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Spend or Save? Pricey Burgers, Affordable Steaks

By Carissa Chesanek
February 17, 2014

Whether you're looking for a night of extravagant, money-is-no-object dining or want to stay within your not-too-fancy budget, we've got you covered. Here's the best of both dining worlds in Miami. 

  • Burgers

    Splurge: Bâoli Miami

    This swanky South Beach restaurant-turned-nightclub offers its signature Kobe beef Bâoli Burger for $65 (the most expensive in the city - it's  made with foie gras, black truffle slices and sandwiched between warm brioche bread.

    Budget: 5 Napkin Express

    You won't get truffle on your patty or a fancy dining room, but this no-frills burger counter does offer tasty patties made with ground beef, Gruyère cheese and caramelized onions for just $5.75.

  • Tasting Menus

    Splurge: db Bistro Moderne

    This high-end Downtown French bistro offers its exclusive Chef’s Tasting Menu in the ultrasleek Wine Cave, serving you items like escargot, duck pate and suckling pig for $125 per person (additional $75 for wine pairing).

    Budget: Bin 18

    You may not get set up inside an elite wine vault here, but this intimate Downtown spot offers a cozy setting and tasty prix fixe menu of its own (think artichoke carpaccio, mussels arrabiata). The cost is just $35 per person - and includes one glass of wine.

  • Omakese Sushi

    Splurge: Blade

    At $95 per person, the sexy sushi bar at this Miami Beach Japanese restaurant offers an elaborate chef tasting-type menu of fresh sashimi platters, crispy tempura and creative sushi rolls.

    Budget: St. Regis Bal Harbour

    Surprisingly, this ritzy hotel lounge offers its special sushi dinner for just $65 per person that's paired with Japanese sakes and completed with tasty banana tempura. The only downside it that it's only offered on Thursday evenings.

  • Prime Steak

    Splurge: Prime One Twelve

    When dining at this bustling South of Fifth steakhouse, you'll hang with the city's most beautiful A-listers while digging into the signature dry-aged 20-oz. New York strip for $59 (fixings sold separately).

    Budget: III Forks

    You won't find designer labeled scenesters in this Hallendale steakhouse, but you will find solid prime 12-oz New York strip pepper steak for an affordable price ($36.95).

  • Cuban Sandwiches

    Splurge: Tongue & Cheek

    This popular South Beach New American restaurant offers its guests a lavish atmosphere with equally posh eats, including its spin on the traditional Cuban sandwich made with pork, Gruyère cheese and pickles.

    Budget: Versailles Restaurant

    Don't expect to dine (or even sit) in a fancy space when heading to this historic Little Havana spot - but we're betting you won't mind if you order the classic Cuban sandwich with sweet ham and roasted pork ($5.95) at the take-away window.  

  • Fried Chicken

    Splurge: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

    Known for its trendy ambiance and Southern-style comfort food, this South Beach hot spot offers its signature fried chicken and waffles with bourbon maple syrup and chilled watermelon for $36.

    Budget: The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions

    This Upper East Side cozy hole-in-the-wall serves its "McNuggets" for just $7, which might not be a meal in itself but makes a perfect snack at the bar while you wait for a table.

  • Adventurous Cocktails

    Splurge: Haven

    Inside this ubber-cool South Beach lounge, you'll taste some of the craziest concoctions like the ReVere ($55) made with exclusive Don Julio 1942 and Grand Mariner 150.

    Budget: Radio Bar

    You won't get intense liquid nitro-infused cocktails inside this laid-back dive bar, but you'll find creative handcrafted cocktails like the Love Gun mixed with Absolut Elyx and Aperol for just $12.

  • Hot Spot

    Splurge: Seasalt & Pepper

    This new Lummus Park date spot with picturesque water views and romantic setting offers seafood that's just as high-end as the vibe, including creamy Maine lobster thermidor for $50.

    Budget: R House

    Wynwood's latest art-infused dining destination doesn't offer a romantic atmosphere but rather a funky hipster vibe with a budget-friendly seafood menu (think seafood cake for $10 and grilled ahi tuna for $16).

  • Spaghetti

    Splurge: Scarpetta

    Shelling out a lot of cash for a simple dish you can do at home isn't always ideal, but the cooked-to-perfection, basil-and-tomato spaghetti ($24) served inside this oceanfront Italian venue is worth every penny. 

    Budget: Sylvanno's Restaurant

    The spaghetti in tomato basil sauce is just $10.95 at this South Beach hideaway, but you won't have the ocean view while dining here - you won't have much of a view at all actually, unless you're parked at the bar in front of a flatscreen.

  • Sundaes

    Splurge: Serendipity 3

    This Lincoln Road ice cream shop not only offers its signature frozen hot chocolates, but also has the most expensive sundae around. Weighing in at $1000, this baby has gold covered almonds, chocolate truffles and is topped with an edible gold leaf.

    Budget: Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant

    Don't expect to find gold flakes in your ice cream at this circus-inspired parlor, but do get ready to witness massive sundae sizes including the signature surprise served with three scoops of vanilla that's been rolled in pecans then covered in hot fudge and whipped cream - oh, and it's only $12.25.

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Places Mentioned

Scarpetta

Italian • Miami Beach

Food22 Decor24 Service22 Cost$83
 
 
 
Prime 112 Restaurant

Steakhouse • South Beach

Food26 Decor23 Service22 Cost$93
 
 
 
db Bistro Moderne

Bistro • Downtown

Food25 Decor25 Service25 Cost$77
 
 
 
Bin No. 18

Italian • Downtown

Food23 Decor17 Service20 Cost$33
 
 
 
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

Southern American • South Beach

Food24 Decor23 Service22 Cost$47
 
 
 
The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions

American • Little Haiti

Food23 Decor19 Service21 Cost$42
 
 
 
Food21 Decor28 Service19 Cost$88
 
 
 
Tongue & Cheek

New American • South Beach

Food22 Decor21 Service21 Cost$53
 
 
 
 
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