The Magic City may be known for sun, sand, and swanky clubs, but it’s also a burgeoning food city. With influences from South America, the Caribbean, and Europe, Miami is now on the map for discerning foodies. Yes, we have your tasting menus and avocado toast and don’t forget local comfort food favorites. Based on her experience as a Miami local, Adri from Adri en Route has compiled a list of 35 don’t-miss restaurants in the 305. Be sure to check her out on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!
- La Sandwicherie (South Beach, $)
This late-night classic is your place to refuel after a night out on Ocean Drive. Try one of their massive sandwiches with special sauce nearly anytime you crave one – La Sandwicherie is open til 5am weeknights and 6am on weekends.
- Niu Kitchen (Downtown, $$$)
Known for putting Downtown Miami and Catalan food on Miami’s food radar, Niu Kitchen brings the best of Barcelona to Biscayne Boulevard. Try a few of their creative tapas dishes with a juicy tempranillo – don’t miss the Ous dish, but don’t ask me what exactly it is either. Keep an open mind, and you’ll be amazed by Niu.<
- Shorty’s Bar-B-Q (South Miami, $)
One of the original BBQ joints in Miami, Shorty’s serves up some of the most authentic ribs and pulled pork sandwiches in the city. You’ll start salivating on your way in – the BBQ smell lingers at least a block away. With over 60 years of experience, they know what they’re doing.
- Mignonette (Midtown and North Miami, $$)
This Midtown mainstay recently opened a second North Miami location, so regardless of the traffic situation, you should be able to make it to their oyster happy hour on time. Oysters are what Mignonette does best, and the catches of the day are displayed on a board which is updated constantly as fresh shipments come in.
- Bombay Darbar (Coral Gables, $$)
In a city known for its lack of good, cheap Asian food, Bombay Darbar is an oasis. When you’re in the mood for Indian, Bombay Darbar is the one and only for most Miamians. It’s also a great spot for the veggie-minded with numerous plant-based dishes.
- Sakaya Kitchen (Midtown, $)
With one of Miami’s famed chefs at the helm, Sakaya Kitchen serves up unique Asian fusion fast-casual dishes. A variety of bowls, buns, and sandwiches will surely please any adventurous eater. And the tater tots are surprisingly addictive – just ask Guy Fieri, who featured Sakaya recently on Diners, Drive-Thrus, and Dives.
- Yardbird Table & Bar (South Beach, $$)
Yardbird is your go-to spot for Southern cooking in South Florida. Best known for their fried chicken, which comes in sandwiches, salads, and on top of waffles. Also a fantastic brunch spot, because why not pair your fried chicken with a mimosa?
- Alter (Wynwood, $$$)
Wynwood’s OG high-end restaurant, Alter was one of the first Miami establishments to garner national attention from foodie institutions like James Beard. Chef Bradley Kilgore was named Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in 2016, and I personally would nominate their tasting menu for Best Miami Tasting Menu of All Time. Pro tip: order the bread and miso butter to kick off your tasting experience.
- The Bazaar by Jose Andres (South Beach, $$$)
It seems every famous chef opens a Miami outpost, but Jose Andres’ style seems like a natural fit for the Magic City. His Spanish fusion cuisine is approachable yet interesting, and The Bazaar has the perfect vibe for dinner before hitting up the South Beach club circuit or for a special date night.
- Macchialina (South Beach, $$)
Italian food is plentiful in Miami, but great Italian food is hard to come by. Macchialina makes their own pasta and pairs it with some fantastic Italian wines and charcuterie.
- Zak the Baker (Wynwood, $)
Miami’s resident breadmaster, Zak Stern, originally opened a small, inconspicuous bakery in Wynwood, but became so popular, he opened a larger location down the street to meet the demands of carb-craving Miamians. Grab a loaf for a picnic or enjoy a pastry or sandwich there. The kosher bakery is closed on Saturdays, so plan accordingly.
