Sunny Isles Beach: Dining

By: Shayne Benowitz

Sunny Isles Beach is a bastion for tranquility, relaxation, and opulence, and dining is at the forefront of the social scene. Whether it’s a healthy lunch or splurging at a luxurious resort, it seems that a sprawling patio al fresco is always appropriate here. Whatever your dining style or your budget, you’ll find a tasty restaurant in Sunny Isles Beach that caters to you. Discover exactly what makes South Florida cuisine so delicious—think, fresh citrus fruit, locally caught fish and a melting pot of cultures showcasing their sumptuous dishes.

Aroma Espresso

Get your day started on the right foot with a stop at Aroma Espresso Bar on Sunny Isles Beach Boulevard at the St. Tropez Condominiums. It has a European café meets New York City Jewish deli vibe with an assortment of pastries from croissants to rugalach. Order up a steamy cappuccino or your cup of Joe of choice, and then decide on breakfast. Their Power Breakfast is a popular choice with two eggs any style, mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, olives, cream cheese, bread and butter. Another healthy and filling choice is their Muesli in a Cup with fresh fruit, granola, honey, and yogurt, which is somehow both rich and light as air. If you come later in the day, their lunchtime options of sandwiches and salads are just as hearty and tempting.

Miami Juice

When in Miami, do as the Miamians do. The juice craze has swept through many cities, and Miami is not one to be left out. You could even say we’re ahead of the curve because Miami Juice has been around since 1992 serving up a healthy selection of not only juice and smoothies, but also salads, sandwiches, baked potatoes, and even pizza and burgers. Whether it’s a post-beach boost of nutrients from their B-52 Happy’s Special juice, made with carrots, celery, beets, cucumber, spinach, garlic, ginger, and apple, or a wholesome lunch, you’ll feel at home inside their warm, homey dining room. Lunchtime temptations include vegetarian options, like veggie burgers, falafel, hummus and tofu marinated in ginger and curry. For the carnivores, opt for the rosemary chicken platter or the blackened red snapper served with organic brown rice and steamed vegetables.

Epicure Gourmet Market & Café

The expansive outdoor patio at Epicure Gourmet Market & Café is a classic destination for the residents of Sunny Isles Beach. Founded in 1945, it’s been a South Florida staple for more than half a century. If you’re staying in a condo with a kitchenette this is your gourmet grocery-shopping destination. Otherwise, just come for the café and let their chefs do all the work. With a melting pot of cuisines, from Cuban to Jewish deli to Italian pastas, the menu has absolutely everything you can imagine. Try a Cuban mix sandwich with a colada, hot pastrami on rye or spaghetti with a pink cream sauce. For a real taste of South Florida, opt for the Florida Crab Salad, made with fresh lump crabmeat, grapefruit, orange, watermelon, mixed greens and citrus dressing. Epicure is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they serve a kid’s menu.

Blue Marlin Fish House

For an “only in Florida” dining experience and incredibly fresh smoked fish, you have to go to the Blue Marlin Fish House located on the Oleta River State Park. You’ll feel worlds away from the high rises of Sunny Isles Beach when you pull up to this outdoor restaurant nestled into the trees overlooking the beautiful Oleta River. Head to the counter and place your order. They’re famous for their smoked fish dip and smoked fish sandwiches, with your choice of salmon, mahi or marlin. They’ve also got delicious options like a lobster burger and fish tacos and there are plenty of selections for those who aren’t crazy about fish. Add a cold beer from their impressive selection and then grab a table on the dock and enjoy your lunch in the great outdoors.

La Terraza

La Terraza calls itself “the Frenchest Italian restaurant in Sunny Isles Beach.” You’ll have to come and enjoy dinner here yourself to see what they mean. If you’re looking for a hot spot in Sunny Isles Beach, this is your destination. There’s often live music at happy hour and their lively outdoor covered terrace is always bustling with a crowd. Inside is an elegant dining room serving delicious Italian fare from antipasti to wood fire oven pizzas, pasta and risotto to succulent rack of lamb, along with an extensive wine list. Grab a table on the terrace and live the good life here.

Bella Beach

Sometimes you just have to have your champagne and caviar with your toes in the sand at a chic beach club. Welcome to Bella Beach at the swank Trump International Beach Resort, the first oceanfront restaurant situated directly on the sand. If it’s the salt air and unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean that you crave, then you’ve found your destination. Specializing in Mediterranean-style cuisine, their menu includes whole grilled fish, a raw bar, caviar, grilled steaks and lobster. Bella Beach brings a brand new meaning to the term surf and turf.

Il Mulino New York

The quintessential fine dining experience in Sunny Isles Beach can be found at Il Mulino New York at the luxurious Acqualina Resort & Spa. With its original outpost in New York City’s Greenwich Village, their Sunny Isles Beach location feels like you’ve entered an elegant Mediterranean villa on the Cote d’Azur. Recipient of the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Award, the authentic Italian cuisine is matched by impeccable service. Start with oysters on the half shell and move onto succulent pasta selections, like the pappardelle with salsiccia sausage or the wild mushroom risotto. Other delicacies include the branzino Italian sea bass and the veal Milanese with arugula. At the end of the meal, why not enjoy your dessert or a glass of wine on the palatial pool deck and enjoy the sea breeze in true Sunny Isles Beach style.

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