When my schedule allows for it, I like to try and spend the first quarter of a new year travelling as much as possible. I guess it’s that dreary Canadian-winter-in-the-city weather that always makes me want to run away and hide from real life for as long as possible. Considering it’s nearly May now and I just got back from a spontaneous trip down to Miami, I guess I’ve still got that deep travel bug bite and it doesn’t seem to be going away.
Lately I’ve felt like I’ve needed to take a break, and a step back from my work life, and I gotta say it was hella nice to take a mini break from social media and updating my blog. Thankfully the R & R seems to have worked and I’m finally feeling excited about writing again.
To no one’s surprise I’m sure, I spent the majority of my time in Miami eating my way through the city as a way to explore what it has to offer. Since I recently returned from my second trip to Europe this year, and our last minute flight tickets weren’t exactly cheap, my friend Arianna and I tried to keep our foodie adventure as affordable as possible which ain’t exactly easy in a city like Miami.
Thanks mainly to our amazing Lyft driver, Morris (who happened to pick us up from the airport) and yelp, we were able to eat an absurd amount of food on our short visit without going completely broke. FYI, Morris is down to help give tours and help out anyone visiting Miami so holler at him!
Here are some of the tasty and affordable places we ate and drank at while in Miami and Fort Lauderdale:
1. Ginza Japanese Buffet
Every time Arianna and I are together, we make it our mission to eat as much sushi as possible. As you can imagine, our first plan of action upon arriving in MIA was to find a good but cheap sushi restaurant where we could really go all out and order enough for a family of six like we normally do. A quick Google search brought our attention to a place called the Ginza Japanese Buffet that was only a few minutes away from our hotel in Sunny Isles. $20 all-you-can-eat sushi buffet with amazing Yelp reviews? We were in! To be honest I am never normally into all you can eat buffets, especially for sushi, but my wallet was very into the price. We were very surprised to find that the sushi was actually super fresh and yummy! This isn’t exactly the most beautiful sushi restaurant out there, and it’s located in a weird strip mall (to be fair, everything is a strip mall in Miami), but if you’re looking to eat a crap ton of sushi for cheap, this is the place to go. Plus, thanks to another Lyft driver, who, by chance, had told us to go to Ginza if we like sushi (we were excited to tell him we’d already been), he let us know that if you go at lunch, it’s EVEN CHEAPER at all you can eat for $10, I mean OMG. We obviously went back for lunch.
2. Tap 42
While it is no secret that I am a huge lover of the vino, my friend Arianna is the exact opposite and prefers to spend her spare time nerding out over local hipster brews aka beers. Our awesome Lyft driver, Morris, who I mentioned earlier caught wind of her beer consuming hobby, and recommended we try Tap 42 in Fort Lauderdale for a cool spot that offers well over 42 different types of beer on tap, including local brews. For anyone like me who does not love beer, fear not as they still have a good selection of wine and cocktail options available. Since we headed there after a big $10 lunch at Ginza, we didn’t explore too much of the food menu, however, everything that passed by us looked fresh and delicious with giant portions. Eventually we gave in and ordered a side of sweet potato fries which were still ginormous like everything else. Bless America.
3. Rustic Inn Crabhouse
As you’ve probably gathered by now, we wanted to eat like Queens on this trip while avoiding royally expensive pricing. Friends were excitedly recommending us to try Joe’s Stone Crab while in Miami, but we had made a pact to only ball out at restaurants with a price rating of $$ or less. Since we were hungry for crab, crab and more crab, we used the Google machine to find an option that suited our budget, which is how we came across the Rustic Inn Crabhouse in Fort Lauderdale. Since we had connected with our unofficial Miami Tour Guide, Morris, via Instagram after our drive, I sent him a quick message to see if he would approve of our interest in visiting the Rustic Inn for dinner after drinks at Tap 42. His response? “Rustic Inn — highly recommended! In addition, just a block away is Jimmie’s for a rocking dessert.” Unfortunately we never made it to Jimmie’s because we were insanely full after devouring our platters of seafood (and it was closed that day), but we’ll be trying it out next time!
4. Wynwood Kitchen & Bar
What we didn’t realise about Miami before we got there is that it takes FOREVER to get anywhere and everywhere! Seriously, it felt like being back in L.A. with all of that traffic and time in the car. On our way into the city, we mentioned to Morris that we wanted to check out the infamous Art District and he recommended leaving it to our last day as we could very quickly get to the airport from there. While this was an excellent tip that we very much appreciated, as soon as we arrived in the Wynwood Walls area, I immediately wished we had more time to spend there. Next time I visit I’ll definitely be spending the majority of my trip in this incredibly vibrant and inspiring area! Anyhoo, thanks to a tip I received on Instagram from the Co-Founder of Brika, we enjoyed our last lunch in Miami at the stunning Wynwood Kitchen & Bar before heading to the airport. We were lucky to arrive just before the lunch crowd rolled in and scored a spot on their amazing patio that has the best possible view of the Wynwood Walls. This is definitely a must visit if you’re in the area!
5. Byblos Miami
Okay, okay, so we definitely broke our pact to stick to restaurants with a $$ rating or under when we went to Byblos Miami, but, can you blame us? This restaurant is AMAZING! Plus, Byblos is originally from Toronto, and their amazing team was kind enough to host us for one of the most incredible dinners I’ve had in a long time. If you are better at sticking to a budget than I am, do note that Byblos Miami is still a great place to visit for affordable eats, especially if you’re looking to enjoy a light bite or snack to share with a friend. Trust me, this place is so gorgeous that it is worth it to go and enjoy a cocktail and/or snack on their beautiful, tropical patio.