Eating your way through the best restaurants in South Beach can take some trial and error. Most of us have fallen prey to the South Beach bait-and-switch before. The area is ripe with places that are, to say the least, sketchy. But the chunk of Miami Beach south of 23rd Street doesn’t deserve the bad reputation it’s gotten. Away from Ocean Drive, you’ll find a blooming culinary community quickly transforming South Beach into the tastiest neighborhood in Miami, where you’ll find one of the best bakeries in Miami, some of the best bars in Miami and some of the straight-up best restaurants in Miami. It’s about time South Beach got some serious culinary contenders. Allow us to introduce you to them.
Best South Beach restaurants
What is it? It’s all about Floridian coastal cooking at the Sunset Harbour hotspot a la local blue crab cakes, buffalo fish wings and crispy whole snapper. The sweet corn spoon bread is a winning way to start an evening sit-down and it can be served with butter poached lobster.
Why go? Stiltsville offers a special “Skinny Mermaid” menu full of vegan and veggie options for lunch just in case you’re not in a fried mood.
What is it? A taste of the Mediterranean, where the daily catch is always a good choice and the Cornish hen melts in the mouth. The Middle Eastern fried chicken really pops thanks to a side serving of tahini, za’atar and hot sauce. This place is cozy but attracts a chic crowd. Drake has dined here before. Maybe you’ll sit in his seat!
Why go? No room for dessert? Fine. But don’t leave without ordering the elegant tea service (they have a tequila-spiked version too).
What is it? A taco joint known for serving up tasty tacos wrapped in organic blue masa tortillas. The casual spot is perfect for a pre- or post-beach snack. Just walk up to the sidewalk window, order and don’t forget to load up at the salsa bar before you start munching.
Why go? For the soft, warm totopos with a side of guac. They put your average tortilla chip to shame.
What is it? Overlooking Lincoln Road, Juvia is a rooftop spot with some dazzling views. Those views may be the main attraction here, but the food—heavy on seafood and full of indulgent (and pricy) meat options—ain’t too shabby.
Why go? Brunch isn’t a bad deal here: $65 prix fixe with bottomless mimosas, bellinis or prosecco.