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Looking to enjoy some delicious flavor al fresco? Add these South Florida restaurants to your list. Each offers outdoor seating in a beautiful setting, so you can practice social distancing while satisfying your cravings. From comfort food with riverfront views to authentic Cuban cuisine, and happy hour specials you’ll be hard-pressed to beat, these seven picks will get you through the week. 


This favorite dining spot in Miami’s hip Upper Buena Vista neighborhood is a great option for outdoor dining. The restaurant’s beautiful courtyard is lush, breezy, and romantic, even when you’re practicing social distancing. The menu spotlights Mediterranean dishes with a twist, like locally sourced burrata with fresh tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette, grilled peaches served with stracciatella, pasta stuffed with pear and Taleggio cheese, and more.

Details: Vista is located at 5020 NE 2nd Ave, Miami. To make a reservation, call (305) 405-7547.

Le Zoo

If you’re in the mood for tantalizing French cuisine, head to Le Zoo at Bal Harbor Shops. Grab a seat on their charming patio — it’ll transport you to the south of France — and indulge in some savory onion soup, steak tartare, or taglioni. And if you’re craving something a little more familiar, opt for the Burger Americain. It’s hands-down one of the best burgers in the area. 

Details: Le Zoo is located at 9700 Collins Ave #135, Miami Beach. To make a reservation, call (305) 602-9663.

Phuc Yea

Dine amidst the flower in Phuc Yea’s lush and whimsical lantern garden, where comfy patio seating blends with classic Vietnamese architecture. Whether you drop by for Sunday brunch or an intimate dinner with your special someone, it’s the perfect setting to enjoy Asian- and Latin-inspired dishes like curried coconut mussels, crispy masitas de puerco, char sui sticky riblets, and Phuc Yea’s fan-favorite special pho. You can also take advantage of daily deals, like $1 oysters all week, a $25 three-course meal on Pho Wednesdays, a fried chicken special on Thursdays, and happy hour specials from 5-10 p.m.

Details: Phuc Yea is located at 7100 Biscayne Blvd, Miami. To make a reservation, call (305) 602-3710 or visit OpenTable. 

Calle 23 Miami

When your cravings for traditional Cuban food start to set in, make a reservation at Calle 23 on Miracle Mile. The outdoor dining area channels major tropical vibes, while the menu delivers on big flavor from Havana to el Oriente. Enjoy happy hour drink specials on Tuesdays and Fridays from 5 p.m. until closing time, or visit on Wednesday for $5 mojitos. On Thursdays, ladies enjoy complimentary champagne from 8 p.m. on. And on Saturdays and Sundays, Calle 23 serves brunch from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. with bottomless mimosas for $19.

Details: Calle 23 Miami is located at 230 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. To make a reservation, call (786) 325-3474 or visit Calle23miami.com/contact.

Bellini Restaurant & Bar

Savor gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay from the lavish rooftop terrace of Bellini Restaurant & Bar, located at Mr. C Miami-Coconut Grove. The menu here highlights Italian specialties like burrata with heirloom tomatoes, tender gnocchi alla bellini, and traditional lasagna served with a hearty bolognese sauce. 

Details: Bellini Restaurant & Bar is located at 2988 McFarlane Road, Miami. To make a reservation, call (305) 800-7672.

The Ocean Grill and Jaya Courtyard at The Setai Miami Beach

The Ocean Grill

Feast on Mediterranean-inspired wood-grilled goodness just steps away from the beach at The Ocean Grill. Recently reopened, the al fresco restaurant just launched a new three-course summer menu priced at just $33 per person and available daily from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. It features delicious options like strawberry gazpacho with mint, fried calamari with key lime aioli, chicken paillard paired with a caper citronette dressing, yellowtail snapper with smoked paprika potatoes and more. And if you’d like to try Jaya’s Miami Spice menu by Chef Vijayudu Veena’s, launching July 16, head to Jaya Courtyard and savor starters like salmon tartar with chili citrus dressing, entrees like snapper topped with tamarind sauce and Thai basil, and desserts like hot chocolate served with house-made toasted marshmallow.

Details: The Ocean Grill and Jaya are located at The Setai, Miami Beach, 2001 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. To make a reservation, call (855) 923-7899.

LPM Restaurant & Bar

With summer in full swing, there’s no better way to finish your week than with a visit to LPM Restaurant & Bar. Equipped with plenty of outdoor seating, the acclaimed restaurant has just launched L’été en Rosé Sundays, where guests can enjoy glasses of rosé starting at $9 and bottles starting at $45. Pair your pink with French Mediterranean flavors, like duck a l’Orange, ratatouille with feta, cool salmon carpaccio, and more. What’s more, LPM is also offering a Miami Spice dinner menu five nights a week from Sunday through Thursday. 

