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Dec 16, 2011 02:57 PM

First time in Miami! Please Rate my Itinary


First time in Miami (Florida for that matter) and i was hoping to get a quick sound off on some reservations we have.

Some background first. We are late 20's staying in South Beach and really want to experiance the best of what the city has to offer.

Night One (Dec 24th)- Michaels Genuine. I see this resturant everywhere on Chowhound.

Night Two (Dec 25th) - Palme D'or. This is Christmas night. For some reason i am not so sure about this. What do you think? Do most restos open Christmas night?

Night Three (Dec 26th) - Micheys

Night Four (Dec 27th) - Pubbelly.

Night Five (Dec 28th) - No idea! Help!

I have also heard good things about Xixon. Sugar Cane, Sardinias and Naoe (but i think this one is closed)


What do you think of what i have so far? Do you have better suggestions. Is there any good Japanese resturants in Miami?

I havent booked anywhere for lunch i imagine we will be trawling around South Beach, Little Havana and Coconut grove. Is there any institions i must vist i heard about a place called Joes stone crabs which sound interesting as well as a Hatian joint called Tap Tap.

I know you must read so many of these tourist posts. I really do appreciate if you could give me some advice. We have no family in North America (Australians) so we are going to replace the family love with food!

Thanks for reading.


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  1. Looks like you have a good plan so far.

    A few other places you could check out are Tudor House, Yard Bird, the Dining Room.

    Joe's Stone Crab is a great spot, especially if you haven't been before...

    On Christmas a lot of restaurants are closed -- pretty much all hotel restaurants remain open and some others here and there. You can get a brief idea of some places from OpenTable's list:

    Personally I never liked Palme D'or much... its very expensive and an old / stuffy restaurant. Prime 112 and Joe's Stone Crab are both open Christmas if you wan't Steakhouse or Seafood options. The Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key has a good Christmas brunch I know as well... don't know what they have for dinner options though.

    For Japanese you could try Zuma in the Epic hotel, food is always great there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sobe4u

      I ate at prime 112 recently and was disappointed. Joe's is a much better choice.

      You should check out the miami restaurant power ranking's website as a good reference (Joe's belongs there though) and see what you are in the mood for. That list is pretty accurate overall.

      Scarpetta is the best italian in miami - it is expensive though and also belongs on the power ranking list.

    2. Hi Sobe4u and tpigeon.

      Thank you very much for your response. I have made a few changes based on your recommendations.

      Here is the new plan:

      Lunch One (Dec 24th) On the road up from Key West anyone know a good road side stop? We have a busy day planned we want to try and get a quick taste of the everglades.

      Night One (Dec 24th)- Michaels Genuine. I see this restaurant everywhere on Chowhound.

      Lunch Two (Dec 25th) - Hakkasan (Christmas Dim Sum!)

      Night Two (Dec 25th) - Joe's Stone Crab

      Night Three (Dec 26th) - Micheys

      Night Four (Dec 27th) - Pubbelly

      Night Five (Dec 28th) - Sugarcane (i am a huge fan of tripe, sweat breads etc)

      I am going to go check out those power rankings now. Geez sounds like i have a reason to come back to Miami before i have even arrived!

      Thanks for the call on Palm d'or i think we would have more fun bar hopping and some great seafood. I live in Montreal so French food wasn't really on the top of my list.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Kangagirl83

        That is a very solid itinerary. Check and make sure Joe's is open Christmas day. If so, probably a good time to go as the crowds will be thinned some by the holiday.

        You may want to try the Florida board for Keys recommendations as well. I haven't done the trek for a little while and don't have a great list.

        Naoe's last day open before closing up to move to Brickell Key is this Sunday, so it won't be open when you're here.

        1. re: Frodnesor

          Thanks! This is super last minute too. I can't believe i am getting so easy.

          I am curious about two other places too:

          1) Bourban Steak

          2) Yakka San. I looked at Zuma but i dont know. Seemed a bit clubby. Yakka San looks cheap! A big plus given my shrinking budget :)

          Thanks for responding

          1. re: Kangagirl83

            Yakko San is great, if you don't have great izakaya in montreal, you should go.

            1. re: tpigeon

              I love my adopted city but when it comes to Japanese or any Asian food for that matter it really struggles.

            2. re: Kangagirl83

              You're doing great.

              Bourbon Steak is a really nice place. I'm not big on steakhouses but I think it's one of the top restaurants in town and does many things well other than steaks. if you're concerned about budget, it is a pricey place, but is less so if you eat at the bar. They've got outstanding burgers plus a bar menu with several smaller sized plates at smaller prices - and it's also one of the best bars in town if you're a fan of classic cocktails.

              Hiro's Yakko San is another of my favorites - it's an izakaya, which is sort of like Japanese "tapas," i.e., small plates. The atmosphere is a bit more classed up than it used to be at the old location but it's still nowhere near as clubby as Zuma. The sushi at Yakko San is only OK but the cooked dishes are where they really excel.

        2. If its your first time, definitely make sure to try some Cuban food! As a gringo transplant myself, I recommend Lario's on the beach (around 7th or 8th ocean if I recall). Order the churrasco skirt steak with the traditional mariquitas or alternative plantain dish with black beans and rice. Heaven.