hey folks just moved down from NYC and am digging around-so far havent been impressed by the produce(publix,whole foods) or fish-i would love good ideas for both -also looking for great restaurants of every ethnicity -please posts your favorites and i will browse the site-Thanks in advance -T
T, Miami has many good restaurants.
Here are some good treats:
El Pollo Inca (Peruvian) in Doral area,unforgettable "ceviche" and wonderful "lomo saltado". Cheap and excellent, not fancy.
Zeitoune, mediterranean, in Doral area, I love all appetizers and most dishes. Other mediterranean are Layali, Khouri,
Sushi Chef in Coral Way, very high quality sushi.
Moon in US1 in front of UM, excellent japanese & thai food at very reasonable prices.
Crepe Maker in Coconut Grove, delicious french crepes, very cheap.
Chocolate Fashion in C. Gables, moderate and good french food, desserts are delicious. Try the mango mousse or chocolate cake.
Tropical, high quality chinese food.
Delicias de Espana, very good spanish food, at moderate prices.
In Brickell you have Rosinella & Perricone, 2 excellent italian options.
Cafe Vialetto in C. Gables, more pricey but excellent food.
Best meat at Beef Eatery in Hollywood (argentinean), and very reasonable priced.
Good luck and bon apetite.
Produce at most of the chain markets is mediocre. Epicure on Miami Beach is good quality but VERY pricey and not very broad selection (on produce at least); Norman's Market in South Miami is great. Good quality seafood is also sometimes tough, oddly enough considering where we are. Captain Jim's in North Miami is good.
A few additions to the ethnic eats suggestions:
Japanese/Sushi - Matsuri in South Miami; Su Shin Izakaya in Coral Gables; Yakko San in North Miami (no sushi but excellent Japanese tapas-type dishes)
Thai - Tamarind on Normandy Island; I always used to like Bangkok City in South Miami but haven't been in ages.
Indian - Anokha in Coconut Grove is decent but pricey. Used to be a great place on Biscayne called Renaisa; it is gone but I believe the owners have started a new place near 163rd St. called Heelsha (haven't tried yet).
Greek - Maria's on Coral Way; Ouzo on Normandy Island.
Vietnamese - Miss Saigon in Coral Gables; it's not quite hard-core Vietnamese but it's good food.
Ethiopian - Sheba in Design District (30s-40s & Miami Ave.)
Mexican - not the best I've had, but among the better ones locally (IMO) is El Rancho Grande. One location off Lincoln Road, another near 71st St. I like their tacos al pastor and moles. Also Taco Max for tacos and burritos, on Biscayne near 79th St. (dodgy area). Great cochinita pibil.
There's a fish market downtown. The Casablanca fish market, 404 NW North River Drive. 305-371-4107 I'm pretty sure it's open daily.
Here we go
Best of Tri County Area:
Indian - India House just west of University on Oakland, tucked just behind (west of) the Lowes store
Thai - Panya Thai (in the former home of my old fav Hong Kong restaurant Macau) just to the west of the Ham 'n Eggery (nasty joint) and Krispy Kreme on 163rd and NE 6th
Dim Sum - gotta say Tropical (on Bird west of the palmetto) for the variety and daily availability....although sometimes I prefer Toa Toa in Lauderhill...I kind of enjoy the truly haughty staff :-)
Hong Kong food - Hong Kong City just N. of Commercial on the west side of 441
Very Authentic MEXICAN - Chapultepec on Hallandale Beach Blvd a few blocks west of Dixie Hwy on the North side of the street...nothing compares...(try the chilaquiles with salsa verde, ask for your eggs over easy and insist on some chorizo...one of my fav breakfasts) and consider yourself blessed if they have mole available (mama who cooks doesn't make it every day)
BEST PAD THAI - Heart Rock Sushi (yes, most sushi places in south florida are actually run by thais) in the gateway plaza us1 and sunrise in fort lauderdale
Best BBQ - tied between Tom Jenkins (cash only) on US1 south of broward blvd and the tunnel AND Charlie's BBQ on US1 just North of Sheridan (Charlies has an unbeleivable brisket sandwich, texas style and the sauce makes me want to slap grandma, but Charlie himself must do the cutting)
Italian - I'm convinced that since the closing of Il Tulipano on Biscayne in North Miami that there's no truly great italian in the area....prove me wrong if you can....I'm talking authentic grill-type italian not some manicotti and lasagna slinging pizza dumps or restaurants pretending to be something other
Pizza - the by-the-slice pizza at Tony the Pizza chef on A1A just north of Hallandale Beach Blvd, WHEN REHEATED, is almost as good as NY pizza, but not quite...the reheated part is important, as it lends the proper crispness to the crust....also the pies at Little Italy way out West on Oakland are pretty darned tasty
More to come........
