Miami is a veritable culinary potpourri, offering diverse cuisine from fresh seafood to authentic Cuban. No matter what your tastes, The Magic City has something to please your palate. Below, we’ve compiled a short list of a few of the restaurants that have made Miami nirvana for foodies.
1. Joe’s Stone Crab
Image via Flickr by jessiesgirl614
If you’re lucky enough to be in South Beach from October through May, you can see first-hand the fanaticism that stone crab season incites at Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant. Started as a lunch counter in 1913, Joe’s claims to have first discovered stone crabs. Even if that’s not true, no one does crab claws like Joe’s. That also goes for their crispy fried chicken, chilled key lime pie, creamy clam chowder, and onion-stuffed Lyonnaise potatoes.
2. Il Gabbiano
With a patio directly overlooking Biscayne Bay, Il Gabbiano is Italian cuisine at its finest. Il Gabbiano is located in the heart of downtown Miami, and while its prices are staggering, you’ll get your money’s worth here. For instance, you start the meal with a complimentary assorted bread basket, parmesan, bruschetta, and fried zucchini chips, and you finish with complimentary limoncello (lemon Italian liqueur). The marble-and-mahogany-drenched ambience is perfect for a classy, high-powered business lunch or a romantic evening. If you want to stay nearby, take a look at reviews for the Hotel InterContinental Miami; its location in the heart of Miami makes it an ideal place to stay.
If you have a yen for authentic Japanese bento boxes and sushi, look no further than the Brickell Area’s Naoe, run by Chef Kevin Cory. This intimate establishment accepts only two seatings per night, as it can only accommodate 17 diners at once. The chef personally goes to Miami marinas to get the catch for the day, and he airlifts the rest of the menu from Japan. The meal changes every night and concludes with the chef slicing fresh sushi and sashimi combinations for each guest.
4. Shorty’s Bar-B-Q
To the other restaurants on this list, the man who founded Shorty’s 60 years ago probably would’ve said something like, “An ounce of pretense is worth a pound of manure.” Don’t be fooled by Shorty’s humble, down-home ambience–expect wooden benches and rolls of paper towels instead of napkins–this restaurant serves the best barbecue in South Florida. Diners can choose from BBQ beef brisket, BBQ sandwiches, or any number of BBQ platters that come with coleslaw, fries, and bread. And Shorty’s prices are as unpretentious as its atmosphere–most items on the menu are $10 and under.
5. News Cafe
Sometimes you don’t have the energy to put on a suit or evening wear just to have a good meal. At those times, it’s nice to relax at a place like South Beach’s News Cafe, where you can enjoy your eggs Florentine in yoga pants and people-watch the morning away. News is open 24/7 and serves breakfast foods, appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, Middle Eastern dishes, pasta, pizza, and dessert.
Whether you want to splurge on a fancy multi-course meal or chow down on some lip-smacking-good BBQ ribs, Miami has it all. Paying a visit to these five top-rated restaurants will give you a delicious sampling of what the city has to offer.