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Pita from Motek Mediterranean Cafe
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38 Essential Restaurants in Miami, Summer 2022

Where to dine and drink in Miami

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Pita from Motek Mediterranean Cafe
| Motek/Facebook

The most frequently asked question Eater Miami receives is, “Can you recommend a restaurant?” The goal of the Eater 38 is to answer that question with a list of Miami’s top restaurants, spanning the city’s best cuisines and neighborhoods. The restaurants on this list cover the entire city; span myriad cuisines, histories, and locations; and, collectively, satisfy any and all restaurant needs.

Every couple of months the list is updated to add pertinent restaurants that were perhaps omitted or have newly become eligible (which means they’ve been open for more than six months, but usually closer to a year), or have made meaningful recent changes. The restaurants that have been added in July are Zitz Sum, Old Greg’s, Motek Cafe, and Over Under, while Naoe, Hutong, the River Oyster Bar, and Zuma have departed.

Have a suggestion for somewhere we might have missed?? You can nominate the restaurant by dropping us a note at miami@eater.com.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Motek (Multiple locations)

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This bright and charming cafe inside Aventura Mall (with a sister location in Downtown Miami) woos diners with a melange of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. It is an all-day brunch feast here with items like the smoked salmon Jerusalem bagel plate, lahmajun (flatbread filled with vegetables) chips with harissa aioli, and majadra rice bowl, that blur the lines between breakfast and lunch. Order the malawach (Jewish pancakes) churros for dessert and wash it all down with limonana, an Israeli mint lemonade.

La Traila Barbecue

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This Texas-style barbecue spot in Miami Lakes from pit master Mel Rodriguez and Miami native and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie has been a bona fide hit since its debut in 2020. Hungry diners line up at this counter-service restaurant to feast on dishes like the brisket sundae made with macaroni and cheese topped with creamed corn, smoked brisket, and baked beans; platters and meat by-the-pound including smoked pulled pork, smoked sausage, pork spare ribs, and Texas-style brisket; and for some Miami and Texas fusion: brisket and queso empanadas and smoked pork rib croquetas.

Located inside the ritzy Bal Harbour Shops, this seemingly always busy Japanese restaurant just got a new look and new location – three floors above where it was located for nearly a decade. The now bright and airy space still offers up some of the best sushi and sashimi in town by chef Makoto Okuwa, but it also features plenty of dishes made on the charcoal robata like wagyu filet, ribeye, sea bass, and lamb chops that shouldn’t be missed. 

The Surf Club Restaurant

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Oozing with 1950s glamor, the Surf Club Restaurant by Thomas Keller boasts nostalgic American cuisine with the world-renowned Keller touch. Start the night with a stiff martini or a well-chosen wine from the restaurant’s impressive selection of vintages. The cuisine goes with the old-school feel of the space, with upscale renditions of beef Wellington, Caesar salad, roast chicken, and a can’t-miss ice cream sundae.

Taquiza (Multiple locations)

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This North Beach waterfront restaurant features a variety of traditional tacos like al pastor, chicken, and lengua by chef Steve Santana served on handmade blue-masa corn tortillas so good that Taquiza now supplies them for half the restaurants in town. A trip to Taquiza isn’t complete without an order of the totopos — homemade tortilla chips, which come out warm, “fluffy,” and flawlessly fried, and are worth the visit by themselves. 

Phuc Yea

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As one of the restaurants credited with helping the resurgence of the historic MiMo district (before that, it served as Miami’s original pop-up restaurant), Phuc Yea offers a mix of Vietnamese foods with Cajun influences — a reflection of owner Cesar Zapata and Ani Meinhold’s roots. The colorful and industrial setting serves as a perfect backdrop for dishes like caramel chicken wings, seafood curry, fried chicken, and the simple but flavourful PY noodles made with plenty of garlic and parmesan cheese. Another plus: its lively bar serves as a top spot for a post-meal drink or happy hour.

El Bagel

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What started as an incredibly popular weekend bagel pop-up has turned into a full blown outpost with just as strong of a following. The counter-service restaurant offers a variety of creative bagels, schmears, and bagel sandwiches filled with everything from thick-cut bacon and eggs to a nod to the Miami favorite, pastelito, made with guava marmalade, cream cheese, and potato sticks. 

