This February, I took a much-needed trip to Miami with my sisters, Marisa and Elizabeth, in an attempt to escape New York’s winter. Upon landing, we were gung-ho to experience Miami in all its night life splendor and taste the best food in the city.
As it turned out, after the first night, we were over the club scene, which coincidentally left more time and money to eat. In our short, 3-night stay, thanks to friends, curiosity, and Yelp, the three of us found the best spots to eat in Miami. Here are our favorites.
This meal was the prelude to being roped into a club bounce by a promoter. Nonetheless, on the dance floor of LIV, I was still thinking about the pizza I ate 2 hours prior. Here, you can sit outside surrounded by Miami’s bustling streets while sipping prosecco and sangria. I recommend ordering the classic Spaghetti Pomodoro e Basilico, the Marinara Pizza, and the Margherita DOP Pizza.
Word to the wise: always partake in your hotel’s breakfast, whether it be hot or continental. I ate cheese, salami, and banana bread every morning while in Miami, and it was the cheapest, best breakfast around. Save your time and money for lunch, dinner and drinks. We stayed at the Ithaca of South Beach Hotel. It’s a chic, boutique hotel with a great complimentary breakfast and an awesome concierge staff. Most importantly, the room was spacious and clean.
Two hours after breakfast, once you’re hungry again, head to South Beach for the most buttery croissant sandwiches around. In my hangry rage, a croissant sandwich sounded like hamster food and made me want to order three. But trust me, these sandwiches are stacked with salad, cheese, and protein. I devoured the SOBE Club, which is piled high with turkey, avocado, brie and greens. Marisa ordered the Tropical, with toppings including papaya, pineapple, and mango. Elizabeth opted for their Greek salad.
4. Pane & Vino
While walking around South Beach, we stumbled upon Pane & Vino, an intimate Italian restaurant with a window front displaying a gorgeous, Italian man, hand-making the restaurant’s pasta. Obviously, we jumped at the chance to make a reservation. Upon arrival that night, a crowd of bystanders were gathered around the window front watching the dough being turned into gnocchi, spaghetti, and ravioli.
For appetizers, I recommend the Burrartina and Parmigiana di Melanzane. I ordered the classic Italian dish, Spaghetti alla Ruota, which is made at your table by another beautiful man who pours your boiled pasta into a cheese wheel with tomato sauce and mixes it around to incorporate all the cheese from the walls of the wheel. If I was ever turned on by food, this was the dish.
I also tasted some decadent Fiocchetti Pere e Parmigiano, which are little cheese and pear-filled pockets. If you want some protein, try the Suprema di Pollo al Limone, or lemon chicken.
Because you’re at the beach, you have to get your fill of seafood, right? Escape the Florida sun and enjoy lobster, crab, and a raw bar in this relaxing and cool eatery. For starters, we ordered the House Salad with goat cheese (because, why not?) and the bruschetta mussels. For an entrée, I got Izzy’s Maine Lobster Roll, warm with butter. Served on their freshly baked roll, this was the perfect seafood lunch to squeeze into a short Miami trip.
On the last night of our getaway, we ventured into the more Metropolitan area of Miami and enjoyed a delicious Greek meal under twinkling patio lights. Get buzzed off their fruity red sangria and order the Cheese Saganaki, which is scrumptious, sautéed Greek cheese. Nothing is better.
Your dinner options range from a delicious gyro, to a lamb burger, to classic moussaka. If you wanna get cozy after dinner, head back to your hotel, watch a movie, order a dozen Insomnia Cookies, and eat as many as you want because this is YOUR vacation. Maybe even share with your helpful concierge.
7. Naked Taco
On our final day, we started with our usual cheese and bread breakfast (!) and headed to the beach. For a snack, we checked out Lincoln Road and picked up a quart of freshly cut tropical fruit, including mango and papaya, with cantaloupe and watermelon. Before leaving for our flight back to NY, we sat down at Naked Taco.
It’s hard not to feel some sort of way when the drink menu says “ask about our rim jobs” in reference to their signature margaritas. We tried the spicy Some Like It Hot, the sweet Hey Lady, and tropical Guana Get Naked? to get in our last bit of Miami fun before heading home. As far as tacos go, I’d recommend the spicy General Tso Cauliflower, Crispy Baha Fish, and Lobster. You can order your tacos on their famous soft corn or soft flour tortilla. You could also get completely naked and have your toppings wrapped in lettuce.
Besides Mandolin Aegean Bistro, which was just a short drive into the city, all these spots were within walking distance from our hotel. Feel free to replicate this entire trip with your friends and family. It was filled with amazing food, funny encounters, and some partying.
You could do Miami a million and one ways but, if you’re anything like the O’Connor girls, you’re sure to find the best eats and most delicious dishes in the area. Who knows what city we’ll eat in next, but it’s sure to be sweet, salty, and a little spicy.