With the peak of Summer upon us and beach season heating up, the finger foods and cool cocktails of the summer months are on our minds. In a city absolutely overflowing with delectable culinary options representing the global palate, we decided to take America's favorite, and possibly most refreshingly sweet drink into focus. Learn where we found some of our favorite margaritas, whether it's with a full meal or a quick cocktail on a beach day, these spots are sure to suit your love for this iconic adult beverage.
Calaveras Cantina has carved quite the name for itself in a relatively short time. Seated right in the thick of Mizner Park, Calaveras serves some of the best margaritas and tacos in town. The ambiance of ornate ceilingwork, deep wood and brick hues allows for a relaxed atmosphere perfect for anyone. Whether sipping the finest mezcal or enjoying a refreshing margarita on their Margarita Monday's, the location and flavors at Calaveras will surely have you coming back for more.
Through our first entry, we reviewed the sometimes sordid history between the natives and the eventual settlers of South Florida. For centuries, the area known as Boca Raton was a sparsely inhabited area known for its beauty by the Spanish and Seminoles alike. The wild, salt-kissed hammocks of Boca Raton were hardly inhabitable save for the cultures who knew the land for millennia and the pirates who sheltered from storms and attacks by the Spanish galleons they sought to plunder. During the late 19th Century, Palm Beach and Miami became the only significant American towns in the region. Boca Raton was host to less than a dozen white families for the decades that followed, supplying the honorable Joshua Bowen as its first serving congressman. As evidenced by the legend of the Barefoot Mailmen, the journey from Palm Beach to Miami was made solely by doggedly determined pioneers, soldiers, outlaws, and natives.
In the 1890s, this would change drastically. Led by a legendary entrepreneur with a near-ubiquitous name in our state, the first surveys and settlements began to truly take root in Boca Raton. Today's story begins with that man, his right hand in the region, and the few brave enough to settle and change the landscape of Boca Raton forever.
The illustrious city of Boca Raton is a jewel on Florida's East Coast. What was once nothing but swampy hinterlands and untamed wilderness evolved over centuries to become the envy of the world - a place for celebrities, the ultra-wealthy, upstart businesspeople, and successful retirees to settle as their own. Yet, before the days of high-impact windows, central A/C, and the many guard-gated communities we feature as part of our landscape, a few brave settlers would attempt the earliest forays into the land we call Boca Raton. As part of our first chapter in profiling Boca Raton's historical chapters, and in concert with our friends at the Boca Raton Historical Society, we're excited to begin our series where it all began, at least for us. Our blog will illuminate the key figures, moments, and decisions that led from those first incursions to the glamorous present and future we live in today.
Early Florida Natives fashioning weaponry from the shell of the lightning whelk (Courtesy: Boca Raton Historical Society)
The Native Origins
The earliest vestiges of human habitation are evidenced in the area currently known as Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, just north of our beachfront office. Known as The Glades Culture, these early natives were here as early as 2,000 B.C. Though South Florida is primarily defined by its...
Despite its renown for wealth and as a stronghold for retirees, Boca Raton is rife with opportunities for children to live their best. Whether at home or in the community at large, Boca Raton has provided a great quantity of beautiful public spaces, parks, and even outdoor markets that are perfect for children and families to enjoy something new. For our list, we've compiled a wide selection of children's activities, including indoor, outdoor, dry, wet, and everything in between. Without further ado, learn what our choices are for the best of Boca Raton for kids.
Visit the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is named for the massive shade trees that permeate this hammock ecosystem. Known for its sea turtle conservation and rehabilitation efforts, the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is a few feet from our beachfront offices. The center sits on 20 acres of a protected barrier island and includes a museum, small aquariums, and numerous ways for children to get in touch with nature and inculcate respect for our environment.
