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Eric Barton

Eric Barton

Contributor

Eric Barton is a freelance journalist in Miami and is on a constant search to find his new favorite food. Eric spent a few years on a competitive barbecue team called You Don't Win Friends With Salad and swears to make maybe the best pulled pork you'll ever eat. He lives two floors up from a brunch restaurant in Midtown with his wife, Jill, and a labradoodle that thinks his name is que lindo.

Time Out has covered the world’s greatest cities through the eyes of local experts since 1968. For more about us, read our editorial guidelines.

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Articles (86)

The best bars in Miami: a definitive guide to drinking in the 305

The best bars in Miami: a definitive guide to drinking in the 305

It's pretty much always a good time to go drinking in Miami. Sun's out? Grab some patio pounders at a waterfront venue. Trying to impress a date? We've got sexy hidden speakeasies galore. Catching up with friends? Miami's wine bars let you do so at leisure. Of course, we've also got plenty of places to drink when you're not drinking, where the low and no-ABV bevs are just as flavorful as their full-proof brethren. If you want to sip cocktails and party all night, well, you're in the right place. Wondering where to start? Here are our favorite bars in Miami, slinging drinks so good, you'll be hard-pressed not to order another round.  RECOMMENDED: The best clubs in Miami

The 12 best new restaurants in Miami

The 12 best new restaurants in Miami

January 2024: New year, new restaurants to try! December was good to us in Miami. So were October and November. You see, fall and winter are the biggest time of year for restaurant openings in Miami, as much awaited for transplants host their grandest openings and local concepts spring to life. We’re always keeping tabs on what’s new and hot in Miami’s dining scene and update this list every quarter. Here are the best new restaurants in Miami to try right now. You’ve got your go-to spots. You’ve probably made your way through Miami’s best restaurants, maybe twice. And when it’s time to down mimosas over chit chat, you know exactly where to brunch or sit down for a cup of joe at the best coffee shops all around town. But here's the thing about Miami – just when you think you know everything to know about this city’s food scene, more and more new restaurants keep opening up around town. Whether you’re a proud foodie, an avid early adopter, or you just want to shake up your list of favorite restaurants with something new, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best new restaurants in Miami to try right now.

Time Out’s favorite airport lounges in the U.S.

Time Out’s favorite airport lounges in the U.S.

At Time Out, we’re all about helping you see the world on the cheap and leading you to the best travel deals whenever possible. But sometimes, even the thrifty seek a bit of luxury on vacation, a place to comfortably kick their feet up before it’s time to squeeze into that basic economy seat. I mean, who can turn down a $99 flight to Europe? Not us! For that, we love an airport lounge. These once exclusive domains for the most privileged passengers have dramatically changed since American Airlines opened the first in NY’s LaGuardia Airport in 1939. What started as an invitation-only club for folks to enjoy a pre-board cocktail has evolved into a massive network of areas for travelers to rest, work, refuel and idle before a flight. Today, there are more lounges than ever, offering all kinds of amenities (pickleball, anyone?) and greater access for all. Headed to the airport soon? We asked Time Out editors and frequent contributors to share their favorite lounges in the U.S. Whether you're lounge-curious or a pro looking for a new respite when you fly, you'll find helpful intel for your next trip below. 

The 16 best food trucks in Miami

The 16 best food trucks in Miami

Back in the day, the food truck trend arrived in Miami like a late-season hurricane, going from not a single truck to converted airstreams and delivery vans parked everywhere. A lot of them were, we know now, total crap, serving overpriced junk food from dingy parking lots. Since then, there’s been some serious growing up in the Miami food truck scene. The bad ones blew out to sea like a tropical storm. The good ones developed loyal followings and often found semi-permanent locations. Yeah, there are still some lackluster trucks out in the wild, but we’ve stood in lines late at night under generator-powered lights to round up the best of them. These are Miami’s finest food trucks. RECOMMENDED: The best cheap eats in Miami

The 24 best coffee shops in Miami, from classic Cuban spots to trendy gems

The 24 best coffee shops in Miami, from classic Cuban spots to trendy gems

Miami runs on coffee. Specifically, cafecito. In the morning, in the afternoon, late into the night, back into the morning. We drink coffee inside shops that double as offices, cozy cafés that tsk tsk over laptops, out of ventanita windows in shopping centers, in airplanes—literally. And we’re not even talking about coffee served in martini glasses—we’ve got a different guide for that.  Sometimes, your favorite coffee shop can double as a bakery. Sometimes, it can also dole out a bomb-ass breakfast. Sometimes—OK, most of the time—it can run through bags and bags of sugar and Bustelo in a day just to get that perfect espumita, because Miami’s Cuban restaurants don’t play. When you need that extra kick of caffeine, this guide to Miami’s best coffee shops can help you keep up with the electric energy of this city. 

