Get us in your inbox

Photography: Maridav/Shutterstock

13 cheap date ideas in Miami, because love shouldn't cost a thing

For when you're itching for a night out but your bank account is giving you the side-eye.

Written by
Falyn Wood
Virginia Gil
Ashley Brozic

Hey, if your wallet's feeling a bit worn out, we totally get it. Juggling rent, the rising cost of basically everything, and hitting up all those romantic restaurants can be a real money dance. But fear not: when you and your S.O. are itching for a cute date but your bank account is giving you the side-eye, we've got you covered with tons of romantic outings that won't break the bank or require fancy reservations. Whether it's pulling up a lawn chair for free movies and concerts or house hunting with cheap aperitivos around affluent neighborhoods, we've got you covered with cheap date ideas that'll make you fall more in love with each other – and with Miami. 

Recommended: The most romantic things to do in Miami

Recommended: Fun date ideas to keep things fresh

Cheap date ideas in Miami

Sanguich and salsa at Ball & Chain
Photograph: Gil Bitton

1. Sanguich and salsa at Ball & Chain

If your date’s got killer moves, but your skills are subpar at best, plan on an evening of free dance lessons at Little Havana hotspot Ball & Chain. Start things off with late lunch or early dinner at Sanguich de Miami, where you’ll find one of the best Cuban sandwiches in the city. For under $12, the media noche (the Cubano’s slightly sweeter sister) is a steal, especially if you opt to share. Next, head down the street to Ball & Chain and fuel up on liquid courage in the form of two-for-one mojitos (happy hour runs from 4 to 7pm). Led by a rotating team of pros, the gratis salsa or bachata lessons kick off at 9pm on most nights of the week (be sure to check Insta for their latest offerings).

Morning stretch and juice at Legion Park Farmers' Market
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Morning stretch and juice at Legion Park Farmers' Market

Before either one of you faces the light of day in last night’s outfit, consider slipping into some athleisure wear for a morning yoga session at Legion Park in Miami’s Upper Eastside. Every Saturday at 10am, the shady bayfront greenspace hosts popular free community yoga sessions which occasionally include relaxing sound bath meditations. Afterward, spend some time browsing the weekly on-site farmer’s market, featuring locally sourced produce, a plethora of prepared foods and some of the freshest and most affordable juice you’ll find in Miami. 

Bike and brewery hop in Wynwood
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Visit Florida

3. Bike and brewery hop in Wynwood

There’s a lot of ground to cover in Wynwood—especially if you plan to take in some of the neighborhood’s incredible street art—so think twice about attempting it on foot. Instead, rent a Citi Bike (members get the first 30 minutes free) and create your own self-guided street art tour. Weave in and out of the colorful streets and stop for a potent cold brew from Panther Coffee. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Coyo Taco for freshly made guac and nontraditional tacos, like quinoa or crispy duck, followed by craft beers at Veza Sur.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Things to do
  • Event spaces
  • North Miami
  • Recommended

Jazz at MOCA has been a community staple since lord knows when, and every last Friday of the month continues to see some amazing South Florida performers take on the lawn at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. Bring your lawn chairs and unravel a spread of some of North Miami's best international takeout, like the nearby Dulce Tropical which has some fantastic chachitos and cheesy arepas. The museum is also open late so you can spend some time interpreting art, or you could head across the street to the ever quaint and cozy Luna Star Café for craft brews, wines and live music.
Ashley Brozic
Outdoor films and frolicking in South Beach
Photograph: Rui Dias-Aidos

5. Outdoor films and frolicking in South Beach

Cozy up under a blanket for the SoundScape Cinema Series in the park. Every Wednesday, free movies are screened on the Miami Beach SoundScape ExoStage adjacent to the New World Center. Titles range from black-and-white classics to recent Oscar winners (check the website for a full schedule). Movie end too early? Walk over to The Betsy Hotel, where you’ll find free nightly jazz performances in the laid back-tropical lobby.

