Best of Broward / Palm Beach

The Ten Best Restaurants in West Palm Beach

The Ten Best Restaurants in West Palm Beach
South Moon Photography
Dining in Palm Beach County can be an adventure. You can arrive by boat at Guanabanas to snack on locally sourced seafood, rub shoulders with the upper echelons at Buccan in Palm Beach, or bar hop along Lucerne in Lake Worth.

But when you're hungry for variety, nothing satiates the palate quite like West Palm Beach. A diverse mix of restaurants covers every cuisine imaginable. From a longstanding steakhouse and classic French bistro to a family-owned Italian trattoria and an Ethiopian establishment, you'll have no problem finding something new.

Start at the downtown Clematis Street strip, home to a number of excellent dining options. Then, venture farther south, where a growing community of notable and eclectic eateries calls the city's new Dixie Corridor home.

Hungry for adventure? Here are our top picks for where you should eat in West Palm Beach:
click to enlarge KIMBERLY MISH
Kimberly Mish

Avocado Grill

125 Datura St., West Palm Beach
561-623-0822
avocadogrillwpb.com

Avocado Grill opened in downtown West Palm Beach in late 2014 on the east end of Datura Street, just steps from the city's Intracoastal Waterway. Led by chef/owner Julien Gremaud, the cozy indoor-outdoor eatery features tapas-style small plates served up alongside seafood-inspired entrées that highlight seasonal, locavore-driven fare. Its fresh-catch ceviche, poke, and full raw bar are not to be missed. Neither are the house-made desserts. If you love avocados, here's a bonus: An entire section of the menu is dedicated to the restaurant's namesake ingredient; from the guacamole and grilled avocado wedges to the avocado and Nutella mousse.
DR. LIMON
Dr. Limon

Dr. Limon Ceviche Bar

533 Clematis St., West Palm Beach
561-781-5577
doctorlimon.com

Chef/owner of Dr. Limón, Carlos Brescia, named his restaurant after the key ingredient in his quintessential dish: ceviche. Limón — "lime" in Spanish for you gringos — can be found in almost all of Brescia's dishes. The chef likes to say, "Ceviche starts here," but what he should really be expressing is "Your hangover ends here." Before moving to the States from Peru in the early 2000s, Brescia used to wake up early after long nights of partying to prepare hangover-curing meals for friends and family. Today, his Miami-based Peruvian concept has multiple locations including his new West Palm Beach location. The menu offers South Florida's largest ceviche selection with more than 20 variations of the raw-fish dish on the menu. It's one of the best places to go after a little too much liquor for some hangover-curing leche de tigre, a concentrated ceviche liquid that includes a combination of lime, fish stock, onions, garlic, ají limo, and cilantro.
CANDACE WEST
Candace West

Grato

1901 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach
561-404-1334
gratowpb.com

Clay Conley is the chef behind two successful Palm Beach establishments, as well as his newest West Palm Beach eatery, Grato, the most casual of his restaurants. Not an intimate setting, the roar of many conversations makes for a lively scene from happy hour through the evening dinner rush. Go for the wood-fired pizzas, the calamari, and the steak tartare. But whatever you do, don't miss the handmade pasta. The bucatini carbonara is the top choice here. At its most base execution, the dish is nothing more than a combination of bacon (or more traditionally, pancetta or guanciale), eggs, Parmesan, and pasta — but like most things with few ingredients, it's Conley's technique that binds them together into a crave-worthy feast. Fat strings of pasta are coated in a paste-thick carbonara sauce seasoned with a heavy dose of freshly cracked black pepper and topped off with a runny egg yolk. It's heaven on a plate.
click to enlarge ATES ISILDAK
Ates Isildak

Hullabaloo

17 N. Clematis St., West Palm Beach
561-833-1033
sub-culture.org

Hullabaloo is a sophisticated gatroub that marries Italian fare with hand-crafted cocktails, boutique wines, and craft beer. Handmade pasta and wood-fired pizzas are at the top of the menu list, but the restaurant's daily and weekly specials are always worth the order. Try the house-cured fennel salmon served with toasted flatbread and a soft-poached egg; or the seared U-10 sea scallop with Gruner Veltliner and lemon glaze over creamy polenta, grilled asparagus, and golden pea shoots. Thirsty? You'll get a great cocktail here, too, with a list of specialty offerings named for famous musicians. Nab a seat at the bar and get chatting with the bartenders, or escape from the Clematis Street madness tucked away in the vintage Airstream camper on the back patio.

Marcello's La Sirena

6316 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach
561-585-3128
lasirenaonline.com

Upscale and elegant, this two generation-strong, family-owned restaurant has been consistently rated as one of the top Italian restaurants in Palm Beach County. Tables are set with crisp linens, candles, and bone china while the menu reads like a history lesson in Old World Italian cuisine. Classic staples include rigatoni alla vodka, cotoletta di vitello alla zingara (a veal cutlet with a sauce of artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and prosciutto with shiitakes), and zabaglione (an Italian dessert made with egg yolks, sugar, and sweet wine). The gnocchi, mozzarella, pasta, and desserts are made in-house. Whatever you do, don't miss the handmade crepes filled with fontina, ricotta di bufala, parmigiana, and mozzarella in a delicate tomato sauce. You'll eat well, but drink better: La Sirena’s wine program has developed over three decades from just 30 selections to now over 1,300 selections. Those in the know visit on Sunday during season, when the chef roasts a whole baby pig.
NAYO MARTINEZ
Nayo Martinez

Mazie's West Palm Beach

3815 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach
561-323-2573
mazieswpb.com

