Miami’s South Beach neighborhood is world renowned. It is a region of Miami that seems to have escaped the rockier difficulties with street crime and the drug trade the rest of the city has faced over the last few decades (though vagrants are not unknown in the neighborhood, but mostly these are beggars rather than threats), while still somehow enjoying Miami’s reputation as a premiere tourist destination. The place boasts a great many night clubs, bars and restaurants. The restaurants in particular are iconic of the city of Miami, including the nationally famous Joe’s Stone Crab. There are, however, a number of different types of restaurants to be found in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood.
Wine bars, particularly the South Beach restaurant Cibo Wine Bar, can be found inside of its borders. Wine bars are eateries that specialize in the dizzying array of wines from around the world, particularly famous wine producing regions, though some wine bars also include vintages from surprising place. South Beach has a number of wine bars scattered about for those who appreciate wine. Most offer a small menu of food for sale to go with the wine and the atmosphere in these places tends to be inviting, a good place to spend an afternoon out with friends.
Pizzarias are also a common sight in South Beach, ranging from inexpensive chain spots and obscure local pizza pits to exquisitely cooked brick oven pizzarias like Lucali. The exact type of pizza you can get from these places is highly variable, as is the quality of the pie. Some serve other pizza shop favorites like rich pastas in sauce or warm calzones filled with ricotta and sauce. The high end places can be costly, but some of the lower end places can be surprisingly good.
Given South Florida’s proximity to the Caribbean, it is perhaps unsurprising than a great number of seafood restaurants are also open in South Beach. As with the pizzarias, quality can vary from eatery to eatery, but given that many Miami chefs are well versed in seafood, it’s hardly surprising that the quality is higher than normal even in lower end eateries. Some, such as Lure Fishbar, have even made waves in the world food scene. Some seafood places also serve the icon Japanese treat of sushi, though a number of places have incorporated other countries’ methods of seafood preparation, ranging from Japan to Cuba to more around the bend uses, such as pineapple salsa.
Traditional Southern United States cuisine can also be found in South Beach, ranging from tame favorites to chicken and waffles to bolder creations such as chicken liver toast, fried Everglades frog legs or even the South Florida delicacy of couch fritters. Other ethnic cuisines available at South Beach include Cuban restaurants, particularly Cuban eateries dedicated to Cuban sandwiches (usually a pork dish, though most eateries also have non-pork offerings for those who abstain from the other white meat) and Jamaican restaurants. Many of these eateries are run by former residents of these island nations who know their national cuisine pretty well.