Miami is a vibrant and diverse city known for its beautiful beaches, Art Deco architecture, Latin culture, and amazing food scene. With so many excellent restaurants to choose from, deciding where to eat in Miami can be overwhelming for visitors. This article will provide a guide to the top restaurants and eateries that should not be missed when visiting Miami.
Here are quick answers to common questions about dining in Miami:
– What is Miami best known for food-wise? Cuban food, seafood, tacos and tapas.
– What are some must-try Miami foods? Cuban sandwiches, stone crab, empanadas, croquetas, ceviche, Fritas burgers.
– Where can I find the best Cuban food? Little Havana neighborhood – Versailles, Los Pinareños Fruteria, Azucar Ice Cream Company.
– What about seafood? Joe’s Stone Crab, Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market, Casablanca Seafood Bar.
– Where to go for tacos and tapas? Taquiza, Talavera, Itamae, Minibar, Loba.
– What are the trendiest restaurants right now? Boia De, Palmar, Lubi, Ghee Indian Kitchen.
– What is Miami’s dessert to try? Tres leches cake, chocolate croquetas, chocolate decadence cake.
No trip to Miami is complete without visiting Little Havana, the epicenter of Cuban culture and cuisine in the city. Nestled southwest of downtown Miami, Little Havana is teeming with Latin flair through its art, music, cigar shops, and of course, mouthwatering Cuban food. Be sure to come hungry as you explore the following destinations for sizzling Cuban cuisine in the heart of Little Havana:
For many, no Cuban restaurant is more iconic in Miami than Versailles. This lively, family-owned restaurant has been serving heaping plates of Cuban cuisine since 1971. Their Cuban sandwich layered with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread is legendary. Other items not to miss include their chicken or picadillo empanadas, Cuban tamales wrapped in banana leaves, and fried yuca over rice and beans. Wash it all down with a refreshing mamey or guava shake.
Los Pinareños Fruteria
In addition to fruits and vegetables, this vibrant market sells some of the best Cuban food to go in the neighborhood. Load up on croquetas, empanadas, roast pork and all the fixings for a picnic in nearby Domino Park. Don’t leave without getting a Cuban coffee or cortadito to sip as you people watch.
Azucar Ice Cream Company
Few things could be more refreshing after a hearty Cuban meal than a scoop of Azucar’s incredible ice cream. Creamy, inventive flavors like Abuela Maria with vanilla, cinnamon and butter cookie chunks or Havana Classic with rum raisin capture the spirit of Cuba. The warm, helpful staff make the experience even more welcoming.
Miami’s proximity to both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico make it a seafood lover’s paradise. Visitors can indulge in the freshest catch across Miami’s dining scene, from fine dining experiences to casual joints serving fish tacos and sandwiches. For outstanding seafood in Miami, head to one of these top restaurants:
Joe’s Stone Crab
Dining at Joe’s Stone Crab is a Miami institution. Since 1913, they have served what many regard as the best stone crab in Miami. The famous crustacean’s season runs October 15 to May 15 when enjoying Joe’s signature mustard sauce dipped claws is a must. Their fried chicken and hash browns are also excellent choices in a nautical themed setting.
Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market
This unfussy, cash-only spot is hugely popular with locals for its enormous, reasonably priced seafood plates. Feast on mountains of steamed shrimp, snow crab legs, fried fish, oysters and more. Even better – everything is cooked to order and ultra fresh from their onsite fish market. Expect long lines on weekends.
Casablanca Seafood Bar
Regarded as one of Miami’s top seafood restaurants, Casablanca on the river offers a more upscale dining experience. Their fish is expertly prepared in a variety of cooking methods like oak-grilled, pan seared or steamed. Signature dishes include hogfish ceviche, whole fried yellowtail snapper and scallop tagliatelle. The views of the Miami River complement the seafood beautifully.
Tacos and Tapas
Two dynamic culinary influences shaping Miami’s dining scene are the influx of Mexican taquerias dishing up scrumptious tacos and Spanish-style tapas restaurants serving small plates meant for sharing. For a taste of these tasty trends, explore these recommendations:
This colorful Design District taqueria focuses on Mexico’s traditional ” blue corn” tacos handmade with heirloom corn from Oaxaca. Fill up on smooth chicken tinga, fatty brisket barbacoa and rich lamb birria tacos drizzled with addictive consommé. Don’t overlook their ample meatless options too like nopales and crispy potato tacos.
