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South of Fifth - Love Local
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Hot in Your Hood: The best bites and sips in SoBe’s South of Fifth

South Beach brand developer Alex Norton shows us around his waterfront neighborhood.

By
Virginia Gil
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Hot in Your Hood is our curated neighborhood series, where friends of Time Out Miami highlight the locally owned businesses they love in the areas they reside in. Read on to find out the spots these tastemakers recommend in the ’hoods they rep, from the fun stuff like great places to eat and shop to the practical things, like where they go to break a sweat or get something repaired. These mini-guides are personal recommendations intended to show support to our small-biz community—#notsponsored.

By Alex Norton, as told to Virginia Gil

I’ve lived all over this Magic City over the last 10 years. I started in the dorm rooms of UM’s hallowed halls (Go Canes!), moved to the peacock-feather–laden streets of South Miami and later to the neighborhood an overzealous Uber driver once called “East of Wynwood,” which most know as Edgewater.

But my life changed two years ago when I moved to South Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood. This statement may sound dramatic, but if you’ve ever met me, it tracks. South of Fifth (or Miss SoFi, if you nasty) has the reputation of being a somewhat sleepy, tony neighborhood, but it is so much more than that. SoFi is a burgeoning, vibrant area with a diverse group of people who truly love where they live.

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There’s a real sense of community here that I don’t think exists in other South Beach neighborhoods. Everyone is friendly and everything is within reach. I can get a coffee, go for a midday swim, grab lunch or dinner and even pop by the club (hey STORY, miss you) all within a three-minute walk from my apartment. With a pristine beach, lush public parks, the Instagramable South Pointe Pier and famed eateries like Joe’s Stone Crab and Prime 112, South of Fifth is truly neighborhood #goals. Here are a few of my favorite neighborhood spots:

RED Steakhouse

Executive chef Peter Vauthy helms the kitchen at RED Steakhouse masterfully, churning out some of the most delectable steaks and insane side dishes my palate has ever had the privilege of tasting. Though known for its steak, the entire menu is a collection of mouthwatering options—from the filet mignon and steak tartare to the insane side dishes like whipped potatoes and creamed corn. RED’s bar is one of my go-to spots for a classy “beveragino.” Visit Sarah, Murisa and Nikki at the bar for some of the best cocktails in town. RED recently announced it’s moving but staying in the neighborhood, and I heard through the grapevine they are launching brunch upon reopening!

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Margot Natural Wine Bar

Margot is the new girl on the block, and she is ready to party. This recently opened, pop-up wine bar is located at Nikki Beach and brought to you by the team at Bar Lab. In its few short weeks, Margot has become my go-to spot for a cheeky glass of wine, casual conversation and nodding my masked face to a selection of toe-tapping beats. It serves all types of natural wines in a Tulum-goes-north setting. Margot, girl, we hope you’re here to stay.

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Santorini by Georgios

Transport yourself to Greece at this poolside restaurant at the Hilton Bentley South Beach. This spot makes me feel like I’m in the movie Mamma Mia, which I loudly exclaim to anyone and every one every time I’m there. The menu features authentic Greek staples and the beautiful outdoor seating area with soft, ambient lighting makes it the perfect spot for date night (I’m single, boys!). The octopus and the flaming saganaki cheese, served ablaze tableside, are not to be missed. If you aren’t driving, I suggest guzzling a few Revenge of the Spartans cocktails, made with Mastiha tequila, fresh watermelon and lime juice and garnished with fresh basil.

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Orilla

Located inside the Urbanica the Euclid Hotel (not to be confused with Urbanica the Meridian Hotel, its sister property one block west), Orilla sits at the edge of SoFi on Fifth Street. It’s dark and sexy and the tropical dining area outdoors gives this spot atmosphere for days. The food is really good and well-priced, which is a welcomed addition to a neighborhood known for its expensive dining. I don’t order meat often, but I can’t resist Orilla’s flank steak and love to wash it down with a chilled glass of Sancerre. The music selection in their bathrooms is a bonus, unexpected surprise: the hotel’s manager, Sexton Garcia, often mixes music with classic literature audiobooks. I've listened to Pride & Prejudice whilst in the loo and have never felt worldlier.

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The ScapeGoat

The ScapeGoat is a second home for my friends and I, and the temporary closing of this pint-sized bar has left a keg-sized hole in our hearts. It’s our neighborhood’s version of Cheers: the bartenders know your name, your drink and perhaps even the mistakes you made the night before, though they’d never spill. Scapegoat, I miss you, and I can’t wait to be sipping late-night Gimlets with you once again.

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