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Local Food Gems: Best Places to Eat in Miami

by Roslie

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The food in Miami is reflective of its diverse culture. Both locals and visitors in Miami will find themselves spoilt for choice when it comes to local food gems and the best places to eat in Miami.

The region’s cultural melting pot provides a diverse selection of restaurants and cafes, particularly of Latin and Caribbean varieties. From sizzling, wood-grilled flank steak and Spanish wine to tacos bursting with juicy, slow-cooked pork, if you’ve got a craving for something… you’re sure to find it in Miami.

So, I have compiled a list of the best restaurants in Miami with the hopes that I can make your decision just a little easier. Here some of my favorite places to eat in Miami, from upscale hotel eateries to hidden gems that are sure to rock your taste buds.


The following recommendations are based on my own personal experiences. We are not endorsed, nor did we receive any type of compensation from the establishments below. This post does contain affiliate links, meaning if you buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Please read my full disclosure policy for more information.

Please keep in mind these details are subject to change. Due to COVID-19, social distancing and face coverings may be required. Be sure to check local health officials’ safety regulations and each establishment’s website for updated information before making final plans.


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Restaurants in Miami You Have to Try!

Mi Rinconcito Mexicano – Little Havana

Mi Rinconcito Mexicano Restaurant, Little Havana, Miami, Florida

I was first introduced to Mi Rinconcito Mexicano by a dear friend a few years back and can’t seem to get enough of this place. Due to its’ Calle Ocho (Little Havana) location, parking can be a little challenging, but the hunt for this authentic Mexican joint is worth it!

Service isn’t exactly steadfast, but no matter the time of day there is always a (primarily local) crowd. And there’s a reason for that: it’s simple, authentic Mexican food at reasonable prices. Service can range from attentive and pleasant, to attentively nonchalant. Just don’t expect the servers to pretend to be your best friend, and you’ll be fine. The savory food is more than worth it!

Local Tip: Be sure to stop by the Panadería in the back, and pick up some freshly made bread and pastries to go. The combination platters are huge (pretty much samplers) and more than enough to share.

Address: 1961 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135

Salmon y Salmon – Little Havana

Tucked away in West Flagler Salmon y Salmon, is a local Peruvian gem you most certainly won’t find in a tourist guide. It’s a cozy (less than ten tables), mom and pop style space with laid-back ambiance and décor, with a curb appeal leaving much to be desired. Service is extremely attentive, wait staff treating you as typical Latin abuelas (grandmas) do, making sure you’re well-fed and taken care of.

Known for its ceviches, the menu also includes lomo saltado, arroz chaufa, tacu tacu, and my personal favorites, the tomato base parihuela soup and chicharron de pescado (fried fish chunks).

It’s among the best Peruvian fare I’ve had in Miami: consistent, nice sized portions, fresh and delicious. Be ready to wait outside for a table, especially during lunch, but the few minutes spent standing in the Miami Heat is certainly worth it for this spot.

Address: 2907 NW 7th St, Miami, FL 33125

Join a local expert and uncover Little Havana’s hidden food gems:


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Jardim de Portugal – Coconut Grove

Jardim de Portugal Restaurant, Coral Way, Miami, Florida

If you’re in the area, this quaint and casual spot is a great place for fresh, authentic homemade Portuguese food. Jardim de Portugal’s excellent service, relaxing and homey atmosphere is precisely what you’d expect from a family-owned place: friendly, warm and attentive.

You’ll find varying home-cooked Portuguese fare including a large selection of wines to pair with your meal. As you might expect, the menu is pretty seafood-heavy, but they offer some delicious meat options, as well as traditional Portuguese side dishes, including sardinhas grelhadas (grill sardines).

Be ready to practice your Spanish or Portuguese, as most of the wait staff speak limited English.

Address: 2750 SW 26th Ave Ste C, Miami, FL 33133

Happy Wine – Little Havana

Happy Wine Little Havana, a wine store turned Spanish tapas-inspired eatery, a place where you can stock up on your wine and also enjoy a reasonably priced bottle (or two) while dining.

Easily one of my favorite hole-in-the-walls, Happy Wine has a warm, local atmosphere, quirky barrel tables, tasteful décor, and lovely service. That combined with the incredible food, a stellar wine list, an unpretentious vibe, make for a winning combo.

Drop by Saturday evenings and enjoy some live music with your meal. But come early as it fills up fast and parking can be a real challenge.

