Food • September 2015
For locals, Miami is the place where culture meets culinary experimentation, and where the pursuit of unique flavours leads to restaurants off the beaten path. Miami-based writer and editor Evelyn Torres takes The Club on a foodie tour
Finka (above) is the newest hotspot where locals meet over Latin-inspired food with a twist. Owner Chef Eileen Andrade has shaken up traditional Cuban comfort food with Peruvian and Korean influences. The restaurant is a 35-minute car ride from South Beach, but locals travel greater distances to indulge in Finka’s Korean fried chicken. Try it with a moist boniato (sweet potato) bread and a Costa Verde cocktail with Pisco, spicy coriander syrup and fresh cucumber.
Experience the melding of Florida and Latin America at Miami’s Kush (above). The frita burger is served with melted Gruyere, potato sticks, crispy bacon and guava jelly (more traditionally found as a pastry ingredient in Cuban bakeries). Or try the Florida alligator bites, made with local farm-raised gators and served with creamy garlic and spicy mayo.
El Carajo (above), which means ‘go to hell’ in Spanish, is a gas station meets bakery meets fine-dining spot. Thirty years ago, the Fonseca family started a business inspired by their son’s vision to bring his love of wine and Spanish tapas to the table. Don’t let the location intimidate you: the food and wine selection is muy especial. For a unique appetiser try the empanada de langosta, a stuffed bread filled with spicy lobster meat.
By day, Miami’s financial district Brickell is known for its expensive high-rises, luxury cars and bustling community of young professionals. By night it transforms into a buzzing hotspot. Many locals start their night at Bonding (above). This Thai-fusion restaurant is renowned for its flavourful and colourful cuisine. While it’s famous for pad Thai, try the pineapple-fried rice served with chicken, shrimp, loads of veggies and, of course, fresh pineapple.
A trip to Mojo satisfies all sugar cravings. The shop makes more than 40 flavours (some pictured) each day from 6am to 6pm. However, if they sell out, that’s it – so get there early. Try the Deco Drive Donut, named after a local weeknight news show. Baked and glazed to perfection, the donut is stuffed with banana cream, rolled in corn flakes and topped with strawberries and blueberries. Your choice of white or dark chocolate drizzle completes the experience.
Bodega (above) is the newest Taqueria to make its home on South Beach. The spicy Don Diablo cocktail is made with Ilegal Joven Mezcal, sweet passionfruit, and hellfire bitters, and pairs well with the Calamar Frito taco - filled with fried calamari, pickled onion, cilantro, and salsa rosada.
The Pubbelly Restaurant Group was founded in 2010 and now owns six restaurants - including Pubbelly Sushi. The group is known for incorporating unique Latin flavours into its food, and their unique take on sushi has locals lining up each night. Don’t miss the Tostones Ceviche - a crispy fried plantain chip, topped with a citrusy cool ceviche.
From late October, BA will begin flying an A380 to Miami, twice daily from Heathrow Terminal 3