Let’s face it, even the most celebrated of foodies have found themselves dining at an Applebees or similar while on vacation due to their unfamiliarity with that city’s dining options or even a surplus of overwhelming, though sketchy, options. I’ve definitely found myself in similar situations while traveling, but during a recent trip to South Beach I think I may have found one of the best ways to uncover a slew of local favorites thanks to the South Beach Food Tour.
As part of the South Beach Food Tour, which is just one tour Miami Culinary Tours offers, guests have the opportunity to “enjoy delicious tastings at hole-in-the-wall and mom & pop type of restaurants” and “taste the best of Miami Beach’s global cuisine.” Hole-in-the-wall spots are sometimes called hole-in-the-walls for a reason, so I was a tad skeptical at first despite the stellar reviews South Beach Food Tour has received on Yelp.
The tour started out on a Lushworthy note, which is always a good thing. While noshing on finger-licking-good empanadas and ceviche at Bolavir, our first stop on the tour, we were also treated to a “Refajo.” The Refajo is a beer cocktail that combines Colombiana (a Colombian cream soda) and beer. A surprising combination, the Refajo was a sweet, refreshing, and slightly boozy beverage that I’m sure is ideal on those steamy South Beach days.
Before making our next boozy stop on the tour we enjoyed a sweet treat at Manolo’s. Freshly-made, dulce de leche-filled churros to be exact. And yes, they were as delicious as they sound. In fact, during our last day in South Beach we stopped by Manolo’s for a few churros before heading back to The A.
After receiving a brief history lesson on South Beach while enjoying some shade in front of the Versace mansion, we made our way to the bar at The Tides South Beach for frozen mango margaritas. Contrary to the margaritas served at the various sidewalk restaurants on Ocean Drive, the margaritas at The Tides were well-made and flavorful. I’m not the biggest mango fan, but I’m sure my empty glass upon leaving The Tides told a different story.
During the tour we also enjoyed authentic, pork sliders at a Cuban restaurant, a veggie sandwich that I wasn’t the biggest fan of, and Nutella and pistachio gelato at Milani Gelateria (those were my two options, but they offer much more). In addition to leaving the South Beach Food Tour with a full belly, our tour guide Marie offered individual food/entertainment options for those on the tour. And if we hadn’t asked Marie for late night options on South Beach, we would’ve never found out about Mac’s Club Deuce, which was easily my favorite nightlife option during our stay on South Beach.
In addition to the South Beach Food Tour, which will cost you $59 plus tip, Miami Culinary Tours also offers an Art Deco Breakfast Tour, Wynwood Food Tour, and a SoBe Cocktail Tour (yesss!).
***A complimentary tour was provided by Miami Culinary Tours, but the thoughts in this post are fully my own.