This one goes out to all the weekend transplants arriving today to spend the weekend in the Magic City.
Bienvenidos a Miami, y'all!
We realize Miami has a way of being quite the sassy-pants when it comes to Memorial Day weekend. For that, we apologize. But lucky for you, we've compiled a snazzy list of South Beach restaurants for you to check out. Some have great drinks, others have great food, but all of them have a great vibe.
We think you'd be silly to miss them while on your stay.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar - Lincoln Road
Opened this past fall, Yardbird has already made quite the mark on our locals. Sip on a deliciously sweet blackberry bourbon lemonade ($8) or a watermelon sling ($8). After your bar fix, nibble on favorites like the chicken and biscuits with pepper jelly ($12) and a fried green tomato BLT with house-made pimento cheese ($12). It's great for lunch, dinner, or brunch.
Tudor House - Washington Avenue
Have you ever eaten at an Iron Chef's restaurant? If not, Tudor House will fix that real quick. To start, you'll have the best Moscow Mule ($14) on South Beach (quite possibly, in Miami). The "Cuban Style" sandwich ($14) is a local favorite - think of a Cuban sandwich, then amp it up with pork belly and toast it. Sounds like minor additions, but it makes a big difference.
De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean - South of Fifth
Try a Cojito ($12) and sip away while you acquaint yourself with the elevated Cuban fare menu. We recommend the rabo en lata (braised oxtail) with congris (rice and beans) ($22) and the chicken empanadas ($10). After all, what good is it to Miami and not have Cuban food?
My Ceviche - South of Fifth
Fresh seafood at affordable prices - you'd think this would be a simple task given we're a coast hugging mini nation of restaurants, but it's much more complicated than you think. That's why we love My Ceviche. Simply pick your protein (like octopus, or local fish, for example), then your flavor profile (like coconut or Asian-inspired, among four other options). Pick your size, ($11.75 for a medium, $14.75 for a large) and voila!
La Sandwicherie - Washington Avenue
La Sandwicherie is one of our hidden gems that almost all tourists eventually find out about. We're okay with that though, because as long as it's been around, it's never changed. Go for a monstrous sandwich of your liking ($6-$12) with all the fixings (get extra vinaigrette!) and wash it down with a fresh smoothie like a Miami Sunset (about seven bucks).
Piola - Lincoln Road
For a slightly more quiet atmosphere than typical South Beach, Piola is a nice getaway for good pizza and pasta. (Note: We're using Miami units of measure when we say "quiet"). Freshly made pizzas run from $9 to $16 and generally, you can't steer wrong with any of them. It's not exactly screaming authentic Italian food, but try the fusilli bianco verde ($12.50).
Balans - Lincoln Road
Good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Balans is a UK-based café with just a few locations peppered in the U.S. -- two of which are here. Try the corned beef eggs Benedict ($9.50) and granola pancakes ($7.25). For lunch or dinner, Thai red curry ($15.95).
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Mango's Tropical Cafe - Ocean Drive
If you're looking to find the South Beach scene, it can all be seen here at Mango's. You'll also find Michael Jackson impersonators, big buff dude swinging their stuff on tables, and lots of leopard print spandex. It's a club/bar with a half decent menu and outdoor seating area (but really, we all just go to gawk). It's a fun time in a bottle, that Mango's.
Big Pink - South of Fifth
Also a touristy spot, but plenty locals make it a point to keep visiting so they must be doing something right. Think big burgers, big salads, huge desserts and a little shop inside where you can buy Big Pink tanks tops and thongs. Hey, this is Miami. They're great for hangover soaking breakfasts, too (and luckily, breakfast is served at any time). An order of Big Pink French toast ($8.75) will do that 3p.m. hangover just fine.
News Cafe - Ocean Drive
Hey, if this place is good enough for Versace, it's good enough for the rest of us. Located in one of our favorites spots along Ocean Drive, News Cafe has been around forever. Good breakfast (or lunch, dinner), great coffee, and a great view of our playground (no, really, there's a playground across the street). The two eggs breakfast special is always a winner at $10.50.