Where to Escape South Beach Wine and Food Festival

5 mins read

Miami’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival is foodie heaven, but sometimes you crave a calmer culinary experience. We have you covered: Tucked away from the festival throngs are these six Miami Beach gems, each offering a unique and tasty escape.

CJ’s Crab Shack

Get your hands dirty and dive into deliciousness at CJ’s Crab Shack. The Ocean Drive restaurant’s outdoor seating provides a vibrant backdrop for their signature snow crabs, fried seafood platters, and sandwiches filled with fresh catches. Make sure to enjoy a cocktail or three as they’re fun and flavorful with names like Hurricane Molly, Jori’s Soon to Be Famous Margarita, and Bryce’s Miami Blues. And don’t let the location fool you: This is not a tourist trap. 


Located far away from the SOBEWFF crowds, Joliet is a neighborhood seafood bistro with a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere. The cuisine is Southern-inspired, so expect great plates like gumbo, smoked fish dip, blacked red snapper, and cornbread. Not in the mood for a full-on meal? The raw bar is spectacular, with plenty of oysters, shrimp cocktails, and more. If you visit for brunch, you need to try the baked French toast. 

Joliet is located at 1209 17th Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, visit their official website.

The Lobster Shack

Craving crustaceans with a twist? Head to The Lobster Shack, where lobster rolls are the star of the show. Choose from classic preparations or more adventurous options like the Cajun roll or the almighty Poseidon roll with king crab, lobster, and blackened shrimp. Don’t miss their decadent lobster bisque or their seared tuna salad, either. Fun fact: There’s even a kid’s menu, so bring the whole family. And yes, there’s also a full bar. 


For a more intimate meal, consider Macchialina on Alton Road. Macchialina’s menu is a love letter to Italian cuisine, featuring handmade pastas and delightful mains like veal Milanese, organic half chicken, and other items that rotate regularly. 

Can’t make up your mind? Opt for one of the generous tasting menus for a memorable experience. Wine lovers take note: The wine program here has garnered critical acclaim, so make sure to take a long, hard look at the list during your visit. 

Macchialina is located at 820 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, visit their official website.

Paperfish Sushi

Escape the ordinary and embark on a sushi adventure at Paperfish. This intimate spot offers exquisite Nikkei cuisine that’s among the best in town. Expect classic and adventurous flavor combinations throughout the menu—think tempura rock shrimp, torched salmon nigiri, miso black cod, and crispy truffle fried rice. 

In terms of beverages, there’s a full bar with a big emphasis on martinis; we’re partial to the lychee one. If you have the budget, you can’t go wrong with the Sakana Omakase; it’s a feast for the senses. 

RED South Beach

For the classic steakhouse experience with a Miami twist, RED South Beach is your answer. Chef Peter Vauthy’s vibrant dishes are generous and delectable. While steak is the main attraction here, there are plenty of other selections that are just as impressive, including pastas, seafood, and salads.

In terms of steaks, though, the Certified Angus Beef prime bone-in ribeye is a winner. Another big draw is the steakhouse’s extensive wine selections full of favorites and rare gems; pop in for the Wine Wednesday special and save big on bottles under $999. 

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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