Boia De

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This small, charming restaurant tucked away in a strip mall lets its owners, culinary duo Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer, show off their extensive fine dining backgrounds. The menu features some of the most creative dishes in the Magic City, like crispy potato skins topped with stracciatella, caviar, and a hard boiled egg; baked clams with ‘nduja; or lamb ribs. Whatever your order, pair it with one of the restaurant’s hard-to-find vintages or natural wines.

Mandolin Aegean Bistro

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The best Greek and Turkish food in Miami is found in the intimate, understated courtyard at Mandolin. Transport to the Greek isles with a menu of elegant small plates, entrees like lamb and beef meatballs, and an exceptional grilled octopus. Any meal here can be paired with one of the refreshing Greek wines on the menu. 

Cote Miami

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This Michelin-starred New York City import has won over the Magic City with its 45-day, dry-aged beef, cooked Korean barbecue style at the table on smokeless grills. The dimly lit, date-night restaurant features high-end steaks, stiff martinis, and one of the most robust wine selections in town. The most popular order at Cote is the butcher’s feast, boasting a variety of cuts along with different vegetables and kimchi, egg souffle, two stews, rice, and soft serve for $64 per person. For those who want to go more high-brow, a 10-course steak omakase is available for $185 per person. 

From its days inside the former St. Roch Market, this Japanese-Peruvian restaurant has grown into a larger space all its own in the Design District’s Palm Court. The restaurant is helmed by brother and sister chef duo Nando and Val Chang and their father Fernando Chang, who are lovingly referred to as the “Chang Gang.” Itamae highlights the family’s Peruvian heritage with bright flavors found throughout the menu, which is tactfully combined with Japanese techniques and ingredients. Diners can expect to find a selection of specialty maki and rolls, sashimi, and rice bowls served alongside tiraditos and ceviches.

Old Greg's Pizza

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This photogenic square pizza that became the viral sensation of quarantine is finally back in Miami with a permanent home in the Miami Design District. The restaurant is back serving its popular square pizzas alongside some round pizza varieties, with other favorites making an appearance like the polenta crusted chicken wings, garlic knots, Italian salad, and tres leches. Natural wines, lively happy hours, and old school hip hop tunes playing in the background complete the experience.

Amara at Paraiso

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Part of the culinary empire of James Beard winner Michael Schwartz, Amara at Paraiso not only showcases some of Miami’s best waterfront dining, but has solid dishes found throughout South America to boot. Using Schwartz’s farm-to-table ethos that gained him national fame at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, the menu offers items like crispy octopus, short-rib-filled empanadas, and fresh-out-of-the-oven yucca balls. Perfect for large groups, make sure to grab a patio drink before or after the meal to soak in all those enviable views.

Zak the Baker

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That bread offered at nearly every restaurant in town? Odds are Zak Stern and his team of talented bakers baked it. In addition to a successful wholesale business, the popular kosher baker also boasts his own successful standalone shop. Expect his signature breads in addition to an assortment of soups, bagels, sandwiches, and pastries.

Get a taste of Spain’s Basque country at Leku, the chic restaurant at the Rubbell Museum. The Allapattah spot offers a wide-ranging menu of dishes that are as eye-pleasing as the art inside the museum like creamy croquetas, whole branzino, beet tartare with olive oil caviar, and the must-order Iberico ham that sits on a puffed cracker. Pair the meal with one of the many gin and tonics in the restaurant’s always perfectly breezy garden to round out the meal.

One of the first New York City imports, Lucali has been a hit in Miami since the day it opened nearly a decade ago. The pizzas and calzones are made with handmade dough, wheeled into thin sheets by empty wine bottles before they enter the wooden oven. Simplicity is key at this Sunset Harbour restaurant, but the devil is in the details, as the restaurant uses some of the freshest ingredients around. As for the toppings, expect all the classics as they are offered a la carte – so, pile up and enjoy.

Mignonette

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A modern take on the classic seafood restaurant by Blue Collar chef Danny Serfer and partner Ryan Roman. This Edgewater restaurant, described by critics and guests as a “plain and fancy” oyster heaven, also features plenty of other seafood items, as well as non-sea options like prime rib, chicken, and its famous “veggie” board with decadent renditions of seasonal vegetables.

