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NIU Kitchen Eat List
Photograph: Courtesy NIU Kitchen/Stephan Goettlicher

The best restaurants in Miami you have to try right this minute

Eat your way through the city like a pro with our guide to the best restaurants in Miami, from cheap eats to fine dining

By Virginia Gil

July 2021: It’s the peak of summer and that usually signals a lull for the local dining scene, but not this year. After months of lockdown, July reservations are as tough to come by as they are during the high season even as more spots open throughout the city. Still, we’ve seen a fair amount of closures, including longtime EAT List entries ALL DAY, which closed temporarily, and Joe’s Takeaway, which is taking a short break before resuming service in August. We’ve kept most of the list the same (these are, after all, Miami restaurant essentials) and added touted newcomer Zitz Sum, whose food we’ve been heralding since it was a tiny (but thriving!) home pop-up. 

Talk about resilience. The best restaurants in Miami have weathered months of lockdown and come out the other side stronger, more nimble and with a deepened commitment to hospitality. We’ve seen tiny dining rooms pivot to become remarkable takeout operations. We’ve witnessed fine-dining spots lose the white tablecloths and the china in favor of disposable buckets filled with fried chicken. We’ve also come across many chefs and restaurant owners who added new titles and responsibilities to their existing roles—from delivering meals and taking orders to embracing social media as a way to stay connected to customers. Our picks of the top places to eat in the city reflect the current state of affairs, combining notable cheap eats with some pricier spots worth your hard-earned cash plus waterfront restaurants with great views and outdoor dining options for folks seeking some fresh air.

Just as we did before, Time Out’s local experts scour the city every day for great eats, great value and insider info (even if most of our research is done virtually these days). We value fun, flavor, freshness—and value at every price point. While we normally update the EAT List quarterly, plus whenever there’s a truly spectacular new opening, we’ll be making changes monthly. We’ll be doing our best to keep you informed as new places open, others close and some of our favorites return. It could be a mega-hyped destination restaurant or a pop-up-turned-permanent spot: if it’s on the list we think it’s awesome and think you will too.

Eaten somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutEatList

Find out more about how we eat through the city to make the list.

We hope you’re hungry, Miami.

The best of the city under one roof

Time Out Market Miami
Photograph: Arévalo Photography

Time Out Market Miami

Restaurants South Beach

What happens when you send editors out into the city to scout the best restaurants and chefs? Their collective efforts yield Time Out Market, a dining-and-cultural destination in South Beach, featuring some of Miami’s brightest talents and long-time members of the EAT List—including Kush and Azucar. Offshoots of several local favorites are among the kitchens, such as Phuc Yea’s Pho Mo. While you’re there, try cocktails from Miami’s top bars and catch cool art plus information on events at the Market on our massive LED screen. Our mission is simple (but spelled out here): If we discover something in Miami that’s great, it goes in our media; if it’s unforgettable, it goes in the market. 

Best restaurants in Miami

Boia De
Photograph: FujifilmGirl

1. Boia De

Restaurants Italian Buena Vista

What is it? A cross between an L.A. strip-mall gem and a cozy, narrow Brooklyn dive, Boia De sits on the edge of Little Haiti, where it serves modern American dishes with a few that lean Italian.

Why we love it: Michelin-trained chefs Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer pour themselves into this place, constantly reinventing the classics. The beef tartare, for example, is topped with a crunchy shallot-garlic concoction as well as capers, which are fried for a burst of briny flavor, and then the whole thing is smothered in a yummy tonnato sauce, a tuna-based Italian condiment that holds everything together like some kind of fancy picnic salad. The pasta is fresh and the wine list superb, offering a few skin-contact options to coax you out of your comfort zone.

La Mar
Photograph: Courtesy La Mar

2. La Mar

Restaurants Peruvian Brickell Key

What is it? Gastón Acurio’s renowned Peruvian restaurant inside the Mandarin Oriental, Miami, where the supremely talented Diego Oka runs the show.

Why we love it: It takes serious talent to skillfully execute the complicated raw dishes La Mar puts out daily, and chef Oka’s got it in droves. His precision and technique are on display in every ceviche and tiradito adorned by foams and edible flowers. La Mar’s waterfront patio is another sight for sore eyes, offering diners a 360-degree vista of Downtown and Brickell. Swoon.

