I was recently lucky enough to spend a few days in Miami as part of my best friend's birthday celebration. It was the perfect girls' getaway, especially in mid-May, when it was still gray, gloomy, and cold in Boston but about 90 degrees in sunny Florida.
I took lots of pictures while I was there. Pictures of the skyline (see above), of the Wynwood murals, of the water...but tragically, no pictures of my food.
Rest assured, I was well fed during my stay in Miami! And even though I don't have any pictures to accompany this post, I wanted to pass along a few food recommendations and reflections about my time in Miami.
Arrived in Miami after 4 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon. Checked out our Airbnb, a great (and affordable) two-bedroom condo on Brickell Ave in downtown Miami. We had some truly fantastic views, including the sunset skyline pictured above.
After a quick trip to a nearby Trader Joe's to stock up on wine and gluten free snacks, we went to Marlins Park for a Marlins/Orioles game. Similar to Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, Marlins Park has a gluten free stand serving baseball food like hot dogs and beer. The stand actually had more options than any ballpark I've been to: 2 gluten free beers and a cider, hot dogs, nachos, etc. I got a Redbridge and a gluten free chili cheese dog (the first I'd had since my diagnosis)! I paid an arm and a leg for it, but hey, it's ballpark food so what can you do? Totally worth it.
Note: The gluten free stand was actually not in the location that was listed on the website. I forget where I ended up finding it, so not sure if the website has been updated or not. But if you have trouble locating it, don't be afraid to ask someone!
After a slow start Thursday morning, went for brunch at Morgans Restaurant in the trendy Wynwood neighborhood. Morgans doesn't have a separate gluten free menu, but I was able to find a few options. Ended up ordering a delicious frittata (and a few pitchers of Bellinis!). It was a cute place: mostly outdoor seating, but shaded and with fans overhead. Lunch and dinner options would likely be more limited.
After wandering Wynwood for several hours, checking out the murals and boutiques, we discovered a Latteria Italiana gelato counter by chance in Nomad Tribe Clothing. Best of all, all of the flavors were gluten free!
Thursday evening, my four friends and I took a private sunset cruise around Miami. We found a great deal on Groupon and got to spend more than 2 hours catching up, listening to music, and enjoying the views. It was BYOB, so we brought two bottles of rose and tons of gluten free crackers and cheese to hold us over until dinner. This ended up being one of our favorite parts of the whole trip!
For a late dinner, we headed to Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita (what a name). The waiter was able to point out a few gluten free options for me. I got the Baby Spinach and Organic Quinoa Salad, plus the "Huevos Rotos," which was eggs and beans. We sat in their rooftop eating area, which was nice since the sun was down. The customer service was great!
To kick off my last day in Miami, started off the day at Aroma Espresso Bar in Miami Beach. I got an egg and cheese sandwich on a gluten free roll. Weirdly, they put the egg and cheese on a plate, next to the bun, which was still in a plastic bag. It was a little annoying having to assemble my own sandwich, but I'd rather do that than risk more cross contamination so I didn't mind too much. The service was slow, but the sandwich was pretty good. I also got a frozen hazelnut drink that was too sweet for me (which is saying something because I have a huge sweet tooth)!
After spending the afternoon at the beach, started to get a little hungry. Strolled along the main street, which is very touristy, but had a hard time finding any place that seemed remotely celiac friendly, which was discouraging. Luckily, I have great friends who were willing to wander until we found a place that catered to us all, and we ended up heading to DIRT // Eat Clean. It's a great, health-oriented place with gluten free options clearly marked on the menu. I ordered some kombucha and the Clean Bowl, a breakfast dish of egg whites, avocado, sweet potato, and other goodies.
A few hours later, headed to another late dinner. For our last meal in Miami, we chose a place near our Airbnb, Cantina La 20. They didn't have a separate gluten free menu and the regular menu wouldn't load when I went to their website, so I was a little skeptical going in, but it turned out to be great. Our waiter was phenomenal: he asked right away if anyone had allergies and reassured me that I'd be well taken care of when I mentioned I had celiac disease. Instead of bread, they gave us each a small cup of some type of seafood broth that was naturally gluten free. They had delicious corn tortillas that they were hand making on the premises. I ended up ordering a pork taco dish and some oysters. It was pricey but a great meal! Plus, they had a huge mariachi band (like 10+ people) going around playing live music around the tables, which was so much fun! They were very talented!
We didn't wrap up dinner until after midnight, and then it was time to catch some ZZZs before my (very very) early flight the next morning.
Going into it, I wasn't sure whether Miami would be for me, but I ended up having a blast! Great beaches, a fun atmosphere, and plenty of gluten free options to be found once I did some digging. I hope to go back some day and spend some more time exploring all that Miami has to offer!