Great Ethnic Restaurants On Miami Beach

Tempura at Azabu

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Tempura at Azabu

By: Angela Caraway-Carlton

It’s no secret that Miami Beach is a melting pot of cultures, and that translates to many restaurants boasting some of the best global cuisine. From Italian to Japanese to Korean or Greek, whatever type of food you’re craving, you’ll find it on Miami Beach. Here, embark on a global culinary tour using our top ten list of the best ethnic restaurants.

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Byblos

This Eastern Mediterranean restaurant draws a chic crowd thanks to its beautiful décor, nightlife and most importantly, its impressive food. You’ll want to come with a group so you can share an array of dishes like the Turkish manti dumplings, roasted lamb shoulder with house lavash, Middle Eastern fried chicken, and wood-fired pides topped with everything from wild mushrooms to black truffle. Rice isn’t just rice here; go for one of the various interesting rice dishes like the jeweled rice, which is speckled with carrots, barberries and almonds. The restaurant transforms into a scene at night thanks to a DJ and well-heeled crowd.

    Cleo South Beach

    Another Mediterranean-inspired menu can be found at this popular restaurant inside the Redbury South Beach. The focus of the open kitchen is mezze-style dining, with shareable plates like baba ghanoush, skillet haloumi, eggplant moussaka, tender kabobs, Moroccan fried chicken, spicy cigars and bigger plates such as mouth-watering apricot lamb tagine with basmati rice. For a decent deal, choose the Mezze Dinner for your choice of two mezze, a signature nish nush like lamb shawarma, and one shared main plate for $55.

      Taquiza

      Whether it’s a late-night craving or a lunchtime feast, head to this traditional Mexican taqueria (which has several locations) for authentic tacos and street fare. The blue masa used in the handmade tortillas and chips is ground daily and diners can choose from more than a dozen tacos like al pastor, carne asada, or even braised beef tongue tacos. Hang out with the locals and wash it all down with a Mexican beer or cocktail.

        Macchialina

        Step into this cozy South Beach staple, reminiscent of a rustic eatery in Italy, where Chef Michael Pirolo puts his heart and soul into making rustic Italian cuisine like he had growing up. The chef keeps his dishes simple with fresh ingredients but bursting with flavor. Dishes include braised short-rib lasagna, pork chop Milanese and unique plates of beet-filled ravioli; but locals-in-the-know come for Sicilian pies that are made with flour imported from Parma, Italy and for the $10 plate pastas on Thursday nights. With only 70 seats, it’s a great place to slip into a tufted leather banquette for date or meet friends at the lively bar for a negroni.

          Jaya

          When you’re in the mood for Asian, but don’t want to sacrifice ambiance and style, head to this modern-Asian restaurant located in the The Setai Miami Beach. Reserve a table in the stunning courtyard surrounded by stone-filled pools where you’ll dine under the stars. Must-orders are the dim sum like the melt-in-your-mouth truffle dumplings, signature Peking duck and other regional specialties from Southeast and Northern Asian cultures. If you’re looking to splurge, their signature Sunday Jazz Brunch isn’t to be missed, featuring free-flowing Champagne and a sprawling buffet of global cuisine including Thai and Chinese stations with steam bao, Chinese dim sum and more.

            Azabu Miami Beach

            This Japanese jewel located inside the Marriott Stanton South Beach boasts an intimate dimly-lit main dining room where all your sushi dreams can come true. Choose from a plethora of hot and cold plates, dishes from the robata grill, or standouts like the king crab fried rice and miso black cod. If you really want to escape the crowds, reserve your spot at The Den, an 11-seat bar at the secluded sushi den, accessible only through the kitchen,. The Den offers Omakase-style dining (which means “chef’s choice”) featuring local and imported seafood from Japanese fish markets.

              Larios on the Beach

              Opened in 1992 by music royalty Gloria and Emilio Estefan, this is one of the top places in South Beach for authentic Cuban food. The iconic restaurant was recently renovated, and you’ll want to get on your feet thanks to the lively music that pulses through the restaurant in the evenings. Try their pressed Cuban sandwich, bacon-wrapped maduros, the award-winning lechón asado (roasted pork) or ropa vieja, then join the dancing crowd with a classic mojito in hand.

                Drunken Dragon

                For legit Korean barbeque and a lively late-night scene, cozy up at a table at this Asian-inspired gastropub tucked away in a strip mall on busy Alton Road. Besides the mysterious location, what makes this place unique is the do-it-yourself gas grilling tables where you can cook chicken, steak, shrimp, lamb chops, veggies and more, along with family-style plates influenced from all over Asia like twice-fried chicken wings or a hearty ramen. To really soak up the vibe, sip one of their tiki-inspired cocktails like a Mai Tai or Pain Killer.

                  Santorini By Georgios

                  Located inside the Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach, take an exotic trip to the Greek Isles by snagging a table inside their blue and white dining room, or on the poolside patio for a true island-breeze feel. Start the meal in Greek-style with flaming cheese saganaki served in a sizzling skillet or a plate of grilled octopus; then move on to chicken souvlaki, oven-roasted lamb or a mixed platter of steak, chicken kabobs and lamb gyro. Come early for their $5 mezes, desserts like baklava, and specially priced drinks during their daily happy hour.

                    A La Folie Café

                    A stroll down the cobblestone streets of pedestrian-only Espanola Way leads to this Parisian café full of flavor and ambiance. Locals-in-the-known nosh on buckwheat crepes filled with Dijon chicken, or sweet crepes like their popular banana Nutella crepe, along with classic dishes such as the quiche Lorraine with bacon, escargots in garlic butter, homemade foie gras, or a decadent soup that will transport you to France.

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