Time Out tip: If you try one thing on the menu, make sure it’s the cheese-soaked tiradito bachiche. Aged parmesan and snapper go surprisingly well together, and you likely won’t find this combo anywhere else. 

Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Photograph: Courtesy Mandolin Aegean Bistro

3. Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Restaurants Greek Buena Vista

What is it? Styled after the striking white-and-blue paint seen in Cycladic landscapes, Mandolin is a dreamy outdoor eatery serving traditional Greek food.

Why we love it: There’s no better date spot. The menu of shareable dishes—think mezzes, baskets of freshly baked pita bread and a fresh whole grilled fish for two—helps play up the romantic atmosphere. Mandolin’s satisfying homemade sangria really evokes the feeling of an island vacation, but don’t take too many sips: You might just confuse its whitewashed exterior for Santorini.

Cote Miami
Photograph: Felipe Cuevas

4. Cote Miami

Restaurants Korean Design District

What is it? The Miami outpost of this Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse from New York City is every bit worth the splurge—and splurge you will.

Why we love it? Cote brings a new level of dining experience to Miami, one that’s upscale but approachable and with a high-end menu that’s still got plenty of heart. The tables are equipped with smokeless charcoal grills, where servers cook your dry-aged beef for you. Lest you forget the caliber of the restaurant, there’s no chance you’re going home smelling like you’ve been on the ‘cue yourself. (We can’t say the same about other Korean barbecue joints we’ve frequented.) First time? The Butcher’s Feast tasting experience is a great way to dip your way toe in the water and sample the restaurant’s heavy hitters for less than $60 a person. It’ll leave plenty of room in the budget to savor one of the excellent craft cocktails, such as the Esteban, a super smooth mezcal negroni.

Ghee Indian Kitchen
Photograph: Courtesy Ghee/Diana Garcia

5. Ghee Indian Kitchen

Restaurants Indian Dadeland

What is it? At Ghee, critically acclaimed chef Niven Patel doles out farm-to-table Southeast Asian food good enough to get folks to the ’burbs for dinner.

Why we love it: Patel grows about a quarter of his ingredients at his Rancho Patel in Homestead. And the whole operation is a family affair: His mother and mother-in-law can be seen whipping up smoked lamb neck, crispy cauliflower and steamed green millet, and other specialties in the open kitchen. The dishes are seasonal, the curries are made fresh, and the naan is so flavorful, it should really be savored on its own.

La Petite Maison
Photograph: Courtesy La Petite Maison

6. LPM Restaurant and Bar

Restaurants French Brickell

What is it? This enchanting import from Nice draws on its Mediterranean origins, serving a medley of seafood plates alongside a smattering of traditional French cuisine.

Why we love it? Try the escargot and the french fries, which are made with as much care as the entrées, such as the whole sea bream baked en papillote. In fact, the spuds cook for hours, going from boiling pot to fryer to oven. Staying in these days? LPM will pack your favorite dishes to go in a hand-painted canvas bag and send you home with a Spotify playlist of the restaurant’s soundtrack to help you replicate the dine-in experience at home.

Photograph: FujiFilmGirl

7. Itamae

Restaurants Peruvian Design District

What is it? This family-owned, Nikkei-inspired restaurant grew from a humble stall in the neighborhood’s food hall, Mia Market, to a prime location in the Design District’s Palm Court. 

Why we love it: Itamae 2.0 is a glittering example of innovative Peruvian cooking, where the possibilities for raw fish are seemingly endless. You’ll find a variety of cebiches and other staples of South American cuisine, though our greatest obsession are the conchitas a la parmesana (stacked with fish, charred scallops and avocado). Each order offers four deliciously messy bites that make it snow parmesan flakes as you try to stuff one in your mouth. Getting it everywhere is actually half the fun. 

Photograph: Courtesy Mamey/Ruben Pictures

8. Mamey

Restaurants Caribbean Coral Gables

What is it? James Beard Award-nominated chef Niven Patel (of Ghee Indian Kitchen) takes us on an island tour with a smattering of dishes inspired by his travels through French Polynesia, Asia and the Caribbean.

Why we love it: Getting to experience Patel’s range in the kitchen is a real treat. He ventures far away from the flavors we’re used to yet the food is still undeniably his. He stuffs the menu with as many locally grown ingredients as he can, most of which hs sources from his very own farm in Homestead. Dishes don’t skimp on spices but everything is well-balanced so you’ll never feel like you’ve been hit in the face by sofrito. If there’s one thing you must order, it’s the Ghee roasted plantains. We won’t spoil the surprise, so that’s all we’ll say.

