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3 Months in Miami...where must I go?

I'm a NYC transplant down in Miami for three months working at a restaurant, I live by FIU and work in Coral Gables but am more than willing to travel both to see the city and eat great food. Like at any resto, I work long hours so late night haunts with interesting food are a plus. I've searched on the boards but I don't want just Table 8 type places, I want your favorite local spots around Miami. Places that will make me feel like I've actually gotten to KNOW the city. So, suggestions?!! Thanks, I look forward to getting to know this town!

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  1. This is out in the outer reaches of Miami, I've seen the adress listed as both Homestead, and miami,but it is a Tiki bar, that serves a really great burger, i cant remember the name but it is next door to Krome Exxon 19900 highway 997 (or sw 177th av) it is next to a canal so you can watch all kinds of birds, gators, etc, while you eat, oh and watch out for the chickens that make their way in and through the eating area...it's really a cool little spot!

    2 Replies
    1. re: jword2001

      hI love Garcia's on the Miami River, Funky outdoor deck, fresh fish market, Whole roasted fish, plantains,has a full bar. Great prices, and you will feel like a Miami insider when you leave. And Versailles- serves a great mojito, stirred with a sugar cane stick- its bright and nirrored but really nice people and great classic Miami Cuban Menu.. I love the more "real" restaurants rather than the most trendy- love News Cafe fruit and granola, cafe con leche breakfast, people watching. Also great mojito at VanDykes on Lincoln Road. My daughter and son in law went to FIU, main Campus, lived in Sweetwater, and I learned everything about starting out eating in Miami from 3 Guys From Miami (back in the day before they were famous) http://3guysfrommiami.com/ - go where they say and you will have the greatest Miami local culture experience. In general everyone is so nice- and will help you if you don't speak spanish. I could go on- every little convenience store sells cuban coffe (drink withe sucre) for less than a dollar! I love the window at any La Carretta- guava pastry and cortadito(less milk than a cafe con leche). I tell you eating and drinking is so much fun in Miami!

      1. re: jword2001

        A few ideas:

        (1) Garcia's Seafood - 398 NW North River Drive - not a late night place, in fact I've only been for lunch, but they do nice fish chowder and a great dolphin sandwich in a divey little spot on the Miami River.

        (2) Hiro's Yakko San - 17040 W. DIxie Highway - fantastic Japanese tapas and open late (i.e. 3am or later, I believe) every night. Sashimi and lots of fresh fish (and a huge selection of other items, including usually about 15 or more blackboard specials every night) but no sushi. Given the late hours and great food this place is a big draw for folks in the restaurant biz.

        (3) El Carajo - 17th Ave. & US1 - outstanding tapas in a tiny place literally in the back of the CITGO gas station. Try the piquillos stuffed w/ bacalao - one of the best dishes I have ever had anywhere. Probably closed by 11pm.

        (4) Timo - 170th & Collins - perhaps a little too white tablecloth given your message, but I think this is one of the top restaurants in town and somewhat less pricey than South Beach or Gables places.

      2. FINE DINING

        Sardinia Ristorante
        1801 Purdy Ave
        Miami Beach, FL 33139
        (305) 531-2228

        Ortanique on the Mile
        278 Miracle Mile
        Coral Gables, FL 33134
        (305) 446-7710

        CASUAL DINING

        Beach Bar-B-Que
        1555 Washington Ave
        Miami Beach, FL 33139
        (305) 538-7201

        Siam Lotus Room
        6388 S Dixie Hwy
        South Miami, FL 33143
        (305) 666-8134

        Rustic Inn Crab House
        4331 Anglers Ave. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
        954-584-1637 800-274-2722

        Rustica Pizza
        667 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach - (305) 672-2334
        or
        863 Washington Ave, Miami Beach - (305) 674-8244

        Jaguar Ceviche Bar & LatAm Grill
        3067 Grand Ave.
        Coconut Grove, FL 33133
        (305) 444-0216

        LC's Roti Shop
        19505 NW 2nd Ave
        Miami, FL 33169
        (305) 651-8924

        DIVE BAR

        Club Deuce
        222 14th St
        Miami Beach, FL 33139
        (305) 531-6200

        1. Should also add Sergio's for pretty good Cuban (especially their sandwiches, try the pan con lechon) on Coral Way and 32nd Ave. I think they may be open late on weekends.

          Also, for a unique sandwich experience, try El Rey de Chivito on Collins just south of 71st St. A chivito is a Uruguayan specialty, a sandwich piled with thin churrasco style steak, ham, mozzarella, bacon, a fried egg, mayo, lettuce, tomato, olives, served over fries (to catch the grease as it drips!) Like a heart attack on a bun! Open late (2am) on weekends.

          1. In addition to the ones mentioned already...
            Graziano's on bird rd
            Tamarind
            Popcorn paradise - hot dogs
            River Oyster Bar - especially bbq ribs
            Francesco's
            Talula

            1. Mr chus for dim sum lunch