The Sunshine State has more culinary diversity and depth than you might imagine. The Cuban influence is strong, especially in areas like Little Havana in Miami. Fresh seafood abounds across the state, as do regional classics such as Key lime pie.
t Preparing chicken at an annual Hispanic festival in Little Havana
The most famous example of a true Floridian classic is probably the key lime pie, a dessert pie made with Key lime juice and topped with meringue. As the name suggests, it’s especially popular in the Keys. Florida’s alligators also pop up on menus, served as nuggets or the classic gator tail. The Tarpon Springs Greek Salad is also worth trying, made with potato salad, tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta, cucumbers, and pepperoncini.
Where to Find it: Key lime pie at Old Town Bakery (930 Eaton St, Key West)
You’ll find Cuban and Latino food in most of the larger cities in Florida, but Miami is certainly the epicenter. In and around the Little Havana neighborhood, there’s everything from casual sandwich and coffee shops to food trucks and fine dining restaurants, all selling classic Cuban cuisine. This could be anything from a sandwich to croquetas (a fried breadcrumbed roll with meat or vegetable filling).
Where to Find it: Cuban sandwich at Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop (186 NE 29th S, Miami)
With its vast coastlines, Florida enjoys an abundance of fresh seafood. All tastes are catered for, with crab, clams, mahi-mahi, oysters, grouper, and rock shrimp to name just a few of the tempting local catches. The Floridian "Fish Shack" (typically a casual, somewhat weathered small restaurant serving up seafood bought fresh that day) is a true state-wide institution.
Where to Find it: Stone crab at The Stoned Crab (3101 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West)
Florida’s famous stone crab can be enjoyed from October through May. For lobster, it’s best to visit between September and December.
DISCOVER Florida Your Way
There’s a wealth of seafood restaurants all across the Sunshine State, but some are destinations in themselves. Here are some long-time seafood institutions.
Hunt’s Oyster Bar & Seafood Restaurant
⌂ 1150 Beck Ave, Panama City ∑ facebook.com/pearlofhunts
Walt’s Fish Market Restaurant
⌂ 4144 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota ∑ waltsfishmarketrestaurant.com