Sassafras: Southern-inspired soul food

By Alexis Paige

Both the Sub-Culture Group and chef John Thomas have individually made a reputation of dishing out some seriously good eats. With their powers combined, one could endlessly fantasize about what could be made. Luckily, we don’t have to use our imaginations because they have granted us Sassafras.

After being closed for nearly three months due to COVID-19, Sassafras has finally reopened and is ready to serve its luxe twist on Southern eats.

Head east down the main strip of West Palm Beach then turn right and you will see a neon sign that reads “eat.” Inside you’ll find a minimal, modern atmosphere with an inviting bar, pickled vegetables on the wall, and decorations that could be taken from your grandmother’s country house.

Chef John Thomas of Sassafras

If the name chef John Thomas rings a bell in your stomach, you have probably eaten at Delray’s beloved-but-lost 32 East. Bringing the same delicious, innovative ideas to Sassafras, Thomas’ talent combined with Sub-Culture Group’s delicious track record is sure to make your taste buds start speaking with a drawl.

Sassafras is giving your guilty pleasure foods a boujee refresh by offering an upscale menu inspired by Southern staples.

Pickled vegetables, buttermilk biscuits, and collard greens are just some of the classic comfort foods on the menu. But those are only to start your meal. With local fish and butcher’s cut options, you’ll always have something fresh to choose as your main course. Or get your hands dirty with baby back ribs, fried chicken, or a double cheeseburger.

Vegetable Dish at Sassafras in West Palm Beach

Pro tip: bring a big party and make everyone order something different. Just be sure to show some southern hospitality and share!

If you can’t decide, let Thomas decide for you. Simply order the chef’s choice tasting menu (and add the beverage pairing, because why not?). It’s five rounds of something tasty, and you only had to make one decision. Now that’s Southern hospitality at its finest.

Setting the quality of the food as their top priority, Thomas utilizes local, fresh ingredients as inspiration when creating the menu.

Cocktail at Sassafras in West Palm Beach

Just like most of Sub-Culture Group’s restaurants, Sassafras also has an elaborate cocktail menu. Whether you want to pair an adult beverage with your meal, a starter, or just sip on a drink by itself, you’ll want to treat yourself to one of the bar’s crafty, Insta-worthy concoctions.

Taste the Sunshine State with the Florida Sun Tea, made with peach-infused vodka, alfalfa sun tea, honey and lemon. For a twist on a classic Moscow Mule, sip the Narcissus Mule, which features a refreshing blend of Tito’s vodka, pomegranate, lime and rosemary. If you still need more convincing, Sassafras’ Instagram account is an enticing sneak peek into their complete drink and food menu.

For only being open for a short period of time, Sassafras has already gotten a slew of reviews online. Many are five stars, which can only mean one thing: the locals already love it! As picky as South Floridians are, there’s no doubt this Southern stop is a local hit.


Sassafras; 105 S. Narcissus Ave Ste. 130, West Palm Beach; 561-323-7007;, @sassafraswpb

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