Food in Miami: what to eat if you’re a foodie in the city
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Food in Miami is a serious thing: eating in Miami is really easy, like in (almost) all the American cities with one big difference: Miami is a city that is affected by the influences of the Caribbean Islands to the point that has always been considered a something else compared to what it is usually called the United States. In Miami, the majority of the population speaks Spanish and who does not speak Spanish as a primary language understands and uses it as needed; the television also speaks Spanish and music that resonate in the streets have very little of the USA. Easy to understand, therefore, how and why eating in Miami is really a pleasure and it is well away from the idea that we have of food in the United States.
So, let me guide you to discover what to eat in Miami and let me give you some advices if you’re a foodie looking forward to visit Miami.
The Cuban cuisine is so famous in Miami that its flavors, in some cases adapted to the requirements of the Americans, are easily found at each corner. Some of the most common dishes you can taste in Miami are the Cuban sandwich with ham, pork, mustard, cheese and pickles served in Cuban bread but also pastelitos and empanadas filled with meat or fruits (try the ones with the red or the white guava) without forgetting about the coffee and the worldwide known cafe con leche. Miami really seems to be Cuba and Little Havana is the place from which to explore the Cuban food imported by the Cubans who started to arrive in the 1950s and then massively in the 1960s (a great way to explore the area and the cuisine is with a tour organized by Miami Culinary Tours: I am skeptical with regard to the organized tours but this was a discovery and it is also a guarantee because it allows you to sample the best of their own in Little Havana Cuban cuisine with a lot of really interesting stories and encounters ).
Italy is very well represented in Miami because as a result of the crisis a few years ago many Italians have moved to this area and they have decided to set up their food companies here. There are plenty of Italian restaurants in Miami but unfortunately many are extremely touristic and far from the real Italian idea of cuisine but if you want to have a taste of Italy in Miami it’s not hard to find a good restaurant. Do not expect to always find 100% Italian food because most of the menus are modified to meet the needs of the market.
South American cuisine
The whole of South America is very well represented, culinary speaking, in Miami. Do not miss the ceviche, which is almost considered a national dish although its Peruvian origins and of course the tacos, usually served with local fish. Not to forget churros and chocolate, chicharrón (fried pork), the plane maduro, the carne asada from Argentina, the Puerto Rican mofongo and the arepas.
Fish, fish… and even more fish
In Miami and in general in Florida the fish, of course, is THE king. The shrimps are juicy and full of flesh but if you’re into local experiences then you need to taste the 2 local fish species: the grouper and snapper, either fried or grilled.
The proximity to the Everglades, wetlands that have become extremely touristic today (and also one of the largest and important national parks in the United States with its own ecosystem), has encouraged the development of a particular culture towards animals “from the swamp” that are eaten without any problem. Frog legs and crocodile meat are a must to try before you leave the city. Of course there’s always the possibility to taste burgers and pancakes, waffles and a proper American breakfast without forgetting donuts and cupcakes, a trend hard to die.
Watch my video:
[Pic by Giuseppe. The trip to Miami has been sponsored by VisitMiami on whose website you can find all the information you need to plan your trip and choose among the wide array of activities to suit your preferences. Thanks to the amazing The Biltmore Hotel of which we’ve been guests [more to come on that. Their brunch is just WOW!] All the information and experiences during the trip are not influenced in any way by the partnership with the Board]