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Meze spread from Byblos
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38 Essential Dining Destinations in Miami, Fall 2021

The essential Miami spots

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Meze spread from Byblos
| Byblos/Official Press Photo

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 highly-curated list of Miami’s top restaurants, spanning the city’s best cuisines and neighborhoods.

The restaurants on this list, which are organized in geographical order, cover the entire city; span myriad cuisines, histories, and locations; and, collectively, satisfy any and all restaurant needs. It includes longtime Miami staples, newer restaurants with loyal followings, and those really stepping up to the challenges of serving during a health crisis.

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.

Added in October: Jaguar Sun and Byblos

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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Editor’s Note: The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Makoto

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9700 Collins Ave
Bal Harbour, FL
(305) 864-8600
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Located inside the ritzy Bal Harbour Shops where what’s on the plate is more important than who’s sitting in front of it sounds almost as implausible as a half-off sale at Gucci, but thanks to chef Makoto Okuwa it’s the real deal. In addition to the pristine sushi and nigiri, Makoto’s modern Japanese dishes and bincho charcoal robata have hungry shoppers coming back for more.

2. The Surf Club Restaurant

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9011 Collins Ave
Surfside, FL 33154
(305) 768-9440
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Oozing with 1950s glamour, 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 throwback cuisine goes with the old-school feel of the space, with items like beef Wellington, Caesar salad, roast chicken, and a can’t-miss ice cream sundae.

3. Taquiza

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7450 Ocean Terrace
Miami Beach, FL 33141
(786) 588-4755
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This North Beach waterfront restaurant features a variety of traditional tacos like pastor, chicken, and lengua served on handmade blue-masa corn tortillas so good that it now supplies them for half of the restaurants in town. But a trip to Taquiza isn’t complete without an order of the totopos — homemade tortilla chips, which come out warm, “fluffy,” and perfectly fried and are worth the visit by themselves. (There’s a second location at 1351 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL.)

4. Phuc Yea

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7100 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138
(305) 602-3710
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As one of the restaurants credited with helping the resurgence of the historic MiMo district (and before that, it served as Miami’s OG pop-up restaurant), Phuc Yea offers a mix of Vietnamese food with Cajun influence — a reflection of the owner’s roots. The colorful and industrial setting serves as a perfect backdrop for dishes like caramel chicken wings, seafood curry, Viet-Cajun style fried chicken, and the simple but forever craveable 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 location.

5. El Bagel

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6910 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138
(786) 536-7365
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What started as an incredibly popular weekend bagel pop-up has turned into a full blown brick-and-mortar outpost with just as strong of a following. The counter-service restaurant offers a variety of creative hand rolled 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. Orders are strictly made online.

6. Boia De

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5205 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33137
(305) 967-8866
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This small, charming restaurant tucked away in a strip mall lets its owners and 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, it’s all paired with hard-to-find vintages and natural wines, which have made this a gem that everyone seems to be seeking out.

7. Mandolin Aegean Bistro

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4312 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL
(305) 576-6066
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The best Greek and Turkish food in Miami is tucked away in the intimate, understated courtyard at Mandolin. Transport to the Greek isles with a menu of elegant small plates — no oven fried falafel here — entrees like lamb and beef meatballs, and an exceptional grilled octopus. Any meal here should be rounded out with one of the refreshing Greek wines on the menu. 

8. Le Jardinier

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151 NE 41st St Suite 135
Miami, FL 33137
(305) 402-9060
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Housed in the ultra-swanky Design District, this bright, Art Deco-inspired restaurant boasts a vegetable-filled menu from executive chef Alain Verzeroli, a longtime protege of Joel Robuchon, one of the world’s most Michelin-starred chefs and restaurateurs. The dishes are just as beautiful and colorful as their surroundings and always showcasing classic French technique using seasonal produce.

9. Itamae

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140 NE 39th St #136
Miami, FL 33137
(305) 631-2664
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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. Led by a brother, sister, and father team lovingly referred to as the “Chang Gang,” Itamae is an ode to combining their Peruvian heritage with Japanese classics. Think a curated selection of specialty maki and rolls, sashimi, and rice bowls served alongside tiraditos and ceviches.

