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Dinner spread from Dirty French Steakhouse.
Major Food Group

38 Essential Restaurants in Miami, Winter 2023

Where to dine and drink in Miami

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Dinner spread from Dirty French Steakhouse.
| Major Food Group

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.

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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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, which 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. Still, 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 modern Vietnamese cuisine that’s heavily influenced by owners Cesar Zapata and Ani Meinhold’s roots. The colorful and industrial setting is 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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Miami's best Greek and Turkish food 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 are 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 and 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 and non-sea options like prime rib, chicken, and its famous “veggie" board with decadent renditions of seasonal vegetables.

All Day

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This Instagram-worthy spot in Downtown Miami by 2014 Eater Young Gun Camila Ramos 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 on to 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.

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 shrimp with saffron gnocchi, pan-roasted truffle chicken, and foie gras, but the real highlight here is the $175, eight-course tasting menu where guests can try a bevy of classics and seasonal creations.

Joe's Stone Crab

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This 109-year-old restaurant is an institution and is thought to have started the stone crab craze that captures Miami to this day. Ordering the namesake stone crabs is a must, which are served with a mustard sauce that is a legend in its own right, but stone crabs aren’t the only notable item on the menu. From an assortment of seafood dishes to steaks to its popular fried chicken, there is something for all tastes. And don’t forget the sides: creamed spinach and coleslaw are favorites, but the hash browns and the roasted tomatoes are worth the order too. Don’t want to spend time waiting? Then head next door to Joe’s Takeway and eat the same caliber claws at home. 

Cafe La Trova

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Classic Cuban comfort food with a slightly upscale twist by James Beard award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein is on the menu at Cafe La Trova, served alongside expertly crafted Cantinero-style cocktails by Julio Cabrera and his team that consistently keep the bar consistently on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. Pop in for lunch, happy hour, or dinner, and don’t be surprised if the live music makes the visit last longer than expected. Pro tip: visit the 305 Bar in the back room on the weekend for a Miami Vice-style 80s blast from the past.

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. Not only does the restaurant serve its Cuban tacos filled with everything from chicken to gator, but it also offers croquetas, bowls, quesadillas, and empanadas — all of which pair perfectly with its herby green sauce, so make sure to order extra.

Dirty French Steakhouse

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Major Food Group’s opulent and purposely over-the-top steakhouse, Dirty French Steakhouse, might be a New York City import, but this location is distinctly Miami. From the orange velvet-lined walls, animal print seating, Murano glass leaf chandelier, and gold leaf ceiling, the space oozes 80s excess — while serving as a fun foil to the traditional buttoned-up steakhouse. Guests can expect to dine on prime-aged steaks alongside dishes like mushroom millefeuille, lobster ravioli, crab cake croustillant, wedge salad, and caviar vichyssoise. 

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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Executive chef Aaron Brooks set his sights beyond the standard filet mignon at Edge Steak and Bar by bringing a sleek update to the traditional steakhouse. His menu features a variety of dishes like Aussie lamb chops, foie gras and truffle bonbons, 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 newly-reopened Eating House 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 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. It features Italian classics updated with modern techniques and flavors on pedestrian-friendly Giralda Avenue. Think items like pappardelle with beef short rib bolognese, wagyu beef carpaccio, and bluefin tuna Caprese, alongside spruced-up versions of Italian-influenced cocktails. 

Los Félix Miami

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Heirloom corn-filled dishes and ingredients using milpa farming techniques, a sustainable farming practice used throughout Mexico and South America, are at the heart of the menu at Coconut Grove’s Los Felix. This airy and bright Mexico City-inspired spot serves a casual menu filled with items like tacos, quesadillas, arepas, totopos, tostadas, and tamales. It also houses a natural wine bar that boasts an extensive by-the-glass and bottle program featuring orange and amber wines, chilled reds, and sparkling wines alongside a variety of programming each week, including a weekly vinyl DJ music program.

