Consider this the answer to
“Hey Bren, can you recommend a good restaurant in Miami?”
If it’s listed, you can find me there on any given day. Promise.
Given the constant changes in county orders, it’s not clear which restaurants remain open, have temporarily closed, or if any have shuttered. For now, I am keeping these on my personal list of favorites and will continue to update.
Last Update: 9.16.2020
Listed in alphabetical order:
MY FAVORITE MIAMI RESTAURANTS
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.
Balloo Tiny Downtown Miami gem. Go for the curry calabaza, stay for the trini-spiced oxtail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Le Jardinier Downstairs from the new Robuchon and by the same team. Luxurious French green-friendly eats.
Le Sirenuse (now Champagne Bar at The Surf Club) Italian fine-dining in Surfside. Michelin caliber. The real deal. Read about it. HERE! This restaurant concept has changed. The staff, service, and food remain mostly unchanged. Rumor has it a new concept (perhaps NYC’s Carbone) might soon make an appearance. We shall see.
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.
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.
Nave Beltran. Flit. Fuschillo. Pasta. Seafood. That’s all you need to know. Go!
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.
Omakai Omakase without the wallet insult.
Osaka New Peruvian Japanese spot in town and new favorite spot!
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! Rumor has it this won’t be re-opening. I will keep it here until I receive confirmation.
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 Michelin-starred style dining. Tiny and very special. Note: The current takeout model is confusing and Asian in style. The restaurant description remains the same on their website. Will keep the restaurant on this list until they resume indoor dining and I can confirm the original concept will remain.
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.
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.
Tacology 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!