International Cuisine in Miami

jaguar spoons

Ceviche Spoons at Jaguar

dim sum

Dim Sum at Hakkasan

cuban sandwich

Cuban Sandwich

scarpetta

Dining room at Scarpetta

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Miami is famous for being an international destination with a melting pot of cultures. There’s perhaps no better way to get a taste of Miami’s diversity than through its cuisine. While Miami’s connection to Cuba is well noted, there’s also a large population from Central and South America, each with its own cuisine.

You’ll find Caribbean influences as well, ranging from Haitian to Jamaican. Recently, Miami has seen an uptick in delicious fare from the Middle East. Miami is also a destination for Asian, Italian and French cuisine. With a dining scene that’s only heating up, here’s your primer to Miami’s rich international fare.

Elote at Coyo Taco
Enjoy the Elote at Coyo Taco

Cuban & Latin American

Little Havana is ground zero for a taste of Cuba in Miami, but really, any neighborhood you visit from South Beach to Sunny Isles Beach will have a venue for you to sample Cuban coffee, pastelitos (pastries) and traditional dishes like ropa vieja (stewed beef with tomatoes and onions) with black beans, rice and sweet plantains.

Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana is one of the most iconic destinations for Cuban food. Don’t stop with just Cuban foodie staples, though. Miami is also home to Venezuelan, Peruvian, Brazilian, Argentinian, Colombian and Nicaraguan fare and comfort food.

To the west, Doral is sometimes called “Doralzuela” for its abundance of Venezuelan eateries like La Uchirena, where you can enjoy arepas (corn pancake sandwiches), patacones (fried plantains also known as tostones) and pabellon criollo (a traditional plate that consists of shredded meat, rice and beans, fried plantain slices and an egg).

Argentinian restaurants are known for churrasco skirt steak, empanadas and Italian-influenced pasta dishes. Try Fiorito’s in Little Haiti or Las Vacas Gordas in Miami Beach.

Miami is also famous for its Peruvian cuisine. Whether you opt for fine dining at La Mar by Gaston Acurio at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami, casual eats at CVI.CHE 105 or taste the classics at Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar, don’t leave Miami without sampling fresh ceviche, potato causas, tiradito (sashimi-style raw fish) and lomo saltado (beef tenderloin stir fry).

In the last couple of years, Miami has also welcomed a bunch of casual Mexican-inspired taquerias. From HuaHua's and Taquiza to Bodega and Coyo, there have never been more options around town for tasty tacos. The latter two even have secret speakeasy bars in the rear.

Jamaican food on plate at Clive's
Try new flavors at Clive's Cafe

Haitian, Bahamian & Caribbean

The flavors of the Caribbean have just as strong a presence in Miami, with its long-held ties to Haiti, Jamaica and other Caribbean islands. Try Chez Le Bebe in Little Haiti for traditional fare like griot (fried pork) or stewed ox tail.

Bahamian influences can be found in the soul food of Historic Overtown and Coconut Grove’s Village West, which was home to the first Bahamians in Miami. In Historic Overtown, head to Jackson’s Soul Food for a taste of down home cooking. There’s also a strong Jamaican presence in Miami. At Sonia’s, you can sample traditional Jamaican patties stuffed with your choice of mild beef, spicy beef or chicken curry. Clive's is known for jerk chicken, stewed peas, ackee fruit and salt fish.

Crispy Duck Salad at Hakkasan
Experience haute Cantonese at Hakkasan

Pan-Asian

For Japanese, Chinese and Thai food, Miami has a wide variety of upscale and casual Asian eateries. Popular sushi spots include Pubbelly Sushi, Sushi Garage and Doraku, while NAOEMakoto and Zuma meet upscale expectations for the best sushi and Japanese food in Miami.

Chef Bee Naiya is Miami’s beloved hometown Thai chef, with both Oishi Thai in North Miami Beach and Naiyara in Miami Beach's Sunset Harbour neighborhood. For Pan-Asian foodies, give Shokuda in the Buena Vista neighborhood a try. For haute Cantonese, try Hakkasan or Mr. Chow.

Fooq's Squash Blossom
Sample Mediterranean dishes at Fooq's

Middle Eastern & Greek

Miami has seen an abundance of Middle Eastern restaurants opening up, from Greek to Turkish to Persian. A longtime favorite, Mandolin Aegean Bistro in the Design District, is home to a lovely outdoor patio shaded by blue umbrellas for a taste of Turkey and Greece that includes fresh Mediterranean fish, lamb burgers and bright salads with crumbled feta and drizzled with olive oil.

Other hot spots for such fresh bites include Cleo at the Redbury Hotel, Byblos at The Royal Palm South Beach Miami and Fooq’s in Downtown Miami.

Polenta at Scarpetta
Savor dishes by Chef Scott Conant at Scarpetta

Italian

Like many places, Miami is no stranger to Italian restaurants, ranging from rustic to refined. For fine dining, consider Scarpetta by celebrity chef Scott Conant at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, Dolce at The Gale, Casa Tua or Sardinia in Sunset Harbour.

For a casual, hidden gem with authentic flavors, head to Sylvano’s in South Beach’s Collins Park neighborhood or its new location in Downtown Miami. As for pizza, Lucali is a favorite in South Beach.

French

There’s something so charming about a French bistro, and Miami has embraced these chic culinary outposts. In Coconut Grove, Le Bouchon du Grove is a longtime favorite for steak frites and onion soup gratinee. In Bal Harbour Shops you’ll find Le Zoo, a Stephen Starr restaurant with all the refined charms of a Parisian café, including a delicious menu of oysters, quiches and croque monsieurs. In Hialeah, where Cuban food dominates, French bistro La Fresa Francesa is a welcome surprise serving up classics such as baked fromage with white wine and shallots, braised rabbit leg, cassoulet and oxtail.

See more great Miami restaurants and dining experiences and find amazing Miami and Miami Beach dining and restaurant offers during Miami Spice Months from June to September.

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