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Our Expert Picks for Miami Beach’s Best

Our editors pick the best reataurants, happy hours and date spots in Miami Beach


You come here to get advice from longtime locals. We get that. But sometimes it gets a little hard to find, especially in weeding through the thousands of responses in our forums. So as a service to the curious visitor, or just the resident looking for knowledge, our five most frequent forums contributors offer their picks for some of the best spots to eat and drink for all occasions in South Beach.

About the Team

DYLAN is born and raised in South Florida and currently lives right on the Ocean. He’s a travel advisor for Miami Tour company and dispenses his years of knowledge daily.

MICHELLE is one of the founders and owners of Miami Beach 411 and Miami Tour Company. She’s lived in Miami for over 15 years, starting in South Beach and gaining expertise living all over the city.

GUS is another founder of Miami Beach 411 and Miami Tour Company along with his wife Michelle (see above). Originally from San Diego, Gus came here on vacation in 2000 and never left.

JESS is a frequent contributor to Miami Beach 411 since moving here from gloomy England 5 years ago. She’s an expert on living in South Beach self-sufficiently, showing it IS possible to live in Miami without a car.

MIRNA  - Mirna was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to Miami in 2001. She’s been associated with Miami Tour Company since its early days and currently focuses her attention as a travel advisor for English and Spanish guests.

MATT – Is a regular contributor to Miami Beach 411 and has lived in Miami for over a decade. He’s also the Miami editor for Thrillist and teaches at the University of Miami.

Best Inexpensive Restaurant

DYLAN - Iron Sushi. This is easy just go there, 64 pieces of different sushi for $30 is hard to beat

MIRNA - Manolo. Good prices and fast service not to mention it reminds me of home.

JESS - Are there any inexpensive restaurants in SoBe?! If I want to go out for a cheap evening, I head to Books and Books, and order some side dishes, or the vegan platter for $12.

MICHELLE -. For overall inexpensive, my favorite place is Rice House of Kabob. I could eat the Joojeh chicken platter everyday.

GUS - T-Mex taco shop serves awesome chicken soft tacos. Also, the Argentinean-style chicken empanadas at Charlotte’s Bakery are delicious , and if you like spicy food , ask for a side of their homemade hot sauce.

MATT - Go Go. The selection of $2.50 empanadas is the best you’ll find in the city, and they’re all delicious. Even for a big guy like me, 4 is a large meal and 5 is a feast.


Favorite Sandwich Shop

DYLAN - Burger and Beer Joint. I like the atmosphere the number of Burgers to choose from drink specials and pool table.

MIRNA - La Sandwicherie. Not only is the variety of sandwiches very good, but also the delicious juice selection makes this the best combination for a quick lunch.

JESS - La Sandwicherie. It is open all hours, there’s a huge variety of sandwiches, AND I might bump into Steve Angello while I’m there! (See the interview!)

MICHELLE - La Sandwicherie. I love the Fresh Mozzarella and tomato sandwich on French bread with vinaigrette.

GUS - Publix makes a great Philly Cheese-steak,  and because it’s a super market, they also have lots of condiments and sandwich extras you won’t’ find at other places.

MATT - Publix. No joke. Publix. The Pub Sub might be the #1 think Floridians say they miss when they move out of the area. And that includes the weather.

Best Place For A Date

DYLAN - The Anchorage, right by Peacock Park in Coconut Grove where all the sail boats are moored.  It is a relaxing place I like to go visit,  and it’s fun since I know most of the people who live on those boats.

MIRNA - Quattro Gastronomia Italiana - It’s a very nice location on Lincoln Rd. I have been there for a first date and I loved it. Try the Carpaccio and the Burrata Cheesem then go inside for a more intimate feeling.


JESS - Picnic in South Pointe Park. It’s where I had my first date with my boyfriend.

MICHELLE - Doraku Sushi and a movie. Doraku has delicious sushi and hot food, good prices, and a great atmosphere. And a quick walk to the Lincoln Rd Movie theatre.

GUS - I’m going out on a limb and saying the clothing optional beach in Haulover. Now obviously, I’m not suggesting you take someone there on one of your first dates, but after you get to “know” each other, I don’t see anything wrong with asking your partner if they want to go. It’s bonding to share the experience of feeling the sun all over your body, and it can also lead to a more honest and adventurous relationship.

MATT - The Local House. Quiet,  oceanside atmosphere, great food, deceptively strong drinks plus ping pong and foosball tables so you can do something other than awkwardly stare at each other over dessert.

Best Expensive Restaurant

DYLAN - Truluck’s in Brickell. Great atmosphere amazing food and since I used to work there I get hooked up every once and a while

MIRNA - Barton G. Even though I can’t afford to visit this restaurant very often, I try to go on very special occasions. The presentation of the plates is beautiful and the drinks are very creative.

JESS - Yardbird. I like the blackberry lemonade cocktail, and the cheesy grits. And I actually did go there on my birthday!

MICHELLE - Nikki Beach Brunch on Sundays. I love the atmosphere and the food; it is a great place to spend a lazy Sunday.

GUS - Smith & Wollensky. My palette is pretty basic, and their simple steak and seafood preparations suit me just fine. The restaurant also has the best view in Miami Beach, so if you go, make sure to arrive at least 1 hour before sunset.

MATT - Prime Italian. The kobe Bolognese lagasna with buffalo mozzeralla is the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten that I wasn’t able to finish.

Best Happy Hour


DYLAN - Doraku Sushi Cheap Sushi at a great price and a really nice happy hour..

MIRNA - Monty’s. It’s the best!! You can’t beat the view plus the atmosphere is really relaxing. I am a seafood lover so this is the place to go to get my fix.

JESS - Monty’s. Half price drinks from 4-8pm. Key West feel, and a beautiful sunset. I’m always happiest in Key West, so this is second best!

MICHELLE - Monty’s. This is my favorite spot as the drinks are inexpensive, it has the best view, and is completely laid back.

GUS - Doraku. Their happy hour has a good selection of tasty appetizers and the drink prices are very reasonable.

MATT - Mac’s Club Deuce. Why? Because their 11-hour happy hour starts at 8 in the morning, and you have to respect a place that promotes unhealthy life choices.

Related Categories: Miami: Food & Restaurant News,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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