Banana Boat, Boynton Beach
For more on renovations and changes to The Bridge Hotel in Boca Raton click here
By Deborah S. Hartz-Seeley
Our area sports many fine as well as fun waterfront eateries. On the Intracoastal Waterway or the ocean, these restaurants offer everything from elegant dining rooms with sweeping views to docks that allow you to arrive by boat.
With menu choices ranging from a Champagne brunch to surf and turf to a burger and a cold brew, there’s a place to sate every appetite.
Need a last-minute idea for where to take Mom on Mother’s Day?
One of these spots is sure to please (listed in alphabetical order; check for times and availability).
Banana Boat, 739 E. Ocean Ave., Boynton Beach, 732-9400.
Fun and funky, this restaurant is known for offering an “authentic Florida experience.” And I admit it is one of the first waterfront restaurants I visited when I arrived in Florida 20 years ago. In fact, Banana Boat has been a family-owned restaurant since 1978.
Situated on the Intracoastal, the eatery’s inside seating and covered patio have water and boat-traffic views. Since there’s a 250-foot boat dock, many diners arrive by water to sample the simple but tasty fresh seafood, fun appetizers, sandwiches and cocktails, all at reasonable prices. Brunch is available 9 to 11 a.m. on Sundays.
Insider tip: Banana Boat is brought to you by the same people who own Prime Catch in Boynton Beach (see below) and Fifth Avenue Grill in Lighthouse Point.
Carmen’s at the Top of the Bridge, Bridge Hotel, 999 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton, 886-4570, bocaratonbridgehotel.com
From its penthouse vantage point, Carmen’s at the Top of the Bridge offers sweeping views of the Boca Raton Inlet, Lake Boca Raton and the ocean. And it’s one of the few places that offers dancing. Come for dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; dancing starts at 7 p.m.
There are many upscale dining options, including a prix fixe menu ($69 for two people buys three courses plus a bottle of house wine), an a la carte menu and a small-plates portion of the menu. Sunday brunch ($45 per person for a two-hour seating) with complimentary Champagne and mimosas is served 11 to 3 p.m. Reservations are required for dinner and brunch.
n Insider tip: For a casual meal, Water Colors Restaurant & Bar on the main floor is the perfect place to enjoy views of Lake Boca Raton and the Boca Inlet. The cooling blue and green color scheme makes this a soothing place to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner or happy hour. “On Saturdays and Sundays it feels like everybody is here,” says executive chef Dudley Rich.
Deck 84 offers 10 slips for patrons to park
their boats, and there even is a spot for them to
clean their catches. The restaurant is in the former Busch’s Seafood
at Atlantic Avenue and the Intracoastal Waterway in Delray Beach. Photo by Tim Stepien
Deck 84, 840 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 665-8484.
A newcomer to downtown Delray Beach, Deck 84 is the work of Burt Rapoport, who is also known for Bogart’s Bar & Grille and Max’s Grille in Boca Raton, and Henry’s in Delray Beach. It’s located in the waterfront spot where Busch’s Seafood held sway for many years.
For those arriving by boat on the Intracoastal, there are 10 slips and even a dockside table to clean your catch.
This restaurant features an indoor dining room done in exotic woods with orange and turquoise splashes. Some may think of it as a cool tropical color scheme, but Baby Boomers may think fondly of Howard Johnsons.
The place to be seated, however, is on the dog-friendly outdoor patio (reservations taken for indoor dining only).
The menu features affordable casual American favorites. And there’s a Saturday (11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) brunch menu with options such as cinnamon and raisin French toast, a breakfast burrito and eggs Benedict.
Dune Deck Cafe, 100 N. Ocean Blvd., Lantana. 582-0472.
Dine virtually on the beach under a cheerful striped awning at this Lantana tradition. Offering breakfast, lunch and brunch (7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays), this is a fun and very casual place to enjoy the sand and sea.
Subs, sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs and a selection of entrees fill the lunch menu. Breakfast is heavy on eggs with homemade yogurt, French toast and pancakes also available.
Insider tip: Beach attire is welcome as long as you wear a cover-up over your swimsuit. Payment is cash only.
Latitudes Ocean Grill, Holiday Inn Highland Beach, 2809 S. Ocean Blvd., Highland Beach, 561-278-6241.
We were surprised to find this beachfront hotel with its waterfront restaurant tucked between the condo buildings on A1A.
Latitudes is a full-service, white-tablecloth restaurant with reasonable prices in the newly renovated Holiday Inn.
The menu features steaks and seafood and the restaurant offers Sunday brunch from 10:30 to 2 p.m.
n Insider tip: For a more casual meal, try Cabanas at the hotel. It offers dining in a more relaxed outdoor setting overlooking the ocean.
Michelle Bernstein’s at the Omphoy and MB Terrace, 2842 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, 540-6440.
Overseen by über-chef Michelle Bernstein, the surfside dining room is on the second floor of this boutique hotel.
Open for dinner only, this restaurant offers a regularly changing menu that might include braised short ribs, Michy’s fried chicken, whole crispy snapper and Florida cobia.
