Best of Miami 2012

3 a.m. snack you will regret in the morning – Denny’s
By Spencer Dandes

You stumble back from the Grove at 3 a.m. desperate for nourishment. Can you really stomach another drive-thru? Come on, treat yourself to some high-class dining. And by high-class we mean Denny’s and by dining we mean the Grand Slam breakfast, served 24 hours a day.

But if you want to take even more of a risk while marred in your druken stupor, order the Fried Cheese Melt. Listen closely: grilled cheese on sourdough bread, with four mozzarella sticks INSIDE. Enjoy it, because it may be the last bad decision you ever make.

Denny’s is located at 1150 S. Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables, right across from campus.

Bar that’s worth the beer belly – Yard house
By Allison Novack
With one of the world’s largest selection of drafts, Yard House always has the beer you’re looking for. Watch out though!It’s hard not to make your way to the huge food menu, listing everything you could be looking for too. The combination of the two is always bound to grow out that belly… happily.Luckily, Yard House is located in Merrick Park, so you can feel classy with your beer belly. This bar and restaurant has locations in more than 10 states, but the one in Merrick Park has become a hot spot for University of Miami students.

Yard House has a three-hour happy hour beginning at 3 p.m. on weekdays, and another at 10 p.m. for late night drinkers. If you’re feeling risky, try the beer floats for dessert – a combination of ice cream and your selection of a cold one.

Yard House is located at 320 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables.

Catch of the day – Joe’s Stone Crab
By Brittany Weiner

Two words:  stone crabs.

If you are craving seafood and want to be treated like a celeb (your waiter will be decked out in a tux), Joe’s is simply the best place to go.  And as the ultimate catch you get to wear a bib.

Joe’s is only open when the stone crabs are in season from mid-October to mid-May. Order your pre-cracked jumbo claws in one of  four portion sizes different sizes, all for market price.  Make sure you try the famous mustard dipping sauce.

As for sides, pair these babies with hashed browns, grilled tomatoes smothered with cheese, or their Skinny Fried Sweet Potatoes ($6.95).  Top it off with Joe’s Original Homemade Key Lime Pie ($6.95) per slice) and your set for a meal in heaven.

Joe’s Stone Crab is located at 11 Washington Ave,, Miami Beach. 

Day trip –  Key Largo
 By Danny Cepero
Pack your cars with friends and family, and drive yourselves down to Key Largo. A beautiful island in the Keys that’s known around the world for kayaking, diving, and fishing. The island also boasts great restaurants with fresh and delicious meals, especially seafood. The hour-long ride itself can be an adventure, but once you get to the island, you will never want to leave the beautiful sunsets and gorgeous water.
Festival – Ultra
By Nicky Diaz
Ultra Music Festival is probably the most popular music event in South Florida. For some, it’s the chance of a lifetime to see all their favorite DJs perform in one venue. For others, it’s just an excuse to wear as little and colorful as possible. Regardless, if you haven’t had the chance of catching David Guetta or Avicii live, you should untzh-untzh your way to Ultra next March. And you never know, maybe the Material Girl herself, Madonna, will make an appearance again next year.Ultra Music Festival is an annual event in Downtown Miami. Next year, it will be celebrating its 15th anniversary – so the party will be all out.
Hole-in-the-wall bar – Tobacco Road
By Allison NovackThis hole in the wall bar holds the title of Miami’s oldest bar. It’s a great spot for some cheap beer and live music. Men in biker jackets getting their rock ‘n’ roll fix make up the regular crowd.While jamming to the classics and ordering beer from tatted up bartenders, don’t be afraid to check out the bar grub. The menu includes a variety of greasy food include some incredible burgers. Not to mention, Monday night is all you can eat ribs and wings night, something actually worth damaging your eardrums and inhaling constant cigarette smoke for.Tobacco Road is located at 626 South Miami Ave., Miami.  

