Miami is sometimes known as the Capital of Latin America due to the successive waves of Hispanic immigration that have shaped the culture of the city. Nowhere is that more evident than in the city's culinary culture. Miami may be the best place to try Cuban food not only in the United States, but possibly in the whole world. But there's more on offer here the just the flavors of Cuba. Miami's food scene combines spices and techniques from Central and South America with the flavors of the Caribbean and American culinary traditions to create something entirely unique and quintessentially Florida.
There's no doubt that Miami has delicious food. And often, the best way to try the city's most cutting-edge meals is by sampling street food. Plus, in a city is blessed with sunny weather as Miami is, you'll want to spend as much time outdoors as you can. For instance, you might want to try out some of the best hikes in Miami. Street food offers the perfect way to do that while enjoying some truly delicious dishes.
Take a picnic to South Beach or Miami Beach, or sample the local cuisine while you wander the streets of downtown Miami. However you choose to enjoy Miami's vibrant street food scene, you'll have an easier time of it if you don't carry more than you need to. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Miami, and you'll have your hands free to indulge in all the delicious food South Florida has to offer.
The best street food vendors in Miami
Miami's street food scene is constantly changing, and an ever-evolving array of food trucks and hole-in-the-wall outlets exist to serve the appetites of residents and tourists alike. Trying to pick the best can seem like a futile task, and everyone has their own opinion on what makes a great food truck. Still, a few popular businesses have set themselves apart by providing some of the best street food in Miami. And if you want to visit as many street food vendors as possible, you'll need to pick your accommodation carefully. This guide to the best places to stay in Miami can help.
Miami is known for Latin cuisine, and Cuban staples like a pulled pork sandwich or rice and beans can be found just about anywhere in the city. But the cuisines of Central and South America are as varied as those of any other continent. If you've never tried Argentinian food before - or if it's one of your favorites - you can't go wrong with Che Milanesa.
This food truck takes its name from the popular Argentinian Milanesa sandwich, a half baguette filled with lettuce, tomatoes, and chicken schnitzel topped with ham, melted cheese, and an egg. They also offer the gaucho sandwich filled with steak and chorifrita made with two types of Argentinian chorizo. These hearty sandwiches make the perfect street food for eating outside under the Florida sun.
Purple People Eatery
Maybe you're not sure what you want, or you're traveling in a group of family or friends that has different tastes when it comes to restaurants. Either way, you can keep everyone happy with a visit to this eclectic food truck. Think bison burgers, yummy mahi-mahi tacos, and grouper ceviche. Track this truck down in whatever location they set up in for the day, and you won't be disappointed with your meal. But don't wait too long; the most popular dishes sell out fast.
Rafa's Backyard Grill
Located in West Miami, this hidden gem has built its business around the delicious combination of fire and meat. Barbecue fans will be unable to resist tracking down this restaurant to see what they have to eat. Grilled steak and jerk chicken share the menu with ribs, homemade fries, and plenty of tropical drinks. If you're feeling carnivorous, this is also the place to come to try a unique take on a Miami staple, the stone crab.
A grilled cheese sandwich may sound fairly basic. But this popular street food truck has elevated the childhood standard to an art. In fact, this truck has proved so popular that the owners had to open a full-blown restaurant to keep up with demand for their delicious grilled cheese.
Ever tried blue cheese and bacon on sourdough bread? Or turkey and rosemary honey? While this restaurant specializes in a single dish, they provide so many fun and creative variations on grilled cheese that you'll never run out of things to try. And once you've been through the entire menu and sampled every form of this popular dish, you'll have your own favorites that you'll want to try again and again. They even make sweet variations on grilled cheese that are perfect for dessert, like the ever-popular s'mores melt.
House of Mac
If you're looking for the perfect mac & cheese in Miami, consider your search over. Like Ms. Cheezious, House of Mac has taken a simple dish most people remember fondly from childhood and elevated it to a gourmet level. If you've never added lobster or truffle oil to your mac & cheese, you've been missing out all this time. Luckily, this food truck can introduce you to some high-end flavor. Along with mac & cheese, they also offer other dishes including coconut rice and chicken wings, so whatever you like to eat, there's a good chance you'll find something to satisfy here.
Where to find the best Miami street food spots
As you may have noticed by now, some of Miami's best street food vendors are food trucks. And while many of these food trucks have established locations they serve, others move around the city, meaning you'll have to search them out. However, there are certain areas of the city where you're more likely to find both food trucks and excellent street food restaurants than others. If you want to find the best street food in Miami, check out some of these areas to find something to eat.
