The best options always seem to be the ethnic spots, tiny pizza joints, retro diners, or hipster dives. Occasionally, it's a sit-down restaurant touting a special after-hours menu — or that thing of beauty, the reverse happy hour.
Need help finding a spot near you? Here you go: Our top picks for Palm Beach County's best late-night dining spots.
11. The Irishmen
1745 NW Boca Raton Blvd., Boca Raton. Call 561-368-1129, or visit irishmenpub.com.
What's better than a pub open and serving food until 2 a.m.? An Irish pub that's open and serving good food and pouring good beer until 2 a.m. You can't go wrong with an order of shepherd's pie, potato soup, or a pub burger. You could also go for the Irish-American menu items and try an order of the Irish sliders (corned beef and pickled cabbage topped with a homemade Guinness mustard), an Irish Cuban (all the trappings of a traditional Cuban but with corned beef instead of pork), or the Irish nachos (a pound and a half of pub fries loaded with melted cheese, chili, bacon, jalapeños, and sour cream).
10. Keese's Simply Delicious
540 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Call 561-328-9100, or visit keeses.com.
Keese's first opened its doors in 1953 in Broward County. Back then, the family-owned café was known as a great spot to grab grub on the go. Now, with a second location open in West Palm Beach, it's a great spot to grab takeout grub late at night. The restaurant off Clematis Street serves food until 3 a.m., which means a long line come the wee hours of the morning, when everyone's done drinking at the bars and clubs. If you're a picky eater, you won't have a hard time finding something you like here. There are more than 50 items to choose from, from award-winning fried chicken and falafel to char-grilled kebabs. Also on the menu: burgers, wraps, subs, salads, and gyros — and most everything for under $10 a pop.
6801 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach. Call 561-547-9799, or visit havanacubanfood.com.
West Palm Beach's late-night scene includes Havana, the Cuban-style restaurant where the walk-up counter is open until the early-morning hours. There's no need to schlep all the way down to Miami to get authentic Cuban sandwiches — ham, marinated pork, Swiss cheese, and pickles between two slabs of fresh-baked Cuban bread. Pair with one of the natural fruit milkshakes or juices made from papaya or mango, then end your pig-out session with a steaming cup of café cubano, cortaditos, or café con leche and a jiggly serving of caramel or coconut flan. Havana's main, two-story dining room isn't open after hours, but the 24-hour walk-up window is open all day, every day, for those of you who get the craving after midnight. We know there's nothing like feeding that 3 a.m. Cuban craving with a steaming box of smoky croquetas, vaca frita, and sweet plantains.
8. Tacos al Carbon
4420 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth. Call 561-432-8474, or visit tacosalcarbon.com.
We've given it plenty of top spots in the past few years — it made it onto the Best Tacos in Palm Beach County and Best Tortas lists. But Tacos al Carbon also deserves a spot on this list mainly because it's still one of the best spots to get good grub late, late at night. Although the main restaurant at the corner of Military Trail and Lake Worth Avenue closes around midnight, the food truck stays open 24 hours, serving all manner of Tex-Mex fare, from soft corn tortilla tacos to burritos and enchiladas to one heck of a torta sandwich.