So Florida - family friendly suggestions
heading to Miami for 4 nights in early February. We are staying at Marriott Doral Villas but we'll have a car and don't mind driving. We have a 1 year old and a 4 year old so we need relatively informal suggestions.
We definitely want to try Cuban (have had Versailles suggested) and if there is a good place to try Haitian food we'll do that, too. We will probably avoid the hip, expensive, and crowded South Beach type of places unless that is a big mistake. I read about a stone crab place that might be a must-try. We like hearty and exciting food and have a flexible budget but value is always welcome.
There are a few other threads about families/kids, but they are a bit outdated now. Your suggestions are much appreciated, thank you!
South Beach Cafe
121 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
A few places close to you on the main food drags, Flagler and 8th.
El Palacio de los Jugos- very unassuming place, dirt cheap so attracts all sorts. They have most cuban food, but I go here mainly for their pork rinds (chicharrones), probably the best in the world. They have outdoor seating on casual benches. This place gets very crowded and an American can potentially look/feel out of place here. Lots of local color, though.
Las Culebrinas. Never been to this particular location, but a good all around Spanish/Cuban place. More formal, but not fancy by any means. Order things like rabo encendido, ropa vieja, etc.
Karla Bakery. Well known institution (along with Gilberts) when it comes to baked goods.
Versailles. Always worthwhile, in my opinion, another institution. Get their guava pies at the adjacent bakery, best in the city. You could also eat at the bakery if for some reason the restaurant is too crowded or you want something casual. Their sandwiches are good, the churrasco sandwich is fantastic, one of my favorite Miami sandwiches at the moment.
@ 57th: Latin American Cafeteria (Luis Galindo). Great for sandwiches (cubano, media noche), though they have all the regular cuban stuff too.
You should also try a Nicaraguan place, lots of them here. What you want is a "fritanga", casual Nicaraguan eatery. There is one called Monimbo close to your location. Get the carne asada, vigoron, nacatamal. It's probably a counter type place with the food out, so you can see what you are getting. If you are not familiar with Nica desserts, get a "tres leches" or a "cuatro leches" (a Miami variant with dulce de leche) and be converted.
12257 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33156
I'd give Casa Larios a try on Flagler and 80-something. Very clean and more up-to-date than Versailles and maybe less touristy. There's old 1950's Cuban newspapers lacquered throughout the restaurant so it's a little bit of a history lesson as well (things like ads touting Florsheims for $20).
Casa Larios Restaurant
7705 W Flagler St, Miami, FL 33144
thank you for the replies, we'll definitely try several of these spots. We head out in 2 days, any more tips? Any other good suggestions near or en route to tourist sites such as the beach, the Everglades, or driving from Palm Beach to Miami (which we are doing Sat morning, twice)?