Grab a seat outside, order some ceviche, and take in the spectacular views of downtown Miami and the bay. The fresh seafood and the great spin on tropical ingredients are what keep locals coming back.
Chef/owner Alberto Cabrera pushes the limits of Latin food at his Coral Gables gastropub slash Cuban cafeteria. The results are amazing. Tamal en cazuela is topped with smoked oxtail and the frita hamburger comes with kimchi, but the Humboldt Fog flan arrives repurposed in cans just like at home, keeping the old guard happy and the up-and-comers interested.
No, the Italian cuisine isn't nearly as good as everyone says it is. And, yes, it's way overpriced even for Miami. But Casa Tua is a restaurant institution in this city, so you can't fight it and you shouldn't try. Go along for the scene and the setting, which is undeniably lovely and romantic, in a charming house with a great garden.
The most beautiful dining room in town is in the courtyard of Soho House. Sit under fairy lights and silver buttonwood trees as handmade pasta and seafood from Northern Italy is set before you. Plan ahead and get reservations for their popular Sunday brunch buffet.
James Beard Award-winning chef and local food hero Michelle Bernstein revamped her namesake restaurant in 2014 to update the interiors and bring back a dinner spot that is equally high-end and approachable. Her well-loved short ribs and signature bread pudding remain on the tightly curated menu (we like the excellent whole boneless snapper and the selection of vegetarian starters).
There will be lines out the door for the freshest tacos in town. But LA native and Doc Caminos former exec chef Scott Linquist makes it all worthwhile. Be sure to order: grilled cactus, quinoa tacos, potent margaritas.
Daniel Boulud’s Miami bistro outpost continues to serve up inventive takes on French and American fare five years in. It's easy-going, lively, and always delicious. If it's your first time, the Thursday prix-fixe menu of db Bistro Moderne's favorites makes for an excellent introduction.
It's sleek, it's cool, and it's so comfortable. There's a great outdoor patio covered with grape vines where you can indulge in homemade pastas and big glasses of wine.
Before Downtown Miami's Wynwood became an open-air gallery filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants, there was Enriqueta's. Owned by Jose Luis Pla and his daughters, one look into their all-female galley-style kitchen makes it clear who is running the ship. They also have the best pan con bistec and possibly the best flan in all of Miami.
Open since 1913, the SoBe institution continues to lure beach goers and revelers with stone crab claws and the beloved key lime pie. If you’re not in the mood for an old-school sit-down dinner, drop by the more casual version next door at Joe’s Take Away.
The juice bar and café is a local favorite. Everyone's ordering açai bowls and cold-pressed green juices. There are a few locations around Miami.
Go for the super fresh and inexpensive baguette sandwiches with incredible homemade mustard sauce. The French salami and camembert pairing is a favorite. Don't forget the vinaigrette.
Midway through appetizers, the Design District restaurant will become your absolute favorite restaurant in Miami — the garden setting, the flickering lights overhead, the fresh fish, the impossibly delicious spreads.
Chef/owner Michael Schwartz brings fresh, unpretentious, and hearty small plates to Miami’s design district. Try to score a courtyard table for an alfresco Sunday brunch (get the lemon ricotta pancakes), or have a really late lunch at the bar (3 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.) For something more high-brow and intimate, Schwartz's nearby Cypress Tavern serves up great ingredient-driven and inventive food.
Miami's local roaster's Wynwood location is a hub for creative types, gallery owners, neighborhood people, and visitors. It's always bustling.
Asian meets Spanish at this cozy space, with a novel plates of shortrib tartare on goat butter toast or mofongo in a shoyu broth. They now serve a dim sum brunch on Sundays, and if you want more raw fish, head over to Pubbelly Sushi next door. It's a tight space, but the good news is that they finally started taking reservations.
The neighborhood restaurant where you are bound to find local foodies and people in the biz hanging out. They serve a variety of small plates from the robata grill, the sushi bar, and the bustling kitchen. Try the roasted bone marrow. So tasty.
One word: CHICKEN! Everything involving chicken at this Southern restaurant is a home run. Chicken and waffles, chicken biscuits, chicken under a brick, and, obviously, the famous Llewellyn's fried chicken. It's all deliciously Southern and unlike anything else in Miami.
Step over the brightly colored Cuban titles of the sun-drenched Calle Ocho ice-cream shop and get comfortable on the guayabera-lined banquettes. Local favorites include Abuela Maria (vanilla blended with cream cheese, guava, and Maria crackers), guarapiña (sugar cane and pineapple juice), and egg-rich mantecado (Cuban vanilla), but there's always something new to try.