South Beach Wine & Food Fest Tips
Loosen those belt buckles, and get ready for the tastiest time of the year — South Beach Wine & Food Festival!
As the host hotel of the Festival, Loews Miami Beach Hotel will be home to a record-setting nine events this year, including two that are brand new to the festival: the Family Ice Cream Social with Duff Goldman and Late-Night Desserts & Dancing with Bobby Flay.
On the whole, the Festival offers five jam-packed days of nearly 100 food and drink events across two counties… It truly takes a pro to consume that much food. Which is why we’ve turned to three South Florida food experts for their tips on how to take on South Beach Wine & Food Festival weekend like a professional.
Lee Schrager, Founder & Director of South Beach Wine & Food Festival
For any first-timer, what I always advise is they should definitely see the Grand Tasting Village, with all the celebrity chef demos. We want everyone to buy as many tickets as possible, but we don’t want them to be overwhelmed. Pick a few that you really want rather than overdoing it:
- One signature event in the North venue on the sand, whether Italian Bites on the Beach or the Heineken Light Burger Bash
- One late-night party, like the new Midnight Munchies block party on historic Española Way or the Desserts & Dancing party and Tacos After Dark at Loews Miami Beach Hotel
- Do one seated dinner, so you experience something more intimate.
Larry Carrino, President of Brustman Carrino PR
- You’re crazy if you try to do everything that appeals to you. The 2018 Festival is five nights and three days long. It encompasses two counties and 97 events. Lock in the 3 or maybe 5 events you will die if you miss and hopefully spread it out over days and nights. Three events in one day can be tough.
- Yes, it’s South Florida and sex appeal is in our DNA, but really consider the venue for the event when you consider how you dress. Events on the sand and high heels do not mix. Consider the terrain and that for many events, save dinners, you’re going to be on your feet a great deal. Love your feet and they’ll love you back.
- Hydrate! You will pay dearly for it if you don’t.
- The Festival is about great food and drink, so know you will indulge, and if you want to overindulge, do so responsibly. Cab it, Uber. Leave the car at home and also save yourself the hassle of parking.
- If an event has a VIP hour and you can handle the added charge, go for it. So worth it. Go to Burger Bash just once during VIP and you’ll never want to wait for the General Public start time again. Less people, early access. Cannot be beat.
Geoffrey Anderson Jr., Co-Founder of Miami Food Pug
Oxtail Terrine at SOBEWFF Grand Tasting // Photo by Dianne Rubin — Miami Food Pug
- Wear comfortable shoes. Check where each event is taking place and dress appropriately. Function beats fashion: You don’t want to wear heels when you’re knee deep in sand and stuffing your face.
- Scope out the $1/hour public parking garages. It’s no secret that parking can get pricey on South Beach, so plan ahead. Also, consider using Uber to drop you off close to — not at — the venue and then walk the rest of the way to avoid traffic.
- Pack lots of battery packs for your phone. Food photos are a given, and you don’t want to be that person asking if you can use a vendor’s outlet to charge your phone. Get a battery pack (or two) from Amazon for $20 or less for an extra boost.
- Start in the back. When events first open, people naturally convene at the front. Instead, walk straight to the back and work your way forward — there’s less of a rush to grab dishes.
- Bring wet wipes. Vendors will have napkins available, but some dishes can be extra messy and sticky. Having wet wipes close by will help you clean up nicely.
Now do you feel ready to take on SOBEWFF like a pro? Then we hope you’ll join us for a fabulous weekend of festing and feasting! See you there!
Lyssa has been with Loews Miami Beach Hotel since April 2017. As a lifelong Miami Beach native, ocean waves and palm trees are her natural habitat. Lyssa loves to stay in-the-know about Miami’s evolving restaurant scene and will never pass up an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, from Biscayne Bay and the beaches to mangroves and meals al fresco.