Time Out tip: Mamey on 3rd is the restaurant’s third-floor rooftop bar, where you can order bites and drinks and watch the sunset. It’s a dreamy introduction to the cuisine if it’s your first time.

Photograph: Courtesy Leku

9. Leku

Restaurants Spanish Allapattah

What is it? The Rubell Museum’s onsite restaurant offers a delightful journey through Spain’s Basque country, from the wines and the dishes to the signature burnt cheesecake.

Why we love it: Miami has quite a few Spanish restaurants but few with a focus on Basque cooking, which is pretty special based on our experiences at Leku. Their take on the cuisine is refined, ingredient-driven and occasionally playful—think short rib sliders on milk buns and 5 Jotas Iberico ham on an airy bread you crack with the back of a spoon to enjoy. Speaking of crackers, the starter version topped with seasonal tomatoes doesn’t jump off the page but trust us when we say a more flavor assortment of plump tomatoes, fresh herbs and edible flowers does not exist. Leku is good for a pit spot before or after a visit to the Rubell but it’s also great as a destination for special occasions. Celebrations in the hybrid indoor/outdoor space, tucked behind the sprawling Rubell gates, just hit different.

Luca Osteria
Photograph: Courtesy Luca Osteria

10. Luca Osteria

What is it? Luca is Giorgio Rapicavoli’s delicious salute to his home country, serving up modern interpretations of Italian classics.

Why we love it: We know this is a restaurant list, but we’re going to lead with cocktails. Luca’s impressive list of Italian standards and reinvented classics deserves serious praise. We can never decide between the banana espresso martini or the Portofino, which is his take on a dirty with a delicate drizzle of super high-quality olive oil. Naturally, we get them both. The same goes for the pasta—from the tangy al limone and the cheesy cacio e pepe to the rich short rib bolognese, you’ll want to order several when you dine here. 

Over Under
Photograph: Courtesy Over Under

11. Over Under

Bars Gastropubs Downtown

What is it? Brace for full Florida kitsch at this irreverent Downtown bar and restaurant steeped in all the things that make our great state weird and amusing.

Why we love it: Over Under is home to the best cheeseburger in Miami, plus a few more things that chef James McNeal does very well. The thoroughly Floridian menu touts local ingredients like the gulf oysters served on the half-shell and the wahoo used in the excellent smoked fish dip. Recently, the bar introduced a selection of natural wines should you need a break from the popular boozy slushies and craft cocktails—which are also excellent.

Photograph: Courtesy Mignonette/Tess Gostfrand

12. Mignonette

Restaurants Seafood Midtown

What is it? Converted from a 1930s gas station, this is a genuine oyster bar, with the marquee to prove it.

Why we love it: Find the day’s Atlantic and Pacific bivalves listed on a retro signboard that’s perched above the counter, where you can take a load off and watch all the shucking action. The casual space has a definite diner feel, but with much better food: Overflowing with chunks of buttery claw meat, the Connecticut-style lobster roll comes complete with house-made potato chips.

Photograph: Courtesy Ariete/Blue Shell Media

13. Ariete

Restaurants Contemporary American West Coconut Grove

What is it? At Ariete in Coconut Grove, Michael Beltran flourishes at the intersection of homestyle Cuban cooking and contemporary fine dining. He takes familiar dishes up a notch with high-low ingredient pairings that never feel like it’s trying too hard to connect: From a venison tartare and a uni disco (essentially a griddled sea urchin sandwich) to a monkfish encendido that combines shellfish with beef jus, it all kind of makes sense. 

Why we love it: Few restaurants can execute a burger, foie gras, ceviche and duck with the same precision but then few places are Ariete.

Sushi at Makoto
Photograph: Courtesy Makoto/Laurie Satran

14. Makoto

Restaurants Japanese Bal Harbour

What is it? Stephen Starr’s fancy pants Japanese restaurant inside the luxurious Bal Harbour Shops.

Why we love it: Hello, freshness! Makoto dishes out top-quality seafood, from its sashimi platter and its sushi to its heaping crab salad. With the verdant corridors of the Bal Harbour Shops as the backdrop for its patio and a spicy tuna crispy rice that trumps all other versions of the trendy sushi starter, Makoto wins for its mix of crave-worthy dishes and relaxed, tropical atmosphere.

