Best new restaurants in Miami
What is it? The latest from multiple James Beard Award nominee Brad Kilgore is an update on the classic American restaurant. It’s bougie but not stuffy, and cool without being pretentious.
Why go? Kilgore doesn’t do anything simply, a culinary fact that holds true at Ember where meat and potatoes are far from straightforward. Though, it’s worth breaking from the expected steakhouse combo to try the fried chicken topped with caviar butter, the 30-layer wood-fired vegetarian lasagna and the most Miami very of banana cream pie made with maduros.
What is it? Caja Caliente’s much-anticipated expansion into Coral Gables means more room (1,500 square feet!) to tuck into its signature Cuban-style tacos.
Why go? Owner Monica “Mika” Leon introduces to customers to even more of her family’s recipes, including a filling pan con lechón topped with a fried egg, and gator tacos—because Florida.
What is it? The founders of Itamae at St. Roch take their talents to a new food hall, where they’re serving up inventive sushi with a Peruvian edge.
Why go? The James Beard-nominated, brother-and-sister duo of Valerie and Nando Chang pushes the boundaries of traditional sushi with dishes like the octopus tiradito (sliced paper thin and dotted with an addictive, briny olive mousse) and a shrimp tempura roll topped with torched salmon and a tangy special sauce. Trust us, you won’t miss the soy sauce.
What is it? This Downtown offshoot of Wynwood’s the Butcher Shop serves breakfast all day, plus brunch favorites like chicken and waffles and additional sausage-centric fare.
Why go? When the craving for eggs strikes midday, this place more than satisfies it, offering a variety of options that range from filling and healthy—like the quinoa power bowl—to hangover-curing and decadent like a bagel egg sandwich.
What is it? A massive dining-and-culture destination housing 18 of the city’s best chefs and restaurants under one roof in South Beach. From Wynwood’s Kush and Coyo Taco to Little Havana’s Miami Smokers and Azucar, the gang’s all here.
Why go? Our editors curated the joint, so you know it’s quality.
What is it? James Beard-winning chef Michael Schwartz is at it again in Coconut Grove, this time with a lush, laid-back restaurant serving a Florida-inspired, vegetable-forward menu.
Why go? The bar scene is like none other in the neighborhood, thanks to an expansive counter and a cocktail program helmed by the Bar Lab folks. If you’re not there to drink, don’t miss the mashed fava pizza. If you didn’t order pizza at a Schwartz-led establishment, did you eat there at all?
What is it? This retro-style, seafood-driven Cuban restaurant in Little Havana draws inspiration from Ernest Hemingway’s Cuba, featuring a cozy, 1940s-era dining room.
Why go? If those familiar with Cuban food won’t immediately recognize lots of what’s on the menu, which gives everyone plenty of room to try something new—from a Carribean version of a tirai’to and a tomato-based fish stew to sauteed clams done up with chorizo.
What is it? The new South Miami location of Miami’s most beloved doughnut shop is roomier and chock-full of freshly baked treats and new-wave coffee.
Why go? You’ve braved the traffic to Wynwood and stood in line in the sun. And finally, the doughnuts have come to you.
What is it? An eggcentric restaurant by the same people who brought you the wonderful Asian BBQ spot KYU. It’s the place where all hangovers go to die thanks to an assortment of hearty breakfast fare, pressed juices and a variety of coffees.
Why go? While we love an egg sandwich as much as the next guy, we can’t get enough of LAID’s spicy fried chicken sandwich. It’s drippy, messy and wonderful—and the kind of fuel you need to get you going after a night of drinking.
What is it? This charming Cuban diner serves pastelitos for millennial palates (think PB&J and buffalo chicken) and delicious updates on traditional Cuban food that even your Abuela will approve of.
Why go? Chug’s ventanita opens at 7am. Ditch the long line at Starbucks and start your day with an artisanal brew and a house-made pastry.
What is it? The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove’s new contemporary American is unexpectedly laid-back and well-priced. If you like tasty food and uncomplicated preparations, this is the spot for you.
Why go? You can spend hours tucking into tuna tartare and lobster pappardelle and sipping rosé in the charming courtyard. Trust us, we did.
What is it? Chef Michael Mina and notable cookbook author Ayesha Curry partner in this delicious showcase of global barbecue techniques.
Why go? There’s more than one way to ’cue an ingredient. In fact, there are dozens and International Smoke covers them all—from roasted veggies and smoked shellfish to grilled meats. Plus, the restaurant finishes most of its dishes and cocktails tableside for an added dose of pomp.
What is it? Now in its third iteration, El Tucán is the Brickell supper club Brickell you didn’t know you needed.
Why go? Too often restaurants that woo with beautiful dancers, pyrotechnic bottle service and Instagrammable interiors don’t measure up in the food department. El Tucán isn’t one of those places. Go for the wagyu sliders and toro roll as much as for the Asian-inspired cocktails and seductive performers. It’s all good.