i'm from NYC supposed to come to miami for a few days - not sure when yet. I'm a real CH, and i'm looking for places to eat. problem is i might be with a vegan for many of these meals. I want to hit some of miami's best food, where can i satisfy my chowiness, while having food available for the vegan?
I want the little local and regional food, the cuban food, and the best yummyness trendy and/or top notch (if you know new york think things like degustation, public, grammercy tavern)
any help is much appreciated
ps the vegan will probably be mostly dinners.. so i'm open to any ideas for daytime eating w/out limitation
Fist of all, we can't match nyc, our best food is 1-2 steps down and our service is 10-20 steps down.
Now that your expectations have been set.
Cuban. NYC has better cuban. Don't get it here (ironic, isn't it?)
What we are better at than nyc are the regional south american places. Here are two places I suggest:
Argentinian Steak House: Grazianos or Baires if you are in south beach. Grazianos is better. Obviously this is out for your vegan friend.
For your top notch category I would do the following
Sardinia ** this would be a great place for the vegan as they have a wide selection of veggie dishes
Daytime eating, I live in south beach so I will give you some options in that area.
El Chalan, peruvian.
Puerto Sagua, David's - cuban
Ice Box - their french toast is awesome
Stay away from chinese and deli here. Far away.
The main problem is that there is a very big difference between vegetarian and vegan. These are great recs, but I would evaluate the menus with your friend to make sure there are enough options for him/her. A lot of times there are hidden dairy products, non-veggie broths etc that are part of the seemingly safe veggie dishes at these type of restaurants. Unless your companion is perfectly ok with going with a salad if everything else fails, it may be tough... However most of our favorite CH places have online menus you can check out and even call about....
Here's a few threads that may help on the vegan front ->
I think your best bets may be places that offer lots of vegetable antipasti - in particular, Sardinia on South Beach, and Fratelli Lyon in the Design District, as well as places that do more "small" plate type presentations with lots of vegetable options, in particular Michael's Genuine and Pacific Time, both in the Design District. Michy's on Biscayne Blvd. and 69th St. also does the small plates approach, and while I don't recall quite as many veg options on their menu as either MGF&D or PT, could probably also put together a vegan meal (and all of these 3 change their menus regularly and do a good job of focusing on local products, MGF&D the best of the bunch IMO). Red Light, a little further up Biscayne Blvd. around 78th St., has a much shorter menu but always has a few fresh vegetable choices and usually also a "rice of the day" from which a vegan could construct a decent meal. Be advised that some have griped that Red Light's location is somewhat divey (and indeed the name is a play on what used to be the main business conducted on Biscayne Blvd.). These also happen to be some of my favorite restaurants in town right now. You'll find discussion of all of them on this board if you search by name.
A few other places I can think of that will have a number of vegetable choices, but you'll have to check and see whether they're prepared w/ butter or not (butter is verboten for vegans, no?) - Sheba (Ethiopian) in the Design District; Mint Leaf (Indian) in Coral Gables; Indomania (Dutch-Indonesian) in South Beach does a vegetarian rijstafel (note that Indomania is closed till September).
Your other queries (i.e. Cuban, regional) are pretty well covered on this board if you do some searching.
6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33138
1801 Purdy avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink
130 N.E. 40th Street, Miami, FL 33137
131 26th St, Miami Beach, FL 33140
Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant
4029 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL
4141 NE 2nd Ave Ste 101A, Miami, FL 33137
35 NE 40th St., Miami, FL 33131
7700 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138
276 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, FL 33134
I should have added that Ortanique (Coral Gables) and North One 10 (Miami Shores) also have very good food and generally make a good effort to have vegetarian (and likely vegan) options on the menu
Ortanique On the Mile
278 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134
11052 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33161