Kept secret – A.C.’s Icees in Kennedy Park
By Spencer Dandes
Is there anything better than frozen lemonade? Well, yes, and it’s sitting in a truck in Kennedy Park. A.C.’s Icees has been serving unbelievably delicious frosted lemonade for more than 30 years from the same trusty parking spot. There’s really nothing more satisfying when it’s 146 degrees outside and another slurpee from the C-Store just won’t cut it. Plus, it’s kind of exciting to order your drink from the same man whose face is emblazoned on the cups. Throw in one of A.C.’s hot dogs and perhaps a frisbee to complete a relaxing afternoon at the park.Kennedy Park is located at 2400 S. Bayshore Dr., Miami.

Miami-bred band – Cris Cab
By Nicky Diaz
Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Sean Kingston, Jason DeRulo, Flo Rida. What do all these musicians have in common? They’re from Miami. The Magic City is known for spewing out talent into the music industry. Its latest prodigy? Cris Cab. You’ve probably heard his cover of Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” or his original song, “Good Girls.” The 18-year-old singer is on his way to the top; he’s even toured with T-Pain and the Gym Class Heroes. Next time he performs in Miami, make sure to check it out.
New trendy spot – 100 Montaditos
By Alexa Lopez
Indecisive diners, beware: 100 Montaditos, straight from Spain, offers one hundred 4- or 5-inch sandwiches filled with ingredients from hummus and vegetables to duck mousse with strawberry jam. Order between three and five montaditos for a filling meal, which comes with a pile of salty kettle-cooked chips, for less than $10. Montaditos are typically between $1 and $3, but visit the South Miami or Midtown locations on Wednesdays for $1 montaditos and beer. Take a bite into popular montaditos like the smoked salmon and cream cheese; pulled barbecue pork with cheddar cheese, bacon and crispy onions; Serrano ham with iberic cheese and salmorejo; and dulce de leche and chocolate spread. Don’t be afraid to take a risk with trying 100 Montaditos’ odd combinations – these flavors are worth it.
100 Montaditos is located at 5829 SW 73rd St., Miami.
Restaurant for a date – Perricone’s
By Brittany Weiner
Want to woo your date?  Bring them to Perricone’s. The romantic restaurant is situated in the heart of Mary Brickell Village and has indoor and outdoor seating.If the intimate seating is not enough, there is also live music.Start off with the Mozzarella Caprese Napolean, thick slices of homemade mozzarella, fresh basil, and vine ripened tomatoes and the Baked Brie En Croute, for a baked brie. For dinner favorites, try the Fiocchi Gorgonzola, purse-shaped pasta stuffed with fresh pair and gorgonzola, or the Veal Parmigiana.

If you’re feeling traditional, you can never go wrong with Grandma Jennie’s Meat Lasagna.

Last but not least, complement this meal with a nice bottle of wine.

If you’re on a budget, Perricone’s features their Pasta Thursdays’ with $10 pasta dishes.

Perricone’s is located at 15 SE 10th St., Miami.

Place to get laid on campus – Mezzanine floor of the Stacks
By V
You wait until the security guard has made her final rounds and you’re home free for a full hour or more. Now you face a choice: Go to the ninth floor and into the stairwell for a more private powwow, or get down to business in a random study nook where the commoners still lurk close by. It’s important to note, intimacy in the stacks will not be your most passionate affair. These floors aren’t like books – you can’t exactly reserve them. But this experience will be one of the most unique during your time at UM. Hit it, Barry White.
Place to go stoned – Light show at the Planetarium  
By The Miami Hurricane
As the wise Kid Cudi once said, “crush a bit, little bit, roll it up, take a hit.” And then go see a laser light show at the Planetarium. If you’re tired of getting baked only to sit around drooling at the Food Network, head over for an $8 show and choose from such featured music as Jimi Hendrix, Radiohead, The Doors, and more. The lights are insane, and the people-watching is equally entertaining. There are so many hippies hotboxing in the parking lot, it’s a wonder they don’t wear matching T-shirts that say “South Miami Stoners.” Another highlight? The kick-ass light refracting glasses are yours to keep.The Planetarium is located in the Miami Science Museum at 3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami.
Place to make new friends – Football tailgates
By Alexa Lopez
Tailgates at UM are notorious for being so rowdy, you may not even make it into the game. The innocent game of beer pong is transformed into a full on parking lot beer Olympics, complete with funnels and flip cup.You’ll make tons of new friends as you walk up and down the rows of cars, pickup trucks and frat buses.Expert advice: people flock to the most obnoxious (yet awesome) tailgate groups, often those who blast Pitbull the loudest and pour Patron most generously. Don’t forget the red Solo cups.

