The Top Local Picks: Places to Go and Food to Try in Miami

When you’re in a new city, it always seems like there are half a dozen things you want to do at once. You know your time is limited, and you want to see and experience as much as possible. You also have normal human needs like eating, resting, and staying at the right temperature. One of the best ways to make the most out of a visit to a city is to have each stop perform double duty. Pick restaurants with great views or local cuisine. Schedule your stop at the museum when the day gets the hottest so that the air conditioning can soothe you. Drink espresso instead of full-sized coffees so that an excessive amount of bathroom breaks aren’t necessary.

While every city has its own series of wonders for you to explore, the following is going to focus on one city in particular: Miami, and examine one type of stop you’re going to need to make on the regular: food. The goal here is to highlight several options that can give you a sense of Miami’s distinct culture and cuisine and allow you to enjoy elements of the city you might not otherwise get to enjoy.

In The Design District

The design district in Miami is definitely a stop you’re not going to want to miss. There are endless galleries, art institutes, and an artistic feel to pretty much everything. At the minimum, you’re going to want to give this part of time three hours, but most people prefer a lot more (sometimes multiple days). This means you’re going to want one to five restaurant options in the area.

A Refreshing Greek/Turkish Meal

The Mandolin Aegean Bistro provides a cozy feeling, which is perfect for those points in the trip where you’re a little bit tired and need to re-energize before you carry on. The fresh and delicious cuisine is a combination of Greek and Turkish and offers a wide variety of meal sizes (mezes, salads, mains, sides, and sandwiches are all available on the menu), making it a perfect option for any time of day. 

In Wynwood

Wynwood is Miami’s big entertainment district filled with dance venues, shopping galore, and stunning murals. It contains both an art and fashion mini-district and is sometimes referred to as Little San Juan.

Satisfying Carb-Heavy Snacks

There’s a technicolor building in the neighborhood of Wynwood that’s simply labelled Bakery. This is Zak the Baker, and this restaurant provides top-notch bread to many of the city’s highest-class restaurants. Loaves with corned beef or avocado, chocolate babkas, quiche, and rye bread are all available, as are soups, salads, and hummus. The entire facility is also kosher.

Tucked Between Wynwood And Design: Sugarcane

Given how close Wynwood and the Design District are, there’s a good chance you’ll be wandering between the two at some point. If you do, consider stopping at Sugarcane, where there are tons of tapas-style options to pick from. This is also an excellent place for people who like to experiment as there are lots of unique dishes like bone marrow with veal cheek marmalade or duck and waffle with crispy bird leg and mustard maple syrup.


In Miami Beach

Often, Miami Beach is the first neighborhood that people check out; it’s also likely the one that the images in your mind of Miami come from. No matter how long you’re staying or what you’re interested in, your next vacation to Miami needs to include a stop in Miami Beach. Art Deco architecture and sandy beaches await.

Joes’ Stone Crab

Joe’s Stone Crab is an incredibly popular lunch spot in the Miami Beach area that’s been in business for over a hundred years. This highly sought-after local takes no reservations and makes famously delicious meals (including the eponymous stone crab, which is a bit sweeter than common crab). It’s worth noting that the restaurant is only open from mid-October to mid-May, as this is stone crab season.

In Little Havana

Of course, no trip to Miami would be complete without a visit to Little Havana. This historic district is the very heart of Miami’s Cuban influence , but also hosts many immigrants from South and Central America more broadly. As you can imagine, the cultural influences present extend to food.

Pinolandia Fritanga

Open 24-hours a day, Pinolandia Fritanga is structured like a cafeteria. $10 will provide a heaping plate of Nicaraguan deliciousness. The hours also make this a perfect stop on your way home from an evening out.


Tapas, cocktails, and a rooftop view of Brickell’s skyline can all be found at Terras. It’s got a tropical feel with rooftop gardens and a menu that’s been inspired by urban street food from all over Latin America.

The above list should give you an idea of the wide range of restaurants available in Miami. Of course, this is only the beginning. If you’re staying for several days, continue to do your research and ask around. There are countless spectacular venues worth your time and attention.

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