6. 'Zines and pies in the Design District

Dale Zine just opened up new digs in the Design District,  peddling all sorts of indie wares sourced locally and from around the world. Printed gems available for purchase include funky coffee table books and limited edition zines, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg at this community-focused spot. The space also programs art exhibitions and live music and is a great place to pick out a unique and affordable gift for each other while helping support Miami makers. After you’ve finished browsing, pop over to Square Pie City for a crispy-edged Detroit-style pies. $4 will get you a 6X6 slice for lunch.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4
  • Recommended

Long considered Miami's best fried chicken (partially because this is actually Miami's oldest restaurant, partially because it's that damn good), Joe's has been whipping out crispy oil-dunked hens to since 1913, back when Miami Beach was a coconut farm and workers around the island needed some grub. Lovers, too, need a cheap meal and at $10, this iconic Joe's Take Away dish pairs best with a side of creamed spinach and a sunset view at nearby South Pointe Park.
Ashley Brozic
  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Buena Vista
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by @jasskitchen_mia

Jass Kitchen is a cozy Buena Vista Turkish restaurant and jazz house with live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. For an affordable, super-romantic dinner and a show, grab a table and order a large cheese plate ($29) to share. It comes with the daily special cheese, dry beef, walnuts, grapes, homemade jam and toasted bread, paired perfectly with a bottle of wine. If you really want to splurge, spring for the beetroop dip ($12) carrot sliced baklava ($14) for dessert.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Wynwood
  • price 2 of 4
  • Recommended

Thursday nights are for the queens at this stalwart Wynwood watering hole. The weekly Double Stubble drag performances are always free and always fun, but don't forget to bring cash to tip your queens—no one like a stingy date! You can really work up an appetite screaming for your favorite ladies. If you need a nosh, Pizza Tropical on Gramps' patio serves up a killer slice ($4.75) and some of the best cheap eats in Miami. After you've had your fill, hit the dancefloor with bae. The DJ here goes til late.

10. Drive-in flicks and live jazz in Downtown

BYO snacks and beverages and enjoy a new release or cult classic from the comfort of your car at the Nite Owl Drive-In + Tropical Market. Admission for two is $39.98 and includes $20 in concession credits so you can stock up on the obligatory popcorn and candy. Once the credits roll, head to the neighboring watering hole The Corner, a dimly lit refuge where you’ll find an assortment of affordable craft brews and wine bottles, plus free jazz performances on Tuesdays starting at 10pm. (But if you do want some pre flix refreshments, daily happy hour runs from 4 to 8pm.) 

House hunting and Aperitivo in the Gables
Photograph: Courtesy Coral Gables Museum

11. House hunting and Aperitivo in the Gables

Pay a visit to the Coral Gables Museum ($12), a charming institution situated right in the center of downtown Coral Gables, and learn about the city’s visionary founder, George Merrick. Then hail a Freebie and set off to scout the quirky villages he erected throughout the county, including the French Normandy Village and the Dutch South African Village, landmark homes that remain just as they were at the turn of the 20th century. Afterward, pull up a stool at the bar at Vinya on Miracle Mile for happy hour from 3 to 6pm. 

A High-brow/low-brow beach adventure
Photograph: Courtesy Bass Museum of Art

12. A High-brow/low-brow beach adventure

Every third Thursday of the month, City of Miami Beach hosts a free Culture Crawl in partnership with the area’s leading institutions, including the Miami New Drama, The Bass and others. Hoof it or hop on a free trolley (the white ones) and choose your adventure, from site-specific art installations and live music to backstage tours and poetry readings. Kick off your classy evening with two-for-one happy hour cocktails at the delightfully seedy dive bar Mac’s Club Deuce (8am to 5pm). Across the street, fill up on a generously stuffed sandwich from La Sandwicherie for $9.35. (we’re partial to the turkey and brie on a French baguette with all the toppings and Magic Sauce.)

Downhome day trip to Homestead
Photograph: Shutterstock

13. Downhome day trip to Homestead

If you’ve got access to a car and are craving a little day trip, plan a scenic drive down south. Start your morning in Homestead at the family-owned, cash-only Knaus Berry Farm, open November through mid-April and home to famed sticky cinnamon rolls. Pick up a half dozen to go ($8.30) and stroll through the strawberry fields before making your way to the next stop, the Robert is Here Fruit Stand. Specializing in rare fruits, this picturesque roadside spot serves up delicious smoothies and milkshakes made with only the freshest produce. Mix and match up to three flavors for the perfect frozen treat ($8). Then, end your day at Alabama Jacks, a popular watering hole and seafood restaurant perched on the northern edge of Key Largo with live music and mangrove views.


    More on dating

      You may also like
      You may also like