Dine Local at Hidden Gems in The Palm Beaches (2023)

In honor of The Palm Beaches Restaurant Week, three local bloggers are sharing a few of their favorite smaller or lesser-known restaurants that serve up off-the-charts food and drink.

The Palm Beaches Restaurant Week takes place Aug. 16-31, 2021. Diners can enjoy special prix fixe menus and offers from restaurants and local businesses throughout The Palm Beaches. See a full list of participants here, and start planning your route to taste the best of The Palm Beaches.

Cristyle’s Picks

Palm Beaches Restaurant Week Participant
As the chef-driven culinary scene makes its way to the northern reaches of The Palm Beaches, enter Stage, the Indian American fusion concept by previously Miami-based chef Pushkar Marathe. Aesthetically a jewel box in Palm Beach Gardens, the kitchen of this bustling restaurant produces flavorful dishes from start to finish, brunch to dinner. Diners feast on garlic naan, street corn, butter chicken Masala, Bang Bang cauliflower, Korean BBQ ribs and yellowfin tuna ceviche among the many diverse menu selections. Craft cocktail lovers can rejoice too. Stage’s inventive libations, some designed to be shared and some with playful presentations, are all delicious.

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For those looking for a truly authentic Japanese dining experience, head to Ebisu, also in Palm Beach Gardens. Slip off your shoes and be seated on the floor tableside at a traditional table, or join the chefs at the bar for an immersive experience of sashimi, sushi rolls and other Japanese fare. The seafood is beautifully fresh and can be prepared as a boat for a colorful, shareable display. For those looking for a memorable evening, ask about the Omakase (chef’s choice) experience. Feeling less adventurous? Don’t miss out on the ramen. Open for lunch and dinner, Ebisu is also a fantastic happy hour spot – kanpai!

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Captain Charlie’s Reef Grill
Locals may have tried to keep it a secret, but the word is out about Captain Charlie’s consistently prepared, varied, well-portioned seafood dishes. Enjoy conch chowder, house-smoked fish dip, seafood curry, gumbo or paella, alongside fresh catch seafood preparations and rotating daily specials. The interior of this Juno Beach eatery is casual, the vibe is relaxed, and the atmosphere is friendly whether dining with the family, a friend or colleague, or on a date. Open for lunch and dinner; don’t be surprised if there’s a wait.

Brass Ring Pub
Step through the doors of this dive bar into a windowless haven for beer, burgers and wings. The North Palm Beach flagship location of Brass Ring Pub is a beloved space with Sharpie markings along the booths and walls that pay homage to relationships, special occasions and friendships. The beer is served cold in a pitcher with a Ziploc bag of ice, the wings are award-winning, and the burgers are hard to replace, especially if you grew up eating them. A locals’ joint with pool tables, board games and a line of regulars at the bar, this is a true treasure of The Palm Beaches.

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Coolinary Café & Parched Pig
Well established on the scene, Chef Tim Lipman’s Coolinary Café and sister watering hole The Parched Pig are in the same Palm Beach Gardens shopping center and will soon be combined into a single space. Coolinary is known for its fresh ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible; inventive and ever-evolving daily specials menu; and tried-and-true favorites. Pastry Chef Becca Traverse is also on deck creating memorable desserts that are familiar but elevated, much like the dinner menu. While Coolinary serves beer and wine, Parched Pig picks up with heavy hitter mixologists creating craft cocktails alongside oysters and flavor-packed small plates.

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Stefany’s Picks

Café Chardonnay
Palm Beaches Restaurant Week Participant
Tucked away in an unassuming shopping plaza in Palm Beach Gardens is Café Chardonnay. This amazing restaurant has been delighting diners for more than 30 years with its incredible menu. Chef Frank Eucalitto takes pleasure in creating delicious and innovative dishes that showcase all that American cuisine has to offer. To accomplish this, he partners with local farms, ranches and fishermen to source the best ingredients in the area. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but we suggest trying the brandied lobster bisque and the herb and Dijon-crusted rack of lamb. Consider pairing your meal with something off the incredible wine list.