- DIRT (South Beach and Brickell, $$)
One can only take so much Yardbird fried chicken and late night La Sandwicherie. Detox with a fresh, healthy meal at DIRT. Contrary to its name, DIRT serves up some of the cleanest meals in Miami, which will fit whichever vegan/paleo/gluten free diet you’re on while tasting delicious. DIRT’s South Beach location became so popular, they recently opened a Sunset Harbor location and have a Brickell spot in the works.
- Cecconi’s (Mid-Beach, $$$)
Located in Miami’s exclusive Soho Beach House, Cecconi’s is a great choice around the clock. They offer a gorgeous brunch (best enjoyed on their patio) as well as a yummy 3-course prix-fixe lunch menu for $23.
- Versailles (Little Havana, $)
You can’t leave Miami without trying Cuban food, and Versailles is the quintessential Cuban spot on Little Havana’s Calle Ocho. It’s cheap, fast, and open nearly all day, so you have no excuse not to try a Media Noche from La Ventanita.
- Monty’s (South Beach and Coconut Grove, $$)
Monty’s is another Miami classic, which opened in 1969 and has been serving up fresh seafood on their bayfront deck ever since. The Coconut Grove location is the original, with a newer South Beach outpost.
- Lagniappe (Midtown, $$)
One of Miami’s best live music venues, Lagniappe will have your toes tapping with funk, jazz, or alternative tunes from 9pm-midnight every night of the week. They’re not only known for music, though – Lagniappe’s wine selection is immense, with bottles and glasses available for purchase from around the world. If you fall in love this converted house and its massive backyard garden, you can even rent the upstairs rooms on Airbnb.
- Coyo Taco (Wynwood and Brickell, $)
Coyo’s original Wynwood location often has a line stretching to the sidewalk, so you know their tacos are good. Try the al pastor and the nopales for some traditional Mexican flavors. And at night, see if you can sneak your way into their secret mezcal den (hint: you don’t have to be an employee to go through that door).
- Fi’lia (Brickell, $$)
One of Brickell’s best new happy hours popped up at Fi’lia, which opened in the SLS Brickell, but their food is delectable as well. Grab a drink at the bar while watching your wood-fired pizza cook (the pistachio pesto is my fave), and enjoy some sophisticated pasta dishes topped with herbs grown on-site. The charred eggplant spread is also ridiculously good!
- The Lido Bayside Grill at the Standard (South Beach, $$)
The waterside deck at the Standard is known for two things besides their yummy, healthy food – the view and frozé (frozen rose). Catch the beautiful sunset during their weekday happy hour (4 to 7pm) and stay late to enjoy the city lights.
- Sushi Maki (Various locations, $)
One of Miami’s best local chain restaurants, Sushi Maki serves up fresh poke bowls, sushi rolls, sushi burritos, and more. Their sushi is so good, it’s available in Whole Foods stores around South Florida as well as in their 10 standalone restaurants (including one in the Miami Airport).
- 27 Restaurant (Mid-Beach, $$)
While the Freehand Hostel’s bar, Broken Shaker, gets all the hype, 27 is not to be missed. The restaurant’s cozy vibe makes you feel like you’re eating home-cooked food, which you kind of are, since 27 is actually a historic Miami Beach house. The Arepa Platter is amazing for dinner or with a mimosa for brunch.
- Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill (Midtown, $$)
Sugarcane has something for everyone with their creative fusion cuisine, featuring dishes with an Asian-Caribbean flair. Their outdoor patio is the perfect place to enjoy Florida snapper ceviche or a steak (or Japanese eggplant) cooked on the grill.
- Stanzione 87 (Brickell, $$)
Simply put, the best pizza in Miami. Maybe even the best pizza outside of Italy. Try the Margarita, San Daniele, and the Funghi with a glass of Lambrusco. Finish your meal with a steaming Nutella calzone, and you’ll have sweet Italian dreams that night.
