By: Kara Franker
Where to dine, shop and play on Ocean Drive.
Lined with colorful Art Deco buildings, delectable restaurants, boutique shops and more, Ocean Drive is a must-visit beachfront street on Miami Beach.
Where to Eat
Packed with everything from sandwich shops and casual eateries spilling out onto the streets, to oceanfront restaurants perfect for a romantic dinner for two, Ocean Drive has no shortage of dining options for visitors and tourists alike. If you’re up with the sun, head to News Café on 8th Street and Ocean Drive. Remembered as Versace’s go-to hangout, and the last place he was seen alive, News Café boasts relaxed outdoor seating, 24-hour dining, prime people-watching, and a large menu of breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, pizza, burgers and more.
For a casual lunch spot, head farther south to South of Fifth, on the corner of 4th and Ocean, for Jalapeño Mexican Kitchen. Putting guests right in the heart of Mexico’s colorful cantinas and street-side markets, this laid-back locale invites guests to kick back, order a large margarita, and taste their way through freshly-prepared chicken flautas, table-side guacamole, and Mexican chorizo, bacon and pulled pork tacos.
If you’re looking for a fancy date night, or a nice dinner with coworkers, try one of Ocean Drive’s more upscale options. Head to A Fish Called Avalon for fresh seafood, impeccable service, dim lighting and unbeatable oceanfront views. Joe’s Stone Crab should never be missed, and the modern steakhouse, Prime 112 – a popular spot for celebrities seeking an intimate dinner – is just down the street. With a menu that is both chef-driven and sophisticated, Prime 112 is known for its quality dry-aged beef, truffle lobster mac and cheese, Kobe beef sliders, and of course, it’s A-list people-watching.
Finally, for a sweet ending to any meal, Sugar Factory American Brasserie has everything you need. From an all-day menu of pancakes, crepes, salads, and burgers, to candy-infused goblet cocktails, decadent Oreo “cookie jar” milkshakes, and of course, the King Kong ice cream sundae for 12 people – this sugary spot is guaranteed to satisfy your every craving.
What to Do
From history and art appreciation, to clubbing until the early hours of the morning, there’s plenty to do on Ocean Drive. With a history dating back to the 1920’s, walk past its countless boutique hotels, and get a firsthand look at the 800+ Art Deco architectural gems that put the area on the National Register of Historic Places.
During the day, stop by the Art Deco District Welcome Center and pick up a self-guided audio tour. It will tell you everything you need to know about Miami Beach’s Art Deco past, including why Ocean Drive is so popular today.
Miami is as popular for its club scene as it is for its beaches, and Ocean Drive is certainly no exception. Book a cabana at Nikki Beach Club, where the champagne flows and DJs spin the beats.
Farther north, there’s no place like South Beach’s top party hotel: the Clevelander. Known around the world for its epic pool parties, top DJs and 15 frozen drink machines, the Clevelander boasts nine bars, a C-Level Rooftop Terrace with private cabanas and waterfalls, and the SPF4 Sun Deck – an elevated, VIP terrace that keeps the party going at all hours.
Where to Shop
Stroll along Ocean Drive, and you’ll find countless tourist shops, funky boutiques and bikini shops; but if you want real shopping, you’ll have to wander one block over to Collins Avenue. Home to upscale, cosmopolitan shops and more than 30 designer storefronts – like Armani, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace, DASH and more – the part of Collins Avenue between 5th and 19th Street puts shoppers right in the heart of a fashionista’s paradise.
As you stroll down Collins, join the bikini-clad shoppers wandering in and out of Club Monaco, United Colors of Benetton, and Miami’s very own outpost of Barneys New York Co-Op. If you want to be a true Miamian, shop like a Kardashian – their favorite shop, Atrium, sells Alexander McQueen, Nudie Jeans, Brogden and more.
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