I came, I saw, I ate my way around Miami!
I knew Miami was going to be an adventure as soon as I was hit by the heat as well as the shocking statement from my Uber driver, as soon as I jumped into one at the airport, that apparently Ubers are not legal in Miami.
The next morning, I woke up at 4am, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and eager to explore!
I decided to #carpediem and go to watch the sunrise on the beach. After talking briefly to the valet guy, who confirmed that Ubers are not very safe and that I should get a proper taxi to the beach. Especially at that time of day, so I spent $25 on a ‘real’ cab and arrived at the beach with half my daily budget blown before 8am -__-
Luckily, the gentle sunrise washed any feelings of being dumped, and I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I was so happy to be by the ocean again, wearing just little shorts and an off-the-shoulder top.
Yoga on the beach.
After a brief gratitude meditation, I was lucky to find myself in the perfect location for the yoga session, which takes place every day at sunrise and sunset by the orange lifeguard booth. I somehow managed to lose my camera cap that morning whilst vlogging, all before 8am? BUT, that’s why we do yoga, to refocus, centre and go again. We done some vinyasa sun salutations, but it wasn’t the smartest idea to try to do yoga in batty riders and braless in an off the shoulder top.. I am sure my fellow, innocent yogis got an eyeful, I apologise to anyone who saw up me.
After yoga, I had a brief chat with the yoga teacher and some other locals and they reassured me that Uber is actually legal and that is it the best way to get around Miami. Particularly because public transport isn’t great and taxis are very expensive. So I could have instead paid around $10 instead of $25, but my life is worth more, especially at the beginning of my trip, right?
Best Dragon Fruit Bowl on the Beach.
For breakfast, I went to Pura Vida; a newly-opened Cafe in South Beach. They have a lot of vegan options as well as smoothies, breakfast bowls, coffee and much fuller options for lunch. They are not exclusively vegan, but at the time, this was the only place which was open that was close to where the yoga took place. I ordered the dragon fruit bowl, which came with coconut flakes, sliced almonds, granola, bananas and big chunks of mango. It was very delicious, not too sweet and with a lovely crunch from the fresh granola, with the right balance of smoothie and toppings. The ‘small’ portion was very filling.
Lunch at Full Bloom Vegan
A recently-opened, all-vegan, more upscale restaurant in South Beach overlooking a beautiful harbour.
It was set up by three guys who saw a niche, as there are not enough healthy, organic and vegan restaurants, which people can go to around South Beach Miami. They themselves are vegan and felt that there were nowhere to go to and have a nice gourmet vegan meal at in the area. They now are proud owners of this gorgeous space with a Miami backdrop in the heart of Miami.
The menu has plenty of choices; all the ingredients are locally-sourced and organic whenever possible. They have a nice variety of raw vegan dishes as well as cooked vegan dishes starting from $9 and going up to $21 for starters and mains. Dishes include homemade spinach gnocchi with mint sauce, soba noodle Japanese salad, and a classic cheeseburger with fries and salad. I opted for a some of their bestsellers and something gluten-free and light, as I can’t eat much in that kind of heat!
I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch and will come here again when I am next in Miami! The owners are extremely friendly and passionate and they want to make a difference in Miami and the world, and I totally dig people like that! #RESPECT
Feeding the homeless in Wynwood
The afternoon was spent at Wynwood, an Art District. As soon as I stepped out of my Uber there was a gentleman who was picking up a dropped sign which belonged to the shop which I wanted to visit. People are so friendly in Miami so after hearing my British accent, if you can call it that, Jay was propelled to tell me a classic joke about 3 British nuns. Turns out that he is one of the homeless men in the area, and other than giving him money, I told him I can buy him lunch.
He chose Coyo’s which is a taco place across the road. He ordered things that I would rather not hear (steak something or rather taco’s and a milkshake *hides face*) whilst we talked about his desire to wash his clothes and sleeping bag as well as life in general. (Meet him in my vlog!)
By this time, my mobile and my camera battery were running out of juice, I decided to briefly walk through Wynwood Walls which is an outdoor gallery, of local artists expressing themselves on the walls of Wynwood. The detail and uniqueness of these were spectacular.
Dinner at Choice’s Cafe
As I was sponsored by Open World Travel to come to Miami and explore the vegan scene, I needed to pay my respects to Choice’s Cafe.
It was the first organic, plant-based restaurant to open in Miami. Now, with five locations, the owner, Alex Cuevas and his team are on a mission to expand to 100 stores nation- and world-wide. It’s a mission that Cuevas is passionate about since he became a vegan at the age of 10. The food varies from salad bowls to comfort foods, which people would miss when doing the transition from a carnivorous diet to a plant-based one. Dishes vary from $5 to $18 and they even have a menu for meals costing under $10. They have a lot of gluten-free options and pride themselves on being organic. They encourage customers not to tip, as there is no need due to them paying their staff members a great wage.
I got the taco sliders with plantain and avocado, brownie and chai tea. The taco’s were a little bland and tortilla was dry and overall the taco was messy to eat. I think the tiny bit of plantain saved them. I’ve also had better brownies than this one, which was pretty crumbly and quite dry. I heard such amazing reviews of this place, but I felt as if even in a short time in Miami I had already had much better vegan food than this. However, I feel as if I would have enjoyed the food more if I had picked something I would usually order, like a big healthy bowl of goodness. However, like I said it is LOVED by many, don’t let my experience put you off, I would go back myself and try something different next time, that’s all.
Happy Hour Friday at Epic Hotel
On Friday evenings Epic Hotel is where it’s at! They have wonderful sunset views, as well as a happy hour on Fridays at the rooftop bar. The drinks start at $5 each at 5pm and go up a dollar as the time goes by, has an older crowd and music which I wasn’t a fan of but I went there for “work”. I would of enjoyed it more if I was there with some friends, and not alone with a huge DSLR camera, looking like a right tourist.
The next day I had more new vegan restaurants to explore and a tan to build on!
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A massive thank you to Open World Travel for sponsoring this trip, and please be informed that although most of these restaurants hosted me, my reviews are honest as transparent.