Ten Best Hidden Gems in South Beach

Taste this magic under the mango tree.
Taste this magic under the mango tree.
Photo by Carina Ost

South Beach is showy, but beyond the bars and restaurants in the spotlight are some places that require a search. Because the Beach is about to celebrate its centennial, it's time to highlight those special eateries off the beaten path.

These are places for locals only, spots in back alleys with no signage, and even a special locale with a porta-potty portal.

Here are our top ten picks for the best hidden spots to eat and drink in South Beach.

Turkey on a roll.
Turkey on a roll.
Carina Ost

10. Ocean Deli

Everyone knows and loves La Sandwicherie, but there's a certain mystique surrounding a proper liquor-store deli. Grab a forty (or forty ounces of freedom) and a sub on Liberty Street. Ocean Deli has the bonus of one of the best lunch specials on the Beach. You can get a takeout box filled to the brim with roast pork, plantains, and pasta for $5 flat.

Locked and loaded
Locked and loaded
Miami New Times

9. Foxhole Bar

A back alley and a red light set the tone for this supersecret location. Even the name hints at its concealment. Though this place is a hot spot among Flamingo residents and industry folk, weapons hang on the wall in case too many invade. This local favorite hangout proves that a dive bar doesn't have to be a hole -- it can be foxy, even classy with bottle service.

 

Secret seat.
Secret seat.
Carina Ost

8. Moreno's Cuba

Miami Beach has no shortage of Cuban restaurants, but one tucked away in a boutique hotel and owned by a Latin Grammy winner certainly stands out. Jorge Moreno is the heart and soul behind this eatery, featuring a relaxed bar and free live music seven nights a week. This Havana-like hideaway is a best-kept secret in South Beach.

Krispy Krunchy "krack"
Krispy Krunchy "krack"
Carina Ost

7. Krispy Krunchy in So Bee Incorporated

Sure, you can wait in the brunch line at Yardbird like a civilized chick. Or perhaps you are really in-the-know and get the fried chicken box at Joe's Take Away. However, if you want to get in on the real secret in South Beach, head to the fried chicken franchise inside a convenience store on Washington Avenue. Normally you'd have to go to a gas station in a sketchy neighborhood to get this Krispy Krunchy "krack," but now you can get it at all hours of the night and even delivered.

 

Porta-potty portal
Porta-potty portal
Photo by Carina Ost

6. Bodega Taqueria y Tequila

Perhaps you've heard great things about Bodega's tacos, but for something mas bodacious, you must enter through the porta-potty portal. (It's way better than a hot tub time machine.) It is the blue door that reads, "Baños," in graffiti, and it will transport you to a supercool bar with mucha tequila.

Secret breakfast.
Secret breakfast.
Photo by Leah Gabriel

5. Las Olas Cafe

When it comes to breakfast off the beaten path, everyone on that side of Flamingo flocks to Las Olas. According to New Times' own Zachary Fagenson, "Abuelitas in their floral-patterned house dresses sip the strongly sugared brews alongside double-parked cops and models who munch on spinach empanadas while silently praying not to be seen." Grab some grub and morning brew and take in the people-watching.

 

Brotherly love.
Brotherly love.
Photo by Natalie Molina

4. The Alibi

South Beach and Philly have very little in common, so it should come as a surprise that you can get a good cheesesteak a stone's throw from the beach bods. Part of Española Way may be a tourist trap, but closer to the water you get some cool punk and sports bars that don't match the club scene. Head to the back window at the end of the bar in Lost Weekend, and you'll find the Alibi, which serves a Philly cheesesteak with Cheez Whiz (!) on an Amoroso's roll (!!).

Bangkok in South Beach
Bangkok in South Beach
Photo by Laine Doss

3. Patpong Road

Even though we know nothing beats South Beach, it is nice to be transported to a faraway land just by veering off Lincoln Road. Located above Khong River House and accessed through an alley is Patpong Road, paying homage to the red-light district in Thailand. Friday and Saturday evenings, walk up the tin stairs and find a whole new world (one night in Bangkok) with a Long "Thailand" iced tea, some drunken noodles, and fun times.

 

Good luck finding it.
Good luck finding it.
Photo by Carina Ost

2. Visa-O1

Another eatery just off the bustling Lincoln Road is Visa-O1. It is located on the first floor of a multistory office building. Unless someone is sitting on a stool outside slinging menus, good luck finding this gem. If you do, it is so worth it. But your mission isn't yet complete. The aroma of fresh pizza permeates, but you still have the task of snagging a seat in this tiny restaurant filled with Italians speaking their native tongue. Don't give up. You need your slice of the absolute best pizza: the Star Luca, with ricotta stuffed into the corners of this star-shaped pie.

Best kept secret.
Best kept secret.
Photo by Carina Ost

1. Under the Mango Tree

There is the South Beach that tourists see, and then there is this vibrant, rich culture of neighbors and sense of community that grows Under the Mango Tree. This small store and eatery isn't easy to spot, but the veggie melts, açaí bowls, dragon fruit smoothies, and fresh juices aren't easily forgotten. This place is special and full of health and heart.

Follow Carina on Twitter @CarinaOst


Follow us on Facebook at Miami New Times Food & Drink.

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Foxhole Bar

1218 14th Court
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-534-3511

www.foxholebar.com

miles
Bodega Taqueria y Tequila

1220 16th St.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-704-2145

bodegasouthbeach.com

miles
Las Olas Cafe

644 Sixth St.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-534-9333

miles
The Alibi

218 Espanola Way
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-674-3448

www.alibi.me

miles
Patpong Road

1661 Meridian Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

miles
Visa-O1

1680 Michigan Ave.
Miami Beach, FL

305-397-8189

www.visao1.com

miles
Under the Mango Tree

714 6th St.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

786-488-8108


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