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14 Hidden Gem Restaurants in Miami, 2020 Edition

The best off-the-radar places

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With so many restaurants in South Florida, how does one decide where to eat? While Instagram provides some mouth-watering photos, there is no guarantee the food is actually good — and not all restaurants have social media. Welcome to 2020’s list of some off the radar and hidden gems that may not have a huge social media presence or PR teams behind them but should not be passed up.

Editor’s Note: A number of South Florida restaurants have resumed indoor and outdoor dining services. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for onsite dining, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Florida Health Department’swebsite. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines. For those wanting to find the best takeout and dining options throughout Miami, please visit here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Petit Rouge

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12409 Biscayne Blvd
North Miami, FL 33181
(305) 892-7676

In the business for over 40 years, this North Miami bistro is a neighborhood favorite. The cozy restaurant features French inspired dishes such as French onion soup, escargots, steak and frites, and le carree d’agneau (rack of lamb). Innovative chef specials have included a lobster pot pie, and a duck confit pizza. Don’t forget to compliment the meal with a selection of fine wines.

2. Clives Cafe

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5890 NW 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33127
(305) 757-6512
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Don’t worry about a thing and dine on Caribbean dishes at this Little Haiti gem. The budget-friendly menu features hearty portions of chicken, meat, seafood, and vegetables with sides included. The dishes are prepared in a variety of choices including curry, jerk, stew, fried, or barbeque. Menu highlights include the jerk chicken, curry goat, fried conch, and beef patties.

3. OMAKAI sushi

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2107 NW 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33127
(786) 579-9995
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What makes omakase exciting is that one basically leaves the menu in the hands of the chef. There is no decision making just one piece of sushi after another. Omakai in Wynwood offers an omakase experience that will not break the bank with prices from at just $17 a person, and running up to $38 for its deluxe menu. However, those that prefer to know exactly what is being eaten, can order sushi, sashimi, nigiri, and handrolls a la carte, which can all be washed down with a selection of soft drinks, beers, wines, and sake.

4. Koa Poke and Burrito

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1600 Collins Ave Unit 103
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 539-0960
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Those looking for a Brazilian twist on Japanese food will discover it at this friendly and trendy eatery on Collins Avenue. Enjoy poke bowls and burritos featuring ahi tuna, salmon, shrimp, or chicken, or get adventurous and come up with a combination that’s tailored to the palate with a variety of ingredients available. The sushi rolls and açai bowls should not be missed.

5. Fritanga Cana Brava

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2795 NW 7th St
Miami, FL 33125
(305) 643-0054

When craving Nicaraguan food, Miamians head to fritangas. However, not all fritangas are created equal. Calm that carne asada, gallo pinto, queso frito, and repollo craving at this popular spot where the portions are large and the price is right ensuring return visits from patrons. 

6. Cayo Esquivel Seafood

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7725 SW 40th St
Miami, FL 33155
(305) 269-4191
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Since opening its doors in 1999, Cayo Esquivel has been satisfying locals’ seafood cravings in South Miami and Hialeah. Dine on lobster empanadas, ceviches, paellas, and pastas as well as whole and filet fish. Get a little adventurous and create a dish with a variety of fish including seabass, mahi, corvina, and salmon, plus sauces such as lemon, pineapple, and cream. Wash it down with a cold beverage from the selection of beers, wines, and sangria. Socially distanced indoor and outdoor seating is available, as well as takeout and delivery.

7. Kon Chau Restaurant

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8376 Bird Rd
Miami, FL 33155
(305) 553-7799
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The line of customers waiting for a table is an indication that the dim sum and Thai dishes are worth the wait. The modest and budget friendly restaurant offers dishes for every Asian craving including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Beer, wine and sake is also available to wash down the meal. 

8. Rio Cristal

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9872 SW 40th St
Miami, FL 33165
(305) 223-2357
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Rio Cristal eatery is known for its thin, Cuban style palomilla steak under a mountain of French fries, but there is so much more than that. Other menu items include typical Cuban dishes such as ropa vieja (shredded beef in tomato sauce), masitas de puerco (fried pork chunks), and vaca frita (fried shredded beef) with choices of sides including white rice and black beans, fried plantains, and mariquitas. Don’t forget to end the meal with flan for dessert.

