30 Things You Must Eat in Miami
Welcome to Miami! This must-visit paradise in South Florida rivals those big northern cities (we’re looking at you, NYC!) for some of the best food around. And with tasty delights that include Florida’s own unique foods, Floribbean cuisine, and a melting pot of cultures from all over the world, all paired with stunning views of the Atlantic, we’d say Miami’s got the edge.
Coming for a visit? Save room for these 30 things you must eat in Miami!
1. Stone Crabs
Joe’s Stone Crab
11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
Miamians might be late to just about everything unless you put stone crabs on the table. These sweet crab claws are only in season from October through May. You’ll find them in many places, but Joe’s Stone Crab has been an institution in Miami since 1913, making it as much a history lesson as a taste of Florida’s best delicacy.
2. Cuban sandwich
Tinta y Cafe
1315 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Miami
Thankfully, there’s no designated season for Cuban sandwiches. This delicious pressed sandwich masterpiece filled with roast pork, ham, pickles, Swiss cheese, and mustard only sounds simple. Everyone argues about who makes it best, but Tinta y Cafe is at the top of our list for consistent pressed-sandwich perfection.
3. Frita traditional
El Mago de las Fritas (Cuban Burger)
5828 SW 8th St., West Miami
If you like burgers, try the Cuban version of it. A frita puts your favorite hamburger on Cuban bread along with papitas (crispy thin potato chips in stick-form), all with a special sauce that’s as seductive as the vibe of Miami itself. Come and indulge in a frita at El Mago de las Fritas.
4. Tropical milkshakes
Robert Is Here
19200 SW 344 St., Homestead
When you’re in Miami, it would be foolish not to drive down to the Keys. Just before getting on the Overseas Highway, you’ll find this little place, Robert is Here, that has it all. It’s a food market, fruit stand, and farm. The real attraction here though is the milkshakes in tropical flavors like guanabana, papaya, and a classic Floridian treat, key lime.
5. Deli delights
9517 Harding Ave., Surfside
Here is where you’ll discover a prime example of Miami cultures coming together as one. The “Jewban” as it has come to be known is essentially a combination of a Cuban sandwich that has joined forces with the foodie faves of Jewish deli goers with pastrami thrown into the mix. Try an original Cuban sandwich first. Then come to Josh’s Deli for this beautiful hybrid.
6. Cinnamon rolls
Knaus Berry Farms
15980 SW 248 St., Homestead
We love traditional Miami, and it doesn’t get more traditional than Knaus. This farm has fresh produce and delights, but by far the reason to stand in the sticky heat wilting away with the throngs of other tourists is for the sticky sweet cinnamon rolls. Go early in the day because they sell out super-quick.
7. Jamaican patty
8736 SW 72 St., Sunset
Cuban food tends to be most prevalent in the 305, but you’ll be missing out if you don’t snag a Jamaican patty when you can. Jamaica Kitchen does it so well, filling these hot pastries with beef (mild or spicy), jerk chicken, potato, veggie, and so much more. You’ll be spoiled for choice and have a cheap meal or snack that’s completely portable for munching on while sight-seeing.
7340 NW 35th St., Miami
Don’t miss out on these dreamy wonders. They’re crispy on the outside with a creamy bechamel filling that can come with ham, seafood, or really just about anything. Once you try one, you’ll be hooked. Like Cuban sandwiches, Miamians will argue for days about who does it best, but majority rules with Dos Croquetas.
La Mar by Gaston Acurio
500 Brickell Key Drive, Brickell
Peruvian chef, Gastón Acurio, is a master of this iconic dish from his homeland. Raw fish cured in a citrus dressing and adorned with red onions, cilantro, and peppers, ceviche at La Mar goes great with the views of the city on Brickell.
Versailles Cuban Bakery
3501 SW 8th St., Miami
For the best cortadito, head to the main Cuban drag in the city, Calle Ocho. You can get a cortadito, a small yet supremely strong and utterly delicious Cuban espresso, just about anywhere but stopping at Versailles Cuban Bakery is a must. Incidentally, 3:05 pm is the official time to grab one in the 305, perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up.
11. Deli and dumplings
Pubbelly Noodle Bar
1418 20th St., Miami Beach
Miami has no shortage of gastropubs, but one that really offers something as oddly satisfying as Miami itself is Pubbelly. It’s here you’ll find a dumpling stuffed with pastrami and sauerkraut, served with Thousand Island dressing. Yes, a Reuben in dumpling form. It’s incredible!
1315 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables
Love bananas? You’ll love Miami. Sweet plantains are much like their larger counterparts and are served with just about everything. Sansara takes these babies and makes them into hashbrowns, a total win. You will absolutely love these for breakfast!
13. Braised prime beef short rib
Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant
11510 SW 147 Ave., Miami
Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant has created dishes that will keep you coming for more. The braised short ribs here are lovingly crafted for 24 hours, a gorgeous example of how you can actually fall in love with meat that falls off the bone.
1356 SW 8th St., Little Havana
Incidentally, while you’re having cortadito in the 305 at 3:05 pm, stop by Yisell Bakery to try the pastelitos (cuban pastries). If you’re not Cuban in Miami, you’re bound to have Cuban friends who will tell you this is the place to get them. Guava and cheese are a match made in Miami heaven!
