Delray Beach may be best known for its beaches, but its nightlife is just as noteworthy and filled with experiences you’ll relive long after you’ve returned home.
Downtown Delray Beach is a prime destination for the kind of night out real life back home just doesn’t allow. But don’t think we’re simply listing the best bars and restaurants that serve up fancy cocktails on famed Atlantic Avenue. Delray’s nightlife scene extends to a garage-turned-arts enclave, a club full of aerialists, a “silent” disco, and many other ways to make your night out one you’ll remember for a long time. Here, we offer a little something for everyone, from romantic spots for couples to plenty of ways to live it up just moments from Delray Sands Resort.
For Handcrafted Cocktails: Get a Little Weird at Dada
Located in one of the oldest historic homes in Delray Beach, Dada prides itself on being non-conformist. The food, the drinks, the atmosphere, the music, and even the staff in this Delray Beach bar are imbued with an artistic license that’s as refreshing as it is startling. The work of local, independent artists adorns the walls inside – think: abstract paintings, “living” art made of succulents and vines, and eerie, otherworldly portraits. Meanwhile, form meets function on the intimate outdoor dining and garden area, where eclectic decor is mixed in with herb gardens and lights strung overhead twinkle merrily. Head to Dada for the live entertainment you’ll find every night, including open mic, comedy, singer-songwriters, live bands, and even a classic movie night on Sundays.
For a Hands-On Night Out: Go Back to School
On a reclaimed school campus, you’ll find Old School Square, which includes the Cornell Art Museum, Crest Theatre, Fieldhouse, Pavilion, and Creative Arts School. It’s a hotbed of cultural activity, packed into a few blocks where you can find concerts, cabaret, comedy, or even an art walk. But if you’re wondering what to do in Delray Beach that includes a little artistic inspiration (and you’re not afraid of a little paint underneath your fingernails), Canvas & Cocktails is the offering for you. Attendees can create an art piece in a relaxed environment while sipping on a glass of wine, a craft beer, or a hand-crafted cocktail. Reserve your spot at the class, which falls on the last Thursday of each month.
For the Best Dance Party in Delray: A Silent Disco
On the first Thursday of each month, you can walk into the Fieldhouse at Old School Square and find yourself in the midst of neon lights, dancing crowds, three deejays spinning beats…and absolute silence? Welcome to the world of the Sound Off Silent Disco, Delray Beach’s nightlife alternative to ear-shattering nightclubs. Reserve yourself a spot, and pick up your headphones at the door, which allow you to not only switch between deejays, but also control your own volume. Each deejay’s channel illuminates the headphones a different color, so you’ll always know who’s dancing to the beat of the same drum. Space is limited and the waitlist can fill up, so buy your ticket when you book your room at Delray Sands Resort.
For Indie Live Entertainment: A Garage Gone Contemporary
You’ll find Arts Garage is in the ground level of Old School Square’s parking garage. But don’t let the humble digs fool you – this contemporary cultural center was recently awarded a “People’s Choice” award by the Knight Foundation. On any given night, you can catch a world-renowned musician on the stage or take in a cutting-edge theater performance. With a BYOWhatever policy on food and drink, you might think the laissez-faire attitude carries over to the performances, but patrons are pleasantly surprised by the rigorous standards Arts Garage has for its stage, resulting in performances that rival the caliber of big city stages.
For a Not-Your-Ordinary Night Out: A Fire-Breathing, Trapeze-Swinging Good Time
At Il Bacio, you’ll get all of the nightlife and extreme entertainment any normal vacationer could handle. Il Bacio boasts an open-air dance floor, pulsing beats by hot deejays, aerialists, fire performers, state-of-the-art sound, and precision light shows. It’s a heaping helping of Las Vegas tucked away in Delray Beach. If a “night out” at home consists of a dignified dinner and a few drinks, you owe it to yourself to let loose with one night of wild abandon in Delray Beach.
For a (Bar) Hopping Good Time: Late Nights on “The Avenue”
With more than 100 bars and restaurants, Delray Beach’s Atlantic Avenue is a central downtown thoroughfare where music spills out of crowded bars, restaurants, and cafés. On any given night, you can rub elbows with locals and tourists alike, and with classic rock to island reggae, chances are you’ll find something for everyone’s taste, if you walk a block or two in either direction.
For a Couple: Intimate Drinks under the Sea
A stark departure from the tired clichés you find in most seafood restaurants, Latitudes offers a fresh, modern spin on a nautically infused menu and decor. From the moment you walk in, you’ll be dazzled by the sleek and sexy design that hinges on an underwater bubble theme, transporting you from Delray Beach to the bottom of the sea. Grab a seat in the chic lounge for a nightcap before you head back to your room.