Best Dive Bar Food in South Florida
The dive bar is known for many things, food not being one of them. But there are exceptions to any rule, and for these South Florida dive establishments, the menus are just as good as the cheap beer, colorful crowd, and karaoke.
Dave Toussaint on Flickr Ketchup, a standard cover-up for dive bar food -- except at these places.
But at places like Swamp Grass Willie's in Palm Beach Gardens, you can get wings voted among the best in the area, while the after-hours bar Blue Boar Tavern in West Palm Beach serves a grilled cheese that has become legendary for the in-the-biz crowd. And the Whale's Rib in Deerfield Beach makes one of the best blackened dolphin sandwiches in South Florida. Who knew?
Here, our top picks for dive bars that serve up a good dish or two.
10. The Lion and the Eagle Pub
The Lion and Eagle English Pub
Though any old-world-style pub around can bill itself as the "real deal," few places in South Florida actually deliver the sights, sounds, and taste of the actual thing. The Lion and Eagle English Pub, however, does it all. Forget that it's hidden from the masses in one of Boca Raton's many strip malls along Federal Highway. Stop by any day of the week and you'll also be sure to find Simon Allen -- even his entire family, including brothers Jeremy and Rob -- behind the bar. Here, they aren't only the owners but routinely the bartenders as well, hailing from Cannock, England. Simon stresses that the Lion and Eagle is all about being the neighborhood-friendly pub -- equal parts good food, beer, and of course football. And the food? The brothers have put together their own "best of" -- the sort of stuff they'd want to see on a pub menu. The most popular dish is the basket of chips, made using fresh-cut potatoes, as well as the fish and chips. For that authentic British recipe and taste, it's all about the fish and the batter, and they only use cod to honor the family recipe. For a true taste of England, try the Scotch eggs, the brothers' personal favorite. They are unbelievable (hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, rolled in bread crumbs, and deep-fried, served hot or cold). You can do breakfast all day, which is really good -- especially if we're opening early for one of the football games.
9. Swamp Grass Willy's
Swamp Grass Willy's Voted best wings by a local publication.
Not your average dive, this Palm Beach Gardens establishment has a good assortment of all the most important things: music, beer, and food. The place is great for live music -- there's even a recording studio for local acts. But there are more than 75 bottled beers to choose from, so you can also get your drink and grub on while choosing from a menu of munchies, wraps, and burgers. If you like your local live music with food, this is the place to go. You can get everything from wings (voted among the best in West Palm Beach by the Palm Beach Post), tenders, nachos, fries, and chili to a gourmet-style habanero blackened chicken wrap or smokehouse burger with a spicy house-made chipotle barbecue sauce. And it's all served until the wee hours, when the kitchen closes at 3 a.m.
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2401 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL
2031 NE Second St., Deerfield Beach, FL
2528 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL
1751 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton, FL
1306 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL
9820 Highway A1A Alternate, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
10 S. New River Drive E., Fort Lauderdale, FL
1100 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood, FL
125 N. Riverside Drive, Pompano Beach, FL