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Eating/drinking in South Beach - where to hit and where to skip?

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Hi All,

I am heading down to Miami (from NYC) at the end of the month. We (4 guys celebrating my mates 35th) are staying on Ocean Drive and will not have a car. It is my first trip to Miami so I assume there are a ton of mediocre places they prey on visitors like me (as in all cities).

I am looking for moderately priced (ex: entrees $20-$30) restaurants for dinner, as well as good places to grab lunch / a quick drink during the day.

Any/all recommendations from locals or people who frequent Miami are appreciated! Thanks.

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  1. NJB,

    There's a wealth of info on the board and many frequent posters but "staying on Ocean, where should I go" is tough because there's so many places. If you're a bit more specific you'll probably get more, and better, recs. Enjoy your trip.

    7 Replies
    1. re: lax2mia

      Thanks lax2mia.

      To be more specific, I am looking for places that stand out among their competitors, consistently ranking as top favorites due to quality of food, service, atmosphere, value for $, etc.

      For example:

      Lunch spots for quality burgers, salads, sandwiches. Casual off-the-beach vibe.
      Bars with outdoor seating with a relaxed atmosphere, drink specials, cool crowd. Again, casual off-the-beach vibe, pre-dinner cocktails, etc.
      Dinner spots with high quality food (all kinds), nice decor, inventive menu, etc. Nothing too formal.

      I will do a bit of a search to see what others have recommended. Thanks again!

      1. re: NJBloke

        For lunch spots, try Le Sandwicherie, which does French sandwiches from a stand a block or so from the beach. Burger & Beer Joint has good burgers and a large beer menu, but is on the west side of SoBe (away from the beach). If you are coming from NYC, you don't need to do Shake Shack, but . . .

        Near Burger & Beer Joint on the west side is Pubbelly, which I definitely recommend for dinner. For dinner, you should do Joe's Stone Crabs. You can stay in or near your price range if you stick to the medium or select claws and a fish dish or two. The take-away at Joe's is a good lunch option too. Ola or DRodriguez (which just moved to the Bentley South of Fifth) is a good choice for upscale Cuban/Nuevo Latino. Solea at the W is good too.

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        Le Sandwicherie
        229 NW 14th St, Miami, FL 33136

        Joe's Stone Crab
        11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

        The Burger & Beer Joint
        1766 Bay Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

        1. re: NJBloke

          Much easier now.

          Fineas' recs are great. For lunch Le Sandwicherie is a South Beach classic. Best burgers are probably at B&B, but again it's on a quieter more residential side of South Beach (though not far). Pubbelly is a great suggestion for a mellow dinner. For outdoor drinks try the outdoor bar at Smith and Wollensky (yes, it's a chain) at around sundown. Probably the best bar views on the beach. It's a spectacle seeeing cruise ships sailing by close seemingly enough to almost touch.

          For dinner, there's tons of expat NYC places here (STK, Gotham, Mr. Chow, Scarpetta...) so I have a feeling you'll want to skip those. Nothing is formal in Miami so don't worry. Hakkassan would be ideal as it's got a fun vibe and it's the only US extension of the London original. Although recommended it may exceed the $20-$30 pp criteria, but it's a fun night out. Also it's at the Fontainbleu which is a cab ride away (about 20 blocks) but once there there's other bars and clubs to make a night of it.

          Hopefully this helps and other CHs will chime in.

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          Le Sandwicherie
          229 NW 14th St, Miami, FL 33136

          South Beach Cafe
          121 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

          1. re: lax2mia

            Thanks for the suggestions, lax2mia.

            Ahhh yes - Hakkassan. I lived in London so I have been on several occasions. I think the food is amazing; I may make a reservation for one of the nights...

            1. re: NJBloke

              As a side - the plans have changed and we now have rooms at the standard. As such, some of these places will actually be closer then if we were staying on Ocean Drive...

              1. re: NJBloke

                If you are at The Standard, Burger and Beer and Pubbelly will be very close. Sardinia is also in the area and is very good. Joe Allen is close and is also a good place for casual food with a neighborhoody, yet still South Beach vibe. Altamare is also fairly close and I have had good meals there, although I know others who are lukewarm on it. Prices are a bit on the high side, but not too far from what you have said you are looking for.

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                Joe Allen Restaurant
                1787 Purdy Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                South Beach Cafe
                121 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                1. re: Fineas

                  I would add the following to Fineas' recs
                  Shake Shack
                  Bernie's LA Cafe - roast pork tacos and guava dessert were my favorites
                  Jimmyz - mofongo friday and saturday, other stuff is good too.

      2. Just got back from SoBe on Saturday. It was intended as a civilised stopover on our way back from Central America. A big draw was Joes Stone Crab. Ate here twice: a splurge in the dining room for dinner, then a very reasonable lunch in their airy take-away section.
        Mediocre? Jerry's Famous Deli. The're touted as a NY style deli, but are way overpriced, even for the location. If you get nostalgic for such a place (being from the NYC area) go elsewhere. The 1/2 pastrami sandwich was actually good (after they changed it from a corned beef which I didn't order), but rings in at $15 (yeah for half). Their fries are cold and lousy. Wife had potato skins because they were out of the hot dog she wanted. They were overcooked and dried out. Just stay away.

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        Jerry's Famous Deli
        17190 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160