You rule the city’s food scene: You’ve wined and dined at the best restaurants in Miami, and if someone wants to know where to get brunch in Miami, you’re their go-to egg master (and pancake master… and mimosa master!). The coffee shops in Miami? They know your name, they know your order and they know you mean business. But there’s always something new to discover, and new to learn—that’s part of the reason you love the Magic City. Stay up to date—and stay reigning supreme—with our guide to the best new restaurants Miami is welcoming to town right now.
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Best new restaurants in Miami
Fans of Bazaar’s whimsical tapas have a new smattering of small plates by José Andrés to fall in love with at Bazaar Mar. For his second Miami restaurant, Andrés devised a menu that celebrates the cuisine of his native Spain, except the ocean-inspired dishes are considerably more grounded than what you’d find at the South Beach location. Foams and parchment-poaching techniques are complemented with traditional grilling and smoking methods executed in a state-of-the-art Josper oven, which renders the most flavorful and perfectly cooked crustaceans you’ve ever tasted. One of several dishes that embodies Bazaar Mar’s dining principles is their Thai lobster: splayed and grilled fully in the Josper and seasoned with lemongrass and other Thai spices. The combination of flavors and textures is remarkable. As with all of Andrés Bazaars, Mar has its own version of the air bread: a hollow fish-shaped bread that’s filled with cream cheese and topped with Russ & Daughters’ smoked salmon. It’s almost too pretty to eat.
It’s been 15 years since local restaurateur Mark Soyka gave Miami a new restaurant to obsess over, but he’s finally delivered. His newest, Café Roval, which opened just down the street from his eponymous eatery, has all the hallmarks of a Soyka outfit—a heritage building, contemporary American menu, jazzy playlist and whimsical outdoor space that transports diners to faraway places. He’s even brought over umbrellas from the now defunct Van Dyke Café on Lincoln Road. The kitchen inside the beautiful coral-rock-and-wood structure, which used to operate as a pump house, doles out farm-to-table fare (think crisp salads, veggie soups, succulent lamb and steak dishes) and vegetarian specialties, such as the vegan dish of the day made with locally grown produce.
James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz gives Italian cuisine a whirl for his latest endeavor. He's churning out an array of pies (as good or even better than what you'll find at his pizza joint, Harry's Pizzeria!), fresh pastas (all made in-house) and hearty mains, like braised lamb and roasted fish. What distinguishes Fi'lia from Schwartz's other spots is the added pageantry of several dishes, like the Ceasar salad servers whip up tableside (which includes grilling fresh bread to make croutons) and the crusty bread and olive oil diners receive upon sitting. Forget salt and paper. Your server will cut tiny pieces of fresh oregano from a potted plant that doubles as a centerpiece and flavor the olive oil right in front of you. As one would image from a restaurant so dedicated to pomp and presentation, service is stellar.
At Olla, Coyo Taco's executive chef Scott Linquist is tapping into a different skillset and sharing his love of authentic Mexican cuisine beyond tacos and street food. Named after the large clay pots used to serve the family-style dishes, Olla takes diners on a gastronomic journey through Mexico's regions. There's mole from Oaxaca, a roasted pig dish made in the traditional Yucatan style and four iterations of enchiladas that represent the bounty of ingredients found throughout the country. Drinks echo the menu's authenticity, so expect top-shelf mescal, housemade margaritas and sangrita served alongside shots of tequila. Linquist also borrowed from Mexican folklore for the look of the space, commissioning local artist Juan Manuel Rozas to create a mural inspired by Mexican painter Diego Rivera.
K Ramen’s approach is simple: trendy food served in a cool space. It’s no gimmick (though getting lost trying to find the underground restaurant might lead you to believe for a second that it’s all part of a stunt), rather it’s a refreshing take on food that’s been seemingly done to death these days. You’ve had plenty of burgers, but few quite as juicy or flavorful as their signature sandwich, which is topped with a creamy secret sauce and optional avocado and bacon slices. Make sure you opt for both, plus a side of the duck fat tater tots. Even ramen, which only makes sense to order two days out of the year in tropical Miami, feels light and new—albeit large and better suited for sharing.
Alas, Miami’s most-visited doughnut truck is now a brick-and-mortar dessert shop. The lines are still long but the new, larger digs mean popular flavors won’t sell out as quickly as they did before. Salty staples are sold here, including the maple bacon brioche doughnut topped with Miami Smokers’ bacon cracklings and the guava and cheese brioche doughnut that’s filled and topped with cream cheese, as well as a couple of rotating vegan options and bite-size holes. Freshly brewed Intelligentsia coffee is a must with any order.
Richard Hales (best known for Blackbrick Chinese in Midtown) has taken over the former Seagrape space inside The Confidante—reviving the hotel’s grim lobby restaurant and giving local fried-chicken fans a new place to get their fix. Every day, guests will find a new “bone” (meat special) and “bird” (poultry special), plus chef Hales’ famous hot chicken and a smattering of traditional southern sides. While the namesake dishes are not to be missed, it’s the starters that really deserve the extra attention—especially the trio of tiny mason jars filled with egg salad and pimento cheese, among other spread options. Construction on the actual space won’t be completed until February 2017, but for now, guests may dine on the terrace and enjoy the perfect winter weather.
This tiny pizza joint has made considerable noise despite being tucked away inside a commercial building off Lincoln Road. Inconspicuous or not, patrons who have sleuthed around enough to find it haven’t stopped raving about chef Renato Viola’s fresh pies, with dough made from flour his family ships directly from Italy. The pies, and Viola’s popular Star Luca—a star-shaped pizza with folded points that are filled with San Marzano sauce, ricotta, Calabrese salami and fresh basil—are front and center at the restaurant’s new Brickell location.
When you don’t feel like deciding between ordering cocktails or sitting down to dinner, head to Commonwealth. South Beach’s newest bar/restaurant combo bills itself as a speakeasy but there’s nothing clandestine about the joint; think warm, relaxed and sometimes rowdy depending on which sports game is showing on one of the big-screen TVs. From the straightforward menu to the wide selection of whiskeys and bourbons (about 120!), Commonwealth is forthcoming, if not generous, about all it has to offer. We’re partial to chef Daniel Roy’s chicken tacos and crispy duck fat fries served with garlic confit aioli. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with a scoop of Sweet Melody’s craft ice cream, which is local and available only at select restaurants around town.
Jugofresh founder Mathew Sherman proves he knows his way around solid food, too, with Paradigm Kitchen, his new healthy restaurant in Sunset Harbour. By reinventing not-so-healthy dishes like pancakes (his are the cheekily named Missionary Pancake Position, which are vegan and gluten-free) and Cuban ropa vieja (dubbed ropa nueva and made with chicken instead of red meat), Sherman’s set out to shift people’s thinking about clean eating. You’ll still find meat, fish and eggs on the menu but they’re going to be organic, farm-raised or wild caught. Still, what the restaurant truly excels at is making flavorful and satisfying vegan dishes. When you want to be good, order the hippy poke poke bowl (no fish, just tons of veggies and tofu). When you want to be bad, finish off your meal with the Stoner’s Delight: glutten-free vegan banana bread topped with almond butter, vegan chocolate sauce, caramelized banana and granola.