Where To Eat After The Beach If You’re A Little Sandy & Gross

When you’re sandy, sweaty, and too hungry to go home and change, go to one of these spots.
Where To Eat After The Beach If You’re A Little Sandy & Gross image

When you’re at the beach, it’s hard to focus on anything but the beach. It has a way of cleansing your head of all unpleasant thoughts, like the fact that you forgot to pay for parking and there’s probably a ticket sitting on your windshield right now. But as soon as you step off the sand, those thoughts come back into focus, including the fact that you’re starving. But there’s a problem: you’re sandy, sweaty, and covered in sunscreen. So you need to find a place that won’t care that you’re crusted in salt like a branzino and serves something that’ll be satisfying after a day spent baking like a potato on the hot sand. These restaurants should do the trick, no matter what part of Miami Beach you find yourself on.


photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc


Miami Beach

$$$$Perfect For:Outdoor/Patio SituationWalk-InsEating At The Bar
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Take a walk down the Miami Beach boardwalk—all the way from 1st Street to Haulover Inlet—and you’ll see plenty of bars and restaurants. But 99.9% of them exist exclusively for tourists who don’t know any better. That’s why Louie’s, a tiki hut situation in the back of a Mid-Beach hotel, is so valuable. This Cuban concept is one of the only local-friendly options a mere 15 yards from the sand. The menu is mostly things between bread. They make a very meaty Cuban sandwich that’s one of Miami’s best, and creamy shrimp croquetas worth ordering. There’s a full bar, too.

This small North Beach spot is one block from the ocean, and they make Lebanese wraps that are perfect for a little picnic on the sand or post-beach lunch. The menu isn’t huge, but options include a soujok wrap, falafel wraps, and—our favorite—the kafta wrap: ground beef and minced onions between two grilled pitas wrapped around pickles, tomato, and a house sauce. There are also some bowls and an excellent off-menu Lebanese-style burger worth asking about. It's stuffed with coleslaw, fries, and gets pressed just like the wraps, which gives the outside of the bun some gorgeous grill marks and a nice crisp.

La Tiendita II is a tiny South Beach Peruvian market with a small but mighty selection of sandwiches. The chicken and pork are our favorites. The chicken comes with shredded chicken in a creamy sauce, and we’re pretty sure we saw potato chips in there too. The pork—their version of a Peruvian butifarra—uses a thick slab of tender pork, which contrasts nicely with crispy potato sticks and more of that creamy sauce. There are some tables inside and suspiro in the fridge. Plus, you can walk out of here with Peruvian pantry items like mote. 

It's hard to find great pizza al taglio in Miami. Unless you are standing in front of North Beach's Blozzom, in which case, congratulations, you've found it. This casual spot has a selection of square pizzas they cut with scissors to create slices as big or as small as you'd like. The dough is thin but airy—and the toppings are outstanding. It works great as a takeout spot (the pizzas reheat wonderfully) but there's also indoor and outdoor seating that works for a post-beach meal.

Some foods seem designed specifically for certain situations: hot dogs and baseball games, popcorn and movie theaters, $20 salads and working through your lunch break. You can add the beach and a fruit salad from Athens Juice Bar to that list. After a hot, salty day getting tossed around by waves, this is the most refreshing thing you can ask for. It comes with bananas, mangoes, oranges, more seasonal fruit, and is topped with a syrupy fruit pulp they call “nectar.” It’s like a defibrillator of sugar, and that is what you need right now.

Just a block from Lincoln Road is Tacombi—a casual taqueria that won’t care if you apply aloe vera on your friend’s back while you wait for your order. The most impressive part of these tacos is how much meat they put into each one. We like the baja crispy fish taco with cod that’s crunchy outside and juicy inside. Plus, those bottles of salsa really come in handy. Try the sierras verdes on the baja crispy fish and the smoky tierra norte with morita chile on an al pastor. Just don’t forget the corn esquites—which is spicy, creamy, and served hot. Post-beach margaritas are also an option.