10. Amara at Paraiso

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3101 NE 7th Ave
Miami, FL 33137
(305) 702-5528
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Part of the culinary empire of James Beard winner Michael Schwartz, Amara at Paraiso not only boasts some of Miami’s best waterfront views but has solid Latin-influenced dishes to boot. Using Schwartz’s farm-to-table ethos that gained him national notoriety at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, the menu is filled with 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 water views.

11. 27 Restaurant & Bar

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2727 Indian Creek Dr
Miami Beach, FL 33140
(786) 476-7020
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The first full-service restaurant and bar from the guys that brought us one of Miami’s most essential bars, the Broken Shaker, 27 Restaurant pays homage to Miami’s diversity with an eclectic menu filled with dishes from South America, the Caribbean, and even the Middle East with items like smoked pomegranate barbecue short ribs, a daily catch topped with a Caribbean curry sauce, and a halva brownie. Located in a historic two-story house adjacent to the Broken Shaker, it features the same laid-back spirit and inventive drinks its neighbor does in a hip (and air-conditioned) setting.

12. Zak the Baker

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295 NW 26th St
Miami, FL 33127
(786) 294-0876
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That bread offered at nearly every restaurant in town? Odds are Zak 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.

13. Hiden

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313 NW 25th St
Miami, FL 33127

An aptly named omakase-style restaurant that is literally hidden behind a taco shop in Wynwood. Once guests enter with a numeric code (provided when the reservation is made) they encounter an intimate, eight-seat restaurant serving up a 18 dish menu featuring small Japanese appetizers, sashimi, and nigiri all made with seasonal ingredients brought in from Japan. The move is to pair it with sake, sochu, and wine to wash it down with. Make sure to reserve early as seats book out months in advance.

14. Leku

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1100 NW 23rd St
Miami, FL 33127
(786) 464-0615
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Get a taste of Spain’s Basque country at Leku, the chic on-site restaurant at the Rubbell Museum. The Allapattah restaurant 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 its many gin and tonics on the restaurant’s always perfectly breezy garden to round out the meal.

15. Lucali

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1930 Bay Rd
Miami Beach, FL
(305) 695-4441
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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, pile up and enjoy.

16. Mignonette

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210 NE 18th St
Miami, FL
(305) 374-4635
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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, it also features plenty of other seafood items, as well as non-sea dwelling options like prime rib, chicken, and its famous veggie board.

17. Byblos Miami

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1545 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(786) 864-2990
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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 inspired 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.

18. Macchialina

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820 Alton Rd
Miami Beach, FL
(305) 534-2124
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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 eatery in the heart of any Italian town.” Under chef and owner Michael Pirolo’s lead, it serves up well-executed Italian classics like veal parm, branzino, cacio pepe, alongside with some interesting twists, like broccolini Caesar salad.

19. Jaguar Sun

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230 NE 4th St
Miami, FL 33132

After almost a year-long hiatus from its Downtown Miami location due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaguar Sun has returned to its original outpost with a refreshed menu merging its staples with favorites from its pop-up Sunny’s Steakhouse. A well-thought out beverage menu is still at the core of Jaguar Sun, but its small but mighty kitchen is still putting out some of the best upscale comfort food in town. The pastas are a must order, but don’t skip out on the Parker house rolls topped with honey butter, the wagyu beef tartare, or the kouign amann housed ice cream sandwich for dessert.

20. NIU Kitchen x Arson

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104 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33132
(786) 717-6711
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NIU Kitchen has teamed up with its sister restaurant, Arson — conveniently located next door. They’ve combined the best of both menus including the eclectic Catalan cuisine of NIU, including its famous clams and gazpacho, with the best of Arson’s menu like many of its Josper-grill prepared dishes. An extensive wine list, featuring natural wines from around the world completes the menu.

21. Zuma Miami

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270 Biscayne Blvd Way
Miami, FL 33131
(305) 577-0277
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Chic, minimalist hotspot and local favorite that overlooks the Miami River, Zuma offers an internationally acclaimed style of modern Japanese cuisine 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. Whether you are looking to casually scope out the celeb scene at the lounge, hang 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.

22. Stubborn Seed

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101 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(786) 322-5211
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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 eight-course tasting menu where guests can try a bevy of classics and seasonal creations.

23. Joe's Stone Crab

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11 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL
(305) 673-0365
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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 new 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 offered a 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.

