Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to Biscayne Bay and features some of the most popular restaurants and bars in town. Whether you’re looking for a fine dining experience or a fast casual meal, the sidewalk cafes and sleek dining rooms that punctuate the shopping district offer something for every palate and budget. Here is an overview of the very best Lincoln Road restaurants you won’t want to miss…
Bistro One at the Ritz-Carton South Beach
1 Lincoln Road
The Ritz Carlton South Beach sits at the intersection of Lincoln Road Mall and the sea offering guests an ideal location for a South Beach getaway.
The hotel offers a serene oceanfront escape and easy access to the heart of the action. While hotel restaurants can often feel stuffy and traditional, Bistro One works hard to dispel that notion with indoor and al fresco seating, a dazzling Sunday brunch buffet and friendly outgoing servers. The hotel’s Di Lido Beach Club is popular for afternoon beachside service and Bistro One opens up to the spacious pool deck for all day dining.
Executive Chef Thomas Connell updates classic American fare with fresh local produce and an obvious respect for the essential flavors of quality ingredients. The kitchen and waitstaff work seamlessly to provide guests with a lively atmosphere by day and a romantic interlude in the evening when the dining room’s sparkling accents and superb art collection serve as the perfect backdrop for dinner for two. Locals favor the champagne-soaked Sunday brunch buffet which features fresh seafood, shrimp and oysters as well as sushi, a vodka and caviar bar, a carving station and an awesome variety of desserts.
600 Lincoln Road
A popular chain of Asian fusion eateries, the SushiSamba experience takes you from Japan to Brazil to Peru and back while you shop, dine and play on Lincoln Road Mall. Thousands of Japanese once traveled to South America to work in agriculture and that combined heritage informs the menu at SushiSamba.
With a shared love of fresh seafood, bright spices and artful presentations the intersection of ceviche and sashimi is truly remarkable. Enjoy a small plate tapas meal, a few light bites with a tropical cocktail or a full dinner that starts with miso soup and ends with grilled steaks, a whole crispy snapper or churros and hot chocolate.
Originally opened in New York City, the unique combination of traditional dishes and innovative fare has inspired five locations throughout the country. The South Beach branch is popular for midday snacks for busy shoppers and late night parties with signature drinks and cosplay costumes. If you like Japanese Manga and Anime, stop by Tuesdays around midnight to meet some of the trickiest trendsetters in town. Sunday brunch is a sweet and savory compilation of fresh baked pastry, arepas and eggs, churrasco steak with garlicky chimichurri and raw bar selections spiked with cilantro, habanero peppers and tangy lemongrass. SushiSamba gives Asian fusion cuisine a unique South Beach beat!
647 Lincoln Road
When Thai meets sushi, the results are delicious. There must be a phenomenon in South Florida where diners can’t quite make up their mind which Asian cuisine they prefer.
The sheer number of “Thai Plus Sushi” restaurants popping up all over town creates a unique hybrid of the two cultures. Some chefs are more successful mastering the two distinct flavor profiles and the Sushi Siam group’s seven successful locations prove they are doing it best. The atmosphere at most of the locations is friendly and welcoming with the Lincoln Road branch focusing upon promptly served sidewalk fare. Euclid Circle is the busy heart of the social scene so a meal on the mall is nothing short of a spectacle.
The sushi portion of the Sushi Siam menu focuses on fresh local seafood prepared by a dedicated team of knife wielding chefs who present their work with tropical accents and fresh flowers. Hot appetizers, tender gyoza dumplings and steamy miso soup pair nicely with a variety of sakes and plum wines. The Thai kitchen specializes in savory curries, sizzling lobster tails and crispy duck presented with a flourish by a knowledgeable waitstaff who cover a huge expanse of the pedestrian mall where table service often requires bobbing and weaving through busy foot traffic.
700 Lincoln Road
Sidewalk dining on Lincoln Road is a many splendored thing. With such an interesting variety of shops and an equally enchanting cast of characters wandering around the promenade throughout the day, finding a ringside seat at a good restaurant to watch the world go by can be the highlight of the meal.
