If you are visiting Miami, then the News Café is a must for at least one meal. Is it touristy? Yes. Is it slightly over-priced? Yes. Have you seen the Jersey Shore cast eating here on several episodes? Yes. But the food is good and the scene is ideal for people watching (may I remind you again that the Jersey Shore cast ate here). Now that I think about it, it’s actually the ultimate people watching spot. The tables are situated along the crowded sidewalk of Ocean Ave, and all the freaks know to put on a show around here for tourists. Regular sightings include: skinny white women with big fake tits and long blonde hair looking ridiculous in barely there bikinis and stripper heels, large groups of Asians wearing oversized safari hats with cameras hanging around their necks, “bling-ed” out black men pulling up in pimped out Cadillacs with 10-person entourages, elderly gay couples that look like something out of the movie The Bird Cage wearing visors and speedos, and last but not least, some cracked out homeless people like this guy that my friend, Sam, and I witnessed over brunch today….
It is a hotspot for whack-jobs, so technically you’re getting “dinner and a show!” This two-in-one deal helps me justify the moderately steep prices, which are not completely outlandish, but certainly not a good value. Most of the restaurants on Ocean have ridiculous specials, such as free entrees with the purchase of an appetizer, ½ off the entire check, or two-for-one drink pitchers, but they aren’t nearly as good as the News Café. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a sale, but prepared food that is on sale scares me. I say splurge on News Café and you won’t be disappointed if you order smart. In my opinion, the breakfasts are reasonably priced (around $10) and the best thing to order. I like the Vegetable Omelet with sautéed spinach, red pepper, tomato, mushroom, onion and cheddar cheese, which is served with rye bread and your choice of home fried potatoes, fresh fruit, or pancakes. I order the fruit bowl (pictured below), but hear that the pancakes are delicious, light, and fluffy. The omelet is not too oily, and the eggs aren’t runny, which is a pet peeve of mine. It’s a generous portion too—I would estimate a 3 egg omelet. The French Toast with Strawberries and Bananas is also very popular and delicious!
If you’re looking to do lunch, I highly recommend the Chicken Nachos, which are listed under the appetizers but large enough to be a meal. They are really delicious and the guacamole is creamy and great. I also like the Greek Salad with Chicken, which is tomato, red onion, pepper, and feta cheese on a bed of Romaine lettuce tossed in basil vinaigrette ($15). It is an enormous portion, but tastes light and fresh. Another great salad is the Sliced Tomato Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil ($12). The tomatoes are always ripe, and the mozzarella is soft and creamy. Again, the portion is huge (see below) so I suggest this as an appetizer for the table.
Another favorite dish of mine to share is the Mediterranean Sampler Plate, which includes hummus, babaganush, tabouli salad, stuffed grape leaves, kalamata olives, chopped tomato, and warm fresh pita bread. This plate is a-w-e-s-o-m-e! You can get it portioned for one or two, depending how hungry you are and how many people there are.
Surprisingly, the pizzas at News Café are also really delicious. I am not the kind of person to order pizza just anywhere because I maintain the belief that a pizzeria is where one should go for pizza, but my friends have ordered the Chicken, Goat Cheese, Spinach, and Roasted Red Pepper Pizza ($15) in the past, and I undoubtedly swindle a slice. The only thing that I would stay away from really, are the pasta dishes. This is not an Italian restaurant and so the pastas are not gourmet. The tomato sauce is very watery and doesn’t really adhere to the noodles…it’s just not the thing to get at a café. On the other hand, I do really like the drinks at News Café. My dad and I once went late in the afternoon and got tipsy on specialty mojitos (such as mango, strawberry, and coconut) straight into the evening.
Overall, I’ve been living in Miami 4 years now, and the News Café is still my go to brunch spot after a morning spent tanning on the beach. I usually complain about the prices a little, but still voluntarily hand over my Visa to witness and be a part of the News Café scene. As long as you don’t try to customize your order too much—they will charge you for every add on and extra side—you can get away with a reasonable bill.