Byblos Miami

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Style is what sets Byblos apart from its South Beach neighbors. From the decor to the menu, every detail conveys eastern Mediterranean sophistication at Byblos. Eats range from small to large plates and feature dishes like Middle Eastern fried chicken and seared cauliflower prepared with duck fat and tahini sauce. The show-stopping, spirit-infused cold tea service is a must, and perfect for a group, offering creative cocktails theatrically poured out of beautiful tea pots.

All Day

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This Instagram-worthy spot in Downtown Miami by 2014 Eater Young Gun Camila Ramos is back after an almost year-long temporary closing. The favorite serves up a variety of coffee offerings like cold brew rosemary limeade, perfectly frothy nitro cold brew, and espresso-based drinks based on milk preference (more wet or more dry), along with an egg-heavy menu including the “Runny & Everything” sandwich and pastries filled with local passionfruit curd and mamey.

Macchialina

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Macchialina, which comes from the words “macchia,” meaning mark or spot, and “maialina,” meaning piglets, aims to be reminiscent of a small rustic restaurant found in the heart of any Italian town. Under chef and owner Michael Pirolo’s lead, it serves well-executed Italian classics like veal parm, branzino, and cacio pepe, alongside some interesting twists, like broccolini Caesar salad.

NIU Kitchen

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NIU Kitchen has officially taken over the former Arson space as its new larger home. But don’t worry, its former, extra cozy location located just next door still serves as a natural wine bar by the same team. Even though it has new digs, its eclectic Catalan cuisine still remains some of the best in the city. Don’t miss the famous clams or the tangy gazpacho, before moving onto heartier dishes like vegan paella and pan seared foie gras. An extensive wine list, featuring natural wines from around the world, completes the menu.

Over Under

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At first glance one might suspect Over Under is an eclectic watering hole with well-crafted cocktails, booze-filled slushies, and a lively, late-night crowd. And while all of that is true, Over Under also serves some of the city’s best bar cuisines with its high-low, Floridian-inspired menu filled with gator bites, Treasure Coast oysters, and a much buzzed about burger that is akin to a high-end Big Mac.

Zuma Miami

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A chic, minimalist hotspot and local favorite that overlooks the Miami River, Zuma offers an internationally influenced, high-end Japanese fare in the heart of Downtown. The Miami location of this chain was the first U.S. location and has been open for more than 10 years, but it’s still going stronger than ever — complete with a new look in honor of its decade in business. Whether you are looking to casually scope out the celeb scene at the lounge while dining on spicy yellowtail maki and miso black cod, hanging out at the bar, taste a little bit of everything during its weekend brunch, or dine dockside, this restaurant is still the place that Miami’s chic-set still flocks to.

Stubborn Seed

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The solo debut of Miami’s own Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford, Stubborn Seed is a cozy-yet-hip South of Fifth spot turning out some of the city’s most exciting cuisine. While there is an a la carte menu with dishes like ricotta gnudi, Caribbean-spiced foie gras, and pan-roasted Asian seabass, the real highlight here is the $150, eight-course tasting menu[1]  where guests can try a bevy of classics and seasonal creations.

Carbone

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The South Beach location of Carbone serves the same high-end takes on classic Italian-American dishes that has made its New York City counterpart such a hit since 2012. Yes, that famous spicy rigatoni is a must-order, but other highlights are the Caesar salad “alla ZZ” that is prepared tableside, baked clams, and lobster ravioli, paired with strong yet balanced cocktails and old-school vibes. Reservations are a very hot commodity and are usually booked a month or more in advance, but the superb people-watching makes the wait worth it.

Joe's Stone Crab

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The Miami institution prides itself in discovering the tasty crustacean some 100+ years ago and is still serving them every season in its iconic South Beach location. This season, Joe’s has added a 1,400-square-foot outdoor area for those wanting to dine outside on its claws and classic sides like hash-browns and creamed spinach or dishes, like fried chicken and key lime pie. Joe’s has even extended few nightly reservations on Resy, a first for the famously no-reservation restaurant. Don’t want to spend time waiting? Then head next door to Joe’s Takeway and eat the same caliber claws at home.

El Rey De Las Fritas (Multiple locations)

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For more than 40 years people have been flocking to this Little Havana spot for the original frita Cubana packing all the Cuban-style beef, sauteed onions, and crispy shoestring fries that can fit inside a fluffy Cuban Roll. The no-frills diner style setup offers a feeling of years past, with most of the burgers and sandwiches ringing in under $5. Complete the meal with some corn or malanga fritters for a proper experience. 

