A Guide to South Beach’s Local Gems

May 2, 2018admin

Creating deeper connections to Miami’s many neighborhoods is a big part of what we do. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a local or a traveler. Many of us might look at South Beach* with some serious side eye, but it too is filled with the legit gems we drool over. We wanted to help you navigate some of the most consistent spots to eat and drink and have a good time. You know, the places as low-key and solid as the regulars that frequent them. We asked and you spoke, so here’s our definitive list with your certified approval:

South of Fifth.

The Local House – One of the best Eggs Benedicts around, located on the bottom floor of the boutique Sense Beach House.
South Pointe Pier – BYOB at sunset and this turns into the most beautiful drink spot in the city.
DIRT – Can’t go wrong with this SoFi gem, the trendy “eat clean” destination that helped lead the charge for a healthier alternative.
Under the Mango Tree – A vibrant hole-in-the-wall serving delicious acai bowls, fresh-made veggie dishes, and a kind atmosphere.
Ted’s Hideaway – Don’t let the millennial pink facade fool you, this bar is as unassuming as can be.
La Locanda – Open later than most, this Italian trattoria is as authentic as they come with the best locals-only pasta.
Pura Vida – Tucked away near the end of SoFi, this fresh juice spot has the best healthy meals and matcha latte on the beach. (According to Liesel Harivel of Ace Props Shop & Studio).
LiliKoi Organic Living – Airy, stylish eatery making organic, seasonal dishes with a Hawaiian touch.
Lolo’s Surf Cantina – Right off of 3rd ST along your beach-going walk, you’ll find this authentic Baha spot tucked away alongside a hotel.

Sunset Harbor & Belle Isle.

Purdy Lounge – The absolutely solid bar and dance floor brings locals from every corner of the city over the bridge for epic nights of sweats and connecting with friends. And with good reason.
Lucali Pizza – Considered one of the best pizza spots in all of Miami, this charming locale is just a hop away from the Pubbelly mainstays.
The Standard Spa – It might be a big name, but you’d be surprised at how chill the bayview hang is. Whether you’re taking a bougie day, or coming for happy hour on the water, you can’t really go wrong.
Full Bloom – Several of you suggested this one when we did our vegan eats roundup, so much so it made itself to another list.
Miami Mediterranean – Take your classic European late-night kebab spot and picture it as a family-run, locally-sourced outpost. Suggested by South Beach native and local culture aficionado, Laura Quinlan.
The Bay Club – The Sunset Harbor spot is a quintessential laid-back bar complete with live music and a solid food menu. Try the pizza here.
True Loaf – Get ready to drool over every organic, handmade baked good in this Parisian-style bakery cafe.

Photo by Timeout

Everything Else.

Taquiza – Wars have been fought over the blue corn tortillas at this taco spot. You really can’t go wrong.
Gardenia – Another one of our secret vegan-friendly gems, it’s totally hidden and off the beaten path.
A La Folie Cafe – Espanola Way might have a rep for being a tourist hub, but it is home to some serious treasure. This french cafe is lush, quaint, and serves succulent crepes.
La Sandwicherie – Do we need to say anything else about this all-around go-to? Don’t poo poo their house vinaigrette.
Employees Only & Swizzle – The first is a turn of the century cottage transformed into a speakeasy bar and diner. The other is a daytime rum hang with pool tables and games.
The Wolfsonian‘s gift shop & bar – Yes, the museum is dope. But it’s really all about the hidden bar located inside their absolutely awesome gift shop.

The Abbey Brewing Co. – It’s the oldest and only brewpub on Miami Beach and has been sitting quietly next to the Lincoln Road bustle for decades.
Drunken Dragon – On the outside all you see is a neon “MARKET” sign, on the inside is a bustling, eclectic Korean BBQ joint you can’t miss.
Ricky’s South Beach – Another great bar serving up one of the best happy hours on the beach.
Mac’s Club Deuce – Infamous? Maybe. Famous? Definitely. You’ll come here for a semi-innocent drink with friends and “accidentally” walk out at sunrise.
Miami Beach Cinematheque – What was once a historic city hall was transformed into a quirky independent cinema.
Carrot Express – It’s cozy and and fresh and located in one of the many strip malls along Alton.
Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Co. – Solid with a capital “s”. Some of our favorite happy hour deals and nachos in town.

Photo by 10best

Fancy Pants.

Milos Estiatorio – Chef Milos Spiliadis might be an international sensation, but his high-end SoFi spot has an amazing $29 prix fixe menu for us plebeians looking for a treat.
Upland – It’s been a while since I’ve been impressed with a new restaurant and the NYC gourmet spin-off got me good.
The Regent Cocktail Club – The Gale Hotel is more than a South Beach mainstay, it’s home to a seriously next-level cocktail bar that actually fits its prices. Havana Wednesdays is apparently night to go.

*The official confines of South Beach run until 23rd ST. Which means, our all-time go-to spot at The Freehand (Broken Shaker and 27 Restaurant) are technically not on this list. However, we feel a duty to mention them, because Miami doesn’t follow rules.