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May 8, 2009 10:12 AM

South Beach Restaurants

We will be in South Beach in June and would like some advice on good restaurants for dinner. We expect to dine out 5 - 6 nights during our stay. We've been to several restaurants on and near Ocean Drive which were quite expensive and, frankly, disappointing. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

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  1. Not on Miami Beach but go to:
    Michael's Genuine & Fratelli Lyon in the Design District
    Go to the Standard - OUTDOORS - not the indoor restaurant by the bay and have the branzino and some flatbread. Casual and delish!
    Go to Alta Mar on the beach
    Stay away from Lincoln Road unless you go to Sushi Samba and have the cucumber ginger martinis which are great with some appetizers

    2 Replies
    1. re: nancoise

      I second Michael's Genuine as one of your dinner choices;

      Another good restaurant is Texas De Brazil but be prepared to eat a lot of MEAT. If you are not a steak or meat lover than this is not for you:

      Another very good restaurant in South Beach is Tuscan Steak House.

      1. re: nancoise

        But Zeke's Roadhouse on Lincoln has great prices on tap beer, and if you're lucky, you can get a table outside and have great people-watching.

        It is kind of a dive bar inside, though...

      2. Michael's Genuine is great but is not on South Beach. Initial question is whether you're willing to travel off South Beach or not. If you are, the universe of options expands significantly. If not, the best general advice is to stay off Ocean Drive. Almost universally tourist traps. Possible exception is Table 8 which I've personally been underwhelmed by but others like. There are a couple new places like Loftin's in Casa Casuarina which I've not tried that perhaps may also be exceptions.

        Best food on South Beach IMO is at Talula which I've said more about here ->

        I also like Indomania for Dutch-Indonesian, again more here ->

        Also Sardinia.

        I'm not sure what the point would be of going to Texas de Brazil. It's a chain restaurant with more than a dozen locations around the country. If you're feeling carnivorous I'd sooner go to an Argentine parillada like Las Vacas Gordas in North Beach, or perhaps others have suggestions for one in South Beach Bartolome? Liberty?

        7 Replies
        1. re: Frodnesor

          Didn't Barton G have the exclusive for Casa Casuarina? I wonder if Loftin's carries that connection.

          The old version of Maison D'Azur was very good, but have heard nothing since their move. I personally enjoy Indomania as well, Creek 28 has a small menu with fantastic food in an intimate atmosphere. For a bigger splurge, I enjoy Prime 112, though others have been underwhelmed by quality/service/clientele at times.

          1. re: Icantread

            Loftin's is the in-house restaurant at Casa Casuarina now.

          2. re: Frodnesor

            Thanks for everyone's suggestions. We'll try Michael's Genuine for sure but would rather stay within South Beach most of the time. We'll be on West Avenue and 7th which is close to Oliver's. Is it still as good as it was? And what about Nemo? I didn't think much of the service there but my husband liked the ambiance and the food.

            1. re: ZIN FAN

              Olivers is inconsistent at best. Has been for a while.

            2. re: Frodnesor

              We're back from Miami. Had dinner the first night (a Saturday) at Michael's Genuine. Food and wine were great although the long wait (despite our reservation) and the noise were discomforting. Went to Sardinia the following Saturday night and not one of us was satisfied with our meal - starters and main courses alike. The service and ambiance were good but the food was a disappointment. We went back to Oliver's twice and had a very good meal both times. We also tried Alta Mar, a very small casual place, and we were all pleasantly surprised with the good food, wine, and the service. We will definitely be back! On some of the evenings, we ordered takeaway food from Taverna Opa. The portions are big and the choices varied. I would recommend the Opa seafood salad.

              1. re: ZIN FAN

                it is very odd. to hear someone say that they were so disappointed with sardinia, and recommend taverna opa. at the same time.i cannot think of a single restaurant that serves lesser quality food than taverna opa. perhaps miami subs. but then again it will be very close. on the other hand. i have been to sardinia plenty of times. not once had anything but a great meal. try the burrata they have on special menu

                1. re: nikostoumbaios

                  Perhaps, it was an odd day for Sardinia but I ordered the suckling pig and they served it partly burned. My mother-in-law ordered the wild boar sausage on pasta and was very disappointed as well. The veal milanese was not exceptional for $42 and the mixed grilled fish wasn't either. I didn't recommend Taverna Opa for dining out - just take away food. Their Opa seafood salad and Greek salad were perfect for a light meal. We were in South Beach for 12 days and ate out about half the time. As I've said, Michael's Genuine was good; we also enjoyed Alta Mar and Oliver's.

            3. no clue why this place doesn't get enough attention. my, hands-down favorite on the beach is "Ola". The chef was nominated for this year's James Beard, "best chef: south"


              been there 3 times -- can't say enough good things about this place.

              my $0.02.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Dexter_BG

                reputation for inconsistency in the past. I think we've all had amazing meals at one locale or other in the past.

                You would probably be happy to hear that he is opening another restaurant in the new Gulfstream Development. They were originally calling it Ola Seafood, but I saw they changed that to Ola Cuba: