Miami is so caliente right now. It’s literally hot, with temperatures verging on 30 degrees Celsius but also bursting with culture, tourism, and mouth-watering restaurants. It's become a world-class destination for the food alone!
All the spicy, gooey goodness of arepas, taquitos, and croquetas is thanks to the city's untouchably iconic Latin American culture. Miami has the largest Latina/Latino population outside of Latin America itself, and they've blessed the region with the very best dishes their ancestors had to offer.
No trip to Miami is complete without experiencing the authentic Latin flavor it has to offer. Dive into southwest sagüesera areas like Flagami and Westchester or get your Camila Cabello on in Little Havana. We're talking savory papas rellenas, fried or baked empanadas, lemon ceviche, and tamales right off the grill. Your abuela would definitely approve.
But not everything in Miami is dipped in queso. The city's foodie scene has spawned some fantastic and diverse gourmet options that have nothing to do with Latin culture but still feel full-on Miami. You can taste some of the most different and delicious food combos in the world right here in Miami. As the locals would say, ya tu sabes (you already know)! If you haven't been to Miami yet, message five of your ride-or-dies right now and start making this happen. Put these hot eats on your to-do list and let us know which ones made the cut for your next trip to the magic city.
20 Ms. Cheezious Restaurant
If this picture makes you drool like a baby, you'll agree that Ms. Cheezious is a can't-miss stop on your next Miami adventure.
It's a Miami exclusive that started as a food truck a few years back but got so popular that it now has its own restaurant space in the MiMo district.
Artisanal grilled cheeses are their specialty. It's all-American comfort food at its best and a nice break from spicier Latin options if you're a fan of classic dishes done well. Their seductively delicious sandwich menu includes grilled blue cheese and bacon, provolone and jalapeno, BBQ-pulled pork, smoked turkey, feta, prosciutto, and more. For dessert, try a different kind of melting masterpiece: a sticky S'mores melt with roasted marshmallows, salted chocolate hazelnut spread, and a graham cracker crumble. And don't forget to take a picture in their storefront; it's got major retro beachy vibes.
19 Ricky Thai Bistro
Miami doesn't have a lot of Thai food, but who needs quantity when you have such good quality at Ricky? This bistro earned one of the highest scores for customer satisfaction on Yelp in spring 2018, with literally hundreds of raving reviews.
Yelp reviewer Jaime C. said that Ricky was "absolutely worth the hype. It tasted just as they advertise, authentic and fresh ingredients, made from scratch, delicious." Michael G. wrote that Ricky is "excellent every time" on his review. The raving opinions just keep rolling in.
Favorite dishes include Ricky's smoky satay chicken, papaya salad, and a wide variety of curries. And for vegans, everything on the menu besides the Pad Thai can be made free from animal byproducts. If you're feeling hungry for Thai in Miami, this is your best choice.
18 Doggi's Arepa Bar
Have you ever had an arepa? If not, grab your phone and find the nearest Venezuelan takeout that can cross arepa tasting off your bucket list. They're THAT good.
Deep-fried or fresh (but always deep-fried, if we're honest with ourselves) arepas are like sandwiches that died and went to heaven. They're yellow cornmeal buns split open and busting at the seams with black beans, avocado, rice, pork, chicken, plantains, beef, queso, and anything else that floats your boat.
Doggi's is the best arepa bar in Miami, and that's saying something. It's a hotspot among locals who know good Venezuelan food when they taste it. Located in a cozy bar tucked away on 22nd Street, you'll be tasting the city's best options for this iconic Latin American dish.
In the mood for Japanese food? Look no further than Makoto, Miami's ultimate elegant and upscale Japanese dining experience.
Naturally, there's a fantastic sushi bar here, but you'd be missing out if you stuck to the topnotch sushi options. Makoto serves sleek modern Japanese dishes including bincho charcoal robata, meat skewers roasted on white charcoal. White charcoal is a type of activated charcoal that has been made for over 300 years by charcoal makers in Japan's Kishu province. Not many places offer this exclusive and traditional dish.