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Don Ramon Restaurante Cubano
Palm Beaches Restaurant Week Participant
Cruise down Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach to find Don Ramon Restaurante Cubano, one of the pioneering restaurants bringing the authentic Cuban experience to The Palm Beaches. You are bound to be delighted by the energetic live music and scrumptious menu. Owners Dina and Juan Rubio take pride in showcasing the succulent flavors of the traditional Cuban cuisine. When perusing the robust menu, consider beginning with the Appetizer Fiesta to get a wonderful sampling of starters. For a main course, the ropa vieja is delightful and packed with so much flavor. Just make sure to leave room for dessert!

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The Butcher and The Bar
One of the most unique and wonderful restaurant concepts in The Palm Beaches is Boynton Beach’s The Butcher and The Bar. It is a full-service butcher shop that doubles as a delectable restaurant and bar. Its regionally sourced meat is fantastic and frequently featured on the restaurant’s “Butcher Bites” small plate menu. You also can’t miss the heavenly craft cocktails at this laid-back spot. If you are looking for a change of pace for Sunday brunch, make sure to check it out. We highly recommend the house-made eggs Benedict. It’s one of the best kept secrets in The Palm Beaches.

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Amar Mediterranean Bistro
Palm Beaches Restaurant Week Participant
If you are looking to go on a culinary journey, look no further than Amar Mediterranean Bistro in Delray Beach. This intimate restaurant features modern adaptations of traditional Lebanese dishes that pay homage to owner Nicolas Kurban’s heritage. The centerpiece of Amar is the incredible wood-burning oven where handmade pita bread is baked fresh throughout the evening. If you’re not sure where to start, consider trying the Taste of Amar menu. This chef-selected menu is filled with shareable dishes and offers a generous multi-course flow of flavors and textures. More than 30% of the menu is vegan including some of the desserts, so it’s truly a restaurant for everyone to enjoy.

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Alisha’s Picks

Blues & BBQ
Blues & BBQ in Boynton Beach is true to its name. This authentic barbecue and Southern cuisine restaurant is guaranteed to speak to your soul, from the blues music blaring from the speakers to the saxophone and guitars on the wall to the dark wood panels. This Black-owned dining establishment also offers brunch on Sunday, which includes the fan-favorite Southern shrimp & grits. Make sure to try their famous conch fritters paired with a glass of Southern sweet tea. The eatery also offers catering for special occasions, and the owner, Wayne Barton, feeds the community all over South and Central Florida.

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Malakor Thai Cafe
Nestled a few blocks north of downtown West Palm Beach, Malakor Thai Cafe is a culinary oasis for foodies. The Thai restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining where guests can immerse themselves into a colorful environment complete with tropical plants, stunning artwork and fish tanks. The tantalizing shrimp Pad Thai is a favorite, along with the steamed Thai dumplings, which are filled with chicken and shrimp and served with a side of ginger soy sauce for dipping. One of the best drinks on the menu is the lychee martini, which goes perfectly with the cheesecake tempura. Try this with the homemade coconut ice cream for a bit of extra razzle-dazzle!

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Mo&Ma Cookies and Pies
Originally from El Salvador, mother-daughter duo Monica and Maritz Portillo opened Mo&Ma Cookies and Pies in December 2019. Monica owned bakeries in El Salvador and decided to try her hand at a bakery here upon coming to the United States. Mo&Ma receives rave reviews from locals and offers yummy treats, including their signature tres leches cookie and hand pies. A crowd favorite is the “cookies & cream” cookie stuffed with vanilla cookie dough and Oreo cookies. This adorable bakery is an influencer- and local-friendly spot with a photo wall and snapshots of guests posing with their delicious sweets and drinks.

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Cholo Soy Cocina
Serving upscale and delicious Latin street food, Cholo Soy Cocina is located amid antique shops, furniture stores and art galleries in West Palm Beach’s Antique Row. Winner of the Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” Chef Clay Carnes brings authentic Latin cuisine to this hangout spot for the eclectic foodie crowd. His famous short rib and chancho tacos are two local favorites and taste fantastic with the signature Cholo Soy margarita.

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