10 Must-Try Foods From Florida: Dishes Florida Is Known For

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Florida food taps on the area’s geographical blessings and locally sourced ingredients to develop a diverse and unique culinary scene. This has created many dishes that are native to the state, using foods from Florida.

From Key Lime Pie to Grouper Sandwiches and Conch Fritters, visitors can explore the immense flavors that make this state so special. 

Here are some of the most iconic foods from Florida and what makes them so special. You won’t want to miss out on all the deliciousness that the state has to offer!

Most Unique Florida Food

Fried Gator Tail

Florida is home to a variety of unique foods and one of them is fried gator tail. While it sounds exotic to many outsiders, this is another iconic dish in Florida. It has been around for a long time and is traditionally served as an appetizer.

Gator meat can range from slightly sweet to gamey in flavor and when fried, it gives off an irresistible crunch with every bite. The preparation involves dipping the meat pieces into a batter before they are deep-fried to perfection.

This delicacy is often served alongside tartar sauce or ranch dressing, though you can enjoy it on its own if you’d like.

Fried gator tail is a dish that is often associated with southern culture and heritage. As locals will tell you, there’s no better way to experience Florida cuisine than by having some fried gator tail!

It is probably obvious now, but one fun fact about Florida is that they have more alligators than any other state in the country.

Popular Foods From Florida


Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are a Florida staple! It is not surprising as Florida is surrounded by water, which means access to seafood.

These tacos feature fresh, local seafood like blackened grouper or mahi-mahi. The fish is then topped with flavorful sauces and fresh condiments such as guacamole, salsa, and cilantro.

These tacos make for a delicious meal that’s perfect to enjoy while spending time near the beautiful beaches in Florida

You can find these tacos all over the state but they’re especially popular in Miami, where they is a strong Latin American influence. 

They’re often served with freshly-made tortillas and some sides of rice and beans. Seafood lovers should definitely give this dish a try when visiting Florida – it won’t disappoint!


Cuban Sandwich

This tasty sandwich is a classic in Florida. It was originally brought over by Cuban immigrants and has since become an integral part of the local culture.

The Cuban sandwich is an iconic dish that has been around since the 19th century. It was created by Cuban immigrants in Key West, Florida but it has since spread across the state.

A traditional Cuban sandwich consists of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard nestled between two slices of Cuban bread. This hearty and flavorful creation is popular throughout the state but particularly in Miami, where it can be found all over the city.

Its simple yet delicious combination of ingredients make this sandwich a staple for locals and visitors alike! No matter what part of Florida you’re exploring, don’t forget to give Cuban sandwiches a try while you’re there!

Grouper Sandwiches

Speaking of sandwiches, Grouper sandwiches are another beloved food in Florida. This tasty dish is made with fresh grouper caught off the coast of the state and cooked to perfection.

The sandwich usually consists of grilled or fried grouper, lettuce, onion, and tomato on a toasted bun. It is served alongside French fries, cole slaw, or hushpuppies for an unbeatable combination of flavors!

Grouper sandwiches can be found at many seafood restaurants throughout Florida as well as some fast-food joints. This simple but delicious dish has become one of the foods Florida is most known for.


Seafood Gumbo

Seafood gumbo is a popular dish in Florida, especially along the Gulf Coast. It’s full of bold flavors and fresh seafood like shrimp, crab, ground beef, and okra.

This classic Southern dish has its roots in Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine but has adapted to become a staple of Florida cuisine as well. The main ingredients are usually simmered together in a roux-based sauce to create a hearty stew that can be enjoyed any time of year.

The combinations of flavors are unique as it taps into fresh Florida seafood and local ingredients. Therefore, it is unlike anything else you’ll find around the country! Seafood gumbo can be enjoyed with rice or on its own as part of an entrée or side dish.

Sides And Snack Foods Florida Is Known For



Grits have been a staple food in the southern United States since colonial times and they remain popular to this day. Florida is no exception, but the state is also known for its own version of this dish.