Bourbon Steak
Photograph: Libby Vision

15. Bourbon Steak

Restaurants Steakhouse Aventura

What is it? A steakhouse for nonbelievers, Bourbon keeps things casual with a sleek wraparound bar and a lounge where snug booths and high-top tables are available sans reservations.

Why we love it: The menu sticks to tried-and-true standards: a crisp wedge salad, a tuna tartare that’s finished tableside, and myriad cuts of prime Angus beef and wagyu. Don’t overlook the burger, which pairs perfectly with the free (and unlimited!) duck-fat fries, served in lieu of the usual bread basket.

Jaguar Sun
Photograph: Michael Pisarri

16. Jaguar Sun

Bars Cocktail bars Downtown

What is it? After a brilliant lockdown pivot to an outdoor steakhouse in Little River, the Downtown bar and restaurant returns with a redesigned dining room and new outdoor seating.

Why we love it: Synergetic owners chef Carey Hynes and bar director Will Thompson manage to complement each other each step of the way. There’s no fino martini without an order of the market crudo, no Madame Butterfly without the parker house rolls and no Very Strong Baby without a heaping bowl of spicy rigatoni to make sure you’re not a very drunk diner. There are three parts to the perfect meal at Jaguar Sun: a martini, a pasta and an ice cream sandwich. Everything else is the cherry on top.

Time Out tip: Jaguar’s large-format martini is a deliciously dangerous proposition. Don’t think we’ve seen something like it anywhere else so we suggest you order one. You know, for science.

El Bagel
Photograph: Lauren Cedeño

17. El Bagel

Restaurants Bakeries Little Haiti / Lemon City

What is it? Its smash-hit food truck was a favorite among those whose preferred Saturday morning activity was waiting in line for food. Now El Bagel’s brick-and-mortar is the chosen bagel spot of people with incredible patience.

Why we love it: Takeout at this small MiMo shop can take up to two hours but no one craving an oversize, NYC-style hand-rolled bagel can resist. The B.E.C. with Proper Sausages bacon, egg, and cheese and the avo smash with a mound of fresh sprouts are day-one favorites you can still get at the shop. 

Zitz Sum
Photograph: Fuji Film Girl

18. Zitz Sum

What is it? Zitz Sum is a modern, Asian-inspired restaurant in Coral Gables.

Why go? Chef and owner Pablo Zitzmann started his solo dumpling business during lockdown, and we couldn’t be happier for his success. Zitz Sum is now a brick-and-mortar in Coral Gables, which means we can pop in at any time for his hand-rolled dumplings, scallion pancakes and other Asian-influenced dishes. Zitzmann, who’s of German-Mexican heritage, lets his creativity run free with unexpected pairings like charred cabbage with habanero butter and aged parmesan and chicken pot stickers with Oaxacan salsa macha. 

NIU Kitchen
Photograph: Stephan Goettlicher

19. NIU Kitchen x Arson

Restaurants Downtown

What is it? NIU Kitchen Chef Deme Lomas and wine director Karina Iglesias’s compact Catalonian café is located deep in Downtown Miami. The intimate spot expanded next door to sister restaurant, Arson, where diners can space out safely and enjoy the best of both menus.

Why we love it: There’s a seasonal lineup of bold tapas and flame-grilled mains, like the delicate branzino fillet topped with guindilla peppers and jamón ibérico. While delicious pa amb tomàquet (the traditional rustic bread with vine-ripened tomatoes, olive oil and salt), bottles of natural wines and something starring a running yolk like the ous—a creamy bowl of poached eggs, truffled potato foam, jamón ibérico and black truffle—are always a given.

Hutong Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Hutong Miami

20. Hutong

Restaurants Chinese Brickell

What is it? This splashy Northern Chinese restaurant in the heart of Brickell draws in Miami’s most well-heeled crowds.

Why we love it: Its Peking duck two ways (once with hoisin sauce and pancakes and a second time stir-fried with lettuce wraps), pillowy bao buns stuffed with lobster and a branzino in a tongue-tingling sauce are too tasty to forget.

Time Out tip: Hutong eclipses your favorite Chinese joint in quality and price but its limited-time Red Lantern menu (available Wednesday through Sunday) gives diners the opportunity to sample its most popular dishes for under $70.

Lung Yai Thai Tapas
Photograph: Giovanny Gutierrez/ChatChowTV

21. Lung Yai Thai Tapas

Restaurants Thai East Little Havana

What is it? Chef Bas’s compact restaurant in Little Havana is a delicious ode to his native Thailand. 

