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These Were 2021 Saddest Miami Restaurant Closures

Friends of Eater Miami share what restaurants they’ll miss the most 

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Ember Miami
Giovanny Gutierrez/Chat Chow TV

As we put a cap on 2021, Eater surveyed a group of friends, writers, and all around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them ten 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 2021. 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.

Alona Martinez (Eater Miami Contributor): We lost lots of good ones, unfortunately. Upland Miami got me especially teary-eyed - from the comforting vibe to the exceptional food, this was one spot I liked to end a tough week at.

Gretchen Schmidt (Edible South Florida): Sparky’s Roadside Barbecue, which closed last fall after a tough year for Hans Seitz. His co-owner, Kevin Kehoe, died of lung cancer, and COVID reduced lunch traffic at this popular downtown restaurant.

Amber Love Bond (Eater Miami contributor): Sparky’s Barbecue. It was always a favorite downtown gem of a spot.

Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): Over And Under closing down shattered my rum loving tiki heart.

Matthew Meltzer (Thrillist Miami): Swenson’s. Seriously, it was like watching them tear down the Orange Bowl AGAIN.

Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): Too many and so sad for them all. Coral Gables’ fixture, Ortanique was a shocker as was Rio Cristal. I’m going to miss the palomilla with a mountain of shoestring fries on top. I may have just drooled.

Virginia Gil (Time Out Miami): Eating House’s closure was bittersweet. While I was bummed to see it go (and those ‘shrooms I loved so much), it sort of freed up chef Giorgio Rapicavoli to do his thing over at Luca, one of the year’s best new Italian restaurants—which says a lot because this year brought us too many Italian restaurants.

Juliana Accioly (Eater Miami contributor): Lincoln Road just doesn’t feel the same without the Meat Market.

Sara Liss (Author of Miami Cooks): It’s unfortunate that Brad Kilgore closed his restaurants this year.

Kelly Blanco (NBC 6): Alter and La Sirenuse.

Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): Watching Brad Kilgore close up shop on three of his Miami restaurants this year (Alter, Ember, and Kaido) was heartbreaking. But I can’t wait to see what’s up his sleeve next, which knowing him, won't disappoint. Fooq’s shuttering in Downtown Miami was also a sad one.