Nexxt Cafe achieves a loyal following by offering huge portions of American diner style comfort food and artfully prepared pastries overlooking busy Euclid Circle at the heart of the Mall.
Popular for brunch and easy meals with kids, Nexxt has been compared to Cheesecake Factory for it’s impressive variety of overstuffed plates and appealing traditional offerings like pizza, burgers and towering piles of fries. A few tables inside the restaurant offer a cool respite on steamy South Beach days, but the majority of seats line the sidewalks on the mall under the shade of large market umbrellas. Frequently crowded, the overtaxed waitstaff do all they can to expedite service, but it is tough to sort out who wants a quick meal and who has landed for an afternoon respite of drinks and people watching. Smart diners should probably let their waiter know if time is of the essence. Otherwise, sit back, relax and enjoy.
World Resources Cafe
719 Lincoln Road
Experience a fusion of Japanese and Thai cuisine at this popular outdoor cafe where the lunch and dinner menus include Florida-fresh seafood, spicy curries and value-priced sushi served under the stars.
World Resource Cafe diners sit alongside a sparkling fountain that’s an ideal place to watch fashionably dressed crowds streaming by. House favorites include spicy volcano chicken, steamed Florida lobster in a light curry broth along with whole prawns, soft shell crab and crispy duck.
For an inexpensive tapas style dinner, scan the happy hour menu from 4 -7:30pm to mix and match your supper with a choice of nearly a dozen different sushi rolls for just $5 each and a second list of hot Asian appetizers for $5 as well. Drink specials on Monday feature two-for-one margaritas, on Tuesdays half-price mojitos and on Wednesdays half-price martinis. Shoppers enjoy a variety of lunchtime specials priced around $12 including fresh tropical salads, a choice of hot curry entrees and a Japanese bento box filled with sushi, sashimi, miso soup and teriyaki. Asian dining at World Resources is easy, breezy and unusually affordable.
Van Dyke Cafe
846 Lincoln Road
The terribly busy downstairs dining room and overflowing sidewalk cafe tables at the Van Dyke are complimented by a rarefied second floor jazz club where a crew of international visiting musicians perform every night of the week. Live music in Miami is not as easy to find as you might imagine, so it’s a happy combination of dedicated food service and a love of jazz, R&B and the local music community that keeps this enterprise afloat.
In the daylight hours, tables along Lincoln Road and Jefferson Avenue are often filled to capacity with locals and visitors enjoying a leisurely brunch. Van Dyke has a sort of indoor/outdoor atmosphere with sliding glass doors that are open to the breeze and a dark wooden bar that gives the place an old world charm.
The kitchen prepares breakfast classics starting at 8am and winds through the day with reliable soups, salads, burgers and a few Middle Eastern treats. A small plate menu of fried calamari, goat cheese, onion rings and chicken wings pairs nicely with a glass of wine or something from the full liquor bar.
The Upstairs Jazz Club hosts a variety of musicians from around the world who perform nightly from 9pm-1am. From Funk to Latin to Jazz to Soul, there is always something appealing on the Van Dyke menu. Check the website for an updated calendar of events.
915 Lincoln Road
Executive Chef Sean Brasel crafts a unique fusion of steak, seafood and sizzling atmosphere to make his Meat Market restaurant one of the most desired destinations on Lincoln Road Mall.
South Beach has so many expensive steakhouses it is tough to distinguish one from another. The management team behind Meat Market incorporates a Crudo Bar that serves the freshest seafood, an old fashioned cocktail bar with dedicated mixologists, and offers guests a choice of the sleek dining lounge or sidewalk tables to see and be seen.
