Don’t be MIA

Miami, Rooftop Bars, Winter Sun, Summer, Beach Life

The city that oozes Latin culture and flare, from the music to the food – and the weather plays a big part too! Wherever you turn in Miami, people are dressed to impress and it’s hard not to embrace the feel-good factor flowing across the city.

Welcome to Miami

Miami, unlike most cities in the states, has rooftops virtually everywhere, whether it be on top of the 20th floor of the building or the 2nd. But that does not take away it from being a rooftop bar or restaurant. The best thing about an extended layover in a city is the fact you get to spend the whole day rooftop-hopping.


Overlooking Miami Beach

 

Watr at the 1 Rooftop

As far as rooftop dining is considered within Miami’s South Beach area, this is the place to dine. The restaurant area has a beautiful bar and an array of seating for you to either lounge with your drink, or to dine with friends or loved ones. In addition, if you are lucky to be staying at the hotel then the stunning rooftop pool will have you occupied for days.

The service is great overall, from the moment you are welcomed, to the service at the bar and by the waiter at your table. In our case this was done exceptionally well by Jose. Jose was able to provide us with his favourites off the menu, like the Craving Kani poke bowl. This was just mouth watering; the mix of snow crab, seaweed salad and pineapple was so refreshing and I kid you not, it just made you want to have more and more. His next recommendation was the dragon roll. Now it’s not uncommon to find a dragon roll in most sushi places, but I feel that just the pure freshness of the ingredients used makes a massive difference in quality and flavour. Most of you food lovers would agree! Whilst dining, the suggested drink was sake and the one that was found to be the right pairing with Hawaiian and Japanese food was Kubota Koju.

The rooftop has views of the ocean and the city, making it a magnificent place to enjoy the sunset. The crowd is well dressed, like most people who dine and drink in Miami, so I would recommend dressing the part. And finally, you would think that a place like this is going to cost you a lot of money, however you would be surprised. For two drinks and three large plates of food, the bill came to a total of $118 dollars (inclusive of 18% service charge).

 

La Côte – Fountain Bleu Hotel


Beautiful Winter, November sun over looking Miami Beach

An amazing spot for lunch or daytime drinks. The venue is located by the beach and has a great downstairs bar with music and dining area. You also get the option to sit on the top deck giving you a chance to over look Miami Beach and the surrounding hotel area. You can hire private cabanas or there is standard seating, depending on the party size. Either way, it is highly advisable to reserve in advance. The white decor made me feel as I was in Côte de Sur.

We opted for seafood, seeing as it was highly recommended by the staff and we were not disappointed by the scallops or prawns. Both were fresh and well-prepared, served with a side of vegetables. Coupled with cucumber-infused gin cocktails and mojitos, who could complain? The price was pretty fair given the venue, but it wouldn’t be recommended for those on a tight budget. Drinks were around the $16 mark and food was roughly double of that. However the quantity and quality of the food was on point.


Fresh scallops with a medley of vegetables

So when in Miami Beach go and check out this awesome rooftop restaurant, and if you are looking to impress someone, this would be the place to go.

 

Voodoo rooftop – Ocean Drive, South Beach

This wasn’t quite what I was expecting from Voodoo, especially being on Ocean Drive. However the 2 for 1 on cocktails and frozen drinks as well the awesome RnB Hip Hop jams being played by the DJ certainly made up for it. The venue was decorated a lot more like my back garden than an upscale venue like the previous place we had been, but it was a great place to just hang out. The bar also had hookah/shisha available for you to enjoy amongst a crowd or on your own. Being an elongated bar on top of a hostel with surrounding buildings, if you are not there early enough you are more than likely going to have a view of someone’s hotel room rather then that of South Beach.

So I would say if you are a Hip Hop lover then this is surely up your street, and the fact that the bar is open till the early hours in the morning is totally appealing. But it’s best for casual drinks rather than a more special occasion.

Juvia – Lincoln Road

This is by far the best spot in town! Everyone is dressed to the nines, the hostesses, waiters and guests alike. The decor of the venue is absolutely on point. You have a social bar area on the terrace, and dining tables both indoors and outside. There is a live DJ playing soft beats to get the mood right and with that Miami winter breeze, nothing can spoil the night. The waiters are well knowledgeable on their drinks and mixers and unlike most of Miami bars, they were strong on good customer service. Elsewhere, ever since the introduction of a fixed service charge on bills in Miami area, there is this general feel that good service is lacking.

The bar has great open views of the South Beach area and looks down on the main shopping district of Lincoln Road. The atmosphere was one for the weekend, a great buzz between friends and family catching up over drinks and food as I was with someone I had not met in years.

So when in Miami or even if you haven’t been whilst living there, it’s definitely a place not to miss out on. It’s just a shame it’s not open early enough for sunrise, because that would be an epic view.


Overlooking South Beach from the heights of Lincoln Road

 

Places to visit in Miami 

Miami Design District (MDD) – a recent development of stunning architectural buildings stretched over a few blocks. It may be home to some of the world’s most expensive stores, but that isn’t the reason we went. We went knowing that each of the outlets have been beautifully constructed and have great features. For you social media lovers, it’s a great place to pose for your Instagram pictures.

Wynwood Walls – situated a few blocks away from MDD, Wynwood is home to an array of art (graffiti style & murals). It has now become a base for open street markets, events and great food outlets.

Food & Drink

Bodega – excellent and affordable Mexican cantina situated ….. our favourites were the Burrito Classico or any of the Mexican bowls. Be prepared to wait, and do check out the daily specials.

OTL – situated in the heart of the MDD this breakfast and lunch spot is a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee and food. Catered towards a healthy lifestyle the food is tasty and fresh. Lots to choose from, such as overnight oats and avocado on toast with sides.

La Sandwhicherie – off Washington Avenue and 16th, this street corner is as busy as it can get for a baguette. The house special is the tropical, full of mouth watering fruits. The menu has lots to choose from and you are able to pick and choose your fillings if needed.

Broken Shaker – this beauty of open garden space is just rocking every night. It has great music and a buzzing vibe, with everyone around you just willing to converse. Its location at the back of the Freehand Hostel totally helps with the crowd and its relaxed atmosphere. Drinks are relatively reasonable and food is also an option. Tip: if you find yourself on your own, don’t be shy to just go and sit amongst the crowd; you’ll never be short of a friend!