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Apr 22, 2009 12:58 PM

Cheap eats in Miami?

Hi all,

I'm an NYC wannabe-foodie who will be vacationing with my boyfriend in Miami in less than 3 weeks. We're staying at the Fontainebleau and although there are several lovely (and expensive) restaurants at the resort, we'd also like to branch out and see what the rest of Miami has to offer (without spending an arm and a leg). We're willing to travel by cab, but no more than about 5 miles or so. Any help would be great! Thank you!

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  1. I guess I could be more specific and say Miami BEACH area.

    6 Replies
    1. re: awm4680

      Here's a start for points slightly north of the Fontainebleau in the North Beach area (about 2-3 miles north) and back across to the mainland ->

      1. re: Frodnesor

        Wow - this map is great. Any chance of getting a list of your top three recommendations from the restaurants shown?

        1. re: CarNut

          It really depends so much on what kind of food you're in the mood for. Sticking with the cheap eats theme, probably the one place I wouldn't miss is Red Light (Biscayne & 77th), good food, local focus, funky location, w/ pretty much nothing priced over $20. If you're a serious carnivore, I'd do Las Vacas Gordas for parrillada. If your tastes are more piscine, Anise does great grilled octopus and whole fish. But if you feel like you ought to have Cuban while in Miami, I think Sazon does it well. For pure gluttony, there's not much that compares to a chivito (the Uruguayan heart attack on a bun) at El Rey de Chivito, The sushi is excellent at Sushi Deli (a/k/a Japanese Market) but it's a better bet for lunch as they close early in the evening. Not sure if that helps.

          1. re: Frodnesor

            Just got back and Frodnesor's rec of El Rey de Chivito is a blast and a great value. BTW, you can take the bus from the Fontainebleau - $2/person each way.

            1. re: Frodnesor

              Great! We're in Miami from May 9 to May 17, and I've put all of your recommendations on our list.

              1. re: CarNut


                The Fontainebleau area is not like South Beach where a dozen fun restaurants of every stripe are within walking distance. If you want to avoid costly hotel food, you can walk west toward 41st Street which is the heart of the Orthodox shopping district. There are 2 major commercial pharmacies selling beer, wine, snacks for the room etc. plus a few fast food places, a Jewish style deli (NY style bagels & corned beef etc), a decent chicken grill and one fine dining/nightclub spot called the Forge which is a Miami Beach Landmark.

                Hop on any southbound or northbound S bus and you can get closer to the action for $2pp. NB gets you as far as Aventura Mall and SB to Downtown (Port, AAArena, Museums, Government Center train station). A taxi to South Beach or up to Bal Harbour should be no more than $10.

                To the south of the hotel are a few good & casual places, a Denny's and some small bodega markets. At 23rd Street the new nightclub district kicks off at the Gansevoort South. In the 20s I like Indomania, Creek 28 (nice for brunch) and Cantina 27 (Italian).

                To the north of the hotel, you can check out the brand new Canyon Ranch Complex (Hotel/Spa/Grill) at 68th Street, the mostly Latin cafes (and a fun bandshell w/weekend music & dancing) at 71st and a few ethnic eateries due west on 71st Street toward Normandy Isle.

                Further to the north, consider a fun day trip to Bal Harbour Shops (top designers, Chanel, Neiman's etc) where La Gouloue and Carpaccio cafes are best plus a more casual "small town" strip called Surfside (Harding Ave btwn 95th and 97th Streets) where you'll find Greek, Peruvian, Italian and a casual seafood sports bar.

                I've posted guides to nearly everywhere so you can plan & call for reservations if necessary - start here:



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