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What Restaurants Really Stepped Up For The Community This Year? The Friends of Eater Chime In

The restaurant industry really came together to support each other in 2021 

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The Ngo Of Jose Andres Distributes Food On La Palma Photo By Europa Press via Getty Images

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): The building collapse of Champlain Tower South in Surfside rattled the entire nation. Immediately, local restaurants like Josh’s Deli and Vish pitched in to help feed families struggling to find loved ones and come to terms with the horror of this tragedy.

Gretchen Schmidt (Edible South Florida): Not just one. Plenty of local restaurants and grocery stores worked to feed the community through donated food. Through Food Rescue US Miami, in 2021 more than 65,000 meals were given away to those in need by Chef Creole, Red Rooster, Boia De, Alter, Ember, Naomi’s, Lil Greenhouse, Yarumba, Taquiza, Big Mama’s BBQ, Rosie’s, Stanzione and Ash, Clive’s, KUSH and Cafe La Trova, plus Trader Joe’s. Food Rescue US Miami and the community fridge efforts, and the volunteers, all deserve credit for helping out.

Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): Itamae’s work with World Central Kitchen where they provided over 5K meals. The Chang Gang is quite amazing.

Virginia Gil (Time Out Miami): I love what Paradis is doing for coffee shop culture. They’ve got a great selection of library books to borrow and fascinating titles to browse, plus they make their own sourdough. Paradis seems to live somewhere in the past while totally embracing the future.

Juliana Accioly (Eater Miami contributor): Restaurants fought so hard to stay afloat and offer us some respite during these tumultuous times, I commend them all for their efforts.

Sara Liss (Author of Miami Cooks): All the restaurants that donated meals to first responders during the the Champlain Towers collapse in Surfside and to families that were displaced during the collapse were inspiring. In particular Surfisde restaurants like Josh’s Deli remained open during that crazy time and fed whoever needed a meal.

Kelly Blanco (NBC 6): I think both Bodega and Pilo’s Tacos consistently showed up for our local community this year. Aside from everything they did during COVID, bodega really stepped up during the Surfside Building Collapse. Inclusivity is part of Pilo’s Tacos DNA. Not only do they hire individuals with disabilities, they also supported and sponsored events like the wow experience as they returned to in person events to raise money for the wow center.