Lesley Abravanel knows her way around Miami and then some…comes with the territory. What does she do? What doesn’t she do. She’s the Miami Herald’s long running gossip/nightlife columnist/blogger (with column titles like Velvet Underground and Scene in the Tropics), editor of the food/drink blog Miami Eater, Miami listings editor for Black Book and author of guidebooks Frommer’s Florida and Frommer’s South Florida.

It’s no wonder Lesley is the perfect person to provide insider tips and faves about the city she knows so well.

What do you love about your city in the summer/fall?

What I truly love about summer and fall is as soon as summer is over, regardless of the temperature, natives tend to whip out the Uggs, the thigh high boots and the ski caps. It could be 100 degrees with a heat index of 120, but if it’s October, it’s boots and hats all the way.

What are some of your favorite neighborhoods?   For eating?  Museums?  Nightspots?


The obvious answer to this would be Midtown Miami, the Design District and Wynwood for various reasons—food, culture, hipsters, nightlife. But I’ll give another shout out to the always evolving areas of Brickell and Sunset Harbour/Purdy, where on any given day, week, or month, a new restaurant or watering hole seems to emerge from nowhere. I’m also keen on developing downtown Miami.div>

What is your favorite place to shop in the city?

Why, Target at Midtown, of course.

What inspires you about your city?

The absolute inanity of it. And the insanity too. And the efforts of a sophisticated, educated group of many trying to change the aforementioned. That inspires me most.

Do you have an insider tip for tourists visiting your city for the first time?

Miami is not all about South Beach. Rent a car and explore.

Are you a regular somewhere?  Local hangout?


They seem to know my name at The Room and Clarke’s. (Both are on Miami Beach)

Do you have a secret spot in the city (to unwind, get away, people watch, read a book, escape)?

My balcony

What are you favorite restaurants/museums/parks/ shopping places/bars/etc?

Restaurants: Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Joey’s, Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill (all in the Design District), Jimmy’s East Side Diner (on 72 Street and Biscayne Blvd. in the MiMo District)
Bars: The Room, Clarke’s, Fox’s Sherron Inn (South Miami), Ted’s, Deuce, Raleigh Bar (rest are on Miami Beach)

Shopping: Marky’s (a gourmet food store)
Parks: South Pointe Park (Miami Beach)