As a longtime New Yorker who recently moved to Miami, I quickly realized there is a better chance of getting a taxi that accepts credit cards than finding a decent slice of foldable pizza around here.
So I set off to find my favorite parts of NYC in MIA, from delis and dough-based foods to craft cocktails and live music.
What did I find? All of the kinds of things I love about living in New York, minus the whole it’s-freezing-and-I-live-in-a-fifth floor-walk-up.
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Panther Coffee in Wynwood, 2390 NW Second Ave., reminds me of my beloved Ninth Street Espresso up North, both with unique, bold roasts and a dedicated following of the ultrahip.
With a Panther shop in Miami Beach, 1875 Purdy Ave., and a new one that opened this week in Coconut Grove, 3407 Main Hwy., chances are good that my favorite neighborhood coffee spot could be yours, too.
A lot of bars in South Beach feel like cleverly disguised dance clubs. And my dance moves? Nobody wants that. Luckily I’ve been able to scout out a few bars around town that remind me of my (former) home.
The Corner, 1035 N. Miami Ave., Miami: Despite the obvious likeness in names, if you are a fan of Spitzer’s Corner in New York’s Lower East Side, you’ll love this intimate and dimly lit craft-beer wonderland full of New York transplants.
Broken Shaker, 2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach: I can only describe this as the subtropical Death & Co. of South Florida. Never overcrowded, and you feel like you are the most important person in the world. Because your cocktail, just yours, was made with extra precision and care.
Regent Cocktail Club & Rec Room, 1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach: Part Raines Law Room, part Bowery Hotel Bar Lobby, The Regent Cocktail Club, with its bow-tie wearing bartenders and old-timey drink menu, makes you question if those jeans you wore were an appropriate apparel choice. Afterward, head downstairs to New York’s No. 8 sister lounge, Rec Room, for a taste of Amy Sacco’s retro flair.
Missing New York staple Lure Fishbar in Soho? Then you should try, well, Lure Fishbar, 1601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The outstanding Bash Burger (a perennial New York and South Beach Wine & Food Festival winner) and larger-than-life-personality chef Josh Capon working the room may have you questioning what city you are in after your second glass of rosé.
If Miami’s lack of ramen options has you questioning life outside New York, good news: Momi Ramen exists, at 5 Southwest 11th St. in Brickell. And it’s good. Really good. The noodles are thicker than your beloved Momofuku Noodle Bar, but the earthy pork belly-laden broth brings you right back to why you love this stuff.
When it comes to veggies, there is nothing better than Westville’s neverending list of daily farm-fresh veggies on the menu board. (OK, the mint-lemonade prosecco is also a winner.) Blue Collar, 6730 Biscayne Blvd., in Miami comes close. REAL close. With its low-key vibe and menu full of chef Daniel Serfer’s daily veggie sides, you’ll be back for brunch, lunch and dinner.
My Big Three: Pizza, Calzone, More Pizza. Like a cab driver who miraculously takes a credit card without a fight, the pizza at Lucali, 1930 Bay Rd., in Miami Beach is perfection, nearly identical to its Brooklyn original. The open-air kitchen, candlelit interior, and four-item menu make you feel like you’re back in Carroll Gardens fighting Jay & Bey for a table.
More dough: For bagels, it’s hard for anywhere in South Florida to strike that special New York-ness of, say, Ess-a-Bagel, but Sage Bagels & Appetizer Shop, 800 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., in Hallandale Beach is pretty much a hole in one. Nova, tomato, cream cheese and onion on an everything bagel on Sunday morning? Yes, please.
Movies and Music
Listen: New York has some pretty amazing music venues, including the Beacon Theater and Hammerstein Ballroom. Anyone missing New York’s music scene should catch a show at The Fillmore, 1700 Washington Ave., in Miami Beach. The acoustics and vibe are killer, but best of all most shows are first-come seating. And in Miami that means if you show up on time, you are actually early. And if you show up late, well you’re still on time. Either way you can usually score front-row center, no problem.
Watch: Summers in New York mean outdoor movies galore. Missing the overcrowded HBO Bryant Park Film Festival lawn? Even better: Miami has a drive-in. Grease. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The Big Lebowski. The Princess Bride. With a lineup like this, I’ll probably just fill my trunk with popcorn and park it at the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in, 3500 Main Hwy., in Coconut Grove.
Beth Accardi is a Miami-based writer. firstname.lastname@example.org.