The convergence of so many cultures and cuisines makes Miami a hotspot for food tourism. Culture Trip asks the founder of Miami Culinary Tours, Grace Della, for her list of the city’s most exciting restaurants.
Raised in an Argentinian household where cooking from scratch and enjoying long dinners with loved ones was a daily priority, Grace Della felt instantly at home in Miami’s eclectic Latin American dining scene.
Her company, Miami Culinary Tours, which launched in 2010 and now offers seven tours throughout the city, is renowned for its good taste and restaurant community connections. From the women who serve coffee at Little Havana’s ventanitas to the city’s Michelin-star chefs – Della and her team know them all.
Guides also have the kind of contextual knowledge that helps tourists understand the cultures and stories behind the food they’re sampling, like the subtle differences between empanadas – a classic Miami street snack – when they’re made by Cubans (wheat flour, fried), Colombians (cornmeal, fried) or Argentines (wheat flour, baked).
With her insider perspective and deep affection for Miami’s epicurean melting pot, Della’s got the inside scoop on exactly where you should be booking a table during your next visit.
Taqueria el Mexicano
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Taqueria el Mexicano serves classic, simple Mexican food | Courtesy of Taqueria el Mexicano
Despite a major renovation, Taqueria el Mexicano still feels like a very authentic hole-in-the-wall taqueria. It’s now owned by the team behind the Cuban bar and live music spot Ball & Chain, but the cuisine is still classic, simple Mexican – just with a more extensive cocktail menu. My go-to order is the enchiladas smothered in spicy sauce.
Salumeria 104 specializes in Italian dishes | Courtesy of Graspa Group
The wait staff at Salumeria 104 go out of their way to make you feel like family. The atmosphere here is homey and rustic, and the food shares those qualities – think cavatelli pasta with a simple tomato sauce. Miami isn’t known for its Italian cuisine, but Salumeria 104 might just change that.
Coyo Taco has three locations in Miami | Courtesy of Coyo Taco
In terms of fast-casual dining, Coyo Taco, which has three locations in the city, can’t be beaten. This restaurant is all about very fresh ingredients; almost everything is locally sourced and home-made where possible. Try the nopales taco with grilled cactus, quinoa and queso fresco – a delicious and different vegetarian option.
St Roch Market is situated in the Design District | Courtesy of St Roch Market
Multi-chef food halls are a thing in Miami. St Roch Market brings together local talent in a contemporary space that’s typical of the Design District. I normally make a beeline for Jaffa to order chef Yaniv Cohen’s falafel served with creamy hummus, Israeli salad, pickles and tahini.
GK Bistronomie’s forte is high-end Latin-Asian cuisine | Courtesy of GKB Wynwood
Family-run restaurant GK Bistronomie proves there is real cooking talent in Miami. Chef Rafael Perez Cambana specializes in high-end Latin-Asian cuisine with a Peruvian flair. The move here is to order the lomo saltado: organic beef tenderloin with cilantro, tomatoes, fries with aji amarillo (fruity, medium-hot chili peppers) and jasmine rice.
Los Fuegos provides a taste of Argentina | Courtesy of Faena Hotel Miami Beach
Step into Los Fuegos, and it feels like you’ve been transported to Buenos Aires. This sophisticated yet approachable spot is beloved for its authentic Argentinian empanadas, which are cooked in a wood oven to give them that slightly charred goodness. There are only two flavors: prime beef filet with llajua sauce (a spicy salsa) or cheese and caramelized onions. Personally, I’m a fan of the beef.
You want amazing Latin food when you come to Miami, and this Colombian tavern delivers on your expectations. The ceviche, in particular, is divine, and the party atmosphere makes it a great place to dine with friends.