The 1220 Restaurant is located in the lobby of the Tides Hotel, on Ocean Drive in South Beach. Open throughout the day, it is a stylish but relaxing place to eat. There are also outside tables if you want to soak up some sun or enjoy the balmy Miami evenings.
We dined here on our first night in Miami. There was a chill in the air, so we chose to sit inside near the bar. Service was friendly and the menu interesting.
Favorite Dish: For starter we shared the Crab stuffed Mussels which were really delicious. Main courses - Alex had the Jamaican Seafood Curry which he deemed excellent, and I had the Scallops wrapped in Prosciutto, which was quite good, but nothing to write home about. We just had a glass of chilled white wine with our meal and surprisingly couldn't fit in dessert.
We also had breakfast at the restaurant one morning, sitting out in sun on the patio. The breakfast was fine, but the setting was better, though the service was a little too cheerful before we had our coffee!
On the weekends they have a Mussel & Wine special deal which seemed to be very popular with guests and visitors alike.
We went shopping at Aventura Mall around lunch time one day, and thought we would eat first and shop later. We had a craving for some sushi, so headed to Sushi Siam, which is located on the Third Level, just near the AMC Theatres.
This large restaurant was filled with lunching locals. The food looked amazing and the menu was huge - a selection of both Japanese and Thai dishes to tempt us.
Favorite Dish: We both settled on a lunch box, that had a variety of sushi, sashimi, chicken teriyaki and miso soup. The lunch box choice was a good one...but we should have just shared one serve, because the amount of food they bought to us was incredible!! There was no way we could eat it all.
They bought out two large platters of sashimi and sushi - beautifully presented and colourful. Then there was 2 plates full of chicken with teriyaki sauce. And this was supposed to be a light lunch!
The food was very good quality, in particular the salmon sashimi just melted in your mouth.
I would really recommend Sushi Siam....but you may want to share!
There is another branch on Lincoln Road Mall.
One of the pleasures of holidays for me is a good breakfast, to fill you up and give you plenty of energy for a full day of activities. Well, we were certainly filled up after a visit to the Front Porch Cafe!
Located toward the top end of Ocean Drive, this is a relaxed place for a meal at any time of day. Expect to queue for a table if you want breakfast on the weekend, but it will be worth the wait. The cafe isn't anything fancy looking, but the food is great and the portions are huge.
Favorite Dish: We started off with a coffee and smoothie, while waiting for the food to arrive. I ate the most delicious 'Mediterranean' Omelette, which was filled with goats cheese, sun dried tomato and spinach. This was served with potatoes and a toasted bagel.
Alex bravely ordered the banana filled pancakes, which warned on the menu that they were "not for the faint hearted"....and we could see why when they arrived - they were HUGE!! Two pancakes that we around 2cm thick and the size of a dinner plate! Even Alex couldn't eat it all...he only managed to eat one...though a man at a neighbouring table polished off a serve without stopping.
If you make it to South Beach, make sure you stop by the Front Porch Cafe, and tackle one of their giant meals. Let me know how you do!
After a morning of wandering around South Beach, we found ourselves on Lincoln Road Mall and in need of a lunch time snack. There are so many eating options along the Mall, but we decided on Cafeteria as it had a perfect shaded table just made for us.
Cafeteria is located towards the Washington Avenue end of Lincoln Road Mall. It is open 24 hours a day, and has live music some evenings. The interior is very stylish looking and there is also a large amount of outdoor seating, which is where we sat. Service was a bit haphazard.
Favorite Dish: It was quiet warm, so we ordered a large bottle of water and some Iced Tea. As we had already had a large breakfast earlier that day, we decided to share a meal and ordered the Steak Wrap and a serve of Sweet Potato fries.
The food arrived as described, it was entirely edible but nothing amazing. Still, there was a good atmosphere and plenty of people watching to keep us amused.
We had some pretty good food during our stay, but the best meal of all was at the Wish restaurant, which is located in 'The Hotel', on Collins Avenue, South Beach. I had read about the restaurant whilst planning our trip, and it was most convenient seeing as we were staying at the hotel on the night we dined.
It was a balmy evening, and we sat outside under the palm trees perusing the menu and chatting with our very American sounding German waiter, who certainly did his job well, with a good mix of helpful suggestions, humour and expertise.
