Just back from a three-week trip down the east coast of the States, food-fanatic Elinor gives us her guide to spending 72 hours in Miami. From doughnuts for breakfast to candy-floss flavoured ice cream, this is one city guide that is guaranteed to get your mouth-watering.
Start your day with breakfast by the lagoon at the Mama Joon restaurant. With a Mediterranean-inspired menu, shaded from the heat and surrounded by the most beautiful potted palms, it’s a plant lover’s dream. If you’re lucky, you might even meet one of the wild iguanas enjoying his early morning dip.
Once you’ve filled up on pressed juices (I’d recommend the apple, carrot, ginger and lemon blend), shakshuka or brioche crispy French toast, take a leisurely stroll along Collins Avenue, down to South Point, stopping off along the way for a spot of shopping. Want to rest those legs? Hire a bike at the handy pickup points along the way or take the (free) Miami beach trolley. When you reach South Point, stroll along the pier and take in the breath-taking panoramic views from city to beach – the sand stretches even beyond the horizon.
Time for lunch? Check out Upland in the super chic neighbourhood of South of Frith – it’s the South Florida outpost of the New York City hotspot with a California-inspired menu. If you’re in no rush, hold out for happy hour at 4pm-7pm – you’ll find discounts on food as well as drinks, so you can’t go wrong!
From there, head back along the beach for a spot of sunbathing and a dip in the sea. If you’re susceptible to a sweet treat check out the Icy-n-spicy dessert shop for an unforgettable ice-cream. Warning – eat inside as the outdoor heat and its ice-cream melting powers are likely to cause wardrobe malfunctions – white shorts, bright blue candyfloss ice cream and the humidity definitely don’t mix!
As the sun starts to dip, head back to freshen up before dinner. Try 27 Restaurant for the best burger you’ve ever had – the Florida Wagyu with Miami spiced cheddar and all the trimmings won’t disappoint. Book in advance, as this popular place can fill up quickly, particularly in the summer. Post dinner, check out the renowned Broken Shaker, as it’s right next door. It’s a must when you’re in the area but don’t just take my word for it – Conde Nast Traveller named it as the bar that built Miami’s cutting-edge bar scene.
If you didn’t over-indulge in one too many cocktails last night, head out for an early morning run before the heat of the day. Zip along the flat sands of South Beach taking in the landscape as the city and coastline comes to life. When in Miami, it would be rude not to stop off at Ocean Drive’s infamous muscle beach. If you’re game, get involved, or simply admire the view – it beats a dull sweaty gym back home any day!
For day two, book onto the little Havana food tour. You’ll get to hear about the Cuban culture of Miami and stop off at hidden local spots throughout the day. The tour begins at an artist’s studio where local artists share what they’re up to, often with a work in progress on the easel. From there, you’ll check out plenty of other points of interest, and hear about the craftmanship of the finest cigars, to some of the best mojitos in the world at famous bar Ball & Chain. This little tour is a feast for the senses.
In the evening, walk along Ocean Drive as the sun sets and the city comes to life with neon lights – a total juxtaposition to the vibe of the day.
Your third and final day calls for one thing. Doughnuts for breakfast. Yep, trust me, The Salty Donut is the perfect place to start your day and pick up a tasty treat – try the maple and bacon flavour. Unusual? Yes. Delicious? Definitely! The menu changes regularly with innovative new flavours, so you’re guaranteed to find something new and inventive.
Famous for its design district, the area of Wynwood is definitely worth a visit. You can go it alone, or book onto a tour with a local artist – what better way to hear about the area than from the talent itself?
Whilst you’re there, check out Miami’s original pie bake shop, Fireman Derek’s. Their best seller is Key Lime, but the Salty Monkey was my number one choice – a chocolate crumb base, banana and peanut butter layers topped with pretzels. This trip is not one to spend worrying about your waistline…
Once you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth, jump in a cab and head to the 1 Hotel rooftop bar. Watch the sun go down as you soak up the last few hours of the city with a cocktail in hand. The pool area has an abundance of seating and is the perfect setting for a lazy drink before heading out for dinner. For tonight I’d recommend Sweet Liberty. With their extensive food menu and world-renowned cocktails, there’s something for everyone – and it’s the perfect way to spend your last night.