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  • 02
  • Feb
  • 2015

Best places to eat in Miami

Miami is a Mecca for magnificent meals. If you’re looking for the best places to eat in Miami, we can help! Whether it’s a port of call on your cruise or you’ve booked a cruise that leaves or returns to Miami you won’t want to miss one of these culinary hot spots in the Magic City.

For a great Cuban meal in the heart of Little Havana, Versailles Restaurant on Calle Ocho (Eighth Street) is a must. Branding themselves “The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant,” Versailles has been serving up beans, rice and fufu (mashed plantains) since 1971 to Cuban exiles and politicos animatedly reminiscing on old times or debating today’s hottest topics. Other specialties include empanadas, cod fish fritters and the Versailles Especial sandwich piled with sweet ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese and Spanish sausage on toasted Cuban bread with mustard and pickle. The liveliness of this sprawling joint continues into the wee hours—the place is open until 3:30 am on Sunday morning following its buzzing Saturday late night. If you’re an earlier riser, hit breakfast and watch the viejos (older men) slowly sipping cortaditos (Cuban coffees).  Save room for the Cuban-style flan!

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Miami is the land of beautiful, wealthy people, celebrities, glitz and glamour. Save your Benjamins and hit Zuma in Downtown Miami in the Epic Hotel where famed Chef Rainer Becker cleverly melds modern Japanese and American cuisines in an environment inspired by izakaya, an informal Japanese dining style where you can share dishes … or not.  If you’re lucky, you’ll score a table overlooking the Miami River. A sushi counter displays countless (and fresh) varieties of sashimi, nigiri and maki sushi. An open-flamed, charcoal robata grill fires up fine meats, poultry, seafood and vegetables. Look for one of the most extensive sake lists in Florida with more than 80 premium offerings. There is a smart casual dress code, so you can’t just strut off the Lido deck in your new, plaid vacation shorts and expect to get a table (even if they were freshly pressed).

Zuma Miami

Photo Courtesy of Zuma Restaurant Miami

For the finest Northern Italian cuisine in the heart of South Beach in a charming Mediterranean villa, look no further than Casa Tua. The romantic, homey (yet sophisticated) atmosphere surrounded by exquisite art is unparalleled, especially the inviting outdoor garden aglow with lanterns. Traveling in a group? Book the 20-seat Chef Table in advance with a full view of the busy kitchen. Recent winter specialties included marinated beef carpaccio with funghetti and Taylor Bay scallops with Ligurian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Reservations are a must!

Exceedingly popular with the local foodie crowd, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami’s hot Design District will surely please visitors as well.  Chef/owner Michael Schwartz painstakingly sources the best New American food from local contacts for his homemade creations. He dishes it up in this laid-back neighborhood bistro that offers alfresco seating in addition to dining room seating and bar area. In between meal times? Try Michael’s afternoon menu available from 3 pm to 5:30 pm with specialties from the raw bar like oysters, clams, crudo and ceviche. Sunday Brunch is also a real treat (breakfast pizza or lemon ricotta pancakes, anyone?).

Photo Courtesy of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Miami

Finally, for fine food and jaw-dropping views of Miami’s Government Cut (and famed skyline), point your compass to lunch, brunch or dinner at Smith & Wollensky steakhouse at the southern tip of South Beach. From your table indoors or out, you’ll watch all of the boat traffic entering and exiting the Port of Miami—from jet skis to the grandest yachts and largest cruise ships in the world! Smith & Wollensky is the only national steakhouse to dry-age and butcher on site at their restaurants. In addition, their wine list is second to none, earning top honors from Wine Spectator consecutively for more than a quarter century. Weekend brunch items include thick cut peppered bacon, Cajun seasoned gorgonzola burger, pastrami salmon Benedict and cinnamon French toast topped with dark rum flamed bananas and caramel. Pair any and all with a blood orange mimosa or bloody Mary to toast your cruise vacation!

Smith & Wollensky

Photo Courtesy of Smith & Wollensky

Take your first steps toward a mouth-watering Miami adventure by letting the travel advisors at CruiseExperts.com help you find the best cruise with a Miami stop especially during the winter months when Miami’s tropical warmth beckons most! Visit www.CruiseExperts.com or call 1-888-804-CRUISE (2784). You can read more about which cruise lines leave out of Miami and other Florida ports: Florida Gives You the Most Cruise Port Choices

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