I recently took a trip down to Miami to celebrate my graduation and had a blast! This was my first time heading down to South Beach and I was in for a surprise. From daily cafe cubanos to endless taco cravings, Miami fed me well.
Although Miami is not the most inexpensive travel destination, I was still able to snag some cheap eats and discounts. My sister and I stayed at the El Paseo Hotel which was off of Espanola Way. Not only did the hotel have a fabulous view of the strip, but also offered 15% off at all restaurants on the street! Espanola Way had just about every cuisine that I could think of. I’m talking about Mexican food, Italian food, Sushi, and even the BEST Hookah in Miami. I found some deals on gram worthy food that was actually good!
Our hotel was super Lyft/Uber friendly as well! We often called rides when wearing heels and took a 20 minute Lyft ride to check out the beautiful Wynwood walls!
Andrix Cafe is the artsiest, Miami coffee shop in South Beach. This café serves delicious little sandwiches, pastries, and all sorts of coffees. My sister and I went there almost every morning for a cafe cubano. In fact, cafe cubanos are actually referred to as coladas which are basically a shot of espresso with a heavy spoonful of sugar. To accompany our sweet drinks, we ordered a sweet raisin bread pastry glazed with a sweet and light simple syrup. This pastry was so warm and delicious. It wasn’t too tough like most pastries at coffee shops, but soft and chewy.
Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine
As soon as I landed in Miami, an immediate craving for rice, beans, and chicken hit me. Where else could I have gone, but the infamous Havana 1957?! This Cuban chain is found all over South Beach and is worth the stop. I ordered the Pechuga de Pollo a la Plancha (Grilled Chicken Breast) with a side of plantains. Just to clarify, I didn’t just inhale this meal because I hadn’t eaten in 5 hours, but because it was some of the best Cuban food I had in my life!
The rice and beans were full of flavor, and actually had SALT! The chicken was seasoned and grilled to perfection, juicy in every bite. Although the prices for this joint were a bit steep, I still wish I could rewind my life so I can enjoy this meal one more time. My sister got the Havana 1957 salad which was huge, yummy, and had yuca for that Cuban twist. Both entrees were so good that I forgot to take a picture, but instead I have this video. (feel free to replay)
Confession time! I did not eat pizza for nearly 3 months until I arrived to Miami. On our first night, I demanded Napoli style pizza for dinner! La Leggenda serves fresh and authentic Italian pizzas! The restaurant was not that pricey either. This shareable pizza was only $17, and other pizza options started at $12. I can honestly say that this mouthwatering pizza was absolutely worth the three months wait, and tasted even better in the morning.
Floribbean Kitchen, Espanola Way Cigar Lounge
It just so happened that we booked this trip on Cinco de Mayo weekend, where Espanola Way had a lituation. The mexican restaurant on Espanola Way was packed by the evening, so my sister and I headed over to the cigar lounge called Floribbean Kitchen. I must admit that I was skeptical about Florribean Kitchen because it seemed touristy, but turns out, this place had some of the best hookah and tacos in Miami! The steak tacos were so cheesy and flavorful, and the hookah was so smooth. I checked out a couple of places off Ocean Drive and Collins Ave for hookah, but they weren’t nearly as good as this cigar lounge. Plus, the hookah here was way cheaper than other bars! Hookah started at $30 and the tacos were only $15, which was not a bad deal for quality, South Beach food!
Oh Mexico was my spot! We went there twice for chicken nachos and tacos with elote! The food service was quick and delicious! The prices were also not too steep either. Most of the appetizers and entrees were around $10-20, but were also shareable!
As much as I loved Andrix, my sister and I had to switch things up and try cafe cubano elsewhere. We decided to walk next door and grab our cafe from Charlotte Bakery, which is Italian and Argentine shop serving the best empanadas! Last summer when I lived in Spain, I had an Argentine host mother who made the BEST empanadas, and since then I have only trusted Argentine empanadas. We ordered the chicken, chipotle chicken, and spinach and cheese empanadas that were food for my soul. These babies were so cheap too! I got two cafe cubanos, and three empanadas for only $13.
Chez Bon Bon
So my sister kept raving about how the Fontainebleau has the best gelato in South Beach…and she was RIGHT! I stopped by a couple of gelaterias to sample their flavors, but no one’s compared to Chez Bon Bon in the Fontainebleau. For those of you who don’t know, the Fontainebleau is a prestigious hotel in South Beach with lounges, pools, and the hot LIV nightclub. I got the Salted Caramel gelato and fell in love. It tasted almost like cake batter and was totally worth the hype. The prices at this gelato shop were pretty standard for gelato as well. A scoop was about $6, but that is typically what one pays for quality ice cream in almost any city.
Deciding on an Italian restaurant was tough. My sister decided that we go to La Locanda because she thought she had been there before, but was wrong. I’m a sucker for fresh pasta, and this place did not have it. That being said, the seafood pasta was okay and overpriced.
Museum of Ice Cream
Ever since I went to Los Angeles I wanted to go to the Museum of Ice Cream, but it was closed in LA. That was until I found out there was one in Miami! I was super stoked for this museum. I paid $40 for a ticket and saw so many cool pictures on Instagram. But to be honest, the ice cream museum was not worth the money. It was super aesthetic and great for pictures, but the ice cream was lack lather. It tasted like ice cream that I could scoop out of the bargain $5 tub at my local grocery store.
Paris 6 Bistro
Thanks to a foodie down in South Beach, also known as Sweet Portfolio, I was recommended Paris 6 Bistro for dessert. This fancy dessert spot was perfect for pictures satisfied my sweet tooth. Paris 6 is known for their popular Grand Gateau, which is basically a hot, molten chocolate cake with a chocolate dipped ice cream bar inside and topped with your choice of candy topping. We chose the KitKat Grand Gateau and it was chocolate HEAVEN! Not a single bite of this treat was disappointing. Even though the dessert was on the pricey side, ranging around $18, it was definitely worth the hype.
The Coco Market
Aside from South Beach, I traveled to Wynwood to check out the walls and markets. While at the Wynwood Market, I saw people with huge coconuts and had to get one for myself! The Coco Market is a food truck that serves only fresh coconuts with coconut milk inside! Yes, I bought a coconut for this picture, but I was also parched from the blazing hot sun. The coconuts were also pretty cheap too. This small coconut was only $6.
Don’t let the name “Diner” fool ya! This place is not your typical fifties themed burgers and shakes diner, but actually your laid back, chicken n’ waffles and full bar type of diner. Yep, we got ourselves some chicken n’ waffles with hot sauce on the side, freshly squeezed orange juice, and some BOMB cheesy eggs and potatoes! All of my foodie followers know that I am a sucker for some chicken n’ waffles in any city that I visit! The juicy chicken tenders laid on a bed of fluffy waffles, paired with warm maple syrup and spicy hot sauce. The eggs were fluffy and stuffed with cheese accompanied by some roasted potatoes. I love fresh orange juice and when the waitress confirmed that it was 100% authentic, I had to get myself a cup. This brunch wasn’t even costly! Our dishes ranged from $13-20 each, not bad for Miami brunch.
I hope you all enjoyed this post! Stay tuned for my next foodie adventure outside of the ATL!
Until next time,