When you think of dining out on Miami Beach, what spots come to mind? Many people will gravitate toward more popular areas like Lincoln Road and Espanola Way, but those “in the know” stay away from the tourist traps and head to South of Fifth.
South of Fifth – aka SoFi – is a neighborhood that doesn’t get enough credit when it comes to dining out. It’s much more low-key than the rest of the beach, and parking isn’t too bad (emphasis on too). The next time you find yourself on SoBe, head a little more south and eat at one of these great concepts.
Abbalé Telavivian Kitchen
At Abbale Telavivian Kitchen, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine abounds. The SoFi eatery is the perfect place for breaking bread with friends and family – this is a menu that’s meant for sharing. Start (or complete) your meal with standouts like hummus tahini, crunchy cauliflower, local fish ceviche and fire roasted jumbo prawn; you can make a meal out of just the appetizers.
For those of us with a bigger appetite, consider the pan roasted double cut lamb chops, roasted branzino and Persian-braised beef short rib. Desserts-wise, the labneh panna cotta is something you’ve probably never had before and worth checking out.
Abbalé Telavivian Kitchen is located at 864 Commerce Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, visit their official website.
Don’t let the Ocean Drive location fool you: Azabu Miami is not a tourist trap. It’s actually a South of Fifth gem that deserves your full attention.
The Michelin-Starred restaurant, located inside the Stanton Hotel, is known for its memorable Japanese cuisine that’s both satisfying and inviting. You’ll encounter classics like karaage fried chicken, lobster tempura and pork dumplings along with more substantial plates such as miso black cod, snow crab fried rice and beef udon.
The menu is big, but the stellar service will help guide you through it. Just remember that many of the items are meant to be shared, so you’re going to want to order at least two to three plates per person. Plan accordingly.
On the cocktail side of things, there’s a lot and they all do a great job of highlighting Japanese spirits and influences. Sake is also plentiful, as are Japanese beers—you won’t go thirsty here at Azabu.
Azabu Miami is located inside the Stanton Hotel at 161 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, visit their official website.
Joe’s Stone Crab
It’s impossible to write a list of Best SoFi restaurants and not mention Joe’s Stone Crab. You just can’t do that. For decades, Joe’s Stone Crab has been a go-to spot for locals and tourists alike when it comes to seafood. While the restaurant’s namesake item is the main attraction, there are plenty of other highlights.
Our non-crab favorites include the coconut shrimp, the New England clam chowder, the mahi-mahi and the Miami-style fish and chips.
If you look at the menu closely, you’ll see something that stands out like a sore thumb among the double-digit prices: a fried chicken under 10 bucks. That’s not a typo – it’s that cheap and it’s amazing. And when it comes to dessert, get the key lime pie; everyone needs to try it at least once.
Joe’s Stone Crab is located at 11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, visit their official website.
The Lobster Shack
For fresh seafood on South of Fifth, look no further than The Lobster Shack. While South Beach has no shortage of seafood, The Lobster Shack goes above and beyond by providing something that other places fail to: tremendous value.
That’s not to say The Lobster Shack is inexpensive —your check can add up fast — but you get your money’s worth and then some.
This South of Fifth spot provides guests with seafood in all forms: raw bar, tacos, rolls and platters. With such a varied menu, restaurants can sometimes risk doing too much. But at The Lobster Shack, that’s not the case.
Whether you opt for a monstrous lobster cocktail with delicious house sauce, a multi-cluster snow crab dinner, or a naked lobster roll (warm with butter), the quality is consistent across the board.
Fun fact: The place is family-friendly. If your child isn’t in the mood for king crab or lobster tacos, there’s a short-and-sweet Kids section with approachable fare like a PB+J sandwich and cheese quesadilla.
And if there’s that one random person in your party who doesn’t want seafood, burgers and hot dogs are also available (but honestly, that person is at the wrong place).
RED South Beach
If you want to ante up the game for a night and enjoy the finer side of life, stop by RED South Beach. The food served here is an aphrodisiac for the senses. Not only has it been titled a ‘top 10 steakhouse in America’ (among a myriad of other awards), Chef Peter Vauthy has been credited as a great influence toward the benefit of Miami’s food scene.
RED presents that classic steakhouse allure, but on a whole new level. One of the best perks about RED is the sheer depth of its menu: You’ll find everything from Certified Angus Beef prime rib-eye and veal marsala to lobster fra diavolo linguine to wild king salmon — it’s like American steakhouse meets Mediterranean seascape.
Plus, they’ve got a bunch of all the sides we love, like whipped potatoes, Florida creamed corn, and sauteed vidalia onions.
Moving on, the drinks are as fine as any steakhouses’ should be. Aside from the literal hundreds of available wines, some signature house-made cocktails include the Lychee Martini (fresh lychee, puree, and vodka) and The Ritz (Hennessy, pomegranate, prosecco). Did we mention they also have a lovely patio for outdoor dining?
What’s there to say about Stubborn Seed that hasn’t been said already? The Michelin-Starred upscale eatery is helmed by chef Jeremy Ford, a Top Chef alum who masterfully creates dishes that are as flavorful as they are beautiful. Everything about Stubborn Seed is an experience, which is why its signature chef’s tasting menu can’t be recommended enough.
It’s hard to pin down the type of cuisine served at Stubborn Seed— “global” doesn’t do it justice. Charred dayboat swordfish, Florida littleneck clams, confit duck tortellini … chef Ford is constantly changing the menu and upping the ante for his guests, always keeping them on their toes.
No two visits are alike, and the unique dining experiences are complemented by just-as-thoughtful cocktails such as the Negroni a la Ford (a negroni with a kick) and the namesake Old Fashioned.
If you’re looking for the Stubborn Seed experience on a budget, sit at the bar as it’s the only place you can order a la carte. It’s a good way to get a feel for the place, and honestly, you’ll likely want to stay for a full-on dinner.
Stubborn Seed is located at 101 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, call 786-322-5211 or visit their official website.