Ten Best $5 Lunches in Miami

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Photo by Kareem Shaker
Is it me or does that chicken look like John Lennon?
After previously covering Top Ten Lunch Specials in Miami for Under $10 and Best Food Items in Miami for $1 it was time to find some middle ground with that midday meal. A $5 lunch should leave you just full enough and with the sweet satisfaction that you got a good deal.

The following meals don't skimp with hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, falafels ,and soup dumplings all included. We have touched on many areas and cuisines of Miami, so you can freely explore without breaking the budget in the lunch hour and beyond.

See also: Ten Best Spicy Dishes in Miami

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Six Great Sauces and Condiments

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Sauce is the most pertinent part of most meals. Fernand Point, the father of modern French cuisine said it best: "It is the sauce that distinguishes a good chef. The Saucier is a soloist in the orchestra of a great kitchen."

A superb sauce balances diverse flavors, brings out ingredients, and can alleviate dryness. Sauces literally make or break meals. So here are six bottled sauces and condiments that you have probably never tried and will most certainly rock your saucy world.

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Best Places to Watch the Dolphins Opener in Miami

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Photo by Laine Doss
Shuckers Waterfront Grill
The Miami Dolphins open the season this Sunday at home against the New England Patriots at 1 p.m. And it seems the same old questions loom: Will quarterback Ryan Tannehill improve? Will the offensive line hold it together? Do we have a running game? Is Bill Lazor's new offense going to bring some excitement, and scoring?

As the Fins start the 2015 season, here are some of the best places to enjoy the game with good food and good company.

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Ten Best Spicy Dishes in Miami

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Carina Ost
Some like it hot. And in Miami, we're bringin' the heat for real. When we're not quoting Marilyn Monroe movie titles and Will Smith lyrics, we're stuffing our faces with a rainbow of hot peppers thrown into every cuisine imaginable.

Plus, our beloved basketball team is named the Heat, so every restaurant tries to make the best Heat burger or sushi roll. Here are ten must-try dishes for when you have a lot of water and beer on hand. So spice up your life!

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Ten Best Restaurants in North Miami Beach

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Carina Ost
Barbecued pork lunch special.
North Miami Beach is extremely confusing. First, its name is a misnomer. It is not part of Miami Beach (or North Beach) and no longer has a beach in its city limits. It is also distinctly different from neighboring, similarly named North Miami.

Though Miami doesn't have a Chinatown, Thai Town, Japantown, Little Italy, or Little Lebanon, North Miami Beach comes close. It is here that ethnic food -- beyond Little Havana -- intersects and offers a more varied and authentic taste of the world in the 163rd/167th Street stretch than almost anywhere else in Miami-Dade.

We present you with our countdown of the best places to eat in North Miami Beach, and it spans the globe, with Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Italian, Honduran, American, and Uzbek food represented.

See also: Ten Best Restaurants in North Miami

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Ten Best Key Lime Pies in the Florida Keys

Photo by Carina Ost
A slice of heaven.
The key to happiness might be as simple as a slice of key lime pie. But pairing that sweet treat with a trip to the Keys is the proverbial cherry on top. The topping is actually a bit debated: whipped cream or meringue? As is the crust: graham cracker or pastry? Oh, and the color: yellow for Keys denizens, neon green for nonislanders.

Because key lime pie originated in the Keys -- although key limes no longer grow there (thanks, hurricanes!) -- nearly every eatery, shack, and shop at seemingly every mile marker claims to sell "the best" and "the original." Let's not get tangled in that web of origin. Instead, here's a simple countdown our ten favorite slices. Pucker up!

See also: Ten Best Dining Counters in Miami

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IKEA Miami to Open August 27: The Top Ten Items for Foodies to Buy

Courtesy of Ikea
Miami's new IKEA store. No assembly required.
It's official!

IKEA will open its Miami location Wednesday, August 27. The home-goods giant adjacent to Dolphin Mall will feature 416,000 square feet of stylish, low-cost furniture and home accessories.

But did you know that lurking amid those 10,000 items for sale is a foodie paradise? For tricking out a fantasy custom kitchen and stocking inexpensive pots and pans for your first apartment, IKEA is your best friend when it comes to kitchenware.

The store also features an entire marketplace where you can buy everything from cookies to frozen meatballs. Speaking of meatballs, the Miami IKEA boasts a 600-seat restaurant serving Swedish meatballs and other specialties.

IKEA Miami opens at 9 a.m. Wednesday, August 27, but customers can begin lining up at the store Monday, August 25 -- 48 hours in advance of the doors swinging open. That means you have two whole days to memorize this list of the top ten food-related items you'll want to put in your cart.

See also: Ikea Bringing Cafecito Truck to Miami: Free Coffee and Furniture Previews

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Top Five Most Miami Nachos: Marlins Helmet Dips and Tostones for Chips

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Photo by Lee Klein
Nachos with helmet head.
The stamp of most nachos, beyond the chips and cheese, are the three dollops that showcase the colors of the Mexican flag: guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. Although in Miami, we let our own freak flag fly atop our nachos because we do them a little differently than everywhere else.

Naturally, our nachos have their own style as the toppings, chips, meats and vessels vary amongst restaurants. Here are the top five nacho offerings that are distinctly Miami.

See also: Ten Best Meatballs in Miami

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Ten Best Restaurants to Open in 2014 (So Far)

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1826 Restaurant and Lounge: Gorgeous in every way.
Welcome to another Miami July. Local weather forecasters are chatting about some tropical activity brewing in the Caribbean, electronics stores are touting their layaway specials for Christmas, and we're just trying to take a walk without getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.

What to do? We suggest catching up on all the new restaurants introduced in the past few months. In the early part of the year, eateries were opening fast and furious, sometimes as many as a dozen spots in a month. Now that we're in the throes of summer, the rate of new restaurants has slowed somewhat, allowing us to catch up on the places that might have eluded us. Now is a great time to explore.

See also: 11 Restaurants We're Looking Forward to in 2014

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Ten Best Dining Counters in Miami

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Courtesy of Leah Gabriel
Ain't no counter long enough.
We all know the appeal of your designated stool at a bar where everybody knows your name, but the enjoyment of the perfect counter is often overlooked. When you get spectacular food coupled with a peek into the kitchen, a chat with the chef, and so much more beyond a typical dining experience, it is truly magical.

When you don't want to be isolated at a table or are dining solo, counters and bars are a saving grace. Some counters are just for standing, others offer free bites, and some come with sage chefs.

Here we count down the ten best counters in Miami to get your food on.

See also: Best of Miami 2014: Here are Some of the People That Made Food Great

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