9. Sapore di Mare

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3111 Grand Ave
Miami, FL 33133
(305) 476-8292
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Feel transported to the Amalfi Coast at this Coconut Grove restaurant decorated with nautical fixtures and splashes of blue. The menu brims with Italian seafood dishes such as grilled octopus, scallops, and branzino served with choice of side, but also features chicken, steaks, veal, and the popular cacio é pepe served inside a cheese wheel. Salads, appetizers, and desserts are available to round out the meal, as well as a selection of red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines (which are currently available for 50 percent off to-go).

10. Cafe Pastis

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7310 SW 57th Ave
South Miami, FL 33143
(305) 665-3322
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For more than ten years this cozy restaurant has been serving up French fare in South Miami. Try the quiche or soup du jour along with the spinach salad with Roquefort cheese and caramelized pear, or the escargot that requires the crusty bread to soak up all the butter. For heartier appetites, order any of the entrees and end with the creme brûlée that’s big enough for two.

11. Don Burrito

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10855 SW 72nd St #43
Miami, FL 33173
(786) 361-1175

The Mexican eatery has been a local fixture in Miami for more than 20 years. The colorful eatery serves hearty portions at reasonable prices with plenty of flavor. Enjoy traditional fare such as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and fajitas, as well as larger dishes such as mole and chiles rellenos (stuffed poblano peppers). Round out the meal with Mexican fried ice cream for dessert.

12. Salvatore D. Finest Italian Cuisine

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8760 SW 72nd St
Miami, FL 33173
(305) 274-4044
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Family owned and operated Salvatore D’s has been a fixture in South Florida for more than 23 years. The extensive menu is sure to satisfy any Italian craving with antipasti selections, pastas and risottos, entrees including its popular osso bucco and melanzane parmigiana, plus desserts.

13. Pita Grill & Market

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13854 SW 88th St
Miami, FL 33186
(305) 200-3038
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This eatery is a West Kendall favorite for those craving Mediterranean food. Enjoy dishes like tabbouleh, grape leaves, baba ganoush, kibbeh, and shawarma. Lunch and dinner specials include chicken, beef, kafta, and lamb kabobs platters served with choice of three sides including salad, angel hair rice, hummus and pita bread.

14. Royal Palm Grill & Deli

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806 N Krome Ave
Homestead, FL 33030
(305) 246-5701
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Inside the pharmacy on the corner of Krome and Campbell is this family owned and operated comfort food destination. Enjoy hot sandwiches such as the Philly cheese steak and patty melt, as well as the heartier pork chops or country fried steak with choice of two sides and a roll. Royal Palm also serves breakfast all day every day with a slew of favorites like the Lorraine frittata, steak and eggs, and challah French toast.

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1. Petit Rouge

12409 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami, FL 33181

In the business for over 40 years, this North Miami bistro is a neighborhood favorite. The cozy restaurant features French inspired dishes such as French onion soup, escargots, steak and frites, and le carree d’agneau (rack of lamb). Innovative chef specials have included a lobster pot pie, and a duck confit pizza. Don’t forget to compliment the meal with a selection of fine wines.

12409 Biscayne Blvd
North Miami, FL 33181

2. Clives Cafe

5890 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127

Don’t worry about a thing and dine on Caribbean dishes at this Little Haiti gem. The budget-friendly menu features hearty portions of chicken, meat, seafood, and vegetables with sides included. The dishes are prepared in a variety of choices including curry, jerk, stew, fried, or barbeque. Menu highlights include the jerk chicken, curry goat, fried conch, and beef patties.

5890 NW 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33127

3. OMAKAI sushi

2107 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127

What makes omakase exciting is that one basically leaves the menu in the hands of the chef. There is no decision making just one piece of sushi after another. Omakai in Wynwood offers an omakase experience that will not break the bank with prices from at just $17 a person, and running up to $38 for its deluxe menu. However, those that prefer to know exactly what is being eaten, can order sushi, sashimi, nigiri, and handrolls a la carte, which can all be washed down with a selection of soft drinks, beers, wines, and sake.

2107 NW 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33127

4. Koa Poke and Burrito

1600 Collins Ave Unit 103, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Those looking for a Brazilian twist on Japanese food will discover it at this friendly and trendy eatery on Collins Avenue. Enjoy poke bowls and burritos featuring ahi tuna, salmon, shrimp, or chicken, or get adventurous and come up with a combination that’s tailored to the palate with a variety of ingredients available. The sushi rolls and açai bowls should not be missed.

1600 Collins Ave Unit 103
Miami Beach, FL 33139

5. Fritanga Cana Brava

2795 NW 7th St, Miami, FL 33125

When craving Nicaraguan food, Miamians head to fritangas. However, not all fritangas are created equal. Calm that carne asada, gallo pinto, queso frito, and repollo craving at this popular spot where the portions are large and the price is right ensuring return visits from patrons. 

