When it comes to iconic restaurants, South Florida beats the rest of the state.
Recently, travel website Trips to Discover ranked Florida’s most iconic restaurants, and four of them are in South Florida.
If you live here, you won’t be surprised by what made the cut.
Naturally, Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach tops the list, as it has been attracting hordes of tourists and locals alike since it opened in 1913. Joe’s “may be the most famous restaurant in all of Florida,” the website reports, suggesting visitors on “a gourmet seafood adventure in Joe’s menu of seafood, steaks and fried chicken”.
Note: locals know that the half fried chicken ($8.95) is a bargain, especially at the take-out counter. Add hash browns ($14.95) and creamed spinach ($11.95) for takeout, and skip the wait for a table. (Pro tip: Toss leftover potatoes and spinach with your eggs the next morning and thank us later.)
Most of us, however, go straight for stone crabs. This year, the season opens on October 15. Joe’s, which takes a vacation this time of year, is closed for dinner until October 14, so plan accordingly (lunch service resumes October 20).
Also on the most iconic list is Miami’s Versailles, a culinary landmark since 1971. Trips to Discover recommends the ham croquetas, medianoche sandwiches and black beans and rice or, if you’re in a hurry, visit the ‘Window to take away in the open air” for pastries and coffee. We call it a ventanita, Trips to Discover, and also remember that a colada is not a single serving.
Blue Heaven in Key West, famous for its roaming chickens, is the perfect place to start a key lime pie journey, according to the listing. It’s not bad advice. If you’re a tourist in Key West, it’s practically a law you have to obey here. The restaurant, which opened in 1992, is closed during the month of September but reopens for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner on October 1.
South Florida’s latest icon is Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor & Restaurant, which opened in 1956. The website calls the vintage-designed spot “a childhood dream come true,” and it’s not not wrong: this is the place to go for giant sundaes, banana splits and shaking. You can also order burgers, fries, or wraps, but good luck getting the kids to focus on something other than dessert.
Other Florida restaurants on the list are Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa; Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City; Victoria & Albert’s in Orlando; Hunt’s Oyster Bar in Panama City; Yoder’s Restaurant & Amish Village in Sarasota; McGuire Irish Pub in Pensacola; The Old Spanish Sugar Mill at De Leon Springs; and O’Steens in St. Augustine.
Joe’s Stone Crab: 11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach; reopens October 14 and 15, 2022; Joe’s Takeaway open Wednesday through Sunday; joesstonecrab.com
Versailles: 3555 SW Eighth St., Miami; www.versaillesrestaurant.com
Blue sky : 729 Thomas St., Key West; reopens October 1, 2022; blueheavenkw.com
Jaxson Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant: 128 S. Federal Highway, Dania Beach; jaxsonsicecream.com