15. Lobster pop-tart
1427 West Ave., Miami Beach
Speaking of pastries, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this epically divine creation. The Lobster Pop-Tart is a signature item with Maine lobster and gruyere inside a flakey pastry, plated in a retro toaster. The rest of the menu is pretty “fetch” if we do say so ourselves, filled with innovative creations all plated up in truly unusual and delightful ways. You won’t be disappointed in Barton G.
432 41st St., Miami Beach
The Forge has been a legend in Miami since the 1920s. Like Joe’s Stone Crab but for steak, you’ll need reservations to snag a table here. Upscale and utterly divine, the steaks here are worth waiting for, and the wine cellar (which is one of the biggest in Miami) makes spending time here even more worthwhile.
Doggi’s Arepa Bar
1246 SW 22nd St., Miami
Prepare to fall in love. Grilled corn cakes are stuffed with cheese for a sweet and savory sandwich called arepas. You’ll find the best at Doggi’s Arepa Bar where you’ll get them stuffed with more than just cheese – avocado, plantains, beans, and much more.
3190 Commodore Plz., Coconut Grove
Sure, you can get at any restaurant anywhere in the US, but Lokal serves up burgers that are made with all things local. The burgers are fashioned out of grass-fed beef from Florida, Florida avocado, and local produce. Everything they serve comes from the local community, making for a fresher, fully Floridian burger.
19. Arroz con pollo (Rice with Chicken)
La Rosa Restaurant
4041 NW 7th St., Miami
It sounds simple – chicken and rice. But this famed Cuban dish is so much more complex to the palate. Try it at La Rosa Restaurant and you’ll be a believer. It’s a filling and tasty meal for lunch or dinner.
20. Gator bites
2003 N Miami Ave., Miami
One of the best treasures of Floridian cuisine is that of Kush. It’s served up in bite-sized bits that are fried to golden perfection. They look and taste like chicken, though just a bit oilier. Be adventurous and give them a try. Yum!
11275 NW 27th Ave., Miami
Conch, a beloved food of the sea from Bahamians, is also adored in Miami. Go into just about any place and you’ll find a few pieces speckled into your order of conch fritters. Go to Conch Heaven and you’ll get more than just a few of ultra-fresh, utterly delicious conch.
22. Toston burger
30 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables
Here’s another Miami-style burger you’ve got to try. Instead of bread buns, they fry up plantains, smash them into buns, and serve your burger upon them. The sweet and savory combination is a winner. You will melt in your seat, trust me, you will not regret coming to Pincho.
23. Publix chicken and subs
Various locations all over
Publix is beloved by every Floridian, particularly in Miami. The supermarket of choice has some of the best deli items around from fried chicken to the rotisserie and some amazing subs too. By far though, the most popular item at Publix is the chicken tenders. You can get them solo or have the Publix chicken tender sub. It’s a rite of passage, and it makes a great lunch to take for a picnic on the beach.
24. Fast Latin food
Various locations all over
Want to get that Miami flavor without getting out of the car? Perfect for a rainy day, you’ll find Pollo Tropical locations everywhere that dish out heaping piles of beans and rice topped with juicy cooked chicken and served with plantains. We’re not saying it’s the best but it’s a totally Miami thing to grab quick and easy Latin food on the go.
El Palacio de los Jugos
5721 W Flagler St., Miami
People come from miles around to get the chicharrones, crispily fried pork rinds. Don’t miss the fresh juices here either though, another reason why Miamians love El Palacio de los Jugos.
26. Trendy comfort food
6730 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Famed local chef, Danny Serfer, never intended to be a chef but his stumble into the culinary world has been a blessing. Aptly melding southern comfort foods with an upscale twist, anything on the menu at Blue Collar is sure to delight, from the shrimp and grits to the “Corben,” a heaping brisket sandwich served with potato latkes and au jus, named for Billy Corben, a local director.
27. Perros calientes (Colombian Hot Dog)
97 SW 8th St., Brickell
You haven’t had a hot dog until you’ve had a Colombian hot dog! It’s served with five different and utterly spectacular sauces, topped with cheese and potato chips. Truly, nothing comes close! Next time you are craving a hot dog, come to La Moon.
28. Pan con minuta (Fried fish)
La Camaronera Seafood Joint and Fish Market
1952 W. Flagler St., Little Havana
With so much Cuban food to try while you’re in Miami, don’t forget to indulge your seafood desires. One way to do that is by popping in here for a fresh-caught treat of local snapper. It’s deep-fried with the tail on and the fleshy fish stays flavorful and moist inside. At La Camaronera Seafood Joint and Fish Market, it’s served on Cuban bread and dressed with a secret sauce and chopped onions, a most delicious way to eat it.
29. Lechon (Pork dish)
La Esquina del Lechon
8601 NW 58th St., Doral
Lechon is a whole roasted pig, a true treat for Miamians. You can’t go to a Cuban family gathering for a special occasion and not find lechon. It’s impossible. If you don’t have any friends celebrating in the area though, head to La Esquina del Lechon. It’s in Doral, a bit out of the way but worth the drive. They roast the pigs whole and then carve it up tableside. Cheering here when the rest of the crowd does is all part of the fun.
30. Fresh-caught seafood
105 NE 3rd Ave., Miami
And finally, if you’re coming to Miami and you love seafood, CVI.CHE 105 is a must. This place has been adored by fresh seafood lovers in Miami for years. And if you love ceviche, then you are in seafood heaven.