Peacock Garden Bistro
In the heart of Miami’s oldest neighborhood, Peacock Garden has the laid-back feel of Coconut Grove while also embracing its history. The patio is lush with plants and trees while the walls inside are lined with historical photos of Miami curated by local historian and preservationist Arva Moore Parks McCabe. The restaurant does lunch and dinner most days, but head there for brunch on Saturday and Sundays and sip a breakfast cocktail (no judgments) in the garden.
BTW: After brunch, walk to nearby Peacock Park and enjoy the bayfront breeze.
Peacock Garden Bistro, 2889 McFarlane Rd. Coconut Grove, Fla. 33133
This refurbished 1930s house in Wynwood has a, well, homey feel. Find a seat on the wraparound porch and pick from their menu of comfort foods, like homemade sticky buns or the mascarpone-and-raspberry-stuffed French toast. For a savory start to your day, try the giant BLT or grilled cheese served with a side of tomato soup. Be warned: Indoor seating is limited, and the wait can be long on weekends.
BTW: You may spot the Morgans food truck around town, serving wood-fired pizza.
Morgans, 28 NE 29th St. Miami, Fla. 33132
This French-owned shop has been serving crispy baguettes and salads in Miami Beach since the late 1980s. The place is small and not easy to spot, but look for the line (which remains even into the wee hours). This location has become a must-stop after hitting the nightclubs or bars, because it’s open until 5 a.m. Like any good sandwich joint, it has hearty meat options, but there’s also plenty to make a vegetarian happy. It can get busy, but service is fast.
BTW: Make sure to try their famous vinaigrette, which you can buy by the bottle.
La Sandwicherie, 229 14th St. Miami Beach, Fla. 33139
There’s always a line outside this spot in the historic Miami Modern district, better known as MiMo. Miami native owner and chef Daniel Serfer’s restaurant prides itself on serving “food that people like to eat” — well-known comfort-food favorites like mac and cheese, braised oxtails, and shrimp and grits. It’s also great to try for brunch or dinner, but there’s only a handful of seats inside and a few tables outside. If you’re lucky.
BTW: Get there for lunch, when wait times tend to be shorter. If you go for dinner, make reservations.
Blue Collar, 6730 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, Fla. 33138
Another restaurant owned by Daniel Serfer, Mignonette is a 1930s gas station turned oyster bar and seafood spot in the Edgewater neighborhood, a short drive from downtown and the beach. There is a fresh oyster bar with a rotating selection, caviar and fish dishes, but there is also turf (prime rib and filet mignon). Go for happy hour, and you can also enjoy champagne and caviar, or get all your seafood fixings — including lobster and king crab legs — with the seafood tower.
BTW: It’s across the street from Miami’s oldest cemetery, with crypts dating to the early 1900s.
Mignonette, 210 NE 18th St. Miami, Fla. 33132
It’s never too late for a Cuban coffee, especially from this restaurant that’s been pouring it since 1971. It’s the unofficial gathering place for Cuban exiles and the stop for any politician hoping to court the Cuban vote, so you never know whom you might see. Mornings are busy and consumed by political banter, but nighttime brings out special experiences — you can get a flan and coffee at 11 p.m. and not think twice about it. Be sure to get the Cuban sandwich, vaca frita or ham croquetas.
BTW: Order a cortadito (espresso with steamed milk) from the “ventanita,” or walk-up window, for a quick coffee break.
Versailles, 3555 SW Eighth St. Miami, Fla. 33135
This is not your average food hall. Sure, you can get poke bowls in plenty of others across the country, but do those have karaoke? Live music? A DJ until 2 a.m.? 1-800-Lucky is one of Miami’s first food halls, and it’s totally devoted to Asian cuisine, with seven vendors selling dishes encompassing Peking duck to Japanese ice cream. The karaoke room is open seven days a week by reservation and offers you and your friends bottle service. Did we mention there’s a record store and a convenience store?
BTW: Look for the Instagram-worthy “unicorn,” a colorful slush with sprinkles that comes in a small floatie of the mythical creature.
1-800-Lucky, 143 NW 23rd St. Miami, Fla. 33127
Blocks away from the touristy scene of South Beach, you’ll find this local late-night favorite to dance or lounge at. Before its makeover in 2017, nearly 20 years coming, Purdy Lounge in South Beach was once known as “Dirty Purdy” for its dingy couches and smoke-filled rooms where old-school hip-hop or reggae played until 5 a.m daily. The music remains, but now the lounge has fancy cocktails, board games and an illuminated dance floor. As the area attracts more attention for its restaurants and food hall, nearby residents are asking for the city to force Purdy to close earlier. Until then, the party goes on.
BTW: Unlike some of Miami’s trendier spots, there’s never a cover.
Purdy Lounge, 1811 Purdy Ave. Miami Beach, Fla. 33139