Details: LPM Restaurant & Bar is located at 1300 Brickell Bay Drive, Miami. To make a reservation, call (305) 403-9133.

American Social

Photo by Adorned Photography

American Social is all about elevated sports bar classics, like their super juicy AmSo Burger, black truffle pizza, soft-baked pretzels, and addictive steak frites. Their weekend brunch is also legendary, and the perfect spot to enjoy mimosas while digging into country-fried chicken and waffles and eggs benedict. They offer plenty of covered outdoor seating offering sweeping views of the Miami River, so you can pair every delicious bite with picture-perfect views.  

Details: American Social is located at 690 SW 1st Ct, Miami. To make a reservation, call (305) 223-7004.

There’s nothing like a cool, frosty treat to give you respite from sweaty Miami summers (and most other seasons here for that matter) and to make you feel like a kid again – the bright colors and the cold, yummy goodness dripping down your fingers as you lick down to the crunchy cone. Take a break to treat yourself at one of these top five ice cream and popsicle spots in Miami.

Morelia Gourmet Paletas

A paleta is a popsicle and Morelia’s are definitely not the push-pop or plastic snip-top kind from your childhood. These are gourmet Mexican paletas made with fresh ingredients into 16 flavors like pistachio, mango, Belgian chocolate, banana filled with Nutella, and many more. Dip and top your paleta with signature toppings like s’mores, marshmallow fluff torched and Nutella drizzle. So many choices mean you never have to have the same paleta twice. Morelia is even selling Do-It-Yourself Paleta Kits for a fun family activity from home! Choose a four or eight-pack kit, which comes with your choice of paleta flavors and different dippings and toppings.

Several locations: Coral Gables, Wynwood, Aventura Mall, Surfside, Hollywood; Coming soon: Aventura Commons, Coconut Grove, Doral, Lincoln Road. paletasmorelia.com


Saving the planet while eating ice cream turns a guilty pleasure into guilt-free pleasure. Nabati’s homemade, 100% plant-based ice cream is made from scratch using only organic ingredients like cashews and coconuts, and superfoods. Their creamy, delicious ice creams come in intriguing mix of flavors like Golden Scoop (ginger, tumeric, coconut, and cinnamon) and Shnickers (rich chocolate with peanuts and caramel); traditional flavors like brownie and strawberry; and even vanilla mango almond and cookie dough laced with CBD. Milkshakes, smoothies and bowls on the menu will guarantee you stay cool all summer long and feel good about doing it.

Pickup and delivery only; order by calling (305) 456-2114; 317 NW 25th Street, Miami; nabatiicecream.com

Chug’s Cuban Diner

Ice cream is not the first thing that comes to mind at a Cuban eatery, but at Chug’s their homemade ice cream is part of the charm. Executive Pastry Chef Devin Braddock melds local, seasonal and classic ingredients to whip up one-of-a-kind flavors like the Snacc Attack, made with Captain Crunch cereal, toffee, and chocolate pretzels; Coconut Hazelnut Praline, Strawberry Malt, Jojo Black Tea & Duck Fat, and Creme Fraiche Stracciatella. Chug’s serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. so grab a croqueta, Cuban sandwich, or abuela’s plate any time and take some of that ice cream to go.

Takeout and limited outdoor seating; 3444 Main Highway, Coconut Grove; (786) 534-8722;  chugsdiner.com

Ladyfingrs Popsicles

Ladyfingrs’ colorful, outdoor push carts and festive popsicles will draw you in as you stroll through Miami’s Design District or Aventura Mall. There’s a surprise in every bite of these natural, handmade gelato pops filled with the freshest local fruits (Coconut Water and Fruits – a summer favorite) and other unique treats – like an entire Oreo or an edible purple orchid petal in the Lychee Rose Water. Order them by the box with an assortment of flavors for local delivery or you can even order ahead for curbside pickup of single pops at the Design District cart. Get creative and snap a pic before you enjoy them because they look as good as they taste.

Design District (152 NE 41st Street): push cart located right next to the Prada Store; Aventura Mall (19501 Biscayne Boulevard): push cart located at the new wing of the mall, 1st floor, outside area by the Sling Tower and restaurants. Order online or by calling (305) 970-9252; ladyfingrs.com

Bianco Gelato

In Italy, gelato is a tradition, and you can get a taste of it right here in Miami. Bianco Gelato’s old-fashioned gelato is made in small batches locally for authentic, handcrafted flavors. They have several vegan and low-sugar options made with stevia and other organic, Kosher-certified ingredients, and steer clear of GMO’s, artificial ingredients and chemicals. Vegan popsicles can also be found on the menu with refreshing flavors like pineapple and mint, lemon and mango, perfect for a hot day. Stop by one of their three locations (open daily 1 to 9 p.m. for takeout) or order delivery of pre-packaged pops and small cups of ice cream a day in advance. 

