HOME > Chowhound > Miami - Fort Lauderdale >


Visiting Northern Palm Beach Co. -- Need Recs!

NY hound here coming to Palm Beach Gardens for the week to visit family. I'd like recs for good restaurants and bars in the area. I'm not looking for anything specific (old or new, anything is fine). I'd prefer not to go further south than WPB/Palm Beach Island. I'd also appreciate nightlife suggestions for a younger (mid-20s) crowd. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hey lawstud, my resto recs are still the same ones from last Aug. Maybe others can add some to it. See and be seen party resto with good mexican food in WPB would be Rocco's Tacos. Spoto's Oyster Bar in PBG might be of interest to you. I also recommend Pita Grille for Mediterranean on US-1 in NPB/Juno and this small place is packing them in.

    Old recs:

    On the party scene, Aqua Grill in Legacy Place is now a resto that turns into a nightclub after 10'ish. I "hear" that it's mainly 20's and the place is pretty nice. The Yardhouse is a great drinking spot to kick off the night although it's more 30'ish. Dr. Feelgood's rock n roll bar on Clematis (across from Rocco's Tacos) is a happening spot with a hot crowd and range from 20's to 40's. Maybe one night hit Rocco's Tacos and then walk across the street to Dr. Feelgoods.

    Another club to hit would be Zia on PGA just west of I-95 in the Embassy Suites. It's more 30'ish though. If you want a place to dance and don't mind ppl smoking, Club Safari is the best dance club in PBG. It has a wide range of ages and is mainly just a place to go and dance to some good music and lights on the always packed dance floor. It can get slighlty thuggish though.

    Pita Grille
    12100 US Highway 1, North Palm Beach, FL 33408

    2 Replies
    1. re: freakerdude

      Hey freakerdude, don't worry, I hadn't forgotten about your recs, just wondering if you had anything to add.

      I forgot to mention that the last time I was home I stopped by Metronome Brasserie on PGA Blvd: http://metronomefl.com/m/ Fantastic menu (reasonably priced) and great wine -- reminded me of my trip to France last summer. If you haven't already, I recommend you try them out. I hope they stick around.

      1. re: lawstud

        Their menu looks killer! There's quite a few places on the upper scale that I don't go to, so maybe others can rec those for you. Ke'e Grill in Juno would be a great upper scale seafood option. I know that Spoto's, Oakwood Grill, and Carmine's La Trattoria are good places as well. There's The Strip House or the brand new Bice Bistro on PGA if you want to drop some cash.

        All of my other recs are major casual. There's David's East Side Deli in PGA Commons if a Jewish deli interests you. Make sure you visit Leftover's in Abacoa.

    2. When my husband and I go down there, we always go to the Riverhouse restaurant on PGA blvd in Palm Beach Gardens. We have never had a bad meal there, and the view is great.

      1. For seafood, you've got the Reef Grill in Juno, the Food Shack in Jupiter and Schooner's also in Jupiter. Thirsty Turtle isn't bad either.
        Sorry, I'm a foodie, but also a nerd. Can't help with the night life.

        1 Reply
        1. re: schindlr

          Haha, I have the same problem re: nightlife (hence why i'm asking!)

          I absolutely love Thirsty Turtle -- one of my favorite post beach spots. Also love Food Shack. I don't think I've ever been to Reef Grill though, I'll check it out, and I haven't been to Schooner's in years, probably worth me checking out again.

        2. Hey, thanks for all the fantastic recs. I'm in town and enjoying the spectacular weather! It couldn't be more perfect.

          I was hoping someone may know of a good wine store -- I want to buy some bottles for tomorrow's dinner. Thanks again for the help.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lawstud

            I don't know if they are any good but there's Total Wine in Legacy Place and Crown Wine & Liquers on US-1 just north of PGA. It will be on the west side of US-1 past the Publix and before you get to McDonalds.


            And then you have Whole Foods in Downtown @ Gardens and Publix Greenwise in Legacy Place.

          2. Thanks for all the recs! I'm in town now enjoying the wonderful weather. It couldn't be nicer.

            I was hoping someone here might be able to help me find a good wine store -- I need some bottles for tomorrow's dinner. Thanks again!

            1. OMG I haven't thought of Food Shack in ages. Simply cause I live too far south in the county to think of it. I would DEFINATELY go to FOOD SHACK as it is consistently one of the best rated medium priced foodie places around in the north end.

              I like Rocco's Tacos on Clematis, KILLER MOLE POBLANO ENCHILADAS and a hip hang out for the younger crowd.

              The usual traps will lure you in like Bradleys (YUCK) or Testas (double YUCK) so don't expect much quality if you show up in those places.

              1 Reply
              1. re: funboytim

                While we're talking WPB, Forte di Asprinio has received some good reviews on here. You can search for it on this board and I have never been there.

