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Joe’s Stone Crab
Photograph: Courtesy Joe’s Stone Crab

19 Miami food influencers reveal the restaurant meals they’re looking forward to the most

By
Virginia Gil
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Going to bars and restaurants is a Miamian’s favorite pastime. When we’re not at the beach, we’re either at happy hour with our coworkers or at brunch with our girlfriends. Going out is what unifies us and, sadly, we can’t do that right now. 

But that doesn’t mean you can keep us from daydreaming! We’re a resilient bunch—just look at how we’re passing the time on our balconies. Though, to be honest, the hours we’re not spending doing a Zoom workout or staring at manatees floating by onscreen, we’re plotting our return back to our favorite places in the city. Mine? It’s a toss-up between a crowded feast with friends at Lung Yai Thai Tapas in Little Havana or a cozy date night at Boia De, fighting for the last piece of toasted bread and steak tartare.

When the time comes for restaurants to safely reopen, we will welcome them with open arms. Until then, we’ve asked some of our favorite Miamians about where they’re most excited to hit up once this is all over—and where they’ll never take a meal out for granted again. 

Ria Michelle, Miami blogger: Malibu Farm

"I’d love to just go to Malibu Farm for a beautiful oceanside brunch. Love the atmosphere, the drinks and the food there. They have such unique dishes it’s always fun to try something new with every visit."

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Elizabeth Bronson, lifestyle blogger: Peacock Garden Cafe

"Ohh what I wouldn’t give to be free and planning to brunch al fresco at Peacock Garden this weekend! Definitely will be one of the first places I sprint at a lightning speed pace to grab a table in their charming courtyard with my pup at my side. I’ll take one of the signature giant Very Berry Mimosas and dive into the Eggs Benedict. Maybe the Monte Cristo Sandwich. Oh, but then there’s the Short Rib Baguette with a dipping sauce. Realistically, I’ll need one of each followed by a nice long walk through the Grove. If anyone asks, I’ll be daydreaming about brunching all afternoon."

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Kelly Blanco, NBC6 reporter: Lucali

"Lucali will probably be the first place I visit when restaurants (safely) reopen—but it has to be on a Thursday. As a Miami Beach resident, I truly miss Lucali’s vibe, friendly staff and consistently great pizza. I’ll be ordering my pie with mushrooms and pepperoni, plus wings, meatballs, grilled artichokes, kale Caesar salad and a good ol’ Hot Box margarita to cheers with my best friends! Then we will go next door to Bay Club and sing our hearts out at karaoke—celebrating health, freedom, friendship, and the service industry."

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Lauren Melamed, culinary marketing director: Hometown Barbecue

"I am counting down the days till I can go drive to Allapatah and feast on ribs, slabs of marinated bacon and corn bread galore at my all-time favorite, Hometown Bbq. Every time I go to Hometown I always just have the best meal and always in good company. It’s by far my favorite barbecue spot and NYC transplant to date."

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Olee Fowler, Eater Miami editor: Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company

"I can’t wait to drink and dance the night away with all of my girlfriends—because who doesn’t miss that right now?—at Sweet Liberty. After downing a few cocktails, I make sure to order up the Buns of Liberty Burger. It’s double patty burger that is messy in the best sort of way, and hands down one of the best burgers in Miami, whether you have five drinks before or not."

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Geoffrey Anderson, co-founder and food blogger at Miami Food Pug: Itamae

"What we’re looking forward to the most is sushi from Itamae. We’ve visited dozens of times, and they have the freshest fish—the flavors and selections are incredible. And they’re always running specials, so there’s always something new to try. It’s a new experience every time."

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Valentina Mussi, food and travel blogger at Sweet Portfolio: Osaka

"I never realized how much I depend on restaurant food until now. I love to cook, but I am already getting bored of eating the same things over and over. Grilled chicken, veggies, rice, steak, salmon… I really really miss eating the raw foods you can usually only get at a restaurant like sashimi, oysters and steak tartare. My biggest craving at this moment is the table-side Niku Tartar from Osaka Nikkei in Brickell made with prime beef, miso cured foie, cured egg yolk, and nori crackers⁣. The presentation for the dish is simply gorgeous—the server will prepare the tartare in front of you and fire it—and yes it tastes as good as it looks. Everything from Osaka is extraordinary from their food and ambiance to their desserts, drinks, and service. As soon as everything goes back to “normal” this the first place I am making a reservation at."

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Gio Gutierrez, food photographer and content curator at Chat Chow: LPM Restaurant and Bar

"So the minute the clock strikes noon, I’ll be headed to LPM Restaurant & Bar in Brickell for some French-Mediterranean cuisine. Starting with their scallop tartare with EVOO, toasted almond slivers, capers, cranberry, raisins, orange zest and chives; some escargot drenched in garlic butter and a few Greenwich cocktails of rum, mint and matcha to wash it all down!"

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Nico Norena, food blogger at Succulent Bite: Glass & Vine

"I had the chance to try a whole spread by Glass & Vine delivered home! The first time trying them and I LOVED it all, from their crispy Brussels sprouts to the coquito french toast. Definitely looking forward to brunching with them at their Coconut Grove location!"

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Alexandra Klummp, lifestyle blogger at Beyond South Beach: Lagniappe

"I miss Lagniappe so much. Being huddled inside, looking for our favorite bottle of wine and choosing the meats & cheeses for our charcuterie board while listening to the band play. I can’t wait to walk out to their garden, see crazy amounts of people sitting at all the mix & matched tables and feeling insecure that we won’t find one for our group, then feeling a surge of relief as we spot a couple finishing their churrasco and wine and getting up to leave. Swooooop! We secured a table. Bring on the great conversation and laughs with friends. (Can you tell I’ve been dreaming about lagniappe?)"

