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    Where to eat in Miami? Tips for choosing the right restaurant

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    Joel Fulleda

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    Miami it's a big city and, like all big cities, it offers one almost infinite proposal of restaurants for quantity and quality, within which it is difficult to extricate oneself. When traveling, the scene that usually occurs is the following: 19 pm or so, you who - lying on the hotel bed after a full day spent on one of the beaches or in one of the Miami neighborhoods - hear a little peckish. Here you ask if your travel companion has any idea on where to eat, to a negative answer, start browsing the guides or scrolling down Tripadvisor. Obviously you can't choose between a fish dinner, a South American food tasting, a giant hamburger with onion rings or a refined and trendy restaurant ... time passes and in the end you let yourself be guided by instinct or you settle for the first tip you find.

    This article was created to point out some Miami restaurants which we particularly liked. Of course, tastes are tastes and it will not be easy to find in this list the restaurant that responds precisely to your needs, but it is still a starting point. So let yourself be tempted and choose the place where to eat in Miami off our list, hoping that the restaurant's kitchen doesn't run into a bad night.


    • What do you eat in Miami?
    • Where to eat in Miami? Recommended restaurants
      • Joe’s Stone Crab (South Beach)
      • Shorty’s BBQ (South Miami)
      • Kyu Restaurant (Wynwood)
      • Sparky’s Roadside Barbecue (Downtown)
      • The Exquisite (Little Havana)
      • 11th Street Diner (South Beach)
    • More restaurant recommendations, neighborhood by neighborhood

    What do you eat in Miami?

    As I said, there is something for all tastes: historic diners where you eat cheap and traditional American food and Southern cuisine, seafood restaurants (try the sensational Stone Crab and the ceviche, a light fish soup), restaurants in contemporary cuisine where new and refined gastronomic experiences are made (especially in Wynwood and in the Design District), but above all a huge number of ethnic places and in particular Latin American. Given Miami's multicultural dimension, how could it be otherwise? You can eat Cuban, Peruvian, Colombian, Haitian, Brazilian… without leaving the United States!

    Where to eat in Miami? Recommended restaurants

    Below I point out 6 Miami restaurants which in my opinion is worth a try, and which can solve your search for the right place. I tried to be as varied as possible, but if you want to have a wider choice, at the bottom of the article you will find a list of links to our in-depth information on the best places to eat in the main districts of the city.

    Joe’s Stone Crab (South Beach)

    Where to eat fish in Miami?


    For over 100 years, Joe's cuisine has been robbing Miami's fish market to keep its guests happy. In fact, even if you want to be original, it is impossible to talk about Miami seafood restaurants without mentioning the Joe’s Stone Crab, one of the oldest and most popular places to eat fish in Miami: founded in 1913, it is famous throughout the city for dishes based on Stone Crab, a rock crab typical of the Gulf of Mexico.

    Even if the place has grown and become classy over time (there is a dress code to follow, do not show up in shorts after swimming in the sea), the menu has never changed: the huge and juicy claws of Jumbo Crab served with mustard sauce and the soup are well worth the salty price they cost. Prawn dishes and mahi-mahi fish are also noteworthy. Remember that it is not possible to book, so the queues are often unnerving: if you don't feel like waiting you can also take advantage of the take away service. The address is 11 Washington Ave in the SoFi area of ​​South Beach.

    Shorty’s BBQ (South Miami)

    Shorty's, where to eat in Miami on a budget

    This venue is located in South Miami (9200 S Dixie Hwy), in an area with hardly any tourist interest, so you have to want to go there. Well, know that during my stay in Miami, I went there twice on purpose: both for lunch and dinner. This historic diner it is located on the side of a busy road like the S Dixie Hwy. Founded in 1951, it was destroyed by a fire in 1972, but the loyalists of the popular restaurant did not have to wait long, because in a short time the place was rebuilt as it was before . The environment is fantastic: rustic to say the least, long tables where you eat next to each other (but there are also normal tables), each with its own roll of kitchen paper from which to remove the napkins and the paper bag to throw away waste.