Sun Life Stadium is located at 2269 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami Gardens.

Place to nurse a hangover – Bagel Emporium
By Spencer Dandes
On those mornings when the room is spinning out of control and you literally can’t imagine being anywhere but your bed, give a little effort and drag yourself to Bagel Emporium. It’s so close to campus, you could probably still log onto WirelessCanes. Among the ritzy throngs of elderly Jews, you’ll find a large number of other UM students commiserating because they’re in your exact same position. Try a sandwich or matzo ball soup, or stick with a fresh bagel and cream cheese. You really can’t go wrong. Just be ready to wait 10-15 minutes to be seated, or call ahead and pick it up to avoid the line.Bagel Emporium is located at 1238 S. Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables.
Place to spot a celebrity – Heat games
By Casey Gasinowski
At Heat games, you can catch a glimpse of Miami’s biggest celebrities casually enjoying some basketball. Drake, Rick Ross, Trey Songz, Lil Wayne and others are frequently spotted sitting courtside, easy to identify with their glowing jewelry and dark sunglasses worn inside. But even with $20 tickets and seats all the way up in the nosebleeds, DJ Khaled’s gleaming watch will still be noticeable . If you’re a big basketball fan, you need to attend a game while you’re in Miami – you never know who you’ll run into. Go Heat!American Airlines Arena is located at 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.
Place to take your siblings/friends from out of town – The Keys
By Casey Gasinowski
The islands of Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and Key West are each a slice of tropical paradise. In the Florida Keys, the waters are crystal blue, beaches are less crowded than Miami, and snorkeling and scuba diving is at its best.If you’re craving adventure, you can embark on a fishing trip, go boating or kayaking, or explore one of many sunken shipwrecks. If you’re in the mood to unwind, you can eat at a delicious seafood restaurant, walk the beach, or go shopping/people watching downtown on Duval Street.The drive from Miami to the Keys is about four hours, so your iPod with upbeat tunes for the trip.


Place to use chopsticks – Akashi
By Alexa Lopez
Take your appetite for fresh fish and succulent Asian flavors to Akashi, the most delicious Japanese restaurant in Miami – just a 15-minute walk from campus. Try the memorable Alex #2, stuffed with shrimp tempura and topped with spicy mayo, avocado and tempura flakes, or the Mariano roll, a variation of Alex #2 that is garnished with fresh salmon. What’s even better than the food is the wait time after you place your order, which is less than 20 minutes on average.Akashi is located at 5830 S. Dixie Hwy., South Miami.
Place where you can drink your organic chemistry sorrows away – The Rathskeller
By Allison Novack

There’s beer. On campus. Need we say more? The Rat – while not currently in its permanent location by the lake – is still the best place for students to mingle over a pitcher after (or before) class. The sports bar food and plentiful flat screens to catch the game complete the perfect place to drink your troubles away. Once construction on the new Student Activities Center began, students kind of freaked out. They feared that change would suck the life out of it. However, it seems like the Rat is back on the map of the best places to hang out on campus. The menu even features a new addition for those who would prefer to avoid the beer belly: Sangria!

The Rathskeller is located in the University Center.

