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Tâm Tâm
Photography: Courtesy Tâm Tâm

Revealed: Time Out Miami’s 2023 Best of the City award winners

The greatest events, restaurants, bars and cultural institutions in Miami this year.

Ashley Brozic
Edited by
Ashley Brozic
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2023 has been huge for Miami! Famous people and players moving in, Michelin stars being dished out like frisbees, condos stacking up like jenga blocks all around town – and with that, the rent. The state of Florida has been on everyone’s mind this year (for better or for bizarre), and if people aren’t thinking of moving here, they’re definitely thinking of spending some time. Lucky are we who are already here experiencing the best Miami has right now

Picking “the best of” a city is no short order, so we narrowed down on a bit of a theme. For this year’s Best of the City Awards, we chose to highlight some of the unsung heroes of the scene while of course not glazing over some of the biggest moments and events in 2023 lore. From Miami getting Messi to an expansion of our nightlife scene, here are some of the best eats, events, experiences and moments of 2023. 

The Best of Miami, 2023

We’d gush over Tâm Tâm if it was nothing more than a strip mall dive in Hialeah, as long as it was still putting out the bright, original Vietnamese dishes they’re doing here in downtown. But luckily it’s something far more, swathing a former Cuban cafe in colorful, kitschy formica, vinyl and wood paneling. All of this came together because chef Tam Pham created a menu inspired by the foods he ate growing up. Then husband Harrison Ramhofer took over the front of the house, staffing the place with folks who can provide a helpful guide into what, for many of us, is entirely new territory: Cantonese whole grouper, lamb roasted in banana leaves and addictive caramel wings. Tâm Tâm may challenge some first-timers (ex: fire ants as a garnish), but the rich flavors Pham imbues into his dishes and the cheerful scene create a restaurant that was right away one of the best in town.

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Eric Barton
Contributor
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4
  • Recommended

It’s funny – the best bars in Miami make you feel like you’re not in Miami. That’s a thought I had while sitting at Medium Cool one night, sipping a glorious dirty martinis topped with olives as big as my ear. During Medium Cool’s consistent jazz nights (Wed – Sun at 7pm) it feels like you’re in a lower Manhattan basement. As the clock nears midnight, the venue turns into an intimate party with some of the best local DJs in town and a mixed bag of people and tunes – tourists dancing to 80s pop, young 20-somethings vibing to house music, classic cocktails splashing around. It’s fun and fancy at the same time. Then again, what would you expect from a bar that’s helmed by the people who bred Miami’s favorite bars: Sweet Liberty, Purdy Lounge, Blackbird Ordinary. But perhaps what’s so cool about Medium Cool is that it’s never trying too hard. In fact, it’s just cool enough.

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Ashley Brozic
Contributor
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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • Design District
  • Recommended

While Cote is a special experience no matter what you order, there’s a lesser-known offering at this upscale Korean steakhouse that is guaranteed to knock your socks off. ‘The Legend of the Seven Jades’ Experience' at Cote is nothing short of legendary. You’ll be presented with seven luxury ingredients from around the world so you can curate your perfect bite – including Bluefin tuna from Spain,  Hamachi from Japan, Golden Kaluga Caviar from China, Hokkaido Uni from Japan, Rainbow Trout Roe from France, Prime Beef Tenderloin with black truffle & Périgord Truffle from France. This lavish assortment is served on finely crafted jade and is accompanied by crème fraîche, chives, pickled shallots & more for some fun, DIY action with a group of four to six people. 

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Dana Rozansky
CEO & Chief Content Creator, Miami Food Porn
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Spanish
  • West Coconut Grove
  • price 2 of 4
  • Recommended

The thing we like about QP tapas is everything. Yeah, the food is fabulous, the cocktails are stellar and the vibe is a Friday night party. But then there’s also that everybody in there makes paying customers feel like old friends. That’s because the couple behind it – Josh Elliott and Ellie Groden, both as sweet as strawberry pie –make the restaurant feel like a welcoming house party. But on top of all those good feelings, there’s Elliott’s risk-taking cooking, which combines traditional Spanish tapas with Japanese flavors. Everything we’ve had there could be on a short list of the best things we ate this year, but most notably there’s the yuca patatas bravas, tilefish crudo with a green chili vinaigrette and socorat-spiked paellas. Every. Single. Thing. The only complaint? Technically the place is still in pop-up mode, sharing space with the Allocation Room wine bar. Let’s all collectively pray to the restaurant gods that this becomes permanent.