Why we love it: You will most definitely have to stand in line for the curries, but trust us: Every single one of them is worth it. Part of the schtick here is that you’re only allowed to order your food once, so make sure the pad see ew with beef (a stir-fry with thick rice noodles) and the khao soi gai (a golden curry) find their way to your table. You’ll want to slurp up the latter like a soup to get every last drop.

Time Out tip: Don't let the line discourage you. Put your name down and grab a beer or glass of wine from inside to enjoy on the sidewalk while you wait.

Photograph: Courtesy Macchialina

22. Macchialina

Restaurants South Beach

What is it? Chef Michael Pirolo’s South Beach trattoria with a newly minted garden patio.

Why we love it: It’s the familiar rustic Italian dishes that do us in here. Get handmade pasta served with lamb ragú, tossed with clams or served simply with garlic and olive oil to enjoy outdoors or at home now that the restaurant introduced delivery.

Time Out tip: For a gut-busting meal that won’t burn a hole through your pocket, stop in for red sauce Sundays. Dinner for two with meatballs, rigatoni, salads and grilled country bread is just $50. (The deal is on a short hiatus but keep an eye out fir its imminent return.)

The Surf Club
Photograph: Deborah Jones

23. The Surf Club Restaurant

Restaurants American Surfside

What is it? Thomas Keller’s restaurant inside the Four Seasons Surf Club is a shining example of the quality and elegance the chef is known for.

Why we love it: From the tightly edited classic American menu to the midcentury stylings to the special moments afforded by the numerous tableside preparations available, it’s all class, baby. It’s not stuffy though, as classic rock and dim lights give the warm space a lounge feel. Go in knowing you’re going to spend a fortune but it’ll all be worth it for shareable dishes like the flaky beef wellington that’s baked and carved to order.

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
Photograph: Courtesy Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

24. Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

Restaurants Contemporary American Design District

What is it? James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz’s premier restaurant in the Design District is one of those iconic Miami institutions that you’re supposed to like, and you invariably will.

Why we love it: Even putting buzz, accolades, celebrity sightings and longevity aside, the Design District staple still wows us 12 years later. The food and atmosphere walk the line between casual and showy, making it the perfect standby for a quick happy-hour cocktail, a business lunch of grilled escarole and a short-rib–and-fontina panini, or a date- night dinner of oysters, wood-oven snapper and pour upon pour of that ambrosial French wine that Schwartz keeps in stock.

Editor's note: Michael's is temporarily closing for renovations on July 24, 2021.

27 Restaurant & Bar at Freehand Miami
Photograph: Courtesy 27 Restaurant & Bar at Freehand Miami/Justin Namon

25. 27 Restaurant & Bar at Freehand Miami

Restaurants Contemporary American Miami Beach

What is it? A homey, bi-level restaurant housed inside a former Art Deco home that serves globally inspired dishes made with fresh ingredients from local farms.

Why we love it: Hipster home-cooking is the thing here—familiar recipes featuring unexpected ingredients and portioned to share. The kimchi fried rice is a must at brunch or dinner while the newly added oyster mushrooms with malawach rule the appetizer game. And you can’t leave without ordering a cocktail by the famous Bar Lab team.

Time Out tip: Overwhelmed by the list of drinks? Tell your server your choice of spirit and preferred flavor profile (sweet, spicy, refreshing, etc.,) and wait for the perfect drink to arrive at your table.

Wabi Sabi by Shuji - Time Out Market Miami
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

26. Wabi Sabi by Shuji

Restaurants Japanese Miami

What is it? Chef Shuji Hiyakawa’s casual Upper Eastside restaurant serves up super-fresh chirashi bowls and house-made teas.

Why we love it: The authentic Japanese shop’s subtle but important details: Hand-folded origami cranes hang on the wall (Shuji and his friends folded some themselves). The effortless style goes wonderfully with the restaurant’s pared-down menu of simple, satisfying sushi bowls, sashimi and maki. The dishes—big on flavor and low on ego—don’t skimp on portions. Patrons choose from hearty combinations of fresh tuna, salmon, crab, rice, seaweed and more that will leave you feeling full but not sluggish.

