21 Must-Have Miami Foods

Published on October 27, 2022 | 0 Comments
Try out these 21 best Miami foods.
Published on October 27, 2022 | 0 Comments

Whether you’re a native Floridian or planning a weekend getaway to the Sunshine State, there are so many must-have Miami foods that you’ll need a list and a game plan to even get close to tasting them all. 

Miami specializes in more foods than you may expect. Whether you’re craving ultra-fresh fish or spicy Cuban cuisine, the Miami food scene is legendary and sure to impress. Get to know the taste and culture of each pocket of the city on your culinary journey to find the 21 best foods in Miami. 

 

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Get a Taste of Famous Miami Foods 

Miami has a unique energy that comes from a combination of its vibrant culinary scene, strong Latin influences and, of course, that hot Florida sun. Make the most of your time and follow a guided food tour in Miami so you can hit all the best Miami food spots. From food trucks to five-star restaurants, enjoy a personally curated experience to give you a tasty overview of all the best food Miami has to offer. 

Another option? Bring the gourmet goodness to your own kitchen with cooking classes in Miami, where a world-class chef will help you master the art of making your favorite dishes. 

21 Best Miami Foods

1. Cubano Sandwich at Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop 

It wouldn’t be a complete list of the best Miami foods without the famous Cubano sandwich, traditionally made with ham or pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and a slather of delicious mustard sauce between two pieces of warm, crispy bread. 

The Vibe 

Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop has an old-school diner feeling to it, complete with small tables or bar dining stools and a no-frills environment. They also have a takeout window if you want to beat the crowd. Budget-friendly and delicious, this place can fill up, so it’s best to get there early for some of the best Cuban food in Miami.

What to Order 

Cuban influence is strong on the Miami food scene, so you’d be remiss not to try a Cubano or pan con lechón sandwich, a flavorful take on a pulled pork sandwich with onions in a Mojo sauce between warm and toasty bread. 

Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop | 186 NE 29th St., Miami, FL 33137 | $

a Cuban sandwich
via Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop

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2. Cuban Coffee at Versailles Restaurant 

You can’t enjoy a Cuban sandwich without a hot cup of Cuban coffee to go along with it. Made from Cuban-grown espresso beans and sweetened with brown sugar, a single cup will get your day going in a big way. Not technically a Miami food, but it pairs well with just about anything, and a cup of the good stuff at Versailles Restaurant is about the best you can get in Miami. 

The Vibe 

Known as “the world’s most famous Cuban restaurant,” you’ll definitely want to dine in here for some tasty Miami food. Old-school décor meets a little French influence. You’ll feel like you’re on Bourbon Street in Louisiana. They also have a ventanita, or little window, where you can walk up and take your Cuban coffee to go. 

What to Order 

The cafecito is the most classic and iconic Cuban coffee. Just a few ounces of this super strong coffee is enough to fuel you throughout your day, but you can opt for the cortadito, essentially the cafecito with a little milk, if black coffee isn’t your thing. The Cuban sandwich here is another fan favorite, or you can grab a sweet treat like the popular guava and cream cheese pastelito to go with your caffeine boost. 

Versailles Restaurant | 3555 SW Eighth St., Miami, FL 33135 | $$

3. Haitian Griot With Pikliz at Griot 305

While nothing may be stronger than the Cuban influence on Miami, Caribbean culture has deeply influenced Miami food as well. Haitian griot with pikliz, the national dish of Haiti, is fried chunks of pork with a peppery slaw topping. It’s typically made from pork shoulder that’s been marinated in a citrus and chili marinade and broiled or fried to golden perfection before being served with a tangy slaw of peppers, cabbage and carrots. 

The Vibe

Griot 305 is an unassuming spot with amazing Miami food for you to enjoy. The restaurant is on the small side, but you have your choice of indoor or covered outdoor dining. 

What to Order

The griot with pikliz is what they’re most known for, but they also offer delicious fish and fried plantains that are worth trying. 

Griot 305 | 14821 W. Dixie Hwy, North Miami, FL 33181 | $

Griot 305 serves incredible Haitian Miami food.
via Griot 305

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4. Ceviche at La Mar

For a quintessential Miami food experience, the fresh ceviche at La Mar is a must. With a menu by Chef Gaston Acurio, this Miami food spot checks all the boxes. The flavors here are a fusion of Asian and Peruvian influences, with a focus on fresh and locally sourced ingredients like fish. 