Address: 5792 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33144


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Farfalle – Downtown, Miami

Traditional Italian fare is plentiful at this downtown eatery. From the fresh and flavorful antipasti platters to their handmade pasta, this place is the real deal. Farfalle is a relaxing space with a cozy interior, excellent wine selection, and a small, but friendly staff providing exceptional service. It makes for a great date night spot and is a must-do if you’re craving some classic Italian eats.

One drawback, it’s located in the heart of a busy downtown Miami so parking will come at a premium, but can be combined with a few bucket list things to do in Miami.

 Address: 333 SE 2nd Street, Miami, FL

Coyo Taco – Various Locations

Coyo Taco, Miami, Florida

You’ll find Coyo Taco on most top Miami must-eat list. I was reluctant to put this popular Mexican street food spot on this list because of its trendy status, but I can’t deny one of the most flavorful, juiciest, and just darn delicious tacos in South Florida. Yes, they’re that good!

You’ll find this spot in various locations throughout South Florida featuring one of the best al pastors in town, but prepared to wait in line, particularly at the Wynwood location.

Local Tip: For an extended night out in the Wynwood location, walk past the bathrooms through the hall, and you’ll come across the not-so-secret bar and lounge.

Address: 2300 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL

Pack Supermarket – Little Haiti

Pack Supermarket and Cafeteria, Little Haiti, Miami, Florida

Don’t let the name fool you; this isn’t a supermarket or your typical neighborhood eatery. If you’re looking for a traditional restaurant setting, this isn’t the place for you, but if you want some damn good fried chicken, this is one of the best places to eat in Miami’s Little Haiti. Upon approach, you’ll probably be a little skittish of the surroundings, but give it a chance and you’ll be happy you did.

A local institution three decades strong, Pack Supermarket operates cafeteria-style, with a pick-up window for those choosing not to go inside. For a few dollars, you can take home a styrofoam container filled with chicken drumsticks, fried plantains (a starchy banana) and a pile of steaming rice.

Although famous for its fried chicken, other Haitian classics including griot (fried pork chunks), lambi (conch), and legume (vegetable stew) can also be found here. Just don’t forget to ask for the spicy vinegar-based cabbage-and-carrot slaw, known as pikliz, to top off your chicken or griot.

Cash is king, and the only currency accepted here.

While you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by the Little Haiti Caribbean Marketplace for a taste of Miami’s authentic island culture.

Address: 8235 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33138

Kabobji – North Miami Beach

Kabobji Middle Eastern Restaurant, North Miami Beach, Florida

Looking for some authentic Middle Eastern cuisine while you’re in Miami? Kabobji, nestled in North Miami Beach, has you covered. I love the relaxed Lebanese dining style and the smell of fresh-baked bread that greets you as soon as you walk in the door.

They have numerous sharing platters, as is common with Middle Eastern cuisine, as well as classic dishes like lamb shawarma and chicken Tawouk, all slow-cooked to perfection and served with fluffy garlic paste. Not to mention, lots of delicious vegans and vegetarian options.

Every time I dine here I feel like I am at a friends’ house eating a homemade meal. Hands down one of the best Middle Eastern style food in the area!

Address: 3055 NE 163rd St, North Miami Beach, FL 33160

Lagniappe – Wynwood

Wine, food, and live jazz in a rustic, New Orleans style hideaway? Sign me up. I love Lagniappe’s lively nights out, and I’m sure you will too. Most of the seating is outside, in an outdoor (mismatch furniture) backyard setting with few tables inside as well. Immediately inside the front door is an impressive wine collection and a cooler featuring various meats and cheeses.

You pick your wine, customize your charcuterie tray, and they’ll prepare it, and bring it to your backyard table. There’s also a selection of barbecue fare if you’re in the mood for something a bit heartier. With a different live music selection every night and a relaxed vibe, it’s an ideal spot for friendly group gatherings.

Address: 3425 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137


RELATED: Outdoor Dining Guide: Best Places to Eat and Drink Outside in Miami


Chalan on the Beach South Beach

Cozy and casual, this is a great spot to hit for some homemade Peruvian cuisine. I know it looks a bit kitschy on the outside, but it’s cute and cozy inside and the service is exactly what you’d expect from a family-owned place: friendly, warm and attentive.

Chalan on the Beach Peruvian Restaurant South Beach Florida

Their Latin fare is delicious and home-cooked. As you might expect, the menu is pretty meat-heavy, but they offer some delicious seafood options, as well as traditional Peruvian side dishes, such as fried cassava.

Walk to the beach and enjoy a stroll along the shore afterwards to help digest your undoubtedly hearty meal.

