Where to Eat in Miami Right Now
Winter in Miami easily rivals winter anywhere else in the country, and in the Magic City, we’re fortunate enough that our weather doesn’t stop us from going out and enjoying all the new spots that continue to pop up on a near constant basis.
2022’s restaurant landscape spans newcomers, fan favorites back for round two, local restaurants expanding to new parts of the city, and, as always, transplants from hip cities around the world. Expect romantic atmospheres, over-the-top outrageous decor, and viral pizza. Here’s a guide to Miami’s most talked about new spots, plus some of the best standbys from the last five years.
The gist: Embark on a tour of the Mediterranean inside this high-ceiling Gables spot, where Pides, Crudos, and Braised Goat live in perfect harmony. The food: Oftentimes, “Mediterranean” is restaurant speak for “lots of seafood” when a place can’t really pinpoint its style. Not the case at Tur, where the menu brilliantly journeys from Turkey to Italy to Greece and everywhere in between. The selection of must-eat Turkish Flatbread Pides offer everything from Braised Lamb to Shrimp and Salsa Verde, but if you’re looking for something lighter, the Grapefruit Tuna makes for a refreshing starter, and the Tuna Za’Tar with sorrel and chili brings complexity to the entree department. How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.
The gist: Twinkling lights, a massive banyan tree, cold martinis, and sized-to-share proteins top the menu at this semi-permanent pop-up by the team behind Downtown’s beloved Jaguar Sun. The food: Unlike the OG Jaguar Sun, you’re not going to find any pasta here, but you will find Parker House Rolls and oysters. This fancy little outdoor steakhouse serves crudos, salads, four cuts of steak, a killer porkchop, striped sea bass, and more—and don’t sleep on the sauce selection, especially the potato butter. Wash it all down with a few martinis, Manhattans, and a lovely list of well curated wines and you’re bound to have a wonderful night.
The gist: This London transplant is an admittedly outrageous sushi hotspot smack dab in the center of Brickell. It’s the kind of place with a velvet rope at the front door and a bathroom filled with Instagram models trying to snag the perfect selfie amid the pink mermaid-themed decor. And despite it all, the food and drinks are solid. The food: Once you get over the sensory overload (they spent $20 million on the design alone), dive into a range of tartares, skewers, gyoza, meats, fish, sushi—you know the drill. Standouts include the Yellowtail Sashimi with green Mandarin ponzu, Crispy Duck Salad with watermelon and pomegranate, Kimchi Fried Rice, and Caramelized Black Cod with spicy miso. Can’t decide? Opt for the omakase, a selection of 10 popular dishes for $130 per person, or $210 if you go premium. Don’t skip the cocktails—at $17 a piece they’re a steal in Brickell and feature stunning preparations.
The gist: Miami’s most Instagrammed pandemic pizza pop-up has gone brick and mortar in the Design District, serving pizza and snacks Wednesday through Sunday, no pre-order required. The food: Baking out a an oven much bigger than the one that fit on Greg’s home kitchen countertop, this version of Old Greg’s features six different pies (Plain, ‘Roni, Shroomz, Veggie Supreme, Vegan Supreme, and Lokal Kale & Tomato) in either square form or 18 inch rounds. As an added bonus there’s a small appetizer menu dubbed Snackies, featuring polenta-crusted wings, breadsticks, meatballs, and a refreshing kale salad. How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.
The gist: Those in Kendall (or really, anywhere west of the airport) undoubtedly know the power of Eileen Andrade’s cuisine. She’s made her way from West Kendall to Doral with this full-service restaurant, bringing her Latin-Asian fusion goods to Doral Yard. The food: Much like its sister restaurants Finka and Ameila’s, you’ll find a little bit of Cuban with a lot of flair. Popular dishes include the loaded Spanish Boniato Fries topped with vaca frita, Smoked Brisket, and Aji Amarillo Mac n’ Cheese, Camaron Enchilado Pizza topped with shrimp, maduros, and roasted sofrito, and, of course, Islas Canarias Croquetas.