Makoto's successful use of this technique and others is thanks to chef Makoto Okuwa, the man in charge of this growing chain. Classy ambiance and fish prepared to perfection are what his spaces have come to represent to Miami. Switch it up and try a watermelon ceviche or yuzu miso for dessert.
16 Toro Toro Restaurant
Toro Toro is a steakhouse in downtown Miami with inspiring interiors and fantastic appetizers. You can get plates to share, which is unusual for a steakhouse but ideal for a night out with friends who just want a little bit of everything. It's also got that trademark Miami Latin flavor that you can't miss.
The head chef comes from Dubai and spent years perfecting the balance between his traditional charcuterie and authentic Miami tastes.
He's put a unique spin on South and Central American ingredients with dishes served tapa-style and steaks served a la carte. You can even order rodizio service, which involves fresh cuts being stripped from the bone by your own server in front of your eyes. As a bonus, Toro Toro has lunch, brunch, and even happy hour deals for those of us wanting to save some cash while we explore the city.
There are a few pizza joints on this list, and can you see why? How could anybody refuse a bite of these cheesy monsters?
Located right in South Beach, Mister-01 is a top choice for foodies who are passionate about authentic Italian eats. It calls itself a "famous hidden place" and boasts modern, conceptual, and trendy dishes and decor.
It's got salty and crispy antipasti, a mozzarella bar, and fifteen artisanal pizza options to choose from. For a portable choice, grab one of their famous calzones and hit the beach. Extra fun fact: Mister-01 also hosts a "Pizza School" for aspiring pizza chefs in the area. If you feel inspired to learn after biting into a slice, your future could start at Mister-01!
14 Ola Miami
Ola is a restaurant tucked into the base of the Vintro Hotel on Miami's Park Avenue. It's ritzy, glitzy, and ready to wow you and your friends with an extensive cocktail menu and appetizers packed to the max with South and Central American flavors.
Ceviche, churrasco, and chimichurri are all featured prominently on the Ola menu, so you can feel like you're eating Miami street market food in a totally upscale environment.
And Ola is has such a prime location and tempting menus that celebs who come to Miami often make Ola their dinner spot of choice. Look out for celebrities on the rooftop terrace taking a dip in the pool between margaritas. If this sounds like a lifestyle you could get into, put Ola at the top of your personal must-see list.
13 Jimmy'z Kitchen
Jimmy'z Kitchen is located in the trendy Wynwood burrow of Miami, and it's exactly the vibe you would want from a Wynwood destination. Farm-fresh ingredients, a rustic interior, and of course, a Latin American spin on your favorite foods.
If you're having a day out on your trip and are getting hungry for something simple yet uniquely Miami, Jimmy'z Kitchen is ideal. It's a chain with locations sprinkled throughout the city so you're never too far from one. Sandwiches, salads, and small bites to eat are all available made to order and packed with Latin flavor.
The dishes are all described by the original Jimmy as being Latin-American fusion-inspired. It's got juicy roasted cuban moho pork, chicken guisado, and more all served on fresh Cuban white bread. And don't forget to try the mofongo—fried sweet plaintains mashed with salt, garlic, and oil. It's a fantastic taste you'll never forget.
12 Mr. And Mrs. Bun
This Miami exclusive restaurant is serving up major romantic vibes for a burger joint! Every detail in the place is couples-oriented so it makes sense that the owners called it Mr. and Mrs. If you find yourself in need of a quick and cheap date spot, there can't be any more thematically-appropriate choice in Miami. So many sweet couples' photo opportunities!
Of course, the burgers served here are not only excellent but also largely Latin-inspired.
It's got burgers, sandwiches, and unforgettable soups like their chupe de camarones (Peruvian shrimp chowder). Sweethearts will love the shareable jalea burger, full of fried calamari, fish, and shrimp with salsa criolla. Try a croissant de pollo (a.k.a. chicken-filled croissant) and you might start feeling the love too.
11 Pinch Kitchen
This restaurant is an excellent Miami all-arounder. It's good for dinner, great for brunch, and wonderful for dessert. Pick whichever option suits your schedule and introduce your people to the joy that is Pinch Kitchen.