Restaurant on wheels – Ms. Cheezious & Uragano
By Spencer Dandes
Allow us to paint you a mental picture: Grilled sourdough bread, thick slices of cheddar and perfectly crispy bacon. Salivating yet? Get yourself to Ms. Cheezious, the reasonably-priced grilled cheese truck that makes its rounds through the whole city of Miami. Follow them on Twitter (@MsCheezious) for their current whereabouts. Additionally, they get bonus points for the puntastic name.But if you don’t feel like tracking down Ms. Cheezious, UM has its own delectable food truck right on campus. Uragano – Italian for “hurricane” – serves freshly made pizzas and subs for around $6 or $7. Good news: you can pay with your Cane Card, so be sure to thank mom and dad later. Try the barbecue chicken pizza or the meatball sub. Uragano is also on Twitter, @UraganoUM.
Restaurant that’s healthy for you and the environment too – EVOS
By Nicky Diaz
Health freaks rejoice! Evos is not only good for you, but for the environment too. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they take the term “fast food” seriously. The service is quick and the whole menu is fantastic. Get your junk food fix while still eating healthy. And whether you order a wrap, a salad, a burger or chicken fingers, make sure to finish your meal with one of EVOS’ organic milkshakes. You’ll thank us.
EVOS is located at 9537 S. Dixie Highway, Pinecrest.
Restaurant where you can barely speak the language but can’t resist the food – Versailles
By Alexa Lopez

There’s no better place to get your fix for authentic Cuban delicacies than Versailles, just a 10-minute drive from campus. Versailles is well-known for its late night hours and its ability to attract political candidates on their campaign trails. The restaurant, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, is basically the salsa-infused Cuban version of the Versailles Palace in France, complete with the aroma of cafecito, or Cuban expresso. Decked out with mirrors, glass mosaics and gold-encrusted chandeliers, the Cuban favorite features its own Hall of Mirrors. But don’t let your reflection distract you from the delicious ham croquetas, vaca frita and tres leche.

Versailles is located at 3555 SW 8th St., Miami.

Satisfy your sweet tooth – Swensen’s
By Nicky Diaz
Forget FroYo; that’s so last year. If you really want to satisfy your craving for ice cream, this is the place for you. Swensen’s is, for the most part, stuck in the ‘70s, as its forest green carpets and bizarre stained glass lamps would make your grandmother proud. With a vast variety of flavors and irresistible sundaes, you’ll find the one you’re looking for. And if you want something that’ll really blow your mind, try the bubblegum ice cream. It doesn’t hurt that the milkshakes are to die for, too.Swensen’s is located at 1586 S. Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables.
Slice in town – Big Cheese
By Nicky Diaz
There’s no doubt you’ve tried every pizza place within a three-mile radius from campus. If you still haven’t found the perfect slice you’re looking for, take a bite at the Big Cheese. And although the pizza is definitely a highlight, the menu’s other options don’t fall far behind. Start off your meal with garlic rolls (a dozen for just $3.25) and make sure to take a good look at the styles of pizza they offer. With more than 10 choices, you can’t go wrong. And not only is the food great, but the restaurant is also covered in UM memorabilia. Need proof? Art Kehoe himself has an original indulgent entree on the menu.Big Cheese is located at 8080 SW 67th Ave., Miami.
Sweatiest dance floor – Sandbar
By Nicky Diaz
With more than 25 TVs and Southern Californian-style food, what else could make Sandbar stand out? Oh yeah, its dance floor. If you just want to dance with somebody or feel the heat with somebody, jump on the drunk bus and make your way to the Grove to stop by Sandbar. DJs play Thursdays through Saturdays, and Thursdays are “College Night.”SandBar Grill is located at 3064 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove.
Tequila and tacos – Lime
By Nicky Diaz
We’ve got the perfect place for quesadilla and taco addicts. If you’re looking to spice up your weekend, stop by Lime for a delicious meal. With a huge menu and a solid variety of salsas, Lime is definitely a step up from Taco Bell. Another cool feature is their impressive collection of hot sauces. Lime even has options for vegetarians. And with $3 tacos and $8 burritos, your wallet won’t mind one bit.
Lime is located at 9005 SW 72nd Place, Miami.