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Red curry dish at Shokudo
Shokudo/Official Press Photo

12 Restaurants to Visit in Buena Vista and Little Haiti

From longstanding favorites to new neighborhood gems, here’s where to dine in the up-and-coming neighborhoods

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Red curry dish at Shokudo
| Shokudo/Official Press Photo

Bordering the Design District, Upper East Side, and Wynwood neighborhoods is Buena Vista, a sliver of a neighborhood that makes up for its lack of strip malls and buzzy nightlife with some solid restaurants highlighting Miami’s evolving culinary scene. It still remains relatively under the radar, but that’s kind of the draw.

The area’s roster of Asian, Mediterranean, and European restaurants is complemented by its neighbor to the north, Little Haiti, home to some of the best Caribbean fare in town. Below are 12 of the best options between the two neighborhoods. (And for those looking for top picks in neighboring MiMo, visit here.)

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

House of Food Porn

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Chef Franco Antonio Blanco brings a new take on sushi to Miami with a Latin-inspired “amicasa” version of omakase. Fourteen guests gather around a U-shaped communal table to dine on his “shushi” creations that pack surprising mixes of protein, vegetables, and flavorful spices. Think rolls like picanha (Brazilian-style steak) with avocado and plantain served with baby arugula and finished with jalapeno aioli sauce.

Clive's Cafe

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This culinary staple in Miami is still going strong nearly four decades into business, thanks to its no-frills Jamaican menu and charming owner, Pearline “Miss Pearl” Murray. Guests line up for dishes like the jerk chicken, luscious curry goat, and oxtail that falls off the bone served with sides of macaroni and cheese and steamed cabbage. Take a seat and enjoy a priced-right meal with reggae beats pulsing in the background or, if in a hurry, grab a couple of patties from the takeout window. 

Fiorito

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Brothers Maximiliano and Cristian Alvarez’s rustic restaurant brings Argentine charm to Little Haiti. Solo diners and large groups alike gather at the cozy dining areas marked with red brick walls, family photographs, and soccer memorabilia. Meat is the star of the show here: options like crispy sweetbreads, sausage platters, provoleta with chorizo, churrasco, and empanadas make up for most of the menu. The family-friendly space also serves notable pasta options, including short rib ravioli and lamb ragu pappardelle. Go light or go all in, but make sure to order dulce de leche crepe for dessert.

Chef Creole Seasoned Restaurant

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Wilkinson “Ken” Sejour has been celebrating his Bahamian and Creole roots for years at his original Chef Creole restaurant, which Anthony Bourdain visited in No Reservations. The restaurant now has several locations all over the Miami, serving plenty of steamed, stewed, and fried seafood offerings, including shrimp, conch, and fish, accompanied by generous sides of the traditional rice, beans, and plantains. Wings, barbecue ribs, and griot are also on the menu, which is available daily for takeout. 

Boia De

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Chefs and owners Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer’s eclectic menu at Boia De is brimming with seasonal creations such as pappardelle with rabbit, rosemary, and tomato; crispy potato skins topped with stracciatella, caviar, and hardboiled eggs; and baked clams with ‘nduja. The restaurant’s decor is just as creative, sporting a quaint retro vibe made up of memorabilia. As for drinks, enjoy a wine list featuring hard-to-find vintages and natural varietals. 

La Carpaccieria

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The Venezuelan team behind this counter-service restaurant dishes out more than ten types of shareable portions of carpaccio. The list ranges from beef and salmon to vegetarian options of potato and zucchini. There are also sweet versions such as pear and Nutella with pancakes. Also on the menu are Italian-leaning dishes like Sicilian stuffed bread and lasagna. 

Vista Restaurant

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An easygoing all-day restaurant in the heart of Buena Vista, it’s the perfect spot to grab a quick drink with friends or a romantic al fresco dinner. The meal could consist of grilled pears with arugula and stracciatella followed by chicken piccata, or an utterly-satisfying cacio e pepe pizza, while Nutella bread pudding is the standout dessert. In addition to offering ample indoor and outdoor dining areas, Vista also has a cozy rooftop area that’s an ideal spot to begin or end the meal at. 

Shokudo Miami

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At this Asian bistro highlights dishes found all over the region, with nigiri and sashimi sharing equal billing with Pad Thai, ramen, bao, and dumplings. Expect elaborate sushi roll creations like the Buena Vista made with eel, salmon skin, avocado, cucumber, and masago and desserts like halo halo made with shaved ice, coconut milk, red bean, jackfruit, and coconut jelly served with vanilla ice cream. Any meal here should be rounded with Japanese sake, whisky, or one of the cocktails from the drink list. 

Located in a serene Buena Vista corner, Neapolitan chef Pippo Lamberti uses local ingredients to create modern shareable plates of Italian fare. Snag a seat at the outdoor patio and dine on sea urchin with squid-ink pasta and crabmeat, beet ravioli, or cacio e pepe with black truffle. 

Lemoni Cafe

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Start, or finish, the day at this charming cafe with an eclectic Mediterranean menu that includes truffle eggplant bruschetta, a Greek plate for two, chicken vegetable curry over rice, and more than twenty panini options. There’s something for everyone, and dishes can be paired with beer, wine, or inventive smoothies. Let’s not forget the booze-filled Sunday brunch filled with dishes like quinoa omelet, blueberry pancakes, and plenty of sangria pitchers.

Buena Vista Deli

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Enjoy a little slice of the French way of life at this unfussy diner in Buena Vista located just north of the Miami Design District. Quiche Lorraine, pate platters, boeuf bourguignon, the list of satisfying French favorites could go on and on. On the sweet side of things, highlights include chocolate and almond croissants and Nutella beignets. Order coffee or squeezed-to-order juice to round out the meal.