Fine dining on South Beach requires a delicate balance of sophistication and casual elegance. To appeal to an international clientele, restaurants must maintain a sense of style, use high quality ingredients and create an atmosphere that is welcoming to locals and tourists. Meat Market achieves this difficult task with friendly service, a menu that includes local produce, Kobe beef, prime steaks, American buffalo and then pairs the upscale entrees with goofy gouda tater tots that are simply out of this world. Perhaps the chef’s willingness to punctuate his menu with fun and familiar accents makes the overall dining experience such a genuine pleasure.
Quattro Gastronomia Italiana
1014 Lincoln Road
Italian food at it’s best is simple, rustic and redolent of garlic and good olive oil. Perhaps the highest compliment an Italian chef can receive is to be compared to someone’s fond memories of family cooking.
While Quattro Gastronomia Italiana offers elegant dining service and more casual sidewalk seating, the chefs still capture that home made essence that makes an Italian meal feel like the warm embrace of something longed for and familiar. The restaurant is sleek and sparkling with double-height ceilings, a towering wine bar and impeccable service.
Founded in 2006, Quattro brings authentic northern Italian cuisine to South Beach by deftly fusing fresh local ingredients with the best imported products from Italy’s fertile agricultural Piedmont region. Famous for fine wines, tender beef, and the arborio rice used in risotto, regional Italian cooking reaches bold new heights at this popular Lincoln Road restaurant. Northern Italian cuisine is lighter, brighter and celebrates the freshness of the ingredients rather than covering them with heavy tomato sauces that are more popular in the south. Fresh burrata cheese, tender veal and house-made pastas start the meal which might include scallops of chicken, veal or beef tenderloin with fresh herbs, imported cheese and fresh seasonal vegetables. Be sure to save room for the airy chestnut mousse or zabaglione for dessert.
1022 Lincoln Road
Since 1997, United Kingdom import Balans Cafe has enjoyed a special significance for locals and visitors who gather under the shaded sidewalk tables to enjoy a delicious variety of satisfying dishes served from early morning until well past midnight.
Early risers can enjoy a traditional “English Fry” breakfast, a spicy egg burrito with chorizo sausage, berry-topped pancakes or a perfect eggs benedict. As the day wears on, the menu shifts to light bites to pair with a cocktail, summer-fresh salads and pastas or a plate of curry and a steak. The kitchen may start with it’s roots in England, but the local influences are a welcome addition to the menu.
House signature cocktails make the Lincoln Road bistro a popular spot at happy hour when pineapple spiked mojitos, electric lemonade and pear martinis share space on the bar with Pimm’s Cup, Guinness Stout and Newcastle Brown Ale. Guests can enjoy two-for-one pricing from 4-7pm weekdays though competition for a table in the afternoon can be daunting. New locations on Brickell Avenue and the Biscayne Corridor confirm that the unique mix of continental cuisine, friendly service and a thoughtfully presented wine and cocktail menu makes for a successful venture in a town with very aggressive competition. Balans offers something for everyone and serves it with a charming English accent.
1040 Lincoln Road
The coffee bar that launched a thousand South Beach stories got it’s start on the west end of Lincoln Mall where exhausted shoppers and gorgeous locals meet and mingle all day long.
Ten years later, Segafredo is the most sought-after meeting spot for theater-goers, movie dates, ladies who lunch and models between go-sees on South Beach. The layout is a rather deliberately haphazard mix of sofas, tables and easy chairs spread around a mosaic fountain in the center of the busy mall. By the time you have shopped, walked and people-watched your way from Collins Avenue to the far end of the action, this European style cafe is like a welcoming oasis of coffee, cocktails and interesting snacks.
Enjoy pizzas, bruschetta, seasonal salads and sandwiches in the company of tuckered out toddlers and pampered pets. Segafredo has a full liquor bar, an artful variety of signature tropical cocktails and champagne drinks to relax and revive you after a long work out at the shops. Service is friendly and familiar and the expectation that you might linger a while keeps the pace as unhurried as an afternoon in Rome. For a quick pick me up or an afternoon of la dolce vita, Segafredo is the coffee bar you’ll wish you had back home.