Miami’s more tourist frequented areas – like South Beach and Wynwood, among others – tend to hog the spotlight. But in Kendall, a residential area in Miami’s southern quadrant, you’ll get a flavor for all that Miami has to offer. Kendall’s food scene is robust, offering everything from traditional family-friendly ethnic food representing Miami’s diverse population to unique independent spots carving out a niche for themselves in a more low-key part of the city.
For many, Kendall begins at Dadeland Mall, where a busy crop of residential and retail buildings surround the main attraction. Tucked into one such building is Ghee’s Downtown Dadeland location, where legions of dedicated fans flock for authentic Indian food with a modern twist. Chef Niven Patel put together a menu comprised of his favorite dishes for feeding his own family, inspired by his childhood meals, and he grows and gathers many of the fresh ingredients used in his kitchen from his own garden. The menu features seasonal dishes, as well as all-time favorites, plus beer, wine, and unusual cocktails to complement the intense flavors.
If the craving for Cuban food hits, Cuban Guys is your Kendall go-to to scratch that itch. This fast-casual spot serves Cuban sandwiches, including a Frita, Croqueta Preparada, Sandwich Cubano, Pan Con Lechon, and more, putting you in the impossible situation of picking a favorite from a menu of delicious options. Go for a spin on all the flavors you love with the bowl option made on a bed of white rice, topped with your choice of protein prepared classic Cuban style, and mixed in with sweet plantains, black beans, and onions. Other options include salads, a wide variety of sides, and, of course, Cuban sodas and coffee.
When Chuck Wagon first opened in 1980, Miami looked a little different. Customers regularly showed up on their horses to enjoy this homestyle food, as the local legend goes. Today, you can feel right at home at this Western-themed, family-friendly restaurant, open for breakfast and lunch. Start your day the American way with the Chuck Wagon Grand Slam, which is a combo of eggs, bacon or sausage, home fried or grits, sausage gravy, and toast or biscuits. Omelets, egg sandwiches, and french toast are other favorites. Those looking to move into the lunch portion of the menu will be pleased to find diner-style staples like tuna salad, BLTs, and more.
Chef Adrianne Calvo trained under Chef Thomas Keller and Chef Cindy Pawlcyn, which may be enough to pique your interest in her Kendall outpost, Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Bar. If it’s not, maybe the Prime Beef Osso Bucco cooked in pinot noir, garlic, and Italian herbs will do the trick. Open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, this foodie-favorite menu has something for everyone – from Ahi Tuna Sashimi and Crab Cakes to Brown Sugar Cajun Baby Back Ribs and a steak in every size.
Luckily, Peruvian food isn’t hard to come by in Miami – the combination of fresh seafood and salty, delicious meat-based mains, like Lomo Saltado, make it a regional favorite. In Kendall, Pisco y Nazca is a must-try Peruvian restaurant with a stylish ambiance and a menu of traditional dishes and inspired new spins and combinations. Working your way through the nine house ceviches will keep you coming back for a while as will the rest of their fresh, healthy takeout lunch options.
Not to be blunt, but before you do anything else, order the crispy rice with tuna. This dish alone is quite possibly the reason for the four Miami locations and one Mexico City outpost of Pubbelly Sushi. But it’s certainly not the only star on the menu. Their offering is an interesting mix of Spanish and Japanese cuisine, including sushi, grilled vegetables, and proteins, like Japanese Eggplant and Miso Black Cod. Not to be forgotten are the side dishes like Korean Bravas, a spin on patatas bravas, and Short Rib & Truffle Dumplings, which truly round out the menu. The dishes are ideal for sharing, so pile on a selection of small dishes and enjoy the surprising and delicious combinations that put Pubbelly Sushi on Miami’s must-try map.
Friendly, affordable, and insanely delicious. That pretty much sums up Don Burrito, a neighborhood Mexican restaurant in Kendall serving up all your favorites like flautas, enchiladas, fajitas, and of course, burritos. Menu highlights include the mole, with a rich flavor that rivals any of the best you’ve tasted, carne asada, and the Mi Pueblo burrito with chipotle. Oh, and don’t skip on the chips and salsa, which are all house-made.