Best of Miami

Ten Best Ceviches in Miami

Miami is spoiled in the seafood department. Ceviche has become so common in this city that we have come to expect gobs of it at every food event and that it make a cameo on every menu. 

Ceviche is a rare combination of delicate and raw seafood in bold and zesty flavors that actually cook without heat. This is hot Miami — we don't need fire to turn flesh firm and opaque. On ceviche, the squeeze of a lime changes the chemistry of the fish and the heat of peppers to create a flavor punch that we simply can't get enough of. Because so many restaurants offer the dish, we're counting down our ten favorite ceviches in the city.

10. Embarcadero 41 Fusion
When Embarcadero 41 opened its first outpost in the United States last summer, the VP of operations for the Peru-based restaurant chain said, "We chose Miami because of the huge Latin influence here and the fact that we didn't have to come in to a new place and introduce the cuisine." It's true — downtown denizens welcomed Embarcadero 41's ceviche with open mouths. There's a tiger's milk shooter, a trio of ceviches ($25), and fish-specific ones like corvina, but we like the Ceviche Embarcadero 41, which is similar to a mixto, with black mussels crowned with stone crab claws.

9. SuViche
SuViche is more than a restaurant. It's a great compromise when one person wants sushi and another desires ceviche. But once you lean to the ceviche side at this Wynwood eatery, there are plenty of classic takes with homemade ají amarillo sauce, the Mexicano for a twist, and and the Chifa, which is sweet with teriyaki and crisp wontons and shows the restaurant's playful side. We like the heat in SuViche's take on the rocoto ($11.95), with the famed rococo pepper the star.

8. Cholo's on the Beach
Cholo's in North Miami Beach has been a favorite among locals for a long time, and its sister restaurant in North Beach seems to give ceviche new life in its beachy proximity. The ceviche clasico ($13.95) comes with leche de tigre, and if you want to kick it up a heat notch, there's the Ceviche Cholo's, which, as the restaurant says, "brings out the red in our flag" — it'll make you sweat a little.

7. Pollo y Jarras
Winner, winner, ceviche dinner! The ceviche gandar pescado ($17.95 with seafood) is a must-try. This blend has the fresh lime juices with a roasted rocoto, ginger, and celery reduction. The flavors are bold and the seafood fresh. Grab a claw and a stick of corn and enjoy the ride.

6. Basil Park
Why let seafood eaters have all the fun? Basil Park in Sunny Isles Beach has made us rethink ceviche with its outstanding avocado ceviche ($9) with coconut milk, lime, ají amarillo, sweet potato, and baby cilantro. It packs the same flavors you have grown to love, along with the thick creaminess of Florida avocados.

5. My Ceviche
What began as a tiny take-out window in SoBe has grown to many locations in the Magic City. This is because the ceviche is a dream and the possibilities are endless. You get to design your own ceviche (starts at $11.95) by selecting the seafood and the style. We like the fish, shrimp, and octopus combination with coconut for a picnic at South Pointe, but create whatever you like — it's all delicious — and it even comes with lime-flavored popcorn.
 4. Jaguar Cevich Spoon Bar & Latam Grill
Jaguar has long roared its ceviche prowess in Coconut Grove. To get a taste of all this restaurant offers, order the ceviche spoon sampler ($14). It offers a spoonful of six ceviches. It helps the medicine go down, and by medicine, we mean fresh fish and flavors.

3. Sabor a Peru
If you want to taste the flavors of Peru, head to Sabor a Peru on Biscayne Boulevard, where they take a homey approach. There are, of course, lomo saltado and other hot dishes, but when it comes to ceviche, there are 11 varieties. For a bit of a combination, try the ceviche de pescado y choros ($13.99), with mussels served atop traditional fish ceviche. 

2. La Mar
When Gastón Acurio, the chef who famously put ceviche on the world stage, brought his restaurant to town, he noted, "In Miami, you see Peruvian food growing faster than in any other city." New Times food critic Zachary Fagenson wrote about how La Mar stacks up: Though the offerings might look "identical to other ceviche dishes around Miami, they're not. The fish is cut with such precision and the tart, lime-based leche de tigre is balanced with such a deft hand it's clear the cooks working in near silence at the open raw bar and grill are held to a higher standard." The clasico ceviche ($17) is on another level.

1. Cvi.che 105
Located in the heart of downtown, Cvi.che 105 makes our hearts go pitter-patter. The ceviche seafood orgy ($14.95) is described as "plenty of texture and flavor to ensure sensations we should not even tell." The seafood swimming in tiger milk may be more than most can handle — it's an explosion in your mouth.

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Carina Ost