Sanguich De Miami

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Sure, Cuban sandwiches aren’t exactly hard to come by in Miami. But ones that create lines out of the door? Well, that’s another story. Sanguich quickly gained a following for its modern takes on classic Cuban sandwiches like the Cubano, pan con lechon (a Cuban version of a pulled pork sandwich), pan con croqueta (ham, Swiss, and croquetas housed inside Cuban bread), and pan con bistec (a thinly cut seasoned steak sandwich topped with onions and potato sticks) that appease even the most stringent of sandwich purists. Everything inside the sandwiches, from the pork to the ham to the mustard, is made on-site. Pair the sandwiches with one of its batidos (aka milkshakes) with flavors like trigo, mamey, and banana and enjoy a proper Miami meal.

Lung Yai Thai Tapas

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This small, unassuming indoor/outdoor Little Havana spot has been perpetually packed since its debut, featuring a menu filled with duck salad, curries, and some of the best fried chicken around — just be prepared to wait, since reservations aren’t accepted at this always busy spot.

La Mar by Gaston Acurio

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Located on Brickell Key inside the Mandarin Oriental, La Mar is Gaston Acurio’s lauded Peruvian restaurant offering a combo of well-executed upscale novo-Andean fare and Asian-Peruvian fusion dishes by executive chef Diego Oka. Diners will find classics like lomo saltado, local offerings like yellowtail snapper, and several ceviche options. Make sure to grab a table on its expansive patio for some of the best views of the Miami skyline in town.

Caja Caliente

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Chef Monica Leon’s much-loved Cuban tacos found a permanent Coral Gables restaurant, though you can still visit the taco truck in Design District. Not only does the restaurant serve its Cuban tacos filled with everything from chicken to gator, it also offers croquetas, bowls, quesadillas, and empanadas — all of which pair perfectly with its herby green sauce, so make sure to order extra.

LPM Miami

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This chic Brickell restaurant boasts high-end French brasserie fare with Mediterranean touches. Diners can expect to dine among the socialite and business crowds, who are all in search of one thing: delicious food. Stars of the menu include the creamy burrata, fresh yellowtail carpaccio, and butter- and herb-soaked traditional escargot. Don’t forget to save room for light-as-air cheesecake.

Edge Steak & Bar

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Bringing a sleek update to the traditional steakhouse, executive chef Aaron Brooks set his sights beyond the standard filet mignon at Edge Steak and Bar. His menu features a variety of dishes like Aussie lamb chops, foie gras and truffle bon bons, and chorizo and cheddar croquetas. And while it might be housed in the ritzy Four Seasons Miami, there’s no need for an expense account to enjoy it.

Zitz Sum

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After becoming a favorite during the COVID-19 shutdown through social media with its dumplings, “Asian-ish” restaurant Zitz Sum opened a permanent (somewhat tricky to find) outpost right in Coral Gables. Inside the small space, diners feast on creative versions of cucumber salad, charred cabbage, grilled pork chops, and hanger steak — but don’t worry, the dumplings also make the menu.

Luca Osteria

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While the now-shuttered Eating House, which closed after a decade long run in 2021, put chef Giorgio Rapicavoli on the culinary map — Luca Osteria is what solidified his place in Miami’s food scene for years to come. While the restaurant offers a considerably more refined dishes from Rapicavoli highlighting his Italian roots, guests can still find the irreverence and humor that made Eating House such a hit sprinkled throughout the menu. Located on pedestrian friendly Giralda Avenue, it features Italian classics updated with modern techniques and flavors. Think items like pappardelle with beef short rib bolognese, wagyu beef carpaccio, bluefin tuna caprese, alongside spruced up versions of Italian-influenced cocktails. 

Led by chef Michael Beltran, this Coconut Grove mainstay features a menu of inventive yet hearty comfort food dishes with a Cuban flair that reflects Beltran’s upbringing. Highlights include the grilled oysters drenched in bone marrow butter, on-the-bone pastrami-style short rib, and a duck press meant for two. 

Fiola Miami

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Possibly one of the most glamorous restaurants in Miami, this D.C. import has been wowing crowds since its debut. It showcases a menu filled with pristine seafood and pastas (which are all offered in gluten-free varieties) such as short rib agnolotti, and even a pasta omakase experience. Customers will also find heartier dishes like lamb rack, branzino, and perfectly cooked steak paired with an extensive wine selection. For those looking to impress a date or celebrate a special occasion, Fiola is guaranteed to make the night memorable.