The 41 best restaurants in Miami to book right now

The 41 best restaurants in Miami to book right now

February 2024: Miami is hitting the peak of its high season right about now, so good luck scoring a table anywhere decent without making a reservation first. Still, February is a delicious month in the Magic City, especially as buzzy new restaurants continue to open around town. Plus, stone crabs and oysters are still very much in season and the weather is just begging for you to sit outside, so do consider a waterfront restaurant or rooftop bar for your next amazing meal out in Miami. The best restaurants in Miami are our local treasures. These are the places we turn to for a delicious meal and a great time, no matter the reason. Our top places to eat in the city are a true mix of flavors and feels, from white tablecloth fine dining—like some of Miami’s best steakhouses— to tried-and-tested cheap eats in Miami that never, ever disappoint. And where there’s a solid cocktail there’s likely to be an epic dish that follows, so don’t be surprised to run into some of Miami’s best bars on this list either. Just as we've always done, Time Out’s local experts scour the city every day for great eats, great value and insider info. We emphasize fun, flavor and freshness at every price point, and update this list monthly with standout finds – though we do complete overhauls ever quarter.  We do our best to keep you informed as new places open, others close and some of our favorites return. If it’s on the list, whether it's a short lived pop-up or a mega clubstaurant, we think it’s aweso

The best Key Biscayne restaurants to try right now

The best Key Biscayne restaurants to try right now

Sure, it would be great if we could reach Key West without that grueling four-hour haul down U.S. 1. But Miamians can take in a quieter slice of island life by making the short trip over the Rickenbacker Causeway. Key Biscayne might not have the party scene of Key West, but what it lacks in cheap margaritas it makes up for in a dining scene that’s proving far bigger than the village itself. There are, we’ve learned the hard way, spots serving mediocre dishes to unsuspecting tourists. To avoid them, follow our vetted guide to the best restaurants in Key Biscayne, full of neighborhood classics, hidden gems and exciting new foodie havens. RECOMMENDED: The best waterfront restaurants in Miami for a meal in paradise

The best steakhouses in Miami to totally splurge—or keep it lowkey

The best steakhouses in Miami to totally splurge—or keep it lowkey

Miami’s most famous steakhouses tend to give off the energy of a baller bachelor party. These are gorgeous dining rooms dripping in chandeliers with martini service and slabs of meat as marbled as a Grecian statue. But in our ongoing hunt for the best steakhouses in the city, we’ve also come across excellent casual spots that strip away pretension, wood-fired wonderlands that grill meats as the Argentines do over an open flame, and old-school joints that conjure memories of watching grandpa devour a T-bone for two all by himself. They range in price point, too, though naturally, you won’t find many budget options on this decadent list. Below, pull up a seat for our guide to the best steakhouses in Miami. We will be eating well tonight. RECOMMENDED: A very fresh guide to the best oyster bars in Miami

The best rooftop restaurants in Miami that are actually worth the sky-high prices

The best rooftop restaurants in Miami that are actually worth the sky-high prices

It’s Friday and, as usual, you need a drink. Someplace where you could catch a breeze would be nice—on a rooftop would be even better. Luckily, Miami’s got plenty of bars with views that’d make any Northerner instant-book a U-Haul. But what if you’re hungry, too? Now we’re talking about something a bit trickier to find. For the sweet combo of amazing food, drinks and views, we combed from the beach to the mainland and back, went up dozens of elevators and ordered from countless “shareable” menus. In the end, we found them: the city’s best rooftop restaurants, where you’d want to get a drink and actually order a meal, too. So this Friday? You’re eating al fresco. Below, find our picks for the rooftop restaurants in Miami that are actually worth the price tag. RECOMMENDED: The best rooftop bars in Miami

The best Super Bowl watch parties and deals in Miami

The best Super Bowl watch parties and deals in Miami

There’s no party like a Miami party. (Although, we’ve got to give it up for Las Vegas, thisyear’s Super Bowl host, as a pretty close second.) If you can’t make it out to theSin City edition of the Super Bowl, the good news is that our own Vice City is home to plenty of places in which to watch the big game. This is Miami, so of course there are VIP areas and poolside cabanas and bottle service, revamped with a Super Bowl theme as just another excuse to turn Sunday into something special. Where to go? We’ve scoured the invites and Eventbrites and calendars of our favorite spots to serve up a list of parties worthy of a bowl so good it’s super. When is the Super Bowl? The Super Bowl will take place on Sunday, February 11, 2024. What time does the Super Bowl start in Miami? The game kicks off at 6:30pm ET. Where will the Super Bowl be played? Super Bowl LVII will be played at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Which teams are playing in the Super Bowl? The San Francisco 49ers will square off with the Kansas City Chiefs.  Who will be performing during the Super Bowl halftime show? Usher will perform at halftime of Super Bowl 58.

The most romantic restaurants in Miami

The most romantic restaurants in Miami

Sweating where to go for date night? As we say in Miami: Relax, bro. We’ve taken all the guesswork out of impressing your babe with our guide to the city’s most romantic restaurants. Yes, we’ve included quite a few Italian spots here, but that’s because these Miami gems hit pretty much every time. Beyond the pasta and wine, though, you’ll find charming holes in the wall to enjoy Spanish tapas, swoon-worthy Mediterranean gardens and breezy waterfront patios with views to match your pretty partner. That’s all to say, there’s a perfect romantic Miami restaurant for everyone, whether you’re on a budget or down to splurge. Check them all out below. RECOMMENDED: The best date ideas in MiamiRECOMMENDED: The best romantic hotels in Miami

A very fresh guide to the best oyster bars in Miami

A very fresh guide to the best oyster bars in Miami

Old timers who pronounce Miami like there’s an “uh” at the end of it will tell tales of pulling oysters out of the clear waters of Biscayne Bay as if they fell from the heavens. These days, we wouldn’t recommend that tactic to anyone who doesn’t want to grow a third eye. But while the era of free, fresh Biscayne oysters is bygone, we now have a whole legion of shuckers around town.  To find Miami’s best oyster bars, we hit up fancy waterfront restaurants to order them by the half-dozen, slurped them back in shooters and gleefully doled out dollar bills for oysters on happy hour. You’ll find our highlights below, a veritable bounty of briny East Coasters, salty numbers from the Gulf and those special little bivalves all the way from the Pacific Northwest. 

