Let’s face it…Delray Beach is hot!!! Delray has a beautiful beach, a smattering of good hotels and a hopping night life vibe. The women are beautiful, the men are rich (or pretending to be) and the people watching is off the charts. Think of Delray Beach as the older, more sophisticated, less douchey brother of South Beach. Here ten best nightlife spots in Delray Beach to check out if you go.
TEN BEST NIGHTLIFE SPOTS IN DELRAY BEACH
- THE OFFICE, 201 E. Atlantic Avenue. This place is in the middle of the action. The seats outside on Atlantic Avenue are wonderful for people watching. The Office has a great Prime Office Cheeseburger, a wonderful Tomato Mozzarella salad and some good looking pork quesadillas (just peeking over at the next table). The service is excellent and the drinks are generous. The bar also runs along 2nd Avenue where a group of locals always seems to congregate for late night cocktails and carousing.
- JOHNNIE BROWN’S, 301 E. Atlantic. Johnnie Brown’s is my favorite night spot in Delray Beach. A great casual vibe paired with fabulous live music. Johnnies can’t be beat for a laid back good time. Catch the Rod Stewart cover band (the lead actually looks like Rod) or the Elvis impersonator for great tunes and great times.
- VIC AND ANGELO’S, 290 E. Atlantic. This is my buddy Ronald’s favorite place in Delray. Its smack dab in the middle of the strip. Vic & Angelo’s has great service and serves a very healthy drink. The portions are more than generous and its Northern Italian cuisine is excellent. This is a place to be seen…so make sure to score a table outside on Atlantic Avenue.
- EL CAMINO TEQUILA BAR, 15 NE 2nd Avenue. This Mexican restaurant has wonderful food and a great location. We started with some outstanding Guacamole. Then moved on to the huge Achiote chicken burrito and a fantastic Gulf Shrimp Fajita (this was the best dish at the table). The bar scene its hopping and the servers are fun and engaging. They also have a late night happy hour from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. and a $2 Taco Tuesday special. It all adds up to a wonderful place to spend the evening.
- SALT7, 32 SE 2nd Avenue. This bar is as close as it gets to South Beach in Delray Beach. A chic venue, beautiful women and a bit of a douche bag attitude. Not really my cup of tea. However, I have to admit that Salt7 has some of the hottest action on the strip.
- LUIGI’S COAL FIRE PIZZA, 307 E. Atlantic. This friendly place is on the strip right next to Johnnie Brown. The pizza is great, the bartenders are fun and the food is inexpensive (for Delray). Grab yourself a table by the sidewalk and enjoy!
- CITY OYSTER, 213 E. Atlantic. This restaurant is known for its “amazing” food, great service and fantastic location. They also have a great happy hour with $1 off all individual oysters and half priced drinks.
- SAND BAR, 40 S. Ocean Blvd. This place has a very smartly executed beach theme (it doesn’t hurt that it’s directly across the street from the beach). You are surrounded by Palms trees, Adirondack chairs, people playing bags and lots of sand. A great place to hang out with your friends. The bar food is ok. But you come here for the beach vibe, the bikini clad servers and the drinks.
- TAVERNA OPA, 270 W. Atlantic. The two best things about this place are the mid-strip location and Camilla, the beautiful South American hostess/waitress. The food here is good but ordinary. The best thing we had was the complementary do it yourself hummus served in a wooden cylinder with small wooden pumice. You manually mix the chick peas and oil to create a wonderful hummus mixture that they serve with warm pita bread. The location is great and late night they turn up the music and encourage a group of young and beautiful ladies to hop up on the bar dance, dance, dance. It’s quite a sight…feel free to jump up on the bar and join the party.
- DECK 84, 840 E. Atlantic. Deck 84 is directly on the intercoastal just west of the bridge on Atlantic. Personally, this is my favorite place for lunch in Delray Beach. Grab a table with a view of the water and watch the boats go by while you enjoy surprisingly good food. My buddy’s Bob and Arnie absolutely raved about the Special Blend Burgers (best in Delray!) they had for lunch in February 2015. A few weeks earlier my daughter and I really enjoyed the Mediterranean Platter and the Southwest Chicken Salad. Just FYI I like this place better for lunch than dinner just because you don’t want to miss the crazy action of the main part of the strip.
DELRAY BEACH HOTELS
- THE SEAGATE HOTEL, 1000 E. Atlantic. This is the nicest hotel in Delray Beach. The rooms are beautiful, the facilities are top notch and they have a nice beach club located just blocks away. The front desk staff is very good. I found the young valet parking staff to be especially attentive (and hilarious). However, they really need to upgrade the in-room Wi-Fi system. There is no excuse in this day and age for an expensive hotel to have substandard internet service (just way too slow for a heavy internet user). The Seagate’s’ Atlantic Grille has great food, a really nice bar area (with live music on most nights) and outdoor seating directly on Atlantic Avenue—a fun place to spend an evening.
- MARRIOTT HOTEL DELRAY BEACH, 10 N. Ocean Blvd. This hotel has a great location just across the street from the beach (with beach access for the registered guests). There is a beautiful lobby and very nice rooms. I have to say the pool area is way too small for the size of the hotel. This creates a ridiculous sense of congestion at poolside on nice days when the hotel is full (or close to it). At these prices ($400 plus a night in mid-February 2015), there is really no excuse for congested facilities.
- HYATT PLACE DELRAY BEACH, 104 NE 2nd Avenue. This is the A+ location in Delray Beach if you want to be right in the middle of the action. On 2nd Avenue just a block or so down from The Office you are a short walk to the nightly circus. My buddies and I just stayed here in February, 2015, for a little golf getaway. The rooms are modern and large. They offer a daily complimentary breakfast (which is decent but should be much better at these prices) and have a low key lobby bar that offers a break from the Delray Beach action. There is a small pool area on the second floor which is a great place to catch some rays in the afternoon. The Wi-Fi system was excellent which is important when you trade stock options all day. Parking is $17.50 a day which is a bit silly since you can generally grab a spot in the Arts Garage next door for $5 a day (prices vary based on time of year and Delray events). All in all a nice place to stay but you will pay top dollar for the privilege.
- THE COLONY, 525 E. Atlantic. This place is charming and old school. It’s my buddy Ronald’s favorite place to stay in Delray Beach. The Colony is right on the avenue and has a cool lobby bar so you can sip a cocktail as you watch the world go by. The pool area is also worth a visit.
- RESIDENCE INN DELRAY BEACH, 1111 E. Atlantic. Not much to distinguish this entry in the excellent Marriott Residence Inn chain. This location is very close to the beach (right next to the Marriott Delray Beach) and has a nice pool area.
- FAIRFIELD INN DELRAY BEACH, 910 W. Atlantic. This hotel opened a few days after I headed home. It’s located near the highway and approximately a mile from the heart of the Delray action. Expect a nice new facility and a slightly lower price point from which to experience the pleasures of Delray Beach.