MIAMI- DADE COUNTY FAVORITES

Consider this the answer to

“Hey Bren, can you recommend a good restaurant in Miami?” 

I try to keep this one updated based on the constantly changing dining scene. If it’s listed, you can find me there on any given day. Promise.

Last Update: 10.29.2019

Listed in alphabetical order:

MY FAVORITE MIAMI RESTAURANTS 

Alter Unexpected fine dining in a casual Wynwood setting.  Review HERE

Ama at Kaido by Miami ace chef Brad Kilgore. Review coming soon. Spoiler: GO!

Amara at Paraiso The potential for greatness and a quick rise as a crowd favorite here is realistic and palpable; the location, ambiance, and excellent menu highlights say so. It won’t be a hidden gem for long. HERE

Ariete They had me at foie gras over maduros. Brunch is a must.

Bazaar Magical avant-garde menu that has something for everyone within the madness of South Beach. This is the perfect go-to if looking for upscale yet hip eats.

Big Easy Winebar & Grill South African eats in a casual, yet chic environment. This one calls for stretchy pants and a happy heart.

Blue Collar Miami long-timer. Delicious comfort eats. Stretchy pants required.

Boia De Tiny spot with a lot of flavor and heart. Make. A. Reservation.

Bon Picat  Family-owned, this tiny and casual restaurant in Doral serves authentic Valencia eats.   

Bourbon Steak  I’ve lost count of how many times I have been to this Michael Mina powerhouse. Beautiful. Great service. Exceptional food. A longtime favorite. Read about it HERE!

Byblos  Black. Truffle. Pide. Do it. Also, end with the Cold Tea Service. Thank me later. Read more HERE.

Cafe La Trova Sazón, tragos, y tremenda pachanga. Dale!

Cafe Ragazzi  Traditional Italian fare in Surfside. Mad respect for its longevity! It’s been there forever!

Cafe Roval A romantic hideaway in an unexpected historic location. Beautiful interiors, lush gardens, and Mediterranean eats.

Caffe Vialetto  A Cuban, Argentinian, Italian trifecta that never disappoints. Oversized ravioli stuffed with pork and sweet plantains, topped with black bean sauce? Check! Owners Marcelo and Ernie are the heart of this operation. Tell them I send my love! I promise they will take good care of you. Did you miss my feature on Check Please! ? What? Click here!

Cancun Grill Órale! Authentic Mexican with a modern touch and an electric vibe.

Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant & Wine Bar  The only time this Broward girl happily drives to friggin’ Kendall is to dine at Chef Adrienne’s. Chef Calvo has created quite a special niche in the middle of nowhere. It’s all good!

Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market This Gainesville (sushi) and Orlando (robata grill and sushi) import in the new and upcoming Downtown Doral area hits all the right notes! Offering modern Japanese, this izakaya restaurant, and fish market is truly a nice addition to the area.

Ember Chef Kilgore’s new spot. Smoked fried chicken with caviar butter. Nola beignets. Escargot chorizo cassoulet. Maduro cream pie. Do it.

Fi’lia There are dishes on the menu you’d expect from most Italian restaurants, but Chef Schwartz’ finessed hand is obvious throughout. From the lovely Corn Agnolotti to the bold Wood Grilled 42oz Bisteca Fiorentino or the Fish Stew, there is something for everyone. The food, warm and knowledgeable hospitality, buzzy vibe and beautiful decor (by interior design giant Philippe Starck) make this one a winner! Review HERE

Fratelli Milano  Hidden within the nearby Downtown Miami office buildings. Say yes to the pear fiocchi and the bucatini. Oh, and save room for dessert! I suggest choosing and setting your dessert aside upon arrival.

Forte dei Marmi In a league of their own. The vibe, refined but approachable. Service, casual and unpretentious. The food, unapologetically Mellino. Lucky us! What an extraordinary addition to our culinary landscape!Review HERE

GHEE Indian Kitchen Casual, yet exotic and wildly exciting, Ghee Indian Kitchen flaunts new flavors and adds character to South Florida’s thriving dining scene. Review HERE

Finka  Croquetas de Jamón Pizza. Need I say more? Casual comfort food in a hip setting. The only thing that would make me drive there on a regular basis would be if they took reservations. They don’t …yet. If you are in the area, dale!

Fiola Miami Forget the D.C. Michelin star. Forget the star-studded dining room. The food and service are worthy of our praise and the real stars that matter.

Graziano’s It’s where I get my Argentinian steak fix. And provoleta too! Oof!

Hakkasan  Modern-Cantonese never looked this good. Located inside the Fontainebleau Hotel, Hakkasan’s space is sexy and the food is delicious.

Italy Today Casual Italian in the Town of Miami Lakes. I love the ravioli di zucca, but everything is good. The bread and house salad rock too! It’s the little things sometimes…

Jaguar Sun Little spot making a big impression. Dazzling drinks and well-executed compact menu. But all you really need to know is…Parker House Rolls.