Listings and reviews (78)

Zaytinya

Zaytinya

3 out of 5 stars

Who isn’t a fan of Zaytinya’s chef-owner, José Andrés, whose work with the non-profit World Central Kitchen makes him well deserving of his Nobel Prize nomination?  But I have an admission: His latest Greek restaurant inside the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach is not great. Though its beautiful poolside location overlooking the Atlantic makes it worthy of a visit, Zaytinya puts out just so-so dishes that seem to reflect a kitchen uninterested in making them better. If you happen to be nearby, stop in, if only for those ocean breezes. Photograph: Salar Abduaziz It wasn’t always this way for Zaytinya. The first iteration of the D.C.-born concept earned generally good reviews. But when a cloned version opened in Manhattan, Time Out New York gave it just two out of five stars, writing that the dishes “hover around average” and the restaurant “seldom zags up to even good’s shallow waters.” It’s the same here at the far east end of Lincoln Road, where Zaytinya occupies a dining room with parquet floors and blue and white cushioned booths and chairs. Accordion doors give the entire place an al fresco feel, and much of the outdoor area is shaded by an overhang that’ll keep tourists and folks wearing lanyards from that work conference happy during rain showers.  Meals begin with a pretty basket of puffed bread, inflated like a balloon, but a bit underdone. Save it for the dip section of the menu: hummus, labneh, tzatziki and a fairly simple pomegranate seed-topped baba ghanoush. From ther

Delilah

Delilah

5 out of 5 stars

There’s something that occurred to me last night while walking into the new downtown supper club Delilah. Centenarians aren’t exactly the target market, so nobody here will actually remember the 1920s, the era that served as inspiration for the bygone design and vibe.Anemoia, it’s called, a nostalgia for a time you’ve never experienced. (It’s like Gen-Zers dressing up for an ‘80s party.) Delilah is a restaurant that’s as glamorous as Ella Fitzgerald, graciously serving well-executed, nostalgic dishes.  Walking up the marble stairs and into the dining room, it struck me that the well-lit photos I saw before visiting do Delilah no justice. The place is a gorgeous collection of booths and tables with big armchairs, all covered in mismatched fabrics as if sourced second-hand. The mirror behind the stage, the thick drapery, the dim chandelier lighting, the pedestals that rise up here and there, it all looks repurposed from the Rhode Island estate of a 19th century industrialist. Famously, and supposedly because of its celebrity clientele, Delilah has a no-pictures policy, and there’s something refreshing about this. We barely spotted a phone out anywhere all night. They’ll make exceptions for people, like me, who ask to take pics of dishes and promise not to snap shots of anybody else. Not long after we sunk into our armchairs, the house band took the stage, a few minutes before 7. They replaced a staid jazz soundtrack with soulful Adele and Amy Winehouse, the strawberry-haired si

Ogawa

Ogawa

4 out of 5 stars

Ogawa isn’t a Japanese restaurant exactly. It’s a chunk of Japanese soil, an embassy, a slice of culture. That’s true with the vibe, in that it can be somewhat awkward yet humbling, and of course with the food, a long evening of sushi and hot dishes that all display a downright obsession with being authentically Japanese. It flows through every inch of the place, which occupies a sign-free building near Rosie’s in Little River. The entranceway feels like a Shinto shrine and there's a zen garden out back with water features to drown out the hum of the city. The dining room is starkly simple, a low wooden counter dividing a pair of sushi chefs from the 11 seats facing them.    Jazz plays at a low volume and you may find yourself whispering throughout the evening, as though you're a part of a contemplative cultural exchange. If you get there early, when it’s really quiet, there will be lots of moments you’ll wonder if you’re breaking some rule of etiquette (like, is it polite to discuss the bathroom, with its auto-open toilets?).  If you go, it’s impossible to say what you’ll eat or even how much you’ll pay. In advance they’ll give you only a range: $175 to $300. The owner, Alvaro Perez Miranda, says they tailor each night’s menu to who’s coming, changing it up based on preferences or allergies or even special requests. Our night spanned 18 courses over two plus hours, alternating between sushi and hot dishes. Some are familiar: tuna belly nigiri, seared wagyu with egg yolk, t

News Café

News Café

3 out of 5 stars

This story has to begin with a bit of history, because it’s probably the main reason you might go to the News Cafe. Back in the 1990s, I was one of those Floridians who spent many lazy Sundays under the green awnings of News Cafe, taking in the parade of odd Ocean Drive characters and eating pretty decent eggs. Then it all ended. It happened infamously when Gianni Versace made his last daily walk in 1997 to the News Cafe before being gunned down a few blocks away at his mansion. The fact that he was a News Cafe regular got repeated in one million news articles, and suddenly the 24-hour restaurant became a macabre tourist attraction. Locals eventually just stopped fighting sunburned tourists for a table. The place closed in 2021, and perhaps it would’ve gone into the vault of old Miami Beach. But the Vida & Estilo Restaurant Group, the same restaurant conglomerate behind pretty a-ok spots like Havana 1957 and Marabu, reopened it in early 2023.  Sitting down under those green awnings the other day for the first time in perhaps two decades, I immediately remembered that there’s just something lovely about the spot: ocean breeze, light filtered in from those green awnings, roller bladers and cyclists zipping by, and a parade of oddballs out front. It’s an afternoon vacation in the city where you live.  Largely, and thankfully, the restaurant group didn’t change much. There’s no more newsstand full of papers from around the world, but there’s still the same walls inside covered in

