Books and Books on Lincoln Road
Lincoln Road is one of Miami Beach’s most popular destinations, loved not only by South Beach tourists but the locals too. A mile long pedestrian street packed with art galleries, shops, bars and restaurants, it sees thousands of visitors every week. Most choose to eat outside and enjoy Miami’s year round warm weather, and for those of you that are looking for healthy dining with a difference, look no further: Books and Books is the place to go.
A Book Store and a Café
The Books and Books Café can be found on the north side of Lincoln Road, between Jefferson and Michigan Avenue. As the name suggests, it is attached to one of the few remaining independent book stores in South Beach, where you can browse different sections of the store for art, design, fashion, music, architecture and travel. Locally owned, the book store has been in business for 24 years and has a loyal following of locals and tourists. People come to browse the well stocked store for anything from a newly released hardcover to the latest gossip magazines imported from England, which you can flick through while sitting on a comfy sofa in their shady terrace. They host monthly author events and book signings, and have an ordering service for that elusive book that they may not have in store, but you must read.
A restaurant in South Beach with a Vegan selection
Whilst other restaurants along Lincoln Road try and tempt you in with the usual drink offers and half price specials, the café attached to the book store is always busy. Head Chef Bernie Matz uses only home made natural ingredients in his food, and this has created a delicious menu to satisfy any appetite. Most days you will find General Manager Rachel Aronoff advising customers with her extensive knowledge about the menu, she knows every ingredient and how the food is prepared and she is always happy to answer any questions you may have.
This is one of the only places on the beach that has a vegan and vegetarian section to choose from, which is why it is such a pleasure to visit if you follow a vegan diet. Instead of combing the menu looking for the one token vegetarian offering, the menu is bursting with choice. It has entrees such as organic tofu and wild mushroom stir fry, black bean hummus sandwich, tofu fajita wrap and a vegan platter that has grilled tofu, black bean hummus, roasted sweet potato, grilled corn and black bean salad. And the café takes its customers dietary choices seriously: the kitchen has a separate fryer, grill and prep area so you can order safely in the knowledge that your food is entirely vegan. They also fully cater for food allergies, and it has become a big favorite of anyone following a gluten free diet. The sweet potato fries are a particular favorite of mine, and they are safe to eat as they are entirely gluten free, thanks to the vegan kitchen.
For those of you not wishing to indulge in the vegetarian options, they also cater for meat eaters with as much choice as the vegan menu. They have burgers, crab cakes, seared tuna and grilled calamari plus sandwiches, salads and wraps full of chicken, ham, pork or turkey. The drink menu has a chai tea latte that is so good it always makes you order a second, and a freshly squeezed lemonade with strawberry or mango, made from all natural ingredients. You will also find the famous Misha’s Cupcakes nestled by the magazine racks in case you can be tempted for dessert.
So why choose Books and Books over everywhere else on Lincoln Road?
The café offers something for everyone with all diets catered for, which is unusual along Lincoln Road. Prices are very reasonable, with appetizers at $5 and entrees starting at under $10. The café is a participant in the Miami InCard program, the free city sponsored discount card, giving 10% off to locals and 5% off to tourists if you present the card when asking for your check. The staff are helpful and knowledgeable about how the kitchen prepares your meal. And best of all, the food is both healthy and delicious, a winning combination.
There is nothing better than spending a sunny day strolling along Lincoln Road. So next time you do, make sure you go to Books and Books for a browse around the book store followed by a leisurely meal sitting outside at the café, watching the world go by. A definite must if you are visiting Lincoln Road.
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