There’s a saying on the internet. It goes something like: “Summer bodies are made in winter.” Maybe in certain cities. But in Miami, where the temp is always right and the beach is never far away, summer bodies are an all-season thing. Which means there’s never time to drop your guard and settle into an evening of Netflix and a tub of ice cream. Are the expectations of this body-centric town too high? Definitely. Are they unattainable? Not at all. When you’re trying to keep fit, these six healthy Miami restaurants won’t make you feel like you’re sacrificing a thing.
Amara at Paraiso
Not a health-food restaurant per se, Amara at Paraiso is the kind of place you can go with friends of all dietary restrictions and culinary desires and have everyone leave sated and pleased. The menu, which blends Latin American flavors with coastal ingredients, offers plenty of fare for those searching for something on the lighter side. Start your meal off with ceviche and oysters from their raw bar, then settle into a plate of radishes and grilled Atlantic shrimp. For mains, we recommend springing for the Seafood Parrillada—cobia, grilled octopus, giant prawn, and diver scallops wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked in a wood grill.
3101 NE 7th Ave, Miami, FL 33137
Icebox Cafe makes eating well feel, well, easy. The all-day restaurant, located in Miami’s Sunset Harbor, is operated by chef Robert Siegmann, who turns out plenty of comfort food minus all the usual guilt. Don’t be mistaken, there are plenty of naughty items on the menu. Here, you will find irredeemable (though arguably delicious) dishes like pigs in a blanket, crab cakes, and brisket tacos. But you’ll also be offered tuna tartare, grilled Japanese eggplant, and Buffalo cauliflower wings. Life, dear readers, is all about balance.
1855 Purdy Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Everything you need to know is said right in the name. Plnthouse is a casual and airy plant-based cafe helmed by vegan celebrity chef Matthew Kenney. Nutrition is the focus here—though flavor is certainly not left on the backburner. Grab a seat inside or snag a table on the outdoor deck for breakfast or lunch. In the morning hours, select from dishes like overnight oats with almond milk, an açaí sorbet bowl, or—if you’re feeling decadent—their bistro sandwich, made with Parisian ham. Lunch features a great selection of salads, bowls, and sandwiches.
2341 Collins Ave 6th floor, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Planta South Beach
Another restaurant that hits the “plant-based” nose on the head in its naming alone is Planta South Beach. The vegan hot spot has managed to make veggies feel sexy as all get out. Chef David Lee does wonders in the kitchen, creating massively flavorful dishes like Heart of Palm “Crab” Cakes (with chana dal, coconut milk, and cilantro) and Avocado Lime Tartare (with beetroot “tuna”, avocado chutney, and dehydrated watermelon). Vegan pizza? Yeah, they got that, too.
850 Commerce St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Because health food shouldn’t limit you to kale and quinoa. Chef Michael Lewis’s KYU in Wynwood delivers a good-for-you spin on Asian BBQ at KYU. The moody, industrial space plays host to diners digging into plates of roasted grouper, whole-grilled mushroom, and, yes, a crunchy kale served with nam prik.
251 NW 25th St, Miami, FL 33127
For easy, don’t-have-to-think-about-it health food, head to Dr. Smood. Their menu—which features smoothies, juices, and food you can’t drink through a straw—focuses on real, organic, and unprocessed ingredients. It’s a grab-and-go type of joint with plenty of seating, the type of place you hit after a morning of yoga or cycling. It’s filling to boot. The usual avocado toast gets a protein boost with a hit of wild-caught smoked salmon, and their Cashew Kale Crunch salad will keep you sated longer than your average bowl of greens.
1800 Bay Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Photo courtesy of Aurora Kreativ