Favorite Dish: We were presented with a small complimentary appetiser, which gave us a feel for what was ahead. For starter we shared the Sesame Battered Shrimp, with Watermelon-Tomato 'Kimchee' and Cilantro, which was tasty and a good sized served.
The main course was spectacular. I had the Caramel glazed Wild Salmon with grilled Baby Bok Choy and Duck Confit-Soba Summer Roll which was all drizzled with this amazing caramel soy sauce. Alex had the Crispy Skinned Snapper with grilled Shrimp, Chinese Sausage, Jasmine Rice, and Vietnamese Tea Foam.
To add to the enjoyment we had a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, which is a New Zealand white wine that you should really all try.
We were unsure whether to have dessert...we were kind of full by this stage. Our helpful waiter helped us to make a decision, by describing one of the desserts in full detail - the Strawberry Shortcake with warm Strawberry-Vanilla Soup, Mascarpone Cannoli, 25 year Balsamic Ice Cream . It wasn't something that we would usually order, but he made it sound so delicious that we just had to try it. And it was pretty special. On the base was the shortcake, topped with 2 mascarpone filled cannoli, topped with a scoop of balsamic ice cream and on the top was a toffee creation. Check out the photo to get a feel for this treat.
Can you tell we enjoyed our meal?! What a great evening.
Whilst researching dining options for our trip, I came across several mentions of a must-do Sunday brunch at the Delano Hotel...it sounded fabulous, so I booked a table, not wanting to miss out. And what a brunch it was!!
The Delano is a gorgeous, renovated Deco hotel on Collins Avenue. The large white hotel looks great from the front, and just gets better as you enter the lobby. The dimmed, moody atmosphere is lightened by the billowing white sheets that lead you to the Blue Door Restaurant and terrace.
It was a magical day, warm and sunny, and brunch was served on the terrace. We were lucky to get one of the best seats in the house, on the edge of the terrace, which gave us front row seats to the continual stream of 'beautiful' people walking past on their way to/from the pool area.
There was a 2 piece Brazilian band playing and we relaxed with our glass of champagne and looked at the long menu. There was a lot of food to choose from...but this was a (very classy) buffet, so we could take our pick.
Favorite Dish: We started with seafood, which was displayed on a 2 level ice-sculpture in the centre of the room, and some sushi, caviar and blini, and some other tasty bits and pieces. Followed this with hot food, including Suckling Pig and then hot, sweet food in the form of French Toast and pancakes.
Luckily we still had a bit more room in our bellies, so we indulged in Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake and Chocolate Mousse to name a few. Needless to say, once we finally stopped eating we were in pain!
All in all, it was a fabulous experience and I would highly recommend a Sunday Brunch at the Delano if your budget allows.
Cost was 57USD per person, which also included one glass of champagne or a Bloody Mary, Fruit juice and coffee or tea.
Sunday Brunch: 10:30am-2:30pm
The restaurant also open for normal meals throughout the week.
One night during our stay in Miami we had drinks and dinner with Alex's Aunt and her husband, who live locally. We asked them to book somewhere a little special, and we weren't disappointed.
Dinner was at Smith & Wollensky, a renowned steak and seafood restaurant which is located in a great location at the very bottom of South Beach. The restaurant looks over the water, and you can watch large cruise ships departing for Caribbean adventures.
After a drink at the bar, we were seated at our table by the window. Our dinner guests had dined at Smith & Wollensky before, so we decided to take their recommendation on what to order. They raved about the steak and the lobster...so we decided to order both and share.
Favorite Dish: The lobsters were steamed and then bought to the table for our perusal. We nodded in agreement and then the waiters skilfully extracted the meat and served it to us, along with a perfectly cooked piece of fillet steak. The lobster was HUGE...we ate it with steak knives, and delicious, as was the steak. We washed it all down with a very nice bottle of wine.
This was a pretty serious meal, both in quality and price, but worth it. Service was efficient and knowledgeable and the company was first rate!
The News Cafe is an Ocean Drive institution, open 24 hours and serving up food and drinks to locals and tourists since 1988. Choose from casual seating on the terrace or footpath, or the slightly more formal seating inside, this is the place to go for breakfast...served all day and night!
Located on the corner of Ocean Drive and 8th Street, we popped here for breakfast on our last morning as it was conveniently 1 block from our hotel.