24. Hutong Miami

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600 Brickell Ave
Miami, FL 33131
(786) 388-0805
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High-end, Hong Kong-based restaurant Hutong boasts a colorful outpost in the Magic City. The filled with vibes restaurant offers classics like Peking duck, which uses a recipe said to have been developed over one hundred years ago for the Emperor, and unique dishes like dumplings filled with everything from roséChampagne, to prawn and black truffle. It’s also an excellent place for strong cocktails and top-notch of people watching.

25. The River Oyster Bar

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33 SE 7th St Suite 100
Miami, FL 33131
(305) 530-1915
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Beloved Brickell institution the River Oyster Bar has returned to the neighborhood in a much larger and airier space just a block away from its original location. Expect the same seafood-centric fare that made it a neighborhood favorite for so many years like its gnocchi tossed with crab and truffle, simply grilled fish, spicy tuna tartare, and of course, plenty of its namesake oysters.

26. NAOE

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661 Brickell Key Dr
Miami, FL 33131
(305) 947-6263
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After shutting down his spot on Sunny Isles sushi chef Kevin Cory relocated his acclaimed NAOE to Brickell Key, and he hasn’t missed a beat. While not an inexpensive meal by any means, the tiny, eight-seat NAOE offers one of the best sushi experiences in Miami, always fresh and never disappointing.

27. Cafe La Trova

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971 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33130
(786) 615-4379
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The brainchild of James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein and cocktail master and cantinero Julio Cabrera, Cafe La Trova is an ode to Miami’s Cuban culture. Housed on Calle Ocho in the epicenter of Little Havana it really is two spaces in one. In the front guests can sip on classic Cuban cocktails that are served by bartenders dressed in bow ties and jackets while swaying to live music and dining on dishes like paella croquetas and lechon con chicharrones. While in the back a fun take on 80s cocktail culture means the team is pouring updated spins on drinks like the cosmo which keeps the party going well into the night.

28. El Rey De Las Fritas (Multiple locations)

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1821 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33135
(305) 644-6054
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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 shoe string 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. 

29. Sanguich De Miami

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2057 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33135
(305) 539-0969
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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 in-house, which adds a special touch to the commonly found sandwiches. Pair the sandwiches with one of its five batidos (aka milkshakes) with flavors like trigo, mamey, and banana and enjoy a proper Miami meal.

30. Lung Yai Thai Tapas

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1731 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33135
(786) 334-6262
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Good Thai cuisine can be found in Miami and it’s hard to find better proof than 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.

31. La Mar by Gaston Acurio

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500 Brickell Key Dr
Miami, FL
(305) 913-8288
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Located on Brickell Key inside the Mandarin Oriental, La Mar is Gaston Acurio’s temple offering a combo of well-executed upscale novo-Andean fare and Asian-Peruvian fusion dishes. You’ll 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.

32. Caja Caliente

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808 Ponce de Leon
Coral Gables, FL 33134
(786) 431-1947
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Chef Monica Leon’s beloved 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 up 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 signature herby green sauce, so make sure to order extra.

33. LPM Miami

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1300 Brickell Bay Dr
Miami, FL 33131
(305) 403-9133
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This chic Brickell restaurant boasts high-end French brasserie fare with Mediterranean touches. Guests 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.

34. Edge Steak & Bar

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Four Seasons Hotel, 1435 Brickell Ave
Miami, FL 33131
(305) 381-3190
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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.

35. Ariete

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3540 Main Hwy
Coconut Grove, FL
(305) 640-5862
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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. It’s an ideal option for a hungry group.

36. Fiola Miami

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1500 San Ignacio Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33146
(305) 912-2639
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Possibly one of the most glamorous restaurants in Miami this Michelin-starred, D.C. import has been wowing crowds since its debut. It boasts a menu filled with pristine seafood and house-made pastas (which are all offered in gluten-free varieties) such as short rib agnolotti. Guests 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.

37. Ghee Indian Kitchen

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8965 SW 72nd Pl
Kendall, FL 33156
(305) 968-1850

This Indian restaurant 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. Plus there’s a $55 tasting menu available that is a feast of the restaurant’s best items.

38. Daily Bread (Multiple locations)

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12131 S Dixie Hwy
Pinecrest, FL 33156
(305) 253-6115
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This Mediterranean counter-service restaurant has been a staple in Miami’s food scene for more than 40 years serving up generous portions of lamb kafta, falafel, fatoush, richly spiced shawarma, and various platters, which can be enjoyed in the charming Middle Eastern building the restaurant inhabits or taken to-go. Either way, make time to sort through the Middle Eastern, Turkish, and Greek specialties the restaurant’s marketplace before or after the visit.

