As we put a cap on 2017, Eater surveyed a group of friends, writers, and all around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them eight questions: from top standbys to top newcomers, from best meals to restaurants they’ve broken up with. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the 2017. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.
Amber Love Bond (Eater Miami contributor): I'm really feeling Sunset Harbor. There's something for everyone with old faithfuls like Lucali, NaiYara, and Pubbelly and newcomers Lutum and Stiltsville. Sunset Harbor has it going on.
Evan Benn (Indulge Miami): Sunset Harbor! Crazy how much good eating per square foot there is in those few blocks.
Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): Giving it to Brickell this year. From the fast casual Luke’s Lobster and American Harvest in Brickell City Centre, to the wonder of Bazaar Mar and warmth of Fi’Lia, to the tried and true classics of Edge Steak & Bar and River Oyster down to Stanzione 87 for an angry spinach pie after some cocktails at Blackbird Ordinary. PS. Did you hear Shake Shack is coming to Mary Brickell Village?
Becky Randel (The Daily Meal/People Magazine): Wynwood still has it. It's where you want to be for overall energy and a range of options from breweries and bars to great dining choices like Charcoal/Wynwood Yard, KYU, Beaker & Grey, Three Wynwood, etc.
Belkys Nerey (WSVN 7): MiMo
David Rosendorf (Food For Thought): It's hard to beat Wynwood. Between Alter, Kyu, Zak the Baker, Charcoal, the additions of Dizengoff and Federal Donuts, Norman Van Aken's new Three (to-do list!), the new 1-800-LUCKY Asian food hall (to-do list!), add in Proof and Gaijin if you want to be generous about its borders, plus Panther Coffee, Boxelder, J. Wakefield, Wynwood Brewing and more, there's no greater concentration of eating and drinking wealth in Miami.
But to me what was interesting about 2017 was the success of places outside the usual trifecta of Wynwood, South Beach and Brickell, like Ghee in Downtown Dadeland, No Name Chinese in South Miami, Ella's Oyster Bar in Little Havana, Sherwood's Bistro in Little Haiti.
Matthew Meltzer (Thrillist Miami): Broward County. Yeah I know it's not a neighborhood but Miamians who say stuff like "I never leave the Beach" basically think of it as one giant blob of suburbia anyway, but you know what? Much like they do with civic planning and airport efficiency Broward absolutely OWNED Dade this year when it came to new restaurants. Etaru. Monkitail (and pretty much everything that opened at Diplomat), Douglas Rodriguez's new spot at Mojito Bar and Plates in Sunrise. Fast casual dominance in Halal Guys and Poke House. Add that to existing spots like Hardy Park, one of the best burgers in America at Gilbert's, and Temple Street Eatery and you've got a stronger lineup than any neighborhood south of the county line. And if you don't go during rush hour it can be faster than driving to many of them.
Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): I’m partial to West Kendall because it’s my neighborhood and I’m very happy with the diversity of eats in the area.
Virginia Gil (Time Out Miami): I'm partial to my 'hood, so I'll answer Coconut Grove for this one. So. many. great. restaurants—with lots more to come, too.
Carla Torres (Miami New Times): I don't know that there was a specific neighborhood that sticks out this year; I'd say South Miami only because Shelley's and No Name Chinese opening there in the same year is a paradox within itself.
Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): Sunset Harbour is still the top neighborhood to go to in my book between Lucali, Stiltsville, all the Pubbelly (or is it Comma Group now? It’s hard to keep up) restaurants, plus great grab-and-go spots like True Loaf and the OG JugoFresh, it’s hard to beat.