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For our short stay in Miami, I didn’t schedule any activities really – I thought our time would be better spent roaming around the beach and sitting by the pool at The Metropolitan. Which for the most part, is what we did.
On a whim however, I decided to schedule us a quick tour of Miami Beach so we could get our butts away from the water and explore the area. And what better way to tour, than a food tour, so we could stuff our faces? I found Miami Culinary Tours online easily, and booked a South Beach Food Tour.
Our first stop on the tour was about a mile from our hotel, and we had a nice time walking to our meeting destination – Bolivar!
Bolivar was one of our favorite stops on the first tour, so a great way to kick off the day. The restaurant served Columbian cuisine, so we started off with a traditional Columbian refresher – Aguila beer mixed with soda! This was delicious.
The star however, was the food. We each were given a small plate with a beef empanada and a passionfruit ceviche. The ceviche – wow! If we had had more time during our trip, we definitely would have come back to Bolivar for more ceviche.
After Bolivar, we were off to our next stop. This time it was for something sweet. We went to an Argentinean bakery – Manolo, which specialized in churros.
To be honest I’ve never been the biggest churro fan (though of course I’d never turn one down, I have a sweet tooth). But I would gladly take a Manolo dulce de leche filled churro over a piece of pie or cupcake, any day! These were amazing, and oozed delicious caramel sauce with every bite.
During our tour, we didn’t just go from food stop to food stop – we also took some time to walk around the city and explore Miami Beach along the way. I’ve always been interested in Art Deco and the architecture style, so our guide took time to share some of her favorite Art Deco buildings and point out specific aspects of each’s architecture.
One of my favorite buildings was the Breakwater Hotel.
Our next food destination after Manolo was Habanos – a Cuban restaurant. We started off with plantain chips which were served with a spicy dipping sauce. These were fine, but I only had a few.
I wanted to save my room for what in my mind was the good stuff – pulled pork Cuban sandwiches! The ones we had were slider sized which I prefer. Delicious!
Another one of my favorite buildings that we passed – the Tides South Beach hotel.
I’m not a Kelly Wreastler devotee but I loved the interiors she did in this hotel. I thought she did a great job of updating the space while paying homage to the building’s history. I loved the original Terrazzo stone floors.
Our next food stop – Charlotte Bakery, where we got to choose from a variety of empanadas. I had chicken. This bakery was so good, and everything looked delicious. I’d definitely come back here next time in Miami Beach!
After the empanada, which was already quite big, I was started to feel really stuffed. I thought that surely we would be ending our tour soon – however, instead we marched onto our next stop – a local pizza joint called Block’s Pizza.
Upon hearing the words “pizza,” I thought I could sit this one out. However, we started to learn more about what made Block’s special – including that they only used fresh, organic ingredients (they don’t even have a fridge!), and they used a special “Mother” dough from hundreds of years ago.
Then, our guide brought out these sun dried tomato “pockets” for us and I decided I needed to have a few bites after all. Wonderful!
By now, our guide knew that my stomach had reached its lifetime limit and assured me that we were heading to our very last food stop. We walked a few blocks and headed down a very cute alleyway filled with restaurants and small stores.
We stopped a little while in at Milani – which our guide assured us served some of the best gelato in town. How could I pass this up? The worker explained to us that all the flavors were arranged in a wheel for easy scooping and access.
We each got to pick two flavors, so I had lemon and pistachio. Yum!
After our tour ended, we took our time walking back to our hotel and enjoying the sights of Miami Beach. It was the perfect activity for our day and a great introduction to the area. If you find yourself in Miami, I’d highly recommend Miami Culinary Tours.
Thanks for reading along!