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Food & Dining in Miami

The dining scene in Miami is vibrant. People come from all over the world to drink and dine in this sunny city by the Atlantic Ocean. Restaurants range from South American to Continental to Caribbean, while the local fusion cuisine known as "Floribbean" borrows influences from all three regions.

A lot of the city's restaurants specialise in fresh, local seafood. Swordfish, yellowtail, lobster and oysters have a place on most menus. In the autumn and winter, stone crab season takes over. At restaurants such as the legendary Joe's Stone Crab, people wait for hours to enjoy the delicious crustaceans.

Many of Miami's eateries represent countries and regions of Latin and South America. Brazilian rodizio, Argentine churrasco and Peruvian seafood are just a few of the ethnic specialties local restaurants dish out. Dozens of Cuban eateries serve filling, tasty meals at a considerably low price.

The dress code varies greatly in Miami. If you're in doubt, call and ask before you go. Many restaurants and clubs are very specific about what is or isn't acceptable. And because many of-the-moment restaurants in South Beach and elsewhere double as lounges and late-night clubs, chic dressing there is de rigueur.

Many restaurants in Miami offer early-bird discounts for dinner before 6 pm, especially during the off season in the warmer months until October. Also, Miami has restaurant month in August every year with big discounts at many of the finer restaurants.

Typical dining times are 7-10 am for breakfast, 11:30 am-2 pm for lunch and 6-10 pm or later for dinner. These guidelines aren't firm in Miami-Dade, a round-the-clock community with a growing number of after-hours and 24-hour dining locations. Many restaurants cut back on their hours and days during summer.

Do make dinner reservations for restaurants in Miami Beach, and not at the last minute.

Places to Dine

South Beach & Miami Beach

South Beach is the epicentre of excitement and glamour. It is here, at restaurants like the China Grill that you're most likely to spot a celebrity at the next table. Many flock to Club Tropigala for their top-notch entertainment and Caribbean cuisine. Although many of the restaurants are very pricey, places such as the ever-popular Blue Door offer a pleasant atmosphere, low prices and great food. Grab an outside table and enjoy wine and cheese as you ogle the SoBe street scene.

Although central Miami Beach is not as jam-packed with restaurants as its southern neighbour, there are plenty of excellent dining options, many of them located within the luxury hotels. At Bleau View, located in the famed Fontainebleau, patrons can savor the delicious American fare while enjoying the tranquil view of the ocean nearby.

Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami is popular with businesspeople and other locals. Nightlife is non-existent, but there's a flourishing restaurant scene. The various steakhouses serve delicious food with a local twist. Monserrate has South American dishes on its menu, and specialises in steak, while Soyka has American classics like burgers and fries. For those looking for something out of the ordinary in Miami, try the German restaurant Edelweiss.

Coral Gables

Coral Gables, a quaint village within Greater Miami, boasts a culturally rich entertainment and dining scene. Sample Jamaican gourmet cuisine at Ortanique on the Mile, or go to the French Brasserie Les Halles, which also has a full event calendar for its guests. Greek rustic is the focus at Mylo's, and for classic Italian look no further than Mozart Stube.

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