Photos: Miami: Sunshine statement

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  1. Tower to the people

    Lifeguard towers on Miami Beach are colorful and easy to distinguish. Lifeguards care over swimmers who play nearby, and the towers make a great meeting place when surrounded by an endless area of sand, surf and beach umbrellas. (Richard Cummins / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Hot spot

    Thousands of people descended on Miami Beach for Super Bowl XLIV between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts. The city hosted a number of private and public events ahead of the big game. (Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Wet and wild

    Jet skis cruise along Biscayne Bay near Miami Beach Marina. Tourists visiting the Bay can enjoy a number of recreational activities, including snorkeling, sailing, kayaking and more. (Richard I'anson / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Life's a beach

    South Beach, also nicknamed "The American Riviera," is well-known for celebrities, chic lifestyles and, of course, beaches. The man-made beach runs along the Atlantic Ocean for miles. (Richard I'anson / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Savoring history

    The Art Deco district of South Beach is a hot spot for celebrities and is home to eccentric residents. The district has more than 800 buildings, built in the '30s and '40s, that are architecturally protected, helping its image as a chic, popular destination. (Randy Faris / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Ear to the ground

    Caribbean Flamingos -- this one eats from a pond at the Metro Zoo in Miami -- gets their color from the carotene in its diet. (Robert Sullivan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Dolphins walk, whales fly

    The Miami Seaquarium is a popular attraction that features eight marine animal shows. General admission tickets cost $37.95, and kids between the ages of three and nine get in for $27.95 (plus 7 percent sales tax). (Jon Davison / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Luxe lodgings

    The Biltmore Hotel of Coral Gables "has been a favorite of world leaders, celebrities and sports stars since its opening in the 1920s," its Web site boasts. The resort features 275 rooms, including 130 suites, a spa and fitness center. (The Biltmore) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Pretty in pink

    Classic buildings aren't the only thing visitors to Miami Beach will find. Vintage cars are often spotted in the Art Deco district. The annual Art Deco Weekend hosts a classic car fest where proud owners can show off their treasures. (Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Colorful celebration

    A dancer wears a costume as she participates in the Miami Carnival. The carnival has been an annual event since 1984. It has grown from a small neighborhood festival to an international event bringing live bands and calypsonians from the islands. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Collins mix

    The renovated Delano Hotel (left), National Hotel (center) and the Sagamore Hotel line up Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. The city has a concentration of over 800 Art Deco buildings all within one square mile. (Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Double-tall MOCA

    Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art "is internationally recognized as a force in defining new trends and directions in contemporary art," its Web site says. Admission is $5 per person, $3 for students and seniors. MOCA Members and kids under 12 can enter for free. (MOCA Miami) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Bass appeal

    The Bass Museum of Art was established 47 years ago ater Miami Beach accepted the art collection of John and Johanna Bass, and agreed it would maintain the works and make it available to the public. (Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Different strokes

    A visitor looks at "Thinking" during Art Basel Miami Beach back in 2008. "Art Basel Miami Beach is the most important art show in the United States, a cultural and social highlight for the Americas," the event's Web site boasts. This year's event takes place Dec. 2-5. (Juan Castro / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Reflective moment

    Artist Jude Papaloko is reflected in a mirror on a painted wall in his gallery, the Jakmel Gallery, in Miami. (Lynne Sladky / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Feeling the groove

    Club patrons enjoy themselves on the dance floor at Mansion nightclub in Miami Beach, Fla. Once thought of as a place to visit Grandma in January, Miami's reputation as a party city has grown since the days of "Miami Vice," through the birth of the Art Deco fashion district in the early 1990s and the more recent explosion of the South Beach club scene. (David Adame / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Port of call

    Frequent cruisers can be forgiven for seeing Biscayne Bay and Miami simply as a departure point. However, the area offers a wealth of activities and events that can satisfy tourists with a variety of different interests. (Jeff Greenberg / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Can I get a refill?

    The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, Miami, started out as a quarry pit and was transformed in 1924 into the Venetian Casino. Now, more than 100,000 people visit Venetian Pool each year. During summer months, the pool is drained nightly and replentished from a subterranean aquifer. (Richard Cummins / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Year of the crab

    Plates full of cracked stone crab claws are ready to be served at Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach. Joe Weiss opened a lunch counter in 1913, and the eatery has been serving the public for 97 consecutive seasons. (Wilfredo Lee / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Feeling the beat

    A crowd dances to the rythmic sound of congas at a local latin club in Calle Ocho (8th street), the main street of the Little Havana district of Miami. (Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Home field

    Miami's Sun Life Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7, 2010. The New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts by a final score of 31-17. (Dave Cross / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 2/3/2010 4:10:10 PM ET 2010-02-03T21:10:10

For decades, Miami has been mixing Spanish flavors with tastes from farther afield. Chef Michelle Bernstein shares her favorites.

“Hakkasan is known for very expensive, high-end Chinese food — the restaurant in the Fontainebleau hotel is a sister to the London and Istanbul branches.

“I'll never forget the stir-fry lobster, which has this intense freshness that's not overpowered by the scalliony chive blossom sauce. It's served with a sweet, crunchy lily bulb, and the combination is perfectly earthy and fresh. I wouldn't even let my husband have a bite.”
4441 Collins Ave.; 786-276-1388; entrées, $13-$48

“I've been going to La Camaronera since before I could reach the counter. I've always had to push with my elbows to get through the crowds to the fried shrimp, which has a greaseless, thin crust and is stuffed with spices that explode in your mouth.
1952 W. Flagler St.; 305-642-3322; entrées, $9-$14

“Brother's Seafood is owned by the same family but has a totally different feel: It's a two-story sit-down place on the Miami River. The restaurant's boats go out daily for fresh stone crabs, its plantains are like sweet, warm goodness, and the flan is Miami's best.”
398 N.W. North River Dr.; 305-375-0765; entrées, $11-$26

“You can't go to the Schnitzel Haus without a sense of humor, since it's an ultra-casual German place that's hilariously decorated with Christmas garlands and sparkles year-round — but the food is very tasty. I bring friends and get two kinds of schnitzel, mini burgers with tons of onions and parsley, warm housemade pretzels, and great lager.”
1085 N.E. 79th St.; 305-754-8002; entrées, $19-$24

“The city's most random — but best — sushi bar is Sushi Deli, inside the pristine Japanese Market on the way to Miami Beach. The sushi is super-classic, with personal touches like a roll of tiny chopped Japanese pickles, shizo leaf, and the most perfect fresh toro tuna I've ever had. That's no wonder: Chef Michio Kushi is known as the Sushi Nazi because he's so meticulous about fish and technique.”
1412 79th St. Causeway; 305-861-0143; sushi, $3-$10

Latin American
“Venezuelan chef Edgar Leal of Cacao has a real way with fish. He mashes it with different fruits and creates beautiful combinations — some are spicy, some are hot, some cold. It's fancier and prettier than my usual haunts, with a big glass wine room and tasting menus paired with South American wines.”
141 Giralda Ave.; 305-445-1001; entrées, $19-$42

“Everything chef Oscar del Rivero cooks is really special and tasty, but his seviches and tiraditos are my favorites. They're made with a range of ingredients, from scallops to shrimp, at Jaguar. He also does a great causa, which is cold potato layered with poached shrimp, avocado, and a little chili-flavored mayo.”
3067 Grand Ave.; 305-444-0216; entrées, $14-$30

“My own! I go to Spain three times a year, and I have come to believe that one great tapa lets you experience the whole country — so at Sra. Martinez, I wanted to blend my Argentine background into a Spanish fusion menu. My patatas bravas are made with a Peruvian sauce, cilantro, and lime along with the traditional jamón serrano, and I use Argentinian blood sausage, melted majon cheese, and caramelized apple in what I like to call the MbMuffin, a pressed sandwich.”
4000 N.E. Second Ave.; 305-573-5474; tapas, $7-$18

Hy Vong, perhaps the only non-Cuban restaurant on Calle Ocho (a.k.a. Eighth Street), is a hole-in-the-wall joint that serves authentic food cooked on a four-burner stove. You can't help but lick your fingers after eating the banh cuon — ground pork, mint, shallots, carrots, and mushrooms in homemade steamed rice paper — and the sautéed fish is also fresh and good, plated with lots of ginger, mangoes, and a sweet soy sauce.”
3458 S.W. Eighth St.; 305-446-3674; entrées, $10-$16

Chef Bernstein's Miami restaurants are Sra. Martinez and Michy's (6927 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-759-2001; entrées, $10-$31).

© 2013 Condé Nast Traveler


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