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There are 9.1 gazillion things to eat in Miami, but not all bites are created equal (we’re looking at you, soggy Cuban sandwich). Presenting 21 things every Miamian should eat at least once in her lifetime.

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Toston Burger at Pincho Factory

Homegrown chain Pincho Factory manages to combine fast-food-style nostalgia with hefty, perfectly cooked patties on par with what you’d find elsewhere for twice the price. Let’s not forget that the toston burger swaps a traditional bun for two crispy fried plantains. Mmm.

Various locations; pinchofactory.com

The Kitchen Sink at Jaxson’s

When we said we wanted to try everything but the kitchen sink, we never thought we’d get this. This monstrous heap of ice cream is meant to be shared by four very ambitious eaters. Yep, it’s basically the stuff dreams are made of.

128 S. Federal Hwy., Dania Beach; 954-923-4445 or jaxsonsicecream.com

Fried Chicken at Publix

This Southern supermarket chain is famous for its fried chicken. No matter where you are in Miami, you’ve got a Publix nearby. Snag a hefty chicken-stuffed sandwich or a combo with a side of mac and cheese and biscuits.

Multiple locations; publix.com

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Breakfast at Jimmy’s Eastside Diner

You’re actually looking at the site of one very memorable scene in the Oscar-winning film Moonlight. Dating back to the ’60s, this place is known to serve one of the heartiest all-day breakfast spreads in the city. Bring on the toast, bacon and eggs.

7201 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-754-3692

The Combo at Federal Donuts

Two of our favorite things come together at last: fried chicken and doughnuts. When (not if) you go, get an order with the za’atar dry rub and an allspice-scented doughnut. 

250 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-573-9393 or federaldonuts.com

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Stone Crab and Key Lime Pie at Joe’s

For more than 100 years, this legendary South Beach restaurant has been the definitive place to feast on massive crustaceans served family-style. Pro tip: No meal here is complete without a slice of key lime pie.

11 Washington Ave., Miami; 305-673-0365 or joesstonecrab.com

Chicken ’n’ Watermelon ’n’ Waffles at Yardbird

Honestly, comfort food doesn’t get much better than this. Don’t forget the extra honey hot sauce and bourbon maple syrup.

1600 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-5220 or runchickenrun.com

Sobe Club at La Sandwicherie

It’s hard to go wrong at this South Beach sandwich mecca, but after a morning of sun and waves, we find ourselves craving this summery combo of turkey, Brie and avocado.

229 14th St., 305-532-8934; lasandwicherie.com

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Cubano at Versailles

This iconic restaurant is responsible for the best Cubanos (and cafés con leche) in town. Sweet ham, roast pork and Swiss cheese smeared with mustard on toasted Cuban bread. Bring. It. On.

3555 SW Eighth St.; 305-444-0240 or versaillesrestaurant.com

the forge miami
The Forge

Steak and Wine at the Forge

Opened in 1968, this Miami institution has attracted VIPs—from Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland to Elizabeth Taylor, Al Pacino and Madonna—with its thick cuts of beef and an eight-room wine cellar with more than 300,000 vintages.

432 W 41st St., Miami Beach; 305-538-8533 or theforge.com

Pulled Pork Sandwich at Shorty’s Bar-B-Q

A Miami hangout since 1951, this log-cabin-style restaurant is our go-to when we’re craving pulled pork sliders and coleslaw. P.S.: Double up on napkins before you dig in.

Multiple locations; shortys.com

box cold brew miami

Coffee Mocktail at Box Cold Brew

Swap booze for a coffee-based Florida orange fizz, where cold-brew coffee is blended with muddled orange, grapefruit and blood-orange bubbles.

175 NW 27th St., Wynwood; 305-677-2722 or boxcoffeemia.com

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Tacos at Coyo

It’s pretty hard to improve upon tacos, but the fusion-y ingredient combos (like pork, roasted pineapple and tangy onions) seal the deal. Pricing under $10 helps, too.

2300 NW Second Ave.; 305-573-8228 or coyo-taco.com

A Melt at Ms. Cheezious

No matter how old we get, there’s nothing like a really, really good grilled cheese. We can’t get enough of the Mackin Melt (with creamy Gouda mac ’n’ cheese and house-cured bacon) or the fried chicken and waffle melt (crispy chicken and cheddar on house-made buttermilk waffles with country gravy and maple syrup).

Various locations; mscheezious.com

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Cubano at La Carreta

We know what you’re thinking: another Cuban sandwich?! But trust us, it’s worth it. La Carreta’s signature roast-pork sandwich is best enjoyed with homemade crispy plantain chips and a sweet mamey papaya shake.

Various locations; lacarreta.com

Juices or Smoothies at El Palacio de los Jugos

We dream about the made-from-scratch smoothies and juices at El Palacio. They’re as fresh as ever, totally worth the drive and pretty healthy, with options ranging from watermelon to mamoncillo chino (an addictively tart fruit related to lychees). It is called the juice palace, after all.

Various locations; elpalaciodelosjugos.com

Bread at Zak the Baker

Come for a loaf of sourdough (or a good ol’ pastrami sandwich), stay for the sweet-smelling aroma of freshly baked breads and pastries that fills the café all day long. 

295 NW 26th Ave., Wynwood; 786-294-0876 or zakthebaker.com

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Nitro Cold Brew at ALL DAY

We all need a java jolt every once in a while. When craving strikes, we opt for a nitro at All Day in downtown, where cold-brew concentrate is infused with nitrogen to add a slight fizz and creamy consistency.

1035 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-699-3447 or alldaymia.com

French Fries at Bourbon Steak

The French fries at this swanky Miami steakhouse come in a trio of cups with matching dipping sauces: rosemary-herb fries with spicy ketchup, onion-seasoned fries with chive-onion crème fraîche and smoked paprika fries with homemade barbecue sauce. Oh, and did we mention every table gets a complimentary order?

19999 W. Country Club Dr., Aventura; 786-279-6600 or turnberryislemiami.com

Azucar Ice Cream Company

This gem on Calle Ocho is home to the famous Abuela Maria ice cream scoop, made with vanilla mixed with bright jewels of ruby red guava, rich cream cheese and crispy Maria crackers. It’s a Cuban classic.

1503 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305-381-0369 or azucaricecream.com

Everything Bagel with Chive Cream Cheese at Bagel Cove

You didn’t think we’d leave our favorite source of carbs off this list, did you? This Aventura staple is not only one of the city’s best bagel spots but its prices clock in at some of the lowest in town.

19003 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura; 305-935-4029 or bagelcove.com

RELATED: The Best Cuban Sandwiches in Miami, Ranked

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