Ghee Indian Kitchen

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This industrial-chic Indian restaurant in Kendall from Niven Patel features dishes made mainly from ingredients from Patel’s farm in Homestead like smoked lamb neck, green millet, ghost pepper cheddar naan, and more. There’s a $65 tasting menu available that is a feast of the restaurant’s best items.

Motek (Multiple locations)

This bright and charming cafe inside Aventura Mall (with a sister location in Downtown Miami) woos diners with a melange of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. It is an all-day brunch feast here with items like the smoked salmon Jerusalem bagel plate, lahmajun (flatbread filled with vegetables) chips with harissa aioli, and majadra rice bowl, that blur the lines between breakfast and lunch. Order the malawach (Jewish pancakes) churros for dessert and wash it all down with limonana, an Israeli mint lemonade.

La Traila Barbecue

This Texas-style barbecue spot in Miami Lakes from pit master Mel Rodriguez and Miami native and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie has been a bona fide hit since its debut in 2020. Hungry diners line up at this counter-service restaurant to feast on dishes like the brisket sundae made with macaroni and cheese topped with creamed corn, smoked brisket, and baked beans; platters and meat by-the-pound including smoked pulled pork, smoked sausage, pork spare ribs, and Texas-style brisket; and for some Miami and Texas fusion: brisket and queso empanadas and smoked pork rib croquetas.

Makoto

Located inside the ritzy Bal Harbour Shops, this seemingly always busy Japanese restaurant just got a new look and new location – three floors above where it was located for nearly a decade. The now bright and airy space still offers up some of the best sushi and sashimi in town by chef Makoto Okuwa, but it also features plenty of dishes made on the charcoal robata like wagyu filet, ribeye, sea bass, and lamb chops that shouldn’t be missed. 

The Surf Club Restaurant

Oozing with 1950s glamor, the Surf Club Restaurant by Thomas Keller boasts nostalgic American cuisine with the world-renowned Keller touch. Start the night with a stiff martini or a well-chosen wine from the restaurant’s impressive selection of vintages. The cuisine goes with the old-school feel of the space, with upscale renditions of beef Wellington, Caesar salad, roast chicken, and a can’t-miss ice cream sundae.

Taquiza (Multiple locations)

This North Beach waterfront restaurant features a variety of traditional tacos like al pastor, chicken, and lengua by chef Steve Santana served on handmade blue-masa corn tortillas so good that Taquiza now supplies them for half the restaurants in town. A trip to Taquiza isn’t complete without an order of the totopos — homemade tortilla chips, which come out warm, “fluffy,” and flawlessly fried, and are worth the visit by themselves. 

Phuc Yea

As one of the restaurants credited with helping the resurgence of the historic MiMo district (before that, it served as Miami’s original pop-up restaurant), Phuc Yea offers a mix of Vietnamese foods with Cajun influences — a reflection of owner Cesar Zapata and Ani Meinhold’s roots. The colorful and industrial setting serves as a perfect backdrop for dishes like caramel chicken wings, seafood curry, fried chicken, and the simple but flavourful PY noodles made with plenty of garlic and parmesan cheese. Another plus: its lively bar serves as a top spot for a post-meal drink or happy hour.

El Bagel

What started as an incredibly popular weekend bagel pop-up has turned into a full blown outpost with just as strong of a following. The counter-service restaurant offers a variety of creative bagels, schmears, and bagel sandwiches filled with everything from thick-cut bacon and eggs to a nod to the Miami favorite, pastelito, made with guava marmalade, cream cheese, and potato sticks. 

Boia De

This small, charming restaurant tucked away in a strip mall lets its owners, culinary duo Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer, show off their extensive fine dining backgrounds. The menu features some of the most creative dishes in the Magic City, like crispy potato skins topped with stracciatella, caviar, and a hard boiled egg; baked clams with ‘nduja; or lamb ribs. Whatever your order, pair it with one of the restaurant’s hard-to-find vintages or natural wines.

Mandolin Aegean Bistro

The best Greek and Turkish food in Miami is found in the intimate, understated courtyard at Mandolin. Transport to the Greek isles with a menu of elegant small plates, entrees like lamb and beef meatballs, and an exceptional grilled octopus. Any meal here can be paired with one of the refreshing Greek wines on the menu. 

