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Tell This NYC Hound What Miami's Known For

NYC Hound here headed to Miami (area around the Galeria Mall and southern Miami Beach) looking for the best of what your region has to offer. I know I'm supposed to try Cuban sandwiches, daiquiris and stone crab claws, but surely there must be more to Miami than that! And where should I find these South Florida delicacies?

We will likely do one high-end/nice dinner but will also need recommendations for casual lunches/dinners/snacks (priced under $25 without drinks) as well as recommendations for happy hours, cocktail lounges and other nighttime affairs. Coming from NYC, I don't want to have to shell out big bucks and dress up, after all, I'm on vacation! And I look forward to whatever you can offer to make this a great trip!

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  1. central and south american food
    Grazianos, Francesco - many good lower priced options.
    There is no Jacket required place in miami that I know of btw.
    Stone crabs are out of season...

    3 Replies
    1. re: tpigeon

      agree w tpigeon---miami is best known for latin cuisine. leave the rest for your hometown. sadly , stone crab season is over until October 15. If you go anywhere offering them, do NOT eat 'em!

      1. re: tpigeon

        Too bad about the stone crab; I'll have to try it another time. But other than that and Latin cuisine, is there really nothing else that Miami has to offer?

        1. re: JungMann

          Expensive prices (for what you get, even by New York standards), rude service, and long waits for all the trendy places.

      2. For lunches try Cafe Books & Books on Lincoln Road. They have a fantastic lobster mango wrap that they press and serve warm.

        "Coming from NYC, I don't want to have to shell out big bucks and dress up, after all, I'm on vacation!"

        Unfortunately, this is Miami. All show and all dough ($$$)...

        1. If that is the Galleria Mall in Sunrise, one of my favs is right there - Sukko Thai. Although, you can probably get better in NYC. ;)

          For authentic Cuban try La Carretta (locations on their website).
          For great mofongo try Benny's Seafood in Miami.
          You might want to try a small local Jamaican place as well. There are a bunch on 441 in Lauderhill (such as Aunt I's) but I am not familiar with the Miami locations.

          Good luck!


          1. Found this thread, looked good enough


            I hope it helps you on your quest in Miami, sorry can not help more I am more of a (Bermuda) and Fort Lauderdale Goddess!

            1. South Florida also has a lot of Carribean influences. Close by the Galleria is the Jib Room, on Oakland Park Blvd, just west of Federal Hwy. Great little place with great food.

              1. I don't know what's with all the negativity or the presumption that you can't get decent food at a fair price in Miami. In addition to the Latin American influence, there is also a plethora of local seafood other than stone crabs that chefs are increasingly availing themselves of. You won't find the best Cuban food in Miami on South Beach but Puerto Sagua is decent and at least representative. If you want to venture a bit further north, I like Sazon up past 79th St. on Collins Ave. or on the mainland, Enriquetas for lunch. Peruvian, Argentinian are also good and typically relatively affordable (though again, South Beach probably doesn't have the best examples).

                For good use of local product, and just out-and-out great food, go to Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in the Design District. With a menu that has many "small plates" offerings it is pretty easy to eat under $50/head. Pacific Time, Sra. Martinez in the Design District and Michy's up the street are also very good.

                For something more budget-y, Red Light also has a good focus on local product with good prices, usually nothing on the menu over $20. Slightly dodgy neighborhood still up Biscayne Boulevard at 77th/78th St. There's always a couple local fish on the menu. Area 31 in the Epic Hotel downtown also has a strong focus on local seafood in swankier surroundings.

                There is noplace in Miami where you'll have to dress up.


                3 Replies
                1. re: Frodnesor

                  My take on the op's post is they were looking for food they can't find as good or better in ny. I generally exclude the often mentioned DD resturants from this because I lump them toghether as new american/french cuisine and while they are great on their own, they are not as good as the best ny has to offer in that area. But I could be misclassifying them which is why I am throwing this out there. I do take your point on local seafood.

                  1. re: tpigeon

                    Miami = Palacio de los Hugos
                    Miami also = Versailles

                    That is ALL you need to know.

                    1. re: tpigeon

                      My reason for recommending those places is not merely the style of the cuisine and the level of execution but also the use of local ingredients.

                  2. Las Culebrinas on SW 8th St and Old Lisbon on Coral Way are 2 neighborhood spots that I love. Both reasonably priced with European atmosphere. Old Lisbon has an extensive Portuguese wine list. http://bit.ly/FHQU3 http://www.oldlisbon.com/

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rebus1805

                      Though not unique to Miami, per se, Michael's Genuine Food & Drink and Sra. Martinez are two of the best restaurants in town.

                    2. Miami and South Beach treated me very well! The Latin food was indeed very good, from the empanadas and croquetas I sampled in the ubiquitous tiny bakeries around the Galeria Mall to the cuban sandwich I tried when walking back from Ocean Drive. The sushi we had at Doraku was very middling, the yellowtail being particularly off. But we more than made up for it with dinner at Setai, which was a spectacular value for Miami Spice or even their normal prix-fixe. Having heard of the small Asian community in South Florida I was surprised to taste vibrant sambal belacan with my kropek and even more shocked that there would be a fresh and bracing kimchi with my pork belly. It is definitely a must for my next visit to South Beach!