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Best cuban restaurants in Miami

February 13, 2015

If you’re drooling over the thought of empanadas con jamon, un cafecito, and some pan con bistec, but can’t afford the plane ticket to Cuba, fear not! You can get exceptional, authentic cuban food right here in Miami – and there are so many spots to choose from you could eat out for a month and still not hit them all. Still, if you’re willing to try anyway, start with these gems:


Chico’s Restaurant

A real neighborhood institution – If you’re on a budget then get your thrifty self over to Chicos in Hialeah, where you can get 25 croquetitas (small fried rolls of deliciousness) for around $5. And if you’re hungry for more, you’ll find chuletas, lechón asado, and, on the weekends, rabo encendido (if you’re not familiar with these, order them anyway, and enjoy the surprise) And then throw in an arroz frito, or cuban fried rice, You won’t be sorry.


Havana Harry’s

If you’d rather your dinner served amongst lively regulars rather than scores of tourists, this is your place. Situate in the Coral Gables neighborhood, Havana Harry’s is famous for its subtle twist of classic Cuban dishes. Try the fried plantains covered with pulled pork and barbecue sauce, or go for the chicken in a tangy tamarind and mango sauce. There may be a wait for a table, but you can enjoy a cocktail as you peruse the menu and work up an appetite!


Puerto Sagua

Looking for a tasty plate in the wee hours of the morning? Puerto Sagua, a hole-in-the-wall eaterie  in Miami beach is the perfect way to end your night, especially if you’re not ready for the party to end (things get load after midnight!). Grab a hearty grilled Cuban sandwich or give in to the sweet, creamy tres leches dessert. It’s cuban comfort food at its finest.


Asia de Cuba at Mondrian South Beach

If you’re looking for upscale, fusion Cuban then get your beest threads on and book a table at Asia de Cuba. Prepare to be wowed by dishes llike made-to-order ceviche, and Cuban coffee-crusted rib-eye with mandarin orange, gingered sherry butter and yuca mojo fries to name just two exciting choices. Don’t miss the cocktails either – fans love The Cuban Missile, a combination of brown, aged and honey rums, Cherry Heering liqueur, freshly squeezed orange and lemon juices. If that doesn’t get you in the mood for salsa, nothing will!

Plan the Perfect Valentine’s Day in South Beach Miami

February 3, 2015

Let’s be real: although it’s the perfect day to get closer to your better half, Valentines Day is also an occasion for high expectations. Get it right, and you’ll be a hero for the rest of the year, but mess up and it could spell doom for your relationship. No pressure!

The key to knowing how to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day is knowing your partner. Their likes, dislikes, interests, and personality should be taken into consideration when creating the perfect evening for two. This is one date night where attention to detail pays off big time, so cover these bases and you’ll be golden.


Start With Apps

No, not the kind on your smartphone, but the kind you order at a restaurant. The reason you should do this instead of ordering a full-out meal is fairly obvious. You want to make this night last, and it won’t last very long if you order a bottle of house red and set up camp at a restaurant. A big part of having the perfect Valentine’s Day is creating a slow burn. Order a full meal and you’ll have blown your budget and be uncomfortably stuffed within an hour or two. Not good. Try a romantic restaurant like Cafe Prima Pasta just before their dinner rush, and order a hot and cold appetizer to share. Try a plate of Calamari and Bruschetta or do a salad and a hot app. Your night’s just getting started so keep it light so you don’t crash mid-date.


Do Something Fun

Now that you’ve had a nibble and enjoyed a drink or two, head over to a place where the two of you can do something fun together. Movie buffs will love heading to a theater to see a film. Independent film nuts will love the Miami Beach Cinématique with its historic feel, intimate screening room, and vintage design. For those who crave a bit more adventure can check out a place like EscapeQuest for an hour long game to see who can work together to solve puzzles and escape from a prison cell. Unconventional? Yes, but it’s a great way to build your connection and have fun doing it. If you’re looking to do something blissful and relaxing, you can stroll down the beach completely free of charge, or you can book a couples massage at Tao Spa. Their couples package is very affordable in comparison to the rest of the area and will loosen the both of you up for the next stop in your evening.


Something Sweet for My Sweet

After fun comes dessert, and nothing is more romantic than grabbing ice cream, sharing a milkshake, or having something devilishly decadent. Head to a gelato shop with tons of flavors like Gelato-Go for a quick and easy gelato on a cone or in a cup. If you’re hungrier than a piece of cheesecake can fulfill, you can share a dinner plate at Yardbird Southern Bar & Grill. Yardbird is a Southern food restaurant with delicious desserts and amazing meals. Lots of visitors are in love with their Chicken and Waffles, Red Velvet Cake, and the Bourbon. Try to keep away from heavy or sleepy foods like ribs. You’re not done yet.


