Known for a dynamic mix of comfort food and drool-worthy cakes, Icebox Cafe has been a Miami Beach fixture since 1998. It’s even garnered the attention of Oprah, who once raved about the Bomb, a cheesecake and chocolate lover’s delight. The restaurant’s name originates from the idea that if food isn’t fresh, it’s not on the menu. Only items that are kept in a traditional icebox make it out to diners. Good news for Lauderdale locals: Its Hallandale Beach location in the city’s arts and entertainment district is an easy drive.
The café is designed to make you feel like you’re at a friend’s home, with two cozy spots in which you can enjoy your meal. The first is a greenhouse composed of live botanicals and vintage furniture. The eclectic interior, on the other hand, boasts an industrial feel, anchored by a mural by artist Captain Casual and inclusive of a commissary and test kitchen.
What’s most appealing is Icebox’s extensive menu. The Faroe Islands salmon sits on a bed of pad Thai–style vegetable quinoa with peanuts, wasabi peas, and micro cilantro. The braised short rib (accompanied by celery root puree and balsamic-rosemary carrots) is so tender, it’ll melt in your mouth. There’s also a wow-worthy lineup of burgers including the Rajun-Cajun, which comes with blue cheese crumbles, Cajun spices, sriracha, fried onions, and pickles on a challah bun. Don’t leave without trying the desserts by pastry chef Maggie Vaillant. Worth the spoonful is the tres leches, as well as the deep-dish key lime pie.