The design at Pinch Kitchen can definitely makes for a beautiful backdrop to your best Miami moments. It's got an open kitchen (you can smell your food as it gets prepared) and hip wooden tables. The menu chalkboard and overall black-and-white detailing give Pinch a cohesively cozy feel. If you happen to walk down Biscayne Boulevard, pop in and treat yourself.
It's got an eclectic beer and wine menu that can please all palettes and introduce you to some unique local brews. When in Miami, why not try the best drinks the city has on tap? The food includes some local ingredients too, with the menu changing seasonally to align with which fruits and veggies are the freshest.
10 Dolores Lolita
Dolores Lolita, or "Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita," is a stylish foodie hub located within the heart of Miami. The rooftop terrace is unmissable but super popular among locals, so make sure you make a reservation well before you plan on going.
It's got a menu that changes frequently, with internationally-inspired small plates of gourmet fare. There is something for everyone on offer here, so friends with conflicting tastes are likely to find perfect harmony at Dolores Lolita.
For dinner, you can snag some great deals like entrees and appetizers paired together for less than $30. Take a mushroom tortellini main dish with a kale salad to start, for example. There's also frozen sangria available year-round, which your group is going to want to load up on. Everybody does. It's Miami!
9 Tacos And Tattoos
It's taco time! Tacos will always belong in a top ten on a list about Miami. One of the best places to find them? Tacos and Tattoos on 113th Street. Food and tattoo parlors don't actually mix. Needles and eating? No thanks. But don't be suspicious of this restaurant's title. While tattoo parlors are a Miami staple and open up and down the downtown core, you won't find actual tattooing going on at this restaurant.
The name is just a nod to Miami culture and the tattoo-inspired murals that decorate the walls and bar.
Absolutely everything in the space is covered in artful illustrations. It's a unique, friendly environment with lots of neon on the walls and beach body clientele. Pictures you take here will always have the total urban Miami look going on. And the tacos are delicious, ya tu sabes!
8 Steve's Pizza
If you’re not about the glitz and just all about the food, Steve's Pizza is an absolute must-try. Open late, this is one pit stop that every true Miami native has made at least once after a night on the town.
Don't get us wrong, this restaurant looks like a total dive. But it's one of the most iconic and authentic Miami food joints on the map. Order at the counter and find yourself a graffiti'd booth while your pizza is made fresh to order.
When your order's up, be prepared to receive the most massive pizza you have ever seen. It's the size of the entire table in each booth but costs just as little as your typical takeout pizza would. Pull off a slice as long as your arm and enjoy this deliciously saucy local fave.
Another Wynwood selection, Kush is a standout for its famous chicken and waffles. When we say famous, we mean famous. Kush chicken and waffles have been ranked number one in all of South Florida by major news outlets like FOX and CBS. Kush offers craft beer and local ingredients in its mind-blowingly mouth-watering menu items.
Homemade guac is served beside most dishes, which range from Florida alligator bites (made from real local alligators!) to caviar to Frito pie served up in a real bag of Fritos.
It's the kind of high-low taste fusion that foodie bloggers love, and you will too. Do not go to this restaurant without ordering the chicken and waffles, though. It's all kinds of steamy, crispy, salty goodness topped with bacon, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. You'll thank us later.
6 Versace's Mansion Restaurant
Yes, that's right. Versace's...Mansion...Restaurant. If you've ever heard of Gianni Versace or the Versace family, you need to book yourself a reservation in his real historic home and start counting down the days until you get to eat there. It couldn't be more Miami.
Miami is big on celebrity culture, and at one time, Gianni Versace was its king. The last big FX network hit, American Crime Story: Versace, tells the tale of this complex and ultra-wealthy family. If there's enough material for a full TV series, you know it's juicy stuff. With his home now reworked as a luxury restaurant, any trip to Miami just isn't complete without this dining experience.