Casadonna

Casadonna

4 out of 5 stars

In a city known for its beautiful and glamorous restaurants, Casadonna just might be the most beautiful and glamorous. It’s the restaurant equivalent of the supermodel breezing into a party of part-time influencers. Inarguably, Casadonna’s $20 million build-out is stunning to behold. And like many of the beautiful and glamorous restaurants in Miami, that’ll likely be enough for most everyone. But could there be any book smarts to go with those looks? To find out, I stood for a couple minutes among a dozen people with reservations waiting to be led into the back (a thing that happens at the handsomest of places). The grand foyer of the century-old Women’s Club (a building it shares with Klaw) is reminiscent of the grand central courtyard at Vizcaya. Two-story arched doorways lead inside and a gold and pink bar runs along one wall. Pastel tiles and light fixtures feel like we've entered the home of a flamboyant Venetian count.  A woman clutching menus and wearing a backless dress singles us out and leads the way into the main dining room. It’s all so grand, with faux-finish walls covered in mismatched art stacked up to the high ceilings and large circular booths and tablecloths in teals and pinks. She pushes open the doors to the waterfront terrace, and here is a third stunning space: tall metal trellises with new vines above rattan tables and chairs in more pink and teal, more semi-circle booths and another glamorous bar over on the side.  As far as what’s coming out of the ki

Eva & The Oyster Bar

Eva & The Oyster Bar

3 out of 5 stars

We have in the Miami dining scene lots of iterations of the same things: the corner Italian trattoria, the Cuban café, the order-at-the-counter healthy bowl spot that we should probably visit more often. What we don’t have, and what The Oyster Bar at Eva is trying to solve, is a simple place for a pre-party. It makes sense, considering the Oyster Bar’s location, just literally a mosaic-tiled bar tucked into the back of the recently reborn CocoWalk. It’s the epicenter these days of Miami’s hottest restaurant neighborhood, a place where Miamians willingly travel beyond the end of I-95. It's where you go when you arrive a few minutes early and you need a spot for a drink, a snack, or a little something to take the edge off before that dinner with the in-laws. From the same folks behind Ariete and Brasserie Laurel, the Oyster Bar similarly goes for something fancier, passing over the crowd-pleasers found at most bars. The clam dip is a creamy affair broken up by chewy bits of meat. The street corn comes covered in cotija with a smoked oyster butter. The conch salad is a ceviche-like winner with tomatillo and what might be the world's best tostones. There's also a snapper dog, which is a pork and snapper sausage with a garlic-fennel slaw, something that might sound like a terrible idea but just might be your favorite thing here.  There are oysters, of course, but even those are meant to challenge the palates of the pre-party crowd, deliberately not offering the see-them-everywhere

Adrift Mare

Adrift Mare

3 out of 5 stars

There’s danger in naming a restaurant Adrift, because it better not be a rudderless sunset cruise captained by an absent chef. It needs to be another kind of Adrift, a place that’s inspired by a wanderer in search of the world’s finest foods. Which one is Adrift Mare in Brickell?  It’s a question I was asking myself walking into the dramatic dining room on a Sunday night, hoping it would live up to its marketing materials. The restaurant’s website promises inspiration “by the many nuances of life along the Mediterranean coastline,” gathered by “Michelin-starred Gypsy Chef™” David Myers (who really did file a trademark for that nickname). Based in Los Angeles, Myers designed the menu “with warm summer evenings on the seaside at heart.” Adrift Mare did indeed replace the heart of the space it occupies, taking up the 25th floor atrium of the AKA Hotel. Overhead, the ceiling rises about a dozen stories, with massive paper lantern light fixtures hanging down like pendulums. Looking out through a wall of glass on the east side to Biscayne Bay is captivating, to say the least, though its sleek design doesn’t speak of warm Mediterranean evenings. That theme plays out more on the menu, which hits the region’s highlights here and there. The fattoush salad is a stack of bibb lettuce leaves, lightly dressed and dotted with pomegranate seeds and svelte croutons. The stogie-shaped lobster roll is stuffed with lobster meat that has a tang to it, more like a ceviche. The bucatini with arugul

Bouchon

Bouchon

4 out of 5 stars

In Miami, a whole lot of restaurants get labeled the most anticipated of the year. Bouchon has a lot of reasons to say it’s just that, with chef Thomas Keller behind it, a guy who’s responsible for The Surf Club Restaurant, one of our favorite spots in town to celebrate anything. But in Miami, the most anticipated restaurants also get dogged by the same question: Can it live up to expectations? Walking in for the first time very early on Friday (the only reservation we could snag), the place feels less like a traditional French bistro and more like a place an executive takes the family after the last day at the firm. But they’ve tried to dress down the stogy design here and there, with lots of yacht rock and motown, and with menus of the same material as brown paper lunch bags, folded up around the napkins like they’re being passed before the teacher notices. The sommelier stopped by for our drink order before we’d even realized that folded-up paper was the menu, and then the server swooped over seconds later to ask again. It was really the only time we felt rushed, though. Even as busy as this place was all night, the service stayed largely at European-cafe level, dishes generally taking a while and lots of offers of more rounds of accompanying wines. Our server’s accent kept us from understanding most of the specials, but doesn’t that just add to the charm? Once we unfolded the menus, we realized it’s easy to drop serious money at Bouchon. Like, a $164 seafood tower, a $120

