We’re in Miami and environs a lot. It’s unavoidable, given the amount of year-round weather friendly to boats. But editors do not live on boat tests alone. Often, we end-up eating wherever’s most convenient before we have to catch a tide (or a flight). Still, over the years, we’ve developed some favorite places to break bread. So, if you’re in the 305 for the Miami International Boat Show you’d do well to enjoy a meal at any of the places on our list.
2465 SW 17th Ave.
Don’t leave Miami without trying El Carajo’s Cuban tapas style café. Make reservations and go with the custom paella, choosing just the seafood and sausage ingredients you love. They have. A lobster bisque and a Galician soup with smoked pork, ham hock, bacon, Serrano ham, white beans and potatoes. Galician octopus in a butter sauce? Oh yea! Fried cod or chorizo croquettes are gonna go down fast, too. Comfortably priced for Miami. Don’t let the gas station front put you off.
Meraki Greek Bistro
142 SE 1st Ave.
I happened upon Meraki Greek Bistro with Editor-in-Chief, Kevin Falvey, and some industry friends about six years ago. The vibe is relaxed, the food is Mediterranean and the staff is friendly and welcoming. Meraki is out of the boat show bustle. The food is authentic Greek and good, from Tzatziki to Keftedes, and from Spanokopita to Octopus. Yamas!
Toni’s Sushi Bar
1208 Washington Ave.
This is a regular Miami meal for our team. Every year. Every kind of sushi and sashimi in the world, artfully prepared and served with exemplary style. A full bar and the finest service and atmosphere available in Miami. We liked the crunchy sushi, Wagyu Beef rolls and perfectly sliced and served sashimi. Or go all in for the Chilean Sea Bass dinner.
Courtesy Mike’s at Venetia
Mike’s at Venetia
555 NE 15th Street, 9th Floor
Close to, and high above the Venetian Marina show docks is Mike’s at Venetia. “Mike’s“ is an Irish pub—with a panoramic view of Biscayne Bay—where you can unpretentiously enjoy a bucket of beer bottles or a fine aged scotch; a great wine or masterfully-mixed cocktails. Mingle with locals, showgoers and exhibitors alike. The menu is pub fare, ranging from appies, burgers and pizza to steaks and fish. Mike’s can be loud, but in an everyone is enjoying themselves way. We hit it at least once during the show.
101 Washington Ave.
Coal Kissed Kussi Oyster, local wahoo, caviar macaroon, maitake mushroom risotto are just a few of the delicacies on the 11-course tasting menu-the perfect way to get to know the capabilities of this Michelin-rated fine restaurant. Pricey? You ask and you’re buying a new boat? Go ahead, you can’t take it with you.
Courtesy Bella Cuba
Bella Cuba Restaurant
1659 Washington Ave.
A great spot for lunch. Walk from the convention center. Look over your shoulder at Bella Cuba and you may be dining with high-powered execs from the Boating industry who strolled over for lunch before heading back for the afternoon rush at show. The authentic Cuban fare is served prompt and delicious. Try Grandma’ Chicken Noodle Soup or the Palomilla Steak. Great Cuban sandwiches, of course. Medium price. Just a great place.
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Garcia’s Seafood Grille and Fish Market
398 NW N River Drive
Located on the Miami River, an interesting waterway to ply by boat, Garcia’s is the kind of place you tell people about before they even ask you if you know any good restaurants. The whole yellowtail snapper is consistently the best we’ve had. And, it’ s always on the menu, whereas availability of this delicious dish is sporadic in many places. Go for the ambiance, go for the food, go to Garcia’s.