As you would expect, this restaurant has a strict dress code. Put on your best designer digs and enjoy Gianni's exclusive gourmet Mediterranean dishes—a nod to the Versace's Italian heritage. The food is good but the nouveau-riche ambiance couldn't be better.
Peru is a small but mighty piece of Latin America, with its own vibrant culture and exotic ingredients. You can taste some of Miami's best Peruvian food along with sushi that's guaranteed to please at SuViche. It's a Japanese and Peruvian fusion restaurant chain with just a handful of locations in Wynwood, Brickell, and South Beach. You might have noticed that SuViche sounds like ceviche, and that's no coincidence.
SuViche is your one-stop shop for the very best ceviche in Miami—where ceviche is served almost everywhere.
The restaurant is like a magnet for food lovers in Miami, drawing in critics and earning rave reviews. They offer explosively flavorful sashimi and sushi rolls with unique ingredient combos that tie in Peruvian staples like lomo saltado and causa. Almost everything is served with optional Peruvian sauce, so you can get a taste of Peru with whatever you decide to order.
This restaurant is right in midtown Miami among the best sites in the city. Get yourself a spot in the back patio under the lights and you'll be completely immersed in Miami magic.
Lagniappe has a great wine bar and a rustic shabby-chic aesthetic that will make any of the city's visitors feel at home. Maybe the best reason to check it out is the live music it hosts every night. Local musicians and up-and-coming bands play hip selections that often include Cuban jazz, rumba, and pachanga. If you want your trip to include a romantic serenade or impromptu salsa, this is the place to make it happen.
Food options are great and quintessentially Miami. Bite into some rich and smoky churrasco or a tasty mahi/salmon combo. There are $5 cheese plates to go with your wine selection, and the very affordable happy hour is worth dropping into too.
Yardbird is chic, well-priced, and so delicious that you'll want to stop by more than once while you're in Miami. If you're coming to Miami from outside of the USA, you'll want to get a taste of the American deep south while you're there. Florida is the most southern state there is!
Yardbird serves you traditional Southern-style comfort food with a modern twist.
Treat yourself to a buttermilk biscuit starter and feel the warm fluffy comfort food hit the spot before you're even served your main course. You need to try the shrimp and grits they make with Virginia ham, red onions, and PBR. There are St. Louis-style pork ribs with homemade BBQ sauce and apple slaw and chicken dishes made with a top-secret selection of frying spices. Hungry yet?
2 Yambo's Cafe
Yambo's is Venezuelan to the core, so you can't beat its selection of croquetas and cafecitos. This one is our number 2 choice for the quality of the food, the variety of authentic Latin American dishes, and an authentic charm that just can't be faked.
It's super casual, so you don't have to put on your best travel looks for a meal here. You can come right from the beach with sandy hair and it would make the experience all the realer. The scene inside the restaurant is full of Nicaraguan details that you won't find anywhere else in the city, like hand-painted ceramic tiles, hanging pottery, and even a bust of Nicaraguan leader Ruben Dario.
Dive into a full plate of hot carne asada, tejadas, and queso frito for cheap. The portion sizes are excellent for the prices. And don’t forget to leave without ordering some Yambo’s treats to-go for your best amigos.
1 Sweet Dogs
If you were ever in Miami for one day, you'd want to choose the best possible place to eat. You'd want to go where all the most serious foodies go. You'd want a place with 5-star reviews, a big variety of flavors, and that essential Miami Latin American flair. Without a doubt, that choice is Sweet Dogs.
This restaurant serves both classic and creative hotdog dishes with optional signature Sweet Sauce, a sauce that is actually sweet.
You might not expect sugary sweet flavor to mix well with savory (and sometimes spicy) meat, but the combo is surprisingly delicious. Choose from smoked bacon, sweet peppers, Chinese noodles, pineapple and mozzarella, beef chili and croutons, and dozens of other ingredients to completely fill your hotdog (and stomach) to the top.
Soft-served ice cream makes for a tasty dessert that beats the notorious Miami heat. Or get some of their signature Sweet Dogs popcorn on the way out and keep snacking all the way to the beach.
Sources: Yelp, TripAdvisor, Miami New Times