Cote Miami

This Michelin-starred New York City import has won over the Magic City with its 45-day, dry-aged beef, cooked Korean barbecue style at the table on smokeless grills. The dimly lit, date-night restaurant features high-end steaks, stiff martinis, and one of the most robust wine selections in town. The most popular order at Cote is the butcher’s feast, boasting a variety of cuts along with different vegetables and kimchi, egg souffle, two stews, rice, and soft serve for $64 per person. For those who want to go more high-brow, a 10-course steak omakase is available for $185 per person. 

Itamae

From its days inside the former St. Roch Market, this Japanese-Peruvian restaurant has grown into a larger space all its own in the Design District’s Palm Court. The restaurant is helmed by brother and sister chef duo Nando and Val Chang and their father Fernando Chang, who are lovingly referred to as the “Chang Gang.” Itamae highlights the family’s Peruvian heritage with bright flavors found throughout the menu, which is tactfully combined with Japanese techniques and ingredients. Diners can expect to find a selection of specialty maki and rolls, sashimi, and rice bowls served alongside tiraditos and ceviches.

Old Greg's Pizza

This photogenic square pizza that became the viral sensation of quarantine is finally back in Miami with a permanent home in the Miami Design District. The restaurant is back serving its popular square pizzas alongside some round pizza varieties, with other favorites making an appearance like the polenta crusted chicken wings, garlic knots, Italian salad, and tres leches. Natural wines, lively happy hours, and old school hip hop tunes playing in the background complete the experience.

Amara at Paraiso

Part of the culinary empire of James Beard winner Michael Schwartz, Amara at Paraiso not only showcases some of Miami’s best waterfront dining, but has solid dishes found throughout South America to boot. Using Schwartz’s farm-to-table ethos that gained him national fame at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, the menu offers items like crispy octopus, short-rib-filled empanadas, and fresh-out-of-the-oven yucca balls. Perfect for large groups, make sure to grab a patio drink before or after the meal to soak in all those enviable views.

Zak the Baker

That bread offered at nearly every restaurant in town? Odds are Zak Stern and his team of talented bakers baked it. In addition to a successful wholesale business, the popular kosher baker also boasts his own successful standalone shop. Expect his signature breads in addition to an assortment of soups, bagels, sandwiches, and pastries.

Leku

Get a taste of Spain’s Basque country at Leku, the chic restaurant at the Rubbell Museum. The Allapattah spot offers a wide-ranging menu of dishes that are as eye-pleasing as the art inside the museum like creamy croquetas, whole branzino, beet tartare with olive oil caviar, and the must-order Iberico ham that sits on a puffed cracker. Pair the meal with one of the many gin and tonics in the restaurant’s always perfectly breezy garden to round out the meal.

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Lucali

One of the first New York City imports, Lucali has been a hit in Miami since the day it opened nearly a decade ago. The pizzas and calzones are made with handmade dough, wheeled into thin sheets by empty wine bottles before they enter the wooden oven. Simplicity is key at this Sunset Harbour restaurant, but the devil is in the details, as the restaurant uses some of the freshest ingredients around. As for the toppings, expect all the classics as they are offered a la carte – so, pile up and enjoy.

Mignonette

A modern take on the classic seafood restaurant by Blue Collar chef Danny Serfer and partner Ryan Roman. This Edgewater restaurant, described by critics and guests as a “plain and fancy” oyster heaven, also features plenty of other seafood items, as well as non-sea options like prime rib, chicken, and its famous “veggie” board with decadent renditions of seasonal vegetables.

Byblos Miami

Style is what sets Byblos apart from its South Beach neighbors. From the decor to the menu, every detail conveys eastern Mediterranean sophistication at Byblos. Eats range from small to large plates and feature dishes like Middle Eastern fried chicken and seared cauliflower prepared with duck fat and tahini sauce. The show-stopping, spirit-infused cold tea service is a must, and perfect for a group, offering creative cocktails theatrically poured out of beautiful tea pots.

