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By: Jill Martin

Drive about 35 miles south of Downtown Miami to find Homestead and Florida City, South Dade destinations where abundant farm-to-table dining choices are available. Whether you’re seeking Cuban, Mexican, Italian, Puerto Rican or barbecue flavors, you’ll find a world of cuisines to savor.

Trolley in Downtown Homestead
Enjoy dinner in quaint Historic Downtown Homestead

Restaurants In Historic Downtown Homestead

How about a side of history with your entrée? The restaurants in Historic Downtown Homestead offer more than a memorable meal. This quaint area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, thanks to its connection to the Florida East Coast Railway and the many architectural styles represented here, including Art Deco and Mission Revival.

Casita Tejas

In a neighborhood renowned for Mexican food, it can be hard to stand out. But Casita Tejas has found the secret. Crowds come here for authentic Tex-Mex cuisine where everything is homemade. Order the Fiesta Sampler to share favorite appetizers with the whole table. Don’t miss the super-stuffed burrito norteno filled with steak, grilled onions, rice and cilantro, topped with salsa suisa and gooey melted cheese. Save a little room for the selection of homemade desserts, such as flan and fried ice cream.

Chefs On The Run

Chefs on the Run put Homestead’s food scene on the map several years ago when the Caribbean-American gastropub was invited to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The restaurant not only showed up, it won the Village Tasting two years in a row. Chef Jodrick I. Ujaque runs a creative kitchen, turning out specialties such as mofongo bowls with mashed fried plantains, habanero chicken, and a dozen inventive burgers.

Man driving tractor on Homestead farm
Farm-to-table options abound in Homestead

More Restaurants In Homestead

Mamma Mia Italian Restaurant

Classic Italian food by way of Long Island, New York, is the specialty of Mamma Mia Italian Restaurant. This casual family restaurant features an extensive menu of pizzas, calzones and pastas. Don’t miss the homemade spaghetti and meatballs served with garlic rolls. Craving real New York-style pizza? Purists order "Grandma’s Pizza" (plum tomato sauce and cheese on thin crust) and the adventurous go for the “Mama Mia All the Way” with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, black olives and green peppers.

Mario's Cuban Cuisine

For all-day breakfast and generous portions of Cuban cuisine with a fusion of Spanish, African and Caribbean influences, stop by Mario’s Family Restaurant. Dine inside or on the beautiful covered patio, and savor daily specials from picadillo on Mondays to arroz con pollo on Saturdays. Or, try the zarzuela de mariscos (seafood in creole sauce). The walk-up window is where you’ll find locals getting their caffeine fix, as well as Mario’s famous croquettes, empanadas and pastries.

Yardie Spice

Haitian-born owner and chef Jean-Paul Cadotte and his Jamaican-born wife, Rochelle, transport you to the Caribbean with their intimate eatery, Yardie Spice. Start your delicious journey with Sriracha mayo-topped conch fritters, a mahi empanada, jerk chicken wings or a crispy Jamaican beef patty. Some of the most popular entrées (all designed for sharing) include a tender Jamaican-spiced curry goat; Haitian pork griot with mashed plantain fritters and a spicy slaw; and jerk salmon or pork with rice, salad and sweet plantain. For meat-free options, peruse the Vegan's Corner menu with dishes such as vegan jerked tofu; spinach and garbanzo beans; curried lentils; and vegetable stew made with chayote squash, carrots, cabbage and eggplant.

Elegant dish presentation at Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery
Enjoy fresh farm-to-table meals at Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery

Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery

The famed Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery, which produces wine and beer made from the subtropical fruits of South Dade’s Redland agricultural area, is also home to The Redlander Restaurant. With an emphasis on local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients, the farm is almost literally at the table. Order smoky guava ribs, sweet chili coconut shrimp and smoked fish dip. Pair this with an exotic guava wine or a coconut ale in the subtropical farm atmosphere, and it’s truly a meal in paradise.

