South Beach is a boon for foodies, and it helps to be in-the-know when it comes to where you satisfy your hunger before and after your cruise. Long wait times, exorbitant prices and mediocre food are just some of the things to look out for when it comes to those dime-a-dozen Miami Beach tourist traps.
Fear not, though! To help you escape the cruise mobs and enjoy some of South Beach’s best food, we’ve put together this list of local favorites that are sure to leave a great taste in your mouth. These Port of Miami restaurants are just a small walk away from major attractions like Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive, and just a short distance from the cruise port.
Aroma Espresso Cafe
If you have to be at the port early, you can’t go wrong with a quick breakfast at Aroma Espresso Café on 16th Street and Collins Avenue. Known for their “Aroma Coffee” that has a melted chocolate bar at the bottom of every cup, the place offers an array of decadent baked goods and delicious breakfast sandwiches, cereals and platters. The outdoor seating area is one of the best places to people-watch in all of South Beach; you’re bound to see an assortment of characters at all times of the day.
This nationwide cookie chain has opened its first Miami outpost on 12th Street and Washington Avenue. It’s already attracting a variety of visitors including lunchtime regulars and late-night partiers; Insomnia Cookies is open from midday to the wee early morning hours. The chain’s claim to fame is its fresh, right-out-of-the-oven cookies that melt in your mouth. You’ll find flavors like Smores Deluxe, Snickerdoodle and Chocolate Chunk, all of which can be turned into ice cream sandwiches, known as Cookiewiches, on the spot.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
For southern comfort food in Miami, there’s only one place you need to look: Yardbird. Part of the renowned 50 Eggs Restaurant Group, the restaurant has garnered a number of local and national awards since it first opened in 2011. We recommend you dig into the signature “Llewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken” dish that’s accompanied by to-die-for spicy tobacco honey. The mac & cheese is another local favorite, due in part to the five tasty artisanal cheeses in the recipe. Save room for dessert: The Bourbon Bacon Caramel Sundae is not to be missed.
Three words: short rib tacos. Huahua’s Taqueria, a small taco joint right off Lincoln Road and Alton Road, is home to some great authentic tacos and other Mexican fare. The menu is always changing, but there are some consistent staples including the aforementioned short rib tacos as well as fried chicken tacos. If there’s one thing you need to try, it’s the elote (it means corn on the cob). This isn’t your standard corn on the cob; elote is grilled Mexican sweet corn slathered in mayo, cheese and spices – the perfect post-cruise snack!
Hidden away in a tiny building off 8th Street and Alton Road, Macchialina has been serving up exquisite pastas and pizzas that will hit the spot if you’re craving Italian. The small eatery is always slammed – and for good reason. The restaurant’s creamy polenta, savory prosciutto and decadent cavatelli area are crowdpleasers. Because the restaurant has limited seating, it’s highly recommended you make a reservation beforehand.
Still hungry after all these Port of Miami restaurants? Be sure to check out our South Beach Miami Food Tour shore excursion for even more great bites — and an expert local guide to lead the way!