South Dade is the agricultural heartland of South Florida, so you know there’s going to be good EVERYTHING involving fruits and veggies. It’s also home to the best cinnamon rolls in Miami-Dade (yea, they’re worth the line) and it’s pretty much the only place in the region to get authentic Mexican food, a result of the large migrant worker population working in agriculture that has become a permanent fixture of the community. Eat up – the drive back to the concrete jungle of Miami is long.
Black Point Ocean Grill
Black Point Ocean Grill is a classic Florida seafood and burger joint on the water that’s great for a night out with friends or lunch during a day of boating. The fish dip is dope and the daily fish specials are delicious (We’ve had some particularly rad hogfish here). There’s often a live band playing “dad jams” on nights and weekends – fun for goofing around with your buds, but too loud for in-depth dinner convos.
Curbside Market and Milkshakes
Milkshakes and bakery goods seem to be the Homestead recipe for success, because Curbside has it on lock. Some say their cinnamon rolls are as good as Knaus Berry Farm’s. That seems impossible, but maybe the lack of a wait makes them taste better. They also sell pies, apple dumplings, and doughnuts, plus jams and produce. Endorse.
Goodfellas Bar & Grill
This is a good and proper dive bar. It’s grimy, dark, and raunchy, with an odd choice of decorations. But the mixed drinks are only about $3, the bartenders and other patrons are always friendly, and there’s a pool table to pass the time. That’s all you really need, right?
Newsflash: It is hot, y’all. Whether it’s December or June in South Florida, we’re never not down to have a paleta, especially one from La Michoacana. This Homestead ice cream shop keeps it extra fresh by producing some amazing flavors like Cucumber Chili, Nopal Cactus, and Arroz con Leche – along with the classics, of course.
Miami isn’t known for being a barbecue town, but Shiver’s definitely gives it a run for its money. A personal favorite amongst many hungry members of The New Tropic staff, we’ve been known to drive from the other side of town to sit at the communal benches and order pulled pork plates, fried pickles, and cornbread soufflés – although everything on the menu is great.
Knaus Berry Farm
Eating a hot, fresh, Knaus Berry Farm cinnamon roll is a Miami rite of passage. More than 50 years ago, the Knaus brothers began selling strawberries here. A customer tried one of their wives’ cookies and suggested she start selling her baked goods. They became an instant hit. Now when the farm opens in November each year, locals form lines that wrap around the corner to nab some of the delicious deserts. There’s also fresh produce available, particularly freshly picked strawberries. It’s cash only.
Everyone knows the best place to find good Mexican food in South Florida is out in Homestead, and Puerto Vallarta proves that to be true through-and-through. A wise man once told us, the true test of a Mexican restaurant is how delicious their salsas are. The fresh pico de gallo salsa and habanero hot sauce tell us that Puerto Vallarta is legit. Nowadays there’s a second location in Islamorada.
Rositas Mexican Restaurant
Look, you’re not going to get Rick Bayless Mexican at Rosita’s, but we’re sure you’re going back once you experience its “crazy cheap, good food, super casual atmosphere,” as one reader wrote. Try the tacos al carbon or hit the road to Homestead early for desayuno with Rositas’ amazing Mexican-style cafe con leche. That alone is worth the trip.
Robert is Here
Six-year-old Robert used to sit on the side of the road and try, but fail, to sell his dad’s cucumbers. His dad, thinking drivers didn’t see the little boy, put up a sign that read, “Robert is here.” By noon, he’d sold all the cucumbers. The next day a farmer added tomatoes to Robert’s inventory. Since then, Robert has been selling all kinds of fruits at his stand (now more of an open air market) at the same spot and turning it into milkshakes (which are to die for). Come for weird and wonderful produce, like canistel and sapote.
Sweet Delights Bakery
Don’t judge this book by its cover. It may be small, but with Sweet Delights, it’s what’s on the inside that counts – and inside you’ll find a veritable smorgasbord of cakes and pies that will make your mouth water. Known for their variety of rum cakes and key lime pies (mamey key lime pie, anyone?), Sweet Delights is definitely worth a trip down south.
There are two locations: one in Florida City and the other in Homestead. At both, the tacos are legit — the corn tortillas, the guac, that fire spicy salsa. You should for sure try the tacos al pastor. Heads up: the Florida City location shares a wall with a Valero. We know tacos in a gas station sounds like a big risk, but trust us on these. They do a great Mexican breakfast too.