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Miami's Best Eats & Drinks This Weekend: SoBeWFF Edition

This weekend, it's all about the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, where hundreds of chefs from around the country flock for a bit of sun, fun, and the chance to showcase their food. The weather over the weekend will warm up a bit, making it perfect for strolling the tents and sampling good food and drink.

If you've procrastinated and think there are no good tickets left, think again. Many premium parties (and a few hidden and affordable gems) aren't sold out, including the new-to-SoBe Meatopia. Tickets can be purchased at sobefest.com.

See also: Michelle Bernstein's Survival Tips for SoBe Fest's Grand Tasting Village

Empanada Happy Hour hosted by Paula Costa

Seeking a way to start the weekend? Buy a ticket to the Empanada Happy Hour. This new event, located in Wynwood, pairs Bunbury's Argentine-American empanadas and bites with fine wines.

Friday, February 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bunbury Miami, 2200 NE Second Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $95.

The Betsy and BLT at the Betsy presents Cigars & Spirits, brought to you by Cigar Aficionado

The evening chill will be perfect for snuggling up with a good cigar and a snifter of fine rum or bourbon. The Betsy's rooftop will be the scene for a party filled with some of the best spirits and premium cigars, paired with appetizers and desserts. If you're new to the art of cigars and spirits (or just want to geek out), experts will be on hand to guide.

Friday, February 20, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $125.

Fun and Fit as a Family, sponsored by Carnival, featuring Goya Kidz Kitchen

Fun and Fit as a Family is, by far, the best value at SoBe Fest. For only $20, you can mingle with celebrity chefs, taste delicious food, and grab free swag. Sure, there's no booze (this is, after all, a family event), but the entry fee is only $20, so you'll have more than enough money in your pocket at the end of the day to treat yourself to a smart cocktail or two. Plus, this event is great for the entire family, so think of the money you'll save on a babysitter. Ka-ching.

Saturday, February 21, and Sunday, February 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami. Tickets cost $20.

Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid Culinary Demonstrations

It's loud, it's big, and it's a complete party in a tent. More than any other event, the GTV put the South Beach Wine & Food Festival on the map. Sample hundreds of wines and spirits and food from South Florida's best restaurants; then watch celebrity chefs frolic on two stages. Sure, they're called culinary demos (and you might learn a thing or two), but they're also hilarious, entertaining, and raunchy (depending upon the chef).

Saturday, February 21, and Sunday, February 22, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Grand Tasting Village, 14th Street and Ocean Dr., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $225. A special "3-5 on Ocean Drive" ticket for Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. costs $100.

A League of Their Own: A Lunch, hosted by Michelle Bernstein, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Elizabeth Falkner

Culinary leading ladies Michelle Bernstein, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Elizabeth Falkner will host a tony, sit-down luncheon with all the bells and whistles. Of course there will be free-flowing wine and spirits, because a proper lady always tipples in the afternoon.

Saturday, February 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Thompson Miami Beach, 4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $175.

Nutrish's Yappie Hour, presented by BarkBox, hosted by Rachael Ray

The festival has gone to the dogs -- literally. Pack your pooch and bring him out for a sundowner at the Standard Spa. Dog lover Rachael Ray will host this event, which benefits local nonprofit Fairy Tails Adoptions. Take a canine selfie at the photo booth, treat your best pal to a "pet-i-cure," and enjoy snacks and beverages for both you and your dog. Note: Dogs must be socialized, remain on a leash, and be up to date on vaccinations. Owners must pick up after their pooch.

Saturday, February 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Standard Spa, 40 Island Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $95 for humans; dogs get in free.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's Meatopia: The Q Revolution, presented by Creekstone Farms, hosted by Guy Fieri, curated by Josh Ozersky

Meatopia is a carnivore's dream where chefs roast whole animals on open fires and fine bourbons are poured. Think of it as the tough big brother of the Q, the annual barbecue event at SoBe Fest where you'll sip on Knob Creek, Basil Hayden, and Maker's Mark in stead of bubbly and feast on inventive snout-to-tail dishes. Add in a concert by Blues Traveler, and you've got yourself one hell of a Saturday night.

Saturday, February 21, from 7 to 10 p.m. beachside at the Delano, entrance at 1 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $250.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.


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