Your guide to restaurants in the Design District

There is a surprising amount of restaurants in the Design District, and we’ve got the lowdown on each one
Photograph: Donna Irene Muccio
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Are you a tad shocked to learn there are so many great restaurants in the Design District? Don’t feel bad. Shopping tends gets all the credit in the area, but if you look past the designer brands you’ll be rewarded with some really good food. Hiding in plain sight is a member of our illustrious gang of the best tacos in Miami as well as one of the best restaurants in Miami. Period. Hungry yet? You will be. Because after you’ve walked the gorgeous Design District, viewed its art and window-shopped as much as your heart could take, you’re going to be hungry. Here are your options.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Design District, Miami

Restaurants in Design District

Ghee Indian Kitchen
Photograph: Courtesy Ghee Indian Kitchen
Restaurants, Indian

Ghee Indian Kitchen

icon-location-pin Design District

What is it? The second location of Miami’s much-buzzed-about Indian restaurant. Ghee recently nabbed its first James Beard nomination and after one meal here you’ll understand why.
Why go? Chef Niven Patel is showing Miami a side of Indian cuisine its simply never seen before. Rooted in tradition and executed with the freshest local ingredients, Ghee is must-try for any self-proclaimed Miami foodie.

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink
Photograph: Courtesy The Genuine Hospitality Group
Restaurants, Contemporary American

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

icon-location-pin Design District

What is it? Michael’s Genuine is a Design District O.G., partly responsible for catapulting chef Michael Schwartz into a state of culinary celebrity. People love this place, especially at happy hour (weekdays from 4:30pm to 7:30pm at the bar) where hungry patrons enjoy half off oysters, snacks, cocktails, wine and beer.
Why go? Michael’s has never lost its step. The ingredient-driven menu still packs big flavor and nails simple comfort food like few others in this city can. It may not be the new kid on the block, but Michael’s is still the big dog of the Design District.

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Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Rodrigo M.
Restaurants, Greek

Mandolin Aegean Bistro

icon-location-pin Buena Vista

What is it? The best Greek restaurant in Miami. But food aside (at least for a moment), Mandolin’s aesthetic charm and gorgeous outdoor seating is every bit as delightful as the plates coming from the kitchen. The place used to be a house and has retained its familial vibes.
Why go? Alright, back to the food. Everything here is tasty—from the bread your table will devour instantly to the baked feta (which you really need to order). Be warned: garlic and carb commas are highly probable.

St. Roch Market
Photograph: Courtesy St. Roch Market
Restaurants, Food court

St. Roch Market

icon-location-pin Design District

What is it? A shiny food hall tucked away on the second floor of the Design District’s Palm Court. Your average cafeteria, this is certainly not. Options include oysters, fried chicken, vegan cupcakes, sushi, Vietnamese and more.
Why go? Because food halls are the buzzword of Miami’s food scene right now (we should know) and this one is a worthy member of the club. Plus, your friends are picky. Options are never a bad thing.

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Crumb on Parchment
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Michelle L.
Restaurants, Sandwich shops

Crumb on Parchment

icon-location-pin Design District

What is it? It would be a pretty normal café if it weren’t run by James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein. Thanks to her, normal lunch fare is spun into delicious creations. Any of the sandwiches will put a smile on your face.
Why go? If you want something on the more casual side (in both the atmosphere and the menu) this is your spot. The slightly hidden Crumb is the kind of place you could walk right by—but that would be a mistake.

La Pollita
Photograph: Yelp/Grace R.
Restaurants, Mexican

La Pollita

icon-location-pin Midtown

What is it? A cute food truck slinging tacos and fresh tortillas in addition to some other surprises, like a knockout fried chicken sandwich.
Why go? On a nice day, Pollita is perfect for a quick meal. The truck’s tacos are also affordable, with options from $3 to $5, which can be really refreshing in an area that can give your wallet anxiety.

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Harry's Pizzeria
Photograph: Courtesy The Genuine Hospitality Group
Restaurants, Pizza

Harry’s Pizzeria

icon-location-pin Design District

What is it? Remember Michael Schwartz? Well, he’s back again on this list with his delicious ode to pizza: Harry’s. It’s a casual spot with not-so-casual pies ranging from the simple margherita to a fancy rock shrimp pizza.
Why go? Everybody has their pizza preferences but most folks agree that Harry’s serves a really, really good one. Except, maybe, those thin-crust freaks: Harry’s is a softer pizza more akin to Neapolitan style.

Estefan Kitchen
Photograph: Courtesy Estefan Kitchen
Restaurants, Cuban

Estefan Kitchen

icon-location-pin Design District

What is it? A restaurant from Miami’s first family: the Estefans. The cuisine is Ethiopian fusion. Just kidding. It’s Cuban, you dork.
Why go? For Cuban classics with a side of good ol’ show business. The swanky restaurant showcases live Latin music along with its Cuban bites. Occasionally, your server will burst into song. Seriously.

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OTL
Photograph: Donna Irene Muccio
Restaurants, American

OTL

icon-location-pin Design District

What is it? An Instagram-friendly café with some healthy choices you’ll probably bypass for the tasty grilled cheese on sourdough. This place is almost too pretty to eat inside.
Why go? Because you need a coffee break and a place to sit down. OTL requires no reservation. Just walk in, pick something off the menu and let the Design District spirit flow through you.

MC Kitchen
Photograph: Yelp/Brenda P.
Restaurants, Italian

MC Kitchen

icon-location-pin Design District

What is it? A modern Italian restaurant where pasta gets the most real estate on the menu. MC Kitchen is a sit-down place that serves lunch and brunch in addition to dinner.
Why go? The farm egg pizza will make your brunch very worth the trip. Stopping by for dinner? Find something on the pasta menu—there aren’t really any other Italian options in the Design District.

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