Dining out in Miami can be gastronomically thrilling — and financially daunting.
Menus at trendy restaurants are designed to squeeze out maximum profits through the small-plates-for-sharing concept. As the stacks of empty plates rise, so does the bill, putting budget-minded foodies in a bind.
But there is a time and place for every dining experience, from a quick bite at a no-frills hole in the wall to an elaborate, blowout meal that stretches over several hours and costs well into three figures.
Fortunately, Miamians have many options on both ends of the spectrum, in nearly every cuisine.
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Craving Spanish tapas? Go all-out at The Bazaar by José Andrés in South Beach (where the celebrated chef serves croquetas in glass shoes), or spend next to nothing at El Carajo, a wine shop and kitchen hidden in a gas station along U.S. 1 in Miami.
To help fill out your restaurant depth chart, scroll through the images here for two dozen suggestions — high-end and low- — serving 12 different ethnic cuisines.
All of them serve top-quality food, so you can’t go wrong on either side of the coin. It’s up to you to decide how often you visit the “High” picks compared to the “Low” ones.
Because someone has to pay for your kid’s braces.
Galena Mosovich is a Miami-based writer; firstname.lastname@example.org. Miami Herald graphics editor Marco A. Ruiz created the accompanying slides; mruiz@MiamiHerald.com.