Florida is surrounded by water on three sides, so it’s no surprise that the region is home to some of the freshest seafood in the States. Hop on board a flight to Miami and you’ll find that this thriving city is no exception to the rule. With an active fishing community and countless celebrity chefs on hand, South Florida’s metropolitan area is home to some fantastic seafood restaurants. But finding the more down-at-earth, hidden-away spots can be a somewhat tedious task. Happily, we’re here to save you the trouble. These ‘shacks’ may not be equipped with fine linens or modern decor, but you’d better believe they serve some of the best seafood in Miami.
What began life as a humble freshwater fish market and wholesaler slowly turned into a successful family business enjoyed by Miamians and travellers alike. The Garcia Brothers – 11 sons in total – bring their rich Cuban culture and years of fishing experience to the streets of Miami, offering diners a quick in-and-out (or eat while standing) experience. They’ve made La Camaronera one of Miami’s prime local joints for succulent fried fish and shrimp on the cheap. Situated in Little Havana, seafood enthusiasts can find a menu heavy on all things deep-fried and cooked to perfection.
Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market
Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market is also owned and operated by the Garcia brothers. However, this is an entirely different dining experience to La Camaronera. Though it’s nothing elaborate, Garcia’s offers diners beautiful waterfront views to savour while enjoying freshly caught selections such as jumbo shrimp, conch steak and swordfish.
Captain’s Tavern Restaurant & Seafood Market
Bill and Audrey Bowers opened the doors to Captain’s Tavern in 1971 and continue to play an active role in serving up some of the freshest seafood around. Most ingredients are mixed on-site for homemade concoctions like dressings and sauces, which are perfectly paired with the daily freshly-filleted selection. Other menu additions such as the Dijon Roasted Snapper and a full sushi spread complement a variety of classic seafood specialties like fresh Maine lobster, soft shell crabs from the Chesapeake and stone crab claws from surrounding local waters.
The Fish House
Servicing the Upper Keys since 1987, The Fish House embodies the laid-back ‘Keys’ style dining experience, paired with a variety of locally caught and cooked on-site seafood. Diners will find yellowtail snapper, grouper, mahi-mahi, lobster, stone crab and shrimp, but the mother of all dishes at The Fish House is their celebrated Fish Matecumbe. Guests can enjoy their meal in a choice of three dining areas: an air-conditioned dining room, piano lounge, or outdoor patio suitable to South Florida weather practically year round.
Written by Kristin Clark