Craving the sight of ocean waves with your mahi sandwich? We’ll toast to that.
Here’s a handy list of six beachfront restaurants offering plenty of views to sweeten your dining experience. You’ll find most of these non-resort spots are clustered along the central and south county coast.
This Italian-leaning restaurant is perched at the ocean’s edge at Palm Beach’s Par 3 Golf Course. It’s a lovely, two-story building with lots of terrace dining and sweeping views of the blue waves and the golf-course greens.
Early risers in the know can tell you all about breakfast on the Al Fresco terrace, served shortly after the first rays of sun. The a la carte breakfast, which includes everything from French toast to huevos rancheros, goes from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. daily. Lunch and dinner are served here every day as well. Expect pizzas, a range of pastas and salads, sandwiches and classic Italian entrees.
There’s a bar inside and indoor tables, but the main attraction at At Fresco is the view from the terrace.
Al Fresco: 2345 S. Ocean Blvd., at the Par 3 Golf Course, Palm Beach, 561-273-4130
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Viva La Playa
Located just south of Al Fresco, this hip, Latin American-inspired spot has been open since September 2020 in the iconic Lake Worth Casino building. Viva La Playa is an upscale spot where locals sip mezcal cocktails and nibble on fresh ceviche with a view of the ocean. (For that ocean view, grab a table on the patio that sits steps away from the beach.)
The menu is an ode to chef/partner Jeremy Hanlon’s Latin American travels. Translation: lots of fresh seafood starters like ceviche and tiraditos, chile-spiced fish stew and chimichurri clams. There are Mexican-style shareables, salads, sandwiches, rice bowls, and build-your-own entrees plates featuring grilled and roasted meats.
Viva La Playa is open for lunch and dinner and an a la carte brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays.
Viva La Playa: 10 S. Ocean Blvd., Lake Worth Beach, 561-247-7245
Benny’s on the Beach
Benny’s is Viva La Playa’s more established, more casual brother, a local favorite for beachfront dining. This is arguably the most popular beachfront restaurant in the county.
Part of that is because Benny’s sits on the Lake Worth Beach pier extending into the ocean, so you’re closer to the wave action. It’s a setting made for sipping jalapeño-mango margaritas between conch fritter bites while gazing at the sea.
But while the beach café has been a local go-to since it opened in 1986, the place stepped up its culinary quality when new owners brought fine-dining chef Jeremy Hanlon aboard in 2014. Hanlon rewrote the menu without losing the beach flavor. In addition to the menu’s beach-bar classics, Benny’s offers fresh fish prepared in four ways: a la plancha, fritto misto style with crispy veggies, stir-fried with pineapple and veggies and “straight up” with lemon and extra butter.
The restaurant opens daily at 7 a.m. Breakfast and lunch is first-come, first-served. Reservations are suggested at dinner.
Benny’s on the Beach: 10 S. Ocean Blvd., Lake Worth Beach, 561-582-9001
Dune Deck Café
This super-casual, family-owned spot has been serving breakfast, brunch and lunch with a side of ocean views since 1991.
The beachy feel, sweeping vistas and al fresco seating have made the Dune Deck a destination spot, located on Lantana’s public beach, for three decades. And there’s a menu to match that beachy feel. Expect a range of eggs benedict options and other breakfast favorites, sandwiches, salads, shareable bites and heftier main plates. Breakfast is served from 8 to 11:30 a.m. weekdays. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Brunch is offered 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Just make sure to bring cash with you — credit cards are not accepted. (If you happen to forget and don’t mind the usual fees, there’s an ATM onsite.)
Dune Deck Café: 100 N. Ocean Blvd., Lantana, 561-582-0472
Boston’s on the Beach
This popular eatery has earned its “On the Beach” surname not just because it’s a flip-flops kind of spot but because it sits directly across the street from the ocean at Delray Beach. Grab an outdoor table for prime beach breeze and some people-watching.
The casual, beach-grub menu, which includes lots of tropical cocktails, hits the spot as well. You’ll find mahi mahi sandwiches on butter-grilled brioche buns, classic Maine lobster rolls, crispy seafood baskets, and shareable bites like conch fritters, jumbo crispy wings and tempura cauliflower. Come hungry — the portions are hefty. Boston’s is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Boston’s on the Beach: 40 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach, 561-278-3364
Caffe Luna Rosa
The popular Caffe Luna Rosa is a multi-tasking spot that shares the same beachfront view as its neighbor, Boston’s on the Beach. At breakfast and brunch, it’s a lively sidewalk cafés serving everything from pastrami and corned beef hash omelets to creamed chipped beef to avocado toast eggs benedict. At dinner, it fully embraces its Italian café identity with a menu that ranges from antipasti to fresh pastas to meat and seafood entrees.
While walk-ins are welcome, reservations are strongly suggested as the place is often on a wait. Reservations are not accepted for weekend brunch. The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Caffe Luna Rosa: 34 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach, 561-274-9404