Proving to the world that we eat more than lettuce and slightly larger pieces of lettuce, The 305 has been on a culinary tear of late, turning to the water and the tropical soil to extract an unparalleled bounty of fresh ingredients. And who better than our local editor to help you wade through the culinary ocean that's right next to the real one.
My Favorite Restaurant: I have several go-to spots I hit up for particular dishes, but Blue Collar serves and equally crushes brunch, lunch, and dinner. Their Big Ragout sandwich, lemon-ricotta pancakes, and bread pudding could all change your life.
Best Late-Night Eats: Don't bother looking for anything more satisfying than Momi Ramen's pork leg-bone ramen, because you won't find it, and if you do, it probably won't be open 24/7.
Best Sandwich: I love saddling up to the bar at La Sandwicherie and seeing everything made right in front of me. Whatever the special sauce is, it's totally addictive.
Best Cheap Eats: Pancho Taco could probably have kicked back and relaxed after deciding to cook in & serve from a 1964 Mercury Commuter station wagon, but they decided to go and make 'em really tasty, and then charge only $2. Oh, and they're totally freaking free on Tuesdays.
Best Italian: When the Pubbelly crew enlisted ex-Scarpetta Chef Michael Pirolo to take the helm at Macchialina, my expectations were high. Then, they surpassed them. The braised short rib & Taleggio-stuffed lasagna is what dreams are made of. Or nightmares, if you're a Lipitor pill.
Best Chinese: There's a reason Tropical Chinese has been a Miami institution and dim sum go-to for 20+ years.
Best Mexican: Mercadito Taqueria has all the flavor of its sibling resto at a fraction of the cost, and it's dare I say better than. Hands-down the best burrito in Miami, no contest. Lunch-only on weekdays.
Best for a Work Dinner: A cool, rustic eatery South of Fifth, The Local House is never so crowded that you won't be able to hear your boss talk. More importantly, it has really great lamb sliders.
Best for Partying: I actually assumed Baoli was a club until I went for dinner and realized they'll actually feed you something other than vodka. The outdoor space may be the main attraction, but the food isn't half bad, and once it hits midnight things go off completely.
Best Brunch: The whole menu is top-notch, but two words at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar standout above the rest: chicken biscuit.
Best Fine Dining: One of the few scenes in the city that lives up to the hype, the meal at Prime One Twelve is to die for. They actually replaced peanuts with jars of brown-sugar-coated bacon as the gratis bar snack.
Most Romantic Restaurant: If you're looking for Greece in Miami, head to Mandolin Aegean Bistro -- breathtaking outdoor area, and everything on the menu is as delicious as it is easy to share.
Best Lunch: The team at 50 Eggs always bring it, and Khong River House is no exception. Get the vermicelli noodle wraps and thank me later.
Weirdest Food: Reggae Tacos is an insanely cool little Jamaican shack in Downtown where they simmer goat in chiles, garlic, jerk spices & apple cider for five hours. Unreal.
Best Food Truck : This is a tough call, because the grilled apple & Havarti cheese sando at Ms. Cheezious is truly incredible but Latin Burger & Taco has one of the best spiciest burgers around. Call it a draw.
Most Local: Most restaurants worth their salt are sourcing local ingredients these days, but Kris Wessel from Florida Cookery actually frequents neighboring farms weekly for ingredients (get the banana/bacon French toast). Also, Acme Bakery & Coffee uses the natural yeasts from Midtown Miami for its off-the-charts bread selections, which isn't nearly as gross as it sounds.