Where do the south beach locals eat/drink/hang out?
I am moving to South Beach this summer. Really excited. My partner and I eat out at least three evenings a week. I am wondering where the locals like to go for relatively healthy, not-special-occasion meals. We like to eat at the bar, we like fresh local food, and we like seeing our neighbors. I am a vegetarian, but a pretty easygoing one who is happy to subsist on good sides especially if the drinks are nice. When we came to scope out housing, we found a few places we liked -- Tap Tap especially, also, Indomania. I liked D Rodriguez too, but it was probably a bit too touristy to be a regular haunt. We want chilled out, maybe a little bohemian/hipster, neighborhoody places where the bartender might recognize us if we keep going back.
There are some decent places on Normandy/71st street also. They are all neighborhood places and very relaxing. I especially like katana for sushi and tamarind for thai. People like prima pasta as well (although it gets crowded and hard to get in, esp on a weekend). Its not a far drive (15min max) and worth hitting up the area for a change of pace or to explore other parts of the beach.
I also eat lunch at epicure alot. Its a market but has a great deli and bakery... there is a place to get coffee and cafe style seating if you want to hang out... its def all locals.
I definitely also recommend Clarke's.
These are just a few other recommendations fo places my girlfriend and I like to eat, but we're more so on a budget. No bartenders, but some are healthy, most are fresh, and lots of people watching.
Take out at Joe's
Burger n Beer
A La Folie
Since you're a vegetarian, i also recommend checking out Juice and Java - they cater to vegans as well.
Welcome to the beach!
229 NW 14th St, Miami, FL 33136
A La Folie Cafe
516 Espanola Way, Miami Beach, FL 33139
1542 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139
2305 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Thanks so much, everyone! Joe Allen was a great recommendation. Am getting ready to try the others. The beach is already starting to feel more homey. FYI, we have also been liking Otentic: inexpensive, well-prepared food, charming owner.
Joe Allen Restaurant
1787 Purdy Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
a 90% local's bar is the polar bar next door to finnegan's road(both owned by same owner) on lincoln road just south of michigan ave.Elmira the barmaid gets a big crowd fri thru mon noon till 7 pm.Reasonably priced bar food,happy hour prices,frozen drink specials ,You can sit at outside tables and people watch or view the sports events on inside tv's.Ask if larry "the mayor" is around.