Favorite Dish: We grabbed a seat on the terrace and decided what tasty treat we felt like to start the day. Well, coffee was definitely required, as were a couple of huge glasses of iced water. I decided to just have eggs and bacon, which was served with potatoes and toast, while Mr Sweet-tooth Alex had the French Toast.
The food was honest and serves were not ridiculously huge, but more than adequate. Service was ok but nothing special. The cafe was pretty busy for a Monday morning and I have no doubt that it just gets busier as the day progresses. The bar is apparently a popular place for Happy Hour.
On our last day in Miami we met up with Alex's Aunty Lee for the afternoon. First stop was lunch at Nemo Restaurant. Lee had read some good things about Nemo, as had I, so we were hopeful that it would be an enjoyable meal.
We were a little put off when we arrived as there was only 1 other table of diners when we arrived, and they were sitting inside. We decided to give it a try anyway, but chose a table in the leafy courtyard, not wanting to dine inside on our last afternoon on the sunny town.
Favorite Dish: Nemo serves up a reduced menu at lunch time, catering mostly to office workers in the area. I chose the Yellow Fin Tuna Burger, Alex ordered the Tamarind BBQ Duck Sandwich, while Lee got the Maine Lobster Cob Salad.
Unfortunately our food was disappointing. None of us were enthused about our choices and we definitely didn't clean our plates....the saving grace was that the bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that we shared was nice and cold!
The service was pretty disinterested and not friendly. They seemed unimpressed when we asked for our table to be wiped down. It was such a shame that a place that had had rave reviews turned out to be disappointing...perhaps the main chef doesn't work lunches.
I would love to hear from anyone who has had dinner at Nemo as I am keen to know if that was any better.
On our final few hours in Miami, Alex's Aunty Lee took us on drive through Coconut Grove and Coral Cables, so we could have a look at some of the other areas that make up the Miami region.
Driving in Coral Gables, we came across the huge Biltmore Hotel. This Mediterranean-inspired hotel is a five star resort, with a spectacular pool, several restaurants and a golf course.
It is certainly a stunning building, inside and out, and we stopped off to have a closer look...and to have afternoon tea - a traditional afternoon tea is served in the hotel's lobby each day.
Favorite Dish: After a not so great lunch earlier, we were keen to enjoy some tasty treats. A tea trolley was brought over to us with an array of different teas to choose from. We all made our selection and enjoyed the background music.
To eat, we were first brought out a selection of sandwiches, which was followed by scones with jam & cream and then we could choose a couple of mini cakes from a platter that was bought to the table.
The food was quite nice, but to be honest we were a little disappointed about the presentation of the food....it was certainly not on par with an afternoon tea in London!
Ferni and I loved this place so much that we chose to eat here twice, even though there are tons of other places to eat. There is an indoor or outdoor seating, but when in Miami Beach, always choose to sit outdoors, you can enjoy a great meal and do some people watching. There is a pretty large selection of dishes to choose from and the prices are so affordable, it amazed us.
We received excellent service, the meals are really good and the drinks even yummier, this is a restaurant we will definitely return to!!
We've returned to this restaurant during our trip in May 2011 to find the food and the drinks still very good. This time we ordered an appetizer of chicken tenders and Ferni had his Heinekin and I had a Mojito!! Wow, the mojito here is so good.
There is a happy hour every day (will have to check on the times).
Favorite Dish: We ordered the hummus both times, its that good!! For lunch I had the burger which was so, so juicy and the huge steak fries, which are my favorite. On our second visit for an early dinner I ordered the pork chop, which also came with the steak fries, so, so delicious. Ferni ordered pasta and chicken parmesan both times, it was that good.
For drinks I had the mojito, so, so good and Ferni had the Rum & coke. We also ordered dessert and both times had the Tartufo, which was quite heavenly!
My girlfriend Sandy and her husband wanted to treat us to dinner at this restaurant. What a fantastic place. Located on Collins
Avenue the restaurant is quite large with a wonderful Italian mural behind the bar and with cozy little nooks to sit at. The company, meal and service were very good and we would definitely return.
The food is really good here and Mike our waiter was the best. He was funny, energetic and quite helpful with our selections. There is a blackboard advertising the specials of the day.
Favorite Dish: To start we had the shrimp spring rolls with plum sauce...so so heavenly. For our meals, I had the scallops marsala (my favorite seafood) linguine, the sauce was so yummy and the huge scallops were just right. Sandy ordered the scallops picata (was good, but not as good as mine) The guys had to have their steak and ordered NY Strip steak which comes with a side of garlic roasted potatoes. The steak was amazing and the potatoes were quite yummy as well.
Sandy ordered a very tasty chardonnay with our meal.
Located at the Edison Hotel on Ocean Drive and 10th Street. This restaurant/bar has indoor and outdoor poolside dinning as well as Ocean Drive street dinning. During our visit we had originally planned on having Italian for dinner, but walking around Ocean Drive we were somehow lured to this restaurant not quite sure why, maybe it was the band playing or the menu.
We sat poolside where we could enjoy our meal, do some people watch all while the band was playing in the background.
During my recent visit Miriam and I decided to enjoy a late lunch/early dinner here after enjoying South Beach.
The ambiance is nice, there is a live Jazz player and they have specialty Sundays.
I honestly don't recall what I had for dinner during my first visit. But during my recent we enjoyed some yummy drinks and a good pasta dish. The place was very busy, and the waitresses were running around like crazy, but they were attentive and didn't forget anything.
The menu is varied with Italian dishes as well as sandwiches, appetizers and
Favorite Dish: Miriam and I both ordered a pasta dish. I had a pasta mariana and Miriam had a gnocchi. My pasta was quite good. Miriam enjoyed her dish as well.
Prices vary, but because of competing business, the restaurant intices you with a 30-40% discount.
Having lived in Munich I know a thing or two about German beer and the Hofbräuhaus that is one of the city's famous beery landmarks. When I heard that the brewery opened a location in Vegas I shrugged that it would be a poor incarnation with too much glitter but secretly coveted their good fortune in being able to enjoy big liter mugs of beer and munch on large soft pretzels. So, you can imagine my delight when my wife (who happens to be German and read about it in a German tourist magazine!) told me they had opened another location in Miami. I read up on it and not only did they bring over the menu, big mugs and beer but they were trying to bring over the ambiance as well. I didn't know what to expect but wanted to surprise my wife who hadn't been home in a few months. Set on the pedestrian mall of Lincoln Road on Miami's trendy South Beach it was set up well as we approached it on foot and soon saw the familiar HB umbrella's heralding the Munich brewery's trademark logo. Though the interior of the restaurant in no way compares to the Munich institution, they did a nice job of creating a biergarten atmosphere in the outside sitting area. They even have the exact wooden chairs and tables as in Munich!
Favorite Dish: They have a full German menu and the prizes while a bit higher than in Germany are certainly quite reasonable for South Beach. We wanted the Obatzn, a cheese spread renowned in Munich but they were out of it that day so opted for a plate of assorted cold meats and cheeses. It was $16 but more than ample for two people. The quality of the meats was good though not truly representative of what you would get in Germany. Still, with a large soft pretzel ($6.95) and a liter mug of beer ($11-12.95 depending on the beer), it was pure heaven sitting under the trees and enjoying the cool breeze. The best thing was they even had Hofbräu's fantastic maibock on tap! The deep copper brew with creamy head is one of Munich's finest and it was in great form and perfectly poured into the huge mug. At 7.2% alcohol it is a dangerous mix of malt and hops that is all too dangerously drinkable. After a few sips we both felt transported back "home" and even felt "jet lagged" the next day. It was more expensive than doing the same thing in Munich but considering the price of flight and it only being 45 minutes by car from home, it really was a bargain. We truly felt we got away for the day and know we'll be back soon. Looking for the typical Miami experience? Well, this isn't it. Want an idea of what Munich is like then head over, it is damn close to the real thing.
This is a little whole in the wall type fast food place which looks more like a trailer turned food service. You order your meal at the counter and can be seated among the few little stools located along the counter, we decided to take our sandwiches to go and eat while we walked to Ocean Drive.
It's a really good place for sandwiches, salads, smoothies or even some yummy shakes. We were enjoying our walk along Collins and decided to stop and have a bit to eat.
Favorite Dish: I ordered the prosciutto and fresh mozzarella with lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and vinaigrette dressing all on a French bread. My sandwich was very good.
I also had a very yummy smoothie called the Bora Bora, its a mango, banana, pineapple and orange smoothie. Quite refreshing on a hot day. Ferni had the boring ham sandwich on French bread and a strawberry shake which was quite thick and yummy!