On Friday, February 23, 2024, Emmy Award-winning chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri entertained fans at the Coke Zero Sugar presents Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives LIVE at the Food Network South Beach Wine & FoodFestival. Guy poured his Santo Tequila onto a grill filled with pineapples, which ignited in flames as the crowd erupted. He was also seen hopping behind the camera to take photos of guests at the event! Credit: World Red Eye

Baller Eats: Top Picks from South Beach Wine & Food Festival 2024

The Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival returned this past weekend for its 23rd year, and it was the ultimate foodie paradise. With more than 100 events across South Florida and even hundreds more participating restaurants and chefs, attendees were blessed with a plethora of palate-pleasing options to choose from at key events like the 17th annual Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons®, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives LIVE, BACARDĺ presents The Block Party and even intimate events like The Cookout presented by Stella Artois and Overtown EatUp! hosted by Marcus Samuelsson.

In the midst of this culinary carnival, Baller Alert explored the Festival’s flavors, uncovering the most mouthwatering dishes. Here are our top picks of the food that absolutely slapped!

1. Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken – Memphis, TN

Coming in at #1 on our list are the Sweet Spicy Love chicken tenderloins and honey-buttered biscuits from Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken that we tried at Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives LIVE. Fried to perfection, the juicy chicken tenderloin was bathed in a sweet and spicy sauce, creating a perfect balance of flavors. Paired with a melt-in-your-mouth honey-buttered biscuit, this duo was an indulgence worth cheating on your diet for. The restaurant was also crowned with the People’s Choice award, so clearly others agreed.

Credit: World Red Eye

2. M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom – Islamorada, FL

The smoked chicken wing from M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom had attendees lining up for seconds at the BACARDĺ Block Party. “I just don’t want to run out,” we overheard the chef say as carnivores attempted to double dip as others patiently queued up for their turn to savor these delectable wings. And with good reason. It was only fair for everyone to experience the perfect fusion of flavors. The smokiness of the wings combined with the honey chipotle BBQ sauce created a heavenly match that left taste buds craving more.

 

3. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint – Nashville, TN

The whole hog sandwich from Martin’s BBQ at Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives LIVE was another win for us. Picture this: succulent pork, slow-roasted to perfection, slathered in a tantalizingly light sauce, then crowned with a generous serving of homemade slaw. But the real showstopper was the hog on display, as skilled chefs meticulously carved out portions to craft these delectable sandwiches.

4. Salt & Straw

Salt & Straw’s spiked ice cream stole the spotlight at the Grand Tasting Village, offering a delightful treat for a sunny day in Miami Beach. Featuring creative flavors such as Fran’s Chocolate Almond Gold Bar and Marionberry Coconut Sherbet, Salt and Straw’s diverse selection ensures there’s something for everyone. Their boozy ice cream added an extra layer of fun and liveliness to the SOBEWFF experience.

5. Grey Goose Cocktails

It would be remiss if we didn’t mention any spirits in our recap. Rounding out of the top 5 is Grey Goose’s colorful and fruity activation. With three liquor options, they allowed customization with strawberry, peach, or watermelon bases, leaving a refreshing taste in our mouths – perfect for a beautiful sunny day in Miami Beach.

This year’s SOBEWFF brought the heat, showcasing the diverse and vibrant culinary landscape of South Florida and beyond. And the cherry on top is that proceeds from the festival support Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality, Tourism & Management. With the 2025 festival scheduled for February 20th to 23rd, mark your calendars and get ready to indulge in a culinary adventure like no other.

See other highlights from this year’s event below: 

Grutman, Khaled, Rick Ross
Rick Ross surprised guests with a live performance at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival alongside DJ and Producer DJ Khaled, who both took the stage at The David Grutman Experience at the Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village – Sunday, February 25, 2024
Credit: Almanaq Studios
Famed chef Marcus Samuelsson takes the stage at the 2024 SOBEWFF Grand Tasting Event. Photo Credit: World Red Eye

 

On Saturday, February 24, 2024, eight-time Grammy Award winner Gloria Estefan surprises attendees of the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Grand Tasting Village event on the sand at the Only in Dade stage alongside DJ Cassidy. Photo Credit: World Red Eye
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Simone
Simone is an award-winning communications professional with over seven years of experience. Her passion for writing has led her to serve as Editor-in-Chief at Baller Alert. In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants and traveling (to mostly tropical destinations.)

About Simone

Simone is an award-winning communications professional with over seven years of experience. Her passion for writing has led her to serve as Editor-in-Chief at Baller Alert. In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants and traveling (to mostly tropical destinations.)

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