The 10 Best Hidden Gems In Boca Raton And Delray Beach

by Madelaine Boyer Mar 02, 2018 04:22 PM

South Florida is known for noteworthy restaurants, bars and beaches, but because of high tourism rates, some of the well-known places in town can get crowded and seem overwhelming.

If you’re in Boca Raton or Delray and want to get out of the hustle and bustle, head to one of these 10 hidden gems in the area that are locals’ favorites. 

South Beach Park 

Photo by Madelaine Boyer

Feel the sand between your toes and watch the waves crash while you spend a relaxing day at South Beach Park in east Boca. This public beach offers free access to those looking for a place to surf, swim, play in the sand or work on their tan. 

For $16 to $18 a day, avoid the crowds and head over to the more secluded section of the beach. Then when you’ve had enough sun, pop into any of the local shops and restaurants in walking distance from the beach. 

400 N. State Road A1A, Boca Raton; 561.393.7810; thepalmbeaches.com/beaches-parks/south-beach-park

Tin Muffin Ca

Photo courtesy of Tin Muffin Café

Head to this quaint café to sample a variety of homemade sandwiches, salads and desserts. For 25 years, owners Brent Bartkow and Philip Thomas have brought their northern charm and delicious recipes to South Florida. 

Sip on minted lemonade while snacking on a chicken salad sandwich served with fruit or bite into the curried chicken salad with a homemade muffin. Before you leave this cash-only café, make sure to check out the women’s bathroom, which is decorated regularly to go with the season or holiday. 

364 E. Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton; 561.392.9446; facebook.com/the-tin-muffin-cafe

The Blue Anchor Pub

Photo via Facebook/The Blue Anchor Pub

Prepare to be transported back in time to 19th-century London while visiting this notoriously haunted Delray hotspot. Originally built in London in 1864, the pub now calls Delray Beach home, but still harbors an authentic English pub feeling with its original large oak doors and stained-glass windows. 

While snacking on traditional English fare and beers on tap, watch out for some of the reported ghosts that may be lurking in the bar, like murder victim Bertha Starkey whose footsteps are often heard by guests at night. 

804 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561.272.7272; theblueanchor.com

Dada

Photo via Facebook/Dada

Experience the restaurant that pays homage to the early 20th century Dada art movement with its décor, ambiance and food. Dada opened in 2000 in the Tarrimore House, one of the oldest historic homes in Delray Beach.

The menu plays into its artistic and eclectic theme with specialty cocktails and items, such as the Dark and Stormy, made with Gosling’s black seal rum and fresh ginger, and its grilled all-natural beef burger with house-made secret “goop” sauce. 

52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 561.330.3232; sub-culture.org/dada

O'Brian's Irish Pub

Photo via Facebook/O'Brian's Irish Pub

O’Brian’s has made a name for itself as one of the favorite college bars among FAU students, but the family owned establishment offers a little something for everyone. If you have a furry friend, then bring him in on any Monday night for puppy hour and receive 50 percent off your bill, or grab your friends and try out your singing skills on Fridays for karaoke night. 

51 SE First Ave., Boca Raton; 561.929.3732; obrianspub.com

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

Photo courtesy of Gumbo Limbo

Sea turtles, tropical fish and butterflies, oh my! Take a break from city life and stroll through the butterfly garden, admire the thousands of tropical fish in the aquariums or check on the rehabilitating sea turtles at Gumbo Limbo. 

Since its founding in 1984, the nature center seeks to conserve and research the surrounding natural environment and wildlife, while also educating the public. Be sure to join any of its public programs offered to children, adults and families to learn more about its research and about the local wildlife. 

1801 N. Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton; 561.544.8605; gumbolimbo.org

Kathy’s Gazebo Café

Photo courtesy of Kathy's Gazebo Café

Bonjour, mon ami. Satisfy your craving for French food and culture at Kathy’s Gazebo Café. For over 30 years, the restaurant has offered authentic cuisine to guests, served by a traditional French wait staff. 

Dine luxuriously in the cozy and warm atmosphere on dishes like escargots bourguignone and crêpes royale with lobster sauce, and make sure to get a taste of the restaurant’s signature dish, the Dover sole, flown in from Holland. 

4199 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton; 561.395.6033; kathysgazebo.com

Subculture Coffee

Photo by Nick Murray

Subculture is a homegrown neighborhood coffee shop that sits on the western edge of downtown Delray’s Atlantic Avenue. Owners Rodney Mayo and Sean Scott opened Subculture in 2014 to provide a space for locals to gather and sample delectable coffee and food. 

Stay and relax, or play a board game with friends while drinking one of its traditional or specialty coffees. Visiting around lunchtime? Grab a turkey and double cream brie sandwich or a cold-pressed juice.

20 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561.290.1809; subculturecoffee.com

Rebel House

Photo courtesy of Rebel House

Snack on one of the rotating flavors of freshly popped popcorn, including honey mustard or pizza, while you chat and hang out with friends at this kooky eatery in east Boca. Sip on one of Rebel House’s craft cocktails like the Captain Ron and chow down on cauliflower hummus or the local favorite, soy glazed Mongolian Brussels sprouts with crispy beef. 

On Fridays and Saturdays, test your luck at a game of rock, paper, scissors to win a free shot off the rolling cocktail cart. Or relax and listen to some tunes during Midweek Melodies every Wednesday night. 

297 E. Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton; 561.353.5888; lifetastesbetter.com

South County Regional Park

Photo by Madelaine Boyer

Picnic on the grass with friends or walk on the boardwalk nature trail in South County Regional Park. Tucked away in west Boca, this park is the destination for anyone looking to relax and unwind or just have fun. 

From an award-winning public golf course to the Sunset Cove Amphitheater, where concerts and other events are held monthly, there is always something to see and do. Other amenities open to the public include Canine Cove Dog Park, Coconut Cove Waterpark, boating and fishing on the lake and more. 

12551 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 561.966.6611; discover.pbcgov.org

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