By Chelsea Olson for Miami New Times
Traveling to Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach once seemed so far away you’d know who your real friends were if you needed a ride. Now, thanks to the sleek and speedy Brightline, which debuted just over a year ago, connecting Miami to these major South Florida cities is a breeze. The majority of weekday riders are those commuting to and from work, trading rush-hour traffic for spacious, quiet cabins with Wi-Fi and refreshments. This ease of transportation also means accessibility to many restaurants.
Fares range from $10 to $35, so the next time you find yourself on the train, begin with breakfast in Miami, continue with lunch or brunch in Fort Lauderdale, and end with dinner in West Palm Beach for the ultimate Brightline dine-around.
600 NW First Ave., Mezzanine Level, Miami
Central Fare is the Brightline Miami station’s food hall, offering a multitude of options. As you reach the top of the escalator, you’re greeted by a grand entrance to the marketplace, where Parliament Coffee stands front and center. The shop offers sustainably sourced beans for a morning coffee fix. Enjoy gluten-free buckwheat crepes, including vegan and vegetarian varieties, from Bucks Crepes; a selection of pastries at Rosetta Bakery; and a wide selection of empanadas at Patagonia Flavors by Delicatessen Patagonia. There’s also a World Famous House of Mac outpost and La Estación American Brasserie by Juvia Group, both ideal for lunch.
B Bistro + Bakery
600 Brickell Ave., Miami
For a weekend breakfast, B Bistro + Bakery in Brickell is only a ten-minute ride to the Brightline Miami station. A favorite morning spot for a sit-down meal, it offers a large croissant selection that includes an everything “bagel” version, pistachio, charcoal, Nutella, and ham and cheese. There’s also a variety of pancakes, sandwiches, and salads. Pro tip: Order online for delivery through Postmates.
Etaru Las Olas
500 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
After a quick 30-minute ride to Fort Lauderdale, head to Etaru Las Olas. Weather permitting, the walk is about 17 minutes. Otherwise, Brightline offers a $5 Lyft credit on rides to or from any of its stations with the purchase of a train ticket. An eight-minute ride will take you to Etaru for a savory Sunday brunch at a fraction of the price. The $55-per-person meal includes a welcome drink, followed by bottomless red, white, or rosé wine and a vast buffet of robata-grilled meats and vegetables, gyoza, sushi rolls, and sashimi, plus one main dish and an impressive dessert platter.