MaryGold's By Brad Kilgore

MaryGold's By Brad Kilgore

5 out of 5 stars

Having not been to MaryGold's By Brad Kilgore in a few months, I was expecting much of the same from my first visit. Some dishes spoke to the talented chef back in the kitchen, while others were admittedly bold experiments that just didn’t quite land. Not long after I sat down for a second meal at MaryGold’s, chef Brad Kilgore stopped by. He said he’s had time now to hone the concept, tweak recipes, remove what’s less popular and add new options. His menu thesis can be summed up simply: recognizable yet new. The meal that followed was clear on that, featuring completely original and simultaneously nostalgic dishes. We’ve now given MaryGold’s five stars, our highest ranking. But considering Kilgore’s ingenuity and dedication to his craft, we’d give MaryGold’s all the stars in the sky. A meal here starts with bread service, a roll reminiscent of pull-apart monkey bread; it’s as flaky as a croissant and perfectly gooey in the center, served with butter shaped like a honeycomb. From there, we tried lots of dishes that stuck true to Kilgore’s mantra: ceviche-like crudo with cross-sections of kumquat for extra tang; heirloom tomatoes dotted with pools of stracciatella, guacamole and coconut leche de tigre; rich robiola cheese tortellini with a topper of tender diced escargot tasting of the sea; agnolotti packed with sweet corn in a chili-spiced brown butter; short rib done vaca frita style with tamarind molasses poured slowly tableside; and a tagliatelle pomodoro served with sweet

Erba Miami

Erba Miami

5 out of 5 stars

As of this writing, every meal at Erba begins with a candle of garlicky butter carried to the table with slices of focaccia. Our knives just about clanked as we smeared each morsel with the melty butter, the fragrant rosemary sprig wick flickering at the candle’s center. Gimmicky perhaps, but also brilliant: right off the bat, this meal feels precious (and tastes delicious).  I’m predicting we’ll likely start to see butter candles everywhere, so maybe they won’t stick around at Erba forever. Because everything here, from chef Niven Patel’s Italian-inspired creations to the restaurant’s luxurious, handcrafted aesthetic, has been specially designed to feel, well, special.  Photograph: Courtesy Erba Miami/Evan Sung To find Erba, look for the glass doors painted with cherubs riding hounds (there’s no sign out front). Inside, the moody vibe comes courtesy of warm lighting, elaborate mosaic tile floors, richly hued textiles and dark wood paneling layered throughout. An opulent glass chandelier hangs at the room's center like a frozen waterfall.  The menu is an homage to the time Patel spent in Florence. Like at all his restaurants, the acclaimed chef uses vegetables grown at his own farm here and flavors them with a deft hand. The eggplant, for example, is marinated in fennel, chiles, shallots and rosemary, served at room temperature and adorned with a few leafy herbs.  Photograph: Courtesy Erba Miami/Evan Sung The wahoo crudo comes served as seared slices fanned out like islan

Julia & Henry’s

Julia & Henry’s

4 out of 5 stars

Apologies if it sounds like I’m kissing up to my employer, but I often come back to this memory: I had just walked into Time Out Market Lisbon, an orange glow of morning sun streaming in from the skylights. Flower vendors trimmed fresh tulips. Rows of food vendors wafted with the scents of fried bacon and just-baked custard tarts. At the time, it made me long for something similar in South Florida. Now, it seems like Miami has more food halls than any sane person could visit in a lifetime, from South Beach to Doral. And yet, walking into Downtown’s latest Julia & Henry’s, I couldn’t help but be brought back to that visceral moment in Lisbon. Named for Julia Tuttle and Henry Flagler, two City of Miami pioneers, this food hall resides in a large and historic building, the open center of which towers up three stories with glass-floored balconies creating quite the grand effect. A cylindrical, glass-walled wine cellar accessed by elevator also cuts through the space, while stairwells curve their way between the levels in dramatic forms.  Photograph: Courtesy Julia & Henry’s During my visit, coworkers clutched drinks around a communal table in the main space, bros watching a soccer match somewhere upstairs filled the place with occasional cheers and an extended family of 10 allowed the kids to explore as parents gorged on bao buns and noodle bowls. That’s the point of all this glitz, it seems: to lure people to visit Julia & Henry’s three bars and 25 restaurants, most of which w

Omakase by Kazu

Omakase by Kazu

4 out of 5 stars

Our night was almost over when sushi chef Yoshikazu Ebina asked if we could manage one more item. Something special, he promised.  Ebina reached into the jewel-box-like case where he keeps fish. He grabbed an Easter-pink tenderloin of fatty tuna and began to slice. “I have some ideas,” he said. And we leaned in. After a 25-year career behind sushi counters, 53-year-old Ebina finally has his own place. It’s an intimate thing, just a six-seat counter behind Hachidori Ramen. The 15-course menu leans toward traditional and changes nightly with what seafood arrives that day from Japan (we missed the hairy crab by just one day). With two seatings a night, it runs $160 per person, an entirely reasonable price tag for what’s coming.  To find his little counter, we made our way through Hachidori, down a hallway and into a spot smaller than your average bedroom. A counter makes an L-shape along the wall to the left, and barstools lined up along it. It’s brightly lit, with low mood music in the background, less about ambiance, more about what’s coming. It’s an intimate thing. Ebina begins with a marbled sole that’s cured in kelp and served in ponzu. Anago, a rare saltwater eel, is topped with caviar and foie gras. A hand roll holds fatty tuna, tangy from pickled radish. But it’s nigiri that’s the highlight. Tuna is delicately marinated in house-made soy sauce. Buttery salmon gets a last-second sear with Japanese white charcoal. A simple scallop flavored with diced kelp. Cross-cuts on f

News (13)

