Prepare yourself for a lot of Latin American- and Caribbean-influenced foods. The chicharrón is a staple of South American cuisine. Fried pork skin is all it is, but don’t be fooled into thinking that all chicharrón were created equal. If you want the best you’ll need to make your way to El Palacio De Los Jugos, which has three locations in Miami.
A seasonal dish that’s served up all over South Florida’s seafood restaurants from October to March, the stone crab is one of the most tender and succulent crab meats. Served cracked and chilled on ice, Florida Stone Crab claws can vary in size and its sweet, lobster-esque meat needs little seasoning. The best place to go for these marvelous gifts from the ocean is the famous Joe’s Stone Crabs.
Miami residents and visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to the quantity and variety of fish available for consumption. One place that serves up some delicious Mahi-Mahi and grouper sandwiches is Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish. Whether you order it grilled, blackened, or fried, there’s no better taste than a freshly cooked grouper fillet in between two freshly baked buns.
A popular Latin American food that has found a home in Miami is the arepa. A versatile dish, the arepa can be eaten on its own or stuffed with meats, cheeses, and vegetables for a more hearty meal. If you want to eat like a true Miamian, then you’ll order your arepa stuffed with pulled pork, melted cheese, and avocado. We recommend that you visit a little place by the name of La Latina, widely considered the best restaurant in Miami for arepas.
Ceviche has become a popular dish in Miami (an indeed the world). Floridians have almost come to expect a ceviche to appear on the menu wherever they go. Made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají or chili peppers, ceviche is particularly well-suited for Miami’s warm weather because it isn’t cooked, making it a surprisingly refreshing dish.
This is probably the most authentic Miami dish of them all. The Cuban sandwich is a variation of a ham and cheese sandwich that originated in cafes catering to Cuban migrant workers in Key West during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Made with fresh Cuban bread, yellow mustard, roasted pork, baked ham, Swiss cheese, and sliced dill pickles, the Versailles Restaurant is famous for its version of this classic Miami dish.
Having given a homage to the Colombian, Peruvian, and Cuban cuisine, it would be rude not to mention our Argentinian friends who offer a master-class in grilled steak and chimichurri sauce. The churrasco is a term that, in its original meaning, refers to a barbecue with many different cuts of meat. Miami offers plenty of churrascarias, steak houses where the waiters walk around bringing the clients different cuts of their favorite meats. Puerto Madero is our recommendation for an authentic and juicy churrasco.
Attention all you sweet tooths out there. If you’re coming to Miami, do not leave without trying at least one heavenly slice of key lime pie. This dessert is typical of Miami, and indeed all of Florida. We suggest you stop by the Icebox Cafe in Miami Beach, where they will happily serve up a nine-inch-deep Key Lime Pie. A perfect key lime pie (for anyone who doesn’t know) is supposed to be sweet, tart, crunchy, and creamy. At the Icebox Cafe you’ll get a infused pie with lime fresh key lime juice and topped off with whipped cream.
An Afro-Puerto Rican dish, the Mofongo features fried plantains, garlic, and chicharrones that have all been smashed and molded together in a wooden mortar and pestle known as a pilon. Plantains are yet another common ingredient in many Miami recipes, and together with chicharrones, they create a flavor like no other.
This dish is influenced by the omnipresent Haitian community of Miami. We could have gone with a number of delicious Haitian-inspired restaurants, but we chose to keep it classy by featuring Chef Creole, an award winning local hot spot that serves up some of the best fish you’ll ever eat. Jay-Z, Pitbull, Dwayne Wade, and Anthony Bourdain have all eaten at Chef Creole. Make sure you get there early (it sells out fast), order the fried fish and put a whole lot of pikliz.