Miami Beach's most famous locale, Ocean Drive is alive with neon colors, art deco buildings, and a lively soundtrack. It's also home to overpriced meals and giant frozen margaritas. Though there are plenty of tourist traps, there are also restaurants you can count on. Here are five options for a great meal.
1. LT Steak & Seafood. Tucked within the Betsy hotel, this posh eatery by acclaimed chef Laurent Tourondel spotlights American fare with a local flair. The season-driven menu is made up of plenty of fish and meat options, all prepared with ingredients found in South Florida. The complimentary cheddar popovers and soy-wasabi tuna tartare ($19) are crowd pleasers, as is the bone-in ribeye ($61). Take the elevator to the rooftop and catch the sunset before dinner. You'll enjoy a vast view of Ocean Drive, beach, and sky. 1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-673-0044; thebetsyhotel.com/lt-restaurant.
2. Prime 112. This upscale restaurant is known for its long waiting times and one-week-reservation requirements for a reason. The cuts of meat are topnotch, the service is old school, and there are plenty of celebrity sightings. For a meat-centric meal, start with the Kobe beef sliders ($28) before digging into your steak, which comes in cuts ranging from an eight-ounce filet mignon ($45) to a gigantic 48-ounce porterhouse ($140). 112 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-532-8112; mylesrestaurantgroup.com.
3. Azabu. Housed within the Stanton Social hotel, this New York transplant boasts updated izakaya dishes plus whiskey-centric craft cocktails. The cozy, dimly lit interior nods to the neighborhood’s art deco history, done up with midcentury modern furnishings and nature-inspired accents. You’d do well to bring a date here or to the adjacent, hidden sushi counter serving traditional omakase ($120 to $150), which has only 11 seats and a strict reservations-only policy. 161 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 786-276-0520; azabuglobal.com.
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4. The Front Porch Café. An all-day breakfast menu, large portions, and reasonable prices are the draw at this laid-back hotel diner. Classic morning eats include the Beach Breakfast Bonanza ($11.50), with three eggs, cheddar, and shitake mushrooms; or French toast ($13) with orange zest, topped with powdered sugar. The daily happy hour (4 to 7 p.m.) with $3 beers doesn’t hurt either. 1458 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-531-8300; frontporchoceandrive.com.
5. The Local House. This charming little spot in the lobby of the Sense Beach House hotel has a nice weekend brunch with lots of Instagram-friendly options, maritime-themed décor, and a breezy outdoor patio for people watching. The seafood-forward kitchen turns out everything from lobster and crab cake Benedicts ($18 to 25) to grilled oysters ($4 each) and key lime French toast ($12). 400 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 786-230-8396; localhousemiami.com.