Photograph: Anthony Nader/52 Chefs

27. Taquiza North Beach

Restaurants Mexican North Beach

What is it? Dubbed the “Casa de Masa,” this beachfront Mexican spot is known for its signature blue masa tortillas and pared-down, street-style tacos.

Why we love it: Taquiza keeps it simple, with a high-quality base that doesn't need much to help it shine. In fact, it might shock some people that the tacos here are really only stuffed with meat—think al pastor and carne asada—and topped with a sprinkling of fresh onions and cilantro. The main attraction, though, are the totopos, a style of corn tortilla chips that originates in Mexico’s Oaxaca region. Crispy yet chewy, salty and fresh from the fryer, they pair perfectly with a side of guac and a refreshing michelada.

Time Out tip: Taquiza nearly doubled its outdoor seating recently in case you’d rather enjoy that beer cocktail in the sunshine.

Sanguich de Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Sanguich de Miami

28. Sanguich de Miami

Restaurants Sandwich shops East Little Havana

What is it? A modern take on a Cuban cafeteria, this Little Havana counter sells pressed sandwiches, croquetas and a handful of hearty, quick bites.

Why we love it: Sanguich infuses the proud Cubano with house-made ingredients, such as cured ham, brined pork, fresh pickles and artisanal mustard. (Hell, even the doughy bread is made to Sanguich’s strict specifications.) Obviously, the best Cubano in Miami resides here. Plus, its Cuban version of nachos—with fried plantain strips and garlic aioli sauce—is utterly out of this world.


Photograph: Courtesy Lucali

29. Lucali

Restaurants Pizza South Beach

What is it? The hip Sunset Harbour outpost of one of Brooklyn’s most famous pizza joints, Lucali.

Why we love it: When it comes to pizza and bagels, Miamians defer to New Yorkers. Lucali opened here nearly seven years ago, and there hasn’t been a slow night since. The thin, wood-fired pies are the best-seller, closely followed by the lauded kale Caesar salad and the made-to-order Black Angus meatballs.

Photograph: Juan Fernando Ayora

30. KYU

Restaurants Barbecue Wynwood

What is it? This modern Asian eatery has nabbed multiple award nominations and, five years in, is still one of Wynwood’s toughest reservations to snag.

Why we love it: Executive chef Raheem Sealey elevates comfort-food classics like pork buns, Korean fried chicken and crab-fried rice into uniquely satisfying, visually arresting dishes. Try the crowd-favorite roasted cauliflower: Served over a bright-chartreuse herb vinaigrette, the enormous charred head is tender but still has plenty of bite. Make sure to save room for the spot’s signature dessert: a towering slice of coconut cake, accompanied by toasted coconut shavings and a scoop of house-made coconut ice cream.

Zak the Baker
Photograph: Zak the Baker/Platonic Studios

31. Zak the Baker

Restaurants Delis Wynwood

What is it? Zak Stern’s eponymous bakery and certified-Kosher sandwich shop in Wynwood is ground zero for all things sourdough.

Why we love it: Stern’s bread is a well-known team player in sandwiches and toasts at countless other restaurants. But his own intricate breakfast sammies are in a class of their own, with ingredients like alfalfa sprouts and heirloom tomatoes. We’re also big fans of the spectacular bagel platters, classic deli-style food and the rotating vegan soup. Beyond doling out naturally leavened bread and handmade pastries, ZTB launched a popular falafel pop-up featuring sandwiches and crispy french fries. Delivery and takeout are available as is dine-in service at its newly built patio.

Hometown BBQ
Photograph: Virginia Gil

32. Hometown BBQ

Restaurants Barbecue Allapattah

What is it? The sprawling New York import with an expansive dining room, behemoth smoker and dinosaur-sized racks of ribs.

Why we love it: You can count on the Allapattah restaurant to serve all the ‘cue classics, like brisket and coleslaw, as well as some more unusual dishes, like pastrami bacon and a veggie yuca bowl. As for drinks, Hometown offers small-batch wines and hand-crafted cocktails to help wash down all those smoked meats.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Wally Gobetz

33. Versailles

Restaurants Cuban West Little Havana

What is it? Versailles in Little Havana bills itself as Miami’s most famous Cuban restaurant—and they’re not lying.

Why we love it: This place is slammed at all hours of the day (now outdoors under a widespread tent). If you’re visiting, tick off every Cuban thing from your Miami bucket list—coffee, sandwich and pastelito. If you live here, you’re probably well acquainted with the ventanita dispensing thimbles of addictive cafecito. 

