Recently, my freshman friend asked me where she should go for her birthday dinner. She said she wanted somewhere fun, delicious, and good for a group of sixteen girls. Naturally, Aventura came to mind. Then, she asked me what she should order if they decided to go there, and I told her, obviously, Patatas Bravas, churros, and a few of my other favorite dishes.

But, then I realized something. There is so much more to the menu than what I normally order, so I texted my friend who used to be a waitress at Aventura and asked her what items are must-orders and what items I should pass on. Here's what she said...


What to get:

1. Patatas Bravas

Crispy potatoes topped with brava sauce, honey aioli, and a sunny side up egg. If you go to the University of Michigan and have a pulse, you've seen this on Instagram. It's amazing and a big part of why I go back to Aventura.

2. Boniato Panqueques

Sweet potato pancakes with whipped salted butter, walnut praline, and maple syrup. My friend who made this list is obsessed with pancakes, so I wasn't shocked that it made the cut, but I've had them with her and can attest that they are delicious. 

3. Polenta y Gambas

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Pan seared shrimp with roasted tomato, calabrese peppers, sofrito, and a soft poached egg. If you're into savory brunch dishes, this is a great option. 

4. Picadillo de Chorizo

Crispy potatoes with spanish onion, peppadew peppers, black kale, and a pan-fried egg. This is basically a Spanish hash brown skillet. Enjoy.

5. Coca del Bosque

Flatbread topped with sherry creamed mushrooms, spiced goat cheese, manchego, arugula and lemon salad, and an egg. I have also had this dish and would say it's a MUST. The combination of the mushrooms and the goat cheese is what makes this the best coca (flatbread) in my friend's (and my own) opinion. 

What to skip:

1. Plato de Desayuno

Two eggs any style, manchego, fruit jam, a toasted baguette, and it comes with a choice of bacon or smoked chicken sausage. Basically, this is boring. If you want eggs, toast, and bacon, stay in your apartment and make your own breakfast. There are too many delicious options at Aventura to opt for being boring. 

2. Bocadillo de Tortilla

A sandwich with a potato omelet, lemon butter, manchego, charred shishito peppers, and garlic-onion jam. Just like the plato de desayuno, it's rather boring. It's basically just egg on bread, so if if you're craving a breakfast sandwich, you'd be better off going to a deli.


What to get:

1. Patatas Bravas

Again, see above. Honestly, it's a must no matter what time of the day.

2. Croqueta de Manchego

A croquette with potato, manchego, and quince paste. It's kind of like a fancy, cheesy, delicious tater tot. 

3. Colifor Frita

Fried cauliflower with salsa verde and pine nuts. My friend's exact words were, "Holy shit, get the cauliflower." That is all she said, so I'll echo the same sentiments. Holy shit, get the cauliflower. 

4. Datiles con Chorizo

Bacon-wrapped dates with spicy chorizo and Romesco sauce. Honestly, this is America. We love anything wrapped in bacon and anything with extra sauce. Order this and never eat dates not wrapped in bacon again.

5. Gambas al Ajillo

This dish is served with a grilled baguette and adorned with pan seared shrimp, Calabrese peppers, garlic confit, lemon juice, and parsley. How often do you eat shrimp in college? If you frequent dinning halls, the answer should be close to never, and if you cook your own food and the answer isn't never, invite me over please. For real, though, when you go out, you should order things you can't make for yourself (aka this).  

6. Salmón Breseado

Salmon with potato-broccoli hash, chorizo, and pickled mustard seeds. Apparently no one orders this dish, and it's a mistake because of the delectably unique flavors.

#SpoonTip: Go with friends and order this to impress them with your inside info. and superior ordering abilities. 

7. Paella del Mar

 A paella with calamari, Manila clams, PEI mussels, shrimp, sorrel, salsa verde, and fried chickpeas. One word: YES. 

What to skip:

1. Gazpacho Blanco

Gazpacho made with Marcona almonds, purple grapes, mint, pressed apple juice, and walnut oil. My friend's description was, "It tastes like almond milk, and honestly, it's pretty bland and chalky." Chalky bland? I'll pass. 

2. Croqueta de Pollo

A croquette with potato, roasted chicken, thyme, and honey aioli. If you're going to get a croquette, go with the manchego one. It's apparently much better.

3. Pollo Asada

Chicken with honey glazed carrots, herb salad, and chicken jus. Don't go to Aventura and order a boring chicken dish, just don't. 

4. Cochinillo Confitado

Pork with roasted tomatoes, Anaheim peppers, Spanish onions, and pork jus. This dish takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to prepare, so when your friends' food comes out and you are still waiting, you will be hangry and wish you ordered one of the other delicious, quicker dishes.

5. Paella de Verduras

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Paella with saffron, sofrito, spring peas, asparagus, radish, grilled shallot, poached egg, lemon vinaigrette, and tarragon aioli. If you're getting a paella, you should just get the paella del mar. It's much better (unless you're vegetarian, in which case, this paella may be for you). 


What to get:

1. Churros

Paired with Gianduja chocolate sauce, a white chocolate sauce, and a caramel sauce — THESE ARE A MUST ORDER. The first time I came to Aventura, I ate too much and literally had to run to the bathroom because I felt sick. When I came back, the churros were on the table, and I still ate them...that's how good they are. 

2. Flan de Cabra

Cana de cabra, stone fruit, granulated honey, and macron almonds make up this sweet treat. My friend almost told me to not write the churros because she says the flan is that much better and she wants more people to know about it. So, from now on, when you go to Aventura, she demands that you get both the flan and the churros. You can thank her later.

What to skip:

1. La Pasión de Chocolate

This crime of passion consists of a brownie, dark chocolate, passion fruit, and coconut. Unless you love, love chocolate (as in, you literally could never ever get sick of it), this is usually too much for people. It's a very thick cake and because it's so rich, people tend to take a couple of bites and insist that they and are done.


What to get: 

1. Gin and Tonic Otoño

St. George ‘Terroir’ gin mixed with Aventura's homemade tonic, strawberry, basil, and angostura.

#SpoonTip: Check out the gin and tonics during happy hour for $5 each (when they're normally $14).

2. Sangria Blanca or Tinta

This is pretty self-explanatory, but sangria and tapas go together like peanut butter and jelly.

#SpoonTip: Come in on a Monday for a $5 glass of sangria (when they're normally $10 each).

3. Bottomless Mimosas

Also self-explanatory. Grab some friends, go on a Sunday for brunch, and enjoy bottomless mimosas.

What to skip:

1. Sangria Espumosa

Cava, ginger, lemongrass, orange zest, and seasonal berries. The other sangrias are much better and this is basically one is a glass of champagne with a blackberry in it. 

As you can see, Aventura has a huge menu filled with delicious items. So regardless of whether you go for brunch, dinner, dessert, or drinks, there are endless options for every meal of the day. The best part is that everything is meant to be shared, so you can try many things at a time.

Now that you have the inside scoop on Aventura, it's time to grab some friends and try these dishes out for yourself. Plus, if nothing on here seems like something you'd love, be sure to ask your server for his or her opinions. While working there, my friend tried almost every dish, so the servers are speaking from experience when they tell you what is best and what is best skipped.