1. Makoto

9700 Collins Ave, Bal Harbour, FL

Located inside the ritzy Bal Harbour Shops where what’s on the plate is more important than who’s sitting in front of it sounds almost as implausible as a half-off sale at Gucci, but thanks to chef Makoto Okuwa it’s the real deal. In addition to the pristine sushi and nigiri, Makoto’s modern Japanese dishes and bincho charcoal robata have hungry shoppers coming back for more.

9700 Collins Ave
Bal Harbour, FL

2. The Surf Club Restaurant

9011 Collins Ave, Surfside, FL 33154

Oozing with 1950s glamour, 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 throwback cuisine goes with the old-school feel of the space, with items like beef Wellington, Caesar salad, roast chicken, and a can’t-miss ice cream sundae.

9011 Collins Ave
Surfside, FL 33154

3. Taquiza

7450 Ocean Terrace, Miami Beach, FL 33141

This North Beach waterfront restaurant features a variety of traditional tacos like pastor, chicken, and lengua served on handmade blue-masa corn tortillas so good that it now supplies them for half of the restaurants in town. But a trip to Taquiza isn’t complete without an order of the totopos — homemade tortilla chips, which come out warm, “fluffy,” and perfectly fried and are worth the visit by themselves. (There’s a second location at 1351 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL.)

7450 Ocean Terrace
Miami Beach, FL 33141

4. Phuc Yea

7100 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138

As one of the restaurants credited with helping the resurgence of the historic MiMo district (and before that, it served as Miami’s OG pop-up restaurant), Phuc Yea offers a mix of Vietnamese food with Cajun influence — a reflection of the owner’s roots. The colorful and industrial setting serves as a perfect backdrop for dishes like caramel chicken wings, seafood curry, Viet-Cajun style fried chicken, and the simple but forever craveable 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 location.

7100 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138

5. El Bagel

6910 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138

What started as an incredibly popular weekend bagel pop-up has turned into a full blown brick-and-mortar outpost with just as strong of a following. The counter-service restaurant offers a variety of creative hand rolled 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. Orders are strictly made online.

6910 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138

6. Boia De

5205 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137

This small, charming restaurant tucked away in a strip mall lets its owners and 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, it’s all paired with hard-to-find vintages and natural wines, which have made this a gem that everyone seems to be seeking out.

5205 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33137

7. Mandolin Aegean Bistro

4312 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL

The best Greek and Turkish food in Miami is tucked away in the intimate, understated courtyard at Mandolin. Transport to the Greek isles with a menu of elegant small plates — no oven fried falafel here — entrees like lamb and beef meatballs, and an exceptional grilled octopus. Any meal here should be rounded out with one of the refreshing Greek wines on the menu. 

4312 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL

8. Le Jardinier

151 NE 41st St Suite 135, Miami, FL 33137

Housed in the ultra-swanky Design District, this bright, Art Deco-inspired restaurant boasts a vegetable-filled menu from executive chef Alain Verzeroli, a longtime protege of Joel Robuchon, one of the world’s most Michelin-starred chefs and restaurateurs. The dishes are just as beautiful and colorful as their surroundings and always showcasing classic French technique using seasonal produce.

151 NE 41st St Suite 135
Miami, FL 33137

9. Itamae

140 NE 39th St #136, Miami, FL 33137

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. Led by a brother, sister, and father team lovingly referred to as the “Chang Gang,” Itamae is an ode to combining their Peruvian heritage with Japanese classics. Think a curated selection of specialty maki and rolls, sashimi, and rice bowls served alongside tiraditos and ceviches.

140 NE 39th St #136
Miami, FL 33137

10. Amara at Paraiso

3101 NE 7th Ave, Miami, FL 33137

Part of the culinary empire of James Beard winner Michael Schwartz, Amara at Paraiso not only boasts some of Miami’s best waterfront views but has solid Latin-influenced dishes to boot. Using Schwartz’s farm-to-table ethos that gained him national notoriety at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, the menu is filled with 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 water views.

