Finger Lickin' Good: Palm Beach County's Best Homestyle Restaurants

By Kristopher Neild, Travel Expert

Homestyle restaurants bring back memories of simpler times spent eating around a full table with family. In the Palm Beach/West Palm Beach area, there are quite a few eateries that instill this nostalgia or provide a great family sized meal deal. With its original opening in 1950, Howley’s Diner has perfected the vibe and stayed true to its roots.  For a retro diner ambiance with menu favorites from yesteryear, this diner should be your go to most any time of the day. Open for nearly 24 hours on the weekends, the time is always right to grab brunch or some peach cobbler for a late night bite.

Chicken has been a long time staple in comfort food, and luckily there are lots of options in the area when it comes to how you like it prepared. Bay Bay’s Chicken & Waffles has developed a loyal following by serving deliciously fried chicken with traditional and creative sides. Pair a chicken plate with mashed potatoes and fried okra or throw in a red velvet cake waffle; the pairings are all up to you. The portions are generous and the family-sized meals are very affordable, making Bay Bay’s a local place that everyone can enjoy.

For a healthy home style alternative to fried chicken, check out C.R. Chicks. Without a fryer or freezer on site, all of the food is prepared fresh and can be modified to work with gluten-free or low-fat diets. The rotisserie style chickens are great shredded on a hot sandwich or purchased whole with a few sides for a family-style meal. Sitting down to a hot plate from any of these places is sure to leave you feeling satisfied and planning your next visit. 

8. Palm Sugar
Photo courtesy of Palm Sugar

Palm Sugar Asian Grills & Dessert Bar is a one-of-a-kind restaurant on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach that offers a fusion of Thai and Asian meals. The restaurant has a gastropub feel and draws a lively crowd in the evenings for its great happy hour priced drink and small plates. Some crowd favorites are the duck buns and the crispy bok choy. Enjoy the deluxe lunch combo during the week and get a salad, starter and entr�e for only $11. The dessert menu has a nice fusion of Florida favorites like key lime pie as well as Thai cheesecake and an assortment of cupcakes.

7. Sweet Tomatoes
Photo courtesy of dominik18s

Sweet Tomatoes doesn't think it is possible to have too many fruits and vegetables so they've created a buffet style salad bar that is all-you-can-eat. The buffet also serves up soups and vegetarian pastas as well as some vegetarian bakery creations so don't think that coming here leaves you with limited meal choices. Sweet Tomatoes likes to prepare the meal selections daily and so you can be sure that the veggies you are served are fresh and the bread you are enjoying was prepared just for you. The West Palm Beach location is open from 11 AM until at least 9 PM so you can follow a healthy eating plan for both lunch and dinner.

6. Mom's Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Mom's Kitchen

Mom's Kitchen is a rustic diner in Lake Worth that exudes comfort from the moment you are greeted at the door. The friendly service and the feeling that everyone is a local add to the warmth of the diner experience. This place is top notch for a home style-cooked breakfast e.g. a large omelet with bacon, hash browns and a biscuit. The lunch menu continues the theme of comfort foods by offering meat loaf and mashed potatoes followed by cherry pie. Craving a tuna melt? The traditional diner favorites are all there on the extensive menu so it's impossible to leave hungry.

5. C.R. Chicks
Photo courtesy of C.R. Chicks

C.R. Chicks has successfully been feeding the people of Palm Beach/West Palm Beach for over 20 years because they have stayed true to their roots and serve only the highest quality foods. Known as a healthy alternative to fast food, it's a great spot to stop in for lunch and family style dinners. Without a freezer or a fryer, C.R. Chicks offers fresh rotisserie chicken prepared just about any way you can imagine. It's great on the bone in the family meals, on a sandwich for lunch or in a salad when you're in the mood for a lighter option.

4. Bud's Chicken & Seafood
Photo courtesy of Bud's Chicken & Seafood

Bud's Chicken & Seafood has made feeding the whole family affordable and delicious since 1957. With seven locations in the Palm Beach/West Palm Beach area, it's clear to see that Bud's serves up a winning recipe when it comes to soul food. The family-owned chain stays true to its roots by offering chicken and seafood entrees, but also likes to add menu items based on what the regulars suggest. You can also find BBQ pork and ribs, as well as salads at many of the locations now. The large family feast and box sized portions take the stress out of cooking and leave more time for simply enjoying the meal.

3. Bay Bay's Chicken & Waffles
Photo courtesy of Bay Bay's Chicken & Waffles

No one understands just how great pairing fried chicken and waffles is better than Bay Bay's Chicken & Waffles. Try the signature chicken and waffle meal or get creative and add a specialty waffle. The Red Velvet Pecan Waffle, the Peanut Butter and Jelly Waffle, and the Apple Cinnamon Waffle are just a few choices to consider when upgrading your meal. Bay Bay's also offers true southern sides: grits, collard greens, mac & cheese, baked beans, steamed cabbage and potato salad really complete the meal. Don't worry if you aren't craving soul food as the Curry Stir with chicken and the Shrimp Po'Boy are great menu options as well. The serving sizes are great but I definitely recommend saving room for desert because it isn't often you can order a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Waffle with ice cream on top!

2. Cracker Barrel
Photo courtesy of Cracker Barrel

Walking into a Cracker Barrel makes it easy to see why the chain has been popular over the years for serving up hearty, home-style meals. The front of the restaurant contains a gift shop, meant to invoke nostalgia of when life was simpler and focused on families gathered around big meals. One glance at the menu and you'll see lots of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. The southern charm is definitely reflected in the country dinner plates; a meat, two sides and homemade buttermilk biscuits for less than $10. Whatever entr�e you choose to indulge in, be sure to save room for the baked apple dumplin'.

1. Howley's Restaurant Est. 1950
Photo courtesy of Howley's

When you're in the mood for good times and great cuisine, be sure to checkout Howley's Restaurant Est. 1950. The restaurant is located in one of the area's mostpleasant settings and is known for its delightful staff and superb cuisine.The menu at Howley's Restaurant Est. 1950 features a wide array of great selections, madefrom only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, with something sureto please every member of your group. Howley's Restaurant Est. 1950 has establisheditself as one of the area's favorite culinary destinations and is sure tooffer you a pleasant and unique dining experience every time you visit.Please stop in soon!