Ten Reasons North Beach Is Miami's Best Dining Neighborhood
Carina Ost Yoyo because YOLO!
If you want fine dining, try another neighborhood. For reasonably priced Latin American fare with a beach setting, head to North Beach. Between the trendiness and overpriced hotel restaurants of South Beach and ritzy Bal Harbour lies this unassuming neighborhood.
Others might scoff that North Beach is a dining dead zone, I have found wonderful carb-filled grub, secret patio dining, beer gardens, free buffets, and more that make this area tops. What follows are the official top ten reasons.
Note: Although North Bay Village's marvelous Sushi Deli isn't in North Beach, I am including Normandy Isle eateries because they are still part of the city of Miami Beach.
10. Pasta galore
Between the folks at Mr. Pasta who make fresh noodles every day, the lobster ravioli at George's, and all the pasta dishes at Café Prima Pasta, you can really carb-load in the neighborhood. Most locals will tell you one of the best deals in town is the early-bird special at Prima, where you can get half off your favorite dishes.
9. Worldly pastries
Carina Ost Cannoli me.
The newly opened Dolci di Sicilia on Normandy Isle serves the most delectable pistachio cannoli and ricotta doughnuts. It joins other delicious ethnic pastry shops in the neighborhood, including Buenos Aires Bakery and Moises Bakery.
8. Free buffet
One of the coolest dive bars in Miami Beach is Sandbar Lounge. It brings the beach to the bar by covering the floor in sand, but that's not all. Five nights a week, you can eat free. Simply purchase a drink, and you have an invitation to cruise the complimentary buffet.
Carina Ost They'll let you in their secret garden.
7. Secret garden and poolside dining
There is nothing more romantic than eating French Moroccan food in a secret garden. Rouge offers the backdrop and the cuisine for a deliciously tender, love-filled repast. For a more laid-back meal or a good brew, head to Lou's Beer Garden. It is also somewhat hidden as you sit by the pool with your banana-bread beer and the most awesome crabcakes with "bitchin'" sauce.
6. Brazilian sausage and feijoada
Little Brazil serves one of the best salads, composed of shrimp, sausage, and palm hearts. It is covered in butter and white-wine sauce but is technically still a salad, so you can feel guilt-free. On weekends, they serve feijoada -- a black-bean stew with fresh and dried beef, salted and fresh pork, bacon, sausage, and ribs -- accompanied by collard greens, sliced oranges, and farofa. If you want more Brazilian meat, head up the block to Cypo Café.