Insider's Guide North Beach

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NORTH BEACH

South Beach has the hustle, the energy, the vibrant sense of adventure—but North Beach has the relaxation and escape. When you want to transport yourself to another place and another time, North Beach is the place to do it. Historic hotels, unique Miami Modern architecture, beautifully quiet beaches, and some of Miami’s most interesting bars and restaurants make it a special place to explore.

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Buenos Aires Bakery

North Beach is home to a large community of Argentineans, and the food has followed. Locals universally recognize Buenos Aires Bakery as having some of the best empanadas and pastelitos in Miami—and that’s a hard contest to win. Stop by any morning to find it bustling with neighborhood residents and visitors in line to get a box of their favorite pastries. They also serve lunch, coffee, and other goodies. It never takes long to make your way to the counter, and it’s always worth the wait.

    Burgers & Shakes

    Sometimes you just need a great burger, fresh cut fries, and a hand-spun milkshake. That’s when you go to Burgers & Shakes, a perennial favorite for North Beach residents, children’s soccer teams, and late night adventurers in need of sustenance. From the BBQ burgers to the Ahi Tuna burger, you will have your choice of flavors to enjoy. The menu is so delightfully simple that there’s not much to say, except that the food is good and it’s the perfect end to a day of sunny relaxation.

      Cafe Prima Pasta

      The Argentinian Cea family opened Cafe Prima Pasta with just 28 seats in 1993. In the years since, it’s grown to four dining rooms that are locally renowned for delicious Italian food and the kind of intimate service you can only get from a family-owned restaurant. Founder Gerardo and his brother Fabian run the operation, while father Arturo runs the kitchen and their mother Carla bakes bread and desserts. Enjoy fresh appetizers like the tasty classic carpaccio or try one of the many homemade pastas, meat and fish in classic Italian styles.

        El Rancho Grande

        Another family affair brings authentic Mexican food to North Beach, from Mexico City native Jose Ortiz and his son. The family has operated El Rancho Grande for more than 20 years, serving favorites like the freshest table-side guacamole, tortas stacked with meat, beans, cheese, and other additions, and tacos al pastor. You will definitely want to pair your meal with one of their many flavored giant margaritas that don’t disappoint on quality or taste.

          Norman's American Bar & Grill

          Norman’s is the epitome of the American sports bar and local's hangout. With a menu of classic bar food like burgers, wings, salads, fries, rows of giant TVs, and a full bar open until 5a.m., it’s the perfect place to watch a game play pool or gather for a celebration. The surprise: there’s also a 28-room boutique hotel above the bar.

            Shuckers

            The essential waterfront experience, Shuckers is a beloved Miami institution in equal parts for its cheap beer, chicken wings, dozens of TVs to watch sports and sweeping views of Biscayne Bay. This is the place for hot summer afternoons and cool Miami evening breezes. This is also the place for meeting up with friends to forget the time and let yourself sink into the Miami experience.

              North Beaches

              No trip to North Beach is complete without the place for which it’s named. It’s only a few short miles away, but North Beach feels like another planet from the bustle of South Beach. It’s a quiet beach, where you will find locals and families enjoying the sand and surf, with plenty of space to open up and spread out. The boardwalk becomes a flat trail here, and winds its way up to Surfside on a path that’s popular with runners, bikers, and dog-walkers from the neighborhood.

                North Beach Bandshell

                Built in 1961, the North Beach Bandshell is on the National Register of Historic Places as a prime example of Miami Modern (MiMo) architecture. Now under management of the nonprofit Rhythm Foundation, the Bandshell hosts regular music concerts from around the world. This intimate venue brings a mix of families, young people, and neighborhood residents. Interesting fact: the Bandshell sits on the site of Miami Beach’s first structure, the Biscayne House of Refuge, which was built in 1875 by the United States Life-Saving Service (now the Coast Guard) to rescue shipwrecked sailors. There is even a small monument on the site.

                  North Shore Open Space Park

                  Where many of Miami’s beaches sit in the shadow of hotels and waterfront property, North Shore Open Space Park stands apart in that it is a preserve of natural tree canopies and winding walkways. Filled with picnic tables, grills, playgrounds, and lush greenery, it delivers what its name promises - open space. Most weekends, you’ll find families hosting parties and locals running or biking through the park. But it’s never busy and never overwhelming, and that’s why you come to North Beach.