Led by chef Michael Beltran, this one-Michelin star Coconut Grove mainstay features a menu of inventive dishes with Cuban flair that reflects Beltran’s upbringing. Highlights include the grilled oysters drenched in bone marrow butter, aged wagyu ribeye, 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 pasta plates (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. A three-course $65 tasting menu is also available and 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, which 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. Still, 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 modern Vietnamese cuisine that’s heavily influenced by owners Cesar Zapata and Ani Meinhold’s roots. The colorful and industrial setting is 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

Miami's best Greek and Turkish food 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 are 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 and 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 and non-sea options like prime rib, chicken, and its famous “veggie" board with decadent renditions of seasonal vegetables.

All Day

This Instagram-worthy spot in Downtown Miami by 2014 Eater Young Gun Camila Ramos 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 on to 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.

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 shrimp with saffron gnocchi, pan-roasted truffle chicken, and foie gras, but the real highlight here is the $175, eight-course tasting menu where guests can try a bevy of classics and seasonal creations.

Joe's Stone Crab

This 109-year-old restaurant is an institution and is thought to have started the stone crab craze that captures Miami to this day. Ordering the namesake stone crabs is a must, which are served with a mustard sauce that is a legend in its own right, but stone crabs aren’t the only notable item on the menu. From an assortment of seafood dishes to steaks to its popular fried chicken, there is something for all tastes. And don’t forget the sides: creamed spinach and coleslaw are favorites, but the hash browns and the roasted tomatoes are worth the order too. Don’t want to spend time waiting? Then head next door to Joe’s Takeway and eat the same caliber claws at home. 

Cafe La Trova

Classic Cuban comfort food with a slightly upscale twist by James Beard award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein is on the menu at Cafe La Trova, served alongside expertly crafted Cantinero-style cocktails by Julio Cabrera and his team that consistently keep the bar consistently on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. Pop in for lunch, happy hour, or dinner, and don’t be surprised if the live music makes the visit last longer than expected. Pro tip: visit the 305 Bar in the back room on the weekend for a Miami Vice-style 80s blast from the past.

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. Not only does the restaurant serve its Cuban tacos filled with everything from chicken to gator, but it also offers croquetas, bowls, quesadillas, and empanadas — all of which pair perfectly with its herby green sauce, so make sure to order extra.

Dirty French Steakhouse

Major Food Group’s opulent and purposely over-the-top steakhouse, Dirty French Steakhouse, might be a New York City import, but this location is distinctly Miami. From the orange velvet-lined walls, animal print seating, Murano glass leaf chandelier, and gold leaf ceiling, the space oozes 80s excess — while serving as a fun foil to the traditional buttoned-up steakhouse. Guests can expect to dine on prime-aged steaks alongside dishes like mushroom millefeuille, lobster ravioli, crab cake croustillant, wedge salad, and caviar vichyssoise. 

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

Executive chef Aaron Brooks set his sights beyond the standard filet mignon at Edge Steak and Bar by bringing a sleek update to the traditional steakhouse. His menu features a variety of dishes like Aussie lamb chops, foie gras and truffle bonbons, 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 newly-reopened Eating House 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 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. It features Italian classics updated with modern techniques and flavors on pedestrian-friendly Giralda Avenue. Think items like pappardelle with beef short rib bolognese, wagyu beef carpaccio, and bluefin tuna Caprese, alongside spruced-up versions of Italian-influenced cocktails. 

Los Félix Miami

Heirloom corn-filled dishes and ingredients using milpa farming techniques, a sustainable farming practice used throughout Mexico and South America, are at the heart of the menu at Coconut Grove’s Los Felix. This airy and bright Mexico City-inspired spot serves a casual menu filled with items like tacos, quesadillas, arepas, totopos, tostadas, and tamales. It also houses a natural wine bar that boasts an extensive by-the-glass and bottle program featuring orange and amber wines, chilled reds, and sparkling wines alongside a variety of programming each week, including a weekly vinyl DJ music program.

Ariete

Led by chef Michael Beltran, this one-Michelin star Coconut Grove mainstay features a menu of inventive dishes with Cuban flair that reflects Beltran’s upbringing. Highlights include the grilled oysters drenched in bone marrow butter, aged wagyu ribeye, 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 pasta plates (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. A three-course $65 tasting menu is also available and is a feast of the restaurant’s best items.

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