Where locals eat and drink in Miami Beach

Miami Travel Blog

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Many people think that Miami Beach is the beach portion of Miami.  In fact, it is a separate city, and, as the smaller sister of the big Miami, it is the fairest one of them all.  In Miami Beach is where it all happens.  By nature, the shoreline does not have sandy beaches, so the pretty blue water and wite sand photos are most probably all from Miami Beach or the islands below and above it.  If you are looking for a hotel in this area, the lively South Beach, is the section of town with most clubs, boutique hotels, plus some larger ones, and pedstrian streets with shops, restaurants and cafes.

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  The main street is conssidered Collins Avenue.  Collins runs paralel to the beach, and the tipical South Beach scene can be seen on Ocean Drive - the street that runs alond the water.  After Ocean and Collins, follows Washinglton Street, where you will find most clubs.  The twomost famous pedestrian street or malls, as we call them here, are Lincoln Road and Espanola.  Espanola is significantly smaller that Lincoln, but both are just two blocks apart, so it is easy to stroll both in an afternoon. 

We local residents keep away from Ocean Drive most of the time, especially by night, since it can get very crowded.  But a morning walk will offer some pretty good places to have breakfast or an early lunch. News Cafe is a nice place for that.  Here are a few spots we, as locals, love the most:

La Folie, is a French creperie on Espanola you should not miss.

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  Very French (at least for us!).  Just half a block  away is one of my favorite spots for an early diiner - Chocolate.  The deserts are ghreat but a bit exagerated in price, but the menu is otherwise nice, and the wine comes in half bottles - beats the price anywhere.  Early dinners are great at Spris, Le Bon and Tiramesu on Lincoln Road.  From 5:30 to 7 pm you get a reduced menu for ... $5.50 - $7.00, depending on the time you get there, at Spris and Tiramesu (both Italian, pizzas and pastas, actually made by Italians).  Le Bon has Belgian food and serves mussels during this local promotion who actually runs all year for $9.90 and they are fabulous.  The best quick late lunch or early diiner you can get at Segafredo, on Lincoln Road - salads and sandwiches are fantastic.
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  This is also the only place on the Beach where you can actually just have drinks with full and pleasant service without having to eat, since it is a cafe bar.  Most other places are restaurants.

For the ones that would like to have a more elegant dinner, there are a million restaurants around, in hotels, etc.  You can look them up on restaurant guides.  To my chagrin, the best restaurant in town just closed - Pacific Times.  what a pitty!!!! As a local, I like the dives, the smaller and more popular places. There is a sandwiche place (basically a whole in the wall) on the 14 and Washington that makes the best ones on the beach - ther is a line most of the times!  On Espanola, Cafe Nuvo has a tiny bar called mojitos (sits about 5 people)- just precious, old Cuba decor and lots of Bacardi drinks based on mint, sugar and rum.

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  They also serve food from the restaurant - bit pricy but very good.

The best kept secret for a evening drink is Zeke's, one more of those wholes in the wall you would not expect to find in South Beach - it is smack in the middle of Lincoln Road and serves all beers, domestic or imported for $3 - they carry every beer you can think of!  Wine is about $4 and they have decent hot dogs and chips - no table service - you get to cary your beers outside and sit there forever.

What you need to learnquick to do is ask the locals where they have Ladies' Nights or parties with free drinks until midnight.  Most of the times clubs offer them and everyone under a certain age goes. Not my favorite sport, but I understand it is a good way to start the evening without going broke.

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Keep an eye on flyers who promote local bands.  They give them out on Lincoln Road a lot.  Choose the music your like and go for it.  Cover charge is no more that about $5-10, and many times it is free.  To have a drink and chat and whatever else you can do with lots of noise, locals frequent bars more than clubs, unless they want to go dancing.  The local dives are Lost Weekend (on Espanola) and The Playright (you guessed, it is an Irish bar) on Washington and 13.  Both have one or more pooltables. The latter is also a sports bar, so you can see all Premier Ligue football, Champions Ligue, world Cup games, and also Rugby and boxing.  They have pretty much every satelite you can get here in the US.  For important games or matches there is a covercharge of $20.

 

B-Jorn says:
Hmmm....
I'l drop by Miami Beach for a lunch...
Posted on: Aug 12, 2007
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photo by: ellieperla