Best Fresh Fish - 2012
Sonia's Seafood Market & Restaurant
There really is no place like Sonia's. It's a neighborhood bar with live Latin music on weekends. It's a fish market with plastic bins of crushed ice filled with fresh red snapper, yellowtail, hogfish, mangrove, calamari, lobsters, langostinos, and whatever else the day's catch might bring. It's a funky, Cuban-style outdoor seafood shack located by a canal at the point where SW Eighth Street edges toward the Everglades. Diners can select the fish they want and have it simply fried or grilled, and the menu includes soups, croquetas, ceviche, all manner of seafood preparations, fried pork chunks, grilled chicken steak, black beans and rice, and so forth. It isn't nearly as cheap as the ambiance would suggest, but it's not expensive either. Except for lobster and some other high-end shellfish, main courses tend to stay below $30. The place is nearly always packed, and the bar bops with a party spirit that might include staff wearing feathered headgear and forming a conga line. Sonia's is like what you might find during happy hour in a beach shack in Latin America. Speaking of which: Sonia's boasts one of the happiest happy hours every Thursday and Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. Service is leisurely and spoken in Spanish, which only adds to the authentic Latin American vibe.