USA Today named Delray Beach “America’s Most Fun Small Town” and the question begs to be asked…’What makes it so fun?”

It doesn’t seem you have to look too far for the answer: the beach, the weather, the food, the people.

Face it, anytime you can dig your toes in the sand, settle into a beach chair, and escape the everyday grind of life, is fun.

We hit the beach in mid-October. I had a work event, my husband had a hankering to get around the beautiful beach crowd and try a variety of fancy and casual restaurants lining Atlantic Avenue.

The Friday night energy on Atlantic Avenue was contagious. Al-fresco dining and strings of lights hanging from outdoor patios seemed to scream “Celebrate!” We strolled into Tramonti looking forward to something a little special. One look at the upscale and comfortable atmosphere, and I knew we were in for one of those “to-die-for” Italian meals.

I was too excited to read the menu, so I asked our waiter, “If you were ordering dinner for the love of your life, what would you order.”

Ahhh…he wondered.

By the way, that’s a great question to ask when you want an excellent recommendation!

Three selections were suggested and I chose the Scallopine Alia Sorrentina which is veal topped with prosciutto, eggplant and melted mozzarella served over a bed of spinach. My husband picked out his must-have Gnocchi Sorrentina. And to drink…a glass of Sangiovese.

And yes…the “love of his life” would definitely stick around after that meal!

We lingered, ate, talked and just enjoyed the night, ending dinner with Sicilian Cannoli which the restaurant makes on-site, and a sip of espresso.

Afterwards, a stroll down Atlantic Avenue poking our heads into restaurant doors to admire the décor, smell the aromas of the night and feed off the energy of happy people as they ended their work weeks and set their weekend plans into motion.

Restaurant Deals in Delray Beach, FL

My work schedule was tight, but I still fit in a 5 am morning jog on the beach. Running in the dark, I could only make out shapes and shadows as I ran along the sandy shoreline.

However, I wasn’t the only person eager to celebrate a new day. There were a few fishermen shore-fishing with lines in the water and I almost ran the gauntlet of invisible string without getting caught…almost!

Later in the day the beach would be dotted with folks lounging in rented chairs and umbrellas. But for about an hour or so, the beach was quiet, cool, and filled with space to breathe in the possibilities of life.

The people of Delray are friendly. One man I met said if I wasn’t married, he would sweep me off my feet and together we would travel the world. At 75 years of age, I was impressed with his tan and his “guns” which he showed off for me in his muscle T.

Many beach residents are snowbirds from the Northeast, there for a season or for a lifetime. One thing seems certain, they know how to taste life.

For lunch, I must have been on an Italian kick!

Pizza Rustica offers square pizza with a crispy thick crust. They pop it into the oven as you order to heat it up and melt the cheese so the time from order to eat is pretty quick.

Caffe Luna Rosa’s menu includes breakfast…delicious omelettes! I wanted something light, so ordered a side of meatballs and a salad. I asked them to make something special and they did. Loved the assortment of olives on the top. And the meatballs…yum! Outdoor seating added to the enjoyment even though it was a little cloudy.

Our time was too short and we left by Uber, catching a ride to the Fort Lauderdale airport and wishing we had extended our stay another day.


When you Go:

119 E. Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach, FL  33444
*make reservations
Pizza Rustica
1155 E Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33483

Caffe Luna Rosa
34 S. Ocean Blvd.
Delray Beach, FL  33483

Residence Inn by Marriot
Just one street down from the Marriott
1111 E. Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach, FL  33483

Marriott Hotel
Beachfront Resort
10 N. Ocean Blvd
Delray Beach, FL  33483

Where to Fly In:

Fort Lauderdale Airport
Palm Beach Airport


Uber Delray Beach (about $45)

Go Airport Shuttle:
(a shared ride from Ft. Lauderdale is about $30 per person)

Train and Bus transportation is also available…
Cost: $5(train) but could take as much as 4 hours to arrive in
Delray Beach from the airport.

Photo attribution:
Dawn Damico


pizza rustica: