Tucked away in a converted house on the outskirts of Delray Beach's Pineapple Grove is the juiciest, meatiest, most delicious burgers that can be found in South Florida. On the corner of NE Third Street and Third Avenue, the appropriately named 3rd & 3rd creates burger magic. A firm brioche bun cradles a perfectly seared patty of luscious beef with lettuce, tomato, onion, and choice of pepper jack, cheddar, Swiss, or blue cheese. Those ingredients alone make for the perfect burger. Add the balsamic red onion jam and you have yourself a match made in heaven.

Gilbert's 17th Street Grill

Traditional fries have an old-school appeal that means they'll always be the most popular kid in school: the quarterback, the letterman, the prom king. But like the intense, art-school loner who charms all the ladies, there's something special about the orange-hued uniqueness of a sweet-potato fry. And when they're hand-cut and fried to a light, gentle crisp, it's easy to pass up your average-joe potato. At the family-owned Gilbert's 17th Street Grill, you can pair 'em with a juicy burger or make 'em your main course — they're downright addictive. They'll come out piping hot, sitting coyly atop newsprint. Place your order at the counter and sit a spell in the casual, no-frills dining room. Once you've inhaled an order or two, you may need to be rolled out. But a tryst with these homemade treasures is well worth the aftermath.

You've had your fake-crab California roll a million times. Sure, you like it. And yeah, it's comforting — the blankie of sushi. Well, kids, it's time to grow up in the world of Japanese cuisine. There are things going on outside that Americanized roll universe that you couldn't even dream. Like Imoto's special nigiri. Sticky yet downy mounds of rice are topped with the most decadent combination of ingredients. Fluke nigiri ($4.50) comes topped with foie gras, momiji, scallion, and ponzu. Scallop nigiri ($4) boasts lemon, shiso salt, and tomburi. Lobster nigiri ($7) is delicately layered with ginger sauce and fried shiso. What? You need something more? Imoto is open.

The Chimney House

Most of the time, you're getting a bland, gristly, dried-out piece of meat on a plain old soggy kaiser with lettuce and cheese. Not exactly the epitome of an exciting culinary experience. And then there's the Latin-inspired chicken sandwich of the Chimney House. Flaky warm ciabatta bread encases tender, marinated chicken breast; creamy queso fresco; bright, garlicky chimichurri; lettuce; and tomato. You would never believe a mere chicken sandwich could be so good. Qué rico!

The Cheese Course

"Let them eat cheese." That was totally a passage in the Bible, right? Because Jesus was definitely on the Brie train. Either way, it's no secret that the allure of cheesy goodness has been tempting mankind for centuries. So if you're craving some of that dairy deliciousness, stroll into the low-key storefront of the Cheese Course. Take a gander at the vast array of cheeses, the wine selection, the sammy options, the fresh-baked baguettes. Drool profusely. But like a good little calorie-conscious soldier, opt instead for the roasted beet salad. For $9.85, you'll get more than your daily fill of fruits and veggies. And to stay true to the spot's moniker, the greens, beets, sliced oranges, strawberries, and pine nuts (all mixed up with a honey-tarragon vinaigrette) are topped with creamy, crumbly goat cheese. Which makes that lettuce look a whole lot more appealing.

Urban Rustic Bagel

The Amsterdam Toast ($6.50) is a funny name for a bagel sandwich, but it might be the key to world peace. This bagel is filled with Gouda cheese, red onions, and hard-boiled eggs and topped with tomato sauce before it's pressed and heated, thereby merging all the ingredients together. Speaking to the server, we learn that in Israel, hot-pressing a sandwich is called "toasting it." We call it delicious — and a metaphor for making the world a better place. The simple act of "melting together" the parts of this sandwich make it better than the parts alone, and the merging of European cheese and Israeli style in a small U.S. café tells us that no matter what our geographical location, we can all agree on a good bagel.

Christina's

In Pineapple Grove, just a few blocks north of Delray's restaurant-saturated Atlantic Avenue, you'll find Christina's, and if it's a weekend, you'll also probably find a wait. It shouldn't be too long, though — the staff at Christina's knows how to hustle. The bright, tropical décor is perfect for a sunny South Florida morning. The dress code is Florida casual — i.e., most diners look like they just came from yoga or the dog park. The coffee is hot, fresh, and constantly refilled, and the menu is chock-full of breakfast standards served in satisfying but not gut-busting portions. We recommend the salmon platter — a hearty helping of beautiful pink lox, cream cheese, capers, chopped tomatoes, and sliced onions served with an English muffin. If you are looking for something heartier, they also serve a mean eggs Benedict, drizzled in tangy hollandaise.

Kristof's Kafe

Brunch is a delicate dance. The eats must be heavy enough to absorb excess alcohol from the night before yet light enough to keep you from falling into a daylong food coma. The meal needs to serve as a cure-all for your many ills and provide proper sustenance for the day to boot. Kristof's Kafé has it down. Here, there are options aplenty to please the pickiest eater. Whatever else tempts your palate (and much will), make sure you snag an order of the strawberry stuffed French toast ($7.99). Made of thick bread crusted with corn flakes and layered with a sweet cream-cheese filling and ripe red strawberries, this powdered-sugar-laden indulgence will ruin you for other French toast forever. Or, opt for fluffy chocolate-chip pancakes, pillowy homemade biscuits and gravy, or Southern fave chicken-fried steak. No frills, just hearty weekend eats to keep you happily satiated till the Monday-morning blues roll around. Sadly, there's no edible cure for that weekly disease.

Relish

Relish may be known for its burgers, but a certain distinction should be made for its milk shakes — all 14 to 17 of them. "Rich and creamy" doesn't even begin to describe them. Made with ice cream, they're thick enough to make even competitive eaters think twice about ordering seconds. The list includes cookies 'n' cream, chocolate cherry, bananas foster, espresso bean, peanut butter cup, salted caramel, chocolate truffle, and — of course — a traditional black and white. Each one is blended just right so that each ingredient is clearly distinguishable. Take the strawberry shortcake, served with large pieces of fresh-cut strawberries and bite-sized bits of angel-food cake swirled into the mix, while the campfire s'mores shake comes dotted with marshmallow, graham cracker, and chocolate chunks. Of course, you can also customize, and feel free to add favorites like peanut butter, malt, or chocolate to any shake for just 99 cents more.

The Snow Factory
Courtesy Photo

This new ice cream parlor and dessert shop is sweet-tooth overkill. What to order? The snow cones, made with fresh-shaved ice using old-fashioned, hand-operated, ice-cutting machines? Soft-serve frozen yogurt, offered in hundreds of flavors? Or handmade ice cream cookie sandwiches? The bestsellers are the shaved ice, with more than a dozen flavor combinations like strawberries and cream or Dreamsicle. Both begin with a layer of either regular or soft-serve vanilla ice cream at the bottom, topped with layers of fresh-shaved ice and finished with any of the Hawaiian syrups mixed fresh in-house. Customizable, made-to-order ice cream cakes allow customers to pick two of their favorite ice cream flavors and add endless toppings swirled into the mix. Cakes are topped with sprinkles for a delicious, take-home treat.

Best Of Broward-Palm Beach®

Best Of