Luckily for us, you won't need to leave the state — or embark on a cross-country journey — to sample America's best comfort food favorites. If you know where to look, a taste of our nation's best regionally iconic dishes can be found right here in Miami's massive melting pot.
From fried chicken and seafood boils to lobster rolls and beef sandwiches, here's a list of the best road trip-worthy dishes available right here in the Magic City.
Atlanta: Fried Yardbird and GritsRed Rooster
920 NW Second Ave., Miami
redroosterovertown.comIf it's Southern-style comfort fare you're craving, look no further than Red Rooster, the Overtown restaurant serving soul food at its finest. Owned and operated by Ethiopian-Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson, Red Rooster offers the perfect menu of Southern, soul food-inspired classics, including his famous fried chicken. The chicken rests for 12 hours in a peppercorn-, coriander-, and thyme-spiked apple cider vinegar brine before it's soaked in buttermilk and coated in seasoned cornstarch and powdered panko breading. From there, it's pan-fried in oil seasoned with rosemary and garlic and drizzled with hot honey before serving (and best when paired with the chef's jalapeño cornbread slathered in honey butter).
Chicago: Beef SandwichBroad Shoulders Sandwiches
2822 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
broadshoulderssandwiches.com The next time you're craving a taste of Chicago, look no further than Broad Shoulders Sandwiches in Fort Lauderdale. A trip to Broward County delivers a taste of the Windy City's best sandwiches minus a much longer trip. Named for one of Chicago's many nicknames, the Broad Shoulders menu pays homage to chef/owner Tom Azar's favorite dishes and several iconic offerings the chef learned to perfect while cooking for celebrity chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse. That includes his take on the classic Chicago beef sandwich — house-roasted, Italian-seasoned roast beef shaved thin, dipped in the chef's homemade au jus, and paired with house-pickled giardiniera and sweet peppers. All of this is stuffed into a buttered and griddled Italian roll — with the option to gussy it up with melted provolone cheese and Italian sausage.
Los Angeles: Katana Japanese Restaurant920 71st St., Miami Beach
katanamiamibeach.com We could have suggested avocado toast here, but if it's one city that pioneered the idea of eating fish raw, it's California. One of the best spots to find raw fish in all its glory is this Normandy Isles hidden gem, where the waitlist will make you feel like you're at some LA hotspot. The compact yet energy-fueled restaurant serves up some excellent sushi, best known for its 25-seat circular bar where chefs whip up an array of dishes that pass by customers on boats floating in water. The menu offers classic maki like California rolls, plump gyoza, and more upmarket fare like salmon roe and sea urchin nigiri.
New Orleans: Seafood BoilCrab du Jour Cajun Seafood & Bar
3201 N. Miami Ave. Unit 106, Miami
crabdujourmidtown.com When it comes to food, the Big Easy is known for many things, among them Cajun-seasoned seafood. Lucky for us, a recent newcomer to the South Florida food scene includes Crab du Jour Cajun Seafood & Bar. Here, customers can build their boil, starting with a list of fresh seafood that can be matched with an array of house-blended sauces (think traditional Cajun but also garlic butter, Old Bay, lemon pepper, or "du jour" which incorporates all the options), customize their desired spice level, and add side items like corn, potatoes, and sausage. Each boil is served in a bag that's shaken and presented tableside.
New York City: Pepperoni PizzaMiami Slice
1335 NE Miami Ct., Miami
miamislicepizza.com You aren't celebrating regional cuisine if you aren't searching for a solid New York-style slice, no matter what city you call home. Thankfully, we have Miami Slice, where they serve up a proper slice. If the pepperoni pizza at Miami Slice is good enough for Keith Lee to give it a 10/10, we'd say it's good enough for the Magic City, too.
Maine: Lobster RollsThe Lazy Oyster (at Smorgasburg Miami)
thelazyoyster.com On a road trip dedicated to piling food into our faces, seafood smothered in mayonnaise qualifies as a "must." For Miamians, lobster is most often consumed as the spiny variety. But most of us are also familiar with the cold-water variety of this crustacean — one that's best when served on a warm griddle-seared and buttered roll. That's how you'll get it from the Lazy Oyster, whose meat-stuffed rolls overflow with fat chunks of claw and knuckle meat doused in a hint of mayo, then dusted in paprika and topped with fresh-cut chives. The croissant-like bun is equally appealing: a locally made roll as decadently rich as the lobster it cradles.
Philadelphia: CheesesteakFranky's Deli Warehouse
2596 W. 84th St., Hialeah
frankysdeli.com A sub shop that promises the "best six inches we've ever had," is one of the best places to find a classic Philadelphia staple: the cheesesteak. There is no scenario where a traveler does one pass through Philadelphia and does not grab a cheesesteak, so we're calling on Franky's to provide us with its taste of Philly. The sandwich is a perfect marriage of melty cheese-smothered, chopped, seared ribeye served between two toasty pieces of bread.
Seattle: SeafoodJoe's Stone Crab
11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
joesstonecrab.com Hooking a northern turn from Los Angeles, we've now driven across the continental U.S. as fast as humanly possible, which means we're due for a bit of a taste of home. What better way to remind us that we're still in Miami than to head over to Joe's Stone Crab for a plate of the good stuff? Seattle is known for its seafood and fish, but nobody does it better than Joe's. We'll find any excuse to eat some stone crabs, and they're always in season for this foodie fantasy.
Texas: BrisketApocalypse BBQ
9980 SW 104th St., Miami (Killian Greens Golf Club)
apocalypsebbq.com If you love food, you can't imagine driving through Texas — a region dedicated to smoked meats — and not stopping for a taste of the area's most quintessential food: brisket. In the 305, you can find one done with a Miami twist at Apocalypse BBQ, our go-to choice for some of the most tender, mouthwatering brisket around. Here, you'll find it coated in a cafecito coffee rub that's crispy and flavorful, lending a sweet tang to the tender slabs of meat.