Miami’s best restaurants are concentrated in the Gables, the Grove, and the Beach. You can dine on the oceanfront, in sight of the sea, in Deco surroundings, or in a garden setting, around an open hearth. Gamble while you eat at the race track, dog track, or jai-alai fronton.
Or have a meal at one of the theme restaurants that evoke medieval Spain or Tudor England.
In more elegant establishments, a jacket or jacket and tie are required, but for the most part, you can cultivate a casual appearance. A lot of oceanfront hotels ban improperly attired swimmers from indoor restaurants, so be prepared with shoes and a cover-up. Coffee shops serve sandwiches, salads, light meals, and snacks-but no alcohol.
If you’re in a hurry, sit at the counter for faster service. Delicatessens specialize in sandwiches, pastries, and kosher dishes. Long queues form outside the popular delis at peak hours, but they generally move quickly. If you don’t want to wait, put in your order “to go”. There’s usually a special window or queue for take-out service.
Fast food outlets include local ethnic franchises, usually to be found at big shopping centers. Order from the counter of your choice: Greek, Italian, Cuban, Japanese, whatever, and take a seat afterward in the central courtyard.
Juice bars feature fruit and vegetable juices, including fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit. If you are a fan of this, you can spend some time inside the fruit bar on the Ralph Lauren boutique on Collins Avenue: it’s nice.
Have a piña colada – pineapple juice and coconut milk, without the rum.
Health restaurants emphasize fruit and vegetable preparations, though some do serve fish. The produce used is often organically grown. Cafeterias cater to people on a budget or in a hurry. You take a tray and choose your meal from a selection of hot and cold dishes. Items that are cooked to order will be brought to you when they’re ready. At some cafeterias, you carry your tray to the table yourself. At others, a waiter performs this service, for which he expects a small tip. Usually, you pay the cashier as you leave.
For a romantic dinner in South Beach, we suggest Espanola Way – better on the weekend – and Lincoln Road all the nights. In both places, you can have dinner with candles and lights. Even Collins Avenue and the South area of Ocean Drive have a lot of hot spots to have dinner. We suggest taking a view at our Restaurants page and seeing a hit on every place the map red button to understand how is far from you.
If you are in South Beach between the 5th and 15th, Espanola Way and Lincoln Road are within walking distance.
Some more tips on where to eat in Miami Beach are on this page.