10 cheap places to eat and drink in Miami while you're at BlogHer Food

By Teresa Mears, Miami on the Cheap

You’ll have no trouble finding lists of Miami’s best restaurants, but so many of them are way too expensive to visit often, if ever.  We at Miami on the Cheap decided to offer 10 cheap places to eat and drink near BlogHer Food '14,

Jenn Quillen of The Rebel Chick already has provided eight excellent suggestions, some quite modestly priced. (I have been to the top five and like all of them.)

Since the conference just happens to be a block from The Miami Herald’s old office, where I worked for 23 years, I asked my former colleagues to help me scope out the best cheap options in the neighborhood for bloggers on a budget. Consider this the Miami on the Cheap guide to eating out in Edgewater for frugal bloggers.

The neighborhood is now known as Edgewater, though old-timers still call it the Omni, named for the former shopping complex that used to include the conference hotel (also originally known as the Omni).

In addition to the restaurants at the Hilton, you can walk to restaurants at the two hotels on Bayshore Drive one block east, the Doubletree by Hilton Grand (Tony Chan’s Water Club is an excellent Chinese restaurant) and the Marriott Biscayne Bay.

Here are 10 places to eat and drink for less near the Blogher Food site, the Miami Hilton. The first six are a short walk and the four others are either a longer walk, short bus ride or quick Metromover ride (the Hilton is just north of the Omni Metromover stop).

  1. Mike’s at the Plaza Venetia. This was our “Cheers,” and it’s still a friendly site for locals to get an inexpensive bite but visitors are welcome, too. Most dinners are under $15, and drinks are cheap by Miami standards. It’s also open until 3 a.m. Happy hour is 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Outdoor patio, indoor seating and a pool table. It’s just south of the Biscayne Bay Marriott, on the ninth floor of the Plaza Venetia. 555 NE 15th St., Miami, FL 33132.
  2. Bin 18 Bistro & Wine Bar. This casual restaurant and bar features tapas (small plates), homemade pastas and other specialties. Travel + Leisure named it one of America’s Best Wine Bars. It’s open 5 to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Sunday brunch. 1800 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132.
  3. The Daily Creative Food Company. This casual salad and sandwich shop offers a creative collection of sandwiches named for local newspapers as well as fresh made-to-order salads, soups and sweets, plus breakfast items. Indoor and outdoor seating options. You can order online before you go. Hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. 2001 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137
  4. Publix. People who love sub sandwiches swear by the deli at Publix, the Florida-based supermarket chain. This Publix location is particularly nice (it’s only a few years old) and also has a hot food buffet, salad bar and all kinds of prepared go-to food. Plus, it’s a supermarket, so you can buy most any food you want as well as wine, beer and liquor. There is also a pharmacy and ATM, plus a Wells Fargo bank next door. Hours are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. 1776 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132.
  5. S&S Diner. This Miami institution has been around for decades, serving up inexpensive diner food for breakfast and lunch. A big burger with fries is just over $6, and other sandwich prices are comparable. 1757 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132.
  6. La Bottega on the Bay. This Italan deli and market offers both takeout and dine-in options, with a beautiful bay view for those who dine outdoors. It’s on the street-level floor of the 1800 Club, a high-rise luxury condo that replaced the dark dive bar where journalists and politicians used to drink. You’ll find the daily specials on Facebook (when they get around to posting them). It’s open 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. seven days a week (it opens at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday).
  7. Verde at the Perez Art Museum Miami. This waterfront spot offers a glorious view of Biscayne Bay, indoor and outdoor dining and a casual menu with ceviche, seafood, pizzas, flatbreads and more, with smaller plates starting at $7. You don’t have to pay the museum entry fee to dine here. Hours are 11 am. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (the restaurant is open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays, when the museum is open late). 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132. While you could theoretically walk here, it’s not a nice walk and you’re better off hopping on the MetroMover and getting off at the Museum Park station. 
  8. Salsa Fiesta. This is a little farther away but it’s a great spot for fast casual Mexican food in a city where Mexican food is rare and good Mexican food is even rarer. Fresh, healthy ingredients are a plus. Happy hour is 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. You can get one taco or a combo. 2929 Biscayne oulevard
    Miami, FL 33137. If you don’t want to walk 13 blocks, hop on the bus. It’s XXX, exact change.
  9. Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop. This casual Cuban American breakfast and lunch cafe is a bit far to walk, but it’s a long-time favorite among those who know and love Cuban food.  186 NE 29th St., Miami 33137.
  10. Latin Café. The casual elegant restaurant services up traditional Cuban American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lunch specials with two sides are usually $7.95 and change every day. You can try two traditional Cuban Miami specials here: fruit shakes and Cuban coffee, served at the traditional window. Indoor and outdoor seating. Open 7 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. daily. 2501 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 33137

It’s not gourmet but there is a Burger King at 1700 Biscayne Blvd. and a Checkers at 1650 Biscayne Blvd. The closest Starbucks is at 2937 Biscayne Blvd., next to Salsa Fiesta.

City Hall The Restaurant, at 2400 Biscayne Blvd., is not cheap, but it’s highly regarded. It’s open until 11 p.m. (midnight Friday and Saturday).  Happy hour with creative bar bites is 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 p.m. to closing Friday and Saturday. There’s a Gospel brunch on Sundays.

If you’re willing to take a short cab, bus or trolley right, you might consider exploring restaurants in Midtown Miami, Wynwood (the new hipster favorite and the site of the BlogHer Food closing party) or the Upper East Side.

More resources for finding good places to eat in Miami:

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