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How Miami rose to represent Latin American success

Americans love Mexican and Latin American cuisine: approximately one out of every 10 restaurants in the U.S. sells the flavorful food. Miami, while known for its thriving nightlife and sandy beaches, embraces the Latin American influence with much more tenacity and appreciation than the rest of the country, and unsurprisingly — close to 70% of the city’s 2.5 million inhabitants are Hispanic.

“Miami is very attractive for Latin Americans. They get to be in the United States, with all its advantages, but keeping familiar cultural roots,” says Juan Pablo Restrepo, who moved to the city with his wife and son from Columbia. “It is also a very efficient bridge between both cultures, Anglo and Hispanic.”

But Miami acts as more than just a landing zone for its 51% of foreign-born residents; it offers an opportunity for success, and a way of life that cannot be found elsewhere in the U.S. for many Latin Americans.

“If you are a business owner in Latin America you can come to Miami, you have an audience, a market, you can make five calls, in Spanish, and set up the infrastructure for your business,” said Guillermo Grenier, a professor of sociology at Florida International University. According to him, around 25% of businesses in Florida are owned by Latin-American immigrants.

“In Los Angeles, when you hear Spanish, it is often the language that the waiters or the cutters doing your lawn speak in the background. In Miami, the people who own the restaurants and the lawn are the ones who speak Spanish.”

The difference is palpable among the best Latin restaurants in the region. When your ceviche is being made by someone who grew up making it in their home country of Peru, using a recipe handed down to them through the generations, it’s simply going to create a better experience — and may even become the best Latin American cuisine you’ve ever had short of actually going to Latin America.

Since the area is so saturated with talented and successful immigrants, searching out top Latin restaurants in Miami takes almost no effort at all. Authentic experiences are invaluable, and you’re sure to find one in any of the top Latin restaurants in Miami.