Taste History: More Than Just a Food Tour

Taste History - Delray and Boynton Beach - 19

As food bloggers, we’re always in search of great cuisine. While we know our namesake city like the back of our hands, anything north of the county line is still a little foreign. Thankfully, we can count on Taste History Culinary Tours to show us around whenever we make the trek up.

Back in March, we embarked on an eye-opening adventure through Lake Worth and Lantana with the company, which specializes in fun and delicious tours through different areas of Palm Beach County. Little did we know that both cities have their share of culinary gems that can stand up to anything in the 305. And after our latest Taste History tour, we can say the same about Boynton Beach and Delray Beach.

Although we had heard Boynton Beach and Delray Beach have a budding culinary scene, we never really had a chance to check the cities out for more than an afternoon. And let’s be honest: driving ALL the way up there to eat at one restaurant is not really worth it. But eating at a handful of restaurants AND learning about the local art scene? Count us in.

The first stop on our Taste History tour: Sweet’s. This cozy Jamaican restaurant specializes in island favorites like jerk chicken, jerk pork, Jamaican patties and sweet plantains. Our top picks were the jerk chicken and patties, which we could eat over and over again. Make sure to stop by for lunch, where their sizable lunch special runs for $6.75 — a steal.

Afterward, our group headed to Atlantic Avenue, one of the main arteries of the city. It’s here where you’ll find the bulk of the area’s dining establishments, including Cafe Bleu and Cabana El ReyWe were somewhat familiar with the former since they have an outpost in South Miami, but we had never popped in. What a mistake on our part. The place is crazy good, from the pizzas to the cookies to — of course — the coffee. And unlike a lot of other coffee shops, they serve alcohol (+10 brownie points).

One of the things we hear a lot is that Latin food is hard to find outside of Miami. Fortunately, Cabana El Rey fills that void in Delray Beach. Ropa vieja, empanadas, paellas … you name it, and they have it. Although it’s too hot right now, keep this place in mind for outdoor dining. It has a nice area for people watching and enjoying their signature sangria.

Having had our fill of savory items, it was time to head to French Bakery and Cafe. As you can probably tell from the name, the locale focuses on bread, pastries and coffee. What we found interesting was their selection of gluten-free items. When we go to a bakery, we don’t really think about that stuff — we just assume it’s all loaded with gluten because, you know, bread. Another standout was the coffee. They push one of our favorites: Wells Coffee Co., a Boca Raton-based company whose owner Brandon Wells recently received a Rising Stars accolade from StarChefs.

Like we mentioned in our last writeup, Taste History isn’t just about food. It’s also about culture. During our break from the gorging, we did some sightseeing through Boynton Beach, stopping at a local gallery and swinging by the area’s art district. The gallery, Amanda James Gallery, hosts artist Amanda Johnson and her array of contemporary artwork along with that of her husband James Knill. Johnson’s keen eye for fabric design and color makes this gallery worth a visit; she’ll even make something custom for you — just ask.

At the Boynton Beach Arts District, artists like Michael Kupillas, Thom McAvoy and Dianette Doyle create some spectacular work and are doing their part to spur the growth of this quietly expanding scene. If you want a peek at their creations, check out the monthly Art Walk on the 4th Thursday of every month. After we talked to the artists and learned more about their styles, we finished up our tour at Palermo’s Bakery, an Italian bakery right by our hotel. Having delicious cannolis and other Italian bites so close to us was dangerous, but we managed. Fun fact: they regularly host evening suppers, so contact the restaurant for more info.

You’re probably thinking, “There sure is a lot to do up there.” Yup, there is. We suggest you make a weekend out of it like we did. Taste History gave us a taste (pardon the pun) of the two areas, and we ended up doing some exploring on our own, too. It helps to stay at a conveniently located hotel like the Hampton Inn & Suites Boynton Beach, where we spent two food-filled nights. Free breakfast? Check. Spacious rooms? Check. Right off the highway, near major attractions and lots of parking? Check, check and check. After all the food you eat on the Taste History, a nearby hotel is a must so that you can food coma appropriately.

Taste History Culinary Tours continues to impress with an extensive look at not just cuisine but culture in South Florida. While food tours are a dime a dozen these days, quality food tours aren’t. The attention to detail, the knowledgeable guide, the restaurant selections … Taste History is a cut above the rest, and we can’t recommend them enough for exploring historic Palm Beach County.

For more information on Taste History Culinary Tours, visit their official website or call 561243-2662.