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Kush - Time Out Market
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Four iconic Miami dishes you can find at Time Out Market, explained

Discover quintessential dishes from the 305—from a stacked Cubano and gator bites to guava-infused ice cream

By Ryan Pfeffer
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Certain foods define a city. New York has its pizza, Chicago has the hot dog and Philly has its namesake cheesesteak. But it’s impossible to find just one food that really exemplifies Miami. This diverse city is a melting pot of cultures from around the globe, each bringing its own dishes and drinks to the table. Instead, we tracked down four local favorites that showcase the 305–from Southern delicacies and Cuban staples to dishes that were born right here in Miami. The best part? You can find all four of these dishes inside Time Out Market Miami, a culinary and cultural destination in the heart of South Beach. Dig into these iconic Miami dishes to get a taste of the city.

RECOMMENDED: Find more of the best restaurants in Miami

Iconic Miami dishes explained

Cuban sandwich at the Local Cuban
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

1. Cubano at the Local Cuban

Restaurants South Beach

Ah, the Cuban sandwich. It is the Meryl Streep of Miami food: timeless, prolific and the perfect amount of salty. There’s some debate as to which city created the Cuban sandwich we know it today but there’s no doubt in our mind you’ll find the best ones in Miami. Need proof? Try the Local Cuban’s classic Cubano ($12) at Time Out Market. Expect all the requirements with some delicious flourishes: house ham, pork rillettes, pickles, Swiss cheese and mustard seed caviar all served on classic Cuban bread.

Leña frita classic
Photograph: Worldredeye.com

2. Fritas at Leña

Restaurants South Beach

If you took a smash burger, added sazón and ground chorizo, topped it with just-fried shoestring potatoes and swapped a regular bun for a piece of toasted Cuban bread, you’d have Leña’s frita. The perfect, palm-sized sandwich packs familiar Cuban flavors into a classic American dish. If that’s not the most Miami-style slider, we’re not sure what is. And in case you’re wondering, yes, it’s great with ketchup, too. 

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Kush - Time Out Market
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

3. Gator bites at Kush

Restaurants South Beach

Nothing is more Florida than alligators. They’ve been here longer than we have, are smart enough to avoid I-95 at rush hour and there’s probably one in your swimming pool right now. And you’ll be able to find them at Kush in Time Out Market Miami—fried and seasoned with Old Bay. The gators are sourced from Starke, Florida and come with creamy garlic and spicy mayo. It’s like chicken, but Florida-er.

Azucar Ice Cream Company
Photograph: Courtesy Azucar Ice Cream Company

4. Abuela Maria at Azucar

Restaurants South Beach

If Miami were an ice cream flavor, this would be it. Azucar’s Abuela Maria ice cream flavor uses a bunch of very Miami ingredients and the result is pure 305 deliciousness. Guava paste, chunks of cream cheese and crumbled Maria Cookies all combine in beautiful harmony. The only thing that could make it more Miami is a couple swigs of rum—which Azucar actually has been known to use in other flavors.

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