Family-run Graziano’s celebrates three decades of serving South Florida

At Graziano’s, success comes from decades of tradition.

EmpanadasIn the last quarter-century or so, the family-owned restaurant and market popularized Argentine cuisine across South Florida with multiple sit-down and fast-casual locations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

The Graziano family has been in the food-service business for more than 50 years, starting with a butcher shop in Buenos Aires they ran for about three decades.

In the early 1990s, the family moved to Miami and opened its first Argentine market on Coral Way. It included a meat counter, a bakery and shelves stocked with wine and Argentine groceries.

But the Grazianos soon realized that Miami craved cooked Argentine meat, which led to an informal weekend barbecue on the market’s parking lot. As popularity grew, the Grazianos opened an upscale steak house on Bird Road, followed by other locations in Hialeah, Coral Gables and Brickell.

“We were strategic as to where we would open,” co-owner Leo Graziano says. “If you open too many, people see it as a chain.”

The focus is to cook meat the “Argentine way.” Graziano’s fuels its fire with quebracho red wood, which creates a steady, low flame to produce a powerful smoky flavor.

Dulces“It’s about quality and consistency,” Graziano says. “We try to keep up with the trends, but we also focus on the tradition of what Argentine cuisine is.”

Graziano’s menu is filled with meats, including rib-eyes, tenderloins and strip steaks, paired with grilled and sautéed vegetables, portobello mushroom risotto and fried potatoes drizzled with truffle oil. Meats are served individually or a la parilla with multiple cuts on a flaming skillet.

Though Graziano’s restaurants remain popular, the family has shifted its focus from sit-down dining to market expansion, accommodating customers who want to buy ingredients or stop in for a quick bite.

“This is our way of keeping up with the changing times,” Graziano says. “It’s also more in line with the food landscape today.”

In the next two years, the Graziano family plans to open three more markets in Aventura, east Doral and South Miami.

Menus at Graziano’s markets are about half the size of the restaurants. However, many of the popular items, such as meats, empanadas and provoleta—provolone cheese with tomatoes—are available. 

“For years, we’ve seen ourselves as our own competition,” Graziano says. “We keep trying to improve ourselves instead of looking out to others.”

Graziano’s

Restaurant location: 394 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables

Market location: 2301 Galiano St., Coral Gables

Contact: grazianosgroup.com