Coral Gables, a few miles southwest of downtown Miami, was established in 1920 as a planned community of Italian-style homes built around the Venetian Pool and a botanical garden. The pedestrianized Giralda Plaza and the Miracle Mile have become some of the best places to shop and eat in all of Miami. As well as food trucks, many interesting restaurants congregate in this area to serve the locals and tourists who flock to Coral Gables on the weekend. Grab a table in the shade of a palm tree and enjoy some of the best food in Miami.
Miami Design District
As the name implies, the Miami Design District is a part of the city devoted to creativity. You'll find the most innovative fashion, design, and art in the whole city in this area. And that's to say nothing of the food. The Design District is a regular stomping ground for the city's many food trucks and is home to restaurants like Cote Miami, Mia Marketand Pura Vida, serving incredible food to the residents of this vibrant area.
When you're searching for something good to eat in Miami, don't neglect downtown. Although you will find plenty of tourist traps serving forgettable food, you'll also find the occasional hidden gem that offers something different from the usual food offerings you can have just about anywhere. For example, if you're hungry for Mexican flavor, check out Pilo's Street Tacos for a delicious spin on the classic menu. Or you could visit 11th Street Pizza for a refreshing take on the classic Italian food. These menu options make great choices to eat on the go while you're wandering the streets of downtown Miami and enjoying the tropical weather.
The upscale neighborhood of Coconut Grove hugs the shores of Biscayne Bay and offers incredible ocean views, which makes it worth exploring by itself. But it's also home to some fabulous restaurants offering great food. For example, LoKal is a laid-back place for burgers and fries or tasty pizza, and the bar serves an impressive range of both international and local beer. Alternatively, Glass and Vine, located in beautiful Peacock Park, invites the outdoors inside and serves great food under the trees. Their menu changes with the seasons, but you can expect an impressive range of fish and seafood, including ceviche, tuna tartare, and grilled local mahi. They also offer more land-based dishes including ribeye steak, roasted chicken, and chicken gnocchi.
With 20% of its residents tracing their origins back to Cuba and several others coming from other Central and South American countries, South Miami is a great place to try Cuban food and other Latin flavors. But the street food scene here is ever-evolving, and there's always some new food to try. Casa Cuba serves the Cuban food that has become such a staple in South Florida, but My Ceviche offers a Latin take on the area's abundant seafood. Khoury's Mediterranean brings a taste of Lebanon to South Miami, and Taco Craft satisfies those looking for Mexican food. Best of all, check out Miami Street Food Court in South Miami for some of the best food trucks in the city.
Street food festivals in Miami
Thanks to its excellent weather and reputation as a party town, Miami isn't short of festivals of every kind, and that includes those dedicated to street food. Here are some of the best.
Miami Street Food Court
Held in South Miami on the fourth Saturday of the month, this lively event is a great place to try a stunning variety of local dishes. Miami's history of Latin American migration is very much on display here, but you'll also find dishes from around the world, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and just about everywhere else.
Miami Beach Food Truck and Music Fest
Who doesn't like a party on the beach? That's exactly what the Miami Beach Food Truck and Music Fest offers. Held on the fourth Wednesday of each month almost year-round, chances are good you'll have the opportunity to try this exciting street food festival. You'll find some of Miami's most popular food trucks here, including Ms. Cheezious and Sakaya, and you'll be able to try a little bit of everything. Plus, as you've probably guessed, the festival also invites local Miami musicians and artists to perform, so you'll get some entertainment while you eat, making this a fun way to enjoy a delicious meal in the city.
South Beach Food and Wine Festival
Miami's biggest food festival is an experience not to miss while you're in the city. This five-day festival takes place in February and hosts everything from local Miami chefs to some of the big names in international cuisine. You'll be able to attend seminars and classes to improve your cooking skills, and sample wine tastings as well as all the delicious food on offer. For true foodies, it's an annual event not to be missed in Magic City.
Miami is a city with so much to offer, and that's as true of its food as it is of its beaches and attractions. No matter what you like to eat, you'll find it here. But chances are, it will be done differently than you would find anywhere else. As a meeting point of cultures from around the world, Miami has developed a culinary style all its own, and there's no better way to experience that than through its vibrant street food scene. So bring your appetite next time you visit South Florida and get ready to eat your heart out.