Mary's Cafe
Photograph: Vanessa Rogers

34. Mary’s Cafe

Restaurants Cuban Shenandoah / Silver Bluff

What is it? This 24-hour walk-up window is attached to a laundromat, but it's so much more than a place to grab a snack while you do your laundry.

Why we love it: Fuel up after a night out with a scrumptious pan con bistec—tender steak, lettuce, tomato, onions, ketchup and crispy potato sticks—or a tasty medianoche sandwich (like a Cuban but on sweet, challah-like loaf). Round-the-clock hours make it the ideal pitstop for a strong cafecito, an afternoon smoothie or a late-night Cubano.

Motek Café
Photograph: Courtesy Motek Café

35. Motek Café

Restaurants Israeli Downtown

What is it? Sandwiched between jewelry stores in Downtown's historic Seybold Building, Motek rivals the hip cafés of Tel Aviv with its bright, inviting space and stacked menu of authentic Israeli delights.

Why we love it: From crispy falafel and juicy schnitzel to fresh salad and creamy house-made hummus, the fast-casual spot does street food with care, leaning into the spice-driven cuisine for simple, flavorful dishes you can enjoy at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our morning go-to? Motek’s shakshuka—made with just enough heat to kickstart your day.

Green Street Cafe
Photograph: Courtesy Green Street Cafe

36. Greenstreet Cafe

Restaurants Coconut Grove

What is it? The Grove’s command central for people-watching and dog ogling has long occupied the same bustling corner.

Why we love it: There’s a small indoor dining room, though few would know it by the throngs of people who spill out onto the street waiting for a coveted table on the sidewalk. It’s a trusted breakfast and brunch spot, which is why you can get omelettes and pancakes every day well into the afternoon. Good weather days are best enjoyed here with one of Greenstreet’s signature Bloody Marys in hand and eggs and bacon on the way.

Local chefs, restaurants and concepts we love so much that we welcomed them into Time Out Market

Azucar Ice Cream Company
Photograph: Courtesy Azucar Ice Cream Company

Azucar Ice Cream Company

Restaurants Ice cream parlors East Little Havana

If Azúcar was just your average ol’ scoop shop, it would still be hard to pass up thanks to its prime Calle Ocho location, but this place serves varieties that could come only from a Miami mind (which, in this case, is founder Suzy Battle). The flavors are ridiculously tasty and desserts double as an education in famous Cuban-American dishes. Azúcar’s super-popular Abuela Maria scoop features ribbons of sweet guava paste, chunks of cream cheese and crumbled Maria cookies—a classic Cuban combination.

Photograph: Courtesy Bachour


Restaurants Cafés Coral Gables

Bachour could probably charge admission just for folks to come in and stare at its artful pastries through the sleek display cases. Thankfully, it doesn’t. Also, unlike a museum, guests are encouraged to taste the works of art—which are as satisfying to eat as they are to look at. Don’t leave without sampling the red velvet croissant or the hypnotizing tulip confection (you can practically see your reflection in the red glaze). Other tempting options include the veggie burger topped with perfectly symmetrical slices of avocado and a tartine piled high with bright, fresh ingredients.

Phuc Yea new brunch
Photograph: Courtesy Phuc Yea

Phuc Yea

Restaurants Vietnamese Little Haiti / Lemon City

Cesar Zapata’s great Viet-Cajun experiment began as a pop-up in 2011. The response? More, please. And so Phuc Yea was born in Miami’s MiMo District, an area that has thankfully ballooned with culinary talent over recent years. Phuc Yea is no small part of that balloon. The restaurant enjoys a prime location on Biscayne Boulevard and a large, shaded courtyard awash in crimson accents and eye-catching lanterns. If the outside of Phuc Yea sings old-school glamour, the inside screams a more modern Miami attitude—with dashes of industrial chic and Asian flare with a tiki-bar aftertaste.

Photograph: Courtesy Kush/Hernan Corredor


Restaurants Hamburgers Midtown

Matthew Kuscher’s neighborhood burger joint is popular with people and canines alike (yep, they’ve got a special dog menu, too). Its selection of grass-fed beef burgers runs the gamut from traditional to only-in-Miami, like the famous Cuban frita burger with guava jelly. Most of what you’ll find on the menu is made from locally sourced ingredients (including the tender gator bites) and produced in-house. Brew-loving Kuscher has also made sure to stock an assortment of local beers.


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