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Diandra Lamas, Yelp Miami senior community manager: Ariete

"I miss dining out so much. Not just because of the food, but because of the people you get to know when you visit your favorite places regularly. I can’t wait for when I can post up at my go-to bar stool at Ariete and order a Dimelo Viejo from Rob. I’ll enjoy 12 to 25 of Chef Mike’s grilled oysters with bone marrow butter and chisme on the side. Maybe my mom will crash my happy hour as she often does and we’ll order the duck press? Or maybe we’ll get a chug burger and charcuterie with chicken liver mousse *drools*. WHO KNOWS?! I do know that we will definitely hug everyone (looking at you, Shannon), and we will definitely get one of Devin’s desserts. Meals are best enjoyed when you have it all: the music, the ambiente, the chefs behind the line, the team, the guests and obviously the food. I can’t wait for this day!"

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George Arango, food and travel blogger at Mr.Eats305: Le Chick

"Le Chick has always been one of my favorite spots in Miami. Their Royale burger could be considered the best burger in Miami. However, that’s not all they have to offer. I love the dark/sexy vibe Le Chick has at night. In addition to their new addition of the patio bar, it creates a lounge vibe while enjoying their burger, chicken, ribs, jalapeño fries and now with some cocktails too. really brings together the entire menu and builds on their incredible ambiance. Can’t wait to have a feast here once everything is back in business."

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Stacy Moya, food and drink writer: Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar

"It seems so long ago that I stepped into my favorite spot, Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant & Winebar but it really isn’t. Everything here is always on point from the attentive service to the delectable food. I always start with a glass of the pomegranate sangria and share an appetizer such as the sweet corn tamalito with grilled shrimp or the Tuesday special French onion soup. My favorite main is the filet mignon with creamy mashed potatoes and the strawberry fields ice cream with cheesecake chunks for dessert. The thought of it right now just made my mouth water."

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Maria Tettamanti, lifestyle blogger: OTL

"I miss my post Ahana yoga breakfast meet-ups at OTL. If you’ve indulged in their OTL Seed Butter Toast you know exactly what I’m talking about! The toasted brioche bread is slathered in the most delicious nut butter and is otherworldly! I also daydream about breaking a sweat at Ahana or Rise Nation and lunches at Dal Plin—they make the freshest pasta in Miami RN."

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Dana Rozansky, food blogger at Miami Food Porn: Joe’s Stone Crab

"While there are so many restaurants on my growing post-pandemic hit list, Joe’s Stone Crab rises to the top for me. First, it’s a go-to spot for my family, and I’m missing family dinners like crazy. Joe’s is such a quintessential Miami joint that gives me a sense of comfort and familiarity. From schmoozing with the maitre D, to the inevitable run-ins with old friends, to the delicious (and consistent) food, it’s always an experience from start to finish. While you can’t go wrong with stone crabs, no visit is complete for me without a Joe’s chopped salad, grilled tomatoes and the ginger salmon...and a slice of key lime pie, of course. Next time, I’m thinking I might just get the whole damn pie to make up for lost time."

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Alexandria Guerra, culinary publicist: Toni’s Sushi

"Words can’t describe how much I miss Toni’s Sushi (very unassuming on Washington Ave. in Miami Beach). My bae bae Scott got me hooked on one of our very first dates and now we frequent once a month. We have a system where we eat enough sushi to almost pass out but, somehow make it home. We only sit at the sushi bar and as soon as we sit down sake boxes are what’s up #SaketoMe. They always have a great list of specials depending on the season but, my favorites are the Ankimo (monkfish liver), Giant Clam and Live Scallop. I really miss our dessert platter which is a plate we always request made of Uni, Toro, Ikura and Quail Egg and Sweet Shrimp. I would also do unspeakable things for their spicy scallop handroll and Ika Nato (it’s slimy and weird but, I dig it)."

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Emilie Sobel, lifestyle and beauty influencer: Malibu Farm

"I cannot wait to be able to go enjoy a meal outside with a huge group of friends. I especially miss the Avocado Pizza, Burrata Salad and Pear Cocktails from Malibu Farm Miami Beach, specifically during golden hour on their outdoor patio. One of my all-time favorite spots for relaxing Miami vibes and delicious, guilt-free food."

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Amber Love Bond, food and drink writer: Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company

"I can’t wait to burst through the doors of Sweet Liberty for a night of too many cocktails, cauliflower nachos, and dancing until 5 a.m. Sweet Liberty is like home base for me—there’s great cocktails, some of the best bartenders in the city, and seriously good food (by Michelle Bernstein) set to a killer playlist all night long. I’m dreaming of the French onion soup, nachos, and Cuban sandwich paired with a martini (or several) made by Shauna. Realistically, by the time I get there I will have also already visited Jaguar Sun and Mama Tried on the way!" 

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Frances Wang, CBS Miami reporter: Ceviche 105

"In January, my mom visited from California for the 1st time. I got to show her some of my favorite cuisines in South Florida so far from Ceviche105 and Peruvian dishes to Versailles for a Cuban breakfast to the Florida Keys! I miss not only the traveling aspect, but the dining aspect that really makes a trip special. Nothing like family time and bonding with your mama over trying new foods and new places. Especially in South Florida, where the food isn’t just delicious but the views at so many restaurants are unbeatable. While I’ve been doing take-out to support local restaurants as much as possible during this time, there’s nothing like the experience of dining in!"

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