The Vibe 

An Instagram-worthy location to enjoy some of the best Miami food around. A stunning waterfront restaurant with a view of the Brickell skyline, you’ll definitely want to snap some photos here. Featuring stunning wood and natural finishes with pops of turquoise like the water outside, this modern space feels cozy and contemporary at the same time.

What to Order 

The ceviche comes made to order with a variety of options ranging from octopus to fluke or calamari. Whole fried branzino is another favorite dish, with roasted vegetables and a light miso butter sauce. They recently began offering brunch on weekends as well, so you can get your favorite fresh Miami foods any day of the week. 

La Mar | 500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami, FL 33131 | $$$

5. Brunch at Nikki Beach

The menu at this upscale beach club is everything you want for a nice brunch or lunch spot. Offering a large variety of healthy Miami foods, you’ll find an abundance of local seafood as well as homemade pastries, fresh tropical fruit and more. 

The Vibe

There’s a reason Nikki Beach is one of the hottest spots in town for great Miami food. A chic and slightly Bohemian spot with cabanas and mesh tents for shade, you can dine on the soft white sand. An upscale, beach-chic dress code is enforced at this dual restaurant and beach club. The venue also hosts live music and special events throughout the season. 

What to Order

The jumbo crab cakes are great at all hours of the day and night, but their brunch is hard to beat. Offering live stations for omelettes, waffles, crêpes, pasta and so much more, you can place an order and watch it be prepared right in front of your eyes. They offer a large selection of delicious and trendy boozy beverages as well. 

Nikki Beach | 1 Ocean Dr., Miami, FL 33139 | $$$

a spread of pizza, salad and other dishes on a beach-themed background
via Nikki Beach

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6. Fresh Pasta at Macchialina

Florida boasts a massive number of incredible Italian restaurants in the Miami food scene. At Macchialina, enjoy fresh pasta in a cozy, upbeat environment for some of the best Italian Miami has to offer. You can order a la carte from their selection of delicious handmade pastas, or opt for a chef’s tasting menu to sample a little bit of everything. 

The Vibe

Offering classic Italian dishes with an upscale and vibrant trattoria feel, this space welcomes you with stylish brick walls and cozy leather booth seating. Sip wine and slurp spaghetti at one of the best Italian joints in Miami.

What to Order

You’ve got to try the short rib lasagna or the cavatelli Macchialina before their well-known dessert: creamy, bright panna cotta with fresh berries.

Macchialina | 820 Alton Road, Miami, FL 33139 | $$

7. Tasting Menu at Stubborn Seed

Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford elevates simple, seasonal ingredients to the highest level for his take on American cuisine. Stubborn Seed holds a Michelin star and a James Beard nomination, making it a highly sought-after reservation in the Miami food scene. Definitely book ahead far in advance here as it tends to be hard to get in, but it's worth the extra step. As far as Miami Beach food goes, you won’t find anything better.

The Vibe

Mood lighting takes neatly organized natural finishings to the next level. An elevated environment that demands a slightly fancier dress code makes this place perfect for celebrating a special occasion or a romantic date night. Florida is Ford’s home state, so you can expect he wants to make his mark on Miami with incredible food and atmosphere.

What to Order

The eight-course tasting menu is an extravagant experience, but for a slightly less expensive evening, you can order drinks and delicious dishes a la carte. Cacio e pepe puffs are an inventive and lighter way to enjoy the classic Italian dish. The pan-roasted truffle chicken is a sumptuous and heavenly take on a homestyle meal. You may not want to hit the beach right after this spread of Miami food, but it’s well worth the decadent experience. 

Stubborn Seed | 101 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 | $$$$ 

Stubborn Seed serves incredible Miami food.
via Stubborn Seed

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8. Italian Food at Boia De

Located in an unassuming strip mall, Boia De is serving up some truly creative and delicious Italian bites for the Miami food scene. Perfect for a tasty but easy date night, you get big flavors and beautiful presentations like those at a Michelin-starred restaurant, except without the price tag. 

The Vibe

Just as the food is delicious and artsy, the restaurant itself is vibrant and welcoming. When you first pull up to a strip mall, you might think you’re in the wrong place, but rest assured the inside is spectacular, with natural materials in a modern style. It goes to show that stand-out Miami food can be found just about anywhere. 

What to Order

The beef tartare with garlic-shallot crumbles begs you to snap a photo before digging in, while the buffalo ricotta gnocchi pomodoro is impossibly decadent. Along with tasty craft cocktails, make sure you leave room for the crispy tiramisu dessert. 