Kaido by Miami ace chef Brad Kilgore. Review coming soon. Spoiler: GO!

Komodo Pastrami. Egg. Roll. Reminds me a little bit of STK because of the vibe. Great choice for large groups. .

KYU  The worlds of Asian fusion and comfort eats collide. It’s located at the former Shikany spot, so you know it’s hip and edgy. Start with the pork belly, continue with the brisket, end with the coconut cake. The end. Easily one of Wynwood’s best!

L’ Atelier de Jöel Robuchon New and shiny Miami arrival. Its sister restaurant has 2 Michelin stars in NY.

La Fresa Francesa Tiny Hialeah hidden gem offering French comfort food in a friendly family-like environment. Read about it HERE!

La Mar  Peruvian-Japanese food located inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Brickell Key. I love this place! I recently featured La Mar on my blog. Read about it HERE!

Le Jardinier Downstairs from the new Robuchon and by the same team. Luxurious French green-friendly eats.

Le Sirenuse Italian fine-dining in Surfside. Michelin caliber. The real deal. Read about it. HERE!

Le Zoo Je like! French casual quality dining located at the Bal Harbour Shops. Review HERE.

Los Fuegos by Francis Mallman An Argentinian asado like you’ve never had before. Using the best of the best ingredients, one bite will have you singing a tango. Save room for the very decadent dulce de leche Napoleon. Read about it HERE!

Macchialina Taverna Rustica Small, cozy, and charming locale serving casual Italian in South Beach. I usually go for dinner, but their brunch is wonderful too!

Makoto Modern Japanese located at the Bal Harbour Shops.

Michael’s Genuine A fun and creative menu await. The more guests in your party, the more dishes you get to try. The menu’s composed of mostly small plates and the desserts are to die for.

Mignonette Casual and hip. Order oysters off the marquee. Get the croissants. Order the South African Lobster. End with the bread pudding. You too will be a fan.

NaiYaRa Remember Khong River House? Well, miss them no more. Chef Bee has a playground located on Sunset Harbour in SOBE. Read about it HERE

NAOE For the serious gourmand, this experience will educate and shock your senses. Note, this chef-led tasting menu is not for everyone. Arrive and dine with an open mind.

Nobu Now at the Eden Roc hotel. The best miso black cod in South Florida, that’s what. Oh, you know what else is good? The tuna tacos. And the lobster risotto. And the yellowtail sashimi. OK, just get it all.

Pao by Paul Qui  Major swank cred. Located inside the FAENA Hotel on mid-Miami Beach, Pao is an upscale modern Asian restaurant that must be experienced at least once. Expect quality ingredients and top-notch service. Loved the Sweet Greens and the Unicorn (the edible one and also the non-edible one…check it out and you’ll see what I’m talking about). Read about it HERE!

Paon Quaint and casual-chic Argentinian gem in Bal Harbour.

Phuc Yea Too cool for school. Really. A Vietnamese/Cajun fusion with a whole lot of passion and soul. I’m totally drinking the Kool-aid. Does it help I get to jam to Eminem, Biggie, and 2 Live Crew while dining? Oh yeah! Old school Miami meets Mimo 2016. Read more HERE.

Pied a Terre One of the very few restaurants in Miami Beach that is similar to those Michelin-rated ones in other cities. It’s tiny and very special.

Quality Meats Peanut butter and jalapeño-jellied house-cured bacon? Honey-lime baby back ribs? Corn creme brûlée? Nutter butter ice cream cake? Yes, yes, yes, and yes! Review HERE

Scarpetta Inside the beautiful Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. Home of Chef Conant’s famed tomato-based spaghetti. The tasting menu is the way to go the first time.

Seaspice Miami AF. Really. Music, all the feels, riverfront view, and good food too. Dale. Review HERE

Silverlake Bistro brought to you by the team behind La Fresa Francesa. California-inspired, refined comfort eats.

Stiltsville Fish Bar As FRESSSSHHHHH as can be. Expertly prepared fish in a warm, laid-back environment. Neighborhood gem! Review HERE

Stubborn Seed Fresh and avant-garde concepts, such as this one, are not only welcomed but needed. Passion, spirit, expertise, and a playful flair make Ford’s Stubborn Seed a keeper.

Sugarcane Offering a tapas-style menu in a hip, fast-paced, fun environment. Lunch, brunch, or dinner. There are no wrong choices here.

Tacology One of our Perfect for a girl’s night out, right in Brickell City Center. Shopping and tacos. Órale!

The Surf Club Restaurant Two words: THOMAS KELLER.

Timo A hidden Italian-Mediterranean gem in Sunny Isles. Definitively an unsung hero!

Zuma SO in love with the brunch. Two words: Zuma croquette. You must reserve and you must go hungry. Save room for dessert!