Miami - Food and Drink
Miami’s crossroads culture, where the Deep South gradually gives way to Hispanic central America, Cuba and the Caribbean, is easily reflected in the city’s cuisine too.
The region is perhaps best known for creating the term ‘New World Cuisine’ - a catch-all that describes the blending of local produce, Latin American and Caribbean elements, with the rigour and finesse of European gastronomy.
Throughout downtown Miami, there’s a constantly evolving, and expanding scene encompassing Tex-Mex, fusion, creole and Cajun delights - and there’s bargains and brilliance to be had in equal measure, if you know where to look. Street food is fast, fresh and (usually) safe, and corner delis and diners spike up the all-American experience, with burgers, grills and all-day breakfasts in the perma-busy streets of Downtown.
If in doubt, head to the malls, entertainment complexes and Port of Miami ‘shopping villages’, serving all you can eat salads, buffets, seafood specials and family-focused meals.
Miami Beach is where the celebrity chefs come to play, in a series of elaborate and theatrical new venues, combining fine French dining, energetic show cooking and romantic and delicate Michelin-starred dishes.
Surprising influences from south America are on the rise, such as Peruvian spices and chilies, Ceviche (a raw, marinated fish dish stew), and lesser-known cuts of beef from the grasslands of Argentina and Uruguay.
Breads and pastries from Venezuela are excellent, as are the stone crabs and seafood from the waters of the Gulf, lobsters from Maine and juicy Florida salads, complete with the freshest citrus fruits you’ve ever tasted. Recently, Asian cooking has become one of the region’s most popular imports - with spicy noodles, dim-sum and Thai lemon grass finding their way onto the city’s top tables. And sushi and tempura is surprisingly sophisticated here, too.
But amid all the change, the headline-grabbing new openings and the fashionable fads, you’ll find the hotels and restaurants of South Beach cooking up soul food, southern fried chicken, seasonal salads and sensational Key Lime pies every day of the year - so, whatever your personal favourites, Miami won’t disappoint. And be prepared - the influences may be global, but portions are decidedly American sized!