Memorable meals are the highlight of many trips, and the booming restaurant scene in Miami can be confusing for outside visitors. To help first timers or revisiting travelers get their palates better acquainted with the best bites, I have rounded up a great variety of the top dishes acclaimed by locals in the Magic City!
What to order: Coconut Salmon Ceviche
With Miami’s melting pot of cultures, finding variations of ceviche is a given but very few (if any) can ever compare to Seaspice’s Coconut Salmon Ceviche. Served in a young coconut, the salmon is marinated in fried garlic spicy Thai vinaigrette and micro cilantro for a savory and refreshing meal.
Nautilus Cabana Club
What to order: The Nauti Burger
Miami may not have In-N-Out or White Castle, but one of town’s best burgers can be found at Nautilus South Beach’s Nautilus Cabana Club. Though the restaurant specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, the Nauti Burger tops two 4oz beef patties with American cheese, caramelized onions and bread & butter pickles encased in homemade potato buns for a sinfully delicious taste. For the “not so nauti” burger eaters, Nautilus recently added a vegan counterpart. “The Impossible” Vegan Burger is served with crispy sweet potato fries, and features a plant-based patty topped with tomatoes and onions for a savory experience that tastes like real meat without sacrifice taste (or animals!).
Pao by Paul Qui
What to order: Honeydew Aguachile
Faena Miami Beach introduced the Honeydew Aguachile this Spring as the perfect dish for vegans and carnivores alike. The honeydew’s texture is changed to mimic that of a tender raw fish served in an addicting sauce of spicy and acidic aguachile. The honeydew is paired with avocado, serrano pepper, sea cress, cilantro and green strawberry so the flavors and textures are incredibly interesting, and, of course, delicious.
Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann
What to order: Smoked Prawns ‘A la Plancha’
At this upscale South American restaurant in Faena Miami Beach, start off your experience with the Smoked Prawns ‘A la Plancha,’ served with arugula, avocado, pink grapefruit, and roasted hazelnuts using local ingredients and smoking the prawns in the restaurant’s open fire kitchen.
No. 3 Social
Type: Elevated Street Food
What to order: Pulled Pork Sticky Bao
Under the culinary direction of chef and restaurateur Norman Van Aken, No. 3 Social’s dishes pay homage to street foods from around the world while incorporating the flavors of Florida. The Pulled Pork Sticky Bao’s are a local favorite, made with Haitian Pikliz and Hoisin BBQ.
What to order: Picasso’s Prosciutto and Melon Plate
Named after the famous Pablo Picasso, Picasso’s Prosciutto and Melon Plate at LaMuse Café uses macerated raspberries, cantaloupe, Prosciutto di Parma (best from Italy), walnuts, strawberry pearls (beaded like caviar with strawberry concentrate inside), fresh basil, and cherry tomatoes plated in an artful and festive way. It’s as deconstructed as Picasso’s most vivid pieces of art, presented as an homage to the artist.