The words Miami and foodie don’t always go hand in hand, but on a recent trip to South Beach, we found that there is a huge food scene just waiting to be uncovered. Here are some of my top recommendations of places to eat and drink in the city.
Fried chicken restaurants aren’t hard to come by in Miami, but this home-style eatery is a cut above. Boasting its own bourbon bar and an inventive cocktail menu, it’s the perfect place to kick start your date night. The menu offers up good ol’ fashioned Southern comfort food staples with a modern twist – from fried green tomatoes topped with bacon and cheese to chicken and waffles with maple syrup and a bourbon glaze. We were too stuffed for dessert but next time we’d definitely save room for the bacon butterscotch cake with toasted pecan ice cream.
The Big Pink
This very instagrammable retro diner has been featured on hundreds of influencer accounts over the past couple of years and has fast become a Miami mainstay. Its instantly recognisable, and very photo-friendly, pink taxi cab exterior might be behind The Big Pink’s rise in popularity, but there’s a reason why tourists and locals continue to flock to this all-American all-rounder. The giant menu of typical American diner fare is excellent value for money, plus the friendly staff and laidback feel mean this is a great option for families, couples and friends alike, whatever time of day or night (it stays open until 2am).
The Broken Shaker
Just a hop, skip and a jump away from South Beach, this cool cocktail bar is rapidly becoming the hidden hangout spot that everyone wants to be seen at. Situated in the super cool Freehand Hostel, this dimly lit outdoor patio is the perfect place to sip an inventive cocktail and sing-along to classic rock anthems as you catch up with friends after a day at the beach. If al fresco drinking in a romantic setting hasn’t sold you, the mouth-watering fish tacos will. It does get busy so get there early for the best seats!
The Matador Room – EDITION
This Latin-inspired restaurant, situated in the luxury Miami EDITION hotel on Collins Avenue is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. This elegant dining space is cosy, romantic and feels just as intimate whether it’s a table for two or a bigger group. Ask for a table outside on the terrace and you’ll be seated in the most idyllic of settings overlooking the stunning pool area and surrounded by bougainvillea. Share some of the menu’s delicious small plates and a glass of wine in this beautiful, relaxed setting as you watch the sun go down. It’s not cheap, but totally worth it for the atmosphere and service.
If you’ve seen the movie Chef, you’ll recognise this traditional Cuban eatery, located in the heart of Little Havana. The huge, bustling dining hall serves up classic Cuban staples like Cuban sandwiches, croquettes and cafecito, and has been a favourite of locals since it opened in the 1970’s. We stopped in on our way to Calle Ocho for breakfast and we are so glad we came hungry as the portions are huge! It’s easy to tell why ‘the world’s most famous Cuban restaurant’ is so popular – it’s a well-oiled machine that offers up great quality Cuban food at very reasonable prices.
Joe’s Stone Crab
Another Miami institution, Joe’s Stone Crab is only open October-May, but it draws crowds daily for its sweet and juicy crab, and famous key lime pie. A little fancier than some of the other restaurants we visited, it’s definitely a place to dress up and chow down on some delicious seafood staples. We had to wait about an hour for a table, but the bar area is a great place to hang out over a glass of something cold from their extensive wine list. We were wowed by the choice of seafood on offer, and both opted for the famous stone crab combo which consisted of coleslaw, five crab claws, hash browns and creamed spinach, with a slice of pie to finish. Delicious!