We took on Tony the Pizza Chef two nights ago and went to actually pick it up as it is right around the corner. We were very disappointed:
The lady in the kitchen was smoking, did not wash her hands and tossed the pizza in the oven without any utensils or gloves on.
The price for two medium Pizzas to go was $40!!! The pizzas were ready and sitting there 15 minutes before they handed them over for us to take home.
Nothing is fresh, all toppings come out of cans. The taste was correspondingly mediocre. I can't really recommend this place...
Wow! I haven't been there in 2 years but am not surprised to read that the hygiene hasn't gotten better. The last time we were there they let me use the restroom in the back, that the staff uses. It was out of soap! I posted about this long ago, and won't be going back. And yes, that's the sink the employees use. (It might have been a one day thing, but still.)
I'll chime in with some of my fav's based on ethnicity:
Thai: I feel that there are a LOT of very solid Thai joints in Miami, but none are truly great (or at least consistently so)... and therefore I eat at the places that are more local to me (in the Shores).
Latin/South America: For upscale dining, there is not a better choice than Cacao in my opinion. Very very good food.
New American/French: My absolute favorite restaurant in Miami is Duo, located on S. Miami Ave. near Brickell.
Indian: The closing (then re-opening) of Renaisa right off of Biscayne (at 78th St.) has put a dent in our rotation. The new version isn't anywhere as close to as good.
Greek: Maria's on Coral Way is great and very warm/inviting.
We tried Renaisa again fairly recently for takeout. The new management clearly recognizes things went downhill after they got rid of the folks who went to Heelsha, and were telling me they brought in a new chef from northern India.
We had a lamb vindaloo, a chicken tikka (boneless breast done tandoori style) and a chicken tandoori (unfortunate bit of miscommunication when my wife ordered), and a mix of breads. The chicken tandoori (x2) was good but this is a tough one to mess up. The vindaloo was astonishingly hot. I am a big fan of spicy foods, and I know vindaloo is supposed to be spicy, and this was right up to my threshold. Breads were decent, they never travel particularly well when you do takeout. We will have to give it another chance and get a more varied order, but I still don't think it is quite up to the level before the change-over.
Would love to hear more about Duo. We haven't been and they don't have any sample menu on their website, though I've seen menus for wine-tasting dinners that look great.
What impresses me about Duo is the little details that seem to always be done right there. The really thin bread sticks they bring out in place of a bread bowl to begin with a white bean paste, the extra side of brussel sprouts, the depth of the wine list (which is incredible). A lot of places do the normal stuff well, but it takes it to another level when even the little extras are presented and created with a great deal of care.
Having said that, what is shocking about Duo, in talking with our servers there, is that they are apparently never that busy. I've mostly been there mid-week (on purpose), and its true that its a pretty large place (indoor and outdoor seating), but from what I've gathered you can walk right in and get a table almost any night of the week -- which makes me worried how long Duo will be an option.
wow...good stuff! I have been here 20 years and not tried many of the above postings...amazing.
Lorenzo's Italian Market is a good place to start. Try their produce market across the parking lot for good-ok stuff. The little cafeteria inside the market is an excellent stroll down nostaglia lane. Great deli, meats, fowl and seafood as well as very hard to find specialty Italian goods. W. Dixie North of 163rd Ave in NMB.
Fresh Market in Coconut Grove is worthy of a visit for good produce and foods.
Also try Wild Oats, they too have good produce and other healthy/organic foods.
Here's a freaky one to check out: El Palacio de las Frutas on 57th Ave and I beleive Flagler or SW 8th St has some very hard to find tropical produce.
All the produce in the city comes in via the NW12th Ave produce markets just north of Jackson Memorial Hospital. There you should be able to shop until your heart's content for fresh produce.
As for restaurants, do a search for "TOP" and you'll find some great threads.
Bienvenido a My-ami!
Hey T! Welcome to Miami! Here are some of my favorites:
The Sicilian Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria in Miami Lakes right off the Palmetto for homestyle italian and pizza
Nunzio's Italian Restaurant on Bird and 117th, again, homestyle Italian.
