Best Brickell restaurants
What is it? This sleek, seafoodcentric restaurant from famed Spanish chef José Andrés takes tapas to new levels. The nautical-themed, blue-and-white tiled dining room is an absolute dream, while each inventive small plate is seemingly created for Instagram fame.
Why go? Fresh and innovative, Bazaar Mar’s vibrant menu presents ordinary dishes in unexpected ways. Take the deliciously adorable bagel and lox, a fish-shaped air bread stuffed with cream cheese and Russ & Daughters’ smoked salmon, or the po’ boy José, a bite-size brioche sandwich stuffed with fried baby squid.
What is it? James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz’s rustic Italian restaurant churns out fresh pasta, wood-fired pizza and an assortment of hearty mains like braised lamb and roasted fish.
Why go? Fi’lia’s daily aperitivo is one of the best happy hour deals in town, featuring $6 cocktails and pizzas for less than $10 every day from 4 to 7pm. At dinnertime, the tableside Caesar salad makes for a fun performance.
What is it? Gastón Acurio’s glittering waterfront restaurant doles out tasty Peruvian fusion in a cool contemporary setting.
Why go? Chef Diego Oka is constantly experimenting with new recipes, so whether it’s your first time at La Mar or your 20th (lucky you), there’s always something fresh and exciting to experience. On the off chance you’ve tried it all, La Mar’s bachiche tiradito with aged parmesan is worth going in for seconds.
What is it? Famed Venezuelan chef Carlos Garcia’s first U.S. restaurant wows diners with elevated homestyle dishes like uni topped with a fried egg and carbonara pasta tossed with octopus.
Why go? Take a seat at the wrap-around counter and watch as he and his team of talented toques whip up Latin American comfort food from the restaurant’s signature open kitchen—complete with a Josper oven. Obra affords every diner the chef’s table experience without the pressure of a prix-fixe menu or steep prices.
What is it? With more than a dozen locations around the country, star sushi chef Katsuya Uechi’s namesake restaurant operates like a well-oiled machine—expect stellar Japanese fare, excellent service and an inventive cocktail list.
Why go? Zero in on Katsuya Brickell’s smattering of new, Latin-inspired dishes, like the chicken oyako kamameshi—a Japanese hot pot meets arroz con pollo—and the Kilawin roll, a shrimp and snapper maki topped with a delicate coconut-citrus foam.
What is it? This financial district stalwart has survived recessions and land acquisitions, satiating the local business crowd with the freshest oysters around since 2003.
Why go? River Oyster Bar’s sleek, contemporary space is as timeless as its classic seafood menu, featuring staples like crab cakes, whole roasted fish and Florida lobster.
What is it? This sprawling meat emporium extends indoors and outdoors, boasting cozy nooks, enclosed dining areas and a leafy patio where guests tuck into a variety of Uruguayan dishes.
Why go? Quinto’s grill room puts diners in the center of the action. Take a seat at the 12-person counter and watch as slab after link is grilled over open coals and fresh veggies are fire-roasted to perfection. At brunch, the room turns into one giant buffet spread—yum.
What is it? David Grutman’s flashy Asian restaurant and upscale cocktail lounge combine nightlife and high-end dining in one. Komodo’s sexy bird’s nest booths earned it a spot on the list of Miami’s most romantic restaurants.
Why go? See and be seen at Komodo, where the well-heeled satisfy cravings for authentic Peking duck (rows of roasted fowl hang near the entrance), dim sum and hand-crafted cocktails.
What is it? Enjoy sophisticated Niçoise cuisine at this upscale French import. White tablecloths and double-digit pricing notwithstanding, Le Petite is unpretentious and laid-back.
Why go? There are fries and then there are the french fries served at La Petite. Soaked, baked and fried, the labor-intensive spuds take hours to make and it shows through in taste and texture.
What is it? This 40,000-square-foot Italian food hall boasts fast-casual options, a pizza joint, an upscale steakhouse and a charming wine bar, among other concepts, across three floors.
Why go? Variety. Simply put, La Centrale is stacked with options, from fresh pasta and grilled fish to hand-pulled mozzarella and creamy gelato. Plus, the second-floor bar offers a $15 happy hour on bottomless negroni every day from 5 to 7pm.
What is it? A stylish restaurant popular with well-to-do locals, Elcielo triggers the senses with molecular gastronomy cuisine and elaborate fixed menus that take diners through culinary “moments.”
Why go? When was the last time you were allowed to play with your food? Elcielo lets you be a kid—dunking your hands in a bowl of chocolate and licking your fingers clean; breaking open dessert with a hammer, poking through honey bubbles and more.
What is it? Marion is a casual bistro, a flashy French restaurant and a cozy bakery all in one. The vibe—which goes from rowdy to relaxed—depends on the day and the time.
Why go? Thursday night’s dinner parties pack in the beautiful models and European tourists for a fun night of dancing on tables, champagne bottle service with sparklers and DJ tunes till late. There to eat? The eclectic menu pulls from American, Asian and Mediterranean influences, catering to virtually everyone.