Friday, June 3, 2011

Where To Eat + Play in South Beach, Miami

The Hollywood Breakfast
Where to Have Breakfast: The Big Pink in Miami Beach is a retro-style diner with a mega menu that folds out to chart size near the Art Deco district of South Beach. The all-day breakfast menu includes fresh waffles, egg dishes and healthy options like fruit and yogurt parfait and fresh-squeezed Florida orange juice.

The Big Pink is also a reliable late-night spot, open until midnight on most nights. The TV Dinner is a throwback meal on a sectioned tray that is filled with a rotating menu of comfort food favourites. The Big Pink also does up buckets of fried food with my favourite being the bucket of corn dogs! The diner is filled with a mix of locals, cops and tourists with a casual vibe. Look for the two pink beetles parked out front. An excellent, affordable option to the pricey hotel breakfast.

The Giant Menu
Inside The Big Pink
Where to Grab Coffee: The News Café on Ocean Avenue is the perfect place to grab a huge latte and people watch. The patio is in the middle of all the action and there’s a newsstand that is part of the café which is full of magazines and international newspapers.

The Patio at News Cafe
Inside the Cafe

How-To Happy Hour: The hours between 4-8 PM is legendary in this town. The restaurants, bars, cafes along Ocean Avenue starts jockeying up for your business. Expect to see 2 for 1 drinks and 50% off appetizers. It’s a great deal, just make sure you find a place with decent food. Just because it’s cheap, doesn’t mean you should eat it. The China Grill does 2 for 1 on their $14 martinis and all other alcohol. We tried out a bunch of their appetizers like sushi, crab cakes, beef dumplings and chicken satay that were usually $10-15 each for 50% off.
Happy Hour & Lychee Martinis at China Grill
Where to Party: The Wall inside the W Hotel is a medium-sized club that gets 'real nice' as the locals tell me. LIV, inside Fontainebleau is a massive party house that flies in big-name celebrity guests on the weekend. The Saturday of Memorial Day, LIV flew in Drake and Lil' Wayne. The party doesn’t get started in Miami until 12:30 PM or so, when clubs just start to fill up. Expect a full house by 2 AM, with bars serving until 4 AM. Dress code for girls is mainly cocktail dresses and heels. The guys wore dark denim and dress shirts. Just don’t do shorts or beachwear and you should be fine.
Inside LIV Miami
The Wall at The W Hotel
The Red Room Garden @ Shore Club
Where to Lounge Out: If you’re looking for a unique place to have a drink, without the techno dance party – check out the back patio garden of The Shore Club. The garden is lit up with hanging lanterns and candles around pretty outdoor living spaces and lounger beds spread throughout the grounds. Once you’re ready to get your dance on, enter into the Red Room where a DJ spins Top 40 and Hip-Hop.

Gratuities: 18-20% is generally added to every bill, so do double check before signing. However with that being said, the service we encountered was always friendly and efficient and the food always comes out fast in this town. The only time this was a serious pain was at the bar. Opening two beers also means an automatic 20% being added, considering the fact that most drinks will run you upwards of $15 or more. When we hit up a club, the bar itself wasn’t busy – but bottle service was. Probably a better deal with a group, since two drinks was almost $40 every time. It get really ridiculous after awhile.

Have you been to Miami? Where do you usually go to eat, drink and play? Share your travel tips with our hip and urban girls!

Planning a trip? Read more from our Miami Travel Series here.

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