Address: 1580 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Arahi’s Bakery – Little Havana

Tucked away in Little Havana, this small café and bakery is relaxed and unpretentious. Okay, the ambiance could use some work, but their service is warm and friendly, and you’ll find some of the best Cuban breakfast and lunch specials here. You can’t go wrong with the eggs, bacon or ham, fries, and Cuban toast breakfast combo, with the cafe con leche. But, watch out for that heavily buttered Cuban bread, it’s excessive for most.

On the go? Grab a Cuban coffee or some traditional guava pastries, ham croquettes, empanadas, sandwiches, or a dessert. Being it is Miami and even more Little Havana; English isn’t widely spoken here, but nothing a little pointing and heading shaking can’t solve.

Address: 745 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33130

Gusto Fino Italian Deli Café – Coral Gables

Gusto Fino Italian Deli Café, Coral Gables, Florida

Located a few blocks north of Miracle Mile in Coral Gables is Gusto Fino Italian Deli Café, is one of my favorite sandwich shops in the city. Serving a variety of classic Italian dishes and hot and cold sandwiches, the casual café, also offers a limited beer and wine list, as well as a breakfast menu.

You’ll find delicious offerings like a classic New York Reuben sandwich or a hot pastrami sub. My personal favorites are the homemade Sicilian style meatball sandwich and the non-mayo potato salad, which never disappoints. And for dessert, you have to try the bread pudding with the zabaione cream. Divine! Breakfast and lunch only

Address: 271 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables


Bonus: Miami Brunch Spots


Mondrian South Beach

For its truly dazzling views, try the Mondrian Caffé, nestled into the opulent Mondrian hotel and overlooking the Biscayne Bay and Downtown Miami. There’s tons of outdoor seating here, and though they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, their Sunday brunch is particularly popular. Come for the bottomless mimosas and the omelet bar, stay for the tranquil bayfront views!

Address: 1100 West Avenue, Miami Beach, FL

Biltmore Hotel – Coral Gables

Biltmore Hotel Courtyard, Coral Gables, Florida

The Biltmore’s Sunday Brunch is worth the splurge, and it’s rated South Florida’s #1 brunch for a reason. Served in a lush outdoor setting fringed by palms and art deco fountains, the menu offers truly decadent fare, including caviar, smoked salmon, sushi, and an omelet bar.

Their pastries are house-made by their executive chef and are extremely addictive. Bottomless champagne and live music top of the experience and make the steep $95 per person ticket totally worth it. Hands down one of the best places to eat in Miami!

Address: 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Toro Toro – Downtown, Miami

This downtown restaurant is known for its sensuous atmosphere and top-notch Latin cuisine, but its Sunday bottomless brunch buffet is on another level. The Toro Toro brunch offers a mind-boggling array of dishes, from classic Latin meat dishes cooked on a wood-fired grill, to fun brunch options like waffle pops and breakfast quesadillas. It’s located inside the Intercontinental Hotel, with attentive service matching the upscale atmosphere.

Address: 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL

More food experiences to add to your Miami itinerary


Food Tour of Miami’s South Beach

Little Havana Food and Walking Tour in Miami

Wynwood Food and Art Walking Tour


Miami Restaurants and Local Food Gems

Save this map to your phone and use it to uncover Miami’s hidden food gems.

Your turn! Don’t see your favorite local Miami staples on the list? I’m always interested in taste testing more dishes and treats. Share with us in the comment section below. I’ll be updating this list regularly! So check back.

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Best Places to Eat in Miami - If you love multicultural food, then you’ll love Miami’s restaurant scene. For a selection of great local fare, here are some of the best places to eat in Miami including Latin American, Cuban, and Caribbean food.

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4 comments

Stephen February 15, 2019 - 9:05 pm

These places are great. I love coyo taco and they deliver. You need to put bodega down! It has great tacos and a good scene back.

Reply
Roslie February 16, 2019 - 12:29 am

Thanks for reading, your feedback is greatly appreciated! I love Bodega – great food and scene! The spots on this list are primarily inland locales, stay tuned for the other side of the Causeway edition. Now you’ll just have to come back to see if Bodega makes the Beach edition.?

Reply
Discover Bradenton September 3, 2019 - 9:15 pm

Wow! These places all look amazing. Can’t wait to head back down that way and check some of these hot spots out! Thank you for sharing.

Reply
Roslie September 4, 2019 - 10:24 pm

Thanks for reading! Scooping out local eateries is one of my favorite things to do in this city. I’d love to hear your feedback after trying one or two out.

Reply

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