Matthew Meltzer/Thrillist
Ms. Cheezious
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1. Coyo Taco 2300 NW 2nd Ave. #3, Miami, FL 33127

Coyo is a grilled-meat taco emporium whose house-made tortillas are filled with everything from crispy duck and grilled cactus to charred octopus and slow-roasted pork shoulder. Tacos come two per order, and if you prefer your meat-and-tortilla combo in another form, you can "convert" it into a burrito, salad bowl, or burrito bowl. The Wynwood original has a bar in the back where you'll usually find a weekend DJ set.

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2. Bodega Taqueria y Tequila 1220 16th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Strings of hanging lights, graffiti art, and neon spray-painted barstools create a vibrant Havana-meets-Brooklyn vibe at Bodega, a taco shop that's cooler than most thanks to its not-so-secret speakeasy out back. An outhouse door near the dining area leads to a sultry, two-level bar that mixes industrial decor with plush velvet sofas and Persian carpets. Tequila is the alcohol of choice here, and though house cocktails are available, your best bet is to order the bartender's choice.

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3. Mellow Mushroom 5775 Sunset Dr, South Miami, FL 33143

This Atlanta-based sit-down pizza chain opened its first shop in the 70s to give the people what they wanted: stoner-inspired pies. The truly quirky chain serves big, doughy speciality pies with names like Kosmic Karma and Magical Mystery Tour, but you can build your own from the extensive list of toppings. The menu also has a special Munchies section featuring cheesy and greasy snacks like muffuletta cheese bread and meatballs. Cooler than your average pizza franchise, Mellow Mushroom serves craft beers from local breweries. The South Miami outpost is conveniently located near the University of Miami at The Shops at Sunset Place.

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4. Small Tea 205 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134

We know that sometimes you want lunch that actually allows you to do something other than go into a food coma for the afternoon. So this Gables spot is your new go-to. In addition to 84 varieties of tea, they’ve crafted a menu full of flavors you’ve never experienced, like the jasmine-smoked chicken salad, the edamame falafel, and a pepper-crusted seared tuna with pineapple chutney.

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5. TacoCraft 5829 SW 73rd St, South Miami, FL 33143

Appealing to the Miami masses, TacoCraft is a boutique taqueria and dive bar in one. Marrying heirloom family recipes with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and modern presentation, the kitchen slings standouts like ahi tuna and chorizo tacos in a hip, stylish space (think barebones wood paneling, tattoo-like sugar skulls and graffiti adorning the walls, and violet mood lighting). While the spot blows up on Taco Tuesdays, it’s a prime late night option, so swing through when your drunk munchies get truly unbearable.

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6. La terrasse 22 Washington Avenue, Miami, FL 33139

Though the South of France and South of Fifth have little in common other than disappointingly few topless sunbathers, this spot at the Southern end of Washington Ave has brought some seriously authentic French fare to South Beach, which always sounds impressive on a date, and looks even better in the dim light on the outdoor terrace that's secluded from the busy street by tropical plants, so you can enjoy the best escargot in Miami without having to listen to the roar of rental Ferraris.

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7. Quality Meats Restaurant 1501 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

This South Beach steakery grinds and mixes steak sauce right at your table. And while putting A1 on a prime cut is the stuff of late-night Denny's second-dinners, the stuff here mixes perfectly with the house-cut beef like the 12oz filet or the 24oz tomahawk bone-in ribeye. For an extra-healthy meal, you can also order the chicken parm pizza -- a 12in pounded-down breaded chicken, fried, then covered in sauce and cheese. It may or may not feed you for a week.

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8. Campania Ristorante & Pizza 4029 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33127

“Affordable” is a word you’ll rarely here used to describe any restaurant in Miami that doesn’t also involve a large case of questionably-aged croquetas, but this Design District spot is making all its pastas, pizzas, and sauces in-house, baking the pies and calzones in an oven it had custom made in Italy, and charging a shockingly reasonable $10-15 for them. That’s dinner for two for under $50. And if you wanna try it at home, they’ve got a full Italian market with house-made cheeses too!

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9. Vagabond Kitchen & Bar 7301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138

Harkening back to the glamour of the early 50s, Vagabond Kitchen & Bar is all houndstooth and primary colors. While preserving the retro feel, they have managed to keep the romance of pulling into a diner in your DeSoto Firesweep alive while keeping its globally-inspired menu fresh and modern. Dedicated to organic veggies and fine dining, Chef Roberto Dubois whips up creations like salmon carpaccio, tuna pizza (fresh tuna, jalapeño, aioli, tomato, and onion), and cucumber gazpacho.

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10. Fresh American Bistro 17315 Collins Ave, Miami, FL 33160

The repurposed-wood interior gives the spot a more-rustic feel, which lends itself perfectly to a menu long on local seafood and steaks like the grass-fed seared beef tenderloin and the saffron seafood risotto.

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11. Klima 210 23rd St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

This Spanish spot has an expansive outdoor space is a serene backdrop where you can try stuff like the veal-stuffed paccheri with porto and Parmesan, or just enjoy a plate of 5 Jotas Iberian ham.

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12. Ted's at YoungArts 2100 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137

You can catch rising stars on the top floor of the YoungArts building (formerly the Bacardi Building) at Steven Starr’s newest Miami outpost. If nothing else, five years from now you can find yourself watching the Grammys and saying “Hey! I remember her! Her voice paired really well with my seared wahoo.”