Portions are adequate but not large, and prices are what you’d expect at a chef-driven restaurant in a trendy hotel.
n Insider tip: For Sunday brunch, served 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., visit MB Terrace on the first floor overlooking the beach and the water. Breakfast, a health-inspired lunch menu and tapas until midnight are available here, too.
The Ocean Bistro, Four Seasons Palm Beach, 2800 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, 582-2800.
Overlooking the pool and the Atlantic Ocean, this bistro offers casual indoor and alfresco dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Those who rise early can enjoy the sunrise over the Atlantic. It’s a magnificent backdrop for your meal. On Sundays, a brunch menu that is a mix of lunch and breakfast items is available 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
During the more traditional lunch, the American light comfort food on the menu offers a range of family-friendly dishes, from sandwiches and salads to daily specials featuring fresh seafood and house-made pasta.
Resort guests under the age of 5 can order complimentary meals from the Hatchlings menu.
n Insider tip: For a more relaxed lunch or dinner, visit the Atlantic Bar and Grill that’s virtually on the beach. It features poolside drinks and simple lunches with happy hour running Monday through Friday 5 to 7 p.m.
Old Calypso, 900 E. Atlantic Ave., No. 22, Delray Beach, 279-2300.
You can arrive by boat: There’s 5.5 feet of water at the Intracoastal dock even at low tide.
Or, pull your car up to the door of the British Colonial-style restaurant that will have you thinking you are on a Caribbean island.
The menu offers “tropical cuisine,” such as blackened dolphin, coconut shrimp, fried lobster tails and the “Best Damn Chicken” that’s roasted and served over potatoes.
Saturday and Sunday an à la carte brunch is available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Old Key Lime House, 300 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana, 582-1889.
Old Key Lime House is one of our favorite places to arrive by kayak; it has a floating dock. But you can also get here by motorboat or even sea plane, according to the website. They’ll send a wave runner to pick you up.
When you reach the dock, which is furnished with table swings, you’ll find this century-old waterfront restaurant housed in the second-oldest house in Lantana.
Done in bright Caribbean colors with a thatched roof over the patio, Old Key Lime House offers cool beverages, fun food that’s heavy on seafood and a casual atmosphere.
A small brunch menu is available 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Prime Catch, at Woolbright Road and the Intracoastal
Waterway in Boynton Beach, offers elegance with a view. Photo provided
Prime Catch, 700 E. Woolbright Road, Boynton Beach, 561-737-8822.
Done in white and beige with touches of nicely finished wood and splashes of blue, this waterside restaurant at the Woolbright Road Intracoastal bridge feels pleasantly nautical. Although the dining rooms are attractive, your best Intracoastal views are from two patios out back.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, providing steaks and fresh seafood, including lobster. There’s also a Sunday brunch menu served 11:30 to 3:45.
n Insider tip: If you put the address into your GPS, it might send you to the east end of the Intracoastal Bridge. The restaurant is on the west side of the bridge on the south side of Woolbright Road. Look for the blue metal roof.
Temple Orange, The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach, 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan, 540-4924.
Temple Orange is ideal to enjoy a meal any time of day.
We hear that breakfast is executive chef Ryan Artim’s favorite meal and it shows in his extensive menu of fresh-baked goods, eggs, meats, fresh seasonal fruits and other tempting choices.
The light and airy atmosphere — both indoors and on the terrace — is also the perfect place to enjoy a lunch of Mediterranean salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and bento boxes.
At night, the white and bright orange décor of Temple Orange transforms into an inviting family-friendly restaurant offering local specialties.
n Insider tip: For the best views, it’s best to dine at any restaurants along the ocean in daylight.
After dark there’s not much to see, especially when protective turtle nesting lighting means beachside lights are dimmed May through October.
Tides Bar & Grille, Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn, 3550 S. Ocean Blvd., South Palm Beach, 582-5631.
The Tides boasts that it’s the restaurant that’s closest to the ocean in South Florida.
Find out for yourself by enjoying yourself outdoors by the pool, indoors or upstairs on the sun deck.
Here you can order an all-American breakfast as you watch the sunrise. At lunch, choose from salads, sandwiches and wraps. And at dinner, the menu has a decidedly Italian accent.
Insider tip: For lots of pictures and virtual tours of the restaurant, be sure to visit its website.
In addition to its Boynton Beach location,
Two Georges also has a restaurant at The Cove in
Deerfield Beach. Photo provided
Two Georges, 728 Casa Loma Blvd., Boynton Beach, 736-2717.
A local landmark for 50 years, this mostly outdoor restaurant with a thatched roof and island décor offers a great view of the Intracoastal Waterway.
It’s one of our favorite spots for a casual meal when driving A1A from Palm Beach to Broward County.
Whether you arrive by boat or car, you will enjoy quality food in a relaxed atmosphere.
Maryland crab cakes and fresh local fish are the house specialties.
n Insider tip: Two Georges has another waterfront location, Two Georges at the Cove, 1754 SE Third Court, Deerfield
Beach, 954-421-9272. Ú