Locations in Bal Harbour Shops (9700 Collins Avenue), Coconut Grove (3137 Commodore Plaza), The Citadel foodhall (8300 NE 2nd Avenue); call or text (305) 458-4455 to order delivery biancogelato.com

By Estefania Garcia, Contributing Writer

The W South Beach’s signature restaurant, Mr. Chow, had recently reopened until it had to briefly close its doors again last week due to a minor electrical fire. While we wait for the famed Chinese restaurant to welcome us back August 1, we can create one of its savory dishes at home. This easy-to-make recipe will make a perfect addition to your Fourth of July menu.

5 Spice Tofu Salad

Serving size: 4

Approx. 1/2 package dried tofu (or 2 big pieces)
1 stalk celery
1/2 tsp red pepper
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp chili oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp Tabasco®
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic chili paste
1/2 light soy sauce
Pinch of crushed dried chili 

Cooking method:
1.     Peel and slice celery. Remove the pepper’s seeds and slice.  
2.     Boil tofu in salt water for five minutes, then let cool and slice.  
3.     Add minced garlic, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, chili oil, Tabasco®, Worcestershire
sauce, garlic chili paste, light soy sauce and crushed dried chili to sliced tofu and
4.     Finally, mix in the sliced celery and sliced red pepper.

This year’s 4th of July might be remembered for watching fireworks from home and restrictions on gathering, but that’s no reason you can’t get out there (responsibly) and celebrate our American freedom – with masks and social distancing, of course. Here are four recommendations for spending the summer holiday enjoying liberty, delicious food and libations.

The Deck at Island Gardens

The Deck at Island Gardens will be celebrating with a weekend happy hour and holiday-themed menu specials. On July 4, dine on classics with a twist: lobster rolls, kobe beef sliders and there’s nothing more American than chicken wings and hot dogs. Sunday’s popular brunch offers salty and sweet options: lobster eggs benedict, berry pancakes, or the ultimate American creation – the Deck’ed Out Burger. A Sparkling Happy Hour from 4 to 6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday will leave you refreshed as you take in the serene view from the ample al fresco dining area covered by shade, with outdoor fans to keep the breeze flowing.

888 MacArthur Causeway, Miami; (786) 627-4949; islandgardens.com

Joia Beach

A hidden paradise awaits at this beach restaurant on the far end of Jungle Island. Dine on a European-inspired menu with views of crystalline waters and the iconic Miami skyline. Make a date of it by starting with a visit to Jungle Island – strolling through nature exhibits and encountering wildlife – and ending with a romantic meal at Joia Beach sharing small plates of fresh halibut crudo, Turkish octopus and gambas al ajillo. Don’t miss out! Due to COVID-19 restrictions they are limiting dining hours to Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m. by reservation only.

1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami; (305) 400-7280; joiabeachmiami.com

The Taurus Coconut Grove

If the 4th of July isn’t enough reason to celebrate, how about your 101st birthday? In honor of both, The Taurus (formerly Taurus Beer & Whiskey House) is throwing itself a party with plenty of drink specials throughout the day including bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary’s for $25 (noon to 4 p.m.) happy hour cocktails (4 to 8 p.m.) and $15 buckets of PBR (8 p.m. to 2 a.m.). From noon to 4 p.m., the Lazy Oyster pop-up will be at Taurus serving premium oysters (please note oysters are limited). The Ariete brunch menu will also be available for dine-in at Taurus.

3540 Main Highway, Miami; (305) 529-6523; taurusbeerandwhiskey.com

Fireman Derek’s

With two locations in Wynwood and Coconut Grove (walk over for dessert from The Taurus!), head to Fireman Derek’s for a slice of Flag Pie. Made with their signature hand-rolled flour crust, a glorious combination of blueberry and strawberry pie filling spread evenly atop a thick cheesecake layer, jam-packed with summer berries and decorated to honor our flag’s stars and stripes, it will leave you seeing fireworks. It’s only available for purchase on Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4 so run, don’t walk.

Coconut Grove: 3435 Main Highway, Miami; (786) 502-2396; Wynwood: 2818 N. Miami Avenue; (786) 703-3623; firemandereks.com

By Estefania Garcia, Contributing Writer