For so many years, Mid Beach was that uninspired beachfront stretch north of The Setai with mostly older condo’s and vacant hotels stretching about 20 blocks up to The Fontainebleau. When real estate mogul, Jeffrey Soffer closed The Fontainebleau in 2007 to begin the billion dollar renovation, Mid-Beach qualified as almost a “ghost town” for vacationers.
Now, in 2015, Mid-Beach has emerged as the hot area to live and vacation with not only the ever-popular Fontainebleau and Eden Roc as northern anchors, but also the arrival of luxury hotels The W, SOHO House and the recently opened,, 1 Hotels & Homes ( on it’s third iteration, and home to the reopened STK and Tom Colicchio's new Beachcraft). Just in the past year, boutique hotel, Metropolitan by COMO, Ian Schrager’s The EDITION, Aloft, the AC Marriott and The Thompson Miami Beach have all opened, joining the always classic The Palms Hotel and Spa and the edgy, Freehand. Upcoming projects include the multi block Faena, which may need it's own zipcode when completed.
Each of these hotels has their own distinct personality and so do their restaurants.
On a busy Miami Beach weekend, I decided to ditch the car and walk to and check out Mid-Beach for Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon, Dinner and late night drinks.
BREAKFAST: The Traymore at Metropolitan by COMO offers a lively Saturday Jazz Brunch. Chef Jonathan Lane has created a fresh Brunch menu that suits the sunny Art Deco dining room. We enjoyed Crab Cake Benedict and Bacon and Eggs with thick slab bacon and fresh fruit.
LUNCH: Seagrape at The Thompson- Just off the lobby of the new reopened The Thompson Miami Beach, Seagrape appeals to the throwback era of old Miami. Dark wood, seagrape print upholstery feels warm and comforting to diners. James Beard winning chef, Michelle Bernstein has created a menu full of her signature flavors and Latin touches. Lunch was a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds as we savored Rigatoni Vongole with Fresh Clams, Citrus flavored Yellow Tail Ceviche, a colorful Coriander and Beet salad and Snapper on a "Paella" rice cake .
AFTERNOON: Market at The EDITION- Casual and bright, Market feels like an open food hall with multiple kitchens, raw bar, grill and pizza oven, charcuterie bar, and coffee and freshly made pastries and soft serve ice cream which provide options for any meal any time of day. The thinly sliced Yellowtail Crudo was light and refreshing topped with cucumber and microgreens as was the soft serve ice cream with choice of toppings.
DINNER: Matador at The EDITION- Jean Georges has come to Miami Beach and brought his take on Latin cuisine. Florida Grouper Tacos, and Sweet Pea Guacamole with warm crispy tortillas where top dishes. Even the Arroz con Pollo was seasoned with a smoky chipotle and chunks of pancetta and lemon zest.
DRINKS- The Broken Shaker- Nominated for a James Beard award in 2013, this funky bar is located just off the lobby of the Freehand Hostel. Thrift shop furniture and décor add to the edgy feel, but it is the craft cocktails and Prohibition style drinks that keep this place a must destination for late night in Mid-Beach. Also, garnering top reviews is shabby-chic restaurant, 27 Restaurant and Bar.
And if you find yourself still on the beach after the sun sets, The EDITION has both a bowling alley and an ice skating rink for further late night enjoyment. The newly opened 1 Hotel boasts a lobby bar, "Tom on Collins" and their sleek 1 Rooftop Bar. And The Thompson flashes you back with the 1930’s House, an authentic tile roofed home next to the pool and reimagined as a Speakeasy-like cocktail bar with special live music or DJ's many nights of the week.
So pack a chair and a towel, and head to Mid-Beach for a day in the sun and some pretty good dining and drinking choices