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I’m very proudly not a foodie (though I do need to write an update to my now somewhat out-of-date post declaring so), but I do love to eat. No matter where I am in the world, excitedly planning my meals for the day is one of the first things I do when I wake up in the morning.

And when it comes to travel, I’ve realized that some of my favorite tours across the globe have been of the culinary persuasion — a chocolate-making workshop in Brussels, a pisco-sour mixology class in Lima, an artisanal market tour in San Francisco, a wine-tasting with a sommelier in Santorini, and a cocktail tour in New Orleans. And for better or for worse, as the jean shorts I haven’t been able to zip up since the first day of this trip can attest, when I post photos of those delicious treats on Instagram, I immediately.

Miami South Beach Food Tour

So when Michelle and I started brainstorming for something fun to do in Miami, it’s really no surprise that we were immediately hung up on the .

We arrived at our designated meeting point ravenous. Our first stop was , where our group settled into booths of the restaurant opened especially for us. Michelle and I sat opposite two friendly older couples from Ohio and Virginia, while two sets of hipsters from Vancouver settled in at the next table. Our fast-talking guide had us struggling not to laugh with our mouths open while we noshed on Colombian specialties like patacones and a special hangover cocktail called caldo de costilla. And as I don’t eat fish and skipped the ceviche, I was given a delicious empanada to fill the gap on my plate. I was basically obsessed with everything I was eating and started to grow concerned for the rhythm of this tour — how could things possibly go up from here? I immediately vowed to return to Bolivar for a full brunch on my next return to Miami.

Miami Culinary Tours

Miami Culinary Tours

Miami South Beach Food Tour

Miami South Beach Food Tour

Well. It was a good thing we had a sweet stop coming up, because I was about to have my heart broken by the news that DEXTER WAS NOT EVEN FILMED IN MIAMI. Guys, that was one of the main reasons I was obsessed with coming to the city in the first place! Well, him and Will Smith! I was totally crushed by this development and thought wistfully of the steamy, palm-lined, salsa-music-filled scenes I could never un-know were not, in fact, filmed in South Florida.

I consoled myself with delicious churros from , a bakery where customers only seemed to order in Spanish — one of those little details that can make a person smile even when their TV-loving soul is crushed.

Miami Culinary Tours

We meandered our way into the Art Deco district, and along with my churro, I devoured every historical tidbit our guide offered as we strolled. He was quickly joining the ranks of tour leaders so excellent at what they do that I’ll think back to their fine work years later. When he mentioned he was from Panama City, we excitedly compared notes on the beautiful city and some of the restaurants I’d drooled over there.

Excusing himself from our travel talk, he positioned the group so we were facing the Versace Mansion while he outlined its lurid history. “Let me know if you see anyone wearing Speedos walk by,” he said gravely, “so we can make a citizen’s arrest.”

Our third stop was at , an iconic Ocean Drive hotel. No plates had been passed out, yet I was already drooling over the interiors — gorgeous! And the Moroccan chicken stew that we were handed was equally as exclamation worthy. In fact, I was starting to get a little panicked about how full I was. Both places we’d sat down had served what I’d consider a smallish meal — there was to be no going hungry on this food tour.

Miami South Beach Food Tour

Miami South Beach Food Tour

Luckily, if you look at it from that perspective, I wasn’t so into our next stop. was a classic diner that served us up some classic Miami eats — Cuban sliders and Cuban espresso called cafecito. I wasn’t feeling either, though as a non-coffee drinker at least half of that wasn’t a surprise.

Next up was , which won me over pretty much immediately for their cute branding and t-shirt offerings. We were there not for a slice, however, but for a Sun Dried Hippie Sandwich, a creation featuring sun dried tomatoes, feta, baby spinach, basil pesto and kalamata olives (the last of which I removed with a plastic fork, because I am an adult.) At this point, many of us were clutching our full stomachs and so we were provided, thoughtfully, with to-go bags — and that sandwich became a much-appreciated snack later on that evening.

Miami Culinary Tours

Miami Culinary Tours

Of course, no one is ever too full for gelato, a theory we were all pleased to prove at our final stop of the day, . After enthusiastically choosing a scoop of Nutella flavored goodness, we took a seat on the giant ice-cream cone furniture on the sidewalk and toasted to a well-fed afternoon.

Miami South Beach Food Tour

Miami Culinary Tours

Conclusion? We loved . Our guide was fantastic, the food was unreal, and it served up the perfect combination of culinary indulgences and mini bursts of exercise, with a side dish of Miami history to keep things interesting. It was so good, I basically want to do it all over again — I am already looking forward to ticking off the and versions on future trips to Miami.

Miami South Beach Food Tour

Is there a food tour you’ve loved somewhere around the world? Is there a Miami restaurant I need to know about? And most importantly, how devastated are you about Dexter!?

See you in the comments — and stay delicious, Miami!

