Here's Our Travel Guide to This Nation of Over 7,000 Islands
1. Pincho Factory9860 SW 40th St, Miami
2. Wynwood Kitchen & Bar2550 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
3. El Mago de las Fritas5828 SW 8th St, Miami
4. De Rodriguez Ocean101 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach
5. Blue Collar Restaurant6730 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
6. Bread + Butter2330 Salzedo St, Coral Gables
7. Chicken Kitchen7315 Red Rd, Miami
8. Azucar Ice Cream Company1503 SW 8th St, Miami
Pincho Factory specializes in two things: burgers and kebabs, but it's the burger that catapulted the fast-casual resto to must-try status. Owner Nedal Ahmad's signature Toston burger, topped with jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and homemade cilantro sauce then sandwiched between two fried plantains, won the annual South Beach Burger Bash in 2015. Since then, Pincho Factory has made a mark with its menu of greasy and good street food, which includes customizable kebab wraps, rice bowls, and salads.
Set up to look like a warehouse gallery replete with street murals by Shepard Fairey and huge abstracts by Christian Awe, WKB offers a broad menu of stuff like tomato/watermelon gazpacho, sauteed mussels in a tomato jalapeno broth, a lamb burger w/ mint sauce, and entrees including clay pots like basil & charred pineapple w/ mussels and snapper curry.
El Mago de Las Fritas, or the Fritas Magician, celebrates the Cuban hamburger tradition of topping a seasoned ground beef patty with onions and a pile of tiny, wispy shoestring fries. Luckily, El Mago doesn't limit its Cuban touch to hamburgers, and extra-long hot dogs and egg sandwiches are similarly available with a topping of thin and crispy potato sticks. Sweet and savory specials like freshly fried chicharrones and flan are also worth ordering in the laid-back, diner space.
With poolside seating and a revamped interior with lots of aged wood, Ocean plates Doug Rodriguez's Nuevo Latino take on the sea, this time with some Asian influence: ceviches including Thai lobster coconut w/ ginger, or tuna watermelon w/ kumquat, yuzu, and Thai basil, plus entrees like seared adobo tuna.
Blue Collar's mission is to give off a true neighborhood hang-out vibe, which it successfully does with a huge menu of comfort food staples. Every day, the kitchen serves a different rib dish (baby back, short ribs, spare ribs, etc), parmesan dish (chicken, veal, pork, eggplant, etc), and a braised dish (brisket, pot roast, ox tails, pork shoulder). There's a whole chalkboard of vegetable sides to counter the meaty entrées, and appetizers like definitely-order-or-you'll-regret-it potato latkes. Don't even get us started on brunch -- just make sure you get there early.
Bread + Butter serves a lot more than, well, bread and butter. Enjoy Cuban fare with a twist and a full bar with some interesting drinks - liquid nitrogen shakes, anyone? - prepared by Mr. Pan con Mantequilla himself, Alberto Cabrera.
There're a slew of Chicken Kitchens across Miami (your "healthy" addiction, they claim), so you'll have no trouble finding a spot to get your poultry fix. They're famous for their Cuban Chop Chop, which's made with yellow rice, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes and mojo-marinated chicken breast, plus a healthy serving of honey mustard sauce.
Smack in the middle of Miami's Little Havana, Azucar's ice cream and sorbet flavors are as diverse as the neighborhood. They're made from all-natural ingredients and are constantly changing, so you never know what might be in store for your taste buds.