Miami is well known for its incredible array of authentic Cuban cuisine, but there’s a new wave of deliciousness happening as the city welcomes restaurants tapping into the flavours of South America. Here’s where to get a taste.
When EAST Miami, the city’s newest luxury boutique hotel opened its doors in the Brickell City Centre less than a year ago, it also introduced a stylish restaurant that is a spinoff of Uruguay’s popular beachfront restaurant, Parador La Huella. This version, located on the fifth floor of the hotel, has a meat-centric menu with everything from steaks to octopus cooked over a charcoal- and wood-fired grill. Start your meal with an order of sushi rolls—especially the one with Uruguayan caviar and yellow fin tuna.
Located in the InterContinental hotel, the menu at this restaurant is like a greatest hits of South and Central American cuisine. The diverse tapas-style menu allows diners to go on a culinary journey from the steakhouses of Brazil to the vineyards of Chile. Can’t decide what to order? Pick a churrasco presentation, a hefty combo meal, during which, items like strip loin, pork belly, chicken and Argentinean chorizo sausage are carved and plated table-side. Finish with La Bomba (also prepared tableside), a desert composed of dulce de leche ice cream, served with chocolate, fresh berries and caramel.
A variety of South American cuisines from countries including Peru, Colombia and Venezuela are blended beautifully at this lively spot in South Beach. Pretend you’re sitting in a bar in Bogotá by ordering a Colombian refajo, a popular cocktail (reportedly good for hangovers) made with beer and Colombiana, a type of soda. Super thirsty? You can order it by the pitcher to share with your table. Pair that with crispy empanadas stuffed with pulled beef, chicken or cheese. Or try the lomo saltado, a Peruvian dish comprised of marinated beef strips with onion and smoky peppers.
The draw at Manolo, with two locations in Miami, is definitely the churros, which are hailed as the city’s best. The churros are made by piping long strips of dough from a pastry bag straight into hot oil to create crunchy, doughy goodness. They are best served warm, straight from the oven. Go plain and classic or opt for varieties filled with dulce de leche and chocolate or custard and caramel.
This Peruvian eatery has built up a well-earned reputation over its over eight years. Arroz con pollo, its rice and chicken dish, is made with tender pieces of meat spiced with Peruvian pepper. The restaurant’s ceviche (more than a dozen variations) is just as good as what’s found in Lima. All of these dishes pair perfectly with a traditional pisco sour, the unofficial national cocktail of Peru, made with lime juice, shaken egg whites and a dash of bitters.
It’s all about the arepa at this cozy, brightly decorated Venezuelan eatery. A type of corn bread, arepa is made with white corn and water. The bread is split and filled with delicious ingredients such as chicken, cheese, avocado, pork, black beans, plantains and scrambled eggs. The popular street food is Venezuela’s take on tacos. And at about US$6 a pop, you can fill your belly on the cheap. Order yours with a traditional espresso called marrón.
Four Things for Food-Lovers to Do in Key West
Located at the southern tip of the Florida Keys, Key West offers a laid-back, casual cuisine scene. Try world-famous pie at Key West Key Lime Pie Company, shop at the Eaton Street Seafood Market, fuel up at the Cuban Coffee Queen or try a bit of everything with Key West Food Tours.