Love Thy Neighborhood: Northwood Village

Historic Northwood Village offers a quieter approach to the public art and international food scene

Visit murals and support artists at Art Night Out and programs like Lot 23.
Images courtesy of West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
When exploring a new city or town, do you find yourself drawn to where the artists are? Then historic Northwood Village is exactly where you want to be. Comprising seven blocks in the northern end of West Palm Beach, “the Village” provides a respite from the city’s busier downtown, but is close enough that residents can take advantage of the events and eateries along Clematis Street, on the waterfront, and within Rosemary Square.

Back in Northwood Village, discover a variety of international food options; one-of-a-kind retailers like Nowlin Flower Shop, Stone Button Studio, and Northwood Antiques; and a smattering of galleries and artist workshops. One studio, Lot 23, is owned by the city and includes a residency program where artists can volunteer to teach local students in exchange for reduced rent in nearby apartments. 

Northwood Village also boasts cool restos such as Café Centro.

“Northwood Village is very much a bohemian village for foodies, designers, and artists alike,” says Allison Justice, who served as interim executive director of West Palm Beach’s Community Redevelopment Agency. “It’s hard to explain the way you feel when you go into the Village. There’s a certain uniqueness to every building and to the community itself.”

Grilled Cheese Gallery

The Village’s wide selection of restaurants is a huge draw for visitors and residents, as well. “It has a lot of diversity,” explains Justice. “From a grilled cheese place [Grilled Cheese Gallery], high-end Italian trattoria [Café Centro], and hipster favorite Harold’s Coffee, any type of food that you would want is in Northwood, at all price points.”

Got an eye for waterside property? Just north of the Village is the Old Northwood Historic District, a charming neighborhood of 1920s Mediterranean-style homes bordering the Intracoastal Waterway that has, for the past 25 years, seen a major boom in revitalization projects. “When those from New York come down and want a house that’s unique … I’ll send them to Old Northwood,” says Tracie Copeland, owner of the West Palm Beach–based real estate company Copeland & Co. “They’re usually a second-home kind of buyer who’s not in the market for something cookie-cutter.”

West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency/Papp Photo

One need only wander through Northwood Village and along its main thoroughfare, Northwood Road, to see the community’s commitment to art. Devote an afternoon to checking out the area’s abundant murals, stopping to take selfies with some gothic mermaids, a gigantic fish, and a kaleidoscopic eyeball. Events in the Village include Art Night Out, which (pandemic notwithstanding) occurs on the last Friday of each month and is designed so that the artist community can sell their work to the public in a friendly, outdoor setting. The Center for Creative Education is another neighborhood standout, one dedicated to transforming lives through arts education and programming.

Malakor Thai Café

Whether you’re on the hunt for unexpected artwork or just an otherworldly grilled cheese,  there’s always the underlying notion that when you’re in Northwood Village something inspirational is just around the corner.

Neighborhood Nosh: When craving eggs any style or a tall stack of pancakes, artists, politicians, Palm Beachers, and neighborhood locals make a beeline to This Is It Café on 24th Street. The greasy spoon diner is where to go for American breakfast and lunch classics—some with a creative twist, like the Hawaiian chicken salad melt, made with pineapples and American cheese on raisin toast.

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