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Palm Beach County's 10 Best Ethnic Eateries

Palm Beach County's 10 Best Ethnic Eateries

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by Clarissa Buch Apr 2019 Also on Digital Edition

No need to splurge on a ticket to France for the meal of a lifetime. James Beard Award-winning French chef Daniel Boulud brings Parisian cuisine to West Palm Beach in the form of caviar, foie gras and sweet pavlova at his namesake restaurant, Café Boulud.

Same goes for Italy and India. Casa Mia in Jupiter makes pasta from scratch daily, from tagliatelle to gnocchi, while Aroma Indian Cuisine in West Palm Beach features garlicky naan and chicken tikka masala.

Then there's Grandview Public Market, West Palm Beach's first food hall, which serves a mixture of globally influenced foods, from handmade and pan-seared gyoza dumplings to Nashville hot fried chicken and traditional Cuban sandwiches.

“Food is a great connector,” says Grandview Public Market's co-owner Kristen Vila. “It's what brings us all to one table. You don't have to like everything, or you can take one bite out of this and that, but either way, the diverse options are what ultimately bring us together.”

From Japan to Peru, travel around the world with your taste buds—without leaving Palm Beach and Jupiter. Some of the best international restaurants are just a drive away.

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Agora Kitchen

Agora Kitchen

Since moving to the U.S. more than two decades ago, Semih Arif Ozdemir, originally from Turkey, longed for his mother's cooking. Instead of waiting for her to visit once a year—and subsequently cook enough food to last Ozdemir a few months—he decided to open Agora Kitchen in 2013, a restaurant that celebrates the foods that reminds him of home.

Ranked the No. 1 restaurant in West Palm Beach on TripAdvisor, Ozdemir has built a loyal following of diners who crave his warm hummus, grilled octopus, spinach and artichoke casserole, and gyro.

“Once we opened, my mom came to visit and teach my kitchen staff all of the tricks of Turkish cuisine,” he says. “Moms are the best chefs. Now, more than 6,000 miles from my country, I have the luxury of eating the food that reminds me of home.”

2505 N. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561.651.7474; agorakitchenwpb.com

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Aroma Indian Cuisine

Aroma Indian Cuisine

Learning to cook as a young boy, Clarence “Rence” Xavier spent hours in the kitchen with his grandmother in his native India. Decades later, Xavier now owns one of Palm Beach's most beloved Indian restaurants, Aroma.

Opened in 2017, Xavier takes a holistic approach to Indian cuisine at Aroma, offering dishes rooted in various regions and culinary traditions across India, from samosas and garlic naan to chicken tikka masala and lamb vindaloo.

“Cooking food is my passion, which turned into my profession,” Xavier says. “I was in the northeast for many years, and Palm Beach was on my mind as my next place. There is great potential in this area.”

731 Village Blvd., Ste. 110, West Palm Beach; 561.619.6437; aromawestpalmbeach.com

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Cafe Boulud

Café Boulud

Growing up on a farm in a small town outside of Lyon, France, James Beard Award-winning chef Daniel Boulud started cooking at age 14.

“Food and cooking together was a way of life,” he says. “My cooking mantra is seasonal, just the way I grew up. My style is rooted in the history of French cuisine, but creatively transformed by me and my team of chefs based on the place we live and the bounty we get.”

In 2003, the acclaimed chef—who's garnered various awards and accolades in the past 30 years including numerous Michelin stars—opened his eponymous restaurant Café Boulud in Palm Beach, bringing a piece of his hometown nearly 5,000 miles away to South Florida. Here, he serves caviar and foie gras, alongside Florida stone crab, bacon-crusted pork chop and pomegranate pavlova.

“About 20 years ago, Florida did not offer much in the area of fine, yet casual dining,” he says. “With Café Boulud, we offer a new style of French cuisine with more seasonal, ethnic and classic dishes. While all of my restaurants have French roots and DNA, we always evolve and create restaurants that are relevant with the times.”

301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach; 561.655.6060; cafeboulud.com/palmbeach

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Casa Mia

Casa Mia

For nearly a decade, Casa Mia has redefined Italian cuisine in Jupiter by serving traditional, house-made cuisine. Stefano Paggetti, who has spent much of his life around restaurants, credits his father, Mario, for teaching him the business. In fact, his father was at the forefront of Italian dining in Chelsea, London, and ever since, Paggetti has worked to bring that same kind of authenticity to Jupiter.

“I spent most of my youth traveling back and forth to Tuscany,” Paggetti recalls. “You could say it was a given that I would end up opening a restaurant of my own one day, so in 2010 I decided to do just that. I felt we needed something a little different, so my partner and I at the time came up with a menu that reflected our northern Italian heritage. We added menu items not typically found in Italian restaurants in these parts, and I suppose after [all these] years it works.”

Much of the menu is made from scratch at Casa Mia, ranging from wood-fired pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella and smoked prosciutto, to different types of pasta, including pappardelle, gnocchi, ravioli and linguine. There's also pan-seared filet mignon, baked eggplant Parmigiana and breaded chicken breast. Don't forget Paggetti's best-selling tiramisu for dessert.

337 Indiantown Road, Ste. 10E; 561.972.6888; casamiajupiter.com

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Coyo Taco

Coyo Taco

Scott Linquist's journey with Mexican cuisine has been a long one. Growing up in Southern California, the food and culture was part of his life from a young age. Now more than 20 years later, he owns the popular South Florida-based fast-casual Mexican restaurant, Coyo Taco, which includes locations in Wynwood, Brickell, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Palm Beach.