Drinks and Music

The perfect end to the perfect evening involves drinks and music. End yours at a relaxed bar like The Broken Shaker. The cocktails and easygoing atmosphere will help wind it all down, and there are a few quiet corners in the venue where you can chat before heading home. Try a few different cocktails or surprise your lover with something new from their expert and innovative menu.


There you have it! The perfect plan for Valentine’s Day. You don’t have to follow the formula to a tee, but remember to take the framework into account as well as what you and your partner enjoy doing most. The point is to really milk it. It’s one day of the whole year, and you can have a blast with your loved one in lieu of gifts. Make it a night to remember and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Top Things to do on the Beach in Miami

January 12, 2015
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Miami has miles upon miles of sandy beaches where tourists can lounge around and swim, but a vacation wouldn’t be very much of a vacation if you weren’t willing to try out a few activities that can’t be reproduced in your backyard. Whether you’re doing yoga during sunrise or scuba diving offshore, it is possible to find other fun activities to outside of the typical beach tanning. Check out these fun and interesting things to do on the beach in Miami.


Go Kayaking

What better way to see Biscayne Bay in Miami than from the water? Although you may not technically be on the beach, you’ll pretty darn close to it when you rent a kayak from one of the many outdoor adventure companies on the water. Oleta River State Park is right by Biscayne Bay and offers a variety of activities within park limits that include kayaking and canoeing. You can go in pairs or captain your own kayak while paddling along the beach in the bay with a killer view of Downtown Miami. -and just think of the calories you could burn before taking on the nightlife in South Beach!


Learn to Surf

A lot of people don’t have the opportunity back home to learn how to surf, but South Beach has a great surfing area where beginners and professionals can all enjoy the waves. The South Beach Dive and Surf Center offers surfing lessons complete with equipment rentals, so you can get off the towel and do something where you can experience the power of the tides for yourself while under the watchful eye of an instructor and with the proper equipment. Again, there aren’t many places to do some surfing if you live in a landlocked city, so why not try it out?


Yoga on the Beach

Every morning at sunrise and every evening at sunset, 3rd Street Beach is home to a group of yoga enthusiasts who take part in an instructor-led class each day of the week and all year long. 3rd Street Beach Yoga, as it has come to be called, is an amazing class with even more amazing views. It was started over 15 years ago when one woman decided to do yoga on the beach. The story continues to show that the idea snowballed into a class that has been doing quite well. Participation is on a donations only basis too, so you can take part in this activity when you’re on a tight budget.



If you want to spend some time zipping around on the water, why not rent a jet-ski? Doctor Jet Ski rents out boats and jet-skis from the inner edge of South Beach and gives people the option of doing a quick hour-long jaunt or renting their watercraft for the day. That means that you can rip around the water and to a marina for lunch before returning later on. Doctor Jet Ski even offers discounts on their rentals, so you save a little too.


Spike It!

Those who are especially enthusiastic about athletics will adore playing volleyball or watching one of the tournaments that’s always happening on Miami Beach. Miami Beach Volleyball has options for forming teams, playing a few games with family, or entering competitively into one of their events. They believe in helping people enjoy the sport without having to be an expert, so they’re quite patient if you don’t know the first thing about volleyball but still want to try.


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January in Miami – Don’t miss these events!

January 4, 2015
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Christmas and New Year celebrations may be all over, but the sun is still shining in Miami, and if you’re holed up in a snowy northern city, this warm, welcoming corner of Florida may be just what you need to cure those seasonal blues. Here’s what’s happening this month – why not book a flight and join in the fun!


Art Deco Weekend – Jan 16-18 

What began as a grassroots festival to bring awareness to South Beach’s movement to preserve its plethora of neglected Art Deco buildings and hotels, has grown into the largest celebration of historical structures from the 20s, 30s and 40s-era. Today, Art Deco Weekend has evolved to include musical performances, fashion shows, walking tours, movie screenings, lecture series and antique cars. Over 400,000 people attend annually and it’s a must-see event for locals and tourists alike. Art Deco Weekend is a uniquely Miami style soiree, and with the road closed to traffic, you can expect to see drag queens, stilt walkers, musicians and other performers on the beachfront and boardwalk. There is a happy vibe that permeates the entire weekend. It’s considered one of the major highlights on South Beach’s annual calendar, and for good reason.


