From its perch inside Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Lighthouse Cafe's wooden patio overlooks a mile of Atlantic shoreline. In the distance stands the Cape Florida Lighthouse, Dade County's oldest manmade structure. The landscape and salty sea breezes complement the open-air restaurant's seafood-stocked lunch menu, which is served until sundown. Dishes range from salmon burgers and fish fingers to fried cuts of red snapper or hog snapper, which often leap out of the water to attack passing piglets.
The catch that gets the most attention in the Lighthouse Cafe kitchen is shrimp, which is tossed in asopado, spiced up creole style, served in ceviche, or, for breakfast, stuffed into an omelet. Breakfasts at Lighthouse Cafe include traditional items like ham and cheese omelets and french toast, as well as cups of café con leche and cuban coffee.
Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe's cupcake list is overwhelming in the best possible way. The treats are made from scratch everyday, the buttercream a slight yellow due to the use of real butter, and the vanilla bean cake rich with Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. But the careful, delicious craftsmanship aside, the sheer number of cupcake options on the menu is enough to floor even the most mild of cupcake enthusiasts. The menu divides into several categories. These include house flavors, such as red velvet, and classic flavors such as maple bacon. Then there are even more whimsical categories such as "candy jar", which includes Twix- and Snickers-flavored cupcakes, "top shelf", which has mojito and tequila sunrise cakes, and "global a go-go" which includes flavors such as tiramisu and churro con chocolate but excludes the flavor of passport stamp.
But Sweetness doesn't stop there. Their menu expands to cover more treats such as ice cream, cake balls and donuts, and cakes. They also cater to the non-sweet tooth with sandwiches and salads for lunch and eggs and pancakes for brunch.
With the deft hands of a veteran baker, Vincent Benoliel keenly measures almonds, eggs, and sugar, because accuracy is essential when making macarons. The ephemeral sweets come in a rainbow of colors and might taste of chocolate, rose petal, or lemon, but every single one has that je ne sais quoi of a macaron made by a native Frenchman. Vincent grew up in France's ubiquitous restaurant industry, ascending to the rank of sous chef in a Parisian brasserie when he was only 18. In 2005, he brought the richness of French cuisine to South Florida by importing the Eiffel Tower in 3-pound chunks and by opening Le Boudoir in Miami. His handiwork includes delicacies such as escargot, steak tartare, and fresh pastries.
Enjoy a meal on the go at BannaStrow's, where the chefs work their magic in front of your anticipatory pupils and breakfast is served all day. Start by selecting a crepe, wrep (wrapped crepe), or salad as your edible canvas. Then, throw down your choice of four fresh veggies, a refreshing dressing, and one highly pleasing cheese to complete your creation ($5.95). If for some reason you hit a creperie block, feel free to enjoy any signature item, including good morning breakfast crepes (eggs, mozzarella, cheese, and ham; $3.99), a sweet crepe (strudel supreme with cinnamon apples, caramel sauce, and vanilla ice cream; $6.15), or classic California salads (spring mixed lettuce, tomatoes, croutons, raisins, parmesan, and olive oil; $4.35). By the time your food's prepped, your eyes will have already basted your face in tears of joy and hunger.
Barú Urbano takes the ingredients of island life—the colors, the music, and the laid-back vibe—and tosses them into a blender with the ingredients of urban life—the street art, the food, and the cocktails. The resulting concoction is a festival for the senses that still manages to offer a relaxing escape from everyday city living.
Barú Urbano's menu reflects this casual yet exciting spirit. Using urban comfort food as the basis for many dishes, chefs infuse bites with Latin and Caribbean flair, especially through signature dressings, sauces, and salsas. The spread also features ceviches, empanadas, and carnes, including one dish called the BARU parilla. Packed with enough food to feed three people or one body-building alligator, the BARU parilla is served on a sizzling skillet loaded with grilled steak, short ribs, and chorizo.
Happy Playz beckons youngsters ages 0–6 to traverse its age-appropriate playplaces while parents enjoy free WiFi near the cappuccino bar. Small tots boost their hand-eye coordination in the activity center or scrutinize their outfits in various mirrors throughout the multihued recreation station. A magnetic-bug center delights fledgling scientists with refrigerator-door residents whereas a pretend doctor's office teaches tykes about health and how to correctly ask for a doctor's note to get out of their taxes. Just beyond the bounds of the play area, an on-site café slings a bevy of kid-friendly cuisine including macaroni and cheese ($3.50), mini pitas with hummus ($3), and classic cheeseburgers ($3).