Las Olas is a solid Cuban ventanita and cafeteria in South Beach. And they have the holy trinity of great post-beach things to consume: cafecito (for energy), fresh juice (for hydration), and one of Miami’s best Cuban sandwiches (for deliciousness). Consume all of the above and you will feel as happy as the seagull who stole that bag of potato chips right out of your hand.

If you spent an hour chasing your umbrella down the beach after an unexpected gust of wind and are now cartoon hungry—like, everything you look at is turning into a giant ham—then rush to La Sandwicherie. The South Beach sidewalk cafe is known as a late-night spot, so they’ve seen much worse than your sandy ankles, but this place is just as good sober and when the sun’s out. The sandwiches are huge, made to order, and stuffed generously with just about anything you can think of. Grab one to-go or eat at the counter where you’ll have a big squeeze bottle of their great house vinaigrette at your disposal.

Just because you left the beach doesn’t mean you want to stop staring at the water. Shuckers can help keep the views coming with its dockside seating, which is really the best reason to come here. It’s also one of the only casual waterfront restaurants where the prime views don’t come with incessant house music and $300 bottles of rosé whizzing by your head. The food here is what you want in a breezy raw bar—they have solid wings and seafood—but the best part of Shuckers is its wide-open view of Biscayne Bay.

Collins Pizza is a casual slice shop in North Beach where no one will get upset if you smell a little like seaweed. They also happen to make one of the best New York slices in the whole city. They use a slowly fermented dough (72 hours, in case you were curious), which gives the crust a great flavor. If you’re too hungry to make a decision, get the vodka pie. It’s foldable and delicious, with perfect ratios of sauce to cheese.

You’re dehydrated and sun drunk so let’s keep this simple. Ignore the army of pastries in this little bakery on Collins and ask for the Venezuelan empanadas. Then make the very easy commute across the narrow restaurant to one of the high-top tables, locate the wonderful house sauce, and be careful not to burn your tongue off. Get the one stuffed with queso or pabellón and, if you want to save your tongue from some serious trauma, try biting little holes in the corners and blowing the steam out like you’re playing an empanada saxophone.

Under the Mango Tree is a very tasty option if you want something involving vegetables or fruit. They do good versions of all the current juice cafe hits: acai bowls, juices, smoothies, and meatless sandwiches like their spicy kale melt. The store is small, with a lot of plants, indoor seating, and the personality of a yoga studio, which will help ease the transition of relaxing on the beach to screaming in traffic.

The more casual conjoined twin to Joe’s Stone Crab serves most of the same stuff you’ll find in the fancy dining room next door. Except there’s no dress code here and you won’t have to wait nearly as long for your food. Get some stone crabs if they’re in season and you want them bad enough to spend $12 per claw. Otherwise, the fried chicken is less than $10 and really good with a side of Joe’s hash browns.

This South Florida chain has been a favorite since 1959. And we like the Surfside location a lot—it's dark and wooden, like the hull of an old ship. It's actually our second favorite Flanigan's location in Miami (yes, we ranked them all). Both the wings (free every Wednesday if you buy a pitcher of beer) and ribs will give you the sustenance you need after helping your little cousin build sandcastles for six hours. The service is quick, and this place is both a solid spot for your post-beach comedown and a fascinating glimpse into the South Florida psyche.

We love a name that gets right to the point: oranges, Toys “R” Us, Big & Tall. You know what you’re in for, and that’s exactly the case with Burgers and Shakes. This isn’t the best burger in Miami (the milkshakes and fries are better), but it’s a convenient place to toast a successful day at the beach, which is only a football field away from the restaurant’s sidewalk seating. Stick with their classic cheeseburger. It’s not too messy like some of their more elaborate options. The great shakes are refreshingly straightforward with vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate flavors.

The thought of eating pizza with a yuca crust sounds about as fun as eating a sand castle. But Krunch somehow makes a great one. This casual Key Biscayne pizza shop is the only place in Miami we’ve found that makes pizzas and crepes out of yuca dough. The result is a thin cracker-like crust that doesn’t flop, is gluten-free, and tastes undeniably delicious. Most of their seating is outside under a shady pergola, where you can sit by a relaxing fountain after a day of fighting clumps of sargassum and not have to worry about freezing by an air vent in a damp bathing suit. 

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