Miami’s cuisine showcases its diverse cultural influences, combining American, Caribbean, and Latin American flavours to create a culinary culture that’s unique to South Florida, known as Floribbean cuisine. Several staple foods can be found throughout the city’s restaurants and cafés, giving you a taste of its prized cuisine. Cuban food is most abundant in Miami, but you’ll also find South American cuisine, Deep South cuisine, Italian-inspired cuisine, and an abundance of fresh seafood. Take a look at the 10 best Miami foods everyone should try.

    1

    Chicharron

    Try Portuguese pork

    Chicharron is a Portuguese dish of fried pork belly or fried pork rinds. It’s prepared differently all over the world, but American-style chicharron in Miami is usually made from pigskin and fat without meat and served as a finger food. Mexican and Southwestern restaurants serve chicharron with regional ingredients. Though chicharron usually uses pork, variations include mutton, chicken, or beef. Chicharron may be made with meatier cuts of pork or just the skin, which is seasoned and deep-fried until it’s crunchy and puffed. Pork rinds may also be used in other recipes.

    2

    Stone crabs

    Sample delicious local crab

    Stone crabs are a delicious seafood option that’s renowned for taste and texture. Commonly found on the Atlantic Coast of the United States, particularly in the shallow waters around Florida, stone crabs are offered in many restaurants in Miami. While stone crabs’ inner meat is edible, most people seek them out for their sweet and tender claw meat. The claw meat is often eaten like any other crab legs, cracked open and served as a crab cocktail, or thrown into a recipe as lump crab meat. It pairs well with cocktail sauce, remoulade, and other seafood condiments.

    3

    Arepas

    Enjoy a South American staple

    Arepa is a dish made of ground maize dough with meat, cheese, avocado, and other accompaniments. Originating in South America, the arepa is a flat, round, and unleavened patty made from maize kernels and is grilled, baked, fried, steamed, or boiled. Maize meal or maize flour is often used. Though arepa may differ in colour, flavour, and size, it’s usually paired with ingredients like eggs, tomatoes, beans, meat, salad, shrimp, and fish. How the arepa is presented varies according to the region and the local ingredients, making it a unique culinary experience to have in Miami.

    4

    Ceviche

    Eat raw fish from Peru

    Ceviche is a Peruvian seafood dish that uses raw fish cured in citrus juices. The dish is typically seasoned with chilli peppers, chopped onions, coriander, and salt. Because the fish is raw, it must be fresh and of high quality, and it should be eaten quickly to avoid any foodborne illnesses. In the Americas and the Caribbean, including Miami, ceviche can be served with tostadas and may use ingredients like octopus, shrimp, squid, tuna, and mackerel. Some countries use conch or tuna and a combination of different spices like bonnet pepper, coriander, and bell peppers.

    5

    Cuban sandwich

    Take part in the friendly sandwich rivalry

    A Cuban sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread—a unique concoction that came from Cuban immigrants in South Florida. The sandwich is a variation on the ham and cheese sandwich that is believed to have been brought to Florida by Cuban workers. Cuban sandwiches are very popular in Miami other areas of Florida. Tampa, which has a large Italian population, adds salami to the ingredients, sparking a friendly rivalry between the 2 cities for the “signature” Cuban sandwich.

    6

    Churrasco

    Eat delicious grilled meat

    Churrasco is a grilled meat that’s popular in Latin American cuisine and may refer to any grilled meat that comes from a churrascaria, or a steakhouse. The name is derived from the Spanish and Portuguese name for steak. Churrasco has regional differences, such as barbecued meat in Brazil that’s cooked outdoors and thin steak prepared with chimichurri sauce in Nicaragua. In Puerto Rico, churrasco always refers to skirt steak cooked on a grill with sea salt. You’ll find many variations of churrasco in Miami’s restaurants.

    7

    Mofongo

    Sample diverse plantain dishes

    Mofongo is a Puerto Rican plantain dish found in Miami and features plantains, a type of cooking banana, that are fried and mashed with salt, garlic, stock, and olive oil. Traditionally, mofongo is made using a wooden pilon. Once the plantain is mashed and absorbent, it’s used to complement pork cracklings, bacon, fried meat, or other meats. With seafood being so abundant in Miami, you’ll often find mofongo served with different meats like shrimp or octopus. Mofongo is typically served in Latin-American and Pan-Latin restaurants.

    8

    Fried snapper

    Dine on a local catch

    Fried snapper may be in the form of a fish sandwich, fried snapper bites, or fish and chips and is a common preparation of local fish in many Miami seafood restaurants. You’ll also find a wide variety of seasonings used to batter the fish, ranging from Cajun to Cuban to Jamaican to Dominican Snapper is known for its lean, firm texture with white flesh that has a delicate, mild flavour. Most restaurants use red or yellowtail snapper for fried snapper dishes.

    9

    Key lime pie

    Indulge with a sweet, tropical dessert

    Key lime pie uses Key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk to create a dessert that’s known for its crunchy and creamy texture. A common American dessert, Key lime pie is a Miami tradition. Key lime pie is usually served with meringue made of egg whites, but whipped cream is also used. You’ll find pies that have no crust, a traditional pie crust, or a graham cracker crust, but they all share the sweet and citrusy Key lime flavour.

    10

    Alligator bites

    Try a unique native meat

    Alligator bites consist of alligator tail meat cut into bite-sized portions, much like chicken wing bites or chicken nuggets, that’s battered and fried with seasonings. Common in the Southern United States, and Florida, in particular, alligator meat is a healthy source of meat that's high in protein and low in fat. It has a mild flavour and firm texture. You’ll find many variations on the recipe throughout Miami’s restaurants, but all offer the delicious and unique flavours of alligator tail meat.

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