The city of Miami is known for its sports franchises, its beaches, and its world-class club culture, but its culinary landscape is definitely not to be overlooked. Miami’s heavily multicultural population has led to an eclectic Caribbean/Latin/American fusion cuisine native to South Florida. This style of cooking has even earned its own moniker, known as “Floribbean” cuisine. There is a specifically a strong Cuban influence in Miami culture, leading to a prominence of Cuban cuisine not often found in American cities. As a seaside city, Miami is also known for its abundance of fresh seafood.
If you are looking to try some authentic Caribbean food during your Miami stay, look no further than Clive’s, which is known as one of the best purveyors of authentic Jamaican food in the city. You might also want to try chef Cindy Hutson’s Ortanique, famous for their Caribbean-spiced fish dishes, Aunt I’s (featuring possibly the best jerk chicken in the city), or the Bahamian Pot, particularly if conch is on your menu. When it comes to Latin food in Miami, the clear emphasis is on Cuban food, considering that Miami has what is likely the most authentic Cuban food available stateside. no restaurant better epitomizes the pinnacle of Miami Cuban fare than multiple James Beard Award winner Douglas Rodriguez’ De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean. Rodriguez is considered the Godfather of Nuevo Latino cuisine, and it does not get better than De Rodriguez Cuba when it comes to Latin fare in Miami. Other notable options for Cuban food in Miami include Versailles in Little Havana, Las Culebrinas in Coconut Grove, and Islas Canarias Downtown.
As is standard for all major seaports, Miami is known as one of the best cities in the country for fresh seafood. Area 31, located in the Kimpton Epic Hotel in Downtown Miami, features a skyline view of the city, and impeccably prepared local and sustainably caught seafood carefully sourced by executive chef E. Michael Reidt. Both your stomach and your conscience can really feel good about anything you eat at Area 31, as you can be sure that all ingredients are harvested ethically and of the highest quality available. No restaurant better epitomizes shellfish in Miami than Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach, a true South Florida seafood staple serving loyal patrons since 1913. Chef David Bracha’s The River Seafood & Oyster Bar Downtown, and chef Simon Stojanovic’s Altamare in South Beach are other top Miami restaurants you may want to consider when seeking out the best seafood in the area.
Considering the Miami is a prominent transplant city for New Yorkers, it is not a surprise that it is home to some excellent Italian restaurants. You might want to visit celebrity-favorite Quattro Gastronomia Italiana in South Beach, featuring delectable specialties such as their Ravioli Di Procini Con Salsa Di Procini Tartufata, a house-made procini ravioli with procini truffle sauce. Romeo’s Cafe in Coral Gables, specializing in Northern Italian cuisine, offers a truly unique and personalized dining experience. Chef Romeo Majano converses with each patron to enter through the door, and concocts an individualized six-course dinner or three-course lunch designed specifically to suit the tastes of each individual. You might also consider Casa Tua in South Beach for gourmet Italian fare served in an elegant outdoor environment, or for reasonably priced Northern Italian cuisine Downtown, visit La Loggia.
Tamarind Thai Restaurant in Miami Beach is an excellent choice for Thai cuisine in Miami, as is Oishi Thai, a combination Thai/Sushi restaurant popular among North Miami denizens. Pan Lan Asian Cafe features chef Johnson Teh’s dizzying array of Pan-Asian influences integrated into unique fusion dishes you will not find anywhere else. Pan Lan also doubles as a bubble tea bar, which is sure to please lovers of the Taiwanese tapioca tea known as “boba.” Try Imlee in Pinecrest if Indian cuisine is up your alley, or Bali Cafe Downtown for authentic and hard-to-find stateside Indonesian fare.
Being home to a large Jewish population base, a French-influenced culture, and many New York transplants, it is not a surprise that Miami has a good number of great delis to offer. For a French-style deli experience, consider chef Claude Postel’s Buena Vista Deli in the Design District, or La Sandwicherie in Miami Beach. When it comes to New York-style Jewish delis, Ben’s Kosher Deli, Roaster’s and Toasters, Josh’s Delicatessen and Appetizing, and Goldstein’s Prime are all excellent choices.
Although Miami culinary culture tends to be defined by Caribbean and Latin-influenced fare and seafood, as a major urban hub, Miami has all the standard culinary options you would expect from any big city and popular travel destination. No matter what type of cuisine you might be looking for, you are sure to find a suitable culinary avenue in Miami. Hopefully our guide to Miami dining makes your Miami restaurant search a little bit easier. Dig in!