When it comes to venues for high-end food, nightlife and shopping, South Beach is the place to go after a full day of viewing the enticing luxury yachts at the Miami Boat Show. The two main areas in South Beach are Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road. If you only have time to go to one area, make it Ocean Drive as this strip epitomizes what South Miami Beach is all about. It’s where elegance and chic meet wild and crazy. Lincoln Road is quieter, with an abundance of restaurants, expensive boutiques and a smattering of nightclubs.
Nightclubs and Live Music
Highlights include Mango’s Tropical Café, with live music and sexy dance performances by staff members,. For a totally unique South Beach experience, head over to Nikki Beach where you can dance a d dine right on the sand. You also have your choice of dining at tables, beds, tents, cabana, sunbathing beach chairs and more. Fat Tuesday is a great place to get a frozen tropical drink while getting ready to party later in the evening. For a quieter venue, try Vue Terrace at the Hotel Victor.
You’ll find places to eat from virtually every ethnic food category. Restaurants that you won’t want to miss include Prime 112, considered by many to be the best gourmet restaurant in Miami; Phillipe, a high-end Chinese restaurant on two levels in Garsevoort South Hotel; Taverna Opa, a Greek ethnic eatery where you are allowed to dance on the tables; Larios, a Cuban restaurant owned by Gloria and Emilio Estefan, a good place to dance to Latin music on Fridays and Saturdays. Head over to Ocean’s Ten where dinner time is always showtime. Guests can get a great meal here and transition into party time as the night progresses with nightly live entertainment, plus a live DJ beginning at midnight.
Lincoln road is known more for its restaurants, although visitors will find Lapidus Lounge and the DiLido at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, featuring live jazz acts on most evenings, and Haven Gastrolounge, a venue that hosts dance and romance nights. That is also known for its video displays and innovative snack menu. Set is the nightclub of choice in this area, featuring lots of stylishly dressed beautiful people.
The atmosphere here is more casual and family-friendly. Balans is an excellent choice for lunch or dinner, serving a variety of international comfort food with a brasserie ambiance both inside and outside. Look for daily afternoon drink specials and half price specials from 10 p.m. until closing. YUCA’s serves Cuban food that has a small VIP section in the back. The restaurant’s second floor features salsa dance lessons on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings. Sushi Samba features a full bar and has a party every Tuesday from midnight to 4a.m. with costume dressed female dancers.
Visitors can find all things quirky, cool and hip on Lincoln Road. Visit Alchemist for the chicest designer labels — Givenchy, Dior Homme, Rick Owens, Lucien Pellat-Finet and Natalia Brill. Base has items from off-beat designers such as Miansai, Luis Morais, Fred Perry, Rogan, Nice Collective and Tsovet. Visit Debbie Katz to find clothing that is synonymous with South Beach style. Fly Boutique is a favorite with locals for vintage items, while Journelle is the new kid in town offering high-end lingerie.
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