- B Bakery & Bistro (Brickell, $$)
A welcome breakfast/lunch spot in Miami’s financial district, B Bakery’s dishes taste as good as they look. These instagrammable pastries, salads, sandwiches, and bowls are decorated with edible flowers and an impeccable level of detail. The dessert case features flaky croissants, colorful macarons, and stunning sweets. You almost don’t want to eat them, but when you do, you’ll be so happy you did.
- Tocaya (South Beach, $$)
This California-based Mexican eatery was just what Lincoln Road needed. With an awesome happy hour and healthy vegan and vegetarian options, Tocaya is a true crowd pleaser. Try the vegan picadillo or adobo tofu – you’ll be hooked!
- Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (Midtown, $$$)
One of Miami’s favorite James-Beard-winning chefs, Michael Schwartz, opened Michael’s Genuine in 2007, and has been filling hungry Miami bellies with good food since then. Don’t miss their weekday happy hour and Sunday brunch before window shopping in the Design District.
- Wynwood Yard (Wynwood, $$)
While not technically a restaurant, but a collection of food trucks and garden seating, Wynwood Yard should be a stop on everyone’s Miami food adventure. My favorite trucks here include Della Test Kitchen (yummy veggie bowls) and Kuenko (poke).
- The Salty Donut (Wynwood, $)
If waiting in long lines for the trendiest dessert item is your thing, The Salty Donut is your place. The South Florida donut craze started here, where you can try a bacon-topped treat or a guava-filled, pastellito-inspired pastry.
- Yung Lai Thai Tapas (Little Havana, $$)
Little Havana’s Calle Ocho is no one’s first guess at where to find the best Thai food in Miami. One word of wisdom before your Thai feast begins – you can only order once, so make sure to try everything you want to. After waiting for a table (which you’ll inevitably need to, they don’t accept reservations), you don’t want to leave hungry!
- Joe’s Stone Crab (South Beach, $$$)
If Florida is known for seafood, Miami is known for stone crab, a seasonal delicacy which is only available in winter months. And the best place for stone crab, is none other than Joe’s, a South Beach staple for decades. If you’re in the mood to splurge, definitely try a few stone crab claws with their delicious mustard sauce. If not, their fried chicken sandwich is less expensive but underratedly good.
- El Palacio de los Jugos (Little Havana, $)
Although it’s a little off the beaten path, El Palacio de los Jugos serves exactly what its name implies, fresh local juice with excellent Cuban food. Hop in an Uber and make your way to their original Flagler location or one of their other spots around the county.
- Mandolin Aegean Bistro (Midtown, $$$)
As Miami’s favorite date-night spot, Mandolin turns up the romance with candlelit tables, market lights, and a cozy outdoor patio. You’ll truly feel like you’re in Santorini with their fresh, authentic Greek food and great wine list.
- Ariete (Coconut Grove, $$$)
A relative newcomer to the Coconut Grove neighborhood, Ariete’s puts a modern, seasonal twist on American food. With a meat-heavy menu featuring duck, oxtail nuggets, and venison, any carnivore will be pleased. Their cocktail menu doesn’t disappoint either!
- Coconut Grove Organic Market (Coconut Grove, $)
South Florida’s Glasser Farms is the star of the show at the Coconut Grove Organic Market, but several other vendors bring their goods too. Try a nori wrap or organic ice cream that tastes so good, you can’t believe it’s actually healthy.
- Zuma (Downtown, $$$)
Probably as Miami-like as sushi can get, Zuma is a perfect special-occasion spot. Located in the EPIC Hotel, you can enjoy your gold-encrusted sushi (yes, it’s a real thing) while gazing at the yachts parked at the dock outside. In true Miami fashion, Zuma also offers a killer Sunday brunch, where you can savor sushi to your heart’s content.
If you are planning any other trips make sure to check out these travel guides!
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