The mythos of the Miami pop-up

The mythos of the Miami pop-up

There’s a truth about Miami that maybe you didn’t know, something that’s developed over the last few years, pretty much out of nowhere: We now have a die-hard contingent of folks who will do whatever—brave the heat, long lines, uncomfortable seating and those daily hurricane-like rainstorms—just to eat something delicious.  Because of this, pop-up restaurants now thrive here. Those responsible for the pop-ups (both experienced chefs and young upstarts with no training) credit these people, the ones going above and beyond to discover Miami’s next best foods, with allowing them to do what they do.  There’s proof by the dozen across town, with many of Miami’s best restaurants growing out of pop-ups or humble food trucks. Among our favorites, Boia De, now a Michelin-starred restaurant, launched as a food truck serving fried chicken sandwiches; Zitz Sum, one of the city’s most awarded restaurants, started with a chef making dumplings in his home kitchen; Old Greg’s, some of the best pizza in town, began as a pandemic side project; and the new QP Tapas, technically still a pop-up, is among our favorite new restaurants this year.  The growth of these experimental, temporary restaurants and their committed followings has fundamentally changed the restaurant industry in Miami in ways that make it entirely better. How? Why? We spoke to the teams behind many of Miami’s pop-up success stories to find out. RECOMMENDED: Why is it so damn hard to open a restaurant in Miami? Photograph: Cou

Fall restaurant preview: All the Miami openings you should know about this season

Fall restaurant preview: All the Miami openings you should know about this season

It seems like every week there’s a new national outlet arriving in Miami to report on something we locals already know: This city is having a serious restaurant moment. It began well before pandemic lockdowns but, ever since, Miami has seen an influx of major restaurant groups clamoring for their piece, along with homegrown chef-owners carving out new concepts throughout the county. This season, there’s lots to be excited about, from (yet another) Miami omakase courtesy of the Itamae team to Klaw’s stylish new Italian neighbor. As the not-so-slow summer ends and fall picks up, here are our top Miami restaurant openings to bookmark on Google Maps this season from Wynwood to South Beach and beyond. RECOMMENDED: Every Michelin-Starred Restaurant in Miami Photograph: Courtesy Itamae Ao 1. Itamae Ao Much-loved Nikkei destination Itamae swaps its Design District digs for a new, 12-seat omakase-style counter next to sister restaurant Maty’s in Midtown. Brother-sister duo Nando and Val Chang were just named best new chefs by Food & Wine, so expect hard-to-get reservations from day one. 3255 NE 1st Ave Photograph: Courtesy Alpareno Restaurant GroupAlpareno Restaurant Group founders Mohamed “Mo” Alkassar and Chef Niven Patel 2. Erba Niven Patel, the celebrated Miami chef behind Ghee, Orno and Mamey, began this pasta concept as a pop-up way back in 2019. Ever since it’s been just on the cusp of reopening in a permanent home. This fall, Erba finally lands in Coral Gables with a menu

Why is it so damn hard to open a restaurant in Miami?

Why is it so damn hard to open a restaurant in Miami?

Vikram Thadani first came to Miami from Chile on vacation when he was 17, and he swore right then that someday he’d open a restaurant here. That was in 2002, and after opening four restaurants back home, he decided in 2021 he’d attempt to pull off his dream. Thadani settled on a space in Wynwood. He figured it would take six months to open. “Everyone laughed when I told them that,” he says.  Eighteen months later, after endless red tape and reams of paperwork thrown at him by the City of Miami, he finally opened his Indian restaurant, Rishtedar, in February. He can’t even calculate how many tens of thousands of dollars the delays cost him.  “That’s why I’m living in my car at Home Depot,” he says with a laugh. “Just kidding, just kidding.” Thadani’s experience is similar to stories I’ve heard over and over from chefs and restaurant owners in my 20 years covering the industry in South Florida. Miami’s inefficient and often beguiling bureaucracy can lead to months—sometimes years—of delays in even a simple restaurant opening, costing operators sometimes upwards of six figures. The reasons for the delays in Miami are often baffling, owners say. In Thadani’s case, one problem arose when the Post Office changed his restaurant’s mailing address. Suddenly, inspectors stopped showing up, leading to a two-week pause in the process—and adding to months of delays. Some might shrug this off as a problem suffered only by well-off restaurateurs. But it can also hurt workers who get stuck i

Comedienne Brittany Brave is having a (Kendall) moment

Comedienne Brittany Brave is having a (Kendall) moment

It’s after 2 o’clock in the afternoon when we hook up with Brittany Brave, and she’s just finishing up breakfast at Mamey in Coral Gables. She polished off a coffee, a mimosa, coconut water, tuna tostones, and grilled cheese bites—all with the desperate hope of beating the hangover. Having just barely answered the phone, she’s already apologizing profusely for sleeping through multiple alarms and jumping on the call late. “I don’t know what I was thinking scheduling a 10am Monday phone call.” You can’t blame her. The night before, 31-year-old Brave had headlined the Miami Improv for the first time, all part of what seems to be a major moment for this homegrown comedienne. In the past year, Brave has racked up headlining spots and accolades including being named by the Miami New Times as the city’s best comedian. Is this officially a thing? “Um, yeah, I am afraid—well, first off thank you for saying that—but I’m afraid to use language like that,” Brave says. “You never want to jinx it, and you never want to think you’re ahead of where you are.” Up until recently, she was a starving artist. “Sometimes literally starving,” she says. And as such, she doesn't want to ruin things. Brave grew up in west Kendall, the only child of a cosmetologist mom and sales manager dad. Her parents remain the funniest people she knows, she says, and she figured out early on that she loved making them laugh. Some of her earliest memories are of standing in the middle of the room at get-togethers an