                Other name drops:
                Cafe Boulud on PB island
                Cafe Chardonnay on PGA
                Bice Bistro on PGA

              2. Hey everyone, I'm coming home again for the holiday and was wondering if anything new has popped up or whether anything old has gotten better :-). Thanks for the advice!

                3 Replies
                1. re: lawstud

                  I forgot to mention some of my favorites in my last visits:

                  Captain Charlie's Reef Grill (easily my favorite meal of the trip)
                  Food Shack/Leftovers
                  Kevin's Dockside
                  Okeechobee Steakhouse
                  Metronome (which I hear has sadly closed)

                  Like I said in my first post, I'm looking for anything and everything that stands out -- all kinds of food, all kinds of dining, and preferably local. Thanks again for the help.

                  1. re: lawstud

                    Nothing really new on my front except for the usual suspects. Leftover's is my favorite resto in the area bar none.

                    Guanabana's food is just average but the atmosphere is excellent on a cooler than 75 degree night.

                    You should try the Ke'e Grill at US-1/Donald Ross Rd in Juno for slightly upscale seafood.

                    Or maybe try Carmine's pizza at at their La Trattoria resto near Kevin's Dockside. Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza on PGA just west runs a close 2nd but they have less options.

                    1. re: freakerdude

                      I agree with you re: Guanabana. I've only ended up there late at night when the crowd picks up -- fun place to be into the wee hours of the morning.

                      I forgot to mention the Ke'e grill, mostly because I've been there so much. They're on-menu items are excellent, but I've been disappointed by their specials from time to time.

                2. Ouzo Blue for cocktails usually has a good crowd, it is where the old Metronome was...open until 3 (usually) on Fri & Sat...The rest of the week between ! & 2

                  Zuccarelli's Pizza bar on PGA called, When the moon hits your eye....Delicious!! They deliver & open later.....

                  Pineapple Grill & Bar just opened in abacoa, supposedly open until 2 or 3 ..

                  Noone has mentioned sweets yet!!

                  D.D's cupcakes in Jupiter
                  & Southern Pie Company in Abacoa just opened last month!!!...Jack Daniels chocolate pecan pie is worth the trip!!

                  Good Luck!!

                  So many places have shut down or changed hands

                  1. Thank you so much for the help! I'll give those new places a look when I come by in a few weeks.

                    Do you have any recommendations for weekend brunch? Or breakfast? Thanks again.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: lawstud

                      For breakfast, either Jim's in Jupiter or Luna Rosa in Delray Beach.

                      1. re: lawstud

                        Juno Beach Cafe
                        Pelican Cafe-Lake Park
                        Original Pancake House ...just opened on Northlake
                        Spoto's PGA for brunch....Lobster Brie Omlette!!

                        1. re: charliejen3

                          Is the Original Pancake House the same that used to be on US1 near PGA in Juno? If so, I'm glad to see it re-opened.

                      2. My vacation in this beautiful part of the world is almost over, and too short it was; before I go, I'd like to share with you some of the dining experiences I've had over the holidays.

                        First up, the usual suspects (no surprises here):
                        -- We went twice to Captain Charlie's Reef Grill and waited for almost an hour both times to get in the door. Boy was it worth it. The first time my date had their famous whole Bahamian snapper, perfectly prepared as always. I love how fresh it is and how flavorful the skin is. I wish they'd offer the papaya salad as a side for their regular dishes, but it only seems to come with the snapper. I opted for the blackened dolphin which was very fresh. I love the spicy seasoning they use, but I feel it took away from the quality of the fish. For appetizers we opted for the Wahoo ceviche which, as usual, was delightfully fresh and perfectly paired with the veggies in the bowl. I highly recommend trying it. The second time around, my date opted for the peppered swordfish, which like the dolphin, was a little too strongly seasoned for the quality of the fish. I had a cup of conch chowder which was good, but nothing to write home about. We also ordered the Florida lobster lettuce wedge. This is probably the only thing they make that I'd ever caution against. I love Florida lobster tail, sure it's a little tough, but it has a unique taste to it, but at the Reef Grill they douse it a cheese/cream sauce that completely kills the taste. IMHO, it ruined a perfectly good tail.
                        -- Leftovers: Still as good as I remembered it. I'm not the biggest fan of crusts on fish, but theirs are certainly unique and great compliments to the fresh catch. I had the Yuca-Ginger crust on the Grouper Cheeks over caeser greens. In a word: perfect. The grouper cheeks on their own were incredibly flavorful and tender, the ginger was light and pleasant, and the Yuca rounded out the dish with a touch of starch. Probably the second best meal I had all vacation. (First is the few bites I stole from that whole Bahamian snapper at Capt Charlies!). I should also give a shout out to their beer selection -- small, but full of good craft ales.
                        -- Toojays has been Toojays for over 20 years. I'm never disappointed with anything they do. I love that it's New York _style_ but not New York portions. I love that it's not the fattiest/saltiest cured meets, but are still bursting with flavor and very tender. I love the atmosphere and quality of the service. I hope it never goes away.
                        -- Juno Beach Cafe also hasn't changed too much. My date had the hushwee skillet which is probably the best thing they make for breakfast. The hushwee is apparently a lebonese breakfast including eggs, ground beef, mushrooms, cheese, tomatoes, among other things I'm sure I'm forgetting. It'll keep you full all day. I had the Uncle Eddie Pancakes with the usual bacon and eggs on the side. I don't know what makes UEPs taste so good -- maybe it's the balmy weather?
                        -- Thirsty Turtle is another one on the list of never changing (thank goodness). There's something so Florida about beach bum drift wood tables, t-shirt clad waitstaff, and New York Yankees crap hanging on the wall. I hope they never remodel. We both had blackened dolphin sandwiches -- a simple pleasure from a simple place.
                        -- Yard House. I really dislike the food here and stay away from it as much as I can. A buddy of mine ordered Calamari with our beers, and it came out cold, spongy, and flavorless. Stick to the 100 brews on tap and come full if you come at all.