Mandolin Aegean Bistro

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Operating since 2010, Mandolin is still one of the staples of Miami’s dining scene. The menu is best described as Greek with Turkish nuances showcasing classic dishes of baked feta, chicken kebabs, kofte, roasted cauliflower, and olive tapenade. Lamb chops and orzo pilaf are standout entrees, and sangria is the perfect drink to sip on in this restored white-washed 1940s predominately open-air restaurant.

House of Food Porn

Chef Franco Antonio Blanco brings a new take on sushi to Miami with a Latin-inspired “amicasa” version of omakase. Fourteen guests gather around a U-shaped communal table to dine on his “shushi” creations that pack surprising mixes of protein, vegetables, and flavorful spices. Think rolls like picanha (Brazilian-style steak) with avocado and plantain served with baby arugula and finished with jalapeno aioli sauce.

Clive's Cafe

This culinary staple in Miami is still going strong nearly four decades into business, thanks to its no-frills Jamaican menu and charming owner, Pearline “Miss Pearl” Murray. Guests line up for dishes like the jerk chicken, luscious curry goat, and oxtail that falls off the bone served with sides of macaroni and cheese and steamed cabbage. Take a seat and enjoy a priced-right meal with reggae beats pulsing in the background or, if in a hurry, grab a couple of patties from the takeout window. 

Fiorito

Brothers Maximiliano and Cristian Alvarez’s rustic restaurant brings Argentine charm to Little Haiti. Solo diners and large groups alike gather at the cozy dining areas marked with red brick walls, family photographs, and soccer memorabilia. Meat is the star of the show here: options like crispy sweetbreads, sausage platters, provoleta with chorizo, churrasco, and empanadas make up for most of the menu. The family-friendly space also serves notable pasta options, including short rib ravioli and lamb ragu pappardelle. Go light or go all in, but make sure to order dulce de leche crepe for dessert.

Chef Creole Seasoned Restaurant

Wilkinson “Ken” Sejour has been celebrating his Bahamian and Creole roots for years at his original Chef Creole restaurant, which Anthony Bourdain visited in No Reservations. The restaurant now has several locations all over the Miami, serving plenty of steamed, stewed, and fried seafood offerings, including shrimp, conch, and fish, accompanied by generous sides of the traditional rice, beans, and plantains. Wings, barbecue ribs, and griot are also on the menu, which is available daily for takeout. 

Boia De

Chefs and owners Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer’s eclectic menu at Boia De is brimming with seasonal creations such as pappardelle with rabbit, rosemary, and tomato; crispy potato skins topped with stracciatella, caviar, and hardboiled eggs; and baked clams with ‘nduja. The restaurant’s decor is just as creative, sporting a quaint retro vibe made up of memorabilia. As for drinks, enjoy a wine list featuring hard-to-find vintages and natural varietals. 

La Carpaccieria

The Venezuelan team behind this counter-service restaurant dishes out more than ten types of shareable portions of carpaccio. The list ranges from beef and salmon to vegetarian options of potato and zucchini. There are also sweet versions such as pear and Nutella with pancakes. Also on the menu are Italian-leaning dishes like Sicilian stuffed bread and lasagna. 

Vista Restaurant

An easygoing all-day restaurant in the heart of Buena Vista, it’s the perfect spot to grab a quick drink with friends or a romantic al fresco dinner. The meal could consist of grilled pears with arugula and stracciatella followed by chicken piccata, or an utterly-satisfying cacio e pepe pizza, while Nutella bread pudding is the standout dessert. In addition to offering ample indoor and outdoor dining areas, Vista also has a cozy rooftop area that’s an ideal spot to begin or end the meal at. 

Shokudo Miami

At this Asian bistro highlights dishes found all over the region, with nigiri and sashimi sharing equal billing with Pad Thai, ramen, bao, and dumplings. Expect elaborate sushi roll creations like the Buena Vista made with eel, salmon skin, avocado, cucumber, and masago and desserts like halo halo made with shaved ice, coconut milk, red bean, jackfruit, and coconut jelly served with vanilla ice cream. Any meal here should be rounded with Japanese sake, whisky, or one of the cocktails from the drink list. 

Palat

Located in a serene Buena Vista corner, Neapolitan chef Pippo Lamberti uses local ingredients to create modern shareable plates of Italian fare. Snag a seat at the outdoor patio and dine on sea urchin with squid-ink pasta and crabmeat, beet ravioli, or cacio e pepe with black truffle. 

Lemoni Cafe

Start, or finish, the day at this charming cafe with an eclectic Mediterranean menu that includes truffle eggplant bruschetta, a Greek plate for two, chicken vegetable curry over rice, and more than twenty panini options. There’s something for everyone, and dishes can be paired with beer, wine, or inventive smoothies. Let’s not forget the booze-filled Sunday brunch filled with dishes like quinoa omelet, blueberry pancakes, and plenty of sangria pitchers.

Buena Vista Deli

Enjoy a little slice of the French way of life at this unfussy diner in Buena Vista located just north of the Miami Design District. Quiche Lorraine, pate platters, boeuf bourguignon, the list of satisfying French favorites could go on and on. On the sweet side of things, highlights include chocolate and almond croissants and Nutella beignets. Order coffee or squeezed-to-order juice to round out the meal.

Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Operating since 2010, Mandolin is still one of the staples of Miami’s dining scene. The menu is best described as Greek with Turkish nuances showcasing classic dishes of baked feta, chicken kebabs, kofte, roasted cauliflower, and olive tapenade. Lamb chops and orzo pilaf are standout entrees, and sangria is the perfect drink to sip on in this restored white-washed 1940s predominately open-air restaurant.

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