In my early 20s, I frequented Miami every couple of months to visit my sister or see the neighborhoods where my good friends grew up. At nighttime, I’d dance until the sun came up then find my way to the beach, sprawl out over the fine, white sand, and watch the pink and orange hues of the sunrise glow across the city skyline.
But back then, I wasn’t into food as much as I am now so despite Miami having such a special place in my heart, I couldn’t tell you where to eat & drink there– that’s where Taylor Schear, a Miami food blogger, comes in!
Taylor is born and raised in the Miami area so she knows it like the back of her hand. She’s your typical millennial who likes drinking cold brew, taking candid photos, and eating trendy but delicious foods.
Her foodie adventures on her blog, SoFloFoodFinds, started a year ago, but her love for food began long beforehand.
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Wynwood is one of the most interesting districts of Miami. It started off as the “ghetto” but changed recently because of the appearance of street art throughout the neighborhood. The Wynwood Walls is now a signature landmark and quite touristy, but if you know where to go, then you’ll fit right in with the locals.
As always, be cautious of your surroundings. Stick to the main patrolled area of the neighborhood, and don’t stray out into the back side streets. The surrounding area is still not the best of the places at night except for the main area of 36th street, which is quite fun for night life. Check out my favorite spots in this neighborhood for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks!
Need a place to stay in Wynwood? Check out Fortuna House Apartments It comes with a full kitchen!
Breakfast: The Salty Donut
Until recently, they only had a pop-up shop on weekends, but luckily for us, they opened a storefront early this year. The demand just got to big to handle, and this is for good reason. Despite having a standalone store, the wait is still never less than 30 minutes, but it’s worth the wait– trust me! From coffees to donuts, everything they do is nothing short of perfection.
What to Order: Get my personal favorites: the apple bourbon spiked donut holes and the cold brew cider. The little bit of alcohol adds just the right amount of moisture to the donuts. As for the coffee, the apple cider mixed with the strong cold brew is the perfect combo.
Lunch: Morgan’s Restaurant
Morgan’s is the essential brunch spot. From their signature “rose all day” sign to the quaint outdoor patio, it has everything you need for the ultimate Instagrammable brunch photos! The restaurant is actually a converted two story house. I mean who doesn’t love a meal with a story behind it? Even better than the decor is the food. It’s delicious!
What to Order: My favorites are just their simple menu items, such as the mixed green salad with blackened shrimp. Like I said, yes its quite simple, but everything in the dish is executed perfectly.
Tip: Make a reservation, especially if you want to sit outside on the weekends. It makes a great place for a meal with friends as you enjoy their mimosa pitcher specials!
Dinner: Wynwood Kitchen & Bar
Wynwood Kitchen & Bar is probably one of the coolest spots in Wynwood. Being one of the only restaurants actually located inside of the walls, it makes it something special. Both the inside and outside seating is unique. Outside gives you a prime view of the walls and art, however inside has been painted by the widely popular artist Christian Awe and Shepard Fairey. What makes it truly amazing though is the food. The cuisine is meant to reflect Miami culture, so everything has a little bit of a Latin flare!
What to Order: All of the food I have had from there is definitely a repeat meal, but the item that keeps me coming back every time is the succotash. It isn’t just any succotash though. It has a Latin inspired flair showcasing choclo and cojita cheese. This gives it the perfect blend of flavor and crunch!
Bar: Made in Italy
Made in Italy is a sophisticated wine bar. With over 30 different imported wines to choose from every week, there is something for every palate. Not only that, but the bar also serves a relaxing place to have a drink that doesn’t feel so much like the touristy Wynwood most people know. You feel as if you have stepped into Italy when you walk in. With beautiful wood floors, trees, and gorgeous chandeliers adorning the bar, you will feel warm and welcomed here.
Tip: I suggest coming as either pre meal happy hour spot or after dinner. They have excellent small dishes and dessert that pair beautifully with the wine selection offered. It also is nice to have tables and a long bar to be able to choose from. For those wanting to go out for a drink without really being in the bar scene, this is the perfect place!
Everyone and anyone has heard and knows of Miami Beach. However, not every part of the neighborhood is like the movie scenes you know and love. Yes, you have the beach, bars, and babes, but it’s so much more than that!
South Beach is your area for nightlife, but there are many other districts of Miami Beach such as on Purdy Ave, my favorite area to hang out and eat at. I consider the Fashion District of Miami Beach as you’ll find all of the chic boutiques, yoga studios, and little coffee shops. If you venture over to Collins Avenue, then you will find the signature spots of Miami Beach such as Big Pink and other iconic restaurants listed below.
Breakfast: Icebox Cafe
Icebox is open all day, but I prefer their brunch menu. The restaurant leans towards having a health-conscious menu. However, it is a bit of an oxymoron seeing as their other specialty is cake and dessert. Sometimes you can get a perfect mix with menu items such as the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and Stuffed French Toast. The Lemon Ricotta Pancakes is like no other pancakes you’ve ever tasted! It has the perfect density and is not too sweet. If you are looking for something more traditional, then get any of their egg scrambles.
Tip: Sit outside if you want to experience the beautiful weather and people watch as you eat.
Lunch: Big Pink
Big Pink is the Miami Beach that all Midwesterner’s dream of as a child. It is has been a staple of the neighborhood for decades. Although it is quite touristy, you can be sure to find the locals there. It also passes my tried and true test for restaurants, which is that it’s always filled with cops. Cops know the area quite well, and if they are choosing to dine at Big Pink, you know it has got to be good!
Forewarning: All of the portions are huge! They specialize in taking diner classics and making them over the top. For example one of the must try menu items is the Big Pink Burger. It isn’t your typical diner burger. It’s a beef patty topped with homemade mac and cheese and finished off with bbq potato chips! Despite the large portions, make sure to save room for dessert. They are also one of a kind.
Dinner: Barton G’s
Barton G’s is on my list of all time favorite restaurants because everything about it is fun! The presentations there go above and beyond anything you have ever seen. For example, if you order their popcorn chicken appetizer, you’ll get an entire popcorn machine popping fresh popcorn and chicken covering the plate!
Tip: Go here for a party place. Not only are the servings sharing sized, but the ambience is great for a celebration. It is a must-visit for anybody who is from out of town. Again like many of the other restaurants on this guide, be sure to make a reservation (especially on weekends)!
Commonwealth a newly opened bar in South Beach. They serve up craft cocktails and specialize in whiskey. It’s a sophisticated, posh bar great for formal or informal gatherings, which works out well since you have the choice of a nice table to sit down at or take a chair at the friendly bar!
Although they are known for their drinks, their bar snacks are to die for! My personal favorite is the kale salad. It features heirloom squash, lemon yogurt dressing, brown butter croutons, and pickled vegetables.
Miami Design District
The Design District is like the SOHO of Miami. It’s home to a lot of businesses, but the food there is some of the best around. Make sure to walk around the side areas in between restaurants. Here you will find anything from the signature bubble staircase to hanging swing chairs, which is the perfect place to relax.
The nice thing about this area is that you really have three districts in one area. For example, if you take an Uber to the heart of the design district you are in walking distance to different areas of MiMo and Midtown. Here you will find some of the best bars, restaurants, and cafes such as these below.
Breakfast: Crumb on Parchment
Crumb on Parchment isn’t your typical bakery. It is located in the common area of some shops in the design district. It’s quaint and reminiscent of a bakery you’d find in France. Created by award winning chef, Michelle Bernstein, Crumb on Parchment offers many hot items such as eggs, and sandwiches. What stands out there for breakfast though is a nice big cup of coffee and their delicious pastries. I was lucky enough to go around Mid-October when they were featuring the best pumpkin brownie I have ever tasted. No matter what you order, you can’t go wrong!
Lunch: Mandolin Aeagan
I love Mediterranean cuisine. Actually, that is quite an understatement; I have a deep passion for it. There is a brightness of flavor in it that just doesn’t appear in other forms of cuisine. That being said, you can imagine I am quite picky about it. Mandolin does it right. The food is a little pricey, but it is so worth it. They have a gorgeous outdoor patio adorned with huge draping trees, wooden tables, pop up bars, and twinkle lights. I would definitely recommend making a reservation if you are planning on having dinner out there!
As for the food, it’s hard to choose a favorite on the menu. I am a sucker for a good greek salad, and theirs is more than just good. The imported feta just sets it above and beyond anything else.
Dinner and Bar: Michael’s Genuine
Michael’s Genuine is in my top three favorite restaurants of Miami. They do everything with such a sense of precision. This specific restaurant is the baby of creative genius, Michael Schwartz who puts a strong emphasis on using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. In addition to their astounding dinner menu, they have an in-house pastry chef that produces the most mouthwatering desserts in Miami.
It sounds strange since they have so many menu items, but their fish of the day is one of my favorite things to order. I specifically like when the grouper is featured. However, they almost always prepare the fish selection the same way (pan seared), this gives it a moist interior and crunchy outer shell.
This is also a great spot to go to for drinks because they have a separate bar area. There’s a wide selection of cocktails, wines, beers, and spirits with many locally brewed beers on the menu. This is especially nice because it gives you a little taste of Miami to accompany the delicious food.
Bonus Restaurant: Eating House
Although we didn’t cover Coral Gables in this post, going to that neighborhood just for Eating House is a must. The chef, Giorgio Rapicavoli, is one of the hottest new chefs in Miami. After he won Chopped in 2014, he opened up a pop-up restaurant, which quickly became a permanent restaurant after its popularity.
His menu has a wide variety of dishes from Cap’n Crunch Pancakes (brunch) to Fried Free Range Chicken with Waffles (dinner) so whatever time of day you go, you can’t go wrong! Also, the menus changes daily so you can go again and again without getting bored with the same ol’ dishes.
Well there you have it– a local’s guide to where to eat and drink in Miami. Makes you hungry just reading this, right? Well, enough reading now. Go out there and eat!
Thanks for stopping by! xo.
Thanks again to Taylor of SoFloFoodFinds for this guest post!
More about Taylor:
Hey guys, Taylor here! I am born and raised in the Miami area, so I know it like the back of my hand. My foodie adventure started about a year ago, but really manifested years and years before hand. I am your typical millennial who likes drinking cold brew, taking photos that look unposed, and eating whatever is trendy! You can typically find me in a coffee shop on my laptop googling the next best place to eat! When I am not eating 24/7, you can find me horseback riding, traveling, or working out! Make sure to follow me on Instagram @soflofoodfinds for some drool worthy food photos!
Unless attributed to directly under each photo, all food images belong to Taylor Schear as of 2017.