Florida grits are made with locally sourced corn meal, water, and salt. They are cooked until they become a soft texture that can be served either savory (with cheese, shrimp, bacon, or other seasonings) or sweet with butter and sugar.

Grits are more of a breakfast food in Florida, but can also be served as a side dish with seafood, chicken, or steak.

If you’re looking to try something delicious with a spin from the Sunshine State, then grits should definitely be on your list!


Key West Pink Shrimp

Key West pink shrimp is an incredibly special and popular dish in Florida. This is because they are caught off the coast of Florida and thus are freshly used in restaurants here.

This type of shrimp has a sweeter, richer flavor compared to traditional white shrimp, and can be found almost everywhere throughout the state. They are often served steamed, grilled, or fried with garlic butter. 

Key West pink shrimp is usually enjoyed as an appetizer but also makes for a perfect main course when paired with rice, pasta dishes, and salads. It’s a rather common dish to sample during food tours in Key West.

The unique flavor and tender texture of these succulent shrimp make them stand out from other seafood dishes in Florida – definitely something you don’t want to miss!

Conch Fritters

Conch Fritters are a favorite food in Florida, especially around the Keys area. The shellfish is native to the Caribbean and not commonly found elsewhere. 

Conch fritters are a way to enjoy this unique and flavorful seafood in a crispy and delicious form. 

These fritters are made with conch (a sea mollusk), flour, eggs, and seasonings like garlic, cumin and onion powder. The ingredients are mixed together to form a dough before being deep-fried until golden and crispy.

It results in a dish that has have a crispy exterior and a tender, slightly chewy interior. 

The conch fritter is usually served with tartar or cocktail sauce for dipping. It’s a great snack for those looking for something unique and tasty!

The dish is widely enjoyed throughout the state and can be found at many restaurants and local eateries.

Stone Crabs

Stone crabs are a traditional seafood delicacy throughout Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. The stone crab is found in all parts of the state, with plenty to go around for both locals and tourists.

The claws of this crustacean can be boiled or steamed before being served cold with a dip such as mustard sauce or drawn butter. They are usually enjoyed as an appetizer but can also make for a great main course.

This has become a very popular dish in Florida thanks to its delicious flavor and nutritional value; stone crabs are high in protein and low in fat, making them a healthy alternative to other seafood dishes. 

If you’re traveling to Florida, don’t miss out on these amazing stone crabs! They’re a must-try for any seafood lover.

Desserts And Sweet Foods From Florida


Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie is a classic Florida dessert. The pie’s tart yet sweet taste is incredibly refreshing and makes it one of the most beloved desserts in the state.

This iconic dish is made with key limes, which are smaller and more sour than regular limes. After the limes are juiced, they’re mixed with eggs, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs to form a custard-like filling that is baked into a pie shell.

The finished product typically has a whipped cream topping for an extra bit of sweetness to balance out the tartness from the lime juice. This simple yet delicious dessert has been popularized across the country but can truly be appreciated when enjoyed in Florida!


Orange Juice

Florida is known for its production of citrus fruits due to the subtropical climate. Oranges are the most popular, and they make their way into many dishes in the state.

In fact, Florida is the largest producer of oranges in the United States. It is estimated that the state’s orange juice production accounts for 50% of domestic consumption.

Orange juice provides a refreshing start to any day! It’s a great way to stay hydrated, enjoy some healthy nutrients, and get a taste of Florida.

This is one of the foods that Florida is known for – you won’t find this quality and flavor anywhere else. The best part? You can find it at your local grocery store or farmer’s market! Enjoy it straight up, add it to smoothies, or use it as an ingredient in breakfast recipes like pancakes or muffins.

Discovering Delicious Foods From Florida

From the savory Cuban sandwiches of Miami to the succulent stone crab of South Florida, there is no shortage of delicious foods in Florida. 

The state’s gastronomic scene has an array of dishes that range from traditional local favorites to classic American comfort food.

With its abundance of fresh seafood and tropical fruits, it’s no wonder why people come from all over the world just to experience what Florida has to offer on their plates!



Book Your Flight

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Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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