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By: Michael Meltzer

Finding a great restaurant in Greater Miami & Miami Beach is easy. Finding a great restaurant that every other visitor hasn’t also found, however, can be a little tougher. But foodie adventurers, take heart: Tucked in strip malls and behind unassuming storefronts, you’ll find some of Miami’s best food hiding in plain sight. From Little Haiti markets to South Beach office buildings, here are the best hidden gem dining experiences in Miami, organized by neighborhood.

Coconut Grove

El Carajo

Talk about hidden… step inside the gas station on the corner of Southwest 17th Avenue and US 1, and you’ll find one of Miami’s finest tapas restaurants. El Carajo also carries one of the city’s best selections of rare Spanish wines and is ideal for group dining.

Mary’s Coin Laundry Café

What started as a simple laundromat ventanita (walk-up window) in the early ‘80s has turned into a go-to spot for around-the-clock Cuban food in the Silver Bluff area near Coconut Grove. Mary’s Coin Laundry Café is also a perfect place for people-watching at any hour, and not a bad choice for washing clothes.

Design District

Little Hen

Looking for a simple breakfast near the posh Design District? Seek out the Little Hen café in Midtown Miami, with English-inspired décor and everything from fried eggs to bourbon-battered French toast on the menu. Enjoy it all with a champagne mojito and you’re set for the rest of the day.

Doral

Taikin

Tucked in the corner of a Doral shopping plaza, you’ll discover one of the best sushi spots in Miami, in the shadow of a giant Publix supermarket. Taikin throws Latin twists into traditional dishes too, with tasty treats such as lechon bao buns.

fresa sandwich
Try French dishes with a Cuban influence

Hialeah

La Fresa Francesa

The heart of Hialeah isn’t the first place one would expect to find fine French cuisine, but that’s part of the draw of this little Parisian café. The product of a Hialeah local and a French chef, La Fresa Francesa plates French classics with Cuban hints, and somehow fits in with its industrial surroundings.

Morro Castle

While you won’t literally be eating inside a castle, this Hialeah stalwart has been a go-to for classic Cuban food since 1966. Whether you want a classic Cuban frita, pan con bistec, or a Cuban sandwich, you’ll never leave Morro Castle hungry.

Pan.com Sandwicheria

While finding legit Cuban food in Hialeah isn’t hard, finding modern takes on it is rare. Look for the Pac-Man sign heralding your arrival at Pan.com Sandwicheria. Then, head inside for ropa vieja flatbreads, Havana curry chicken, grilled octopus salad, and other dishes heretofore unseen in Miami.

Liberty City

Naomi’s Garden

What started as a vegetarian food truck in the 1970s blossomed into one of Miami’s most beloved Haitian restaurants. At Naomi's Garden in Liberty City, live music and community gatherings fill the welcoming outdoor space.

cuban sandwich
Experience an authentic Cuban sandwich

Little Havana

Sanguich de Miami

Cuban sandwiches have long been a Miami mainstay, but the first sandwich shop to put modern twists on the classic is this one along Calle Ocho in Little Havana. Sanguich de Miami’s traditional Cubano can lay claim to the best in the city, but the media noche and pan con lechon are also must-trys.

Little Haiti

B&M Market

Anthony Bourdain thought enough of this bright yellow storefront to pay it a visit in 2015. Inside B&M Market lurks a treasure trove of West Indian delicacies, from jerk chicken to warm, doughy rotis.

Pack Supermarket

Looking for Miami’s best fried chicken? Many locals will point you to Pack Supermarket in Little Haiti, where you’ll find everyone from school kids to cops and cab drivers ordering drumsticks and plantains.

star pizza
Don't miss Neapolitan pizza at Mister 01

Miami Beach

Big Pink

Big Pink is South Beach’s best late-night diner. Stop in after 3 a.m. and club goers and after-work bartenders will be there chowing down on epic hamburgers. Come for brunch, and you’ll see all of South Beach getting their weekend parties started.

Huahua’s Taqueria

Though the menu at this chihuahua-themed taco joint varies a bit from the traditional, dishes like grilled mahi and fried chicken tacos make you forget about anything you’ve tried before. Grab an order and enjoy it on the streetside picnic tables at Huahua’s Taqueria with a fresh-made margarita.

Mister 01

Down a nondescript hallway in a South Beach office building lives some of the most authentically Italian pizza in Miami Beach. This little Neapolitan shop has become such a hit among locals, it spawned Mister 01 locations in Brickell, Coconut Grove and Wynwood, too.

Miami Springs

Crackers Casual Dining

This chickee hut-covered casual restaurant is the brainchild of Miami’s foremost burger blogger, Sef “Burger Beast” Gonzalez. The menu at Crackers Casual Dining is pure comfort food, with a bacon avocado burger, chicken and dumplings, and pimento cheese fritters highlighting the offerings.

Siamo Pizza

The town of Miami Springs is a hidden gem unto itself, tucked behind Miami International Airport. Head through the rows of homes to Westward Drive and grab a pie at Siamo Pizza, a wood-fired pizza palace, where classic Italian pies and fresh antipasti make dinner worth the drive.

MIMO District

Jimmy’s Eastside Diner

The diner made famous in Best Picture winner “Moonlight'' is worth visiting for more than its famous filming locale in Miami’s Upper East Side. Breakfast at Jimmy’s Eastside Diner is a Miami tradition, where the same regulars have been feasting on pancakes and savoring strong coffee for decades.

RedRooster
Be sure to try Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s comfort food at Red Rooster

Historic Overtown

Red Rooster

Marcus Samuelsson’s Miami outpost is set in an old billiards hall in the Historic Overtown neighborhood. Red Rooster’s interior is a tribute to the history of the place, with concert posters and pages from the Green Book lining the walls. The food is a masterful blend of Southern and Caribbean, all made with the finesse that made Samuelsson famous.

juices
Find healthy drinks & food at Miami Juice

Sunny Isles Beach

Miami Juice

Finding healthy food among the opulent towers of Sunny Isles Beach doesn’t need to be a challenge. Hit Miami Juice, a little storefront across from the Porsche Tower, for fresh squeezed juices, plant-based burgers, and light sandwiches to fuel up for a long day on the sand.

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