. . . . . . . . .

I am a member of the Viator Ambassador initiative and participated in this tour as part of that program.

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53 Comments...
  • Andrea
    April 6 2015

    Though your heart was broken at the fact that Dexter was not filmed in Miami I agree that simple things like the bakery where everyone orders in Spanish or the fact that you were being served delicious food is a great consolation prize! Loved the post and the small details shared 😀
    Andrea recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 6 2015

      Thanks Andrea! It was a fabulous tour — despite the Dexter heartbreak 🙂

  • Dexter made me want to go to Miami as well. Season 4, wow! Michael C Hall did an AMA on reddit back in December that was pretty good if you’re ever bored.

    I would have picked Nutella too.
    Shaun’s Cracked Compass recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 8 2015

      Oh man, I am TOTALLY looking that up! Can’t wait to read! Thanks for the tip 🙂

  • Kristin M
    April 8 2015

    You photos look amazing! And I love your dress with the little glasses on it. So flipping adorable! Where did you get it?
    Kristin M recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 8 2015

      The mean streets of Khao San Road 🙂 One of my favorite finds!

  • Katie
    April 8 2015

    I had no idea Dexter wasn’t filmed in Miami! Ugh! All of the food looks good, although I suppose I am a foodie so that’s no surprise. 😉 You’re killing with these Florida posts, Miami wasn’t really on my radar until now. I LOVE food tours! 🙂
    Katie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 8 2015

      I’m getting more and more into them! I think I used to be afraid to go on them because I was shy about how picky I am… occasionally that still happens 🙂

  • I’m so excited that you claim not to be a foodie! I’m so not a foodie either, but I love to eat (just about anything)! Wait, so were was Dexter filmed? Please don’t tell me California?! So sad 🙁
    Katelyn @ Diaries of a Wandering Lobster recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 8 2015

      It breaks my heart, Katelyn, but yes — it was California.

  • Leah
    April 8 2015

    Yuuuuum I want everything! I’ve decided I don’t do anywhere near enough food tours, and this needs to change. I proudly claim to BE a foodie. I am doing myself an injustice.
    Leah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 8 2015

      Girl you’re headed to Europe! I predict you will be getting your food on in a serious way.

  • Sally
    April 8 2015

    Ahh after 5 months in Asia this has made me crave western food even more! I do love Thai food but you can’t beat a good burger! I am also shocked about Dexter. I pride myself for usually knowing things like that!
    Sally recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 8 2015

      I was literally devastated. Everything I know about serial killers in Miami is a lie!

  • Ashley
    April 8 2015

    Food tours are my favourite kind of tour, and this one looks especially delicious! I did a food tour in Saigon last year and it was one of the best tours I’ve ever taken. As if the Dexter series finale wasn’t bad enough, now I learn the show wasn’t even filmed in Miami?!
    Ashley recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 8 2015

      Ha, the one thing that got me through that last final season were the hilarious recaps on AV Club. It is no small dream of mine to write a TV review column for either AV Club or Vulture someday. Shoot for the stars!

  • Krystle
    April 8 2015

    Okay, So I mus

    • Krystle
      April 8 2015

      Sorry, I was so devastated about Dexter that I couldn’t even type 😉 haha.. So, I must know… where was Dexter filmed??

      I’ve always wanted to go to Miami and that food tour looks incredible.
      Krystle recently posted..

      • Meihoukai
        April 8 2015

        Big sigh… SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. Not impressed.

  • Beth
    April 8 2015

    Man. I knew about Dexter being filmed in California, but it’s still a huge disappointment. They did a great job disguising their locations though – I was convinced, too! And the food here looks fantastic, ESPECIALLY the gelato!

    • Meihoukai
      April 9 2015

      I guess I’d never been to either when I was still watching the series, so I had nothing to compare to. But oh man, did I love that show!

  • Miriam Risager
    April 8 2015

    Noooo. I did not know that 🙁 And I thought it couldn’t possibly get worse after that finale! Buuuh! The food looks good though.
    Miriam Risager recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 9 2015

      Ugh, they really really killed that show in the end. Tragic! It went from being one of the best shows on television to basically a hate watch.

  • Katie
    April 8 2015

    All the food sounds (and looks) amazing! I have never done a food tour which is just insane when I think about it as I love food so much. This will need to be rectified very soon
    Katie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 9 2015

      Add it to your list, Katie! I’m a food tour convert, now. I think they have the best guides!

  • becky hutner
    April 8 2015

    I don’t know if I’ve ever done a food tour?! maybe because i don’t eat meat but i’m sure there are lots of veg-friendly ones these days. i think they’re an especially good idea in foreign language countries because i have definitely had bumpy starts in places where i couldn’t read the menu & had no idea what to order!
    becky hutner recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 9 2015

      The ones I’ve done are always super accommodating to the fact that I don’t eat seafood! I think you just need to give them a day’s notice. I can’t remember where but once — only once — did I see a notice seeing vegetarians couldn’t be accommodated.

  • Emily
    April 8 2015

    It’s so refreshing to know someone else is just as picky when it comes to food! But Miami definitely has some great options (you’re too right – there’s always room for gelato). Your posts never fail at making me laugh out loud, you’ve got a fantastic writing voice. 🙂

    • Meihoukai
      April 9 2015

      I think I’ve heard in Japanese there is actually a word for the “second stomach” — the one that always has room for dessert! I need to look into that, because I totally have one.

  • Justine
    April 8 2015

    Ha, being from Southern California I guess it has always just been common knowledge that Dexter was filmed around Long Beach. A lot of my friends who live their saw them filming around town all the time. I didn’t realize the rest of the world didn’t know this! Anyway, Miami looks like THE place to go on a food tour. I need to get to Miami stat. I’m obsessed with the mix of cultures and cuisines…I bet it’s an amazing city!
    Justine recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 9 2015

      I would have totally geeked out if I ever saw Dexter being filmed! I’m such a TV addict, it’s almost sad 🙂

  • I started out mad because I didn’t even know this tour existed and I wanted to go on it – but then reading through I realized I managed to hit 3 of these on my recent visa run to South Beach, so now I’m proud 🙂

    Need to pick your brain on Panama City eats when I see you! Just bought the plane tickets!
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 9 2015

      Nice work girl! Which ones did you go to?

  • I’m going to Miami in June and now you’ve got me super excited for the food! Looks delish. 🙂

    Nicola Easterby (Polkadot Passport) recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 9 2015

      I’m jealous, Nicola! Wish I already had another Miami trip on the docket to look forward to…

  • Wow, I had no idea about this tour! Definitely signing up for it when I’m home this summer 🙂

    • Meihoukai
      April 9 2015

      Nice! I’d love to hear the opinion of a native Miami-an 🙂

  • Francesca Beckett
    April 9 2015

    This is so great – I would never think of doing a food tour in Miami but what an interesting way to see the city. Also I am so hungry right now, damn you Meihoukai!
    Francesca Beckett recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 9 2015

      I should have issued a warning at the start of the post — sorry about that, Francesca 🙂

  • Marni
    April 9 2015

    I am definitely a non-foodie, so a big food tour like this isn’t a good option for me, but I still loved reading about your experience. Gelato is one of my favorite treats and there is ALWAYS room for it. The only food-related tours I’ve really done involved a wine & chocolate tasting and a pretzel-making tour. Needless to say my pretzel looked hilarious.

    • Meihoukai
      April 9 2015

      Ha! I would definitely be in for a pretzel making tour — I’ve loved the wine and chocolate ones I’ve done as well!

  • Amanda
    April 10 2015

    Oh man Meihoukai. I’ve wanted to visit Miami ever since I saw your post on the Manatees in Crystal River… Now you tell me there’s good food as well?!

    What more could a girl want from a destination?

    • Meihoukai
      April 11 2015

      Well, those manatees are actually pretty far from Miami on the other side of Florida but… maybe you could plan a two stop trip 🙂 Well worth it!

  • Camels & Chocolate
    April 10 2015

    Well now, this is the kick in the pants I needed to send you your itinerary to Tennessee. And when I say itinerary, I really mean “a guide to all the things you’re going to be eating.” Start fasting now…
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 11 2015

      SEND SEND SEND. I cannot wait to start obsessing!

  • Rae Morgan
    April 11 2015

    Okay, I’m really upset about Dexter. But I’m really happy you got to eat great food and now I know where to go if I go to Miami. So basically this post is bittersweet. Also, you’re not a foodie, but you travel? This is possible?
    Rae Morgan recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 11 2015

      Not only is it possible, it is my mission in life prove that a limited palate does not equal a limited mind 🙂

  • Laurene
    April 11 2015

    Very, very disappointed. I always thought Batista’s bar/resto and Deb’s beach nook are very Miami-esque!

    Nevertheless, the food tour you had is very inviting. Still a reason to visit such nice place 🙂
    Laurene recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 11 2015

      I know, right! I was convinced I knew all about the mean streets of Miami, five seasons in. Ah well, I guess the city is kind of okay regardless 😉

  • Rebecca
    May 8 2015

    Yum!! What a great tour. And super cute dress!
    Rebecca recently posted..

  • magali
    February 4 2016

    Hello there!
    I’m planning a trip to Florida later this year and your blog has been such a treat to read and feast my eyes upon!
    I have just one question about this food trip, how long does it take (if you remember)?

    Anyway, thank you for sharing all your experiences, it is so fantastic !

    • Meihoukai
      February 6 2016

      Hey Magali, I can’t quite recall — but if you click the tour link, it will tell you exactly how many hours and what the timing is. Hope that helps!