Named Best Healthful Fast Food in 2009 by Miami New Times, Pepper’s Burrito Grill crams burritos and tacos full of fresh ingredients, and grills up a sizzling menu of quesadillas, enchiladas, and other traditional Mexican fare. Rice and beans rub shoulders with pico de gallo and cheese within the cozy walls of the fish burrito, waiting to be joined by a cuddly companion of beer-battered tilapia and its beer-battered teddy bear ($8.99). Heath-conscious diners can opt for a whole-wheat tortilla for $0.50 extra, or switch to grilled fish at no additional charge. Dress up a shrimp taco “A La Mex” with a hard or soft corn tortilla topped with onion and cilantro ($3.99). An appetizer of queso fundido primes palates with melted chihuahua cheese, sausage, and peppers ($5.99), and a refreshing margarita is perfect for cleansing the palate in between more margaritas ($4.50).
Boasting fresh ingredients, flavorful dishes, and fast service, El Mega Chuzo cooks up Colombian and Venezuelan cuisine in a contemporary coastal atmosphere. As early as 9 a.m. at this Sunny Isles eatery, servers sidle swiftly past customers, wielding savory specialties such as huevos pericos arepa con queso (scrambled eggs and cheese corncakes, $5.95). While El Mega Chuzo's masterpiece is its empanada ($3 for two), the Colombian restaurant's epicurean oeuvre features a wide variety of traditional treats from the region, including Sobrebarriga al la Criolla (grilled flank steak, $14.50) served with salsa, rice, beans, and plaintains. Arepas (flat, round, corncakes, $6.50+) abound, accompanied by succulent selections such as cheese, salsa, and chicken, ensuring tasty ear-foods fill bellies and inspire delighted toe taps. With occasional wine tastings and live music promoted on their facebook page El Mega Chuzo, unlike staged readings of the phonebook, entertains until the early morning hours (1 a.m. on weekdays, 6 a.m. on weekends).
Nestled inside the Newport Beachside Resort, Kitchen 305 serves sea-inspired dishes in a modern dining room with linen-draped tables illuminated by vibrant blue lights. Chef Julius Brown, who brings talents perfected at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, directs the creative plating of seafood dishes including bluefin tuna, crab cakes, and steamed salmon. Turf options include chicken, rack of lamb, and skirt steak. On select evenings, a resident DJ pumps out tunes from the 80s, 90s and present day, and a master chef bestows expert sushi-making techniques during on-site culinary classes.
Nearly equidistant from the heart of South Beach and Fort Lauderdale—about 25 minutes from each—Sunny Isles Beach operates without the big-city crowds while retaining their trademark beaches, shopping opportunities, and natural beauty. Oleta River State Park, known as the state’s largest urban park, presents miles of off-road bicycling trails that snake alongside Biscayne Bay as well as a stand of mangrove forests. Visitors can rent kayaks, canoes, and bicycles or spend time constructing sand parking garages on the 1,200-foot stretch of beach.
At Adventure World Skate & Fun Center, kids and adults alike entertain both muscle and mind-matter in through a variety of heart-pounding activities. In the laser tag arena, players strap on receivers, holster a laser-emitting gun, and re-enact the galactic phase of the Crimean War on a phosphorescent battlefield. Competitors have the option of playing the four 10-minute games consecutively or spacing them out to fuel grudge matches or plan for potential roommate border disputes. With an additional admission fee ($3–$6), zapped compatriots can take backward victory laps around the skate rink ($3 skate rental) or purchase tokens to conquer the arcade room.