A great vacation certainly starts with a lounge chair on Miami Beach, but it ends with a sampling of some of the best local food and drink South Florida has to offer. An eclectic mix of cultures means a dazzling array of cuisines and styles you have to taste to believe.
Miami sees millions of visitors every year staying in luxury beachside hotels like the Gale South Beach and they all want to know where they can experience the best food and wine culture in the city. Here’s our list of can’t-miss food and wine festivals throughout the year so you can eat and drink well during your Miami vacation.
What’s better than a food festival? One that benefits the local community! Entering it’s 23rd year in May of 2020, VeritageMiami is hosted by the United Way of Miami-Dade to support education and financial stability initiatives across South Florida. The festival includes numerous tasting and demonstration events, but perhaps the most popular is the craft beer tasting at the famous Wynwood Walls. Featuring some of the regions most popular breweries including Wynwood Brewing Co., Barrel of Monks Brewing, Funky Buddha Brewery, M.I.A. Beer Company and a ton of others from all over the country, the festival is a must-visit for beer lovers enjoying their Miami vacation.
A collection of local bakeries, restaurants and confectioneries stop by the festival to give out samples of their delicious dishes. The laid back, art-centric atmosphere makes it a fun event for all kinds of vacationers who are looking for something fun and unique after a day spent soaking up the sun at the beach.
Stay at the Hilton Miami Downtown for a quick ride to Wynwood and stunning views of Biscayne Bay. The hotel is also prime for those about to cruise as it’s one of the closest hotels to PortMiami.
South Beach Wine & Food Festival
One of the most anticipated events in all of Miami Beach, the South Beach Food & Wine Festival is a gathering of the world’s top chefs, sommeliers and more. Over the course (no pun intended) of five days, Miami Beach enjoys gourmet tastings, cooking demonstrations, brunches, lunches, events for kids and oh yeah, the most famous beach in the world just a few steps away.
If you’re visiting South Beach during the festival in February 2020, Miami beach hotels, including The Gates Hotel, offer accommodations nearby all the best food and wine events as well as the beach. Those staying at the hotel don’t have to go far for authentic Latin America cuisine. OLA Restaurant serves up some of Miami’s best ceviche from nothing but the freshest fish. OLA combines classic Spanish and Caribbean flavors for a unique culinary experience each and every time. If you’re impressed by the menu, just wait until you see the wine list compiled by Sommelier Albert O’Mahen.
The South Beach Food & Wine Festival, brought to you by the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, features a number of the channel’s on-air talent like Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri, Giada De Laurentiis and more. Who will you spot enjoying something delicious in the sunshine?
Miami Rum Renaissance Festival
A staple on board every pirate ship, both real and fictional, rum is one of the most popular liquors on the planet. However, understanding the many varieties is something most don’t appreciate. The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival comes to the Magic City in May and you don’t have to be a salty swashbuckler to enjoy it. Rum-makers from all over the Caribbean bring their best small batch rums to the table for sampling.
The Grand Tasting Bar and the VIP Tasting Bar are the best places to try different rums at the festival and see which one you like the best. From spiced to silver and everything in between, rum is a more versatile drink than meets the eye. Try some new flavors and expand your palate for your next night out.
Those staying in Coconut Grove are just a few blocks from the venue, as well as Miami’s famous Calle Ocho Cuban district.
We suggest trying a Cuban sandwich, if you get the chance! Some of the best Cuban Restaurants in Miami to get one include:
- Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop
- Havana 1957
- Sanguich De Miami
- La Carreta
- Chef Sucre Cafe
South Beach Seafood Festival
Stone crabs, anyone? The best of the best when it comes to seafood descends on Miami in October for the South Beach Seafood Festival. This family-friendly festival features the area’s top seafood chefs and restaurants offering tastings, cooking demonstrations and specialty cocktails including Bloody Mary and Bellini bars. The festival features live music throughout the day making it a great stop for those on vacation looking for something to explore.
Not only is the event great for families, but it also benefits EAT SMART, the festival’s non-profit arm which helps promote local youth programs for eating and living well.
So, the next time you visit Miami on vacation, make sure you pack your swimsuit and your appetite, because you’re going to need both!