The city's Dixie Dining Corridor has a number of newcomers, but it's Mazie's — known for reimagining quintessential American dishes — that proves to be a highlight. It's all thanks to chef and co-owner Eric Baker (formerly of Max's Harvest) and business partners Jason Lakow and his wife, sommelier Sandra Lakow. The trio has created a tribute to New World comfort foods presented with Old World traditions inside a beautiful, airy 2,600-square-foot restaurant named for Baker’s grandmother. The menu covers rib-sticking fare in various forms — odes to the chef's favorite foods — many offered as rotating nightly specials Monday (always meatless dishes) through Sunday (Chinese takeout). Don't miss the knish, a spiced lamb-stuffed pastry served with toasted pine nuts and apricot yogurt; the sweet-and-sour brisket served with egg foo young; and plump homemade pierogi smothered in your choice of sauce. A house favorite that's one heck of a riff: The chop suey spätzle — a shrimp stir-fry served with butter-fried tendrils of his handmade German egg noodles topped with a soft-boiled egg.
click to enlarge OKEECHOBEE STEAK HOUSE
Okeechobee Steak House

Okeechobee Steak House

2854 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
561-683-5151
okeesteakhouse.com

This family-owned and -operated steakhouse opened in 1947. Today, the steakhouse — armed with the family’s original proprietary beef-aging process — creates a succulent, tender, flavored meat unlike that of any other chophouse. You'll see the history in the restaurant's polished dark wood booths and alabaster light fixtures that cast a soft glow for romantic dining. Cooked-to-order steak platters are consistently delicious be it the porterhouse, Delmonico, bone-in rib-eye, or filet mignon. End your meal with a slice of house-made pie: A coconut cream and peanut butter option make it hard to choose. Brunch features an à la carte menu that includes everything from short rib hash and prime steak sandwiches to buttermilk biscuits served with bone marrow butter, while a family-style option presents the table with a 40-oz. long-bone tomahawk steak, eight eggs, and breakfast potatoes for $139.99. Insider tip: Visit on your birthday and the restaurant will buy you an 8-oz. New York Strip steak dinner (with the purchase of an adult entrée of equal or greater value).
click to enlarge PISTACHE FRENCH BISTRO
Pistache French Bistro

Pistache French Bistro

101 N. Clematis St., West Palm Beach
561-833-5090
pistachewpb.com

A downtown dining staple, this hip French café churns out traditional cuisine at the east end of Clematis Street morning, noon, and night. Grab a seat on the outdoor patio and dine alfresco with views of the Intracoastal Waterway and nearby Centennial Park. Then, order the most classic French fare you can find. That includes moules-frites Mariniere, plump mussels simmered in a broth of white wine, garlic, and shallot and served alongside a heaping pile of fries. Or go for the seared duck foie gras, hand-chopped tenderloin steak tartare, lemon and garlic butter-drenched escargot, and traditional coq au vin. If you get there for Raclette night, you're in luck. Roasted on a special grill that melts only the top layer, the pungent cow's milk cheese can be scraped over just about anything you order. Check the restaurant's Facebook page for dates when Pistache prepares its own take on the traditional Raclette Savoyarde appetizer, a plate of roasted fingerling potatoes, pickled pearl onions, and cornichons smothered in the melty goodness. Or go full throttle with a choice of two entrées: The Raclette Suisse served over charcuterie and a Raclette Mediterranée with vegetables.
SOUTH MOON PHOTOGRAPHY
South Moon Photography

The Regional Kitchen & Public House

651 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
561-557-6460
eatregional.com

In 2016, Lindsay Autry (formerly of Delray Beach's Sundy House) and restaurateur Thierry Beaud (of Pistache French Bistro and PB Catch) opened the doors to their long-awaited West Palm Beach restaurant. Today, The Regional Kitchen & Public House continues its mission to channel Autry's Southern roots in Florida-infused offerings, with an array of dishes that cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Go for the ones that remain as popular as they were on opening day, such as the savory tomato-and-cheese-stuffed pie, which marries fresh stewed tomatoes with sharp cheddar and fontina cheeses, caramelized onion, and a touch of Duke's brand mayonnaise. For a real taste of what the Regional is all about, however, don't miss Autry's favorite: The Deviled Florida Blue Crab. Like a twice-baked potato, tender crab meat is removed from the shell, mixed with pickled celery remoulade, then stuffed back in to bake before serving. Think of it as a deconstructed crab cake finished off with a torched Béarnaise sauce and a crispy chopped herb gremolata.
click to enlarge QUEEN OF SHEEBA
Queen of Sheeba

Queen of Sheeba

716 N. Sapodilla Ave., West Palm Beach
561-514-0615
queenofsheebawpb.com

Siga tibs, buticha, wot, and gomen may not be part of your everyday vocabulary, but Queen of Sheeba will add these to your foodie lexicon in no time. Down a one-way street in a sleepy residential neighborhood just beyond the hustle and bustle of downtown West Palm Beach, this Ethiopian restaurant is dishing out the heavily spiced fare of chef/owner Lojo Washington's homeland. The menu is utterly unique to the area, not just in terms of concept, but also in its execution. Step inside and the air becomes heavy with pungent spices, all of which Washington sources directly from Ethiopia. That includes vibrant red chili powder, a bouquet of cumin and cardamom from her village in Jimma, and neon orange turmeric the color of Cheetos — the very same that's been growing wild in her mother's backyard for decades. If you're feeling adventurous, the vegetable sampler allows guests to try several of Washington's best dishes at once. Bring friends, because eating here is joyously communal, with selections served in heaping piles on a single tray and plopped down at the center of a table without side plates or cutlery. Instead, you'll be given a plate piled high with tight rolls of spongy injera, the Ethiopian equivalent to fork and spoon in the form of tart, crepe-like pancakes perfect for scooping and scraping the multicolored mounds of spicy stews, curries, and greens in true Ethiopian fashion.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna