A lot of people told me Miami Beach was a crazy, party-oriented city. I went alone on my trip, so I didn't actually experience that part of it up close (although I could see it happening all around me). I can tell you that Miami Beach has beautiful architecture, great places to hear live music, cool shops and miles of beautiful beach. It is the perfect place to get away if you are in the middle of a cold snap in your hometown. The air is warm and moist, and everyone seems to take time to eat together and socialize.
Escopazzo • Omnivorous •1911 Washington Avenue • Map
If you are in Miami Beach, Escopazzo is a dining experience you don't want to miss. The restaurant is organic italian, and they even have a selection of organic wines. The Chef/Owner believes in sustainable agriculture and offers choices for Vegans, Vegetarians and Raw Foodists. I had a hard time deciding what to eat, and ended up with a magnificent four-course meal: Asparagus Flan, Vegetarian Beet Carpaccio, Butternut Squash Ravioli (the evening's special) and Chocolate Soufflé for dessert. I have to say, it really was the most incredible Soufflé I've ever eaten. The waiter brought it out and I barely touched it with my spoon when the warm, rich chocolate starting oozing out.
If you check out the Web site, be sure to visit the About Us section and read the Kitchen Philosophy. The place is small and romantic and the wait staff speak Italian and English. Silly note: Miami Ink (the TLC show) is across the street...so you can get a tattoo after you finish dessert!
• Omnivorous • 900 Lincoln Road • Map
This place offers Mediterranean food, so you can have hummus, salads, vegetarian wraps or vegetarian kebabs. Since it was my first time on Miami Beach, I had a hard time finding a place with unique vegetarian options, but Pasha's is a pretty good choice. Nothing spectacular but good. There are a lot of choices on the menu, and you can sit outside in the sun and watch all the shoppers walk by. Make sure to check your reciept because a lot of times the places on Lincoln Road include the tip, no matter how many people are in your party.
Sushi Samba Dromo
• Omnivorous • 600 Lincoln Road • Map
As with any sushi place, Sushi Samba offers vegetarian sushi rolls (without fish). What is special about THIS place is that the servers know all about the ingredients in all of the dishes, and are really helpful. They have Vegetable Tempura, Vegetarian Udon Noodles, and an interesting twist on a portabello sandwich. It comes with roasted bell peppers, goat cheese, asparagus, and greens and spices that give it a distinctive Asian flavor. The taste was different from anything I've ever had before. The sides were a seaweed salad and Sezchaun French Fries. This place also looked to be the hippest hangout on Lincoln Road, which can be a benefit in itself.