Where: 301 N.E. Third Ave., Delray Beach, 561/303-1939
The lowdown: Far from the loud and robust action on Atlantic Avenue, and a little further past quaint Pineapple Grove, lies a building on the corner of Third Street and Third Avenue that more resembles a shack than a bustling nightlife alternative. From the outside, you’d never give this place a second look. But, as it turns out, looks can be deceiving.
3rd and 3rd might just be the best-kept secret in Delray Beach; it has an element of cool that you won’t find anywhere on the Avenue or in the Grove. It’s more a neighborhood hangout, with a vibe that will appeal to foodies, wine and cocktail connoisseurs or anyone who appreciates a low-key atmosphere with chill people and personable staff. I’m not sure you’d ever catch a tourist roaming around these parts unless they were specifically told to do so. This is the kind of crowd who balks at the conventional and welcomes the abstract.
The centerpiece of the room is a full bar with seating all around. There are high tops for those who choose the sit-down dining experience on one side, and a relaxed living-room setting on the other side for those just looking to kick back and lounge.
The intangibles: The creative but limited menu, which changes daily, consists of small and large plates—perfect for sharing. Dishes vary from vegetarian salads (with ingredients like beets and roasted radishes) to hearty entrées (think braised short ribs, veal sweetbreads and seared scallops). Different combinations of skewer plates and dips also are available. If you’re impressed with the food, you’ll be even more thrilled with the selection of specialty drinks, craft beers and wine. Local brewery Cigar City is all over the beer menu, as well as other favorites like Oskar Blues and Cisco. On the cocktail front, clever combinations merge to make classic drinks come alive—the traditional Caipirinha is elevated with the addition of acai liqueur; St. Germain and pear vodka punch up the average martini; and lemonade is taken to a whole new level with organic blueberry vodka and fresh blueberries.
Before heading over to 3rd and 3rd, make sure to follow the establishment on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s happening on a particular night. In addition to posting that night’s menu, they post gorgeous images of spotlight dishes.
Live music energizes the room every Saturday night at 10 p.m. Don’t be surprised if you make a handful of new friends while hanging at the bar—one or two of them probably will be part of the staff. 3rd and 3rd is definitely Delray’s it-spot of the moment: the place to see and be seen.
Hours: 3rd and 3rd is open Monday through Saturday from 4:30 p.m to 2 a.m.