Breakfast in Miami is just as sacred a meal as the post-workout protein shake the bodybuilders in South Beach chug to get energy for the rest of the long, 90-degree day. Just beware: Miamians are notorious for being late, whether from the mind-numbing traffic or a hangover from bar hopping in Brickell. We’ll make it eventually. Starting off the day with a cafecito in hand is of the utmost importance to Miamians. Here are six local-approved breakfast joints, whether you want hearty or healthy, to kick off a day in the Magic City.
1. Jimmy’s Eastside Diner
Few tourists tend to venture into Miami’s Upper East Side, allowing locals to enjoy the neighborhood’s bevy of new boutiques and hip bars undisturbed. Only a handful of restaurants have stood the test of time, seeing the area shift from seedy hangout to historic, trendy paradise. Jimmy’s Eastside Diner is arguably the best of the bunch. Guests walking through the doors are welcomed by Shorty, a waitress who has commanded the eatery for over 30 years, then seated at a red vinyl booth. In-the-know locals can be spotted every Sunday noshing on golden hash browns, biscuits baked fresh by the hour, and Jimmy’s Jumbo Country Sausage, a six-inch-long link that will cure any morning after hangovers. Did I mention that it’s all under $10? Without even a website to boast about its history, many would never know the pivotal final scenes of Oscar-winning Moonlight were filmed in this diner.
Where: 7201 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL
2. Tinta y Cafe
With gleaming wood panel beams overhead, a glass wall strewn with vintage paperbacks, and ‘50s-era furniture loosely arranged around the open concept kitchen, you’ll feel like you’re in the heart of Havana rather than at Tinta y Cafe in Coral Gables’ Mediterranean-style city center. The gourmet cafeteria has been in business for 15 years. The Santamaria family runs the restaurant. The Santamarias are Cuban-Americans serving the island’s traditional breakfasts of carb-heavy, protein-packed sandwiches paired alongside croquettas and cortaditos. First-timers can try the namesake pressed breakfast sandwich featuring sizzling pork, prosciutto, and manchego cheese alongside a jet-fuel strength colada for 24-hour energy.
Where: 1315 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134
3. Delicious Raw
Located in Miami Beach’s fit-focused neighborhood of Sunset Harbour, Delicious Raw offers the toned and tanned locals a vegetarian, all-day breakfast menu. The casual restaurant, opened by Danish expat Flemming Madsen, takes advantage of Florida’s local produce whenever ingredients are in season, leading to a frequently shifting menu. Start the day with the most popular breakfast bite, the LeSmash, an upgrade to your typical avocado toast featuring black truffle oil, peak-ripe cherry tomatoes, microgreens, pumpkin seed dukkah, and shaved parmesan. If you’re craving something more indulgent but equally nutritious, go for the Righteous Waffle, made with energy-sustaining ancient grains and homemade vanilla almond milk then topped with a tart blueberry-lemon compote.
Where: 1828 Bay Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139
4. Alaska Coffee Roasting Company
It’s no surprise that just steps from a university campus sits one of the best coffee joints in the city. Alaska Coffee Roasting Company, as its name suggests, is a small-batch team of roasters that first opened up shop in Alaska before migrating down to North Miami and setting up a full-service restaurant. The owner, Michael Gesser, lived in Kenya for nearly a decade and developed a passion for the coffee-making process. Today, he works with producers from around the world, bringing home varietals from Jamaica’s famed Blue Mountains to the lesser-known beans of Uganda’s Sipi region.
The eatery is a local haunt for students from the neighboring Florida International University and Johnson & Wales University campuses, and it serves more than just java with a mouth-watering array of pastries lining the front counter. For a satisfying start to your morning, try the customizable breakfast pizza, topped with egg, ground sausage, and roasted red peppers baked in a wood fire oven before your eyes. End the meal with a Milan San Remo Espresso, the shop’s sweet and well-balanced seasonal blend.
Where: 13130 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami, FL 33181
Add OTL to the growing list of celebrity-swamped and religiously Instagrammed eateries by infamous nightclub owner and restaurateur David Grutman. Thankfully, OTL gives off a more laid-back vibe than his other projects. Located in Miami’s see-and-be-seen Design District, the casual café offers an all-day breakfast menu of sweet and savory dishes like the egg and cheese sandwich, which is a two-egg omelette on buttery brioche with cheddar, arugula, and poached tomato. A favorite amongst the snap-happy diners is the picture perfect Super Seed Butter Toast topped with meticulously places blueberries, sliced bananas, a light lemon zest and Maldon sea salt. Before you leave, grab an iced coffee by Counter Culture and do some window shopping around the ritzy boutiques next door.
Where: 160 NE 40th St, Miami, FL 33137
6. Greenstreet Cafe
Greenstreet Cafe is a Coconut Grove mainstay, standing as the neighborhood’s unrivaled breakfast spot for the last 30 years. The hours of inebriated conversation during a boozy brunch easily make up for the hour-long wait on a Saturday morning, especially if you’re sipping on a Grove Goddess, a breakfast tipple made with St-Germain, watermelon juice, and Aperol. If you want to avoid the crowds, go on a weekday and score prime seating on the cobblestoned terrace. For a classic breakfast, the popular Nova Platter with fresh sliced red onions, salty capers, and cream cheese never disappoints. More adventurous diners not afraid to ruin their beach bods can indulge in the massive Nutella French Toast, a thick cut loaf stuffed with the creamy hazelnut spread, topped with juicy strawberries, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Calorie counters beware.
Where: 3468 Main Hwy, Miami, FL 33133