Boia De | 5205 NE Second Ave., Miami, FL 33137 | $$$

9. Dim Sum at Hutong

Dim Sum may not sound refreshing after a day in the Florida sun, but trust us: This deserves a place on the best Miami foods list. Hutong offers an artful and modern take on fiery Northern Chinese cuisine along with truly artisanal dim sum offerings and a long list of refreshing, exotic cocktails. 

The Vibe

Chic, modern and expensive are the top three words to describe the ambiance at Hutong. Pops of bright color mingle with carefully hand-carved wooden panels that bump and move to the hottest Miami DJ that night. 

What to Order

With a special advanced reservation, you can enjoy a flaming Peking duck that is sure to delight. Lobster bao are fluffy and flavorful, while wagyu beef mille feuille showcases both the incredible flavors and artistry that represent both Hutong and Miami food as a whole. 

Hutong | 600 Brickell Ave., Miami, FL 33131 | $$$

flaming Peking duck
via Hutong

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10. Pub Sub at Publix

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars at a fancy restaurant to enjoy some of the best Miami foods. The Pub Sub from Publix is locally loved and nationally renowned, and you just have to try one to understand. The perfect snack for the beach or after a long day on the golf course, there are plenty of options for your customized sub sandwich made right before your eyes. 

The Vibe

We aren’t going to sugarcoat this: Publix is a grocery chain, but a nice one! Right inside the deli, you wait in line for a fresh sub that will definitely hit the spot. You can’t exactly dine in, but the Pub Sub is famous among Floridians and useful in many scenarios when hunger hits. It may not have a Michelin star, but this is a Miami food that defines the state of Florida — just ask a local!

What to Order

Obviously, it’s a matter of personal taste, but the chicken tender Pub Sub is the perfect combination of Publix’s famous fried chicken and their sandwich. If you like it hot, opt for Buffalo sauce. The Italian sub is another fan favorite, piled high with Italian meats, cheese and crunchy banana peppers. Sandwiches are served cold or toasted — totally up to you. 

Publix | Multiple Locations | $

11. Stone Crab Claws at Joe’s Stone Crab

Nothing beats fresh Florida seafood, and those light but meaty stone crab claws dipped in mustard sauce easily earn Joe’s a place on the best Miami foods list. Ultra-fresh stone crabs are caught practically in the backyard before making their way to your plate.

The Vibe

Beautiful dark woodwork and white tablecloths still offer a homey feel in this surprisingly big space. No need to be super dressy at this seafood spot. You'll probably want to throw on a Joe’s Stone Crab bib, anyway. 

What to Order

The stone crab, of course, served ice-cold with a dish of their homemade tangy mustard. But the lobster mac and cheese is a rich and decadent side or main that’s sure to please. Other seafood favorites include the lobster roll or the crab cakes, but whatever you do, be sure to save room for their world-famous Key lime pie to round out a full meal of Miami food favorites. 

Joe’s Stone Crab | 11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 | $$$

stone crab and a variety of sides
via Joe's Stone Crab

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12. Alligator Bites at Kush

This laid-back bar and restaurant serves up tasty American food with a Florida twist. Key West conch and Florida gator tacos are a tasty and accessible juxtaposition to the Michelin-star restaurants on the must-have Miami foods list. Kush keeps it local and delicious, offering beer from a number of Miami breweries and craft burgers and sandwiches to go with it. 

The Vibe

Your typical casual bar with sports blaring in the background, but an impressive selection of burgers and bar fare plus a bunch of beers on tap. Sit up at the bar and order your gator tacos, or tuck into a cozy leather booth. A different vibe than other Miami food joints, this is just a cozy, relaxed spot to enjoy some good food. 

What to Order

Kush is a pretty decorated restaurant group, having won everything from best burger to best Key lime pie and even best chicken and waffles. That said, their Florida gator tacos are unique and tasty for locals and visitors alike, but you also can’t go wrong with any one of their many craft burgers. 

Kush | Multiple Locations | $$

13. Cinnamon Rolls at Knaus Berry Farm

Sometimes all you need to get your day started is a warm, gooey cinnamon roll from Knaus Berry Farm. (Or a strawberry shake —  whatever floats your boat.) This family-run strawberry farm in South Florida serves handmade baked goods from bread to cheesecakes, guava pies and, of course, cinnamon or pecan rolls. They also put those fresh strawberries to use in their famous strawberry shake, or you can pick up a basket of them to take home. Maybe not the Miami food you were expecting, but delicious and worth a weekend trip nonetheless. 

