Hello my beautiful friends! As you know Alex and I were really surprised by how much we enjoyed Miami when last visited in 2015, so I was super excited to be visiting again for a longer period of time. I’m so glad we returned, as I found myself falling in love with Miami more and more with every day that passed!
The vibe in Miami is amazing with beautiful palm tree-lined beaches, incredible sunrises and sunsets, and glorious warm weather. It was a big change to the snow we left behind in Toronto!
Here is a guide for your trip that consists of places we've discovered on our two visits to Miami. It will help you make the most of your time in Miami.
WHERE TO EAT
The food scene in Miami is really buzzing and thanks to Alex, he made sure that we visited all the best ‘foodie’ places in town! Make sure to book all the below restaurants well in advance as they are very popular.
Byblos is actually originally from our hometown Toronto. It was one of our favourites in Toronto so it was amazing to see it here. It serves great modern Middle Eastern food in a vibrant space.
We loved the original Le Sirenuse in one of our favourite destinations in the world - Positano, Italy (see my Positano travel guide here) - so we were very excited to try its Miami outpost! We enjoyed breakfast here which was delicious. It’s also a truly lovely setting in the beautiful Four Season Hotel.
Alex and I don’t watch TV, however we make an exception for one show: Chef’s Table on Netflix! The best episode focuses on Argentine chef Francis Mallman (see it here) so his Miami restaurant Los Fuegos in the Faena Hotel was a must visit for us. We loved this restaurant and all the amazing flavours. Be sure to not skip the desserts! ;)
We really enjoyed our experience at the new Miami Beach hotspot, Stubborn Seed. The chef, Jeremy Ford, who was actually the winner of the Top Chef TV show a couple of years ago, focuses on fresh ingredients and turning them into stunning works of culinary art. We had an amazing dinner here! The food was really high quality with very unique flavours.
The exciting South Florida outpost of chef Justin Smillie’s smash-hit New York City restaurant, Upland introduces Smillie’s California-inspired culinary philosophy to South Beach. The restaurant had a great vibe, with really delicious modern American cuisine. We can’t wait to try the New York site when we’re next in the Big Apple!
Latin influences can be found throughout Miami, and at Matador Room, Jean- Georges Vongerichten offers his modern, distinctive interpretation of Spanish, Caribbean and South American flavours. It’s set within the beautiful EDITION hotel and also offers great outdoor seating for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with beachfront views. We found the selection of food on offer to be fantastic, so we would highly recommend visiting if you’re in town.
And finally, if you’re venturing out of South Beach and into Wynwood, then I would highly recommend visiting Kyu. We loved this Asian-fusion restaurant and shared delicious small plates from its wood-fired grill.
WHERE TO STAY
We loved our stay at 1 Hotel South Beach on this latest visit. We were familiar with the hotel brand as we stayed at 1 Hotel Central Park in New York a few years ago and we’re big supporters of their concept. Inspired by nature, 1 Hotels blends the best of eco-conscious design and sustainable architecture, together with luxury and amazing service. The whole place smells incredible and I even bought their candle to bring a bit of the 1 Hotel back home to London!
Their healthy cafe PLNTHOUSE was great for healthy food, juices and smoothies.
The main pool is on an elevated plaza which puts the ocean at mesmerising eye level and there’s even a small rooftop pool - great for sunset views! It has its own beach area which is very kid-friendly, with even an area to build sandcastles!
Another great place to stay on Miami Beach is Soho Beach House, where our new assistant Emma stayed on a recent visit. It’s the Miami outpost of the London creative members’ club Soho House. Housed in a restored Art Deco building, it gives you the feeling of ‘old Miami’ but with all the amenities of a contemporary hotel. Many areas are open only to club members and hotel guests, which gives a feeling of exclusivity. During the day, hang out at the private beach club and by night, dine at the onsite restaurant Cecconi’s, which serves delicious modern Venetian style food and in a beautifully lit courtyard.
THINGS TO DO
- Go to the beach ... you are in Miami :)
- Go visit and hangout at the Wynwood Walls. The art is really cool and you can potentially grab lunch at Kyu as it’s in the area.
- Grab a Citibike - cycling is a great way to see South Beach. If you don’t mind bridges, cycle along the Venetian Islands to check out the amazing villas!
- Go for an early morning run along the Boardwalk like the locals!
- Visit the Everglades. This has been on our list but we still haven’t done it! It consists of 1.5 million acres of watery grasslands, and is home to a myriad of birds, mammals, and their most famous resident, alligators! Emma highly recommends biking through Shark Valley and if you ride quietly, you may even see alligators along the way - just be sure to keep your distance! Wherever you visit in the Everglades, make sure to bring lots of insect repellent!
Now that we have Alexa, a great grocery store is an essential for us on any trip!
Whole Foods on South Beach was great - and be sure to stock up on Hu Chocolate bars! :)