Lunch Spots in Miami, FL
Smack in the middle of downtown Miami is First & First Southern Bakery, serving up simple, Southern favorites a lot like your grandma used to, but with a bit of modern flair in the mix. Sandwiches, salads and soups are on the menu, along with time-tested staples like fried chicken and waffles, meatloaf and Savannah crab cakes. The drink menu is extensive and includes a wide range of libations from homemade, fruit-infused lemonades to blackberry sangria, chocolate mint espressos and Cuban coffees. But the real jewels on the menu are the desserts. The red velvet cake would make Paula Deen jealous for the recipe.
Housed in a 1920s post office building, Sra. Martinez has a cozy, artsy bistro atmosphere and some of the most modern and innovative cuisine in town. The sweet potato pound cake with homemade goat’s milk ricotta and locally harvested honey always catches the eye – and the taste buds - of a Sra. Martinez newcomer. If you’re a breakfast-all-day type, opt for the lemon ricotta pancakes with lemon curd and strawberry jam. And if you’re munchy for tapas, try the bacon-wrapped dates with Valdean blue cheese and Marcona almonds. There’s a sizeable wine list and a selection of signature cocktails. Keep in mind that Sra. Martinez is closed on Mondays. But you can reserve a table online any other day of the week.
Tobacco Road is much more than a great little lunch dive. It’s one of Miami’s most storied institutions. In business of some sort since 1912, the city’s oldest watering hole has been a bakery front for a Prohibition-era speakeasy; a 1940s gay bar shut down by the city’s Morals Squad; and a 1980s drug joint-turned-blues bar. Multiple owners, numerous name changes and a reputation overhaul have made Tobacco Road one of today’s most popular hangouts for downtown Miami professionals, tourists and the occasional celebrity. The lunch menu features some fab bar food fare. The slow smoked, Memphis-style pulled pork sandwich is delish. And the vegan set loves the Utopian Court sandwich with alfalfa sprouts, mushrooms, avocado Swiss cheese and lemon aioli on raisin pumpernickel bread.
In Miami, B&B ain’t no uppity bed & breakfast. Nah -- we’re talking the Burger & Beer Joint in South Beach and Brickell, serving up massive burgers with a gourmet twist and a jaw-dropping 99-beer selection. If you can’t find something you love here, it’s your own fault. More likely, you’ll have a tough time deciding which burger your taste buds want most. Might we suggest the Hotel California, a 10-ounce prime Angus beef burger with ranchero salsa, guacamole, grilled red onion, cilantro sour cream, sharp cheddar and a sunny-side-up fried egg served on a brioche bun with a side of skinny fries. The song says you can never leave. Trust us -- you won’t want to.
Seafood doesn’t get any fresher than just-off-the-boat. That’s why Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market has its own fleet of fishing boats, serving up the “catch of the day” in its most literal form. The 11 Garcia brothers were born into a family of Cuban fishermen -- netting, cleaning and selling their catch as early as age nine. Castro’s Communist regime confiscated their business, so the family set their sights on America. Since 1966, the brothers have provided Miamians with the freshest seafood available, operating first as a fish market and opening the restaurant in 1976. Try the grouper Caesar salad, seafood ceviche and salmon in tamarind mustard sauce.