Great Eats in Miami Beach

great eats in miami beach title

When visiting Miami Beach, every tourist will encounter the typical “traps” one finds in a resort city/tourist destination.  As a local, I have had the opportunity to sample the plethora of restaurants on this seven-mile-long sandbar.  Luckily, I live like I travel, on a budget.  So, like when traveling, I on occasion may select to splurge or more often, choose budget-friendly restaurants.  Usually in Miami Beach, even when I “splurge” it is during Miami Spice months where I can sample expensive restaurants for a budget price-fixed menu.

So, here are a few places I can recommend and a little about them.

Best Happy Hour:

Best Greek restaurant in Miami Beach, great customer service, and best happy hour. Very happy atmosphere. Fun vibes. This “hotel restaurant” isn’t a place I would typically recommend.  Most hotel restaurants are over-priced stodgy places.  Here, you can choose to sit inside or outside around the pool.  The vibe here is true “Santorini” style. Whether you make your choices off the amazing happy-hour menu or choose entre plates, you are sure to enjoy the Greek/Mediterranean food and atmosphere. You won’t beat the prices here. Happy Hour 4-7pm (16:00-19:00).

Barceloneta comes the closest to having authentic Spanish tapas in Miami Beach. Especially for their happy hour.  With plenty of outside seating, this casual local hangout is a great place to relax and chat with friends while sampling the menu with smaller plates of tapas. In general, though, they are on the upper end of the price range. Happy Hour 5pm-8pm

    While not always required, I recommend making reservations for both of these establishments.

Local Hang Out

  • Balans – 1022 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Balans has been a South Beach local hangout since it opened in 1987.  Here you’ll find one of the most popular Saturday and Sunday brunches on the beach. (Make Reservations)  Otherwise, you’ll find locals and visitors alike having dinner or just drinks enjoying the legendary Lincoln Road people watching.  This is one of the few restaurants on Lincoln Road that isn’t a tourist trap.  Happy Hour Mon-Sat: 3 pm – 7 pm Sun: 4 pm – 7 pm – Weekend Brunch 8 am-4 pm.

Another great people watching hangout is also on Lincoln Road just West of Balans. Brought over from Italy in 2000, l’Originale is perfect for people watching while enjoying Italian tapas, sipping on a drink from the extensive cocktail menu and listening to great music.

As always- businesses come and go in resort towns.  Check first to ensure these gems are still around.  Also, happy hours and hours of operation may change.