Pompano and Deerfield: The Locals' Food Mecca

Categories: Lists
We're in the thick of the Food Town Throwdown, in which West Palm Beach/Lake Worth is killing Western Broward and Delray Beach clobbers Fort Lauderdale. Want to weigh in for the results? Be sure to vote for your favorite neighborhoods.

I can't help but root for underdogs. Though it's already nixed, I'm giving a shoutout to the 'hoods with the second-highest number of votes so far. Pompano and Deerfield is a region I had underestimated until I gathered this collection of gems that amount to the best places to eat and drink, after the jump.

Have other suggestions for the area? If so, leave them in the comments.

10. Direct from Philly
For ten-plus types of cheese steaks, choose from the classic with Wiz or the not-so-classic Provolone. Soak in the gas-station surroundings, or grab one to go.

9. Cypress Nook
Beer for breakfast is among my favorite things, but those Germans have it right by pairing beer with wurst for breakfast. Set in funky digs from 1958 and decorated with macrame, this cast of German characters will serve you plates that hit the spot.

8. Dandee Donut Factory
The Dandee Donut Factory may bake some of the area's most delicious doughnuts, but it also offers a slice of local flavor. From a boxed dozen doughnuts, the sour-cream-glazed are the first to go. Old-fashioneds are spongy and moist, misshapen once fingers make an impression in the round. Cherry crunch doughnuts are the most popular, that neon-red round of delicious covered with nuts.

7. Brother Tuckers
Don't expect mussels or other Belgian fare at this Belgian-inspired name. Beer is the definer here. This homey hole in the wall is staffed with the most knowledgeable beer nerds in the area. It's home to a great jukebox too.

6. Sicilian Oven
Golden-brown crusts with moderate char cook at a slower clip than coal-oven pizza, which translates to a chewy crust that stands up to artisanal ingredients.

5. Charm City Burgers
The price of burgers -- $4.95 to $5.25 -- cooked under, right on, or hammered, these burgers are ground to order daily. A favorite is the Big Fat Greek with spiced lamb, feta, Greek slaw, and tzatziki.

4. Whale's Rib
Since being showcased on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, seafood shack the Whale's Rib has enjoyed a renaissance as Deerfield Beach's premier spot for ultrafresh seafood and cold brews.

3. Cafe La Buca
In a space no larger than a living room, tucked next door to a Publix, is an Italian restaurant with only six tables and no set menu. Marco Spina, his mother, and his sister cook and serve southern Italian cuisine that changes daily. Make sure to bring your own wine.

2. Calypso
It's easy to understand why Calypso has remained a local seafood favorite over the years. Island magic has been curing workday stress and paramour blues in this Pompano Beach strip mall for years. Thankfully, it's not going anywhere any time soon, wrote Jamie Long in her review of this place.

1. El Jefe Luchador
Chicken or rib-eye asada tacos are the most popular here, but pork carnitas (citrus garlic-braised pork shoulder), barbacoa (braised beef brisket), or mushrooms and yam are solid seconds. Toppings here are traditional yet flavorful: a ripe tomato and onion medley, tart lime, cilantro, and queso blanco.

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