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Dive bar loving foodies in West Palm Beach for a week. Where to eat?

I confess, I know nothing about West Palm Beach. With visions of old fashioned high balls clinking and shuffleboard games in progress, the thought of going there doesn't excite me all that much. Locals, please don't take offense, but it doesn't seem like a vacation spot for late 20-something adventurers. That being said, my husband and I are taking our in-laws up on their time share offer for a cheap(er) getaway in March. I'm afraid that we may get awfully bored with an entire week to lounge around the Marriot. We love good, simple, casual food and hidden gems, as well as an occasional fancy night out. Since we'll be there for 7 days, we would prefer to find some great places on the cheaper side. Any suggestions?

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  1. There's a ton of places for you. For the best burgers and always cold beer try the Brass Ring. For great fish try Charlie's Reef Grill, Little Moir's and Leftovers.

    Food Shack
    103 S US Highway 1 # D3, Jupiter, FL

    Moirs Leftovers
    451 University Blvd, Jupiter, FL

    Brass Ring Pub Sports Bar
    10998 Okeechobee Blvd, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411

    Brass Ring Pub
    200 US Highway 1 North, Palm Beach, FL

    Reef Grill Juno
    12846 US Highway 1, Juno Beach, FL 33408

    8 Replies
    1. re: Alfred G

      Good picks! That was exactly what I was going to recommend. Brass Ring has great burgers and wings. One of my faves is Captain Charlie's Reef Grill...when you go there, make sure to just get a bunch of appetizers to share. They also have the best creme brulee!

      1. re: Alfred G

        I'll second the Brass Ring Pub on US1. It's an easy drive from Ocean Pointe!

        1. re: Alfred G

          Another thought - if you want to eat in one night, CR Chicks in PBG is really good take-out rotisserie chicken with some good sides like smashed red taters, carrots, etc. It always seems to be our choice for the "I don't feel like going anywhere" nights at OP.

          1. re: Alfred G

            I highly rec all of these that AlfredG listed. Food Shack, Reef Grill, and Leftovers entrees are 20 to 25'ish but well worth the price.

            If you like Vietnamese, there's a really good, casual, and cheap place in N. Palm Beach on US-1 that is tested and true. Vietnamese food is not a stretch from any other Asian cuisine.

            Vietnamese Express Cafe - see info link below.

            1. re: freakerdude

              It would be nice to be able to add a link on an editing of a post........

              Vietnamese Express Cafe
              531 Us Highway 1 North, Palm Beach, FL

            2. re: Alfred G

              I went to Reef Grill for lunch today for the first time. Awesome! I'm pretty sure everything on the menu was under $10. We had a blackened grouper wrap ($8.99) that was great and a crunchy dolphin sandwich ($8.99) coated in corn flakes and almonds that was equally great. Their lunch menu is a great deal. Still a TON of variety and interesting selections, but at a much discounted price (from the dinner menu). If you're looking to get fresh fish but don't want to spend the $25 or so on dinner, check it out for lunch.

              1. re: ash0529

                Reef Grill - check. So now you should try Leftover's or Food Shack (both same owner) for lunch. Most all fresh fish main entrees are $12 to $14 lunch prices. I can't say enough good things about all three places. It doesn't get any better than this.

                1. re: freakerdude

                  checking email from a starbucks, in FL now - ate the crunchy dolphin at reef grill. It wsa GREAT! thanks to all. We met a couple who came in and ordered it, the man, from Canada, had this dish 3 years ago and kept thinking about it the whole time until he could have it again. I want another one too!

            3. Bradley's by the marina has something for everyone, and a very hip young staff in your age bracket.
              Oh, and good and reasonably priced food.

              1. One other suggestion I have for you search the Florida board for Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach Shores and Singer Island. You might also look north to Jupiter. We found a good breakfast and dinner place (2 different restaurants) in the same strip mall on this board.

