In the pie chart of foods that define Miami, Haitian and Carribean both deserve a massive slice. And Little Haiti - as you might have guessed - is the epicenter of those foods. The oxtail and jerk chicken here are resources to be cherished like precious stones or perfectly-fitting pants. But this huge neighborhood is hiding a lot more delicious things worth your time, like a cheesy empanada we’d like to nominate for president of empanadas. You can find that and more in these Little Haiti restaurants.
It doesn’t take a detective to figure out that Fiorito is an Argentinian spot. Their logo incorporates Diego Maradona’s jersey number and the very good menu includes quite a lot of beef. But you don’t have to just eat red meat here. They also have some tasty octopus, butternut squash soup, and quite possibly our favorite empanada in town. It’s called the empanada de choclo, and it’s a circular little disk filled with a stretchy center of cheese and sweet corn. Order it.
Piman Bouk Bakery
Piman Bouk is a classic Haitian bakery in the heart of Little Haiti. The main event here are Haitian patties, which are flaky and more similar to a croissant than a Jamaican patty. They come filled with either cod or beef. Piman Bouk keeps them warm and ready to eat all day - which is probably why they almost always have a line out the door. Other good things here include coconut bread and tablet pistache, a crunchy Haitian peanut brittle. And just know that it’s cash only, so hit up an ATM on the way.
Naomi's Garden Restaurant and Lounge
The food at Naomi’s is great. The jerk chicken, oxtail, and fried snapper are all just about as good as you’ll find in Little Haiti, but the food isn’t even our favorite thing about this place. We love Naomi’s little garden seating area, which you could easily miss from the street. It’s a lush, comfortable courtyard where you can befriend a rooster, lay in a hammock, and really feel like you’re eating on an island in the Carribean.
Adelita’s is a great Honduran restaurant that works for takeout, breakfast, or a casual dinner. We loved everything we tried here, which includes the pupusa de chicharron y quesillo and chicken tacos, which came crispy and rolled up into little cigar shapes. But, whatever you order, don’t skip the baleadas. The baleada con pollo comes with chicken, refried beans, and sour cream folded inside a thick and fluffy flour tortilla.
Chef Creole Seasoned Kitchen
Chef Creole is to Miami Haitian food what Pitbull is to Miami music. It’s probably the first name that comes to mind, and for good reason. Chef Creole not only has a location in the Miami airport, but it’s a classic Little Haiti spot - serving solid versions of dishes like griot, oxtail, and fried fish. It’s also got a lovely outdoor dining area that’s a great place to have a beer and really concentrate on getting every molecule of meat out of your oxtail.
Clive’s is a simple sit-down spot you should go to anytime you’re in the mood for Jamaican food. There’s nothing too special to look at inside. But the jerk chicken, curry goat, and fried conch are all so good that even if there was a diamond mural of DJ Khaled wrestling an alligator on the wall, you’d probably be too focused on trying to get the perfect amount of rice, plantain, and meat onto your fork to notice.
Boia De isn’t technically in Little Haiti - it falls approximately one football field south of the neighborhood’s official border of NE 54th Street. But even a Dolphins quarterback could stand at the restaurant’s front door and toss a football into Little Haiti, so we’re going to include it in this guide. Plus, we love this place and think you should know about it. Everything about Boia De feels original and thoughtful, from the beautiful restaurant design to the menu, which features outstanding small plates like hamachi with a yuzu salsa verde and a rich beef tartare covered in tonnato sauce.
The Vegan Marie is a vegan restaurant and shop where the food options change just about daily. It's one of those places where you find out what's on the menu by having a conversation with the chef, who'll happily tell you what they have that day. It could be a spicy seaweed wrap, or a filling platter of legumes, chickpeas, veggie balls, and perfectly ripe avocados. But it'll probably be very tasty. The space is sort of a cross between restaurant, botánica, and market. They also sell a housemade cocktail called Chiré Pantalèt (translation: you don't want to know). It's a dangerously good mixture of sugarcane moonshine, passionfruit, and ginger that you most definitely want in your fridge.
Piman Bouk Restaurant
Piman Bouk is an essential stop for anyone looking to get into Haitian food. It’s located right in the heart of Little Haiti, with a simple setup inside of wooden tables, low ceilings, and an air-conditioning unit that could use an update. But you can cool down with a soursop juice while you look over the menu, which reads like a greatest hits of Haitian food. The fried goat, oxtail, stewed pork - it’s all good - so maybe come with a couple friends who are down to split things. Just a head’s up: it’s cash only.
The name of this cash only Haitian bakery explains what you should be eating here: ice cream. It’s rich and creamy, almost closer in consistency to sorbet. Their tropical flavors come in a handful of varieties like pineapple, passionfruit, strawberry and more refreshing scoops that are incredibly appropriate on a hot summer day. But they also serve a handful of very tasty meat patties here, which resemble pastelitos in the texture and flakiness of the dough. They’re stuffed with chicken, beef, and herring, and are the perfect size for a snack before dinner if you happen to have a late reservation at Boia De down the street.
Chez Le Bebe is another spot in Little Haiti that focuses on a handful of Haitian dishes - specifically griot, which they do very well. Here the fried chunks of pork are super fatty and come with big piles of rice and beans, a salad, and a pork jus for dipping. It’s a portion you can easily split with a friend at one of the plastic-lined tables inside this little restaurant, which is cash only, by the way.
This casual restaurant is mostly about empanadas and sandwiches, which makes it an ideal stop for lunch whether you want to eat in or grab it to-go. We like both their empanadas and sandwiches almost equally as much, but the chopped beef empanada just ever so slightly wins over the prosciutto and arugula sandwich. You should still try both though.