Burger possibilities are endless at this Northwood spot, where a dozen types of patties are offered, from wild boar to grouper to wild mushroom. We love the buffalo burger topped sweet-smoky bacon jam. If you can stand the heat, try the scotch bonnet and mango salsa topping. And make sure to leave room for a shake (hello, salted caramel!) or hot, fresh mini-doughnuts.
Relish: 401 Northwood Road, West Palm Beach; 561-629-5377
Linger just long enough at Bistro Bistro, the quaint bakery café on Northwood Village’s main drag, and you just may find refuge from the daily noise. Settle in at a table. Listen to owners Carole Gallant and Alain Ponze greet customers by name. They’re husband and wife, she from Montreal, he from Lyon, their food a soulful hybrid. Besides pain chocolat, latticed pastries, country pates and other specialties, they offer heaping servings of sanity.
BISTRO BISTRO: 506 Northwood Rd., West Palm Beach; 561-596-3769
Grilled Cheese Gallery
On the menu: grilled cheese and more grilled cheese. On the wall: art that’s for sale – and if it doesn’t, it rotates. (What else would you expect from an art dealer who loves comfort food?) The small, new spot has been a hit in a neighborhood that loves its artisans – and food.
Grilled Cheese Gallery: 422 Northwood Road, West Palm Beach; 561-328-7425
In Northwood’s primetime bustle, it may be easy to overlook this quiet, cozy eatery. Located on the historic district’s main drag, Table 427 is the domain of chef/owner Roberto Villegas, a versatile cook who often takes inspiration from his Mexican roots. His dishes are not precious, but they are earnestly prepared and lovingly served. Villegas is the culinary equivalent of a DJ – he takes requests. And for those who enjoy surprises, he offers a “No Menu” option, a five-course dinner of his own design. The pace here may be slower than at other neighborhood eateries, as the chef does most of the cooking himself. Consider the lag a chance to have a glass of wine and an invitation to be treated like family.
Table 427: 427 Northwood Road, West Palm Beach; 561-506-8211
Sunset Bar & Grill
This is a cozy eatery and bar where the food is soul-warming and the staff, led by co-owner Matt Reber, is welcoming. Just about anything on chef and co-owner Terry Marince’s menu is delicious. In addition to showing his skills on a wide range of mainstream and refined dishes, the chef makes some of the best soup in Palm Beach County. His French onion soup, a full-bodied onion broth topped with melting cheeses, is insane. His jalapeño soup is an unexpectedly creamy soup that’s made rich by a crush of corn chips in the broth. Those soups are rotated into Marince’s nightly specials. Other standouts: Spanish artichoke dip, lacquered duck (an occasional special), and lightly blackened ribeye steak. Make sure to save room for dessert (the Hummingbird Cake, the specialty cobbler and coconut bread pudding are to die for.) The funky spot is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday (11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) and dinner Tuesday through Saturday (5 p.m. to close); the bar opens at 4 p.m.
Sunset Bar & Grill: 2500 Broadway (at the corner of 24th), West Palm Beach; 561-832-2722
Once you have the green papaya salad at Malakor, a quaint spot in the Northwood district, you’ll be back. It’s a fresh, crisp, nutty, spicy, citrusy and, thanks to a little palm sugar, sweet. Its crowning touch: tempura shrimp. Healthy, yet sinful.
Malakor Thai Café: 425 25th St. (in Northwood Village, just west of North Dixie Highway), West Palm Beach; 561-762-9070
Agora Mediterranean Kitchen
Travel to Turkey without leaving this friendly eatery in the historic Northwood district. Go the mezze route, dabbling in Aegean dips, dolma (stuffed grape leaves), grilled octopus and other small plates. Or feast on fish dishes such as red snapper in parchment, or a range of Mediterranean classics. Salads are outstanding – and ample. Desserts are homemade. And if you over-do the calorie count on a Friday or Saturday night, you can always burn it off when the belly dancing starts at about 8 p.m.
Agora Mediterranean Kitchen: 2505 N. Dixie Highway, Northwood district, West Palm Beach; 561-651-7474