No matter the season travelers can stay fit, healthy and beach-ready any time of the year while in the South Florida sunshine. With average temperatures in the 80s, it's always bikini season and time for exercise and wholesome food.
Cold-pressed juices, organic smoothies, gluten-free baked goods and kale—formerly associated with alternative hippie-types—these salubrious snacks have become mainstream staples. Here are South Florida's top restaurants serving healthy, on-trend fare.
Della Test Kitchen
Located amid the artsy Wynwood neighborhood at the food and events hub, The Wynwood Yard, Della Test Kitchen offers a selection of nutrient-dense vegetarian bowls.
Create your own customizable meal in combinations like local favorite, the Mediterranean with brown rice and chickpeas, sweet potatoes, kale, crunchy raw roots and hummus, topped with the kitchen’s own sweet citrus tahini sauce (a.k.a. orange sauce). Top it off with raw roots and herbs straight from their garden. There are also desserts, smoothies and breakfast bowls on the menu. 56 NW 29th St., Miami.
This Miami Beach quick-serve concept is where clean eating, flavor and style coalesce. With indoor and outdoor seating and cool architectural design, this chic dining spot offers nutritious fare for any dietary requirement.
DIRT's varied menu provides many options for vegans, vegetarians, paleo and gluten-free diners at price points anyone can afford. Classic sandwiches on fresh bread or collard wraps include quinoa-crusted crispy fish po’ boy and harissa-spiked hummus with shaved cucumber, tomatoes, haricot vert, pickled carrots and extra virgin olive oil. 232 5th St., Miami Beach, 305.239.3000
Green Bar & Kitchen
This vegan and GMO-friendly café aims to bring wholesome eating to another level. The menu at Green Bar & Kitchen features several creative, vegetarian dishes including the GBK burger with brown rice, quinoa, chickpeas, roasted vegetables on a burger bun, cool dairy-free desserts and a healthy dose of raw mac and cheese and fries. Open Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays. 1075 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale, 954.533.7507.
This health-oriented fast-food eatery by former Miami Heat player Ray Allen and his wife, Shannon (creator/executive producer of “The Pre-Game Meal” television cooking show), provides “real food, cooked slow, for fast people.”
In a nature-filled space, Grown serves a wide selection of locally sourced, organic dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with cold-pressed juices, smoothies and fair trade coffee and teas. Anticipate egg dishes and gluten-free blueberry pancakes in the morning, followed by sandwiches and bowls including customizable picks such as free-range chicken, grass-fed brisket, Mexican corn and roasted garlic Brussels sprouts. 8211 S. Dixie Hwy., Miami, 305.663.GROW
Travelers recommend Market 17 as a place for a good meal without the hustle-and-bustle of other establishments. Find them just off 17th Street prior to going over the bridge (if you are heading east) and right next to the Convention Center.
It's a classy place with a unique farm-to-table organic menu that is ever-changing to highlight what is in season and the unique flavors that Fort Lauderdale has to offer (expect a lot of seafood variety). The fish and seafood are caught by fisherman, the meat and poultry produced by ranchers, and the produce provided by farmers. All dishes are prepared from scratch daily, using traditional French techniques. In addition to the food, the restaurant has one of the most outstanding wine lists with over 350 international wines and counting. 1850 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale, 954.835.5507.
Myapapaya Juicery + Kitchen
There are gems hiding in Fort Lauderdale as is the case of Myapapaya, the city's first cold pressed juicery and fresh kitchen. This health-minded cafe with housemade juices offers deliciously all-natural cuisine. The creative and ambitious "eat happy" menu includes a combination of robust organic breakfast dishes (breakfast bowls, omelettes and one-skillet plates) served from 8 am to 10:30 am to sandwiches, salads and small-batch soups for lunch. 1040 Bayview Drive, Fort Lauderdale, 954.338.5651.
Plant Food + Wine
Following in the footsteps of his ground-breaking Venice, California raw restaurant, vegan virtuoso Matthew Kenney branched out to Miami for the second outpost of Plant Food + Wine. The airy restaurant—set in the wellness emporium the Sacred Space—offers globally inspired takes on plant-based fare like kelp noodle cacio e pepe, beet and avocado tartare, and a tasty flora artisanal cheese board. Vegan weekend classes are available at the onsite institute. 105 NE 24th St., Miami, 305.814.5365.
Chef and restaurateur Cindy Hutson and partner Delius Shirley, from the famed Coral Gables restaurant Ortanique on the Mile, have expanded north for their latest concept. Zest located in Downtown Miami builds on Chef Hutson's famous global flavors in an inventive menu that features curried octopus with golden rise pilau and root beer braised heritage pork belly. Pick up a quick healthy meal on the go from Zest MRKT, open weekdays for breakfast and lunch. 200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305.374.9378.