Finding places to eat in Edgewater among all the highrises can feel like looking for ants in a giraffe dance party. But they’re there, and when you do find them, you can’t help but feel happy they haven’t been crushed by something a lot bigger.
This area is growing like crazy but - surprisingly - it’s still full of the kind of small neighborhood spots where you might have a conversation with the cashier about how you trained your dog not to chew on the furniture. Our guide to Edgewater’s best restaurants has those places and more, including a classic Cuban diner, not one but two BYOB taco trucks, and an Italian bakery that’s very good at stuffing things inside of bread.
Even if you don’t get one of the outdoor tables at Amara at Paraiso, you’ll still probably have a good meal. That being said, do everything in your power to get an outdoor table. Throw the host $20, wait for 45 minutes, train a seagull to attack the people at the table you want - whatever it takes. Because even though the seafood here (especially the banana leaf-wrapped cobia) is good enough on its own, it’s so much better with the waterfront view.
We’re typically nervous to try restaurants with names from Billy Joel lyrics, but Mamma Leone’s is a lot more enjoyable than the bad barbecue place we just made up called We Didn’t Start The Fire. The small Italian bakery is great for breakfast or lunch. They serve a pretty wide selection of savory and sweet baked things, but we really like their paninis, which come on baguettes that always taste like they just came out of the oven. The squares of stuffed focaccia are also delicious and the size of an iPad.
Tacomiendo is a little taco truck inside a big outdoor plant shop, and it’s a great place to eat if you are a fan of plants and BYOB spots. Its seating area is as lush as you’d expect, with shady tables and plenty of greenery, and it’s definitely the kind of place we’d like to hang out at while slowly finishing a bottle of wine. The simple tacos aren’t mind-blowing, but they’re tasty - especially if you add a little of the mango hot sauce that’s sitting on each table.
This Spanish/Argentinian spot is not a place for big groups - even a party of two is going to feel slightly cramped in here. But a lack of elbow room is a small price to pay for food like this. They only have one person working the kitchen, cooking up things like gambas al ajillo (sauteed shrimp), pulpo a la plancha (grilled octopus), and fried goat cheese balls you should absolutely order. It’s very impressive, but it also means you might be waiting a little longer than normal for your food, so don’t come in a rush.
Sabor a Peru is one of the toughest tables to get in Edgewater. There’s almost always a small crowd of people waiting outside this place, which serves simple, classic Peruvian dishes as good as you’ll find anywhere in Miami. Luckily, things move relatively quick here and, hopefully, you should have your lomo saltado or the big fried seafood platter called jalea in front of you before you get too irritable.
Edgewater has plenty of casual spots serving very good things to eat, and La Latina is at the top of that list. The small restaurant has excellent Venezuelan food, and easily makes some of the best arepas in Miami, all of which cost somewhere from $5-8. There are also bigger platters that come with rice, beans, plantain, and a protein, as well as sides like the tequeños that you should always order. All of the above tastes significantly better when drowned in the pink house sauce.
Enriqueta’s is one of Miami’s best Cuban spots - no matter if you’re in the mood for a really good Cuban sandwich or just a few croquetas and a cafecito. The casual diner has been around a lot longer than most of the highrise apartments that are sprouting up around it and the space looks like it hasn’t changed much over the last decade. The menu is huge, with well over a dozen sandwiches, breakfast plates, and daily specials that won’t cost you more than $15.
Caja Caliente’s original Edgewater location is a food truck-turned permanent outdoor restaurant. The space has mismatched furniture, an endearing pack of feral cats, and enough space to host a pretty large group of friends - just bring some beer because it’s BYOB. They also serve “Cuban tacos,” which are seven-inch tortillas filled generously with things like lechon, vaca frita, and grilled shrimp. Plus, there’s a very good pan con lechon with crispy potato sticks.
While it’s no doubt a wine bar first and foremost, Lagniappe is also a perfectly acceptable place to eat - as long as you’re OK with doing so outside because that’s pretty much your only option. But it’s still the best spot in Edgewater for a fun meal where you can catch up with friends or impress a date. They’ve got a small but respectable food menu with things like churrasco, mahi, salmon, chicken, and sautéed veggies. They also have a not-so-small but equally respectable meat and cheese plate, which you should absolutely order if you have at least two people to help.
Mr. Baba is a food truck that sets up some tables and picnic benches every day at 5pm in an empty parking lot on NE 2nd Ave. They do shawarma with your choice of steak, chicken, or falafel. They’ll also stuff your wrap with crispy Mediterranean fries like a California burrito. It’s a solid choice if you’re coming from a bar (they’re open till 3am on weekends), or if you just burned a considerable amount of calories at the soccer fields next door. Just stick to chicken or falafel because the steak is a little too well done.