All Day

This Instagram-worthy spot in Downtown Miami by 2014 Eater Young Gun Camila Ramos is back after an almost year-long temporary closing. The favorite serves up a variety of coffee offerings like cold brew rosemary limeade, perfectly frothy nitro cold brew, and espresso-based drinks based on milk preference (more wet or more dry), along with an egg-heavy menu including the “Runny & Everything” sandwich and pastries filled with local passionfruit curd and mamey.

Macchialina

Macchialina, which comes from the words “macchia,” meaning mark or spot, and “maialina,” meaning piglets, aims to be reminiscent of a small rustic restaurant found in the heart of any Italian town. Under chef and owner Michael Pirolo’s lead, it serves well-executed Italian classics like veal parm, branzino, and cacio pepe, alongside some interesting twists, like broccolini Caesar salad.

NIU Kitchen

NIU Kitchen has officially taken over the former Arson space as its new larger home. But don’t worry, its former, extra cozy location located just next door still serves as a natural wine bar by the same team. Even though it has new digs, its eclectic Catalan cuisine still remains some of the best in the city. Don’t miss the famous clams or the tangy gazpacho, before moving onto heartier dishes like vegan paella and pan seared foie gras. An extensive wine list, featuring natural wines from around the world, completes the menu.

Over Under

At first glance one might suspect Over Under is an eclectic watering hole with well-crafted cocktails, booze-filled slushies, and a lively, late-night crowd. And while all of that is true, Over Under also serves some of the city’s best bar cuisines with its high-low, Floridian-inspired menu filled with gator bites, Treasure Coast oysters, and a much buzzed about burger that is akin to a high-end Big Mac.

Zuma Miami

A chic, minimalist hotspot and local favorite that overlooks the Miami River, Zuma offers an internationally influenced, high-end Japanese fare in the heart of Downtown. The Miami location of this chain was the first U.S. location and has been open for more than 10 years, but it’s still going stronger than ever — complete with a new look in honor of its decade in business. Whether you are looking to casually scope out the celeb scene at the lounge while dining on spicy yellowtail maki and miso black cod, hanging out at the bar, taste a little bit of everything during its weekend brunch, or dine dockside, this restaurant is still the place that Miami’s chic-set still flocks to.

Stubborn Seed

The solo debut of Miami’s own Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford, Stubborn Seed is a cozy-yet-hip South of Fifth spot turning out some of the city’s most exciting cuisine. While there is an a la carte menu with dishes like ricotta gnudi, Caribbean-spiced foie gras, and pan-roasted Asian seabass, the real highlight here is the $150, eight-course tasting menu[1]  where guests can try a bevy of classics and seasonal creations.

Carbone

The South Beach location of Carbone serves the same high-end takes on classic Italian-American dishes that has made its New York City counterpart such a hit since 2012. Yes, that famous spicy rigatoni is a must-order, but other highlights are the Caesar salad “alla ZZ” that is prepared tableside, baked clams, and lobster ravioli, paired with strong yet balanced cocktails and old-school vibes. Reservations are a very hot commodity and are usually booked a month or more in advance, but the superb people-watching makes the wait worth it.

Joe's Stone Crab

The Miami institution prides itself in discovering the tasty crustacean some 100+ years ago and is still serving them every season in its iconic South Beach location. This season, Joe’s has added a 1,400-square-foot outdoor area for those wanting to dine outside on its claws and classic sides like hash-browns and creamed spinach or dishes, like fried chicken and key lime pie. Joe’s has even extended few nightly reservations on Resy, a first for the famously no-reservation restaurant. Don’t want to spend time waiting? Then head next door to Joe’s Takeway and eat the same caliber claws at home.

El Rey De Las Fritas (Multiple locations)

For more than 40 years people have been flocking to this Little Havana spot for the original frita Cubana packing all the Cuban-style beef, sauteed onions, and crispy shoestring fries that can fit inside a fluffy Cuban Roll. The no-frills diner style setup offers a feeling of years past, with most of the burgers and sandwiches ringing in under $5. Complete the meal with some corn or malanga fritters for a proper experience. 

Sanguich De Miami

Sure, Cuban sandwiches aren’t exactly hard to come by in Miami. But ones that create lines out of the door? Well, that’s another story. Sanguich quickly gained a following for its modern takes on classic Cuban sandwiches like the Cubano, pan con lechon (a Cuban version of a pulled pork sandwich), pan con croqueta (ham, Swiss, and croquetas housed inside Cuban bread), and pan con bistec (a thinly cut seasoned steak sandwich topped with onions and potato sticks) that appease even the most stringent of sandwich purists. Everything inside the sandwiches, from the pork to the ham to the mustard, is made on-site. Pair the sandwiches with one of its batidos (aka milkshakes) with flavors like trigo, mamey, and banana and enjoy a proper Miami meal.

