Go-Go Fresh Food Cafe
Leah Gabriel
If you're looking for scantily clad dancers wearing high vinyl boots and white lipstick, you've come to the wrong place. If, however, you're in search of fresh, healthful, and delicious food on the "go-go," you have arrived. Wedged between a laundromat and a gym, Go-Go Fresh Food Café isn't supereasy to find, but what good things are? Baked-to-order Go-Go pies (AKA empanadas) come in 18 varieties, including spicy Thai peanut chicken, spinach and feta, eggplant parmigiana, and dulce de leche and blackberries — and each costs a measly $2.25. Different homemade soups du jour — such as red potato and broccoli — and "mini" or "big" salads are available to fit your appetite. The "superfoods max" consists of baby spinach, a scoop of quinoa, tomatoes, broccoli, toasted pumpkin seeds, edamame, carrots, chickpeas, and golden raisins, all for less than $9. Go-Go also proffers a reasonable "build your own" salad option if the ten-plus house salads don't light your lettuce leaf. As if all of that weren't enough, there's a full coffee bar as well as a selection of beer and wine. One more perk: Parking is free in the neighboring lot, or you can call ahead for fast pick-up. One of the few SoBe spots where you can score a nutritious, delicious meal for around $10, Go-Go is much cheaper and more nourishing than shoving dollar bills in a mod dancer's geometric-patterned underwear.
Mty Smoothie
mty smoothie website
The choices here are overwhelming, the possibilities endless. You could spend days crafting a perfect smoothie — creamy, fruity, low-cal, herbally enhanced, or protein-boosted. Or you could start with a house specialty, such as the Yan & Jan (passion fruit, banana, strawberry, and raspberry) and build whatever elixir you crave. Need a little immune boost? Toss some echinacea into your drink. Are you a scrawny guy trying to tack on a few pounds of muscle? The creatine, weight gainer, and protein powders are for you. Need a natural multivitamin straight from the hive? Order a scoop of royal jelly, a honey bee secretion. Each addition costs about a dollar, so your health-enhancing cocktail shouldn't break the bank. Natural juices such as beet, carrot, celery, and apple are also available, as are wraps, sandwiches, and salads for those who like to chew. Bonus: You can order online or over the phone and have the stuff delivered right to your door. We suspect that service might be especially handy for the "hangover recover super smoothie," featuring blueberry, pineapple, strawberry, orange, gingko biloba, and royal jelly.
Doggi Style
George Martinez
Being a chicken head in a place called Doggi Style might make you feel like a slut. Especially when Doggi Style is a sweet, little Venezuelan hot dog stand that makes a chicken sandwich good enough to accept as payment for turning a trick. Tasty and tremendous enough to tame the taste buds of the freakiest of fowl fiends, this beast of a burger is a grilled chicken breast topped with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, corn, and potato sticks ($5.50). Get it loaded (an additional $2) and add on a fried egg, strips of bacon, avocado, and possibly coronary arrest. And sure, it's a killer in calories, but it hurts so good.
South Miami Farmers' Market
Look for the green tent. That's where every week a selection of produce grown in what market organizers refer to as the Greater Everglades Foodshed is on display and for sale. Finds include oyster mushrooms, herbs, vegetables, honey, and eggs from small Florida farmers. So who cares if there aren't rows and rows of booths selling produce? All you need is one well-stocked tent. Outside the green shade provider, other local vendors sell pastries, juices, and candles. An added perk is that the market, which is organized by Earth Learning and has operated in front of South Miami City Hall since December, is slated to operate year-round. That might be tough when Miami enters summertime — one can't live on mangos and tropical fruit alone — but the organizers are up for the challenge, and for that they deserve praise. The market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Laurenzo's Itialian Market
Some people need special lighting, kitschy artwork, stuffy classical music, and sky-high prices to feel like they're buying gourmet. If that's you, skip Laurenzo's, where the focus is on awesome food at reasonable prices. The family has been in the food biz in South Florida since 1951, and many locals have been customers for decades. The store is huge, offering hard-to-find high-end and/or imported grocery products, gorgeous produce (from the farmers' market across the street), luscious seafood and meats, and what is most often described as an "interesting" wine selection — not immense, but inventive. There's an amazing collection of fresh pasta for just a few bucks a pound, along with more feta cheese than you can shake a Greek walking stick at. Olives, fresh fish, butchers who listen — this place is just short of perfect. The family recipes behind the prepared foods have gained fame far beyond Miami. In fact, the Food Network's Road Tasted recently popped by to sample Laurenzo's stone crab bisque, one of the family's best-loved, buttery, spicy delicacies. Like a good Italian son, though, David Laurenzo declined to reveal a few key ingredients on national television.
