The Five Best Restaurants in Miami to Take Out-of-Towners

Whether Miamians like it or not, out-of-towners love to visit the Magic City. And when they do, it's the job of the local hosts to show them the best the city has to offer. It's a big responsibility, but we've narrowed it down to the top five places you should take your guests. So although your visitors may leave here complaining about the heat (or cold?) and the traffic, they certainly won't leave hungry. 

The famous key lime pie at Joe's Stone Crab.
The famous key lime pie at Joe's Stone Crab.
Courtesy of Joe's Stone Crab

5. Joe's Stone Crab
Restaurants don't become institutions for nothing — they have to earn it, and by God has Joe's Stone Crab earned it. This sprawling South of Fifth eatery has been around for more than 100 years, before Miami Beach was even a city and before most people knew you could even eat stone crabs. But Joseph "Joe" Weiss had the idea to throw the crustaceans into boiling water and serve them with hash browns, cole slaw, and mayonnaise. They were an instant hit, and Joe's became the place to see and be seen in Miami Beach. Today, the wait for a table can stretch to more than an hour for Joe's famous Florida stone crabs (market price) and the restaurant's equally popular key lime pie ($7.95) and fried chicken ($6.95). But despite the wait, dining here is an experience that's unique to South Beach, and thus no visit is complete without a stop at Joe's. 

Shakshuka at 27 Restaurant & Bar
Shakshuka at 27 Restaurant & Bar

4. 27 Restaurant & Bar 
Many visitors have preconceived notions of what South Beach is like: i.e., glamorous and overpriced. However, some gems prove there's a different side to the posh part of Miami, and it's always a treat to show that side to guests. Case in point: 27 Restaurant & Bar at the Freehand Miami hostel. Located in a historic house, this seasonally driven spot has an eclectic-meets-homey menu and vibe. After all, 27 is the brainchild of Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi, the duo behind one of Miami's hottest and hippest bars, the Broken Shaker. Try the kimchee fried rice ($19) and the delicious shakshuka ($15), as well as one of the many excellent cocktails. Afterward, treat your visitors to another drink at the Broken Shaker — there's no need to head to a second destination when you're here. 

The Five Best Restaurants in Miami to Take Out-of-Towners (11)
Photo by Kristin Bjørnsen

3. Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop 
Chances are your guests will want to explore Wynwood when they're in town, and we don't blame them. However, between taking selfies at the Wynwood Walls and standing in line for bread at Zak the Baker, you should pop into Enriqueta's on the corner of NE 29th Street and Second Avenue. This inexpensive counter/cafeteria has been serving Cuban fare to locals long before Wynwood was an arts mecca, and Enriqueta's pan con bistec ($6.75) is arguably the best in town. The hearty sandwich is crammed with thin slivers of steak, tomato, onion, cheese, and potato sticks, and trust when we say it's worth the wait in line. You also can't go wrong with a medianoche ($6.75). A close relative of the Cuban sandwich, it consists of roast pork, ham, mustard, Swiss cheese, and dill pickles. To finish, order your visitors some café con leche ($1.75 to $3.75), and they'll call it the best day ever and you the best host ever. 

The Five Best Restaurants in Miami to Take Out-of-Towners (10)
Courtesy of Mandolin Agean Bistro

2. Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Take your visitors to Mandolin Aegean Bistro in the Design District, and you can be certain they'll exclaim, "This is soooo pretty!" They'd be absolutely right. This Greek and Turkish restaurant seats patrons in the most picturesque garden, complete with orchids, trees, and twinkle lights. What's more, the unpretentious food is incredible, especially the chicken kebab with orzo pilaf ($23) and the marinated grilled octopus ($18). Guests will be pleased to enjoy light and healthful fare while taking in Miami's lovely climate. Plus, under the direction of newly appointed head chef Roel Alcudia, the eatery has added more local seafood items to its menu. 

The Five Best Restaurants in Miami to Take Out-of-Towners (8)
Courtesy of Azucar

1. Azucar Ice Cream Company
C'mon, who doesn't love ice cream? But Azucar is so much more than just an ice-cream and sorbet parlor — it's a cultural experience. This Little Havana gem makes use of local ingredients to create ice cream that tastes just like abuela used to make. We're talking flavors like local mamey and avocados to Cuban coffee and plantains. What's more, flecks of Miami Smokers’ bacon can be found hiding in some frozen scoops. This colorful place is guaranteed to impress your guests, who, let's face it, probably haven't ventured outside of cookies 'n' cream territory for a while. 

Follow Valeria Nekhim Lease on Twitter and Instagram.

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