The gist: An Andalusian-inspired gin and tapas spot located on the ever-so-charming Española Way brought to you by the same team responsible for downtown’s Lost Boy. The food: Organized by tapas, salads, large plates, and sweets, the menu is full of shared plate options that transport guests directly to the Spanish countryside. Think standards like Jamón Iberico, Tortilla Española, and Gazpacho, along with Patatas Bravas and Gambas al Ajillo. When it comes to drinks, there’s a full bar on hand, but the real draw is the 20-plus twists on the always appealing Gin and Tonic.
The gist: Ingredients flown in from Mexico make up a menu of unique creations and seafood standouts, served on a sidewalk cafe to a soundtrack of international vinyl. The food: Los Felix’s bill leans heavily on Mexican corn, and the culinary team here has brought in varieties rarely found north of the border. They’re best expressed in the Totopos (you might call them tortilla chips) served with fresh guac and a daily-made salsas. You’ll also get the full effect with an order of Esquites, a collection of heirloom corn mixed with chile emulsion and cotija cheese. The chef plays the classics, too, but with a communal spin, from Pork Cheek Carnitas served braised in a bowl with blue corn tacos to a Squash Blossom Quesadilla that easily served four.
The gist: Niven Patel’s winning streak continues with this greenery-strewn gem inside the Thesis hotel filled with innovations straight from his farm. The food: Despite Orno’s elegant décor, it feels a little like eating dinner on a family homestead—partly because you’ll find fresh vegetables and chopped wood stored along the dining room’s fringes, and partly because the bulk of the menu is inspired by what’s in season down at Rancho Patel. The James Beard-nominated chef is serving veggie specialties like Vadouvan Cauliflower with pickled apples and Aleppo pepper alongside seafood offerings like Red Snapper Crudo with mango and Thai basil. While vegetarians can definitely indulge here, carnivores aren't left out—the meaty lineup includes an A5 Wagyu Sirloin and Iberico Pork Pluma with peperonata.
The gist: Chinese food gets a Latin injection atop Brickell City Centre, where you can enjoy street food in a market, drinks in a garden, or cocktails at a not-so-secret speakeasy. The food: It’s like the people who created Ch’i’s menu lined up two columns of delicious-sounding foods from Chinese and Latin American cuisines, then started pairing them up into combinations that simply made them the hungriest. Peking Duck Tacos? Yep. Ropa Vieja Egg Rolls? Sign us up. The fusion works masterfully in the main dining room, where Chinese classics like Beef Chow Fun and Wagyu Bao Burgers are executed with equal precision. The Instagram star, though, is the Fortune Cookie Cheesecake, a slice of cake literally covered in fortune cookies.
The gist: A Tokyo-inspired sushi and sake bar is churning out gourmet fried chicken inside the old Firestone station on Alton Road. The food: Even if you’re not a fan of sceney Miami dining, you can’t argue with the sheer breadth of quality offerings at Sushi Fly. The Fried Chicken shines with a briny, citrusy zest that makes it an instant contender for best in the city. The sushi is fresh and skillfully presented, making it more than an afterthought at a place where you’re dining under stripper poles. If you can resist the temptation of filling up on the Japanese Milk Bread, the A5 Buri Bop Rice is a savory sensation. Best of all, SFC offers a $48 omakase menu, the rare South Beach sushi experience one could describe as a “deal.”
The gist: Darts become a social experience at this fun Norwegian import, where the pizza is much more than a way to pass time between tosses. The food: Oche—pronounced like “hockey” with no H—is basically a bowling alley for the dart-throwing set, where groups of friends can rent a board with private booths and compete over cocktails and carbohydrates. But unlike the chicken fingers and cardboard pizzas of Bowl-a-Ramas past, the food at Oche is outstanding, highlighted by some of the best pizza in Miami.The rest of the menu doesn’t slouch off, offering gourmet takes on bar staples like the Sticky Beef Tacos with blue corn tortillas and Bacon-wrapped Maduros.
