If you’re trying to find a tapas restaurant in Miami, you’re in luck. After all, these modern versions of family-style meals are at the forefront of food culture, and more and more eateries are getting on board. While tapas originated in Spain, this approach to eating has evolved into a multicultural phenomenon, with Thai and Italian interpretations making their way to restaurants near you. If you’re in the mood for some delicious small plates, check out these four amazing tapas locales.
Lung Yai Thai Tapas
Lung Yai Thai Tapas burst onto the scene with super-bold Thai flavors. The traditional fare at this intimate eatery has a modern presentation, as generally heaping portions of curries, noodles, and soups are scaled down to encourage more adventurous orders. This unique tapas restaurant in Miami is made even more charming by its unexpected location in the heart of Little Havana.
At Macchialina in South Beach, you can enjoy traditional Italian cuisine that has been updated with today’s version of sharing in mind. As you look through the menu, you’ll be torn between dishes that feature ocal burrata, heirloom tomatoes and arugula, creamy polenta with sausage ragu and cippolini onions, housemade pastas, and veal milanese (alla parmigiana, please!). And when you take your first bite, you’ll notice that the seasonally-inspired cooking is more refined than an old school trattoria.
SLS South Beach
Culinary giant José Andrés is credited with introducing the tapas concept to the United States nearly two decades ago. And the Spanish chef’s Miami outpost at the chic SLS Hotel in South Beach plays with the traditional cuisine in a unique way. With the help of a host of molecular techniques, Andrés fuses tapas with Asian and Latin American staples. When you open up the menu, you’ll be amazed by the thoughtful, detailed, and undeniably creative dishes. Some standout small plates that you may want to consider include liquid mango nigiri, a piece of sushi with uni (sea urchin), shiso (Japanese mint), and shanso pepper; yuca churros with peanut butter and honey; and cuban coffee-rubbed churrasco.
This elegant Spanish eatery towers over Coral Way with three floors of gourmet goodness. The dining room, wine cellar, and market solidifies Restaurante Xixón’s reputation as an outstanding tapas restaurant in Miami. Many guests become regulars as they experience the extensive list of more than 300 Spanish wines. The restaurant’s delicious small plates mirror the dishes you’d find in a classic open-air mercado in any region in Spain. Xixón (pronounced “she-SHONE”) put a lot of thought into serving a culinary representation of the country’s myriad styles, yet its influence is rooted in the verdant north. Go for the octopus cooked Galician-style, paella served with Bomba rice from Valencia, bacalao, grilled giant prawns, and meats grilled over volcanic rocks.