The best Miami Beach restaurants from Mid Beach to North Beach

We can’t get enough of these Miami Beach restaurants, from swanky Italian spots and sushi favorites to healthy staples

Photograph: Michael Pisarri

When it comes to Miami Beach restaurants, locals used to fall into two camps: residents of the resort city, who never have a reason to leave, and mainland-bound Miamians who only “schlep” there under protest. The two have learned to coexist and bond over their shared loves of incredible options that extend as far north as Surfside and Bal Harbour and as south as Mid-Beach (South Beach an entirely different beast deserving of a separate ranking system). To say it’s a thriving dining scene that has everyone flocking without any complaints—no matter the distance—is an understatement. Suddenly, top Miami Beach restaurants are some of the top in Miami, period. These are some of the best restaurants in Miami currently luring us with thick, juicy steaks, inspired sushi rolls, seasonal items and some of the best cocktails in Miami.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Miami Beach

Best Miami Beach restaurants

1

27 Restaurant & Bar at Freehand Miami

5 out of 5 stars
Recommended

Everything about this Middle-Eastern-inspired restaurant feels homey, down to the family-style recipes—but you won’t find your parents here. This 1930s cottage on the Freehand Miami property is where the cool kids go for meals (they probably stumbled over from the Shaker). At brunch, it’s all about the shakshuka and the kimchi fried rice at dinner, plus a smattering of other tasty options. 

What to order: Gabe’s arepa platter comes with everything you need to build your own mini sandwich, including ropa vieja, cheese and other toppings.

 

Miami Beach
2

Scarpetta

5 out of 5 stars

No one beats grandma’s cooking but for homemade Italian in a slightly nicer setting (no offense, nonna), we head to Scarpetta. Celebrity chef Scott Conant has refined his own family recipes to bring the masses elevated on regional dishes, including creamy polenta with a fricassee of truffled mushrooms and Mediterranean octopus. 

What to order: You can’t say you’ve experienced Scarpetta until you have Conant’s classic spaghetti with tomato basil—it’s fresh pasta in a simple sauce but it tastes like magic. 

Mid-Beach
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3

Matador Room

5 out of 5 stars

With a name such as Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten attached, Matador Room sets the expectation way high for diners—and it delivers both in experience and cuisine. Its midcentury design is reminiscent of 1950s glamour, though the vibe is far more upscale than stuffy. Caribbean, Spanish and Latin flavors all find their way to the seasonal menu, featuring artisanal pizzas, delicate seafood options and plenty of small plates to pass around before making your way to Basement downstairs. 

What to order: The avocado pizza because we’re still not over the avocado-on-everything trend.

Miami Beach
4

The Strand Bar & Grill

4 out of 5 stars

In a city where everyone is constantly trying to eat healthy but so frequently fails thanks to a rosé-all-day culture, it’s nice to have places like the Strand to help you rein it in. There’s still wine on the menu but cocktails feature fresh-pressed juices—plus you have an array of fresh seafood options and delicious vegetarian items, like the mushroom lasagna, to keep things light.

What to order: It’s probably the most decadent thing on the menu but the polenta agnolotti with short rib and kale is worth the extra calories.

North Beach
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5

Le Zoo

4 out of 5 stars

This adorable French bistro is inside a mall, but you’d never tell based on its lovely string lights and overall chic decor. Le Zoo, being a Stephen Starr restaurant, has a certain reputation to uphold and it does so beautifully with a menu that’s equal parts classic and modern, featuring items like steak frites and duck confit pizza.

What to order: The onion soup gratinée, traditional French onion soup, is a must here. 

Bal Harbour
6

Makoto

4 out of 5 stars

Yes, we’re suggesting another mall restaurant and the second Stephen Starr property at that, but there’s good reason for it: spicy tuna crispy rice. Though Makoto is more than its famous appetizer, luring diners from all over with its upscale Japanese fare and sushi plus a superb selection of robata-grilled proteins and vegetables.

What to order: The Japanese risotto, made with brown rice, seasonal veggies and truffles, is an unusual choice but one you won’t regret. Oh, and of course, you can’t go home without trying the crispy rice.

Bal Harbour
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7

Le Sirenuse Miami Restaurant

4 out of 5 stars

Miami Beach hasn’t seen a high-end restaurant quite like Le Sirenuse in a while, and the city is soaking up every bit of this bougie spot. The champagne bar near the entrance doles out classic Bellinis (they even have an adorable cart built specially for the drink and handcrafted cocktails. Make your way to the back (or out to the terrace if it’s a nice day) for upscale Italian food, from pastas and risottos to cheesy antipasti.

What to order: The halibut with roasted cauliflower ain’t cheap but it is one of the tastiest pieces of buttery filet you’ll try this year.

Surfside
8

Cecconi's

4 out of 5 stars

Cecconi’s popularity hasn’t waned since it opened as the only public offering inside the exclusive Soho Beach House. It’s here where you can rub elbows with members and experience the same five-star treatment. But who are we kidding? We’re here for the pasta—stuffed, baked or doused with house-made sauce. The romantic lighting courtesy of a small forest draped in dazzling garlands ain’t bad either.

What to order: The truffle goat cheese pizza is the reason you won’t fit into your swimsuit this summer but also the reason you won’t care. It’s so good. 

Miami Beach
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9

Pizza & Burger

4 out of 5 stars

The next time your kids demand pizza and burgers, you’ll feel better about caving in thanks to this place. Michael Mina’s cool basement restaurant (with easy access to the Fontainebleau pools) doles out the family-friendly fare in flavor combinations and styles even grown-ups can appreciate, such as the merguez-style lamb patty dressed in a creamy yogurt sauce or the scampi pizza topped with prawns tossed in a garlic sauce.

What to order: Surprisingly, the thing here is the salad, mostly because these mountains of greens are fully customizable: order a style you like from the list or create your own.

Miami Beach
10

Bird & Bone

4 out of 5 stars

It feels almost counterintuitive to dive into a plate of fried chicken when you’re sitting poolside, but you won’t think twice the moment chef Richard Hales’ hot bird lands on your table. It pairs exceptionally well with cheddar and chive biscuits and white corn grits, both of which are dinnertime and brunch staples at the Confidante’s backyard restaurant.

What to order: We gave it away above but there are actually two styles of chicken on the menu: the hot chicken and the roast chicken. Both are fantastic.

Miami Beach
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11

Los Fuegos

4 out of 5 stars

This spot comes to us from Argentina’s grillmaster Francis Mallmann, who you might recognize from a library’s worth of chef shows and docs. Trust him (and the team he’s entrusted) to serve the best cuts of beef, chorizos and more meaty gaucho fare on this side of the Americas.  

What to order: Red meat—and not just because the entire place is crimson—especially on Sundays for the restaurant’s weekly parrillada-style brunch.  

Miami Beach

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