Miami Metro is the fourth most populous area in the United States. It also was rated by Forbes as one of America’s cleanest cities making it a welcoming destination for travelers. The sun and sea beacons one, but you are also never too far from historic and rural destinations. This is the magic of Miami. It has long been a travel destination for people around the world and in fact is dubbed “The Latin capitol of America.” But don’t forget the Caribbean influence, situated as it is in the Gulf of Mexico it is close to the Caribbean islands and was a stopping off point for shipping when it was still just a colony. Because of this Miami boasts one of the best fusions of Latin-Caribbean cuisine offerings in the world. It is a one stop destination to taste the bright colours of the Caribbean with just a bit of spice added.
Tinta y Cafe translates to “Ink and Coffee” This is, as their motto pronounces, a “coffee house and more.” the perfect spot for starting out your day and making plans or sitting and writing or reading. It’s welcoming atmosphere is indicative of old world coffee shops that offer time for patrons to collect their thoughts for the day, visit with friends, family or meet new people while taking in their breakfast. Tinta y Cafe slides seamlessly from breakfast to midday meals with tapas and sandwiches being served as well as soups. A house special is their Cubano, a Panini with roasted pork shoulder and ham with melted Swiss cheese, mustard and pickle. This specialty born in Florida which originally catered to Cuban workers has become a popular Latin lunch staple. Tinta y Cafe is well known for theirs.
At Tinta y Cafe, pastries and breads are homemade and the bright Latin feel of the Shoppe gives you a feeling for the local colour and flavours. It is very small and cosy allowing the staff to be welcoming and friendly. Tinta y Cafe also offers delivery service. But, if you are travelling for pleasure, it is a welcome respite and a good place to get a feel for the local neighbourhood.
If one is in the mood for Latin pastries Versailles Bakery is the place. Some customers describe Versailles’ offerings as Cuban style baked goods, still others reminisce about Brazilian bakeries that they have visited. What this really means it Versailles does a very good job of capturing the flavours of Latin America. With offerings like Guava tarts and Tarta San Marco, you are sure to find the tortas, cakes and baked goods of many Latin flavours here.
Open for breakfast and Lunch, Versailles is also a hot spot for Cafe con Leche served in the Puerto Rican style. Reasonable prices for quality bakery goods. Also popular are their empanadas, a Latin style sandwich similar to pasties. This is a local stop for catering and parties and will give you a glimpse of locally produced sweets and breads.
El Mago de Las Fritas brings authentic Cuban Fritas to the good people of Miami. Fritas is Cuban seasoned ground beef patty, served with fried potatoes and usually an egg. It is the Cuban version of a hamburger but better! At El Mago de Las Fritas amazing ingredients are combined with fresh ground beef, served on a fresh baked Cuban style soft bun. Sliced, fried potatoes are added and it is topped with house special hot sauce.
The atmosphere at El Mago de Las Fritas is 60’s diner. Get ready to go back in time, Cuban style. You will recognise the chrome and vinyl of the 60’s but with a Latin flair with Cuban music floating through the air making you want to get up and dance. The aim of El Mago is fun!
House specials also include Cuban style shakes with flavours like mamay and guayabana; fruits you will only find in this area. Prices are extremely reasonable with most meals topping out at €5.
Since its inception, Florida has been a port of call for the Portuguese sailors and pirates. Because of this you will find many flavours from Portugal intermixed with other cultures. But at Old Lisbon Restaurant guests are treated to the pure flavours of Portuguese cooking.
This upscale restaurant is an excellent spot for entertaining or for a special date. It keeps late hours and reservations are generally recommended. Old Lisbon has a North Miami and South Miami location so be sure to check which one you are making reservations at. The house also offers catering and large groups with reservations.
Old Lisbon prides itself on its unique selection of Portuguese wine and its sommelier is available to help diners match wines to their meal selections.
Seafood mixed with hot peppers and fresh vegetables tantalize the pallet. The pairing of wine with spices like saffron and cumin remind one of the spice trade that made Portugal great. Moorish flavours also find their way into stews and sauces. One will not be disappointed with new fusions here. Purely Portuguese at its best.
International travellers may recognise Zuma as a worldwide restaurant brand. At Zuma in Miami, Chef Rainer Becker brings to Florida his special brand of modern Japanese cuisine. The traditional Japanese dining style of “Izakaya” is made fun with modern touches. It is an experience all its own.
Playing on older traditional Japanese themes, Zuma offers fusion with new methods and techniques in service using locally sourced produce and seafood, which Miami is famous for.
Located in the Epic Hotel on the river in downtown Miami, the views from the dining area are lovely and set the mood for a relaxing evening. Reservations are encouraged and valet parking is available. This is a restaurant to take your time at as the dining is an experience in itself. If you happen to be staying at the Epic Hotel, the Zuma is a definite must for dining.
Zuma offers a main dining room as well as private ones; a sushi bar, sake bar and lounge, and a terrace dining area from which guests can take in a view of the river and downtown. Zuma is an excellent starting off place for a night on the town.
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