We're not sure how we looked past this one for so long. With culinary and lifestyle blogs featuring everything from Middle Eastern, Smoothies, and even food terminology, it is high time to share the best gluten-free options in Boca Raton with our readers. Gluten-free food, once seen as a niche, needs-based product provided to those suffering from gastrointestinal conditions has entered the mainstream. The overall impact of gluten on even those with no underlying issues is a frequent discussion among nutritionists and dieticians. Whether you're treating Celiac disease or simply looking to reduce grains in your diet, look no further than these Boca Raton gluten-free options for your next meal.
The quaint and ever-popular Saquella Cafe is an Italian-style espresso-forward bistro in a delightful location at Royal Palm Place. Offering...
We've enjoyed writing about the many sights, sounds, flavors, and experiences modern Boca Raton has to offer. Lately, we've had the itch to delve into our past and remind ourselves why we live in such a special place - and how we got here. We live in a young country in an even younger state, but we're proud of how far we've come and the outsize impact America has had on global events near and far. These 5 Floridians might not all be war heroes or pro athletes. You may not even know all of their names, but their impact on our state's history, and the world abroad in some cases cannot be understated. Today we honor 5 significant and historical Floridians, their lives, contributions, and the impact we still feel today.
Mary Macleod Bethune (1875 - 1955)
You may have heard of Bethune-Cookman College, one of 4 HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) in Florida. This important institution is partly named for the legacy of Mary MacLeod Bethune, a key contributor to education reform, civil rights, and philanthropy in the United States. Born during the Post-Civil War Reconstruction and raised in the Jim Crow South, Bethune never knew the rights and freedoms that her descendants came to realize, but played a pivotal role in setting a new standard for African-Americans, namely through her contributions...
As the Summer months are fast approaching, the presence of our local flora and fauna will teem in comparison to the more temperate days behind us. New residents and longtime locals alike should exercise caution on behalf of themselves, but most of all for our beautiful wildlife, much of which has become critically endangered via the habitat destruction and poor environmental practices exhibited by several industries in recent years. Read on to learn about 5 endangered species in Florida, and what you can do to care for these beautiful creatures, whether that means doing something different or doing nothing at all.
The Florida Manatee is one of the gentlest, most beloved icons of South Florida. This docile herbivore is often mistaken for a lumbering, slow, creature but in reality, is quite deft at acceleration, capable of reaching 20mph in short bursts, and is only one of two marine mammals without blubber! Contrary to what many think, the greatest killers of manatees are not boats, although it is fundamental to be mindful of your speed in boating channels. Cold water and algal blooms are responsible for the majority of manatee kills, so be wary of how you care for your lawn, and how you dispose of organic materials that may otherwise lead to an excess of nutrients in the water supply.
It's beach season in Boca Raton! With May more than halfway over, we're expecting balmy nights and sunkissed mornings. Even with a splash of rain here and there, the summer heat brings the best out of South Florida's communitywide commitment to health & fitness. When you live in the shadow of Mizner Park, it's easy to lose track of what we order and the relationship it has with our waistline. After all, we have dozens of incredible restaurants and classy establishments to wine & dine with your favorite people. Did you know you can decode a restaurant menu by understanding the basic implications of menu terminology? Not every menu is likely to have calories cited, especially in more fine-dining settings. With our menu decoder, learn what you need to know before you order, and watch your positive decisions transform your physical outlook!
The following terms are related to the removal or omission of certain ingredients that may be linked to allergies or lifestyle choices.
All products are completely free of animal-based ingredients, including eggs, dairy, broths, and gelatin, among the more obvious inclusions (or exclusions).
Vegetarian foods include the use of dairy and eggs but omit meats based on their immediate proximity to animal slaughter. No-kill byproducts do not count.
Compared to most of the world, the United States of America has a very young history. Almost every major event has been chronicled since the initial foundation of the American Colonies. Without the nebulous origins of ancient civilizations, our foundational tales are not shrouded in myth & legend, do not contain religious underpinnings, and can be found in any major public library. Florida, namely South Florida, is an even younger vestige of this otherwise juvenile country. With nary a century of real development under our belts, the historic sites of Boca Raton are a rare glimpse into a time not too long ago. It was a time when our beautiful Tuscan architecture and signature luxury lifestyle were merely ideas coalesced around the vision of community forbear Addison Mizner. Without further ado, learn more of our Boca Raton history as we review 5 of the oldest sites in Boca Raton!
