Where do I start? The past few months have been difficult: greed, anxiety, guilt, the search for short-term rewards and an overdeveloped sense of duty have taken control of my soul, body and mind. I wanted to take a break from the cold New York winter, take the opportunity to slow down, unplug and immerse myself in the healing energy of the sea.

So I decided to book a trip to Miami and share my experience with you.

Tropical paradise, pastel-colored houses, delicious food reflecting the diverse heritage of the city, a true melting pot of cultures, Miami is known for being home to a diverse population of individuals who represent a myriad of ethnic backgrounds and food.

Food is what brings people together. Coming together and sharing a meal is a communal and therapeutic activity everywhere in the world. Food is also a great vehicle for sharing and discovering culture. There’s is no better way to get a taste of Miami’s diversity than through its rich and diverse cuisine.

With a dining scene that’s only heating up, here are my top suggestions to get a taste of Miami’s gastronomic offering. I hope you are ready for some food therapy:

Red, the Steakhouse

If you are looking for fresh and sustainable ingredients, top quality steaks, pasta and seafood, an impressive wine list as well as a chic décor, this is for you. The Mac & cheese is the best I have ever tried. The Chef, Peter Vauthy’s philosophy is simple: “We order and work with the best. If we don’t have what the world says is the best, we search for it until we track it down. We don’t deal with second-rate ingredients here.” No wonder Red keeps racking up awards.

South Pointe Tavern

Opened in 2016 by neighborhood friends, the space was designed to feel like home. And you do feel like home. I really liked the French bistro-style seating and lounge. The tavern also features the largest selection of spirits in Miami Beach, seasonally curated cocktails, a selection of artisanal dishes, including ceviche, crudos, flatbreads, seasonal salads, sandwiches and imported charcuterie and cheeses. Look at that picture…

Cibo Wine Bar

Lord, I wish I could write an entire article about this place. Cibo is simply my favorite Italian restaurant in Miami. The space is a blend of old world rustic and modern industrial chic. The pasta is fresh and the wine selection is excellent. The ragu pasta is one of the best pastas I have ever had. There is also a beautiful two-story wine room with a “wine angel” to retrieve bottles as well . The restaurant has original artwork from renowned artists Mr. Brainwash and Randy Cooper. When in Miami, this place cannot be missed!

A Fish Called Avalon

Located in the heart of the Art Deco District on Ocean Drive, A Fish Called Avalon features American seafood with tropical influences, using the freshest ingredients harvested from sea and land. This place captures the true ambiance of South Beach. Our waiter, a charming Argentinian man, was very warm and welcoming. There is even a live Latin-Caribbean performer on the terasse which adds a relaxing musical vibe to the evening. My favorite was the orzo seafood paella.

The Strand, Bar & Grill

I also had the opportunity to try the seasonally inspired cuisine of Chef Stephen Ullrich, a Miami native, who has created a menu sourcing ingredients from local farms and that places a spotlight on Florida’s organic community. The space sits directly at the ocean’s edge which is extremely pleasant and relaxing as I was able to listen the sound of the waves from the oceanfront patio while enjoying fresh local products. My favorite dishes were the sea scallops with Jerusalem artichoke, pomegranate, brussel sprouts and mushroom jus, the lamb trio as well as the homemade bread. The staff was very welcoming and made the entire experience unforgettable.

There is no doubt, it’s an exciting time for the Miami dining scene.

After day 3, I decided to take a break from my food adventures and booked time at the incredible Salon Vaso, created by Vaso Spirou, a woman who has been at the forefront of the beauty industry for over 20 years. She’s honed her skills during years in the business beginning at a young age as a child spending time in a family friend’s salon. I was particularly intrigued by this place so I decided to get a haircut and color. The incredible Martin Ducasse took care of my hair. Fascinated by the hair industry from a young age and active as a hairstylist for almost two decades, this French Canadian now lives in Miami. Martin chose to explore the U.S. a few years back and see what life in Miami had to offer. He absolutely loved it and is now here to continue his mission: Highlight a woman’s maximum beauty by using the minimum effort so they are confident and happy. Amen!

Although my trip only lasted 4 days, I was able to properly able to disconnect and discover Miami through its multicultural food scene but also through the stories of the people. It’s not only the food that makes Miami an unforgettable place but also its people and the rich multicultural heritage and stories.

So, if you are feeling like I was, it’s time to disconnect. Why not do so in Miami?

Ps. If you want a hassle-free trip, I highly recommend contacting Shuttle 2Go Miami – they were professional and courteous, and made getting around super easy.