Miami has been nicknamed “Magic City” due to its rapid influx of people over the span of a century and with them a simmering fusion food scene combining Cuban, Caribbean, and other international flavors. Here you can find all manner of culinary mash-ups, from Jewish-Cuban to Peruvian-Japanese, and even gator (if you’re game).
Scour artsy Wynwood, Little Haiti and Havana, South Beach and beyond to find the best food in Miami. Keep both hands free for eating by dropping off your bags at a Miami luggage storage facility before you get started.
Joe’s Stone Crab in South BeachThis restaurant came out on top of just about every list of must-eat food in Miami. Joe’s Stone Crab, now in its 107th year, has well and truly held its own over time and is renowned as one of the city’s most iconic eateries. Its popularity is evident in the throngs of seafood lovers queueing up in hopes of snagging a table.
If you are lucky enough to dine in, recommendations all herald the signature meaty crab claws, served fresh and already cracked for you. Their taste is mild and sweet when in season from October-May, and slathered in accompanying mustard sauce. If you can’t stand to wait, try the nearby My Ceviche shack, which serves Peruvian ceviche and stone crab.
Fritas in Little HavanaThe Cuban food scene reigns supreme in Miami, and Little Havana is its epicenter. One specialty that should not be missed is the frita, a Cubano take on an American burger with matchstick fries and a secret sauce. Start your education at El Rey de las Fritas in Calle Ocho, which has been feeding loyal fritas lovers for generations.
Other notable Miami-Cuban mash-ups in the area include the Azucar Ice Cream Company, which combines vanilla ice cream with add-ins like guava, cream cheese, coffee, and Oreos; bacon-wrapped plantains at Miami Smokers; and a rotating array of glazed and filled fried dough at Velvet Creme Donuts.
Cuban Bibimbap Bowl at Finka Table & TapJust when you thought you’d tried enough Cuban fusion food, there’s this “Seoulful” creation from the founders of Finka Table & Tap. Siblings Eileen and Jonathon Andrade have burst into the Cuban culinary scene with a unique take on Korean bibimbap: white rice, vaca frita, black beans, plantains, kimchi, vegetables, bean sprouts, and a sunny-side-up egg.
Exotic Fruit Milkshake from Robert Is HereThis little fruit stand and the farm was the first Florida establishment listed on the National Culinary Heritage Register. Quite the honor considering the stall’s humble origins in 1959, when an 11-year-old Robert put up a sign outside his father’s cucumber crop. These days, Robert Is Here is known mainly for serving delectable exotic fruit milkshakes, with flavors like key lime, papaya, tamarind, and pineapple.
Croquetas at Islas CanariasAnother time-honored culinary hotspot, Islas Canarias is cherished for their rendition of a croqueta: hot, crunchy cylinders filled with smoky ham and bechamel sauce. These cubes of deep-fried deliciousness are a local treasure, and this family-owned business has been perfecting its recipe since 1977. Try for yourself, or other specialties like Cuban sandwiches or breaded steak.
Cinnamon Rolls from Knaus Berry FarmMiamians make hour-long pilgrimages to Homestead to get their hands on these gooey cinnamon rolls from Knaus Berry Farm. Once a roadside stands selling berries, the shop has expanded to sell all manner of baked goods, from key lime and guava pies to fruity cheesecakes, yet retained much of its character from nearly six decades ago. Locals know it, and will readily line up for a taste of sweet tradition.
Arepas in MidtownShifting influence to Venezuelan food, La Latina is a legitimate arepera that specializes in these comforting grilled, buttery corn cakes. Stuffed with an impressive list of fillings from cheese to beans, eggs, avocado, plantains, meat, and more, there’s an option here for any kind of foodie. You can find arepas throughout Miami, but La Latina has been praised by restaurant critics for its authenticity.
Cuban Sandwich in WynwoodFinally, there’s the classic Cuban sandwich. You’ll find these everywhere in Miami, but Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop in Wynwood is a good place to start. It’s a no-fuss, old-school Cuban joint that attracts workers looking for an efficient and tasty lunch. Aside from Cuban sandwiches, you can order a full breakfast special of eggs, bacon or ham, toast, cafe con Leche and fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Fuelled with humbly delicious fare, you can go on to explore more of this artsy neighborhood. Dotted among Wynwood’s graffitied walls are more favorite food spots: Zak the Baker boasts enviable sourdough bread; Salty Donut has people queueing for its indulgent flavors of from-scratch donuts (think rum-infused white chocolate or banana toffee); or if you’re out at night, start with a laidback drink from Gramps or mezcal shot from Coyo Taco.