Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant

Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant

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MICHELIN Guide's Point Of View

When Joe Weiss opened his lunch counter in 1913, Miami Beach didn’t even have paved roads, and customers had to take the ferry to cross over. One cent…

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By: Lori Kahn | May 21, 2020

Before the glitz and glamour that has become "SoBe," Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant stood as a spot for true seafood-loving locals and tourists alike.

Established in 1913, two years before Miami Beach would even become incorporated, Joe’s has withstood the test of time. Opened as "Joe's Restaurant" by Joe and Jennie Weiss, local seafood was served up on their front porch after being prepared in their kitchen. Move forward to 1920, when a Harvard ichthyologist brought an unknown crustacean to Joe’s. Joe threw the crab into boiling water and, voila! Stone crabs were discovered. They have dominated not only the menu at Joe’s Stone Crab, but have been a Miami staple ever since.

Fast-forward more than 100 years and Joe's has held its place as the leader in stone crabs, fresh seafood and, since its partnership with a Florida cattle ranch, outstanding steaks.

From the moment you approach the grandeur of the restaurant (it sits on the corner of South Pointe Drive and Washington Avenue, enveloping most of the block), you can see the attention to detail that is prevalent in the atmosphere, which leads to the incredible dining experience you'll enjoy. A lush and peaceful outside patio greets you. If you’d like to stay outside you can relax on Joe's patio, where the full menu is served.

A Seafood Dining Adventure

As you enter, a hand-carved mahogany bar beckons. Rich brass details accent the dark wood and terrazzo floors that extend into the entire restaurant.

Enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail (Key lime martini anyone?) and a bite from the bar menu available any time after 2:30 p.m. Comfy and cozy leather booths adorn one side of the bar and are available for daytime lunch dates or drinks and appetizers during dinner. Whatever you choose, attentive bartenders and cocktail servers are there to help you decide. Joe's prides itself on its outstanding service and this is proven with its staff, some with more than 30 years of experience.

If a more formal dining experience is what you're looking for, head to the maître d' stand and get seated in one of the three dining rooms. If you want to be transported back to the early days of Joe's front porch dining experience, ask if you can sit in the "East Wing," the spot where the original house sat until the early 1960s. It's not outdoor dining, but if you close your eyes, you can imagine the crisp ocean breeze that would have been present as Jennie served you back in the day.

Dive into Joe's Menu

The menu has something for everyone. If stone crabs aren't your thing (we know - it's hard to believe), try one of the many seafood options, steaks or the award-winning fried chicken, which was once endorsed by Paula Deen and is a bargain at $8.85 for half a chicken. Lighter fare includes salads, soups or appetizers. Weekly lunch and dinner specials change every Tuesday, so you'll want to check the website regularly.

Remember to save room for dessert. The Key lime pie is not to be missed. Thick, creamy and tart, the filling sits atop a hand-pressed graham cracker delicately balanced with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Coming in a close second, Joe’s Apple Pie is a fantastic runner-up contender. Layers of sliced apples, perfectly spiced and teeming with sweetness, are topped by a pecan crumble. Have it à la mode if you dare, but you might need a partner to help you finish off this decadent dessert.

If you're looking for a quick seafood fix, pick-up is what you need so just head next door to Joe’s Take Away. Stone crabs, signature items and more await. Perfect for a crunch-time meal inside or your picnic basket for the beach, Joe’s Take Away offers daily paninis, soups, specials and menu standards such as tuna bowls, salads, turkey burgers, ceviche, lobster Rueben (a must-try) and a variety of fish sandwiches. Grab a bottle of bubbly as the final accompaniment and you’ve got yourself the ideal beachside feast.

When you leave Joe's, don’t despair, Joe’s can come to you! Joe’s Shipping Department ships overnight, Monday to Friday, anywhere in the country.

All in all, this legendary Miami Beach restaurant is a must-see if you are visiting or just in the neighborhood, so make sure to stop by and savor what Joe’s has to offer. You’ll be happy you did!


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