3101 NE 7th Ave
Miami, FL 33137

11. 27 Restaurant & Bar

2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140

The first full-service restaurant and bar from the guys that brought us one of Miami’s most essential bars, the Broken Shaker, 27 Restaurant pays homage to Miami’s diversity with an eclectic menu filled with dishes from South America, the Caribbean, and even the Middle East with items like smoked pomegranate barbecue short ribs, a daily catch topped with a Caribbean curry sauce, and a halva brownie. Located in a historic two-story house adjacent to the Broken Shaker, it features the same laid-back spirit and inventive drinks its neighbor does in a hip (and air-conditioned) setting.

2727 Indian Creek Dr
Miami Beach, FL 33140

12. Zak the Baker

295 NW 26th St, Miami, FL 33127

That bread offered at nearly every restaurant in town? Odds are Zak 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.

295 NW 26th St
Miami, FL 33127

13. Hiden

313 NW 25th St, Miami, FL 33127

An aptly named omakase-style restaurant that is literally hidden behind a taco shop in Wynwood. Once guests enter with a numeric code (provided when the reservation is made) they encounter an intimate, eight-seat restaurant serving up a 18 dish menu featuring small Japanese appetizers, sashimi, and nigiri all made with seasonal ingredients brought in from Japan. The move is to pair it with sake, sochu, and wine to wash it down with. Make sure to reserve early as seats book out months in advance.

313 NW 25th St
Miami, FL 33127

14. Leku

1100 NW 23rd St, Miami, FL 33127

Get a taste of Spain’s Basque country at Leku, the chic on-site restaurant at the Rubbell Museum. The Allapattah restaurant 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 its many gin and tonics on the restaurant’s always perfectly breezy garden to round out the meal.

1100 NW 23rd St
Miami, FL 33127

15. Lucali

1930 Bay Rd, Miami Beach, FL

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, pile up and enjoy.

1930 Bay Rd
Miami Beach, FL

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16. Mignonette

210 NE 18th St, Miami, FL

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, it also features plenty of other seafood items, as well as non-sea dwelling options like prime rib, chicken, and its famous veggie board.

210 NE 18th St
Miami, FL

17. Byblos Miami

1545 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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 inspired 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.

1545 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

18. Macchialina

820 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL

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

820 Alton Rd
Miami Beach, FL

19. Jaguar Sun

230 NE 4th St, Miami, FL 33132

After almost a year-long hiatus from its Downtown Miami location due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaguar Sun has returned to its original outpost with a refreshed menu merging its staples with favorites from its pop-up Sunny’s Steakhouse. A well-thought out beverage menu is still at the core of Jaguar Sun, but its small but mighty kitchen is still putting out some of the best upscale comfort food in town. The pastas are a must order, but don’t skip out on the Parker house rolls topped with honey butter, the wagyu beef tartare, or the kouign amann housed ice cream sandwich for dessert.

230 NE 4th St
Miami, FL 33132

20. NIU Kitchen x Arson

104 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132

NIU Kitchen has teamed up with its sister restaurant, Arson — conveniently located next door. They’ve combined the best of both menus including the eclectic Catalan cuisine of NIU, including its famous clams and gazpacho, with the best of Arson’s menu like many of its Josper-grill prepared dishes. An extensive wine list, featuring natural wines from around the world completes the menu.

104 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33132

21. Zuma Miami

270 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131

Chic, minimalist hotspot and local favorite that overlooks the Miami River, Zuma offers an internationally acclaimed style of modern Japanese cuisine 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. Whether you are looking to casually scope out the celeb scene at the lounge, hang 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.

270 Biscayne Blvd Way
Miami, FL 33131

22. Stubborn Seed

101 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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 eight-course tasting menu where guests can try a bevy of classics and seasonal creations.

101 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

23. Joe's Stone Crab

11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL

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 new 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 offered a 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.

11 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL

24. Hutong Miami

600 Brickell Ave, Miami, FL 33131

High-end, Hong Kong-based restaurant Hutong boasts a colorful outpost in the Magic City. The filled with vibes restaurant offers classics like Peking duck, which uses a recipe said to have been developed over one hundred years ago for the Emperor, and unique dishes like dumplings filled with everything from roséChampagne, to prawn and black truffle. It’s also an excellent place for strong cocktails and top-notch of people watching.

