Whether you’re seated before a dramatic seascape, atop a sweeping veranda or in an intimate courtyard, a great view adds a sense of place to your dining experience.
Your view drops you in the middle of a certain paradise. That’s the essence of al fresco dining, the sense of place. Here are five great al fresco spots in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach:
Best courtyard al fresco: Pizza Al Fresco
One Palm Beach Post reviewer put it best when he said Pizza Al Fresco is where “pizza parlor meets Palm Beach panache.”
Shaded by Mediterranean blue umbrellas, tables are scattered across a stylish courtyard just off Worth Ave. Here, pizza is served amid vintage stone fountain structures and palm trees strung with twinkling lights.
Pizza Al Fresco: 14 Via Mizner, Worth Ave., Palm Beach; 561-832-0032
Best rooftop al fresco: Banko Cantina
This brand-new, tri-level restaurant and bar boasts a sleek rooftop lounge that’s a splendid perfect urban perch. The view may not be crashing waves or bobbing boats, but it certainly establishes a sense of place: downtown West Palm Beach.
The 1921-era building itself, once the home of American National Bank, is a landmark. It’s listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places since 1997.
The rooftop opens nightly at 7 p.m. Grab a Dragonfruit Mojito and watch dusk turn the city pink.
Banko Cantina: 114 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach; 561-355-1399
Best oceanfront al fresco: Al Fresco Restaurant
Located at the Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course, this stately structure offers sweeping golf greens and ocean views from its wide veranda.
This Italian pizzeria and ristorante is sister to Pizza Al Fresco. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner – with a heaping side of views.
Al Fresco Restaurant: 2345 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach; 561-273-4130
Best sidewalk al fresco: Rocco’s Tacos Clematis
Watching the parade of nighttime Clematis Street revelers is made far more pleasurable by a heaping bowl of fresh-made guacamole and a frosty margarita. You get this along the sidewalk tables at Rocco’s, epicenter of 200-block action in downtown West Palm Beach.
Plus, you get more than decent Mexican grub. (Come back for some of the best brunch in town on weekend mornings.)
Rocco’s Tacos: 224 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-650-1001
Best pooch-loving al fresco: Darbster
This vegan spot not only demonstrates its devotion to animals by donating profits to local animal rescue and spay/neutering efforts – it welcomes pets like royalty.
It’s a laid-back, pleasant spot to devour a summer salad, weekend brunch or heartier organic fare, including a variety of raw dishes.
You’ll enjoy the food, while your furry friend enjoys the sweet attention.
Darbster: 8020 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-586-2622