2795 NW 7th St
Miami, FL 33125

6. Cayo Esquivel Seafood

7725 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33155

Since opening its doors in 1999, Cayo Esquivel has been satisfying locals’ seafood cravings in South Miami and Hialeah. Dine on lobster empanadas, ceviches, paellas, and pastas as well as whole and filet fish. Get a little adventurous and create a dish with a variety of fish including seabass, mahi, corvina, and salmon, plus sauces such as lemon, pineapple, and cream. Wash it down with a cold beverage from the selection of beers, wines, and sangria. Socially distanced indoor and outdoor seating is available, as well as takeout and delivery.

7725 SW 40th St
Miami, FL 33155

7. Kon Chau Restaurant

8376 Bird Rd, Miami, FL 33155

The line of customers waiting for a table is an indication that the dim sum and Thai dishes are worth the wait. The modest and budget friendly restaurant offers dishes for every Asian craving including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Beer, wine and sake is also available to wash down the meal. 

8376 Bird Rd
Miami, FL 33155

8. Rio Cristal

9872 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165

Rio Cristal eatery is known for its thin, Cuban style palomilla steak under a mountain of French fries, but there is so much more than that. Other menu items include typical Cuban dishes such as ropa vieja (shredded beef in tomato sauce), masitas de puerco (fried pork chunks), and vaca frita (fried shredded beef) with choices of sides including white rice and black beans, fried plantains, and mariquitas. Don’t forget to end the meal with flan for dessert.

9872 SW 40th St
Miami, FL 33165

9. Sapore di Mare

3111 Grand Ave, Miami, FL 33133

Feel transported to the Amalfi Coast at this Coconut Grove restaurant decorated with nautical fixtures and splashes of blue. The menu brims with Italian seafood dishes such as grilled octopus, scallops, and branzino served with choice of side, but also features chicken, steaks, veal, and the popular cacio é pepe served inside a cheese wheel. Salads, appetizers, and desserts are available to round out the meal, as well as a selection of red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines (which are currently available for 50 percent off to-go).

3111 Grand Ave
Miami, FL 33133

10. Cafe Pastis

7310 SW 57th Ave, South Miami, FL 33143

For more than ten years this cozy restaurant has been serving up French fare in South Miami. Try the quiche or soup du jour along with the spinach salad with Roquefort cheese and caramelized pear, or the escargot that requires the crusty bread to soak up all the butter. For heartier appetites, order any of the entrees and end with the creme brûlée that’s big enough for two.

7310 SW 57th Ave
South Miami, FL 33143

11. Don Burrito

10855 SW 72nd St #43, Miami, FL 33173

The Mexican eatery has been a local fixture in Miami for more than 20 years. The colorful eatery serves hearty portions at reasonable prices with plenty of flavor. Enjoy traditional fare such as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and fajitas, as well as larger dishes such as mole and chiles rellenos (stuffed poblano peppers). Round out the meal with Mexican fried ice cream for dessert.

10855 SW 72nd St #43
Miami, FL 33173

12. Salvatore D. Finest Italian Cuisine

8760 SW 72nd St, Miami, FL 33173

Family owned and operated Salvatore D’s has been a fixture in South Florida for more than 23 years. The extensive menu is sure to satisfy any Italian craving with antipasti selections, pastas and risottos, entrees including its popular osso bucco and melanzane parmigiana, plus desserts.

8760 SW 72nd St
Miami, FL 33173

13. Pita Grill & Market

13854 SW 88th St, Miami, FL 33186

This eatery is a West Kendall favorite for those craving Mediterranean food. Enjoy dishes like tabbouleh, grape leaves, baba ganoush, kibbeh, and shawarma. Lunch and dinner specials include chicken, beef, kafta, and lamb kabobs platters served with choice of three sides including salad, angel hair rice, hummus and pita bread.

13854 SW 88th St
Miami, FL 33186

14. Royal Palm Grill & Deli

806 N Krome Ave, Homestead, FL 33030

Inside the pharmacy on the corner of Krome and Campbell is this family owned and operated comfort food destination. Enjoy hot sandwiches such as the Philly cheese steak and patty melt, as well as the heartier pork chops or country fried steak with choice of two sides and a roll. Royal Palm also serves breakfast all day every day with a slew of favorites like the Lorraine frittata, steak and eggs, and challah French toast.

806 N Krome Ave
Homestead, FL 33030

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