“I really fell in love with Mexican cuisine a few years after graduating from culinary school while working at a high-profile Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica called Border Grill,” he says. “Since, I have spent over 20 years eating, studying and traveling through Mexico.”

Opened in April 2018, Coyo Taco in Palm Beach slings a slate of tacos, burritos and quesadillas using hand-pressed corn tortillas, slow-roasted and chargrilled meat, Modelo beer battered fish, marinated chicken, and various house-made sauces and creams such as pico de gallo, chipotle aioli and citrus slaw. The restaurant also includes a margarita and tequila bar stocked with dozens of different spirits.

“Most people don't realize the depth and diversity of the cuisine, region by region,” he says. “It's safe to say my life has been immersed in Mexico and its cuisine for decades.”

340 Royal Poinciana Way, Ste. M335, Palm Beach; 561.318.8616; coyo-taco.com

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Dr. Limon

Dr. Limon

No matter how late Peruvian chef Carlos Brescia stayed up, he was always the first one of his friends to wake up in the morning. As everyone slept, Brescia was busy in the kitchen, marinating fish and chopping vegetables to create his legendary ceviche. That's how he earned the nickname, “the doctor,” which would later inspire the name of his fast-casual restaurant chain, Dr. Limon.

Dr. Limon, which Brescia founded in April 2012 in Kendall, made its way to West Palm Beach in late 2018. It quickly became one of the most popular Peruvian restaurants in town, stocked with ceviche, Peruvian-inspired sushi rolls and numerous beef and seafood plates.

“If there is something us Peruvians are passionate about, it's our food,” he says. “It allows us to share our food and culture with the rest of the world.”

533 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561.781.5577; doctorlimon.com

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Grandview Public Market

Grandview Public Market

West Palm Beach gained its first food hall in February 2018, bringing together an eclectic group of eateries under one roof. Feeling it was time to create a space that represented the area's evolving food scene, husband-and-wife duo Chris and Kristen Vila opened Grandview Public Market. Inside the 13,000-square-foot warehouse space, chefs cook up their respective cuisines, serving everything from ramen and dumplings to barbecue and smoked meats, and Thai rolled ice cream.

“We felt there was a void in the culinary scene,” says co-owner and Palm Beach resident Kristen Vila. “There are a lot of talented chefs making great food, but there wasn't a space that really brought everyone together. We wanted to build something that would be able to serve a wide range of people and interests.”

First-timers should order the vodka-based Dear Mom cocktail at the Bar at Clare's with white berry tea, followed by the Tonkotsu Ramen with pork belly and a soft-boiled egg at the Ramen Lab, and the Cafecito at Crema, a Thai rolled ice cream made with Turkish ground espresso beans and graham crackers.

“There is a great amount of depth and creativity here, and it's wonderful to see how strong the Palm Beach community is when we come together,” Kristen Vila says.

1401 Clare Ave., West Palm Beach; 561.771.6100; grandviewpublic.com

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Florie's

Florie's

Argentine-born, French-based chef Mauro Colagreco made his way to Palm Beach this past January with his first U.S. restaurant, Florie's. Inside the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, Colagreco serves cuisine that represents his rich upbringing.

Focused on light and bright Mediterranean-influenced produce and seafood, the menu highlights range from king prawns in a spicy avocado sauce, to truffled chicken, to roasted lobster à la broche, to a club sandwich made with smoked salmon, sweet potato and lemon confit instead of turkey and bacon.

“I seek out diverse parts of the world to share my cooking philosophy with new communities,” Colagreco says. “Palm Beach is an ideal place for me with all of its similarities to my home in the South of France, including the environment, the sun and the sea.”

2800 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach; 561.533.3750; floriespb.com

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Imoto at Buccan

Imoto at Buccan

In 2003, Palm Beach chef Clay Conley moved across the world to Tokyo to help open a restaurant for celebrity chef Todd English.

“I was completely blown away by the layered, bright, fresh cuisine of Asia,” Conley says. “At Buccan, many of our small plates utilized these flavor components, however, when the space became available next door, I knew immediately I want to focus primarily on that profile. Imoto translates to ‘little sister.'”

In February 2012, Conley opened Imoto, offering his own interpretations of sushi and sashimi, dumplings and tempura, and various wood-fired items, like tuna foie sliders, pork belly bao buns and Korean barbecue-style wagyu beef.

“In Tokyo I had many opportunities to visit the Tsukiji Market and experience firsthand the superiority of Japanese fish,” he says. “I wanted to be able to provide my guests with the same opportunity here in Palm Beach. We also serve dishes inspired by other Asian countries. As you can imagine, living in Tokyo, I was exposed to a wide range of Asian cuisine and I want to encompass all those offerings at Imoto.”

350 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 561.833.5522; imotopalmbeach.com

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Tapeo

Tapeo

At Tapeo, a two-story Spanish restaurant near West Palm's waterfront, chef Jack Cunha brings a taste of Spain to South Florida, serving some of the area's most iconic dishes, including croquetas de jamón, sautéed Spanish sausage, jamón ibérico, seafood paella and red snapper filet stuffed with shrimp and scallops.

Owner Juan Carlos Mendez is from northern Spain and opened the restaurant in summer 2018. Tapeo, which loosely translates to “tapas” in Spanish, offers more than 30 different small plates alongside larger seafood and meat items.

“We embrace tapas because it's a fun way to eat,” Mendez says. “You can try six different dishes instead of just one, especially when you get together with friends.”

Aside from the food, Tapeo's lively atmosphere lends itself to flamenco dancing, live music, dance performances and DJs.

118 S. Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561.514.0811; tapeotapas.com