Best Restaurants on Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive That are Actually Good

10 mins read
CJ's Crab Shack

As a local, what comes to mind when you think of places like Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive? If you said “tourist traps,” you’re right. These two areas are full of overpriced restaurants serving uninspired food. But amidst all the duds, there are still plenty of great restaurants worth your time and money. 

The following six eateries are a cut above the rest, offering patrons value AND quality. So, the next time you find yourself on Ocean Drive or Lincoln Road, stop by one of these standout spots.  

Azabu

Hotel restaurants can be hit or miss. On some properties, food is an afterthought. But on other properties like Mariott Stanton South Beach, food is one of the stars. Azabu, one of the hotel’s two restaurants, invites guests to enjoy delectable Japanese fare in a stunning dining room sporting a gorgeous open kitchen. 

The menu is meant for sharing, so bring a friend or two to make the most of your experience. Selections include classics like shishito peppers, karaage fried chicken, pork dumplings, and king crab fried rice. A large section of the menu is reserved for Azabu’s ample sushi and nigiri offerings, which run the gamut from spicy tuna rolls and baked crab rolls to unagi (eel) and uni (sea urchin). 

Feel like splurging? Make a reservation for The Den, the eatery’s private sushi counter experience. It’s not cheap, but it’s a meal you won’t forget. Come with an open mind and let the chefs guide you through a fantastic omakase journey. 

Azabu is located at 161 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, visit their official Instagram.  

CJ’s Crab Shack

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For no-fuss seafood fare, head on over to CJ’s Crab Shack, located smack in the middle of Ocean Drive. This is a place you’ll find both your local friends and where you’ll be taking your out-of-town guests begging for a night out on Ocean Drive. 

This place is truly a seafood lover’s heaven: The menu overflows with crabs, lobsters, oysters, clams, calamari, scallops, and fish. For the meat lovers, there’s equally enticing steak, chicken, and burgers. CJ’s signature crab cake is the star of the show — crab meat deviled and baked in-shell. It’s a sharable portion, but you’ll probably want your own. 

As for entrees, luckily, you shouldn’t have a hard time choosing what to munch on. CJ’s conveniently groups everything into mouthwatering combos served with items like pasta alfredo, fries, or Parmesan corn.  Even if you’re not that hungry, come by and grab a Famous Rum Punch or Soon-to-be-Famous Margarita, lounge back on the outdoor patio, and watch the crowds pass by. 

The Lobster Shack

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Love lobster? Look no further than The Lobster Shack on Lincoln Road. As you’ve likely guessed from the name, the eatery’s claim to fame is its lobster roll — which indeed lives up to its reputation. 

First-timers should indulge in the classic roll, but they should also keep an eye on its many tasty variations. You can order it with cajun seasoning or jalapeno slaw for some kick or go full “South Beach” with bacon and avocado. There are also shrimp and crab rolls if that’s more your style.

While rolls are a big part of the menu, they aren’t the only things on it. Guests can dig into New England clam chowder, seared tuna salad, fried seafood baskets, and tacos, too. If you’re extra hungry, main plates like the snow crab dinner and live Maine lobster will fill you up with leftovers to spare. 

A full bar is also available to help you wash everything down, and drinks are priced reasonably for the area. In a place full of tourist traps, The Lobster Shack is a refreshing change of pace. 

Lolo’s Surf Cantina

Hats off to Marriott Stanton South Beach for having two entries on this list. Mexican food and beach vibes are a match made in heaven, so pop into Lolo’s Surf Cantina for some spectacular, casual cuisine. Tacos and burritos are the main draws here, with proteins like Baja fish, chorizo and potato, chicken tinga, and more. For something a little more shareable, check out Lolo’s other tasty options, such as shrimp aguachile, queso fundido, and Mexican-style street corn. 

Unlike many other Mexican eateries, Lolo’s also serves breakfast. Huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, and chicken chilaquiles are just a few of the early morning standouts; there are also American staples if you want something slightly more familiar – think egg white frittata and steel-cut oats. Our favorite thing about Lolo’s? The daily happy hour – yes, daily

Lolo’s Surf Cantina is located at 161 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, visit their official website.

Mister-O1

A stone’s throw north of Lincoln Road, Mister-O1 was “that famous hidden place.” When the pizzeria first opened in a nondescript office building years ago, you had to find out about it through word of mouth; there’s no sign that would indicate you were steps away from some amazing pizza. 

The secret’s been out for a while now, and Mister-O1 has expanded to the mainland with locations in Coconut Grove, Wynwood, and more. But there’s just something about the cozy SoBe dining room, where just a few tables can fit. 

First things first: If you don’t like pizza, this isn’t the place for you. While there are other items like salads and calzones, this is a pizzeria through and through. At Mister-O1, you’ll find an assortment of traditional pies: pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, Hawaiian, meat lovers … the list goes on. These are all great, but you should continue to the Extraordinary Pizza section, where more creative bites await. 

On this page of the menu is where you’ll find the famous star-shaped pizzas like the Star Luca, stuffed with ricotta cheese, spicy salami calabrese, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil. The Claudio, with its fresh burrata and white truffle oil, is another decadent highlight. 

Mister-O1 is located at 1680 Michigan Ave Suite 101, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, visit their official website

Yardbird

Lots of places offer fried chicken these days, but the Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken at Yardbird is among the best in town. Whether you get the original, the Nashville Hot, or the Korean-Style, this chicken is… wow

But there’s more to Yardbird than meets the eye: The South Beach institution specializes in all types of Southern specialties like deviled eggs, skillet cornbread, country smoked ham, fried green tomato BLT, and ribs–we can’t stop drooling. 

This restaurant has been around for a while, and once you eat here, you’ll immediately know why. Besides a vast menu of tasty food, there’s a giant cocktail list to enjoy – consider Ubering since parking is iffy. 

Yardbird is located at 1600 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, visit their official website

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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