For a great fish market go to the Captain's Tavern Market on US1 and 90something (the attached restaurant is a S FL Institution and you will have to wait especially on Tues night when it is 2 for 1 lobster night and the chocolate mousse cake is divine!)
If you are willing to travel, go to Robert is Here in Florida City. It is a fabulous produce market and has AMAZING fresh fruit shakes. Take the turnpike south until it ends then make the first right onto Palm Ave. Follow Palm until you see Robert's on the left. While down that way, stop at the White Lion Antique Shop and Restaurant in Homestead for any of their excellent homemade desserts.
PP mentioned Normans, that is actually Norman Brothers Farmers Market. www.normanbrothers.com Not only do they have great produce, but the have a seafood market, meat market, bakery, deli and prepared food section. AWESOME, but expect to pay for it.
If you're further north (we have a house in Hollywood), here are my favorite shops:
Miramar Bakery (Cuban + best Cuban coffee & bread) on State Rd. 7
Offerdahl's (bagels) on Hollywood Blvd.
Gino's market on Johnson Dr. (Italian & good meat/produce)
Mimi's Italian market (Johnson Dr.)
Chinese food market (corner of Hollywood Blvd. & SR 7)
There was a specialty food/import market on Sheridan Rd. but I think they're out of business. I'll have to check.
Oh, I forgot another of our favorites....Siam River on 163rd in N. Miami Beach. Awesome Thai and Sushi.
we've just moved from NYC as well, and are desperate to find good produce. i have yet to try the farmer's market in Coconut Grove, but apparently there is one every Saturday. THankfully, we have just found an excellent fishmonger on Red Road, just south of Sunset. It's called Mariner's seafood, and it's open every day. the guy who runs it also fishes himself, and the fish he sells is exceptionally fresh. we had a great red snapper from him. it's not all local, but a lot of it is. it's a real find.
If Red and Sunset is close for you then Norman Brothers will be close for produce too. It's on Galloway Road (87th Ave) between Sunset and Kendall Dr. and I think for a 7-days-a-week market they've definitely got the best product and selection in Miami.
Hey, there! i know this doesn't count as ethnic, but i if you're in the mood for a very casual, relaxed atmosphere and reasonable prices here's a short list. i apologize i don't have addresses for these places. Any of the Ale Houses are great (i go to the NMB Ale House), Flanigan's (there are a whole bunch around the Miami area), and Capt. Jim's in North Miami. They all serve seafood and if you go to Capt. Jim's you get fresh crab salad and crackers for an appetizer...YUM!!
Enjoy and have some crab salad for me!
12950 W. Dixie Highway, North Miami
Here are directions from FIU Biscayne Campus:
1. Head east from Bay Vista Campus - go 0.1 mi 0.1 mi
2. Bear left - go 0.3 mi 0.3 mi
3. Bear right at NE 145th St - go 274 ft 274 ft
4. Turn right at Bay Vista Blvd - go 0.4 mi 0.4 mi
5. Bear left at NE 151st St - go 1.1 mi 1.1 mi
6. Bear left at W Dixie Hwy - go 1.9 mi 1.9 mi
7. Arrive at 12950 W Dixie Hwy
Miami, FL 33161
If you are looking for good cheap eats...
Kingston Restaurant just south of 123 St. on Biscayne Blvd. Right next to Office Depot.
On Tuesday and Thursday, the chicken entrees (jerk chicken, curry chicken, stew chicken or fried) with rice and peas and vegetables is $2.50!
Not the most authentic Jamaican, and the portion isn't huge, but it is just perfect for lunch.
Fresh, good, cheap is very do-able in Miami.
Exquisito for good, humble cuban food on calle 8 and 14th (next to the tower theater)
El Mexicano on 8th and 6th ave is also very good for cochinita pibil tacos and burritos.
(baja fresh is the best californian mexican food and good free salsa bar)
as for asian. Konchau beats tropical if you don't mind strip malls and carpet.. very authentic delicious food, get there early if you want roast pork rice crepes with tamarind sauce Incredible!
little saigon at 167th and n. miami is my favorite vietnamese. Variety, efficient staff and consistency.
Laurenzo's italian market feels like it's going to fall down one day, but until then they have the best italian deli and some damn! good baked artichokes. try the sable if you are into lox!!