Welcome to Baynanza, the massive effort to clean up Miami's shoreline

Welcome to Baynanza, the massive effort to clean up Miami's shoreline

Take a stroll through the lush grounds behind the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens and you’ll find yourself at a one-of-a-kind staircase. The steps are made of hardened coral called coquina, and they lead down into the murky depths of a mangrove forest. There are a couple of moorings at the bottom that look like barber poles, where you can imagine Venetian gondolas pulling up. While the stairs make a sweet backdrop for engagement photos, they’re also a harbinger. David Hardy, the horticulture manager at Vizcaya for a decade now, has watched as the bay waters creep up those stairs inch by inch. More and more every year, the rising waters also carry in plastic bottles, wrappers, netting—the detritus of society that, let’s be honest, doesn’t look great in a selfie. Photograph: David Hardy All that junk will vanish over the span of a day when a few hundred volunteers descend on Vizcaya to fish around 700 pounds of trash from that mangrove swamp. The efforts are part of Baynanza, a county-wide series of events with the goal of cleaning up Biscayne Bay and raising awareness around the constant challenge of preserving our local waterways. “This is truly critical,” Hardy says of Baynanza. “And the level of enthusiasm of the people who come out, and their concern for the environment—it’s encouraging to see how many people really care.” Since it began in 1982, more than 100,000 volunteers have shown up for Baynanza’s annual Biscayne Bay Cleanup Day and collected more than 500 tons of trash f

These are the people, places and projects shaping Miami’s bike scene

These are the people, places and projects shaping Miami’s bike scene

Most people know Carolina Isabela as Caro the Tour Guide, a personality she took on for social media to boast about all the cool things in Miami. But when we spoke, she had just returned home from Amsterdam and couldn’t stop gushing about all the epic bike rides there.  “It was the best.” And then drawing out words in a way that’s become something of her signature, she said: “ It was amaaaaazing.” She biked everywhere, slowly so she could take in the view of the Rijksmuseum and look for street food, stroopwafels especially. “Oh, my god. Amaaaaazing. I’m so mad I didn’t bring any back.” Considering how much Isabela likes to bike, it’d be easy to assume she’d be wistful about Amsterdam now that she’s back in Miami. But when asked about whether the Magic City could ever compare to bike-friendly Amsterdam, she’s nothing but optimistic. “Can Miami do it? Yeah, of course. Miami is only 126 years old. We’re babies!” she says. “Amsterdam has been designing their city for millennia. We’re just getting started.” View this post on Instagram A post shared by Miami’s Tour Guide - Carolina (@carothetourguide) Is Miami a bike-friendly city? Not all bike advocates share Isabela’s hopefulness, but Miami has certainly made progress in becoming a bike-friendly city. Thanks in part to efforts by the Transit Alliance Miami and local organizers, we recently gained bike path protectors along the Venetian Causeway as well as three new miles of Downtown bike lanes, with plans for even

The 16 things no one listens to you about when they visit Miami

The 16 things no one listens to you about when they visit Miami

Congratulations, you’ve booked a week’s vacation in Miami, the Magic City, a subtropical subparadise known for its sandy beaches and pumping nightclubs. Now forget everything you think you know. Ignore the online guides and the recommendations from the concierge (who gets paid to tell you to do the touristy things). On this list, we’re sending you elsewhere and warning you of the things in Miami you need to ignore. Don’t worry—there will still be croquetas and cafecito. 1. The food scene is legendary Call us biased, but with tons of celebrity chef-run restaurants and imported cuisines from everywhere in the world, Miami isn’t just having a moment. It’s downright one of the best restaurant cities anywhere. 2. Enriqueta's over Versailles Presidents have dined at Versailles, it’s true. And yes, it’s been there forever. If you want big plates of Abuela-quality Cuban food and don’t want to wait in line with cruise ship types, head instead to Enriqueta’s and squeeze in between construction workers and lunching lawyers at the tight counter. Jonathan P.Ellgen" data-width-class="" data-image-id="105807692" /> Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Jonathan P.Ellgen 3. Airboats are loud AF Riding on an airboat is proof that it’s a good rule to avoid any kind of trip into nature that requires earplugs. 4. Nobody rides the bus There’s nothing sadder than seeing a public-transportation-reliant European waiting for those tubes of human misery provided by Metrobus. Photograph: Shutterstock 5. Al

18 weird things about Miami that you just get used to

18 weird things about Miami that you just get used to

There’s an old saying that the best thing about Miami is that it’s so close to the United States. It’s true for the fact that this is a place that often feels very European, South American and Caribbean. It’s also true for the fact that Miami exists as a place different from anywhere else in this country, a Bermuda Triangle of weirdness, where the rules on what to wear and where to go and how to act just might change depending on your dance partner for the evening. How do you live in such a place? Here below is a guide on how to navigate America’s most delightfully foreign city. 1. The dress code is whatever It doesn’t matter if it’s the fanciest brunch spot in town or the jankiest corner deli. Look around the room and you might see a dude in a tank top and jellies next to a woman wearing a sparkling evening gown. If you want to wear it, you’ll probably be fine. 2. About that dress code, tho Even though you can wear whatever to pretty much everywhere, you’ll also walk into clubs and bars and restaurants where every single person looks dressed by their own personal shopper. ChrisGoldNY" data-width-class="" data-image-id="105877750" /> Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/ChrisGoldNY 3. Nudity is a thing Out on the sand of South Beach, topless is normal, and up at Haulover, it’s all coming off. Just try not to make eye contact. 4. If it requires a trip on I-95... ... the restaurant is almost surely not worth it. 5. It’s raining iguanas When it gets cold, giant reptiles just might st

