Consider this the answer to  “Hey Bren, can you recommend a good restaurant in Miami?”  You know who you are, messaging me in a panic on Friday afternoons. I see you. Exactly.

This list is different than my Top Miami Restaurants Palette Awards list (where I choose restaurants on their overall performance). The concept for this one? Pretty simple, actually. If it’s listed, you can find me there on any given day. Promise. MY favorites. I love seeing the list evolve and change over time: started in ’15 and now we’re here.

Last Update: 07.04.2022


Listed in alphabetical order:

Amara at Paraiso Beautiful view, and “genuine” food. Perfect for groups, but also for those days when you want to truly enjoy where others vacation! Review HERE

Ariete They had me at foie gras over maduros, but also the only duck press in Miami, and the fabulous tasting menu nights. Is there no end to Ariete’s bag of (tasty) tricks?

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

Boia De Tiny spot with powerful flavors and heart. Make. A. Reservation. 

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 has been there forever. Not easy.

Caffe Vialetto  A Cuban, Argentinian, Italian trifecta that never disappoints. 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!

Como Como Coastal Mexican eats never tasted this good. Predicting this will become one of my new favorite spots.

Cote Miami I am in for this. Miami Design District’s newest location coming in hot with this Korean Steakhouse. More fun in a group of at least four. Just sayin’

Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market This Gainesville (sushi) and Orlando (robata grill and sushi) import in 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.

Forte dei Marmi In a league of their own. The vibe, refined but approachable. Service, casual and unpretentious.  Review HERE

GHEE Indian Kitchen Casual, yet 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. 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 standing the test of time on Miami Beach with no signs of slowing down. Located inside the Fontainebleau Hotel, Hakkasan’s space is sexy and the food is delicious.

Hutong New Chinese import in town. Beautiful and with substance. Imagine that! Warning, they do turn up the flavor heat, and I’m alllll for it.

Itamae The freshest Peruvian-Japanese, located in the Design District. Love to love them!

Jaguar Sun All you really need to know is…Parker House Rolls. (10/2020 Offering a different menu and location now. Check their website for details)

KYU The worlds of Asian fusion and comfort eats collide. 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 One of our pre-covid Miami arrivals who toughed it out and stayed in town! 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! Read about it HERE

Leku Basque-style fine dining. Newer kid on the block. Promising.

Lido Restaurant (Former Le Sirenuse at The Surf Club) Italian fine-dining in Surfside. Michelin caliber. The real deal.

Los Fuegos by Francis Mallman Posh location, delectable Argentinian eats with a fine-dining nod. Ask for the off-menu Napoleon for dessert. Read about it HERE

Luca Osteria Pasta boss, Rapicavoli, showing up strong at this new Coral Gables spot.

Macchialina Taverna Rustica Small, cozy, and charming locale serving casual Italian in South Beach.

NAOE For the intense and 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. Pasta. Seafood. and the occasional Proof burger. That’s all you need to know. Go!

Nobu Don’t let the haters sway you away. I said what I said. Nobu still rocks and has been around longer than they have. IJS.

Nossa Omakase Smitten by this new speakeasy spot. Don’t let the flashy South Beach vibe fool you. This spot is solid.

Omakai Omakase without the wallet sting.

Osaka Newer Peruvian Japanese spot in town and favorite spot! Can’t get enough.

Pao by Paul Qui  Located inside the FAENA Hotel on mid-Miami Beach, Pao is an upscale modern Asian restaurant. Review HERE.

Phuc Yea Too cool for school. Really. A Vietnamese/Cajun fusion with a whole lot of passion and soul. Oh yeah! Old school Miami meets Mimo. Read more HERE.

Red Rooster Overtown NYC import bustin’ out all the right moves. Loved every single dish I had. Cannot wait to write more about this one!

Silverlake Bistro brought to you by the team behind La Fresa Francesa. California-inspired, refined comfort eats. Plus that addicting Butterscotch Pudding. Review HERE

Stubborn Seed  Passion, spirit, expertise, and a playful flair make this one a keeper. Highly recommend the tasting menu.

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

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

The Surf Club Restaurant Two words: THOMAS KELLER.

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

Uchi That new new making a big impression. You can find me there again soon!

Zitz Sum Hard to find Coral Gables spot by chef Pablo Zitzmann (remember No Name Chinese?), but worth the search. Small menu. If you visit with a party of 4, you should be able to order it all. The Charred Cabbage is a MUST. Yes, I said cabbage.