The Vibe

A cute local farm a short drive outside Miami, this can be a half-day trip or a quick jaunt for breakfast. Mostly lush fields of strawberry plants, you can step inside the small farm shed to purchase fresh produce as well as handmade baked goods. Miami food doesn’t get more local than this. 

What to Order

The fresh strawberry shake is pink and perfect, made using their very own locally grown strawberries topped with whipped cream. The cinnamon or pecan rolls are a gooey and sweet way to start your day, or grab a guava pie to bring home. 

Knaus Berry Farm | 15980 SW 248th St., Homestead, FL 33031 | $

Knaus Berry Farm is a unique spot for excellent Miami food.
via Knaus Berry Farm

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14. Pan Con Minuta at La Camaronera Seafood Joint and Fish Market

Fresh seafood is everywhere you turn in Florida, and a lot of the best Miami foods feature it as a star ingredient. At La Camaronera, for instance, seafood is king. Buy fresh fish to prepare at home, or squeeze into the packed bar for a fried grouper sandwich to satisfy your hunger. 

The Vibe

When you first walk into La Camaronera, you’ll be greeted with the smell of the sea and a room packed with people, which is how you know it’s a good spot for fresh and tasty Miami food. Squeeze your way up to the small bar in the blue and white dining area and order some local favorites. 

What to Order

The pan con minuta, also known as the fried grouper sandwich, is what they’re most known for, and you’ll know why once you taste it. But they’re also serving up shrimp empanadas and golden, crispy calamari, among other tasty seafood dishes. 

La Camaronera | 1952 W. Flagler St., Miami, FL 33135 | $$

15. Steak at Prime 112 

Florida may be known for seafood, but sometimes you’re just craving a really nice steak. Head over to Prime 112 for beautiful ambiance, excellent service and a tasty meal to boot. This beautiful, cozy spot in South Beach serves decadent Miami foods for all to enjoy. Reservations are recommended.  

The Vibe

This steakhouse offers a twist on both the food and the environment, departing from the typical dark leather you’d expect from a steakhouse and instead opting for sexy décor and beautiful lighting. You walk up to a beautiful boutique hotel and make your way back to a stunning, romantic outdoor patio. Dine after dark for a particularly cozy environment as the trees are warmly lit for a candlelit feel.  

What to Order

You can’t visit a steakhouse without getting the steak, but the appetizers and sides are just as important. Favorites include the Kobe beef sliders and the truffled lobster mac and cheese. A solid spot for great Miami food, especially if you prefer the “turf” of surf ‘n’ turf.  

Prime 112 | 112 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, FL 33139 | $$$

a filet mignon and decorate garnish with rosemary
via Prime 112

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16. Mediterranean Fare at Mandolin Aegean Bistro

The perfect combination of beautiful ambiance and easily accessible tasty Miami food, Mandolin is a great spot for a date idea in Miami. Serving Mediterranean fare with heavy Turkish and Greek influences, this is a must-visit for something other than the typical seafood dinner but still great Miami food. 

The Vibe

You might feel as though you’ve been transported directly to the shores of Greece when you stroll up for dinner. You’ll walk through gates painted sea-blue and a romantic canopy of bougainvillea on your way to the patio situated among the gardens. A beautiful and romantic spot for any occasion, and an honorable mention on the Michelin Bib guide. 

What to Order

Mandolin excels at simplicity, taking fresh local ingredients and letting them shine. We recommend the roasted beets with creamy tahini sauce or the spicy Mandolin kebab. 

Mandolin | 4312 NE Second Ave., Miami, FL 33137 | $$

17. The Kitchen Sink at Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour

A long day in the Florida sun usually calls for a sweet treat, especially sweet and creamy ice cream. Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour offers some of the best Miami food with an old-timey feel. They’re famous for “The Kitchen Sink.” Made for two (or more), it’s exactly what you think it is — a treat with a little of everything!

The Vibe

Red and white striped awnings welcome you to a quaint diner complete with checkered plates piled high with fries and hot dogs, so you can enjoy something savory before a decadent treat. An ideal Miami food spot for a post-dinner treat or a midday ice cream when the heat is getting to you.  

