Today, after decades of flux, West Palm Beach is changing for the better, and there are plenty of reasons to visit the city's burgeoning downtown area. From the $30 million Centennial Square waterfront that hosts outdoor concerts and the city's weekend green market to the up-and-coming Dixie Corridor Restaurant Row, there's never been a better time to toast the city.
But it's West Palm Beach's Clematis Street hub that has it all: cocktail bars, gastropubs, mom-and-pops, clubs, and late-night restaurants. It might not be as picturesque as Delray Beach's Atlantic Avenue, or as kitschy-hip as downtown Lake Worth, but what it lacks in glamour and hipster appeal it makes up for in variety. Here is our guide to the emerging nightlife scene in West Palm Beach:
For a casual hang. Consider the Blind Monk, located on a quiet side street just west of Rosemary Square and a short walk south of Clematis Street. One-and-a-half blocks south of the station, this restaurant and bar specializes in affordable fine wines, elevated craft beer, gourmet light bites, and artisanal meat and cheese plates. The two-story loft displays a floor-to-ceiling wine cellar, soft elegant lighting, and burlap sac wall paneling. Open until 2 a.m. on the weekends, it doubles as a romantic late-night wine bar.
For a formal dinner. There are so many dining options — we've already highlighted the ten best in West Palm Beach — but for a night out on the town you want to graze. For that, try Tapeo (a Spanish term for a tapas crawl) located in a two-story, waterfront space at the far east end of Clematis Street. Here, the chef shares his Spanish roots through recipes designed to spirit you off to the streets of Madrid. Sip on wine and sample from more than 30 small plates ranging from tablas (chacuterie and cheese platters) to classics like boquerones (white anchovies), Jamón Iberico (imported Spanish ham), or patatas bravas (crispy potatoes served with a spicy sauce). For family-style dining, sample any of the traditional, Valencian-inspired paellas featuring both meat and seafood, or a vegetable-only take.
For a dive situation. O'Shea's Irish Pub fits the bill with its affordable drink specials and late-night hours. Chow down on potato skins served O'Shea-style, stuffed with breaded and fried chicken topped with barbecue sauce. Or try the savory Irish sausage roll encased in a golden pastry and served with honey mustard. Both are perfect for soaking up the liquor you'll feel compelled to down here, apiece all day on Friday. $3 mimosas, bellinis, and $10 unlimited bloody mary’s are available during the Saturday and Sunday brunches.
For a slinky jazz vibe. Head next door to Voltaire. Up a narrow flight of stairs, you'll find one of the city's coolest lounges. Like any good cocktail bar, this stylish venue has a strong speakeasy vibe. Named after and inspired by the 18th-century writer and philosopher of the same name, the spot is an ode to those who advocate for freedom of expression. Feel free to do just that with a drink or two in hand. The unique, multi-dimensional concept features a library of libations and spirits, including a varied selection of absinthe. Hungry after all of that creative loafing? In-house Yellow Jack Sushi provides some truly beautiful sushi offerings (and a ton of sake) for all your late-night noshing needs.