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Friends of Eater Share Their Top Restaurant Standbys of 2019

Which spot never disappoints?

Pasta from Jaguar Sun
Jaguar Sun/Facebook

As we put a cap on 2019, 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 2019. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Responses do not necessarily reflect the views of Eater and Eater Miami.

Amber Love Bond (Eater Miami contributor): For as much as I’m out and about trying new spots, I constantly found myself at Jaguar Sun (hello, perfect martinis with a side of pasta and Parker house rolls) and Ariete (because the Chug burger cravings are real). Macchialina, Sweet Liberty (full menu until 4am), and Le Sirenuse (when I’m feeling really fancy) are also places you’d find me often.

Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): After looking at my bills, Jaguar Sun, Ember, and Mignonette took all my money in 2019.

Curt “Big Daddy” Hollingsworth (Thrillist Miami): The “I’d go back and pay” standard is a tough on to reach, but La Mar, Lokal, Bombay Darbar, Ghee, Crust, Stanzione 87, Burgerlove on Brickell Key, Sports Grill and Flannigan’s somehow keep me coming back. Chotto Matte also keeps me coming back to its bathrooms about once every 30-40 minutes.

Becky Randel (Freelance restaurant writer): Makoto always and forever - I can’t quit that house salad; Front Porch because sometimes you need to spend less than $100 on a meal, Byblos.

David Rosendorf (Food For Thought): Boia De only opened in the middle of the year but has been in constant high rotation ever since. Silverlake Bistro is our favorite neighborhood spot. Wabi Sabi for chirashi bowls and the Hiyakawa omakase pop-up. Ghee is reliably and consistently wonderful. Amara or Tigertail + Mary, especially when out-of-towners visit. Lately I can often be found at Mike Beltran’s trifecta of Ariete, Navé and Chug’s in Coconut Grove. Su Shin Izakaya nearly every week for lunch to have the Porque Mt. Fuji.

Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): As always, Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar in West Kendall, followed by Palmar in Wynwood, The Brick in Downtown Dadeland, and brunch at Cecconi’s inside Soho House in Miami Beach.

Virginia Gil (Time Out Miami): This year, I spent hours (happily) waiting in line for dinner at Lung Yai Thai Tapas and many nights eating burgers and fries at Bourbon Steak. I could survive on Bourbon’s gin martinis and trio of duck-fat fries alone.

Alona Martinez (Eater Miami Contributor): Ghee- An always-solid A plus for incentive, fresh, local fare- even if it does leave my freelance food writer budget limping.

Sara Liss ( I found myself at Delicious Raw a lot, and I housed a lot of pizzas by Ash at the Citadel.

Jennifer Agress (Freelance restaurant writer): I’m a sucker for the classic Miami spots. Michael’s Genuine is always a constant for me for somewhere nice, and Black Point Grill, down south, is one of my casual go-tos. In terms of newer places, my go-to happy hour is Commodore Bar, in Coconut Grove, and Meraki (also in the Grove!) is great for a girls’ night.

Kelly Blanco (NBC 6): Like every other year, most of the belly rubs I gave myself were because of Macchialina and Lucali. Lung Yai Thapas and Makoto also took a good chunk of my cash-money.

Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): It’s hard for me to get to standbys as much as I like but Ghee is always solid, Lung Yai Thai Tapas, Pollo y Jaras (pre kitchen fire), El Carajo for sandwiches and coffee, Michael’s Genuine for happy hour, Stanzione 87 for pizza, and Casa Tua Cucina for Sunday night cacio e pepe via Postmates.