The charming outdoor patio at Talavera transports you to Mexico through vibrant Talavera tiles and festive string lights. Sample a variety of authentic Mexican antojitos like mushroom tinga gorditas, Baja fish tacos and queso fundido alongside frozen margaritas in their lively ambiance.
Helmed by Peruvian chef Santiago Gomez, Itamae captures the Nikkei cuisine influence blending Japanese and Peruvian flavors. Their mix of Peruvian style ceviches, Japanese makis and signature tiraditos (a Peruvian ceviche variation) accompanied by pisco cocktails make for an exciting tasting menu.
For a modern, upscale take on Spanish tapas, visit chef Jose Mendin’s chic restaurant and lounge Minibar. Creative plates like shishito peppers with stracchino cheese, Wagyu beef skewers and bacon wrapped dates pair beautifully with their craft cocktails and extensive wine list.
Set along the Miami River, Loba impresses with beautifully presented, locally sourced Spanish small plates. Ingredients shine in dishes like the heirloom tomato pan con tomate, jamón ibérico croquetas and seared octopus. Extensive vegan and gluten-free options are also available.
Trendy Hot Spots
Miami’s exciting dining scene is constantly evolving with new trendsetting restaurants opening all the time, especially in gentrified neighborhoods like Wynwood, the Design District and Little River. Foodies flock to the latest it spot for a taste of what’s new, hip and delicious in Miami. Here are some current favorites:
This quaint, plant-filled café in Buena Vista whips up gorgeous grain bowls and avocado toast laden with organic produce grown at their own farm. All of the inventive smoothies, cold pressed juices and desserts like chocolate avocado mousse are also made in-house. Boia De sets a new standard for farm-to-table dining in Miami.
For a whirlwind global culinary experience, make a reservation at the new Design District restaurant Palmar. The tasting menu journeys through dishes and flavors inspired by the co-owners world travels to Spain, Morocco, Japan and beyond. With a new menu daily, each visit promises something deliciously different.
The trendy new spot for Miami socialites and celebs is Lubi, an Asian-inspired lounge and sushi bar in Brickell. Lit with neon signs and candlelight, Lubi attracts the “it” crowds with Japanese-Peruvian fare like yellowfin tiradito and wagyu dumplings alongside luxe bottle service until the early morning hours.
Ghee Indian Kitchen
Led by chef Niven Patel, Ghee modernizes homestyle Indian cuisine with globally inspired flair. With a dedication to ingredients like ghee (clarified butter), the sharing plates truly pop with flavor in options like paneer makhani fries, jackfruit biryani tacos and masala chicken wings.
Miami’s sweets scene perfectly encapsulates how the city blends Cuban, South American and American influences into something deliciously its own. No Miami food tour would be complete without devouring one of these iconic desserts:
Tres Leches Cake
The “three milks” cake is a staple dessert in many Latin cultures, made by soaking a sponge cake in three types of milk – evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. Miami’s humid climate is ideal for the dense, moist tres leches cakes found around the city.
These fried churro-like rolls filled with gooey chocolate or dulce de leche filling demonstrate how Cubans reinvented croquetas by infusing a sweet twist. Find them at Cuban bakeries and restaurants as the perfect sweet finish to your meal.
Chocolate Decadence Cake
An over-the-top, intensely chocolaty creation, chocolate decadence cake is a staple on many Miami restaurant dessert menus. The fudgy layers of chocolate cake and ganache are a chocoholic’s dream come true after a savory Miami meal.
|Versailles, Los Pinareños Fruteria, Azucar Ice Cream Company
|Joe’s Stone Crab, Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market, Casablanca Seafood Bar
|Tacos and Tapas
|Taquiza, Talavera, Itamae, Minibar, Loba
|Trendy Hot Spots
|Boia De, Palmar, Lubi, Ghee Indian Kitchen
|Tres Leches Cake, Chocolate Croquetas, Chocolate Decadence Cake
With its dazzling diversity of Cuban, South American, Mexican, seafood and global cuisine, Miami offers visitors endless options for unforgettable dining experiences. By exploring the neighborhoods and restaurants highlighted in this article, foodies can capture the full flavor that makes Miami’s food scene world-class. Whether trying classic Cuban dishes in Little Havana, the freshest seafood along the coasts or trendsetting new restaurants, Miami serves up incredible culinary adventures around every corner.