Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Miami - Fort Lauderdale >
Sep 17, 2008 06:19 AM

Search not helping... current "hip" places in South Beach?

I think the answer to this question changes rapidly, and I've tried searching but I'm not seeing the answer. So please forgive me for probably a frequently asked question. Group of 4 ladies, late 20s, spending a girls weekend in South Beach mid-October. Staying at the Ritz Carlton. I'm charged with planning meals, will need dinner Fri and Sat and maybe a casual lunch Sat. Want at least one stand-out meal (and thinking a chi-chi grazing experience the other night)- we want to be in the stereotypical South Beach "Scene" type places. Expensive and "slight less-expensive" suggestions appreciated. Where are the places "to be" right now? Also anything that would transition to cool clubby scene or lend itself to an easy walk or cab to such would be great. It's been a long time since I've been down there, and I want to make sure we have a lot of fun. Sardine-like packing not necessary, we like to talk, but we don't want a "dead feel" either... Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Haven't eaten there and reviews have not been to kind but Phillipe is at the Hotel Gansevoort is very new. If you want scene, you can't get anymore scene than that with a heritage from NYC.

    The Design District houses Domo Japones, again for the scene but not great food. Friday evening drinks and maybe head to Pacific Time, Michael's Genuine, or Fratelli Lyon ( for a good meal. Fratelli and Pacific are the newer of the 3. It is a simple cab ride to and from and quick ride to the beach.

    Prime 112 is always a scene on the weekends and is in the heart of South Beach. Kobe Club is also in South Beach part of the China Grill empire, again in the heart of it all that can be walked to or cabbed to.

    Hope this helps.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions. Is there any reason we'd want to venture away from South Beach? We're there a short time, shouldn't that be "scene" enough? We like good food, but we live in big cities with good food, so I'm really trying to focus on trendy fun hip.... you get the idea. DD offerings sound good, but I'm contemplating staying in SB maybe Ola one night (maybe less expensive and heavy than Prime 112?) and eating in the lounge at Table 8 the other? Anyone have anything to say about Santo? Grass? Vix? SushiSamba?

      7 Replies
      1. re: JaneS

        Ola I have not heard anything good about it their latest location. I believe this is their third location after trying Biscayne Blvd, Merrick Park in Coral Gables, and now South Beach. Have you been to the DD? It is the new place to "see and be seen". Domo Japones that I referred to has lounging set up out front and is on the corner so lots of people watching or more like car watching as it is at a busy intersection. Posters on here have said good things about Table 8, Grass is on their second or third inception, not sure how reliable it will be food or scene but it is in the Design District as well. Haven't been to Vix in a while, SushiSamba is very reliable for food and "scene" and an option if you are hitting Lincoln Road.

        1. re: jmdhsmiami

          Okay, thanks! I guess we'll head into the Design District! I haven't been- I haven't been to Miami at all in a few years so I'm way behind the times. I just hold onto my first South Beach memory of being floored by the ambiance of the Delano in 2000... never seen anything like it, I'm sure it's been replaced as the cool place to go a thousand times already!

          1. re: JaneS

            Then you should visit the Hotel Gansevoort, Shore Club Hotel, and you can have dinner at Nobu, also there is Setai Hotel. Any of them have restaurant offerings, will be pricey but you will also get a scene as well.

        2. re: JaneS


          Proximity to Ritz?. . . check check check.

          Friday evening get a seat out behind the Ritz - DiLido Beach Club for happy hour / tapas at sunset (free hookahs and the first drink free too!) Or head west to VINO for wine/tapas or Gemma on Lincoln for drinks with a view. Hop a cab and do dinner at Sardinia. Cameo nightclub afterward or SET on Lincoln.

          Saturday 11AM, take the yoga class and steam at Victor Hotel spa (only $20pp and the best deal on the Beach). Lunch on the patio afterward at La Marea at the Tides.

          Saturday night do drinks on the roof of Ganesvoort Plunge Bar before dinner at Talula (or Phillippe) and club afterward at Aero Bar all on 23rd Street. If you are still standing, Mokai on 23rd is fun late.

          Sunday brunch at Nemo.



          1. re: advisor_Girl

            wow. your own personal concierge! Hence the name "advisor girl"

            I couldn't have done any better!

            1. re: advisor_Girl


              You know VINO, (if you mean Vino Miami on 16th) sadly, has been closed for months.

              1. re: advisor_Girl

                Listen to AG. In addition, I would throw Bond St and Nobu into the dinner mix (still hip)and def hit Plunge bar, Aero and Mokai. I would add The Florida Room @ The Delano into the late night equation. NO NEED to leave South Beach

            2. Thanks to you both. AG, you are amazing. I'm ready to just take your plan lock stock and barrel. I feel I owe you a service fee :) But just to be certain, why not Table 8? Was considering just eating lounge menu one night? I suspect it's because you are guiding me to actual, good restaurants and allowing our "scene" to fit before and after a good meal... which I do appreciate and think makes sense. But just wanted to check...

              6 Replies
              1. re: JaneS

                i'd recommend just staying in Sobe if you're at the Ritz--yes, more excellent food in the design district, but too far if i were coming from out of town for a weekend of partying.
                AG's itinerary is perfect, (esp. for the location). do DiLido, then Sardinia -- a place that does have good food but is sometimes controversial.
                Table 8 has typical nice ambiance, but food is average and is not really that happening in my opinion
                Ola is pretty good if you want more nuevo latino cuisine instead of sardinian
                Sushi Samba is a classic out of towner trendy spot but full of tourists -- i usually take people there if they've never been to miami
                Santo is one of the lincoln road spots that changes from dinner to club, but i'm not particularly a fan.
                on Sat. can also consider a light lunch at A La Folie. Sat. dinner at Talula is very foodie. also, since you have fond memories of the Delano, it actually has aged gracefully--check out the florida room. you'll definitely like the Plunge rooftop bar.

                1. re: ankimo

                  No Design District AG? They have never been it is worth one meal or lounging at least? You never know who you will see.

                  1. re: jmdhsmiami

                    If someone says "we want to be in the stereotypical South Beach "Scene" type places" I don't think there's much point sending them to Design District. Unless Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer are in town making appearances at MGF&D, DD is generally more a destination for the food than for the scene. Yes, I saw Alice Waters there too during Food & Wine Fest, but I don't think that's exactly the scene OP is looking for.

                    1. re: Frodnesor

                      just an idea : ) and that was part of my influence for the suggestion Frod! Plus I think they edited their original post, correct me if I am wrong JaneS weren't you originally staying at the Four Seasons?

                      1. re: jmdhsmiami

                        LOL, yes I edited the post. I just confused the two... always doing that with those two hotel chains. Sure they'd love that... Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I am definitely intrigued by the DD, I'll see what my girlfriends are up for.

                        1. re: JaneS

                          I would warn you about Gansvoort bar - if it is crowded up there it can be very painful with the elevator rides to and fro.

                          Nobu, and Bond St are good choices. Not sure that sardinia is hip enough for you - it is a locals scene and a good crowd but is not as hip as nobu or bond st. You should know that sardinia may be my favorite restaurant in miami so for me not to recommend it is saying something.

                          You should try casa tua even though it is extremely overpriced. I think you will enjoy it for the scene alone.

                          I do not think ola is a good choice.

                          Table 8 is a wednesday place.

                          Blue Door is a good idea.

                          Sushi Samba does have a decent crowd. Tuesday is their best day btw (costume party).

                          I am now going to take a shower because I feel dirty recommending casa tua over sardinia :).