Miami's location on the crossroads of Cuba, the Caribbean, and South America makes for a huge diversity when it comes to food, and Miami is the epicentre of its own gastronomic revolution.
Food in Miami
Reading the menu in certain restaurants, it can seem a little complicated to decide what to order, so here are some of the most typical dishes and ingredients in Florida:
- Alligator: this is a nursery caiman, whose meat is normally served breaded or stewed.
- Conch: this huge sea mollusc is normally served as an appetiser, or breaded and fried as with calamari. This is a typical dish in Key West.
- Key lime pie: this is the signature dish in the Keys, made from caramel and lime, with a biscuit base.
- Mullet: grasshoppers which are normally smoked.
- Wahoo: fish with a similar taste to swordfish.
- Amberjack: a large fish which tastes similar to grouper.
- Boliche: a cuban style meat stew.
- Chimichurri: a condiment to go with meat, made from garlic, parsley and oil.
- Enchilado: seafood done Cuban style.
- Emparedado: a sandwich with ham, roast pork and cheese, on Cuban bread.
- Bolo: a Cuban style ham sandwich.
- Mojo: a Cuban sauce made from garlic and orange.
Where to eat
Although all over Miami you can find hundreds of restaurants, there are some places that truly deserve highlighting:
If you're a fan of Cuban food, all the way along Calle Ocho, in Little Havana, you'll find hundreds of restaurants which are both great quality and reasonably priced. This area is your go-to for lunch, perhaps not so much for dinner.
Ocean Drive is full of restaurants and terraces, offering a huge variety of foods, in a stunning atmosphere. This is a great option for dinnertime, not least because it's the best place to kick off your evening in Miami.
Tax and Tipping
Tax on restaurants in Miami is about 8%, and is not normally included in the prices on the menus.
Just like in the rest of the United States, tipping is not optional, but obligatory. If it's not already included in your bill, you should leave between 10% and 20%, depending on the quality of the service.