The gist: A celebrated Argentine chef opens an oasis of homey, South American specialties inside a spartan office park, positioning itself as fall’s most unexpected treat. The food: Chef Mariano Araya has struck the perfect balance between the adventurous and the familiar with his menu of Mediterranean-inspired Argentine offerings. The Short Rib Empanadas and Morcilla Spring Rolls bring the savory, meaty goodness one looks for in this style of South American food. But he gets creative with the Pan-formed Black Lentil and Red Quinoa Salad, giving your gullet a break from the grease. Finish off with the house-made Bucatini Bolognese and the stacked Tenderloin Milanese, and you’ll leave quite satisfied.
The gist: Flavorful, high-end sushi served under the most intricate wood-frame restaurant décor we’ve ever seen. The food: Dining inside Kosushi feels a little like someone put a sushi bar inside The Man sculpture at Burning Man, where thousands of hand-crafted wooden beams surround the tables. But the experience is distinctly South Beach, spanning a classic selection of fresh fish cuts accompanied by cold plates like the King Crab Truffle and Scallops covered in black salt and citrus. With a setting that stands far apart from South Beach’s sushi joint pack, it should top your list when looking for something new.
The gist: A robust lineup of original gin and tonic cocktails make this the best new drinking—and maybe also eating—spot in the reimagined CocoWalk. The food: Botanico’s government name tells you all you need to know about the place: The gin is the reason you come in, but the cooking is pretty solid, too. The gin and tonic menu is Miami’s most creative, running 15 deep and headlined by the spicy 6 O’clock Brunel, laced with nutmeg, cubeb pepper, and lime, and the Gray Whale with mint, cucumber, and lemongrass. They’ll whet your appetite for Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche, Arepas, Steaks, and other South American staples.
The gist: Adrianna Calvo channels all things Italian with the utmost gusto inside this classic, rusticly adorned eatery. The food: If you know anything about chef Calvo, you know not to expect anything subtle. Her Italian offerings are bursting with flavor, whether it’s Mortadella Wagyu Meatballs or Fried Ciliegine Mozzarella, which will probably ruin you on mozzarella sticks for life. Fire-cooked pizzas come to life with a sweet sauce and fresh cheese, making them addictively devourable. If you’ve got room after that, the homemade pastas don’t miss, and the Cannoli Cake is the Italian dessert hybrid the world truly deserves.
The gist: A Cuban chef and Venezuelan mixologist combine to create the Gables’ best upscale Mexican destination. The food: Perched at the foot of Coral Gables’ Aloft hotel sits this cool, modern space serving up a menu that brims with spicy seafood specialities. Delve into the Shrimp Green Aguachile and Tuna Carnitas Fish Dip, then sample Shrimp Chorizo and Pork Belly Tacos before exploring the menu of Josper-grilled meats. The food’s complemented perfectly by drinks from cocktail master Barbara Correa, who’ll literally whip up something memorable based on your preferences.
The gist: Serving a menu of Basque stylings done with gourmet twists on the lush patio of the Rubell Museum, modern art and soft breezes combine to make this Miami’s new “it” date spot. The food: if you’ve ever eaten at a real-deal family-style Basque restaurant, you know the general concept: large portions of meat, starches, and spices. But Leku takes that premise and makes it fancy, plating a 50-day Dry-aged Prime Bone-in Ribeye alongside Patatas Caseras and Wild Mushroom Rice. You’ll also find more-traditional Spanish tapas too, like Iberico Croquetas and Galician Octopus. And with everything set in the stunning confines of the Rubell museum, it’s hard not to have a memorable experience at Leku.
The gist: Miami’s most over-the-top omakase experience, all set around a circular sushi counter in a hidden space behind Koa Poke. The food: There are omakase dinners—and there’s dinner at Nosa, which kicks things off with a password-protected hidden door down a South Beach alley, and continues with cocktails in a small, film-filled speakeasy. The main event goes down around a semi-circular sushi counter, where hungry guests watch an expert chef slice his way through 16 courses complete with smoke, sparks, and liquid nitrogen. Nossa’s food is fantastic, but the show is what makes it worth the price.
