Newsletter: Jun 15, 2022

“Best of Delray” Mobile App Launched

Delray's restaurants, one of the city's main economic drivers, had been reeling from the impact of COVID and then came a 30% increase in food and labor costs.  Local entrepreneur Stephen Dickstein had an idea to help them out: create a mobile app where Delray's restaurants don't have to pay to be listed and make it seamlessly easy to reserve a table, compare menus and even keep a favorites list.

And thus, the "Best of Delray" app was born, exclusively about what to eat, do or buy in Delray Beach, curated by locals -- and downloadable for free in the Apple Store and Google Play (android).

Restaurants, nightlife, hotels and attractions will be the first in a series of the app's launches over the next few months and will be celebrated at a launch party at held at Meso on Tuesday, June 21.  

While other businesses will be charged for their listing on the app, "They (restaurants) earn their place through our curated vetting process using local experts," said Mike Mayo, "Best of Delray" content director and an award-winning food critic for the South Florida Sun Sentinel who co-founded the “Let’s Eat, South Florida” Facebook group. "We want to showcase and encourage quality.  Restaurants can be taken off the app at any time if they don’t maintain standards, or if they have repeated or egregious health and safety issues.”  

Next, the app's developers will launch home services, such as roofers, plumbers and handymen; lifestyle services, such as day spas, nail and hair salons; and also, categories focused on kids and pets. Then comes real estate, automotive and professional services. There’ll also be contest giveaways, an events calendar and other dynamic content in its "Buzz" section.  

"The ultimate goal is to deliver a trustworthy, easy-to-use directory for all things local, but without the annoyances you find on other apps.” says Mayo. “Yelp can be frustrating and unreliable...sometimes it gives you a restaurant in Broward because their directory is so helter-skelter and restaurants pay for placement.  If you look for a handyman on Angie, they require your phone number, email and practically your first born in order to access their data – and then you get bombarded with texts and phone calls at all hours.  We’re not like that."

Sarah Sarpolis, a local resident and one of the app's Beta testers, was enthusiastic after trying it out.  “It’s such a fantastic tool for all things Delray Beach! Having an authentic restaurant guide is so useful.  Rather than searching Open Table and Resy and Instagram and Google, I can get curated suggestions by category.  I can scroll through the Eating categories and see the menus, websites, photos and when I make my choice go directly to the venue's reservation system. My favorite is the Water View category!”

“I love the Attractions section," Sarpolis added.  So far, Sarpolis, who has only lived in Delray for a year and a half, has discovered what she calls "awesome things to do" that she had no idea existed and booked boat charters, visited local markets and some "really cool" art galleries.  She also liked the ease of simply sending her visitors the app to scroll through for hotel ideas and to choose what they wanted to do, see and eat while in town.

Naturally, there will be a “Best of The Best", an annual list of Delray’s top spots from ice cream shops on up to fine dining and special cuisines, water views or the best date night.  The app also uses each eatery’s preferred reservations and delivery/takeout platforms, culled from their own websites, in its listings.

"It took much data work on our end, but restaurants appreciate it," said Mayo.  "Since the use of non-preferred platforms can eat into their bottom line through higher fees.”

To download the mobile app go to:

Readers of “Friends of Delray” are invited to the “Best of Delray” launch party being held June 21st at Meso. For tickets or more info go to:

Best Regards,

The Friends Of Delray Board

Judy Mollica - President

Steve English - Treasurer

Gregg Weiss - Secretary

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