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Restaurants in Miami (South Beach): Where to Eat Like a Local!

where to go what to wear journey Miami champagne has bubbles

So my Where to Go + What to Wear Along the Journey: Miami edition is basically going to be a big, ol' Miami restaurant guide because that's essentially ALL we did...and I'm not mad about it at all! Whenever I travel I love going to new restaurants. It's my thing. But I'm into going to the restaurants that locals go...I don't want any of that tourist crap.

Miami has some amazing restaurants, specifically South Beach, and knowing where to eat is key. Like any major city, you can find anything you want. The one thing we wanted that we didn't get to have was cuban coffee in Miami. We seriously went to this one shop 3 times and every time the owner was either running down the street to buy coffee from someone else or not open at all. However, the best was the morning she was in the process of opening and my friend, being the gentleman he is, helped her pull her sidewalk signage out onto the street which was a 6 foot tall ice cream cone. Unbeknownst to him, this particular ice cream cone was actually a 6 foot tall trash receptacle that fell all over him and the sidewalk. She looked at him horrified and told him she had no idea that {10 pounds of garbage] was all in there. True story! It's the single photo I'm most devastated to not have. Needless to say, we didn't stick around for coffee.

news cafe Miami

dream hotel Miami

Day 1 Friday

Brunch: We went to brunch at News Cafe on Ocean Drive because when you're in Miami you just gotta. This is my one exception to a kind of 'touristy' place. Plus, I was feeling super inspired with the new American Crime Story: Versace show that was about to premier. News Cafe was one of Versace's regular spots and where he was returning home from that fateful morning he was tragically murdered. Unfortunately, it was not nearly as good as I remembered it being the last time I was there. In fact, I'll never forget the first time I went to News Cafe. There was a big biker dude sitting at the table behind my [then] boyfriend and me, sharing lunch with his Dachshund, Jeffrey. He and Jeffrey had motorcycled all over the country together and he had an entire album of newspaper clippers to prove it, on him at that very moment if you can believe it! I have never forgotten about Jeffrey, sitting there eating his eggs like a perfect gentleman.

Drinks: It was a gorgeous day so we spent the remainder of the afternoon sipping margaritas on the rooftop of Dream Hotel by the pool. Highly recommend.

Dinner: We ate at Il Giardino on Ocean Drive. If you're looking to go to any of the restaurant in that vicinity never just sit down, the host and hostesses will always cut you a deal! Seriously, this is a real thing! We got drinks for buy one get one free and 20% off dinner. Plus, make sure to check your tab because usually tip is included. The food at this particular restaurant, however, meh...

maxine's Catalina hotel Miami
Saturday night Miami outfit

Day 2 Saturday

Lunch: We went to Maxine's Bistro and Bar at the Catalina Hotel. I was on a major margarita kick this trip because I've only just discovered I can drink tequila. I spent my entire drinking life having an allergic reaction to it...then poof, one day, gone! I've yet to decide if this is a good thing or not! I will say, they were delicious though!

Dinner: Food was not the priority that evening, televisions were! We needed somewhere with many televisions for the Patriot's game and decided Yardhouse would be a great option. Of course, I'm certainly not pleased to write that 24 hours after yesterday's Super Bowl but c'est la vie.

Late Night: So thanks to drunk munchies we ended up at Whopper Bar! But seriously, let's talk about Whopper Bar for a minute. It's Burger King except only serves whoppers--like really specially ones--and serves beer too! Iconic.

Day 3 Sunday

Brunch: Was a bit of a hangover disaster and drag brunch was way too much sensory overload so we went to Lincoln Road which is a cute shopping area and found a delicious farm to table spot called Cafe and Books. The salads were phenom. We picked up macarons at Laduree and afterwards, finally feeling full of zest again, we head to South Beach's iconic Palace Bar for the drag show! What fun!!

Dinner: My friend and I had been dying for a charcuterie. If you've been following me for awhile you know this is like my favorite thing anywhere. It's just so perfect and never too heavy. We headed to Española Way which is the cutest little street lined with a bunch of different restaurants and street vendors. We went to an adorable Italian spot, Mercado Della Pescheria...southout to Michel for putting up with us! The food was delicious--my friends loved their pasta dishes--and the cocktails were equally as Italian spot always knows what to do with a Negroni.

yardbird southern table and bar Miami

Day 4 Monday

Lunch: We were on a Bloody Mary mission and Yardbird Southern Table and Bar was supposed to have one of the best, so off we went! They didn't lie, plus the food was absolutely delicious! I had the Crunchy Bird Sandwich (nice and spicy, just the way I like it!) and would go back over and over.

Day 5 Tuesday

Sushi: We had been on a sushi mission for a couple days and years ago James sent me a photo of this one spot, Moshi Moshi, because that's what he always calls we just had to go. I loved it! There was almost too much to pick from! I had the Spicy Lobster Roll and the Yellowtail Jalapeño Roll. Both were incredible!!

We then got the exciting news that a friend's flight for that evening was canceled so we went around the corner to celebrate at a martini lounge followed by the same Italian spot we were at a few nights prior. Heading to the airport the following morning at 4am was only made bearable thanks to Miami Airport's Centurion Lounge.

I'm leaving in a couple day to New York for Fashion Week and looking forward to sharing that experience with you again! Is there anything specific you want me to let you know about? Would love to do so if there is! -xoxo, Jess

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