If you’re a young professional who has just moved to Miami, or you’re a local who just hasn’t checked out the ever-changing food scene in a while, you’re in for a real treat. The restaurant industry in Miami has really given itself its own unique identity, becoming a melting pot of sorts for Latin American and Caribbean influenced dishes. These restaurants are truly authentic representations of their origins. Miami also has a booming music scene, and if you like to move while you eat, there are certainly some excellent options for you to choose from.
Of course, compiling any sort of list yourself can seem daunting, especially if you’re hungry and don’t know what kind of food you want. Too much variety can get overwhelming, so here is a short list of must-try restaurants in Miami, and even a few in South Beach so you can stay far away from the tourist traps.
- La Camaronera: Founded by Cuban Fishermen, this iconic spot will serve some of the best seafood you’ve ever tasted, and also includes some authentic Cuban classics like shrimp empanadas, arroz con pescado y tostones, and an incredible shrimp combo.
- Rio Cristal: This is a simple diner that serves up some out of this world food. If you like Cuban comfort food, you’ve come to the right place, from the décor to the menu, this restaurant has an excellent reputation for a reason.
- Shorty’s: If you want something a little heavier, you don’t want to pass up a visit to Shorty’s barbeque. If you love delicious ribs covered in sauce or smoked brisket, this is where you want to find yourself.
Miami Beach Favorites
- 27 Restaurant: From shakshuka to kimchi fried rice, this Middle-Eastern-inspired restaurant has an excellent reputation with the younger crowd. The setting is incredibly unique and homey, residing in a 1930s cottage and boasting simple, family-style recipes.
- Scarpetta: A great Italian restaurant should always make a short list, and nothing beats Scarpetta in Mid-Beach. The restaurant serves up flavorful regional dishes, including octopus, truffled mushrooms, and of course, classic spaghetti with tomato basil.
- The Strand: If you’re on a health kick, you can still manage to drink fresh-pressed juices and enjoy a night out by ordering one of The Strand’s incredibly delicious cocktails. There is also a slew of vegetarian items, and light meals to keep you full, but not too stuffed.
- Stubborn Seed: As the season’s change, so should the menu, or at least that’s the mindset that the Stubborn Seed employs. If you have an adventurous palate and like to try things that are delicious, yet unique, you should definitely come in for dinner or the Sunday brunch.
- Lucali: Good pizza comes from New York, and that’s exactly what you’ll get in this South Beach pizzeria. Stemming from an original location in Brooklyn, this pizzeria serves up some of the very best. The best part? You can enjoy some authentic pizza pie and then take a stroll on the beach.
- Planta: If you’ve been waiting for a vegan option on this list, we’ve saved the very best for last. Planta serves up some of the most incredible vegan flair that you’ll ever taste, and it will leave your taste buds both confused and wanting more. From queso dip to pizza, to burgers, and even veggie sushi, this restaurant pulled out all the stops to make sure you experience all of the same flavorful euphoria you get when eating meat and dairy, without any of the bloat or guilt that come with eating animal products.
As you can tell by now, this list is just a small taste of the vast array of food that Miami has to offer. You should always make a point to check in every few months to see what has popped up. New culinary creations are being made every day, and if you’re not vigilant, you can miss an entire neighborhood change over the course of a year or even a few months. If you really want to find the best hole in the wall eateries, start off in a neighborhood and walk around. Maybe even ask a local what their favorite restaurants are to really see what the best of what the neighborhood has to offer.
If you want something local, authentic, and cost-effective, you should definitely take a trip away from South Beach, and dive into the surrounding neighborhoods across the bridge. Sometimes, we find the best food by accident, and in Miami, there is no shortage of hidden gems to be discovered.