City Guide - Delray Beach
STAY IN DELRAY
This quick trip wasn’t really about going to the beach, but instead enjoying a quiet place with a private pool with a cute little beach town nearby to explore. I found a private house through AirBNB that served that exact purpose that was just a few minutes away from all the action on Atlantic Avenue.
There are several houses on AirBNB in Delray if you want a privacy with a pool instead of finding a hotel. The area just South of Atlantic Avenue is also close to other local shops and grocery stores like Trader Joe’s should you need anything during your stay.
EAT + DRINK IN DELRAY
Dada came highly recommended from several people, and I could see the lure as soon as we walked up to the property. The restaurant is located in a large house, and the front yard has been converted into a sprawling patio with cute lawn ornaments, lights, and Florida tchotchkes. Unfortunately, the menu is heavy on seafood which isn’t usually my favorite item to splurge on, so I probably didn’t get to experience what Dada’s is best known for. I opted for the popular bacon wrapped dates and a Caesar salad. It’s not a cheap dinner, so peruse the menu first before going and make sure they have something you are interested in dropping dough on. The ambiance is definitely enjoyable even on a warm summer night.
I’m always nervous when considering eating at a large, more upscale taco joints that claim to be authentic. El Camino was another recommendation, and also on most lists of where to eat in Delray, so we decided to have a late lunch here on our second day of explorations. The meal was probably one of the best we had during our stay, and if time had permitted I would have gone back again.
Their house-made salsas and hot sauces were great, and the waiter navigated me through options that wouldn’t overpower my sensitive palate. The tacos are served in a soft sell that was lightly crisped which held all the flavorful pieces without a mess. With the addition of great drinks and moderate prices, El Camino proved to be a solid place to dine.
Eating hot ramen for lunch in South Florida may sound like torture, and that’s exactly why I ate cold soba noodles! The dish I chose included cold green tea soba noodles, green onions, crispy mushrooms, pork belly (that I substituted instead of tofu) in a light bonito broth. It was a great way to check out this popular eatery without giving myself more hot flashes.
Inside they also have a small dessert counter run by Sugar Milk Boba, but the girls at the counter informed me they were basically out of everything I was interested in, so I didn’t get a chance to try any of their signature desserts. They did look good from the pictures on Instagram, so I’d check them out during your trip.
Another bar/restaurant in a home setting is Death or Glory. A dark, almost Gothic vibe greets you when you enter. We took advantage of their happy hour and lounged in big couches in their seating area. This seems to be a popular happy hour spot, and the patrons definitely bordered on highly snooty, but the tiki drinks and reasonable food menu made it worth while.
The Office is located right off the main drag of Atlantic Avenue and opens out to the busy street. The menu leans toward gastropub items, so we went heavy on the appetizers and were happy with the quality of the food without breaking the bank. Fried mac and cheese balls, a buttery over-sized pretzel, and other apps made for a great appetizer and drinks type of dinner. The only thing that would have made it better is if the televisions were actually playing The Office.
So, this is an actual full on pharmacy, but attached to it is a small soda shop counter. I’m sure most people visit for ice cream floats and egg creams, but we stopped for breakfast which included coffee and of course some avocado toast. It’s a very cute little piece of countertop real estate, and was worth the quick breakfast stop.
SWEETS IN DELRAY
This family-owned ice cream shop boasts over 300 homemade flavors. The ice cream options just keep going and going and they kindly let you, dare I say, hospitably force you to test as many flavors as many as you want. Just a small taste of a Boston Cream Pie flavor had me hooked. In the end I panicked and got a scoop of glazed doughnut and Nutella. Both spot on by the way. I really wish we had one of these in Orlando! Absolutely worth a visit, or two!
Doc’s All American
Apparently Doc’s has been around for over 65 years, and it definitely stands out among the newer, posh parts of Atlantic Avenue. I can’t say no to soft serve ice cream, so I went just for a swirl of vanilla dipped in chocolate. The serve the regular diner fare like burgers and fries, but a quick stop for a cool treat was plenty here. Bring cash here, they don’t take plastic!
So I had a doughnut place called Nani’s Dough on my list for Delray eats, but they were not open at all while I was in town. As someone who tries to visit every doughnut shop where I travel, it was a bummer. However, as I kept digging, the internet told me a bakery just North in Boynton Beach sold their doughnuts, so we made a quick stop on our way home.
Well, the internet rarely has up-to-date info when it comes to restaurants and I quickly found out that Bond Street no longer sold their doughnuts. Extra double whammy bummer! Thankfully, I was still able to grab some very delicious baked goods for the drive home, so it wasn’t a complete bust. If you need a pastry fix, this location is just about 15 minutes North of Delray.
THINGS TO DO IN DELRAY
Having a long to-do list wasn’t really on our agenda as we spent a lot of time poolside, but the Cornell Art Museum was the perfect way to take an air-conditioned break from the sun. The building itself has an interesting history of almost being demolished and then saved (you hear that Orlando, people save old buildings) and how it really was the catalyst that transformed that area. The admission fee is $8 which is well worth getting to see the interesting exhibits inside and enjoying the historic, restored building.
We got to view the Seven Solos Exhibition which includes six galleries to walk through. My favorite was definitely the colorful installation by Jacob Fisher. Lots of color and light reflecting to music with large pillows on the ground for you to sit down and take in. Other galleries touched on our environment, climate change, and racial divides. It runs through October 6th, 2019.
Random as it may seem off the upscale drag of Atlantic Avenue, you’ll find a true gamers oasis from the heat. This two story Pinball arcade is like no mixed game space I’ve ever been too. There are over sixty pinball machines including vintage ones, mixed in with skee-ball, and classic arcade games. There are three bars and a restaurant if you get hungry while you game. The cost for one hour of all-you-can-play is $12, and if you pay $15 you can stay all day. It’s definitely got its own weird vibe but I totally dug it.
All photos are property of LemonHearted Creative, don’t steal them! This was a personal trip, all costs associated were paid for personally and no business was aware they would be featured in any information on my site.