                1. Alfred G nailed it, but I'd like to add two others that many people don't know about. Rhythm Cafe in West Palm is a great restaurant serving dishes that you won't find many other places in the area - ie: sweetbreads, elk, etc... They have different nightly specials everyday and you can go online and see their menu for the night before you go to make sure they have something that night that fits your mood (although everything is great there). Meals are in the $25 range, but well worth it for what they're serving. Upscale food but casual atmosphere. The second is truely a dive - Benny's on the Beach. The place is right on the ocean in Lake Worth. It's a breakfast spot, very good prices, great food (get the crab cakes benedict). Even if the food weren't good, the view and atmosphere alone would be worth it. It's cash only though so make sure you stop at the ATM first.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ash0529

                    Homemade....For one of your fun nights , Please go to the Waterfront Tiki Grill for a great night of good food and entertainment.Please try the Tuna Ponzi.. It is not a dress up place. Where shorts, T-shirts and flash your tattoos, I might see you there.
                    It is located at the Riviera Beach marina.

                    1. re: ash0529

                      Do your drinking at Benny's, but do your eating at John G's across the parking lot. The food at John G's is awesome, fairly inexpensive and worth the wait. The best time to go is between 10:30-11 a.m. during the week.

                      1. re: flavrmeistr

                        At that time of day are you eating a late breakfast or an earlier lunch?

                        1. re: cavandre

                          Take your pick. That's when the line outside John G's is the shortest.

                    2. In Jupiter: The Square Grouper, doesn't get more casual than this.


                      I love Benny's as well.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LilMsFoodie

                        I second Square Grouper: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib8nH4... It's only open until midnight though.

                        Guanabana just re-opened across the street and is an amazing little place -- I highly recommend you check it out. Open until 2.

                        Other than that, it's hard to be a 20-something in the palm beaches. If you're in the PBG area, Yard House and Ra attract a younger (though at times obnoxious) crowd. Open until 4. The Snuggery is a true local, quiet dive and is open until 3am.

                        Otherwise, I second everything already mentioned on this board (except CR Chicks, never been a fan).

                      2. The best place by far is Blue Boar..off of Palm Beach Lakes behind the Denny's..It is a true dive bar with homemade goodness... They serve up food until 4:20am..and are open 7days until 5am ..The best grilled cheese (american ,cheddar ,mozz and bacon)and homemade chicken noodle soup by far! My husband and I drive 20 min into West Palm just for the food! u must!!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: charliejen3

                          Thanks for the rec charlie. Tried out the blue boar last night. I probably wouldn't have ventured in there if it didn't have a chow backer, but I'm glad I did. Definitely a mixed crowd, but a fun one. Bartenders were a little slow, but the problem isn't with them, just that they need another one back there. The place is a complete dive, which I loved. I had already eaten a ton earlier, so I only tried the wings and onion rings (ha...only), but someone next to me had a burger and it looked promising, so I'll have to try that next time. What I did try was good, and I'll definitely be back to further explore the late night menu some more. It is about equal distance to both the blue boar and the brass ring for me, so brass is still the go to, and I don't think anyone's gonna top their burgers, wings, and beer specials, but the boar is a nice change of scenery. Thanks again for the rec

                          1. re: ash0529

                            No problem!!..We are in there a few times a week..kind of a hideout from gardens!! Yes, sometimes the service can be a lil slow, but Jose always hooks it up..We have never ever had a bad meal there, but always do get the same thing..( grilled cheese n homemade soup).The mere fact that they are open and serve food until 430am is great for us, being in the restaurant business, and always getting done late!.They also have specials I think on sunday night a food deal and $2 bottle specials all week( u gotta ask tho I learned this one!)...may not have the location quite right..think its actually off of Okeechobee and Military...still behind Denny's..Good luck on future ventures there! Cheers!

                        2. You definitely won't get bored - there are lots of great place to eat including all the recommendations mentioned so far. Food Shack is a favorite or ours but be prepared to wait a long time - it's worth it. Bring a deck of cards. I also recommend on Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, Belle and Maxwell for breakfast or lunch and just down the street, Rhythm Cafe. We went to the Rhythm cafe last night and loved it so much, I just wrote a review on it for us Chow Foodies. Have a fun vacation!

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: fmr0130

                            These are all excellent selections, where are all of you people? We should have a Jupiter/Gardens Chowhound meetup this summer at Food Shack or something. Brass Ring really does have some excellent burgers.

                            1. re: sarcasticfolly

                              I bartend @ Spoto's PGA.....please come visit!... Charlie

                              1. re: charliejen3

                                charliejen3 - are you trying to say that Spoto's is a "Dive Bar" - in the same league as the Brass Ring?

                                1. re: bucksguy14

                                  no!! I would NEVER call Spoto's a dive bar. I have been employed by them for 3yrs and LOVE my job...just mentioning that I bartend there, for anyone out there who just wants amazing food,& service at the bar, that's all. :)

                                  The one downtown did close but PGA location is very much open !!

                                2. re: charliejen3

                                  Spoto's is still open? I heard that they were closed, I am SO glad to hear this! Definitely not a dive bar though lol.

                                  1. re: OysterHo

                                    Spoto's downtown WPB closed. PGA is still open.

                            2. The ultimate West Palm dive bar--Corbett's Hideaway on Donna Drive off Old Okeechobee Rd. Play some shuffleboard and get the fish sandwich if you're there around lunch time. The guys at the fish purveyors next door barter fresh filets for drinks.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: flavrmeistr

                                I'm not from the area, but we've been to the Station House several times for some of the best lobster ever. The place is super casual with red and white check table cloths and the mandatory lobster bib.


                                1. re: scout1

                                  Was this the place was formerly known as I & J ?

                              2. There's a bar at Riggins Crab house you can eat at that fits the bill. Not so cheap, but moderate for the portions. I'd go only if you like crabs. The garlic crabs are one of my favorite things in the entire world to eat. It's in Lantana which isn't too far of a drive from WPB. I'll be there next week too and I can't wait to go to this place. I'm planning on at least having 2 meals there.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: michele cindy

                                  michele_cindy - ever been to the Rustic Inn in Ft. Lauderdale? Just wondering how the garlic crabs from Riggins might compare to the Rustic, which I consider to be the best I've ever eaten!

                                  1. re: bucksguy14

                                    Hi Bucks - Haven't been there. But Riggins on a good night are so good. I've been to the crab house (a few locations) and there is no comparison. I live in NY and get to FL maybe 1-2X's per year. I have had crabs at Riggins on 1 occasion that were not great, and I mentioned it to the server and they brought out another set that were better tasting. I'd like to try Rustic, if we are in the area I will look it up. Thanks for the heads up on it.

                                    1. re: michele cindy

                                      The Rustic Inn is, literally, 5-6 minutes from the Ft. Lauderdale airport. Here's a link to their website. If you're in the area you need to get there!

                                      1. re: michele cindy

                                        Agreed. Riggins can be pretty uneven. When they're on, they're on. When they're not, they're nasty.

                                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                                          I second riggins is up and down. For A great time tho and the best wings around try the Old Key lime House, 2 41 drinks 4 to 6pm live music everyday and its on the water, lots of locals.

                                          1. re: bigdnotemeril

                                            Best wings, huh? I've never been impressed with their other apps, but next time I'm there for drinks I'll have to try the wings.

                                            1. re: bigdnotemeril

                                              we went twice this visit for garlic and maryland crabs, luckily both visits were a thumbs up!

                                    2. Hey! nobody mentioned Havana Hideaway in Lake Worth. Fish tacos and cuban sandwiches, getting lots of play lately because of Guy Fieri.

                                      3 Replies
                                        1. re: ash0529

                                          It was featured Monday night on D3. Look for reruns.

                                          1. re: freakerdude

                                            DVR'd it and just watched it today. Nice piece and I'm sure it'll bring in a ton of business. After watching I almost drove over to grab a cuban.

                                      1. howleys on dixie hwy! great food...their crab cakes are well loved by everyone! they are open amazingly late (5AM on the weekends!)!