In case you hadn’t already heard, Haiti supplies one of the Caribbean’s more distinctive dollops to Miami’s cultural stew, and yet good Haitian restaurants are not exactly thick on the ground. This SoBe mainstay named after that country’s colorful buses is a big exception, and one of the better, more colorful, and accessible spots locally to sample the country’s kwizin kreyol (Creole cuisine). What’s that mean? For starters, Caribbean staples such as rice and red beans, coconut, cassava, plantains, okra, conch, tropical fruits—and rum, of course (Haiti’s fine Barbancourt brand is featured). Here’s your chance to try some slightly exotic goodies you may not find back home, such as conch ceviche, stewed or grilled goat, and soursop; there’s also enough here to keep vegetarians reasonably happy. Menu aside, Haiti’s best-known cultural calling card, painting, is a star attraction here; not only is almost every available patch of wall filled with colorful, compelling island imagery, but so are the tabletops and even some of the chairs. Get even more of the cultural flavor Thursdays and Saturdays, when a house band does its thing.
819 5th St (btw. Jefferson and Meridian Aves.)., Miami, FL
Our Rating Neighborhood South Beach Hours Daily noon–11pm. Reservations accepted but not necessary. Phone 305/672-2898 Prices Appetizers $6–$10; main courses $8–$22 Cuisine Type Haitian Web site Tap Tap