to the north, secondhand goods oasis World Thrift attracts vintage-loving hipsters (and their bargain-loving mothers).
1) West Palm Beach: In a way, it’s not surprising that the county’s largest city counts as its most hipster, although much of what gives it its bonafides is centered on just one street - the 500 block of Clematis. There, you’ll find longtime scruffily cool club Respectable Street, iconoclastic food and drink emporiums Lost Weekend, Kapow Noodle Bar and Hullabaloo, which has cocktails named after rock stars and an Airstream in the backyard for an authentically different experience. Next door is Subculture Coffee, which runs a popular street party event called “Tacos and Hip-Hop,” or as some have lovingly nicknamed it “Hipsters and Waffles.” (OK, not just someone. Me. I call it that.)
And that’s just the one block - there are also nearby escape rooms, and colorful outdoor murals that are part of the annual CANVAS outdoor art festival. Down on the Flagler waterfront during season is the West Palm Beach Greenmarket, where locally sourced is the rule, and over across the railroad tracks is the West Palm Beach Warehouse District, currently home to artisan collective Elizabeth Ave Station, and future home of Steamhorse Brewery. Let’s also not forget Northwood, with its art galleries and grilled cheese comfort food restaurant, which screams hipster.
HIPSTERS: Do you agree with our rankings? What hipster city did we forget?