On our first Miami morning, jet lag had us up and about bright and early at around 4:00 so we eagerly waited for dawn and the promise of a big breakfast. The day was sunny with clear blue skies, perfect for exploring the famed Miami Beach. We got off Key Biscayne and headed straight to the 24-hour News Cafe on the corner of Ocean drive and 8th street. It was too windy for a terrace table so we sat in one of the red leather booths right by the window for a picture-perfect view of the beach and people-watching.
Opened in 1988, this cafe started out as a news stand with a few tables and has since grown into a Miami institution with a large shady outdoor terrace and a great selection of international newspapers and magazines. After a quick scan of the menu, we downed our Lavazza double espressos and watched the early-morning crowd walk their dogs and jog on the boardwalk. Our breakfast specials were served soon after - a large plate of eggs (scrambled for me, poached for him), crispy bacon, home fries, toast and orange juice (when in Florida, drink as the locals do). As we were eating, the place started to get busier and by the time we finished at around 8:00 a.m., there were quite a few locals and tourists sitting around having their morning coffee.
After breakfast, we walked up Ocean drive and saw the preserved art deco facades of the many hotels and restaurants fronting the sea. By this time, the sun was high in the sky and we kept going several blocks until we got to the end of the street and continued on to Lincoln road (at 18th street) where the pedestrian mall of boutiques and restaurants is located. As it was still quite early, we sat and waited at the The Cafe @ Books & Books (another Miami institution) where we had our second espresso of the morning and flipped through several magazines as we waited for the stores to open and for the rest of Miami beach to wake up.
800 Ocean Drive (at 8th street)
Miami Beach 33139 FL
Telephone: +1 305 538 6397
*Open 24 hours daily