6 Great Miami Restaurants for People Watching

6 mins read

Miami is home to a diverse cast of characters. This melting pot quality is what makes the city tick, and some of Miami’s top restaurants provide a front-row view to our interesting inhabitants (for better or worse). If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a nice meal with a show, look no further than these six people-watching spots.

Café Americano

Brickell City Centre is never not crowded, and Café Americano is a great place to enjoy a delicious meal and take in the sights. The outdoor seating here gives you a nice view of the surrounding stores and clientele while protecting you from the elements.

As you people watch, you can enjoy Café Americano’s Latin-inspired cuisine like chicken brasa bowls, ceviche sliders and the baja chicken tacos. Our favorite item, though: the molten chicken parm. It’s a sight to behold (and devour). Make sure to try a cocktail or two while you’re here; the Gold Standard lives up to the name.

CJ’s Crab Shack

CJ’s Crab Shack is another Ocean Drive gem that’s ideal for enjoying the sights. CJ’s casual feel-good vibes make for a memorable experience, day or night.

As you watch locals, tourists and vendors make their rounds on the strip, you can dig into hearty crab dishes like crab dip (a personal fave), crab cakes, Alaskan king crab and snow crab.

Don’t let the name fool you: There’s a lot more to this place than just the tasty crustacean; you can also enjoy selections like fried shrimp, seafood pasta, grouper fingers, steamed clams and lobster tail. Wash everything down with a mango daiquiri or rum punch; a good time is guaranteed.

Greenstreet Café

Coconut Grove’s Greenstreet Café is a neighborhood institution. Its corner location on one of the area’s busiest streets makes it ideal for people watching at all times of the day.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Greenstreet’s menu is comprised of a little bit of everything: Visit early for French toast and pancakes, take a midday break and enjoy burgers and salads, or swing by in the evening for pastas and sizeable entrees like snapper, blackened mahi mahi and skirt steak. A full bar rounds out the restaurant’s already ample offerings.

Greenstreet Café is located at 3468 Main Hwy, Miami, FL 33133. For more information, visit their official website.

Le Zoo

Le Zoo at Bal Harbour Shops gives you a look inside the life of the luxurious. The French restaurant has covered outdoor dining that’s almost right in the center of the famous upscale mall. It’s surreal to be surrounded by extravagant vendors with wares that cost as much as your mortgage (if not more).

While you daydream about being rich and wonder how everyone can afford these things, you can nosh on much less expensive food like Le Zoo’s amazing steak tartare, warm shrimp salad and trout amandine. Writer’s note: This is one of our favorite restaurants in Miami.

Le Zoo is located at 9700 Collins Ave #135, Miami Beach, FL 33154. For more information, visit their official website.

Paperfish Sushi

Española Way, Miami Beach’s iconic street, may not be as popular as it was in its heyday, but the lively roadway still garners healthy crowds day in and day out.

Despite its location on the tourist attraction, Paperfish Sushi is anything but a tourist trap: The high-quality fusion restaurant mixes Peruvian and Japanese influences for a memorable meal. Sushi, ceviche, cocktails … the restaurant has you covered while you take in the sounds and sights. The best part: A meal here won’t break the bank – it’s surprisingly affordable for South Beach.

Toscana Divino

Mary Brickell Village’s hallmark restaurant is Toscana Divino. Located right in the middle of the iconic shopping center, the Italian restaurant is the ultimate destination for people-watching in the financial district.

Toscana’s menu takes the guest on a culinary journey with its numerous specialties like crab salad, octopus puttanesca, spinach and ricotta tortelli, and pici senesi with duck ragu. It’s a journey that you’ll never forget, and the stunning Brickell backdrop is icing on the cake.

Geoffrey Anderson

Geoffrey Anderson Jr. is a contributing/staff writer for Dish Miami. For over six years, he has covered the South Florida dining scene with his wife for the award-winning local food blog Miami Food Pug. When he's not writing about food, he's eating it—or attending rock concerts and traveling.

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