The best places to have a good cry in Miami

The best places to have a good cry in Miami

We don’t know why you’ve gotten to this point. Perhaps your favorite Miami restaurant just took that amazing burger off the menu (legit problems). Or working from home means your only coworker is that long-neglected philodendron in the corner (have you considered a dog?). Or maybe it’s just time for a good soul-renewing sob to remind you of all the good that’s in the world—somewhere. Either way, it’s time to weep like Forrest just learned Jenny’s not going to make it. Here then is where you can bust out a good cry in public in Miami, places where your uncontrollable emotional breakdown will fit right in. NiteOwl Drive-In Nobody’s going to judge if you were to weep during the showing of a tear-jerker on an outdoor screen at this makeshift drive-in that’s smack in the middle of downtown (with a second location coming soon, perhaps?). We suggest you might wait for the breakup scene. Photograph: Shutterstock Shark Valley The Everglades is a wide expanse of nature that’s perfect for dumping a body and/or getting far, far away from anyone else. Here at Shark Valley, you can walk or bike a seven-mile paved trail, giving you plenty of space to let out all that’s pent up and see nobody else aside from a few judgment-free gators. Photograph: Shutterstock Hard Rock Stadium The Dolphins and Hurricanes play here. Must we say more? MGoBlog" data-width-class="" data-image-id="105591069" /> Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/MGoBlog Freedom Tower From 1962 to 1974, what may be Miami’s most

Can we talk about COTE’s crazy-good “shicken” sandwich?

Can we talk about COTE’s crazy-good “shicken” sandwich?

Being short on cash and with a big date looming, you’ve got some choices to make. There’s always figuring out which of your cards isn’t going to get cut up by the waiter. Or there’s heading midday to COTE Miami. Go there for dinner, and it’ll cost you a couple of hundred bucks. But there’s a lunch menu you can actually, maybe, afford—and still impress your date with your great expensive taste. On it is the “shicken” sandwich that costs $28, and yes, you’re probably laughing now at a sandwich that costs $28. But it’s huge, as in too-big-to-eat-on-your-own sized. It looks utterly charming too, like a beautiful remake of McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish. There’s the big, fluffy La Provence Bakery bun, the tartar sauce dripping out the sides, and the slice of melty American cheese. The patty in the center is as thick as a butcher’s block, and inside there’s something quite unique: layers of pounded chicken and diced shrimp, layered together and then panko battered and fried golden. They split the sandwich back in the kitchen, providing both a cheese-stretching cross-section and also an ideal setup for proposing to your date that you split it. This thing is so huge I guess we don’t need to order anything else, you’ll say. Two tap glasses of your finest tap water, please, and a killer chicken-shrimp sandwich, and you just took your date to one of the nicest places in Miami for $14 per person. Well done, you cheap bastard. Photograph: Eric Barton

How not to be a dick in Miami

How not to be a dick in Miami

Back when Brickell was just a quiet neighborhood south of super-sketch downtown, and the beach was all shuffleboarding old people and strung-out coke heads, the rules of Miami were decidedly different. Those days Miami was a sub-tropical sub-paradise. The sleeves of sports coats were pushed up to elbows, the pole-thin South Beach models looked like they needed a cheeseburger, and everybody wanted a gator on their Sonny Crockett sailboats. OK, some of that is still true. But now that Miami has become America’s Coolest Ciudad (trademark pending), we need a new operating manual. Here then are some things you should know to avoid being a Miami shit. 1. Be not on time It’s not easy to know what time something starts in Miami. Generally, be on time for restaurant reservations and the theater. Show up a bit late to dinner parties, because the host isn’t expecting you yet. Be fashionably late to the club. Be very late to the concert with opening acts. For weddings, it’s likely they’ve told Miamians to show up an hour before the thing starts. Whatever you do, embrace that you’re in a place where being late is the norm, not the exception. 2. One colada per person Every afternoon, from Doral to Hialeah and all the way down to Kendall, somebody’s walking around offices with a little tray full of thimble-sized paper cups with a Cuban coffee called a colada, which could fuel all the rockets of all the billionaires. You take one, you say “thank you” in your best Spanglish, and you raise you

This is the first step to making your home look like an adult actually lives there

This is the first step to making your home look like an adult actually lives there

There may come a time in your life when suddenly that sweet print of the Eiffel Tower you scored from Z Gallerie starts to not exactly look your age. Then there’s that questionable painting from the art fair, and, oh yeah, the paint-by-numbers thing you muddled through after two (or was it three?) glasses of wine. Now that you’ve realized you must, how do you step up what decorates your walls? If you’re clueless about the next steps to become an actual art collector, it turns out you’re not alone: A Miami nonprofit called Commissioner is working with a small group of people who are new to collecting. The goal is to teach them how to take the first steps into the world of original art. Commissioner came about after a conversation in 2017 between friends Dejha Carrington and Rebekah Monson. Carrington recalls: “She asked me one day how someone like her could learn more about collecting, and it was really that question that was personal to her that helped identify that there was a greater need in the community.” The two of them started imagining a model that would use a pool of money from a group of people to commission original art. It’s a bit like a community-supported agriculture program, where a bunch of people chip in to support and buy produce from local farmers. It’s also, Carrington says, inspired by a Caribbean susu, a tradition where women chip in money to do community projects. Their idea was good enough to score a couple of grants, including $90,000 from the Knight F