Martin Luther King Parade – Jan 19th 

On the third Monday of January every year, Miami joins the rest of the country in saluting MLK jr. The parade takes place along NW 54th Street on a route from NW 12th Avenue to NW 32nd Avenue. It ends with a celebration at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park. Parade goers can expect high school marching bands, athletes, and cheerleaders on foot, floats, cars, and fire trucks bearing local politicians, union leaders, and activists—and, for a Caribbean Miami twist, Carnival dancers taking it to the streets in a colorful dance and music performance. Once the parade reaches the park, revelers can enjoy food, activities for kids, and a variety of vendors and entertainment.


Yoga in The Park – Every Wednesday

If you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution to get fit, then why not ease yourself into it with a gentle Hatha Yoga class, and channel your inner Buddha amid the lush foliage of the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. . The all-ages class combines strengthening, stretching, and relaxation on the terrace. Instructor Terra-Nova begins the class with a mini-meditation and offers new themes each week, many of which revolve around our relationship to nature. Mats are first-come, first-served, so maybe bring your own. All donations given at the class support the garden; suggested donations are $5 for garden members and $10 for nonmembers. The class begins at 12:30 p.m. every Wednesday.


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Find the spirit of Christmas in Miami this year

December 8, 2014
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So you’re in Miami for Christmas? Sweet! And we’re guessing you’re searching for something special to do over the holidays, because when you’re looking for that Christmassy spirit – sandy beaches and mojitos don’t always do the trick…!


We recommend you wait till the sun goes down and then head to Miami-Dade’s Tropical Park, which has been transformed into a winter wonderland of lights and displays for the holiday season. Santa’s Enchanted Forest boasts a spectacular 90-foot Christmas tree, a traditional ‘meet santa’ experience (maybe leave this one for the kids),  a carnival with 100 rides, a petting zoo, and fun live shows. Food tents offer traditional carnival fair like candy apples and funnel cake as well as international cuisine from Greece, Mexico and Italy. Carnival games give you the chance to win souvenirs to take home or to give your special Christmas someone. Talk about a great night out!


Looking for something a little more sophisticated? For a Christmassy hit of culture, why not get dressed up and go see The Nutcracker at the Miami City Ballet? You can’t not get in the spirit when faced with sugar plum fairies, toy soldiers and dancing snowflakes! And if you’re looking for something for the little ones, Miami Children’s Museum hosts theatre performances like “how the Grinch stole Christmas”, “Polar Express Storytime” and the Tropical Christmas Eve event.


And for those who are just focused on getting that traditional turkey dinner experience?

Check out for advance and last-minute reservations. South beach restaurants are offering something for everyone on the 24th and 25th – you’ll find winter-themed brunches, christmas cocktails, holiday buffets, and even “seasonal sushi”!

Happy holidays!

Art Basel 2014: Where to go, what to see!

November 30, 2014

Art’s winter playground, Art Basel Miami Beach, starts today! And if you’re in Miami this week you should definitely get in on the action. This is the place to be for the international artworld, and Miami’s glittering nightlife gets turned up a notch with artists, curators and dealers in town for exclusive showings, openings, and exhibitions. The great news? Not all activities are for the rich and famous. There are a number of cool events happening this week that are either open to the public, or open via RSVP – and lucky for you, we’ve gathered all the info below. Now get out there and start schmoozing!!



The interactive space of Pop-Up Street Art will spotlight the work of world renowned artists and raise funds for the restoration of one of Miami’s most iconic buildings. Hosted by the Art |History Mural Project Exhibition, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, families are encouraged to attend as children will be invited to assist in the creation of large-scale murals. Show Dates/Hours: December 1-7, 10am-10pm. Free and open to the general public. Opening reception by invitation only, RSVP to

Miami Marine Stadium, 5 NW 36th Street, at North Miami Avenue, Midtown Miami,


MIAMI PHOTO SALON FESTIVAL – VIP PREVIEW : Monday, December 1, 6:30 – 10 pm

The first yearly Miami Photo Salon is an encounter to celebrate photography. Open to everyone, the Festival will take celebrate the work of artists, professional and students in a 4,000 square-foot exhibition hall. Exhibit Dates/Hours: December 2-4, 11am-9pm / December 5, 9:30am-9pm. Tickets: $6-$75

Kaplan Hall / Wolfson Auditorium, Temple Israel of Greater Miami,137 NE 19th Street, Miami, 786-360-9333


Breakfast – Tuesday, December 2, 9 – 10:30 am
Cocktails & Shopping – Wednesday, December 3
Day of Beauty – Thursday, December 4

Harper’s BAZAAR returns to Miami for the third year with both public and private programming featuring fashion and international beauty brands. The Day of Beauty returns with enhanced interactive programming to present a curated collection of brands and experiences. Show Dates/Hours: December 3-5, 11am-6pm. Open to the public with RSVP.

Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Avenue, 8th floor, Miami Beach,


AQUA ART MIAMI – VIP PREVIEW: Wednesday, December 3, 3 – 10 pm

Aqua Art 2014 features 46 exhibitors from North and South America, Europe and Asia with a dynamic range of high-quality art in all media from painting, photography and works on paper to design, sculpture, installation, video and multimedia art. Innovative interdisciplinary programming, multimedia installations and other happenings will create an immersive experience for fair goers. Show Dates/Hours: Dec 4,12-9pm / Dec 5-6, 11am-9pm / Dec 7, 11am-6pm. Tickets: $10- $75

Aqua Hotel, 1530 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach,


Opening Preview – Wednesday, December 3, 6 – 9 pm
Sneak Peak Preview Performance – Saturday, December 6, 2 pm and 5:30 pm

SPECTRUM Miami, a juried, contemporary art fair, features an international slate of top galleries and artists along with live performances, curated Art Lab projects and late night parties. Cirque du Soleil will present two sneak peak previews of Amaluna, one of its newest touring shows, in front of SPECTRUM. Special surprise performances will also take place inside the SPECTRUM tent at 6, 7 and 8 pm. Show Dates/Hours: Dec 4-6, 1-9pm / Dec 7, 12-6pm. Tickets: $7.50 – $25, Children under 15 free.

3011 NE 1st Avenue at NE 30th Street, Wynwood,


DISARONNO TERRACE : Thursday, December 4, 7 – 10 pm

The Disaronno Terrace will feature a live performance by a surprise DJ while guests sip signature Disaronno cocktails including the popular Disaronno Sparkling Sour. Visit website for attendance information.

Gale Hotel Rooftop, 1690 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

Get to know…. Miami Design District

November 20, 2014
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Done with the beach? Ready to explore a little? Well, why not pencil in a date with the design district? It’s perfect for when you need a little retail therapy (or, ok, window shopping) and want to explore a little outside of South Beach. As a bonus, from Dec 3-7 this year, the district is hosting an Art Basel satellite event, ‘Design Miami’, where Designers, collectors, dealers and curators from around the world will participate in lectures, exhibits and design installations.


Not quite as trendy or well-known as Wyndham, but better looking and more interesting than downtown Miami, this northern corner of midtown boasts over 100 galleries and showrooms (who open their doors for popular art nights two nights a month) as well as antiques dealers, creative spaces, and upscale design and fashion retailers like Luminaire Lab, Ligne Roset, Christian Louboutin and Louis Vuitton. Think of it as a lesser-known (for now) Lincoln Road.


If your wallet doesn’t stretch to a prada purse, then you can while away a few hours at home excellent restaurants like Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (try the passion fruit caipirinha) and the open-air Mandolin Aegean Bistro, where traditional Turkish and Greek house specialties will transport you to a balmy seaside café no matter what the weather.


When you’ve had your fill of gallery browsing and window shopping, head south to Wynwood, north to explore Little Haiti and the historic 1920s Buena Vista neighborhood, or take a peek at the wealthy Upper East Side neighborhoods to the east.


December in the Sun: What’s happening next month in Miami

November 14, 2014
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We’re coming up to high season in South Beach but don’t let the crowds deter you from flying South – there’s so much to see and do in Miami’s party capital that you’ll want to come back every year as soon as temperatures start dropping in the Northern Hemisphere! Here are three to whet your appetite:


The White Party: If you’re in Miami on December 1st, you’ll be just on time to catch the closing festivities of The White Party – an LGBTQ fundraising event for HIV/AIDS, which has turned into a huge, week-long event that mixes sexy pool parties with dance-until-morning raves. Don’t forget to wear your finest whites!


Art Basel: Famous around the globe as the place to be in December for collectors, dealers, connoisseurs, and general party people, Miami Art Week is happening from Dec 2-7 this year, and under its umbrella, Art Basel,  in the Wynwood Arts District, is the place to spot everyone from contemporary artists to actors, musicians, and yes, even reality stars. Opening nights are often restricted, but you can definitely check out many of the great art fairs, exhibitions, and even some of the luxury brand parties happening all week.


