Where To Find The Best Southern Cooking In Miami

Mac & Cheese at Yardbird

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Mac & Cheese at Yardbird

By Carolyn Keating

These hipster Southern eateries boast boutique bourbon bars, crispy chicken and waffles, and other down-home favorites.

While Miami cuisine is best known for international and Latin American specialties, a few notable spots serve up deliciously down-home Southern chow. Luckily for Southern-fried aficionados, these eateries offer both style and substance. Southern restaurants in Miami please the palate with up-to-date spins on finger-licking favorites like chicken and waffles, shrimp 'n grits, fried green tomatoes, biscuits, cornbread and a whole lot more.

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Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

In South Beach, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar rules the roost (pun intended) when it comes to amazing fried chicken. This South Beach hot spot brines its birds for 27 hours, dips them in seasoned flour and fries up every delicious piece o' poultry to a perfect mahogany brown. The result is a bird that's moist on the inside, crispy and delicious on the outside. You can savor it solo, tucked in a biscuit or atop a waffle with bourbon maple syrup and hot sauce on the side.

Other indulgent items include Yardbird’s fluffy buttermilk biscuits served with butter and jam, delectable shrimp 'n grits seasoned with country ham or the fried green tomatoes layered with pork belly, pimento cheese and frisée. Dessert faves include peach cobbler a la mode and Fried Oreos.

Fear not, calorie counters! Yardbird also has a selection of healthy items for non-cheat days such as the Garden Greens & Tree Nut Salad, and Country Cobb Protein Bowl and a beautiful Butter Lettuce and Mango Salad. Gluten-Free and vegetarian options are also available.

Yardbird's decor is rustic chic, with leather banquettes, pendant lighting, wood floors and an open kitchen. A bourbon bar serves cocktails like Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade and the Yardbird Old Fashioned, made with Bacon infused Wild Turkey Bourbon, Angostura Bitters and maple syrup. A well-curated selection of wines stand up nicely to the restaurant's robustly flavored fare. Craft beers, too, are available. Yardbird is located in a quieter section of South Beach, but that doesn't mean you won't need reservations. You most certainly will. It's popular and busy, even during weekday lunch. The good news: Yardbird is open seven days a week and brunch is served on both Saturday and Sunday. So, plan ahead and wear loose clothing. You won't leave hungry.

    COOP

    Coop offers gourmet grab-and-go Southern fare inside Politan Row Miami, an upscale food hall on the second floor of the Palm Court in Miami’s Design District. If you’re craving a chicken biscuit while perusing the latest styles at Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and other high fashion emporiums, stop by Coop and get your fix. In Miami, gourmet food halls proffering tasty fare from local chefs have become all the rage.

    Owned by three Cuban brothers, Coop keeps things simple by delivering tasty fried chicken atop cheddar and chive waffles. There’s also Watermelon Salad, Maria’s BBQ Pork (a pulled pork sandwich with guava barbecue sauce) and Gorgonzola Mac ‘n Cheese. The chef owners serve standard Southern favorites while whipping up new dishes based on customers’ requests. Often, these new dishes (like Fried Chicken Tacos) become menu staples. Coop is clearly one of the most popular vendors among the dozen or so located inside Politan Row Miami, and well worth a stop.

      Crackers

      Surrounded by roaming chickens, Crackers is a hidden gem located in beautiful Miami Springs where you can get your fixins’ of Southern cooking in a laid-back restaurant setting resembling a country home. Bacon jam spread with biscuits, fried okra, and fried green tomatoes topped with a delicious aioli are favored starters. Indulge your Southern comfort food cravings with the Pan-Fried Catfish, Shrimp and Grits, Baby Back Ribs, Jambalaya, Yeehaw Burger, and perfectly tender and juicy, crispy Fried Chicken. Not to outshine their amazing entrees, side dishes include incredibly flavorful collard greens, creamy sweet potato or green bean casserole, chunky garlic mash, and homemade biscuits and gravy. Beware, the portions are huge!

      Families head to Crackers for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays where they can sit outside under the chickee hut or garden patio and vibe with live music. The Meatloaf Eggs Benedict smothered in gravy will leave you speechless as you savor every bite. So, if you're in the mood for some Southern hospitality and sweet tea, y'all give them a holler.

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