Christmas may have turkey and Santa, but Hanukkah has latkes — light and airy on the inside, crisp and salty on the outside. When the Jewish holiday begins this Sunday night, hit up your Jewish grandmother for some of these fried delights. If you don’t have a bubbe on hand, though, these Miami restos have you covered, because nothing unites people like fried potatoes.
5. Josh’s Deli
From every angle, Josh’s exudes homeyness and authenticity. The down-to-earth Jewish deli features refreshing twists on must-have menu items such as Octopus N Grits ($17) and the Crab and Kimchee Reuben ($16). Yet the secret to Josh's extraordinary latkes lies in the simplest dish on the menu: matzo ball soup. After chilling his homemade soup in the fridge, owner Josh Marcus spoons off the top, semisolid layer known as schmaltz. He then fries his potato pancakes in this substance, adding a dimension of concentrated flavor. The deli also offers unique Krunchy Spicy Tuna Latkes with sriracha cream cheese ($12), but first-timers should keep it simple with the potato version ($8).
4. Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus
This eatery may be all about Old Germany, but its take on the Jewish staple is right up there with the best of them. Each potato pancake is handmade to order and goes straight from the pan to the plate for optimum freshness. Because the Schnitzel Haus knows there’s no such thing as too much latke, this rendition comes with two huge, shareable patties — or treat it as a full meal and keep them all to yourself. They’re available with the classic toppings of apple sauce and sour cream ($12), or get the revved-up version with salmon and caviar ($18).
3. Oliver’s Bistro
For an upscale take on traditional latkes, head to Miami Beach, where Oliver’s Bistro tops its extra-thin potato disks with Norwegian smoked salmon, chive sour cream, and caviar ($12.95). The cool, herby cream and briny caviar pair perfectly with the savory crunch of the latkes, and smoked salmon brings even more lusciousness to the dish. Oliver’s combines an age-old holiday favorite with a touch of modernized class for a plate of latkes that rivals even your grandma’s best.
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2. Roasters’ n Toasters
The best thing about the latkes ($7.50) at Roasters’ n Toasters: They’re mini, so you can eat twice as many (and possibly order an extra round). Plus, their small size maximizes surface area, which means more of that addicting layer of crunch. There’s nothing fancy here — simply eight golden-brown rounds with a side of sour cream and apple sauce — but that’s all you need when each bite is this delectable. Even after the holidays end, you’ll crave these bites year-round.
1. Blue Collar
If you didn’t know already, the latkes at Blue Collar are a big deal. The casual little restaurant in the MiMo District made USA Today’s nationwide "Ten Best Places for Latkes" last year, and for good reason. With just a touch of Parmesan cheese to add a salty note and bind the mixture, these golden treats boast a ton of flavor and fluffy interiors. Order them à la carte for $10, or enjoy them alongside one of Blue Collar’s freshly made sandwiches. It's impossible to resist that freshly fried aroma when the plate hits the table.