While the Magic City is fantastic, there might be times when you crave a change of scenery or simply want to escape the city without much fuss or planning. Choosing a restaurant as a destination is an ideal reason for a day trip. Whether you’re headed south to the Upper Keys, north to West Palm Beach, or across Alligator Alley because you fancy a drive, we’ve selected some dining options for your journey.Read More
15 Road Trip-Worthy Restaurant Destinations Outside of Miami
These restaurants are worth the drive
Kasa Sushi Japanese Restaurant
This family-owned restaurant serves creative and flavorful maki minutes away from Sarasota’s famed Ringling Museum of Art. Whether it’s the Hudson roll (salmon, avocado, cream cheese, crunch inside topped with mango, yellow tobiko, mango sauce, and spicy shrimp), Ruby (spicy tuna, asparagus, cucumber, and crunch inside topped with black pepper tuna, avocado, and red tobiko, with unique sauces), or vegan Jungle (sweet potato and broccoli tempura and mango topped with avocado and special sauce), sushi lovers will find surprising new flavor combinations that will create a yearning to cross Alligator Alley again and again.
This modern American restaurant captured the attention of food lovers with its flavorful dedication to carefully sourced cuisine. Housed in an elegant, restored home, diners are treated to a rotating, seasonal menu showcasing dishes such as parmesan beignets with local honey, thyme, and pears; red snapper sourced from Madeira Beach served with local corn puree, herbed mushroom bread pudding, grilled broccolini and shallots, arugula pesto, and parmesan; baked scallops with Everglades spice, white wine, butter, lemon, braised potatoes, and tarragon breadcrumbs, and Iberico pork chop with dijon hollandaise, caramelized brown sugar, and bacon and broccoli potato hash. Be sure to make a reservation.
Yoder's Restaurant & Amish Village
Even the Amish and Mennonite communities found allure in Florida, making the tiny town of Pinecraft (in Sarasota) their winter home. At Yoder's, diners enjoy Amish-style cooking, including biscuits, potato cakes, fried chicken, and a hearty assortment of homemade pies. Head to the marketplace next door and purchase fruits and vegetables and jams and jellies to take home.
“Top Chef” winner Stephen Asprinio leads this American coastal restaurant in Juno Beach. From the creative bread service featuring bone marrow PB&J and Brazilian cheesy bread with Aleppo pepper and honey butter to creative spins on favorites like oysters on the half shell with guanabana mignonette and caviar fish and chips, this spot promises to leave diners happy. There are also steaks, local catch offerings, and a healthy list of local brews to guzzle it all down with.
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Stage Kitchen & Bar
Formerly from Niven Patan’s Ghee Indian Kitchen, chef Pushkar Marathe has created a loyal following in Palm Beach Gardens with his exceptional globally inspired cuisine with Indian flair. Try the spicy tuna bomb (semolina puri, spicy soy, green goddess, and avocado), chicken liver pate with grilled bread, or duck confit rolls for game-changing starters before diving into main courses like wood-grilled Spanish octopus (with marble potatoes, kaffir lime, and green apple nuoc cham, a Vietnamese dipping sauce) or prime short rib with bone marrow korma and rice grits. There is a long list of vegetable dishes to enhance the meals. Lover’s of the Old Fashioned cocktail, take note, the cocktail here is worth the drive alone.
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The Butcher’s Club
Well-known in Miami for inventive, exceptional cuisine, chef Jeremy Ford helms this elegant restaurant within the Palm Beach Garden’s PGA National Resort. The restaurant offers a robust selection of meats and sauces, with many customers preferring Ford’s Favorite Four: Beef Fat Hollandaise, Creamy Peppercorn, Chimichurri, and TBC Steak. Complementing these are crunchy ‘Brava’ potatoes and creamy, herb-filled spinach with dill, tarragon, basil, and garlic crumbs. For diners not inclined towards meat, the restaurant also presents an extensive raw bar and dishes such as truffle chicken and halibut with wilted greens, crispy sunchokes, and a caviar beurre blanc.
Queen of Sheeba
Open since 2006; this West Palm Beach family-owned restaurant serves an ample selection of flavorful Ethiopian fare. Start with Qategna, roasted sesame and flax seeds mixed with berbere (seasoned chili powder) and kebe (herbal clarified butter) spread on toasted injera, the traditional Ethiopian spongey bread. For the main course, Doro Wot, the national dish of Ethiopia, is a crowd-pleaser that features a slow-cooked chicken stewed in berbere sauce and assorted spices and served with a hard-boiled egg. Vegetarians will love this place for its many tasty options.
Pistache French Bistro
On trendy Clematis Street, this cozy French bistro takes diners straight to Paris, with the bonus of waterfront views. Head to the outdoor terrace and enjoy dishes like chicken paillard, moules frites, and the ever-popular Pistache burger. Brunch is a popular option and the perfect opportunity to mingle with the chic West Palm Beach crowd.
Head to West Palm Beach to sample James Beard Nominated Best Chef South 2023 chef Rick Mace’s barbecue inspired by South Florida’s diversity. Paying homage to Haitian, Dominican, Cuban and Jamaican cuisine, dishes include smoked brisket, mojo pulled pork, spicy wahoo dip, and cajun gator sausage. Hot and sweet hushpuppies, fried cobia sandwiches, and barbecue jackfruit are options for those not eating meat. Burger fans will be glad to have made the drive.
The Boys Farmers Market
People flock to this bustling, cramped Delray Beach food market for its incredible selection of produce, fruits, meats, fish, cheeses, and more—all at reasonable prices. There’s a bakery and a prepared food section that will cover your meals any day of the week. Come early and possibly (but possibly not) avoid the crowd.
Le Colonial Delray Beach
This French-Vietnamese is the first outpost in Florida (others include Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, and Lake Forest). Dark mahogany wood and foliage create a sultry that provides an intimate and alluring ambiance. Sip on a pomegranate martini or pineapple margarita and enjoy crispy South Florida yellowtail snapper, carved tableside, or Canh Chua Crudo—red grouper seasoned with Vietnamese tamarind sour. Meat lovers will enjoy the Bo Luc Lac, caramelized filet mignon, or Bahn Uot, grilled sesame beef rolled in flat rice noodles, cucumber, lettuce, basil, and lime garlic sauce.
Robert Is Here Fruit Stand
The perfect day trip for anyone craving exotic smoothies and shakes (think soursop, passionfruit, and guava, visitors can also peruse the market and sample the extensive collection of Florida honey (avocado tree and sawgrass are favorites) and shop for fruits, veggies, and other goods.
Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory
For those willing to drive for dessert, this celebrated sweet spot in the Keys is the place to go. Choices are simple: opt for a slice of Key lime pie topped with meringue or whipped cream. There’s also pie dipped in dark chocolate and key lime lemonade.
The iconic restaurant located in Plantation Key, in the Village of Islamorada, recently reopened its doors after a lengthy expansion and renovation that includes an expanded beachfront bar and dining areas. Diners can enjoy Caribbean-inspired curries (made from scratch), Marker 88’s signature Floridian-style jerk chicken, and plenty of seafood. Wrap things up, of course, with Key lime pie.
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Oceanside Safari Restaurant & Lounge
This completely revamped landmark, formerly known by locals as “the dead animal bar” because of numerous taxidermy mounts, now boasts a brand new kitchen and beautifully-landscaped private beachside lounge. With spectacular oceanside views, the menu reflects favorite Florida Key fare like smoked fish dip, conch fritters, fish tacos, and homemade Key Lime Pie. A visit to the keys wouldn’t be complete without cocktails. The pina colada, painkiller, or guava margarita are worthy options.
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