What to Order

You really can’t go wrong with any ice cream, but The Kitchen Sink here is legendary. It's piled high with bananas and every kind of ice cream, plus sprinkles, fudge, whipped cream and, well, you get the picture. This dish is literally served in a mini sink! If that sounds like too much, the regular banana split is excellent as well. 

Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour | 128 S. Federal Hwy, Dania Beach, FL 33004 | $

a large ice cream sundae covered in whipped cream and decorate with U.S. flags
via Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlour

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18. Indian Food at Bombay Darbar 

This mirrored room is serving up piping hot Indian curry and chicken vindaloo for some of the best spicy Miami food out there. You’re sure to have a memorable meal here, both with the stunning ambiance and incredible food that earned this restaurant’s spot as a local favorite. 

The Vibe

Everything is gorgeously overstated, the dining room dripping in giant crystal chandeliers and the lighting romantic. The setting is one you have to experience for yourself to truly appreciate, and with a menu bursting with bright, fresh flavors of India, you’ll be glad you came. 

What to Order

Classic Indian dishes like butter chicken, chicken tikka masala and tropical mango chicken are done perfectly. Bombay Darbar also offers specialty Indian beers and freshly squeezed mango juice to tone down the spice. A different way to get some spice in the Miami food scene.  

Bombay Darbar | 2901 Florida Ave., Miami, FL 33133 | $$

19. Chinese Cuisine at Tropical Chinese

More than a step above traditional takeout, Tropical Chinese offers some of the best Chinese bites in the Miami food scene. From fresh dim sum to Peking duck and everything in between, come hungry and leave satisfied. 

The Vibe

You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Chinatown with the bright red lanterns and mood lighting at Tropical Chinese. Located in a strip mall, like several other great Miami food spots, you’ll be transported by the sights and smells of Chinatown as soon as you step through the doors. 

What to Order

There’s an impressive selection of dim sum buns and dumplings available for you to savor, or you can go all out with the traditional Peking duck. They’re known for their epic portions, so bring friends or family to enjoy with you. 

Tropical Chinese | 7991 Bird Rd., Miami, FL 33155 | $$

Tropical Chinese serves amazing Chinese food in Miami.
via Tropical Chinese

20. Chicken ’n’ Watermelon ’n’ Waffles at Yardbird

If you’re looking for great Southern soul food in Miami, look no further than Yardbird in Miami Beach. They offer unapologetically indulgent dishes and a variety of bourbon-based cocktails in that classic art deco architecture that defines Miami Beach. A lovely spot for Southern-style Miami food.

The Vibe

Old-fashioned white brick exterior mixed with modern finishes, served on old-school dishware like grandma used to have. 

What to Order

Start Chicken ‘n’ Watermelon ‘n’ Waffles with a side of hot honey and wash it all down with a tasty Old Fashioned. We also love petite mango salad, a super fresh and slightly acidic bite to help cut through all the yummy grease from the fried chicken. With great dishes for brunch, lunch and dinner, just make sure you save room for the bourbon bacon chocolate cake. 

Yardbird | 1600 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 | $$

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21. Pizza at Foozo Artisan Pizza

Along with probably thousands of incredible Italian restaurants in South Florida, Foozo is serving up rabbi-certified pizza that everyone will agree is some of the best Miami food you can get. The uniquely soft yet chewy crust is reminiscent of a bagel, and they have quite the list of signature options to explore. 

The Vibe

Another strip mall restaurant that will surprise you with its world-class cuisine, Foozo welcomes you with a laid-back environment to enjoy your piping hot pie. The space itself is on the small side, and the pizza or pasta is just as good if you opt for carry-out. We promise. 

What to Order

There are a few unique signature pies at Foozo that you’ve got to add to your list of best Miami foods, starting with the shakshouka focaccia. The kale salad makes a great side dish, and you can’t go wrong with any of the grilled sandwiches, either. 

Foozo Artisan Pizza | Multiple Locations | $$

a pizza in a box
via Foozo Artisan Pizza

Miami is a must-visit foodie city for good reason: The selection of cuisines from around the world is something you’d expect to find in NYC or LA. Enjoy your day at the beach and stop by one of the many Miami food trucks for a quick bite that will knock your socks off, or scour the city for the best food in Miami Beach to share with your lover. 

Miami food has its own style and flavor profile that you won’t find anywhere else. There may not be just one best food in Miami, but we’d argue that’s a good thing. Tropical weather, beautiful architecture and delicious Miami food at every corner —  who wouldn’t want to be here? 

For even more fun ways to explore Miami and beyond, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal. 

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