Foodie – noun food·ie \ˈfü-dē\: a person who enjoys and cares about food very much; A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger. Yep that’s me. Many people travel to South Beach (SoBe) for bachelor and bachelorette parties or just to party in general. Not me. I come to SoBe to eat. Well I come for the beach and the sun too, but there’s nothing like indulging my inner fat girl with what I like to call Foodie Heaven.
There are dozens of wonderful places to dine in SoBe and I know for sure I haven’t been to them all yet but I can recommend some of my “staples” that I come back to almost every time I’m in town, which is quite frequently. Whether on Collins Ave, Ocean Drive or Lincoln Road, there is a dining experience for just about everyone waiting to ignite your foodie senses as well.
Grillfish: I know there is an extensive selection of fresh fish daily, hence the name, and I’ve seen it well prepared on other people’s plates, but I cannot stop myself from getting the same dish every time I dine there. They had me at shrimp scampi. Yes, I am a self-professed shrimp scampi connoisseur and this is literally the best I’ve ever tasted. Ever. And I’ve had my fill of shrimp scampi over the years.
Red The Steakhouse: There are plenty of great steakhouses in SoBe and I’ve tried a good number of them considering I’m a carnivore, but Red is my favorite. The bone-in ribeye with the garlic topping will change your life. And if you pair it with the Belle Glos Pinot Noir, well I might as well just send you to heaven right now!
Dolce: This quaint Italian treasure is tucked away in the Gale Hotel on Collins Avenue and has a branzino/seabass dish to die for. If you are a meat lover, try the Veal Saltimbocca, which is my mom’s favorite. Their menu changes quite frequently but the food there is amazing so I don’t think you can go wrong with any dish you select.
Cleo: Another restaurant on Collins you might miss if you weren’t looking for it but I promise, once you’ve gone, it will become your second home. This Mediterranean tapas-style restaurant has a little bit of everything for everyone. Before you order anything though, make sure you order the Lebaneh with Feta and Cucumbers and Yogurt dips to go with the hot bread they serve you…Yummm! Some of my other favorites: the kale flatbread (which my mom calls her crack lol), the Brussel sprouts and the roasted lamb.
CJ’s Crab Shack: I have to say, I’m not a fan of eating on Ocean Drive because many of the restaurants are overpriced simply because they exist on Ocean, but CJ’s is not one of them. I found this delightful gem of a restaurant on one of my girlfriend’s getaways a few years ago and it has some of the best seafood for half the price of its neighbors. As a DC girl who loves her crustaceans, CJ’s can do no wrong with their crablegs and shrimp scampi platter.
Sushi Samba: This unique Japanese/Brazilian/Peruvian fusion restaurant can be found in several cities across the U.S. but I have to say my favorite is in SoBe. I don’t eat sushi often but when I do, I dine here and get the Ezo samba roll, absolutely delicious! No worries if you don’t like sushi, they have plenty of other yummy goodness to go around like the braised shortribs, vegetable tempura and chicken teriyaki Samba-style. Oh, and if you are a mojito lover like me, you’ll absolutely want to indulge in their authentic mojito selection.
If you’re a self-professed foodie too, you won’t want to miss my review of South Beach’s Food and Wine Festival next week. Stay tuned!