ACKERMAN: Cards Spring Training Food & Drink Guide in Jupiter

Where to grab the best meals and find the best views around the Cardinals spring training complex.

Tom Ackerman
January 07, 2019 - 2:50 pm
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) signs autographs for fans before the game against the Houston Astros at Roger Dean Stadium.

(Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Ah, Jupiter. The Cardinals' spring training home is located in Palm Beach County, Florida, home of some of the country's best golf courses, beaches... and outstanding restaurants.

To get you ready for your trip, pack this list in your carry-on. Here are my favorite spots... one for the best food, the other for the best views and Florida vibe. Please feel free to chime in with your favorites: I'm @Ackerman1120 on Twitter. Enjoy!

FOOD:

Captain Charlie's Reef Grill (Juno Beach) - Hidden from street view, this location is easy to miss at first. But once parked and inside, the sight of fresh seafood being cooked on high flames in an open kitchen (behind the bar!) will have your mouth watering. The Reef has the best menu, always changing, always fresh... and the place is always packed.  I recommend the grouper cheeks as a starter if they have them. My favorite fish is the pompano, caught minutes away from your table. This place is ridiculous. I'm hungry just writing this. 

Hog Snappers Shack & Sushi (Tequesta) - Delicious, creative sushi and seafood dishes at a reasonable price. A favorite of locals, Hog Snappers is in a strip mall anchored by the popular Tequesta Brewing Co. The move is to hit both locations. You'll blend in with the Floridians and learn a few more secrets about the area.

Food Shack (Jupiter, @Littlemoirs) - A Palm Beach County staple. Again, located in a strip mall, but letting that dissuade you would be a mistake. Food Shack has a very loyal following, which makes it hard to get a table at times, but it is worth the wait. Outstanding seafood, Asian fusion, top-notch beer selection... it's a home run, without question.

Leftovers Cafe (Jupiter, @Littlemoirs) - Like Food Shack, it's part of the Little Moir's family of restaurants. Unlike Food Shack, Leftovers is very close to Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in the friendly village of Abacoa. What you'll find: live music, cold beer and a fantastic menu. I have a couple of go-tos: panko fried oysters and whatever seafood bowl they're offering that day. Leftovers also has burgers, chicken, etc... but these aren't leftovers. This is fresh, outstanding Florida cuisine.

Coolinary Cafe (Palm Beach Gardens, @coolinarycafe) - Whether it's something inventive (I really think they invent dishes here)... or comfort food like chicken & waffles (yum), this place always delivers. It's another strip mall location... but it is a world of its own inside. This would be the spot to get brunch in Palm Beach County. Or dessert. Or a really good glass of wine. This place is... well, cool.

VIEWS:

Sailfish Marina (Palm Beach Shores, @SailfishMarina1) - Huge complex featuring a restaurant, bar, store and plenty of space for boats. Ample seating outside looks to the west, providing a spectacular sunset view during happy hour. Hard to beat.

Jetty's (Jupiter) - This could easily be included in the "food" category, because it is excellent. I think I've ordered the same thing at Jetty's every time in my two decades of covering the team: blackened grouper, side of potato/vegetable, key lime pie. I'll steal a coconut shrimp off someone's plate if they order it. And the view of the Jupiter Lighthouse and inlet is beautiful. Great place to take the kids. (This is also the place where you'll get some occasional player sightings.)

Guanabanas (Jupiter, @guanabanasjup) - Hideaway restaurant with a tropical setting, overlooking the water that surrounds Burt Reynolds Park. Food is good, bar is lively, national music acts will come through here. Valet park and then get away from the world for a little while.

U-Tiki Beach (Jupiter) - One of three restaurants in this list on the Jupiter Inlet, this one has the most space. Big indoor/outdoor seating areas, but make sure you get your name in. It gets busy. Good bar with TV's and attentive bartenders. Food is delicious. Again, plenty of open space outside on the water. Kid friendly.

Square Grouper Tiki Bar (Jupiter) - More of a bar than a restaurant, so not for kids. 21 and over. This is a place to get a cocktail by the water, grab a bite, hang out with your friends, listen to music, watch the boats go by the inlet. Great place to take a group pic.