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Eric Barton
Contributor
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  • Nightlife
  • Pop-ups and food events
  • Little Haiti / Lemon City

For a city that prides itself on being international, we’ve always lacked a place where we can discover international music. And I’m not talking about purchasing a ticket to a small concert or a one-off event – at that point you’re already invested in the artist. I’m talking about a place where you can consistently show up and listen or dance to something new. Thank God for ZeyZeys. This outdoor venue in Little River feels like it’s been airdropped from the Caribbean and every night you’re guaranteed to hear genres and sounds that just open your world. Latin disco funk, pure salsa, afrobeats, electro Cumbia – plus plenty of community events like salsa classes, tasteful arts and crafts and more. ZeyZey is the come-as-you-are music venue Miami’s been missing. We’ll see you on the dance floor soon. 

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Ashley Brozic
Contributor
Best Comedy Show: Brittany Brave
Photography: Courtesy Brittany Brave

Best Comedy Show: Brittany Brave

The self-proclaimed “Duchess of Kendall” has extended her reign to all of Miami and well beyond. Brittany Brave is as real as it gets and that style translates on-stage in a super – honest, witty and always-hyped way. On a given stage - be it the Miami Improv, selling out Dania Improv or, as in recent times, touring the whole damn country – she’s dishing on dating endeavors, calling out bro-ey hecklers and breaking down the difference between Miami and New Yorkers. Her kingdom expands well beyond the traditional stage to - she’s now bringing laughs to the morning drive on Hits 97.3, curates regular comedy shindigs at Soho Beach House and is even working on a South Florida comedy documentary. 

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Jesse Scott
Contributor
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Best Viral Moment: Messi Madness
Photography: Courtesy Shutterstock/Ringo Chiu

Best Viral Moment: Messi Madness

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're well aware that Lionel Messi declared Miami his official turf back in July. Since then, he's unleashed a tidal wave of excitement, and the entire city is clamoring for a piece of the Argentine soccer superstar. Think back to when devoted fans queued up outside the North Miami pizzeria, Banchero, all in a frenzy the day after Messi shared an Argentine pie to his Instagram stories. Not to mention, Inter Miami CF skyrocketing to over 15 million followers on IG, effortlessly surpassing every NFL, MLB, and NHL team in the process. The hype doesn't end there — 2024 season tickets? Sold out. Messi has undeniably become the heartbeat of the 305, and let's be real, we're fangirling just as hard as the next person. —Melissa Puppo 

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Melissa Puppo
Contributor
  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Allapattah

While immersive experiences seem to be a dime a dozen these days, there’s one that simply stands in a category all on its own. Superblue is the ultimate visual spectacle that continues to provide childlike wonder and entertainment to guests every time they step foot through the door. You may find yourself engulfed in a room bursting with flowers, navigating a mirror maze, or seemingly floating amidst the clouds – there are truly surprises around every corner. If you’re looking to experience sensory overload in the best way possible, Superblue is for you. – Dana Rozansky

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Dana Rozansky
CEO & Chief Content Creator, Miami Food Porn
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Best Event: Formula 1 Grand Prix
Photograph: Robby Illanes

Best Event: Formula 1 Grand Prix

Step aside, Art Basel. F1 and all that it encompasses is the new crème de la crème event. Let’s start with the event itself this past year, with the most Miami-inspired outposts possible for taking in the zippy action, including a loaded pool at the Hard Rock Beach Club with a Jonas Brothers performance, Red Bull Energy Zone with driver appearances aplenty and, yes, a multi-level Paddock Club with basically every celebrity on earth in attendance. And, then there’s the events beyond the race’s grounds - A HUMMER House curated by David Grutman with DJ Khaled and Meek Mill performing out of the back of a pick-up… F1 champion Lewis Hamilton shooting hoops in the Design District… and Latin pop princess Becky G performing at Joia Beach – among hundreds of other happenings. The Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix was a can’t-miss this year and will surely carry that same status in 2024 and beyond.

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Jesse Scott
Contributor
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