Family picking out fruit
Robert Is Here is a must-visit spot for tropical fruit and farm fun

Robert Is Here

Specializing in rare fruits and vegetables, the iconic open-air fruit stand Robert Is Here is a must-visit stop near the main entrance to Everglades National Park. The stand began in 1959 when a 7-year-old boy named Robert started it to help his family sell its farm-fresh fruit. Today, this is no small roadside stand: It’s a destination. Families flock here for the full experience. Order a fresh fruit milkshake, stop for a picnic, feed baby goats in the animal play area, and enjoy live music on weekend afternoons.

Shiver's Bar-B-Q

Shiver’s Bar-B-Q has been a family-owned Homestead institution for more than half a century. It’s easy to see why crowds keep coming back. Grab a spot at a picnic table here and dive into an appetizer of brisket burnt ends or Squealing BBQ Potato Skins. Entrée favorites include baby back ribs, brisket and pulled pork. Be sure to try Shiver’s famous side dishes, such as fresh corn or sweet potato soufflé, collard greens, jalapeno grits, hash brown casserole, coleslaw, black-eyed peas and crispy hush puppies. Better save room for dessert: There’s Key lime pie, peach cobbler with ice cream, caramel fudge pie, salted caramel cheesecake and the best-ever banana pudding.

White Lion Cafe

Venture off the beaten path and you’ll find White Lion Cafe, where locals go for special occasions, great food and live music on the expansive patio. Set in a charming white cottage with several interior rooms decorated with antiques and memorabilia, the White Lion makes diners feel right at home. Try the Dirty Little Shrimp appetizer, a combo of blackened shrimp, garlicky mushrooms and fresh spinach piled high on French bread. Enjoy meatloaf that tastes like it’s straight out of grandma’s kitchen, or order the fresh catch-of-the-day. Desserts are all made in-house.

Restaurants In Florida City

Taqueria Morelia

Family-owned Mexican restaurant Taqueira Morelia boasts an endless salsa bar packed with tomatillo, guacamole, hot red pepper, habanero, pico de gallo, pickled veggies and other toppings to accent a meal. The restaurant specializes in authentic Mexican Michoacan fare, including fresh-made tortillas served warm from the griddle and their own sauce. Steak, chicken, pork, steamed beef, beef tongue and tripe are among the taco offerings. Wash it all down with a cold beer.

Rosita's Mexican Restaurant

With simple décor and few frills, Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant is a good place for a casual lunch or dinner in a warm, family-friendly atmosphere. A favorite among locals, the restaurant offers fresh food at a great value. Try their beef enchiladas or chicken flautas. Before leaving, snap some pictures in front of the colorful murals painted on the restaurant’s exterior.

Capri Restaurant

Serving traditional Italian food with fresh and organic ingredients, Capri Restaurant has been around since the 1950s. It’s really two restaurants in one: a casual dining room offering classic pizzas, pastas and sandwiches, and the more formal King Richard’s dining room, with white linens, prime rib, seafood and upscale Italian specialties. Capri’s Wine Room is perfect for private parties, and the restaurant’s outdoor patio is pet-friendly. Try the Salad, Pasta & More bar, where diners can choose a pasta, sauce and add-ins such as mushrooms, spinach and artichokes that are combined by the chef on the spot.

Fountain with angel
Fountain at Cauley Square

Restaurants In Cauley Square

Take a stroll along garden paths beneath canopies of shade trees in Cauley Square Historic Village to discover a glimpse of Old Florida. This historic railroad village features two especially quaint restaurants housed in former cottages.

The Tea Room

The Tea Room is a delightful daytime restaurant specializing in traditional afternoon tea service, inside a charming cottage with ornately decorated rooms. Afternoon tea comes with two cups of tea and a three-tiered tower of finger sandwiches, scones and sweets. A full breakfast and lunch menu are served here, but the real draw is the tea service. It’s a memorable experience in a one-of-a-kind setting.

The Village Chalet

Later in the day, head to The Village Chalet, a romantic spot with twinkling lights, a 1920s bar and intimate indoor and outdoor seating. The rustic cottage restaurant serves a menu of pastas, seafood and meats, and it offers a well-curated wine list. Take in the lush surrounding gardens while enjoying a meal here. Check the restaurant’s website or Facebook page for details about live music.

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