    What are we eating? Huge hamburger served with a delicious crispy bread, succulent and kilometric barbecue ribs with chips, coleslaw and garlic bread, then roasted corn on the cob, beans in barbecue sauce, fried chicken wings and many other delicious, caloric American fare. The service is excellent: the first time we went they took a liking to us and offered us many samples of their cuisine, including a very sweet glass of homemade iced tea.

    Kyu Restaurant (Wynwood)

    A stone's throw from the murals of Wynwood Walls is the Kyu Restaurant, a trendy place whose concept is completely different from Shorty's good cooking. Those who want to have a slightly different experience tasting Asian dishes revisited in a creative-contemporary way, should consider this industrial-style venue, with open kitchen and designer furnishings.

    The restaurant is very busy but the staff tries to please everyone, kindly proposing to sit at the bar if there are no seats: never mind, it is an opportunity to see the barmen at work during dinner. You can taste elaborate (but reduced) fish and meat dishes with original combinations and delicate flavors. Of note is the extensive wine list, the possibility of choosing a tasting menu and, above all, the artistic skill shown in the presentation of the dishes. Medium-high prices.

    Sparky’s Roadside Barbecue (Downtown)

    If you didn't understand, we in the USA like to eat substantially: after Shorty's, here I am again to point out a place where you eat all kinds of meat that comes out of the good old barbecue. Sparky’s, from this point of view, it is a 'Miami institution, and you will hardly get out of here disappointed and with an empty stomach. The restaurant is modest in size and is located practically opposite the exit of the First Street Metromover stop. We are in Downtown at 204 NE 1st St, so not quite in Miami's most glamorous neighborhood, however for the quality of the food and experience it is definitely worth coming here.

    The place is colorful and welcoming, on the walls there are stickers, plaques, posters, historical photos and memorabilia that attract attention while you wait to be served. On the blackboard there are written the specialties and the beers of the day, which will be proposed to you with tastings to guide you in your choice. As anticipated, generous portions of meat cooked on the barbecue are eaten here: I recommend getting a Three Meat Combo with hearty bites from an extensive menu. I ate St Louis Style Ribs, Pulled Pork and Beef Brisket, with two side dishes and a good craft beer on the recommendation of the waitress.

    The Exquisite (Little Havana)

    Fried Cow at El Exquisito

    Go to Little Havana without tasting Cuban cuisine is an unforgivable sin. As you can read in the article dedicated to the neighborhood, there are many locals who try to dupe tourists with a pseudo-Caribbean atmosphere on the facade and then get a lot of money from them. Avoid rip-offs by choosing the exquisite (1510 SW 8th St,) a family-run restaurant which, due to its less conspicuous appearance than other competitors, may escape you during your stroll on Calle Ocho.

    You can order a take away sandwich at the "ventanita" (window overlooking the street) or sit at one of the tables in the room, a popular taste environment without too many frills. The meat dishes of the Cuban tradition are tasty and abundant: try the substantial one Fried Cow (crispy beef previously frayed and marinated in lime) or the Ropa Vieja (a kind of brisket stew).

    11th Street Diner (South Beach)

    If you are at 1065 Washington Avenue on an Art Deco tour in South Beach and don't notice it, you need a pair of glasses. With its exterior in metal and frosted glass, the11th Street Diner it is able to make any nostalgic fall in love at first glance: this is how you imagine an American diner from the 1948s, the quintessence of the American imagination in terms of restaurants. The dining car, characterized by hints of futuristic-Art Deco style, was inaugurated in XNUMX in Pennsylvania and then moved in the XNUMXs to Miami, where it was rebuilt according to the original concept.

    If you loved Happy Days or high American series of this type, the interiors will immediately make you fall in love: the coldness of the external structure and of the tables is in fact compensated by the bright red of the armchairs. Some say this is the place to eat the best burger in miami. If it's not for lunch yet, you can also try one of their brunches or a milkshake, but promise to come back in the evening, when the outdoor lights and illuminated signs transform it into a place out of time.

    More restaurant recommendations, neighborhood by neighborhood

    • Where to eat in South Beach
    • Where to eat in Downtown
    • Where to eat in Coconut Grove
    • Where to eat in Little Havana
    • Where to eat in Coral Gables
    • Where to eat in Key Biscayne
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