Spanish Village sits in an area just a few blocks north of City Hall on Boca Raton Boulevard. Originally built in the 1920s by the Mizner Development Corporation, the company was named for its founder, Addison Mizner once Boca Raton became more of a city than a dream, these modest homes were among the earliest residences in the area. Today, eleven still stand, and despite efforts from the residents, only one is currently protected by historic designation.
If one were to look at a map of the planet and find the equator, they'd find the dividing line that splits not only our hemispheres, but sets the bar for wildlife diversity. It is a known fact that the further from the poles and closer to the equator we reach, the more biodiversity we experience. The frigid climes of the northern and southernmost reaches of our planet don't provided cold-blooded denizens a survivable climate, nor is it optimal for lush plant life. Biologists refer to this concept as the LDG, or Latitudinal Diversity Gradient, and it is the broadest indicator of noted biodiversity patterns on earth. As the southernmost state in the U.S. and a major attractor of foreign business, visitors, and exotic pet owners, Florida is a perfect place to harbor invasive species from Burma to Belize and almost anywhere in between. Learn about 10 of these invasive species and what you should look out for if you encounter one in the wild, or on your doorstep.
Outside of the now-notorious Green Iguana, the Cane Toad is one of the most common invasive species in the world. The South & Central American native has long been a commonality at our doorsteps, driveways, front yards, and... everywhere else too.
Caution: Keep your pets away, as when bitten they secrete a poison that is often fatal to animals. They are not dangerous to humans.
South Florida is the natural attractant to healthy, fit people. The hot sun and year-round beach weather permit the less-than-shy to spend a remarkable amount of time in bikinis, board shorts, and workout gear. Nowhere (except maybe California) is there a greater presence of athleisure wear than in South Florida, and with its celebrity population, bustling fashion districts, and fitness subculture it's easy to see why. For those of you who struggle to eat breakfast, need a bigger boost in the morning, or simply want to enjoy the decadence of dessert without the guilt, look to the best smoothie and juice bars in Boca Raton for that healthy fix!
Purlife Cafe (formerly known as PurGreens) sits on one of the busiest corners of Mizner Park. The long-serving juice, wrap, and healthy bites cafe has been a staple of Mizner Park's bustle for more than 3 years, with its own high-end, trainer-focused gym on the premises as well. Alongside its terrific food, smoothie, and juice offerings, PurLife has hosted health-focused events and been a place for those living the lifestyle to gather.
Middle Eastern food may be the best represented among the many cuisines that are showcased in Boca Raton. From the Levant to Hijaz, the deft use of exotic spices, legumes, and flatbreads mark some of the many characteristics that unite Middle Eastern cuisines. Despite these similarities, each region and nation have something unique to offer. With a robust Jewish and Middle Eastern population, the best Middle Eastern food can be found around every corner. From a quick falafel pita on the go to halloumi and hummus, here are a few from the long and growing list of the best Middle Eastern Restaurants in Boca Raton.
Mediterranean Kebob House
The Mediterranean Kebob house is a renowned favorite in the heart of Mizner Park off US1. Serving a primarily Turkish menu, their menu includes Greek favorites like gyros, Greek salads, and kofte. With a simple yet refined decor, excellent service, and sterling reviews, the Mediterranean Kebob House is a notable recommendation straight from many of Boca Raton's Turkish population.
Hannah's Kitchen is a versatile one-stop for all things the Mediterranean. With a fully handcrafted menu, all dishes are from scratch and made to order. Their menu covers all the bases from the Grecian Islands to the Persian Gulf, with a full bakery and dessert list. Perhaps best of all is the wallet-friendly prices, offering some of...
