With COVID vaccines now readily available, international travel may be in our futures. Still, it's likely that for the time being, most of us will be spending our vacation days closer to home.
Until we can travel carefree and as safely as possible again, there are a host of Miami restaurants willing and eager to transport you to another place. Here are five restaurants where you can sample the tastes and culture of another country without crossing the Miami-Dade County line.
Bakan2801 NW Second Ave., Miami
It’s easy to find Bakan — just look for the desert-garden oasis in the middle of Wynwood. Whether you dine indoors or out, his 7,000-square-foot space will transport you to Mexico, from the cacti-lined outdoor bar to the open kitchen where you can watch the tortillas being hand-pressed. Those who feel adventurous should try the gusanos de maguey (agave worms with guacamole served on blue-corn tortillas) and wash it down with one or more of the 500-plus mezcals and tequilas. When it comes to COVID precautions, Bakan is one of a handful of local establishments that recently received the Florida Restaurant Association's Seal of Commitment, the trade group's highest designation for safety and sanitation.
Dukunoo Jamaican Kitchen316 NW 24th St., Miami
Dukunoo Jamaican Kitchen pays homage to its Jamaican roots with bright colors and authentic Caribbean art. The indoor/outdoor restaurant embodies a jerk-stand vibe, offering chicken and pork dishes served with classic sides like callaloo rice, rice and peas, and dumplings. To further spice up the feast, Dukunoo hosts a live DJ.
Maroosh223 Valencia Ave., Coral Gables
Located in the heart of Coral Gables, Maroosh is a two-story dining room that serves up Lebanese cuisines. Along with appetizers like hummus, kibbeh, dolmades, and falafel, the restaurant offers an extensive entrée menu that includes, stews, casseroles, kebabs, and seafood dishes. On weekends, Maroosh entertains guests with belly dancers. Prices range from $8 for appetizers to $21 and up for main courses.
Pastifico Propaganda97 NW 25th St., Miami
Pastifico Propaganda takes its guests on a virtual visit to Sicily through its imported handcrafted tiles and custom furniture, both indoors and out. A full menu of Southern Italian favorites is offered all day, from antipasti to pizzas, pastas, and hearty main courses. Wines by the glass start at $11 and Pastifico offers an assortment of flights as well a vast selection of Sicilian wines by the bottle.
Salvaje Miami101 NE 34th St, Miami
With locations in Spain, Panama, Colombia, and, now, Midtown Miami, Salvaje serves up Japanese cuisine inspired by flavors from around the world. The restaurant offers sushi, an omakase experience tinged with Latin flavors, and steaks, grilled fish, and salads. Cocktails from Salvaje are served in massive (faux) rhino tusks and golden horses ($17) — tailor-made for a "staycation" selfie.
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