Christmas Magic: This one’s for the young at heart! All through the month of December, Miami’s Tropical Park is transformed into a winter wonderland full of rides, games, shows and attractions each evening. It has both classic fair foods and fancier cuisine representing cultures from around the globe. It also boasts South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree, millions of glistening holiday lights and some dazzling and daring live entertainment performed by people, sea lions, alligators and tigers. So, ok, not your usual christmas animals, but even more reasons to check it out!


South beach’s craziest cocktails – have you tried them?

November 10, 2014

The South Beach strip has a reputation for fun under the sun, and it takes this reputation seriously. Case in point – the drinks. Everywhere you go, you’ll find huge drinks, slushy drinks, brightly coloured drinks, drinks inside other drinks, drinks in buckets,


La Baguette: Be warned: you are not going here for wonderful service or gourmet food – you’re here for sheer, mindblowing size.  On Ocean Drive right across from the beach, you’ll be tempted in by the 2-for-1 cocktails during happy hour, shocked that they’re $60, but happy and too drunk to worry about it by the time you’ve made your way to the bottom of the fishtank-sized glass. When you think about the fact that it’s really 4 drinks in one, the price doesn’t seem so bad! (The Champagne mojito comes with 2 mini bottles of champagne tipped upside down in the glass) If you’re not on a budget, opt for the seafood paella to soak up some of that alcohol.


Katsuya: This modern, chic Japanese spot has some excellent food, but if you like fiery flavours, you should go just for the Burning Mandarin cocktail. A mix of absolut mandarin vodka, fresh lemon and orange juice and a splash of cranberry, finished with some hand-crushed serrano chili – your mouth won’t know what hit it! Cool off with some ceviche, or the famous crispy rice.


Living Room: Although this bar is located in the lobby of the W Hotel on South Beach, Living Room has actually got a great cozy feel, and it’s shelves are packed full of delicious ingredients like fruits, herbs, & edible flowers. Their cocktail menu is divided into categories like Infundo (infused) and Laboratorium (molecular mixology). You should start with an innovative concoction like the Lividus, with organic raspberries and fresh Japanese yuzu citrus soaked in lavender-infused gin and then follow that up with Electric Watermelon, which features rosemary honey, peach bitters, and bourbon topped honeydew juice that’s been gelled into little balls, just like caviar!





Love to run? Our top picks for jogging in South Beach

October 2, 2014

Not just a location for beaches and partying, South Beach Miami has a great number of jogging  routes for the fitness enthusiast – how else do you think the beautiful people on the beach stay that way? A word of warning though, the Caribbean climate may make running a little more difficult until you get used to the humidity, so early morning or dusk are better times to head out.

Classic Beach Route
Check out the glorious white beaches (and beach bodies) and head out along a route that goes from Lincoln Road, Espanola Way, Ocean Drive, the South Pointe Marine and back. Start off by running west along Lincoln Road, trying not to let the pedestrians break your rhythm. The road is a great pedestrian hang out and is lined with shops and cafes, so don’t be tempted to stop for a latte before the hard work is done. You are rewarded with the beach at the end of the run, so cool off in the best
way possible – dive right in! This route was devised by Florida runner Keith Hauser on Jogging Routes so check out a map of this route there.

The Bay to Beach Route
To take in the full beauty of South Beach, consider running the “Sobe Circumference run”, thus named because it involves doing exactly that – running the circumference of South Beach. This 6.72 mile route sees you running along sand and pavement to really test what you’re made of. Sand running is not for the faint hearted! A map and route details can be found on

Parkland Routes
If running along the beach gets you a little too hot and bothered, try a refreshing run in the cool shade of the local South Beach parklands. Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove will have you thinking less of the pain you’re in and more about the spectacular ocean views. A haven of cool greenery in a bayside locale, this park path has recently been repaved, a blessing to runners and their shonky knees. An added bonus is the exercise
equipment added throughout the park. If running the park length isn’t challenging enough, start here and then run along Rickenbacker Ridge and back. South Pointe Park is another running hotspot and is considered to be somewhere to see and be
seen! It is a popular park with view of the Port of Miami and you will need to share it with walkers, runners, dogs, kids and picnics. It’s expensive to park, so perhaps it’s best for a short run.

To find out more about the parkland routes, check out CBS Miami.