Our history is the amalgamation of a global descent on this spectacular land. Our structures, homes, and public works reflect the ingenuity of decades of visionary work by those who saw Boca Raton as more than an untameable swampland. Through decades of dedication, sacrifice, and savvy the Pioneer Era of Boca Raton began through our first entry below and carried us to the luxury destination we live in today. These four visionaries span a breadth of time from the early 20th Century to the mid 2000's; developing our agrarian, real estate, and infrastructural sectors that today house some of the most sought-after real estate in the world. Read further to learn who these 4 (actually 5) historic visionaries were, what they did, and how their indelible contributions changed Boca Raton for the better.
Thomas Moore Rickards
Thomas Moore Rickards is widely regarded as the first resident of Boca Raton, playing a significant role in the city's development during the earliest days of recorded settlement, known as the Pioneer Era. Born in Ohio in 1845, Rickards moved to Florida in 1896 with his wife Lizzie and their 5 children, where he became involved in the surveying and railroad business. While traveling as a state-appointed surveyor, Rickards purchased 50 acres of land in the...
The United States of America is one of the youngest countries in the world, and a developed South Florida is one of its late risers. With so much of South Florida blanketed in swampland, deciduous woods, and palmetto scrub, Boca Raton's history is largely truncated to a minute quantity of time compared to other states along the eastern seaboard. With such a humid and hurricane-prone climate, South Florida didn't truly shine as a tourist hovel for decades, yet now is the brightest beacon in the United States. For those looking to move to Boca Raton, or those just visiting, here are a few of the most prominent historic landmarks in Boca!
Boca Raton Old City Hall
Without centuries of Medieval History, American landmarks are often either the ruins of past civilizations or the artifices of post-industrial development. Old City Hall, also known as the Town Hall was one of the first significant structures in Boca Raton. Designed by legendary town planner Addison Mizner, his flair for elegance has been preserved, as have some antiques from his collection. The building was commissioned in 1926, and once housed Boca Raton's first police station, fire department, and library. Today, the fire engine bay is a gift shop, and the building has been converted to the Boca Raton Welcome Center and Boca Raton History Museum. In 1980, the Old City Hall was officially added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Boca Raton has long been renowned for its trendy cocktail bars and exquisite cuisine. Thanks to South Florida's position as one of the biggest trending real estate markets in the country, people from around the world venture to visit and take residence in our beautiful beachfront community. Thankfully, their flavors tend to follow! Asian noodle bowls like the Japanese ramen and Vietnamese Pho have taken root in our hearts and carved their place in our local cuisine. Check out 5 of the best places to get pho and ramen in Boca Raton today!
Kapow Noodle Bar
This trendy pan-Asian restaurant sits at the heart of Mizner Park, and seems to always be full of happy customers. Formed from a triumvirate of South Florida restauranteurs, this comic-themed contemporary Asian restaurant brings the vibrancy of South Florida to the modern twist of pan-Asian cuisine. Specializing in small plates, noodles, and shareables - Kapow is one of the most fun places to enjoy pho and ramen in Boca Raton.
Basilic Vietnamese Grill
Perhaps the most purely Vietnamese place to get pho in Boca Raton, Basilic has a longstanding tradition of being one of the foremost East Asian restaurants in Boca Raton. Situated off U.S. 1 in the Mizner Park area, this unassuming tan-painted...
South Florida is one of the nation’s most diverse regions and Boca Raton is a key example of the patchwork of the great state of Florida. People from all walks of life find a home in Boca Raton. If you are considering a move to Boca Raton for your family and a member of your family possesses special needs, please consider the following institutions in town and the surrounding area.