600 Brickell Ave
Miami, FL 33131

25. The River Oyster Bar

33 SE 7th St Suite 100, Miami, FL 33131

Beloved Brickell institution the River Oyster Bar has returned to the neighborhood in a much larger and airier space just a block away from its original location. Expect the same seafood-centric fare that made it a neighborhood favorite for so many years like its gnocchi tossed with crab and truffle, simply grilled fish, spicy tuna tartare, and of course, plenty of its namesake oysters.

33 SE 7th St Suite 100
Miami, FL 33131

26. NAOE

661 Brickell Key Dr, Miami, FL 33131

After shutting down his spot on Sunny Isles sushi chef Kevin Cory relocated his acclaimed NAOE to Brickell Key, and he hasn’t missed a beat. While not an inexpensive meal by any means, the tiny, eight-seat NAOE offers one of the best sushi experiences in Miami, always fresh and never disappointing.

661 Brickell Key Dr
Miami, FL 33131

27. Cafe La Trova

971 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33130

The brainchild of James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein and cocktail master and cantinero Julio Cabrera, Cafe La Trova is an ode to Miami’s Cuban culture. Housed on Calle Ocho in the epicenter of Little Havana it really is two spaces in one. In the front guests can sip on classic Cuban cocktails that are served by bartenders dressed in bow ties and jackets while swaying to live music and dining on dishes like paella croquetas and lechon con chicharrones. While in the back a fun take on 80s cocktail culture means the team is pouring updated spins on drinks like the cosmo which keeps the party going well into the night.

971 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33130

28. El Rey De Las Fritas (Multiple locations)

1821 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135

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 shoe string 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. 

1821 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33135

29. Sanguich De Miami

2057 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135

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 in-house, which adds a special touch to the commonly found sandwiches. Pair the sandwiches with one of its five batidos (aka milkshakes) with flavors like trigo, mamey, and banana and enjoy a proper Miami meal.

2057 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33135

30. Lung Yai Thai Tapas

1731 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135

Good Thai cuisine can be found in Miami and it’s hard to find better proof than 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.

1731 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33135

31. La Mar by Gaston Acurio

500 Brickell Key Dr, Miami, FL

Located on Brickell Key inside the Mandarin Oriental, La Mar is Gaston Acurio’s temple offering a combo of well-executed upscale novo-Andean fare and Asian-Peruvian fusion dishes. You’ll 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.

500 Brickell Key Dr
Miami, FL

32. Caja Caliente

808 Ponce de Leon, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Chef Monica Leon’s beloved 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 up 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 signature herby green sauce, so make sure to order extra.

808 Ponce de Leon
Coral Gables, FL 33134

33. LPM Miami

1300 Brickell Bay Dr, Miami, FL 33131

This chic Brickell restaurant boasts high-end French brasserie fare with Mediterranean touches. Guests 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.

1300 Brickell Bay Dr
Miami, FL 33131

34. Edge Steak & Bar

Four Seasons Hotel, 1435 Brickell Ave, Miami, FL 33131

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.

Four Seasons Hotel, 1435 Brickell Ave
Miami, FL 33131

35. Ariete

3540 Main Hwy, Coconut Grove, FL

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. It’s an ideal option for a hungry group.

3540 Main Hwy
Coconut Grove, FL

36. Fiola Miami

1500 San Ignacio Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33146

Possibly one of the most glamorous restaurants in Miami this Michelin-starred, D.C. import has been wowing crowds since its debut. It boasts a menu filled with pristine seafood and house-made pastas (which are all offered in gluten-free varieties) such as short rib agnolotti. Guests 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.

1500 San Ignacio Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33146

37. Ghee Indian Kitchen

8965 SW 72nd Pl, Kendall, FL 33156

This Indian restaurant 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. Plus there’s a $55 tasting menu available that is a feast of the restaurant’s best items.

8965 SW 72nd Pl
Kendall, FL 33156

38. Daily Bread (Multiple locations)

12131 S Dixie Hwy, Pinecrest, FL 33156

This Mediterranean counter-service restaurant has been a staple in Miami’s food scene for more than 40 years serving up generous portions of lamb kafta, falafel, fatoush, richly spiced shawarma, and various platters, which can be enjoyed in the charming Middle Eastern building the restaurant inhabits or taken to-go. Either way, make time to sort through the Middle Eastern, Turkish, and Greek specialties the restaurant’s marketplace before or after the visit.

12131 S Dixie Hwy
Pinecrest, FL 33156

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