                        Next, the surprises!
                        -- The Snuggery. I'm told this dive has stood in the same spot since the 70s... not sure how true that is, but looking at the old girl, I'd believe it. I usually come here to avoid the "scene" at other night life spots and get a comfortable booth with old friends. Well, would you believe they serve quality bar fare? Their buffalo chicken sandwich is to die for. The sauce is incredibly spicy with tons of Oregano, and the chicken, although deep fried, is not greasy. Moreover, you can get it grilled, and it's just as good! The fries are also nicely seasoned. Word to the wise though, they only serve food from 9pm-1am Wednesday-Saturday.
                        -- La Arepera (on Clematis St). This place is worthy of its own post. It serves up traditionally Venezuelan fare in a little space on Clematis near Olive. The chef is American, but the recipes are provided by his wife's family from Venezuela. They focus on arepas filled with various fillings (cheese, shredded beef, plantains) but also have other foods like cachapas. Since it's small, the food really tastes home made and competes with my own Grandma's cooking. It's pretty unique food for the area and worth becoming a regular at the place.
                        -- Q'ban (in the Promenade plaza off of Alt. A1A south of PGA, in the old Don Ramon spot). As you may have guessed, Q'ban specializes in Cuban fare and is owned by the family that owns El Colonial restaurant in Miami. It's not great Cuban food and it doesn't compare to what you can get in Little Havana, but it's leagues better than Don Ramon (good riddance) and a solid meal at a modest price. I had a pork dish with the usual trimmings (rice, black beans, plantains) which was well made although a tad boring. I don't know of any other Cuban food in the immediate area, so I welcome it to the neighborhood and recommend a visit.
                        -- Cafe des Artistes (on the Riverwalk off of US1 south of Indiantown). This place is a lovely French Bistro with a beautiful view of the intracoastal and the Jupiter Yacht Club. I had no idea the Riverwalk or the Yacht Club even existed, but it's a quaint project and I hope to see it finished when the economy picks back up. The restaurant itself is very pleasant with attentive, French waitstaff. The lunch menu consists of basic bistro food (salads, cold and hot sandwiches, soups, and a nice, though overpriced, assortment of fine French wines. Quick note on the wine, one thing I hate about South Florida is the poor quality of wine lists in the area. Most restaurants focus on lower end California wines and rarely serve anything of quality, let alone anything from the Old World. This place has a nice French list, which is a genuine rarity, but the markup seemed to be 300% of retail. Be careful.) I had the fisherman's soup which was good, not great, and the croque madam which was simple and tasty, the way one should be. I've found most places tend to over-emphasize the gruyere at the expense of the rest of the meal, but here, it was a lovely accent. It turns out the place also has a bakery where they make all of their breads, and it shows. The baguette is the best I've had in the area, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I'd love to try this place for brunch and dinner, and look forward to returning.

                        Anyway, I fear I've said too much and am starting to drone on. Thanks for all the help in getting me to these wonderful places. Happy chowing!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: lawstud

                          Thanks for the report back. It's always good to see what others think about places, especially recommendations.

                          The Leftovers starch crust combinations may sound a bit out of touch but you have to trust the chef there. I once ordered a boniato (starch) and garlic and they did it just right with a hint of garlic. The combinations never overpower the fish.

                          I just found out about Qban so I have it in my queue.

                          Thirsty Turtle has some good wings as well.

                          For a really good blackened dolphin sandwich, try Dockside Sea Grille for lunch on Northlake just west of the small canal crossing.

                          Dockside Sea Grille
                          772 Northlake Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33408