Southwest Florida’s beautiful Palm Beach is known for its gorgeous beaches, world-class resorts, luxurious estates, and upscale lifestyle. Home to iconic destinations like Worth Avenue, the Breakers, and the Flagler Museum, it’s no wonder many want to call Palm Beach home.
For Palm Beach’s seasonal and permanent residents, the city’s many excellent restaurants are the icing on the cake. Places like Renato’s and Le Bilboquet offer the perfect respite after an afternoon shopping on Worth Ave., while local favorites like Buccan and Cafe Boulud are within walking distance. Read on to learn more about 12 of the best restaurants in Palm Beach.
First in our succession of excellent restaurants, Almond also tops the list for Palm Beach-area brunch-goers. Its location on Royal Poinciana Way makes Almond highly convenient for Palm Beach residents and guests of the nearby White Elephant Hotel. The restaurant temporarily relocated to the Hamptons for summer 2023, but the owners promise a fall return complete with new menu items and exciting events.
BiCE Ristorante graces the west side of Worth Ave. with chic flair and all the trappings of a luxury establishment. The restaurant’s white-golden decor is replete with fresh flowers and immaculate tablecloths, making any occasion feel like a wedding. Patrons dine in a lovely courtyard that recalls the restaurant’s origins in early 21st-century Milan. The menu features signature pasta and salads incorporating fresh vegetables, seafood, or chicken. BiCE is available for private dinners — parties of 14 or more should apply via the restaurant’s online form.
Buccan is a fresh take on tapas, the Spanish small sharable plates. The menu occupies the intersection of global influence and locally sourced ingredients, including seafood. A few excellent dishes are the grilled octopus, short rib empanadas, and Italian burrata. Buccan is conveniently situated mere blocks north of Worth Ave. and even closer to the beach.
The restaurant is as sophisticated as it is socially spirited, with a space featuring a bar and lounge to go with traditional restaurant seating. You can always find an occasion to visit Buccan, whether happy hour, date night, or spontaneous dinner with friends. Weekends bring lively DJ sets and cocktail drink specials to the scene.
If it’s elegance you desire, you’ll find it every time you visit Cafe Boulud. The calm and upscale restaurant is part of the Brazilian Court Hotel, set apart from the city’s busiest districts. Its interior features muted lighting and fine decor, while the outdoor terrace is perfect for brunches in Palm Beach’s mild climate. The grounds occasionally host private wedding receptions and special evenings open to the public.
True to its French influence, Cafe Boulud closes periodically throughout weekdays, with separate hours for breakfast (7 a.m. to 11 a.m.), lunch (noon to 2:30 p.m.), and dinner (5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.). Everything on the menu is quality, though a few of their most popular dishes are the potato-crusted seabass, wild mushroom risotto, and the oysters to share. Chef Daniel Boulud’s offerings pair exceptionally well with the restaurant’s wine list.
Cafe L’Europe is down the street from Cafe Boulud and shares with its neighbor a romantic ambiance, albeit more overstated. Its Continental cuisine samples all kinds of savory dishes — you can start with gourmet salads, charcuterie board, or chilled artichoke, then move on to the surf-or-turf entrees. Ask the sommelier to guide your choice from over 2,000 bottles stored in the restaurant’s cellar. The caviar-and-champagne pairings are as good as you can find in Palm Beach, as are Cafe L’Europe’s phenomenal desserts — crepes, creme brule, or sorbet with a cup of specialty coffee.
Imoto shares grounds with Buccan, the tapas restaurant covered previously in this list. The two establishments also share the same ownership; like Buccan, Imoto focuses on small plates, some of which are sharable (think edamame, seaweed salad, rock shrimp tempura, etc.). Imoto’s minimalist decor sets the tone for some of the most remarkable and flavorful Asian fare anywhere. Try the fresh sushi and sashimi, dumplings, and other woodfired selections.
One of New York City’s most iconic French restaurants recently opened a second location in Palm Beach. As such, La Goulue is one of the few eateries that transports diners to New York City and Paris simultaneously. After surviving the pandemic, this restaurant is now one of the most sought-after reservations in Palm Beach. Their meticulously-prepared dishes include French onion soup, lobster pasta, and a choice caviar menu. Casual diners will appreciate that the restaurant is open for lunch during the week and brunch on weekends.
Le Bilboquet is one of the poshest restaurants on Worth Ave. Like other restaurants on this list, Le Bilboquet specializes in French-inspired dishes with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. If its name rings a bell, it’s probably because Le Bilboquet is a mini-chain with locations in Denver, Atlanta, and New York City. The Palm Beach location’s private dining room is perfect for social occasions; brunchers will love the smoked salmon, while the New York Prime Steak is first-rate. A reservation guarantees your table; the venue is available for private events, including weddings.
Meat Market Steakhouse
One of the happy quirks of the Palm Beach dining scene is that its best steakhouse is just a block from the sea. Meat Market Steakhouse also serves seafood and sharable charcuterie plates, but those dishes take a backseat to the prime cuts. The setting and service are perfect for a romantic dinner with someone special — the restaurant’s contemporary and intimate decor lends an air of sophistication from the restaurant’s chandeliers to its polished wooden floor. Your outing will be complete with a cocktail or bottle from Meat Market’s robust wine list.
If France and Italy are Palm Beach’s main culinary influences, Renato’s does the city’s most genuine Italian cuisine. Its magical courtyard is the height of old-world romance, especially if you dine during the golden hour. You can find Renato’s just off the western end of Worth Ave. The restaurant’s service is second only to its menu, which features delicious ravioli, rigatoni, and risotto, among other favorites.
A mile and a half north of Worth Ave., Sant Ambroeus is one of the trendiest restaurants in Palm Beach’s north-central area. You can expect specialty Italian dishes like black truffle pizza and veal cutlets. The restaurant’s Milanese cuisine spares no details, featuring delicacies like almond cornetta that go exceptionally well with wine, cocktails, and mocktails. Remember to check out the patisserie counter before you exit.
The intimate and classy seating area meets patrons of the renovated Trevini Ristorante. Guests compliment the service and rave about the menu, with high points being the broccoli rabe, burrata ravioli, and basil pesto risotto. Fans of fish, chicken, and lamb will surely find a dish to their taste. Trevini is typically busy without being packed; you can order carryout or dine in any day between 11:30 a.m. and 10 p.m.
With so many refined dining options, it's no wonder locals call Palm Beach a culinary paradise. There are more than enough places to try, whether your occasion calls for a dressy dinner or beach-casual brunch. If you want to move to Palm Beach, your first call should be Elizabeth DeWoody. She brings unparalleled experience and local knowledge of homes throughout Palm Beach County. Reach Elizabeth today as your next savvy move toward homeownership in Palm Beach.
*Header photo courtesy of VIP Elizabeth DeWoody