Where to get your grub on during Winter Party

Oliver’s Bistro- 959 West Ave

Oliver’s Bistro is a local, neighborhood bistro that features an eclectic menu and a scratch kitchen. They are open seven days a week and feature a brunch menu on the weekends. Head Chef Ed Malloy will have your taste buds singing with his deliciously prepared culinary delights. Don’t miss the Country Spaghetti with Spicy Italian Sausage (19.95) and the Chicken Schnitzel ($16.95). Reservations are not required but are recommended for parties of five or more.  OliversMiamiBeach.com

Palace- 1200 Ocean Dr

Every Queen Needs Her Palace! This is a local gay landmark and will be a great place to have brunch or dinner with a show. Their Sunday Brunchic is legendary but reserve early, they almost always fill up to capacity. The drag here is legendary, the food is good too. You will know you are getting close when the music along Ocean Drive gets a whole lot gayer and the crowds Palace recently celebrated their 29th Anniversary, so you know they must be doing something right.  PalaceSouthBeach.com

Sum Yum Gai- 1403 Washington Ave

How could you not eat at a place called Sum Yum Gai? While the name might sound like a joke from Wayne’s World, I assure you this is some of the best Chinese food on Miami Beach. While the décor may leave a bit to the imagination, the service is great and the cute little grandma waitress will make sure you are well taken care of. Every time I eat there, I feel like I am in her personal dining room.  Try the Special Wonton Soup ($9.25) but bring a friend, it’s a big bowl and perfect for sharing.  SumYumGaimiamibeach.com

The Barton G Restaurant- 1427 West Ave

Barton-G.-MiamiBy combining fine dining with fun dining, Barton G. The Restaurant makes each meal an experience, fulfilling the senses with enticing fragrances, extraordinary food and over-the-top presentations. Now celebrating 15+ years of success on South Beach, the restaurant is the creation of events impresario Barton G. Weiss, whose innovative approach to entertaining has received worldwide acclaim. Corporate Executive Chef Jeff O’Neill rose to fame at some of the most famous restaurants in the country and will leave you wowed with his amazing creations. BartonG.com

Doraku Izakaya and Sushi-1104 Lincoln Rd

doraku

Doraku is the brainchild of Kevin Aoki, son of Benihana founder Rocky Aoki, who is almost single handedly responsible for the popularity of Japanese food in the United States. Doraku is kind of like a Japanese Tapas restaurant, plates are served as they are prepared and come three different kitchen areas in the restaurant. If you make it for lunch, don’t miss the Roasted Truffle Salmon ($13.95). Since its Winter Party, you are definitely in the mood for a cocktail; let Doraku take you away with one of their amazing specialty drinks. While the portions are not giant, the flavor certainly is. DorakuSushi.com

Las Vacas Gordas Argentine Steak House- 933 Normandy Drive

If you are a carnivore and like a good steak, you won’t want to miss Las Vacas Gordas, which is located in South Beach’s norther sister neighborhood of North Beach (still in Miami Beach). It is worth the drive uptown to chow down on some of the finest cuts of meat you will find on the beach. Portions are HUGE so plan to share. Don’t miss the Enrollada, a giant skirt steak rolled up and big enough to wrap around your waist!  After 6pm, most of the parking lots in North Beach are free so you can save a bit on parking while you visit. LasVacasGordas.com

Balans Restaurant & Bar- 1022 Lincoln Road

Balanc_n(1)

Balans is great for lunch, brunch, or dinner and is one of the best places on our list for people watching since it is smack dab in the middle of Lincoln Road, Miami Beach’s premier outdoor shopping area. With great salads and delicious smoothies and shakes, Balans is perfect for all of you who are looking to watch the waist line but also want to enjoy delicious food in a great atmosphere. BalansRestaurants.com

Puerto Sagua- 700 Collins Ave-

Puerto Sagua has been a SoBe institution since the early 1960’s and has recently re-opened after a kitchen fire closed the place down for six months. Known for serving up some of the best Cuban cuisine on the beach, Puerto Sagua provides an authentic Miami Beach experience with no frills, just good food. Sit around the bar (think diner, not drinking establishment) and practice your Spanish as you enjoy a cortadito, some pork chunks and maduros.

Drunken Dragon- 1424 Alton Rd

I am going out on a limb here, but I am pretty sure there is nothing like Drunken Dragon in Miami Beach. Located in a nondescript strip mall on Alton Road, the sign on top says Market, but inside is a Korean oasis serving up delicious meats that you grill yourself at your own mini grill. Think DIY Hibachi, at least some chef isn’t going to hit you in the eye with a hot shrimp! Set up like speakeasy from the bygone days of prohibition, Drunken Dragon is a hip modern take on Korean BBQ. Call for reservations and make sure you tell them you want to be seated at a table with a grill. DrunkenDragon.com

News Café- 800 Ocean Drive-

NewsCafe-At-Night-3

Ocean Drive is home to New Café which has been serving up good food along with books and newspapers since 1988. This was the favorite spot of slain gay designer Gianni Versace when he used to call SoBe home. Take a seat at one of the outdoor tables and watch the crowds pass by along Ocean Drive. The menu at News Café is vast and includes everything from Babaganush to Pizza and practically everything in between.  NewsCafe.com