Unicorn Village Academy (Ages 13 to 22)
Serving ages 13 to 22, Unicorn Village Academy provides a complete education for those with special needs in Boca Raton, with a focus on whole-life skills from the scholastic to the professional. It is a stand-out among Boca Raton special needs schools, as it is the sole institution in the city to serve its students beyond the age of 18. Trained faculty provide individual-specific academic instruction to students in tandem with vocational training as students work towards their high school diploma. At the age of 17, students may become eligible to participate in UVA’s post-secondary work program, which encompasses a full year of internship opportunities in partnership with the Boca West Country Club.
South Florida may not have the prestigious history of centuries old universities lining the northeast, nor the Pacific Coast technical institutions pacing the ascension of Silicon Valley, but South Florida is an enormous market attracting some of the best minds in the world to our local economy. From Miami to Palm Beach, numerous educational institutions show massive influence growth as their numbers rise and funding pours in. Whether looking to relocate to Boca Raton or as an existing resident, our exhaustive list of Boca Raton Colleges & Universities is here.
Palm Beach County's best-known public university, FAU was founded in 1961 but vaulted to national prominence with the growth of its campus and the ascension of its athletics program to relevance. As of 2018, its enrollment has grown to over 30,000 students representing over 140 countries. The earmark year of 2004 marked FAU's transition into a more traditional university, with an increase in admissions stringency, research funding, and the addition of an on-campus stadium. For a prominent, constantly growing university experience, look no further to FAU.
In just a few short years, Yoga has gone from a fringe activity that we'd commonly associate with... ahem... new-age types, and is now a facet of everyday life for millions of Americans. Among many things, the Boca Raton community vibe is sustained by people who work hard, play hard, and take care of their bodies. For some, yoga is a way of life. For others, an essential way to break up a busy week. Whatever your reason for coming to Boca Raton, bliss out at one of these 4 (among many) great Boca Raton yoga studios.
UPDATED (01/24/2021): YOGA AT THE BEACH ADDED TO ENTRIES
The Brainchild of founder Paige Held, the yoga joint brand has now expanded to 6 locations, with an additional 2 sets to open this year. The yoga joint is a hot yoga studio featuring their signature vinyasa flow, yin/restore, and high-intensity fit classes focusing on core strength and cardiovascular endurance. all under the purifying infrared lighting that makes so many moments at YJ as photogenic as they are healing.
Florida has a semi-comical reputation as the "Australia of America" mostly due to its numerous venomous and predatory animals. the flora and fauna of Florida have adapted to our subtropical environs, providing a backdrop for both prehistoric and invasive species. While these animals are something to be wary of encountering, by no means should we live in fear of these incredible creatures. A healthy respect and a basic body of knowledge will go a long way in keeping our Boca Raton environment clean and preparing you for the potential of an encounter. Remember, these animals largely want nothing to do with you, and it's their environment we call home. Here are 5 predatory and venomous creatures that call Boca Raton home.
Also known as the Water Moccasin, this aquatic dwelling pit viper can be found largely in muddy flats, lakefronts, puddles, and moist woodland. Given their name for their distinctively white mouths, these are among the most commonly encountered venomous snakes in Florida. While bites are infrequent and rarely deadly, these snakes should not be taken lightly, especially after heavy rains and flooding.
Portuguese Man o' War
Boca Raton is home to some of the best fine dining in South Florida. You are never far from outstanding Italian food or sensual French cuisine. However, often overlooked is the cuisine of our closest international neighbors: the island of the Caribbean. Below are some of the best Boca Raton Caribbean restaurants for your dining pleasure!
- 2399 N Federal Hwy Unit C, Boca Raton, FL 33431
Craving some ackee and saltfish? No? Ever heard of it? It’s the Jamaican national dish and you will forevermore after your first plate of it at Rocksteady, one of the best places to find Jamaican food in Boca Raton and all of South Florida. You’ll find favorites such as jerk chicken or shrimp, baby back ribs, or brown stew chicken, along with some curry goat to leave your comfort zone. Inside, you will be greeted by modern décor and authentic personalities from the island. You will be well taken care of from your first visit.
Caribbean Grill Cuban Restaurant