Green Owl Restaurant
Christina Mendenhall

The Green Owl, one of the oldest restaurants in Delray Beach, sits on some prime real estate. But while the city has gentrified around it, the Owl remains a classic diner in the most basic sense of the word. It serves breakfast and lunch. It is open only until 3 p.m. on weekdays and noon on weekends. The décor is delightfully shabby (not the artificial, look-at-how-we-sandpapered-the-edge-of-this-table shabby — but actually shabby!), with fake wood wallboard like you'd find in your grandma's basement, and lots and lots of owls. You might ask yourself why an establishment on hip Atlantic Avenue would function this way, why it would not work to step up its game. The answer is: It doesn't have to. On weekends, there is a line around the corner of people trying to get a table before the kitchen closes. The dishes are simple, and you can even create your own order. You want three eggs and four pieces of bacon and that's it? Done. There is zero pretension here, and customers range from blue collars covered in tattoos to yoga moms with babies in Bjorns to well-heeled retirees in their Sunday best. It accepts only cash, but that's OK, because the food is cheap!

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