Miami, is unlike any other city we have seen in the continental USA. It’s Caribbean influence not only makes the city so vibrant but it also makes it so diverse. It is one of those bilingual cities where you just take it all in, the music, the weather, the people and the delicious food. Miami is a microcosm that captures ethnic cuisine, rich heritage, party culture and modernity. Through the decades Miami has been a place to relax and live life to the fullest. With all these characteristics we at Epicurious Passport felt the city represented a perfect mix of our passion for both food and travel and would like to share our tips on this illustrious city.
Enter this area and you would think you’ve walked into an open air art museum. This recently developed area is dedicated to street art of all kinds and is dotted with eclectic stores, quaint cafés and trendy restaurants. You can easily spend half a day here , just walking around , grab some yummy tacos and enjoy the artistic talent on every wall u see!
While visiting Cuba was still a distant dream (well it isn’t anymore) this little part of Miami is probably a very good representation of what things were like in Cuba. Dotted with famous Cuban restaurants and bars, most playing live music, grocery stores and Cuban bakeries whipping up some yummy goods. We loved spending a good half day, if not more, here. We lounged at the famous” Ball and Chain” bar, sipping on some delicious Cuban drinks. Also get some delicious ice-cream from the ice cream parlor next door.
This infamous beach is probably best known for glitzy night life and parties that go all night long, however we found that there is much more that this area has to offer. Take a walk along the boardwalk, take in all the Art Deco style buildings, sip on some very large impossible to finish cocktails, and enjoy the undeniably beautiful beach. Just be wary of the overpriced food and beverage on Ocean Drive that’s not the best that Miami has to offer
If you are in for some shopping while you are in town, you are in the right place. Getting married soon? You’re in the right place! Filled with beautiful bridal boutiques and unique shops selling pretty much everything. Also find good restaurants and bars to rest your legs amidst the shopping spree.
Star Island and Hibiscus Island
The rich and famous own properties on these exclusive islands nestled in the Biscayne Bay between downtown Miami and South Beach. A great way to enjoy views of the beautiful properties is by boat. You’re looking to get your adrenaline pumping, there are many jet boat and jet ski operators that offer tours on the Biscayne Bay. Click the link below to check out some amazing tours.
Haitian. Cuban. Colombian. Peruvian. Mexican. And the list goes on. Miami truly is a melting pot linking South Florida to a world of culinary treasures. With 72 hours in this stunning city we wanted to do it all and eat it all!
Cuban food from Versailles
We began our food pilgrimage at an institution in the heart of little Havana. Versailles, which claims to be ‘The world’s most famous Cuban restaurant”. It’s always a good sign when you’re the only tourist in a restaurant packed with locals. Vik got Shrimp “Al Ajillo” which literally means Shrimp cooked in garlic sauce, a simple yet flavorful dish. I tried the Roast Pork Cuban style which was mouth-wateringly good. The meat had been slow roasted and cooked to perfection and served with boiled Yuca which soaked up the flavorful juices of the meat. Many entrees are served with rice and sweet plantains. Bring your appetite as portions are big and reasonably priced. We had heard great things about the guava and cream cheese pie but were too satisfied with our meal to indulge further.
The next day after visiting Wynwood walls and spending hours admiring beautiful works of street art we had worked up an appetite. We discovered a packed taco place called Coyo Tacos and the menu was too great to pass up. Vik had a pair of Camaron (shrimp) tacos and I had the Cochinita Pibil (spiced slow-roasted pork shoulder) tacos. We shared the food and tried the Elote de Calle (Mexican street corn-on-the-cob) which was a hit with our daughter.
Cuban baked goods
Later that afternoon we found ourselves back in Little Havana. Not only does the neighborhood have a charm that will draw you back but the food will leave you begging for more. We picked up a bite to eat for dessert at Yisell Bakery on 8th street or colloquially known as Calle Ocho. The guava and cheese pastelitos which are pastries filled with the sweet goodness of creamy guava were divine.I conversed with a local man of Cuban descent who explained to me his favorite dessert was Panatela Borracha (Cuban Drunken Sponge Cake) and he recommended we try it. The taste of the soft cake instantly took me back to my childhood in India. There was a bakery in my hometown that served almost exactly the same thing! That’s the amazing thing about food, it unifies us all regardless of ethnicity, race, religion or background.
Amazing Cuban drinks in Little Havana
It happened to be New Years Eve so we thought we would go for a stroll around Little Havana and find a nice bar to visit. We returned to an old favorite (from a previous visit to Miami) called the Ball and Chain at 1513 SW 8th Street. While you can’t go wrong with their mojitos, I tried Passion Fontaine which was a refreshing passion fruit martini and Vik had a pineapple basil margarita. Both drinks had complex tastes making them much better than anything you would find on South Beach. We whiled away the afternoon in their beautiful Garden Courtyard.
On our second day in Miami we wanted to spend the day at the beach with our daughter who has been asking to get back to the ocean from landlocked Nashville. However we wanted to make sure we’re still enjoying the widespread of ethnic food that Miami has to offer. We located a Haitian restaurant called Tap Tap, as we have never tried Haitian cuisine before we were eager to give it a go. Make sure you try the Taso Kabrit, which are goat tidbits with a creole dipping sauce and Kabrit Nan Sos, or stewed goat. We also heard good things about the whole grilled fish in lime sauce.