AS for Haitian, Tap Tap is the best to suit the american palate and for cozy atmosphere and folk art, Chez Rosie in Little Haiti (recently moved to nw 2nd ave. near edison high) also provides excellent haitian and ernest is a johnson and wales trained chef so he makes all his own dressings, sauces and breadings. $3 lunch special can't be beat anywhere!
as for pizza I prefer Andiamo on biscayne or piola off of lincoln.
sushi, would have to be shoji in south beach
stone crab, joe's
cheap seafood, shuckers on the 79th causeway
parrillada argentina, liberty grille sports bar on south beach.. great food, quick, cheap! imported argentine beef!
salmon salmon is great, on the gourmet side peruvian food with a very cozy strip mall flavor
delicias del mar peruano does a damn good chicken tamal and is on the more affordable side! Ask for their special "soda" from the convenience store across the street
what have i missed?
oh any of the rosinella's are excellent.
and a new international bistro Mama Lila's recently caught my attention with some incredible Malta-marinade pork ribs that melted in my mouth.
These are all pretty good suggestions (of those I know, at least) except for Shoji, which used to be my favorite sushi place but has really taken a dive. Went there a couple months ago and walked right out because the place literally smelled fishy - NOT what you want in a sushi bar. Shame, this used to be tops on my list.
For cheap-ish eats, I would add:
El Carajo - remarkably good Spanish tapas in the back of the Citgo gas station at 17th & US1.
Cheen-Huaye - very good authentic Yucatan dishes - on Biscayne Blvd. a little south of 163rd St.
Shoji: 1st The chef partner split, then the sushi chef split and now all there is - is an owner too busy counting his doe from a steakhouse around the corner! Such a shame to see such a good place gone bad like that. Que sera sera!
Agreed. We've slowly let Shoji out of our restaurant rotation. It still kills me that the place is packed weekend nights. I'm sure tourists are doing more than their share to keep the place going.
That whole strip on Collins is very, very packed and all owned by the same folks - Shoji, Big Pink, Nemo, and Prime One Twelve. Shoji going down hill is a tragedy... these days I stay in Miami and eat at local spot on Biscayne and 72nd called Sushi Square. Not the best in the city, but very close to us, and the owners (a pair of French brothers, Jann and Julien) are really great.
I don't go to Nemo regularly any more but was there about 3-4 months ago and it was as good as ever. Not much new or different on the menu though, which I find somewhat disappointing.
Down where you live Pho Thang on SW 160th for authentic Vietnamese, South Garden on Sunset for Dim Sum, and Su-Shin Izekaya on Aragon in the Gables are all solid and humble. For produce, by far, the best is at Knaus Strawberry(Amish) Farm on SW 256th.
Their address really is: 15980 SW 248th Street, Miami, FL Phone: 305-247-0668. They open Mon-Sat 8-5:30 pm.
I found this on the internet about them:
They’re not Quakers and they’re not Amish, as many people assume, but they do produce some of the finest fresh baked goods money can buy in South Florida. Knaus Berry Farm is operated by Dunkers (a sect of German Baptists) with a reputation for outstanding organic produce and fresh flowers, fruit flavored milkshakes and homemade ice cream.
Ray and Barbara Knaus started farming here more than 50 years ago (you can still pick your own strawberries and tomatoes out back) They also brought their tradition of baking authentic old-fashioned specialties made just like they were a century ago. They're famous for their herb bread sticks, black bottom cake, pineapple upside down cake and brownies, but the one item that causes those long lines to form out front -- from early morning until they close at sundown -- is their world famous sticky cinnamon buns.
A little patience pays off as you work your way to the counter for a chance at these hot-out-of-the-oven delicacies. Also notable are the honey wheat bread, fresh honey, jellies and cheesecake. Don’t bother waiting until you get home — resign yourself to enjoying the fresh baked goods right out of the oven, even if it means spoiling your next scheduled meal.
If you call ahead, they're make you a genuine shoo fly pie.
Check pictures at: http://www.redlandriot.com/Knaus.html
Thanks to all for the suggestions , i have enjoyed my time here in Miami but am heading back to NYC for good. Some of my favorites down here wound up being Prima Pasta, Stevens Pizza, thought Rustica and Andiamo were both pretty bad, La Estancia Argentina in Doral,Laurenzos had some interesting stuff but was one of the dirtiest places i have ever been in my life much prefer Mimis on Dixie off 186th.