In August of 2017, I moved my young family to the west side of Boca Raton, FL. The neighborhoods in Boca Raton which lie west of the turnpike are a wild mix of cultures that make Florida a lovely place to call home. Colombian, Cuban, Brazilian, and Kosher restaurants and shops line the shopping centers along Lyons and 441 in a true melting pot of diversity in which the rest of the country seems to still be working on.
My family loves to celebrate milestones with treats from the newly remodeled Casa d0 Pao Brazilian restaurant. Open for 14 years, they remodeled this year, and as of the writing of this article, are 80% completed with the remodel. I must recommend their coxinha (shredded meat croquette), my son their traditional flan, and my daughter recommends their smoothies. Most of the servers speak Portuguese, Spanish and English so don’t be afraid to practice your Portuguese, or order in English if you get nervous. Their renovations have a really refreshed and modern feel, and the additional seating space is great if you run in large groups.
If you’re looking for a place that usually has live music on the weekends, try out one of our family favorites, the Colombian restaurant Rancheritos de Boca. They have a singer or a DJ every Friday night, and dancers of all ages come out to dance a little cumbia before eating their arrepa desmechada.
The holidays are nearly here, and a family tradition in our family is to spend time together enjoying a good jelly doughnut or sufganiyot from Aroma, our Boca Raton kosher market. Remember they are closed Saturdays, so be sure to get your bakery items before the weekend begins.
We have a lot of great parks in Palm Beach county. In west Boca Raton, we have many of your neighborhood parks, such as Windjammer, Loggers Run or Powderhorn Park, but we also have the Burt Aaronson South County Park. There is a public golf course for those who’d like to spend an afternoon pretending they are Tiger Woods. They also have the Sunset Cove Amphitheater which hosts food trucks on Wednesdays during the summer, and various concerts year-round. With a maximum capacity of 6,000 people, it is hard to find a better outdoor concert venue anywhere in the county. People from outside the county also come to our neck of the woods to enjoy the dog park, and nature enthusiasts of all stripes frequent the nature center.
Schools & Libraries
This side of Boca Raton hosts 7 elementary schools, 3 middle schools (one of which is partially owned by Pit Bull), two public high schools and a Yeshiva. Don’t even get me started on all of the wonderful Montessori preschools and we have in the neighborhood. They are all excellent.
Fact: West Boca High School was the first high school to allow students to stage a walk-out after the tragic events in February 2018. It is that kind of compassionate civic mindedness that make this neighborhood a great one to live in.
If your children are not school age yet, or if you home school, don’t worry! West Boca Raton has something for you too! Our two public libraries (West Boca & Glades Road) have plenty of programs for the whole family. West Boca Branch has a great bilingual story time on Tuesdays. Glades Road Branch has a reading buddy program wherein a novice reader can sign up for reading help from an older reader. Both branches also have a book of the month clubs and discussion groups.
Both Neighborhood Businesses & Big Box Stores
I like to support local small business owners whenever possible. For example, if you need your home or apartment air conditioning fixed, give Mike of AirSharks Inc a call. They are a great local business who have helped us out (after business hours!) when I was pregnant with my younger son and our air conditioning went kaput.
And even though I like to support small business owners, I’m also a mom who knows that sometimes, your kid just needs their blue icee fix from Target. Don’t worry! West Boca has one on the north side of Palmetto Park Road and 441. In the same plaza, they’ve have a Hobby Lobby, Chucky Cheese and an Aldi’s, so you could literally spend most of your day there.
We could live anywhere, but honestly, the diversity of cultures, excellent parks, schools and libraries, a great mix of local small businesses and necessary big box stores, makes this side of Boca Raton a great one to live in. If you haven’t been west of Lyons Road in Boca Raton come on out. I’m sure we have something you would love. You’ll be thankful you did.