Created 15 years ago by gourmands from Peru and Costa Rica, El Gran Inka's only three US locations serve up a menu of fresh Peruvian cuisine featuring influences from Spain, Japan, and Italy. Since its inception, the restaurants have charmed diners across Central America and the United States with an impressive culinary and cultural celebration of Peru. The menu presents a contemporary twist on traditional cuisine, plating tangy ceviches, flavorful seafood stews, and tender cuts of sauce-draped meat on elegant plates. As guests sip cocktails made from exotic South American fruits and spirits or mingle over plates of succulent sea bass, the classy saxophone wails of jazz riffs and the ancient dead language of scat singing serenade audiences on Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays.
Yes Pasta! owner Flaminia Morin migrated from Rome to Miami with her prized collection of family recipes in tow. Stateside, she teamed up with chef Paolo del Papa to continue her family’s culinary traditions with the aid of fresh local and imported Italian ingredients. Seven kinds of pasta team up with 15 sauces and add-ons that seduce palates with flavors of wild mushrooms, fresh-crushed chili, and tart green capers. The menu’s aura of authenticity extends to the dining room, where cerulean-blue and white hues recall the airy Italian trattorias and olive-oil-gorged rain clouds of Rome.
Since 1994, Caffe Da Vinci's owner-cum-executive-chef Eric Drukmann has helmed a menu that forges rustic Italian tradition with contemporary flair. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the newly redesigned and renovated dining room's white tablecloths welcome spreads of homemade pasta, quiche, and sandwiches, while the walls hang on to low-lit Da Vinci drawings of perfectly round meatballs. Next door, a lounge serves up small, shareable plates and non-shareable drinks, with extended hours and live entertainment amid the gold-toned walls and glowing bar.
Since 1969, the cooks at Mario the Baker have followed the same tried-and-true recipes, resulting in pizza after fresh-baked pizza emerging from the oven with the same flavors as the restaurant's very first batch. Diners settle into red and black booths to split signature pizzas, including La Maflosa pizza with sliced eggplant and mozzarella. As part of an unrefusable offer, the Godfather pie comes topped with capicollo, ham, and salami and is served with a side of housemade italian dressing.
Giraffas Steaks and Burgers channels 30 years of history in Brazil to tackle American appetites and remix American classics. A diverse menu harbors a lineup of American favorites forged with an exotic twist and imbued with a sense of justice, such as a 5-ounce burger outfitted with gouda cheese and giramayo sauce ($7.90). Three choice sides, including black beans, quinoa, and haricots, offset meaty mouthfuls of picanha ($11.90), and the tri-tip steak of sliced maminha ($8.90) sidles up to teeth alongside Brazilian farofa—hunks of eggs, bacon, and onion atop peaks of toasted manioc flour. Dive fork-first into the leafy canopy of a salmon and greens salad ($14.90), which plays host to bruschetta and a balsamic dressing, or fuel future adults with a nutrition-packed option from the kids' section, including spaghetti and meatballs ($4.90).
A family-run cafe with an old-timey feel, Serendipity offers delectable edibles for all sorts of occasions, dietary preferences, and sweet teeth. The menu, which is detailed on chalkboards behind the counter, features a wide selection of both tart and sweet flavors of fat-free, kosher-certified frozen yogurt. Slurp up the signature Serendipity flavor, indulgent cookies and cream, giggle-worthy cotton candy, or light, refreshing hazelnut. Serving more than just fro-yo, Serendipity's staff also scoops out non-dairy ice cream in varieties such as pistachio and sorbets in every flavor under the rainbow, including raspberry, mango cream, and rainbow. All frozen treats are $4 each for a small, $5 for a medium, and $6 for a life-altering large.