Art Basel Miami: What We Ate

Stone crabs from Joe's in Miami

While this post is obviously long overdue, I figure that everyone likes looking at delicious food and some of what we ate in Miami was just too good to not share.

Except for one decadent birthday meal at José Andrés’ Bazaar (which was excellent!), we kept things decidedly low-key. We’ve found that whenever we travel and attempt to eat at places like where we would eat at at home, we’re always disappointed. Have you found that, too?

So, with that in mind, we made it a point to eat food unique to Miami or eat at restaurants with a lot of local character. We weren’t disappointed with what we found.

Clive's Cafe in Wynnwood

On our first day in Miami, we discovered Clive’s Cafe, a hole-in-the-wall that’s been serving up Jamaican specialties for more than 35 years. The constant stream of regulars coming through the door assured us that we had found something special.

Our goat stew and jerk chicken lived up to the hype—and for just under $7 per plate, the price couldn’t be beat. A quick lunch at Clive’s was the perfect mid-day break to our Wynnwood gallery hopping.

Jerk chicken at Clive's

A couple of days later, we rode bikes down to the southern tip of Miami Beach where we visited a Miami institution: Joe’s Stone Crab.

I had done a little preparation for our visit, as I’d read that the waits for the sit-down restaurant can be long and that it’s much better to save your time and visit the more casual outpost, Joe’s Take-Away, next door.

Stone crab claws in Miami

On the advice of many, we ordered an order of stone crab claws, fried chicken, and the sweet potato fries. Joe’s Take-Away also sells wine, so with a bottle of one of our favorite Rieslings in tow, we were set. We picnicked at the scenic South Pointe Park and enjoyed one of our favorite meals of the trip while watching the ocean.

The stone crab claws are delicious (and worth the hype), but they’re also pricy. We had read that it’s best to go easy on the claws and order the fried chicken as supplement. The $5.95 fried chicken is regarded as one of the best deals in town—it was delicious.

Mojito at Tap Tap

The next day, after visiting the NADA art fair, we ate a late, leisurely lunch at Tap Tap, a Haitian restaurant famous for their mojitos.

The mojitos didn’t disappoint, but neither did anything else. We ordered crispy goat cubes and malanga fritters to start, and then each enjoyed an impressive deep-fried yellowtail and a grilled conch steak. After one-too-many Haitian rum punches, we nearly rolled out.

Whole Fried Yellowtail Fish

Our eating, beach-going, and art-watching during the trip was punctuated by delicious cocktails from the bar at our hotel, The Broken Shaker.

I also wrote a full report on our hotel, The Freehand, on Condé Nast Traveler, if you’re looking for cheap digs on your next visit to Miami.

- Laura


  1. The slow pace
    Feb 23, 2013 @ 12:50:48

    It looks like you ate very well ;)


  2. patricia
    Mar 17, 2013 @ 21:59:52

    it all looks delicious, and as a Caribbean fellow, if you liked Clive you would have loved TapTap, a genuine Haitian cafe serving Caribbean and Haitian staples with a flair.


  3. Ed
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 16:09:36

    Short-lived-love for Clive’s unfortunately, here’s the latest, they closed their doors forever this past Saturday.


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Apr 17, 2013 @ 10:42:57

      Ed, that’s really too bad. Glad we got to experience at least once. Thanks for letting us know! -LR


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