The gist: The grunge era is alive and well at this Seattle-style yakitori shop, where grilled meats and ramen combine with a cleaned up ‘90s-era setting for the best casual Asian restaurant in Miami. The food: Buya’s menu takes big inspiration from drizzly-day northwest yakitoris, where the modernized take on authentic Japanese dishes are almost guaranteed to make you over order. Start with the tempura beech mushroom, a deep-fried fungus that’s like a bloomin’ onion minus the bad breath. Move on to the grilled wagyu with shiso chimichurri or the pork belly with fuji apple glaze. The short rib ramen is tops if you’re feeling noodle-y, and every housemade sauce on the menu will have you asking if they sell the stuff in bottles.
The gist: Giorgio Rapicivoli dives into his roots, plating takes on Italian cuisine along Coral Gables’ sunny Giralda Plaza. The food: Chopped champ and local restaurant impresario Giorgio Rapicivoli has put some genius twists on Italian standards, like Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with crispy sunchokes and Little Gem Salad with cacio y pepe dressing. The pastas are all worth a try, though the Short Rib Bolognese will have you rethinking every meat sauce you’ve ever had. If you want even more meat, the 28-ounce Bone-in NY Strip will easily feed you for multiple meals.
The gist: Fooq owner David Foulquier slings Brooklyn-style and Sicilian pies in his restaurant’s old downtown space, boasting one of Miami’s best happy hours to boot. The food: Though taking pizza advice from a guy running a sports website makes about as much sense as living by restaurant ratings from a tire company, Dave Portnoy absolutely got this one right. The pizza he called “the best stuff I’ve had” is a crispy-crusted, wood-fired Brooklyn-style pie that immediately became a contender for best in the city. The round pies are the heavy hitters, but the Sicilian-style is also Miami’s most spot-on, forgoing excessive cheese on top for crispy parmesan and grilled zucchini. If you’re just up for a slice, head here for Happy Hour, where you’d score half-off slices and cold beer Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 5 pm.
The gist: Uchi’s big name is matched by its quality eats and, while never cheap, is definitely a good spot to drop some cash. The food: Miami got hit with more new omakase spots in 2021 than we did named storms. But the leader of the tasting-menu pack is this Texas transplant, boasting the best selection of sushi in the city. If you’d rather skip the omakase and order for yourself, the Hama Chili with Yellowtail will wake up your palate before moving on to the Hot Rock Wagyu Beef and the addictive Sweet Pumpkin Tempura. Every piece of fish here is going to be spectacular, so don’t be afraid to order adventurously—budget allowing, of course.
The gist: Though it’s good to be skeptical of any Miami restaurant serving up expensive sushi with a heavy side of scene, Novikov is the odd eatery where the food lives up to the hype and high price point. The food: It’s Chinese-Japanese fusion, which sounds like a recipe for disaster if you grew up eating in strip malls, but works masterfully here. Novikov’s best known for its dim sum, with duck-and-foie-gras-filled dumplings complimenting creations like the spicy prawn moneybag. The makis, sashimis, and bao buns hold their own against any in Miami, and if you want a big plate, delving into the cilantro pesto branzino or sweet and sour mango chicken won’t lead you astray.
The gist: Niven Patel—who Food & Wine named one of its top 50 new chefs last year—takes whatever’s fresh on his Homestead farm and transforms it into Floridian twists on Indian classics. The food: The menu varies wildly at Ghee based on what’s in season at Rancho Patel. One week you may wolf down an entire tomato and eggplant curry. Another week you’ll order multiple ears of charred corn with smoked paneer. Niven’s happy to play the hits too, and does tikka masala and saag paneer as well as anyone countrywide.