Lung Yai Thai Tapas

This small, unassuming indoor/outdoor Little Havana spot has been perpetually packed since its debut, featuring a menu filled with duck salad, curries, and some of the best fried chicken around — just be prepared to wait, since reservations aren’t accepted at this always busy spot.

La Mar by Gaston Acurio

Located on Brickell Key inside the Mandarin Oriental, La Mar is Gaston Acurio’s lauded Peruvian restaurant offering a combo of well-executed upscale novo-Andean fare and Asian-Peruvian fusion dishes by executive chef Diego Oka. Diners will find classics like lomo saltado, local offerings like yellowtail snapper, and several ceviche options. Make sure to grab a table on its expansive patio for some of the best views of the Miami skyline in town.

Caja Caliente

Chef Monica Leon’s much-loved Cuban tacos found a permanent Coral Gables restaurant, though you can still visit the taco truck in Design District. Not only does the restaurant serve its Cuban tacos filled with everything from chicken to gator, it also offers croquetas, bowls, quesadillas, and empanadas — all of which pair perfectly with its herby green sauce, so make sure to order extra.

LPM Miami

This chic Brickell restaurant boasts high-end French brasserie fare with Mediterranean touches. Diners can expect to dine among the socialite and business crowds, who are all in search of one thing: delicious food. Stars of the menu include the creamy burrata, fresh yellowtail carpaccio, and butter- and herb-soaked traditional escargot. Don’t forget to save room for light-as-air cheesecake.

Edge Steak & Bar

Bringing a sleek update to the traditional steakhouse, executive chef Aaron Brooks set his sights beyond the standard filet mignon at Edge Steak and Bar. His menu features a variety of dishes like Aussie lamb chops, foie gras and truffle bon bons, and chorizo and cheddar croquetas. And while it might be housed in the ritzy Four Seasons Miami, there’s no need for an expense account to enjoy it.

Zitz Sum

After becoming a favorite during the COVID-19 shutdown through social media with its dumplings, “Asian-ish” restaurant Zitz Sum opened a permanent (somewhat tricky to find) outpost right in Coral Gables. Inside the small space, diners feast on creative versions of cucumber salad, charred cabbage, grilled pork chops, and hanger steak — but don’t worry, the dumplings also make the menu.

Luca Osteria

While the now-shuttered Eating House, which closed after a decade long run in 2021, put chef Giorgio Rapicavoli on the culinary map — Luca Osteria is what solidified his place in Miami’s food scene for years to come. While the restaurant offers a considerably more refined dishes from Rapicavoli highlighting his Italian roots, guests can still find the irreverence and humor that made Eating House such a hit sprinkled throughout the menu. Located on pedestrian friendly Giralda Avenue, it features Italian classics updated with modern techniques and flavors. Think items like pappardelle with beef short rib bolognese, wagyu beef carpaccio, bluefin tuna caprese, alongside spruced up versions of Italian-influenced cocktails. 

Ariete

Led by chef Michael Beltran, this Coconut Grove mainstay features a menu of inventive yet hearty comfort food dishes with a Cuban flair that reflects Beltran’s upbringing. Highlights include the grilled oysters drenched in bone marrow butter, on-the-bone pastrami-style short rib, and a duck press meant for two. 

Fiola Miami

Possibly one of the most glamorous restaurants in Miami, this D.C. import has been wowing crowds since its debut. It showcases a menu filled with pristine seafood and pastas (which are all offered in gluten-free varieties) such as short rib agnolotti, and even a pasta omakase experience. Customers will also find heartier dishes like lamb rack, branzino, and perfectly cooked steak paired with an extensive wine selection. For those looking to impress a date or celebrate a special occasion, Fiola is guaranteed to make the night memorable.

Ghee Indian Kitchen

This industrial-chic Indian restaurant in Kendall from Niven Patel features dishes made mainly from ingredients from Patel’s farm in Homestead like smoked lamb neck, green millet, ghost pepper cheddar naan, and more. There’s a $65 tasting menu available that is a feast of the restaurant’s best items.

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