South Florida is home to some of the state’s most iconic foods, whether it’s Cuban food from Miami or Key Lime Pie in Key West. If you’re looking to try some of Florida’s most famed foods, here are a few dishes to get you started on your culinary journey.
Stone crab claws got their start at Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach. Back in 1921, a visiting researcher discussed why the crabs were never used. After some discussion Joe decided to throw them in a pot and boil them. He served them chilled with hash brown potatoes, cole slaw and mayonnaise, and the tradition was born.
Undoubtedly, one of the most iconic South Florida eats is the Cubano Sandwich. It’s said the sandwich originated in cafes in Key West that catered to Cuban workers, and it was then brought to Miami where it remains a huge culinary staple. A traditional Cubano is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread. The key to a great Cubano is the right bread, which has to be buttered just so!
After you’ve had your fill of Cuban food in Miami, head down to Key West for some delicious tropical eats. The easiest way to get between these food-centric cities? Skip the airport an take a bus between Miami and Key West!
Conch Fritters are a must try food when in the Florida Keys, and many other parts of the Caribbean as well. Conch is a mollusk that is removed from its shell, and for fritters, fried in a thick batter with spices. Expect a bit of heat from these! If they aren’t spicy enough, just ask for the local hot sauce to bring out the heat.
Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie is made with the tiny key limes found throughout the Florida Keys. They tend to be more aromatic and tart than the regular limes you find in grocery stores. Due to the juice’s pale yellow color and the use of egg yolks, Key Lime Pie is typically yellow. While you can get Key Lime Pie all over the Keys, most agree that Key West is the best spot to try this dish, with hundreds of options to choose from.
Key West Shrimp
While shrimp and seafood are plentiful throughout Florida, you don’t want to miss Key West shrimp, especially the pink shrimp. This wild-caught shrimp is local to the Keys, and it has a sweet meaty flavor. It’s typically served as “peel and eat” to get the most flavor and keep the sensation that you’re eating it straight from the local waters.
Florida is known for a number of other delicious eats in addition to the five we’ve shared here. In addition to these iconic nibbles on your South Florida trip, don’t forget to check out some of the drinks that make this region even more interesting. Try a cafecito or mojito in Miami, and don’t miss the Rum Runner and Hemingway Daiquiri in Key West.
This post was in collaboration with Busbud, but as always, all opinions, views, and calories gained are my own.