Dining Alone in Miami

 

Sometimes we all need a little "me time." Here are Miami's best places to eat when you're a party of one.

big squeeze image
You and your lunch make such a nice couple.
 

Sometimes dining alone can make one feel like there's an invisible "L" (for loser) beaming from one's forehead. But dining solo has some perks - you're free to read, to think and, best of all, you never, ever have to share anything on your plate.

Here are some of Miami's best places to grab a table for one:

 

Miami Juice in Sunny Isles Beach is where loyal guests sashay from outdoor tables to an indoor counter while sounds ranging from Buju Banton to Avril Lavigne cascade amid the scent of fresh fruit and veggies.

Diners can enjoy ice-cold pitchers of water spiked with roughly cut orange slices and giant sprigs of mint, and take in a menu of hummus with falafel ($7.95), veggie burgers ($8.95), and the blackened red snapper ($22.95) served with organic brown rice and assorted vegetables. (Pro tip: dab spicy curry ginger sauce for a more exotic taste experience.)

The Green Power Drink-- made with fresh Italian parsley, green apple, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, romaine, spinach, broccoli, carrot, kale, and dandelion-- is a true heat-wave tonic ($8.95).

Miami Juice, 18660 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach; 305-935-9544.

Head due south on Collins to La Sandwicherie where the ultimate counter spot for sandwiches, salads, juices and smoothies reigns over South Beach. 

Post up at the "bar" and order a "Pink Goddess" juice featuring carrot, celery, cucumber and beet ($5.75) while you wait for the Turkey and Camembert sandwich on a crispy French baguette ($8.20). This French-owned eatery is open late, too, so you can save yourself from a killer hangover until 5 a.m. 

The best part: Solo diners usually find a seat faster than larger groups and they get their own squeeze bottle of the signature French Vinaigrette. Now who wants to share that?

La Sandwicherie, 229 14th St., Miami Beach; 305-532-8934.

 

The Café at Books & Books on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach offers solo diners the ultimate ménage a trois: Curried Chicken Salad, a cool glass of Chardonnay and some Joan Didion or John Steinbeck.

This café is an excellent place to browse a smorgasbord of titles (or pretend to do so). The menu boasts sandwiches and salads including Tuna Nicoise ($14.95), and Pan-Asian Chicken, $10.95.

Black bean hummus, served with bagel chips ($4.95), sounded good for starters, but seemed bland after a few minutes.

Tastier was the Curried Chicken Salad ($9.95), prepared with golden raisins, walnuts and a yellow curry, and served with couscous and mixed greens.

Portions are substantial, so there's enough to take home for 3 a.m. munchies.

The super cool glass of Rock River Chardonnay ($7.50) is a nice pairing with the curry flavor, but there's also a decent selection of reds and whites ranging between $5 and $9.50 by the glass, $18 and $38 by the bottle. Beers are all $4.95.

On Saturdays, the café closes at midnight, so there's plenty of time to nibble on The Grapes of Wrath.

The Café at Books & Books, 933 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-695-8898.

 

At Zuma in the Epic Hotel, the bar is area is always bustling with an interesting cast of characters who are eating some of the best Japanese food in town. The cocktails here are top-notch as well so you're sure to be satisfied in every way after a solo meal. The upscale restaurant also boasts an impressive sake selection. 

The prawn and black cod dumplings are a must as is the king crab dressed with ponzu lime butter from the robata grill. 

If you're looking for a quick lunch, go for Zuma's set menu that aims to get you in and out in less than one hour. The chirashi bowl is the standout on this menu. 

Zuma, Epic Hotel, 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; 305-577-0277.

Speak Up!