Blue Piano Music Lounge & Wine Bar
Paula Nio
Dear Blue Piano:To the naked eye, you look like any other modest neighborhood place: small with simple wood tables, some art on the walls, and a bar. Yet you're more than meets the eye. You're down-to-earth, and your staff has a way with guests, welcoming them into your cozy space and guiding them through your unique selection of wines. It's OK that you stay away from Cabernets and Chardonnays. Your selection of some 20 wines by the glass and 60 by the bottle aims to highlight other grapes like Sylvaner and Grüner Veltliner. A glass may be paired with one of your small bites. The boquerones with pickled shallots are most delicious. The cheese and charcuterie plates are good too. And you have that lovely piano, almost hidden from view in the back of the room, but played each evening by a local musician. All of this makes you special, Blue Piano. Cheers to that.
Futuro Supermarket Cafeteria
We live in a city that regularly sees temperatures above 90 degrees. Fortunately, Miami's climate is also ripe for growing awesome produce of all kinds. That means there is no reason to settle for a made-from-concentrate, prepackaged juice box when you can have the real thing. Futuro Supermarket is like a blast from the past with its antiquated cash register and small aisles. But way at the back of the store sits the perfect oasis. Mango, pineapple, orange, carrot — the list of fresh juices goes on and on. They're served in a 16-ounce Styrofoam cup ($2) or sold by the half-gallon ($6). Either way, they taste like you just bit into the fruit itself.
Doraku Izakaya and Sushi
Courtesy of Doraku
When your wallet is dwindling toward empty, the most luxurious spots start to feel like deserts full of shimmering, inviting oases that evaporate the second you try to parch your thirst. Take Lincoln Road: You can spend all day staring into hip restaurants packed with beautiful people scarfing sumptuous dinners, but if you have only 20 bucks to drop, you might as well be stranded in the Sahara. Until you stumble into Doraku. Happen into the sushi joint between 5 and 7 p.m. seven days a week, and even your meager cash will buy enough to stuff the hungriest Bedouin. Doraku, the brainchild of Kevin Aoki — son of legendary Benihana founder Rocky Aoki — already serves the best sushi in South Beach in one of the most chill settings, a sumptuously lit maze of birdcages and deeply recessed booths. So it's music to a broke diner's ears that Doraku also boasts the best sushi happy hour in the Magic City. Check it: Four bucks buys you a generously portioned crunchy crab or tuna avocado roll, and $3 brings a Doraku California. Wash everything down with $3 drafts of Kirin, Sapporo, or Shock Top and $4 specialty martinis, and before you know it, you're fed and tipsy for a crazy-cheap check. And don't worry: It's no mirage.
Shibui
You can afford to visit Shibui whenever the raw-fish fancy strikes. The family-owned restaurant, which opened in 1981 just north of Sunset Drive in Kendall, serves teriyaki, tempura, katsu, sukiyaki, and stir-fry dinners along with sushi (and some in tandem with it via combo plates). More than three dozen rolls are offered, many of which are now-familiar American fusions such as the volcano (salmon, cream cheese, avocado, and cucumber topped with cooked conch, mayo, and masago) and the dragon (shrimp tempura, crabmeat, mayo, and cucumber with avocado on top). They run $3.75 to $10.95; sushi dinners, served with soup, are $9.95 to $15.95. Sashimi (six to eight pieces) goes for $10.95; sashimi dinners (15 to 18 pieces), served with rice and soup, are $19.95 (or up to $25.95 for select fish such as hamachi). The fish is fresh, the service is friendly, and the prices are eminently affordable.
Blue Door at the Delano changed to Blue Door Fish this past year. The indoor portion of the restaurant, especially the lobby seating, is still defined by lofty white drapes. And the crowd is still trendy. Now, however, the executive chef is Sean Bernal, former top toque of the Oceanaire Seafood Room. And the focus is seafood-centric, the regional influence is more Mediterranean and less French/Brazilian, and the cuisine is better than ever. Diners can start with pristine raw bar selections such as Kumamoto oysters ($3 each) or jumbo shrimp ($4 per). Some eight types of fish or shellfish are offered simply grilled with choice of sauce, or plated with creative, preset accompaniments. Whether it be fresh local grouper gently caressed with lemon preserve and olive oil ($35), Alaskan wild salmon with classic French white wine/sorrel sauce, or Dover sole filleted tableside and served with almond brown butter and truffled potato foam ($66), the fish here gets dressed in style and consistently exhibits good taste.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®