If this is your first trip to Miami, our restaurants may be a little different than what you are used to. One of the biggest surprises is the service, which can seem rushed for International travels, when you are wanting to relax and enjoy a meal. Americans spend about 1 hour having dinner. At restaurants, fast service is considered normal, but if you are feeling rushed, just say so, and the waiter will slow down.
Another thing that may shock you is the portion size everything from sandwiches and salads to steaks and desserts are huge. To save money, order wisely. Since main dishes are often big enough to share, add a salad or appetizer to supplement. Don't worry about coming off as cheap this is how Americans dine. It's perfectly acceptable to split meals or order just a salad or sandwich, even for dinner. And if you have leftovers, don't be embarrassed to ask for a to go container, Americans do it all the time.
To really save money, seek out alternatives to restaurants. Ethnic eateries, delis, and fast-food chains with salad bars are good for an inexpensive meal.
More American restaurant customs you may find strange:
- When you enter a restaurant, wait to be seated. Don't try to seat yourself.
- Don't be surprised to find your fork and knife wrapped in a paper napkin.
- After your appetizer, don't get mad if the waiter does not replace your fork and knife.
- The minute you sit down, you will be offered free water with ice.
- Carbonated water (also known as club soda, soda water, sparkling water, seltzer water, or fizzy water) is expensive. If you want bottled carbonated water you will have to ask for sparkling water.
- Most restaurants offer free refills with soda, coffee and tea.
- The salad is served before your meal, not after.
- When ordering a salad, you may be asked which dressing you prefer. American restaurants like to offer elaborate salad dressings. You are safe with Italian, most other dressings are either sweet, or creamy. French dressing is not not oil and vinegar, it is a creamy dressing made with ketchup.
- In Europe, what is called the entree is often called the main course in America.
- Unless you are in a French restaurant, cheese is never offered at the end of the meal.
Miami has its challenges. Here are 3 ways we make it easier for you to visit...
1. If you are still in the planning stageYou can easily learn the ins and outs about our city using one of these solutions:
2. If you are traveling alone, or with a small groupWe have a tour company! And there's nothing we love more than showing you around...
Go here and check availability (not private).
What our clients desire most is authenticity and exploring places that are off the beaten track, so that is what we aim for. 5-star reviews are fairly common.