The gist: A Nikkei hit from London lands in South Beach, where you can feast on Peruvian classics in a retractable-roof space that feels a little like eating in a cenote. The food: No matter the weather, the soft breeze blowing through the open roof makes the Nikkei nibblers like chilled branzino ceviche and chu-toro tiradito taste especially refreshing. Currently, Chotto is plating its sushi and sashimi with house-made sauces. On the meatier side, the pork belly and lamb chop anticuchos are the must-haves off the extensive robata menu.
The gist: Richard Hales of Blackbrick and Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives fame is plating the best barbecue we’ve had outside of Texas. It’s all reasonably priced, too, and a must-visit for any Miami ‘cue fan. The food: Though Society’s logo has a big map of Florida, this is pure Texas-style goodness with slow-smoked brisket that could go up against anything in the Lone Star State. The pulled chicken and pulled pork sandwiches make for great lunches, and the vegan burnt ends also taste fantastic with Hales’ collection of homemade sauces poured on top. Reading this from outside South Florida? No need to get on a plane, as Society is happy to ship the stuff nationwide.
The gist: Say hello to intimate modern Italian cuisine from the people behind the massively popular La Pollita food truck, buttressed by a collection of wines worthy of a restaurant ten times its size. The food: The menu at Boia De is almost as tiny as its diminutive space, but you won’t find a weak link anywhere. We’re talking Italian without crossing the in-your-face red sauce line, with subtle options like Crispy Polenta with marinated eggplant, Kanpachi Crudo with heirloom tomatoes, and Grilled Broccolini leading the parade. The entrees hold up just as well, highlighted by homemade Pappardelle with rabbit and rosemary, and massive Lamb Ribs with urfa yogurt and spicy cucumbers. Pro tip: Do yourself a favor and ask for a recommendation from the wine list—it’s packed with stuff you’ve never heard of that you’ll spend years trying to track down again.
The gist: The journey to Key Biscayne is worth it for the kind of addictive baked goods people in big cities wait in line for hours just to try. Fortunately, there’s rarely a line here (except for weekends) for the baguettes, croissants, and pastries we’ll easily call South Florida’s best. The food: If you’re willing to wait in line for bagels, you should be willing to jump in your car and cross the causeway for the best scratch bakery in Miami. This quirky shop on the Key is baking up croissants, muffins, cookies, baguettes, and other oven-fresh breads that are so good the word “carb” will disappear from your vocabulary. They’ve also got a solid menu of sandwiches served on their own creations. Do yourself a favor and get a little bit of everything to take home, just try not to eat it all before you get there.
The gist: Chic, sleek Canadian import with a lively bar and a menu spanning multiple cuisines. Think of it like an ultra-modern Cheesecake Factory, with exponentially better food. The food: Massive menu dining is not, in fact, dead and is absolutely crushing it in the former Rosa Mexicano space. And while typically being a jack of all trades is a recipe for mediocrity at best, Moxie nails every proverbial hat they wear. So go ahead and order the tuna ceviche, Thai chili chicken, and Korean cauliflower to start. Then move on to a filling kale and quinoa salad before diving into curry bowls, veggie power bowls, vindaloos, and blackened mahi. Or just keep it simple and order something from their spectacular menu of prime steaks.
The gist: Expect fine dining at its very finest, with creations carrying on the legacy of Joel Robuchon served in a dark, sexy setting with the quietest open kitchen you’ve ever seen. The food: You’d be hard-pressed to find anything short of “the best thing I’ve ever had” on the menu at L’Atelier, where Key West Pink Shrimp with habanero and shishito dressing, Beef and Foie Gras Hamburgers, and Crispy Skin Duck Breast with stone fruit and cherry confiture are but a few of the masterpieces that greet you upon opening the menu. The choices can be overwhelming, so save yourself some stress and opt for the seasonal prix-fixe, which gets you five courses for $170. Then grab a seat at the bar and watch the kitchen work with the precision of a silent drill team, plating each dish with immaculate detail and captivating beauty.