Eat Seeker

Where to Eat in Miami Right Now

From a Korean steakhouse to a fry-themed food truck.

PERL by Chef IP
PERL by Chef IP | Photo Courtesy of PERL by Chef IP
PERL by Chef IP | Photo Courtesy of PERL by Chef IP

Much like we all bounded out of our houses like pent up inmates at the end of last year’s lockdown, so have Miami restaurants had some seriously bottled up energy. And they all seem to have let it out this past winter. Perhaps no season in recent history saw as many new hits in our city, when a seemingly endless parade of New York transplants and South Florida originals finally got a shot to show the world what they had. Some after a year’s delay or more.

It’s a true testament to the resilience and culture of our city, that in a year that saw the industry decimated, we’ve brought such an impressive new crop of restaurants to Miami. And tables have been hard to come by. There are still plenty of favorites from the past five years worth visiting, too. From a couple of highly-touted New York Italian eateries to a Korean steakhouse to burritos filled with French fries, here are the highlights from the busiest season for restaurants in recent memory.

EST 33
EST 33 | Photo Courtesy of The Dana Agency

EST 33

Brickell

The gist: A Bangkok transplant mixing light beers and Asian-American barbecue. The big, lively space offers beers that won’t weigh you down and food that lures you in with the smell on the top floor of Brickell City Centre.
The food: Though Asian takes on American barbecue can often fall flat, Est. 33 has absolutely nailed it, offering hickory-smoked masterpieces like the spiced crispy wings with sweet chili sauce and the skirt steak with sweet chimichurri. The chicken thigh satay with peanut jam gives a smoky twist to the Thai staple, and everything on the menu pairs well with the selection of crisp, light beers.
The cost: Apps $9-12; grilled stuff is $12-30; entrees around $25; beers $7-8
How to order: Reservations available on OpenTable.

Carbone
Carbone | Photo Courtesy of Gnazzo Group

The gist: Mario Carbone’s eagerly awaited South Beach outpost brings us an Instagram feed full of spicy rigatoni, in a classic old Italian setting that feels like dining in a mob movie.
The food: If you didn’t post a picture of the spicy rigatoni vodka, did you really even eat at Carbone? Theoretically, yes, you can enjoy a number of other specialties on the menu, like the indulgent veal parm that’s presented whole before sliced for your party. Or the green minestrone soup, that’s poured into your bowl as you watch. You won’t find a weak item on the menu, but, seriously, that rigatoni really does live up to the hype.
The cost: Pack your wallet, entrees here easily run north of $40, and pastas are $35 an up.
How to order: Dine-in only. You can book via Carbone’s website or on Resy.

Heaven Mykonos
Heaven Mykonos | Photo Courtesy of Heaven Mykonos

The gist: Upscale, josper-grilled Greek cuisine that will fill you up, but won’t leave you too weighed down to dance when this all-white space turns into a Greek Isles nightclub.
The food: Chef Jorge Mas didn’t leave any detail unattended when creating the Greek menu that precedes your big night at Heaven. The trio of hummus, eggplant spread, and yogurt dip that begin the meal can hold its own with any Mediterranean spot in Miami. The moussaka is a creamy, carby main that’s finishable if shared. And the josper-grilled meats bring a flavor heretofore unexperienced in Doral.
The cost: Apps are $10-15; flatbreads $20; mains $25 and up
How to order: Make a reservation on Heaven’s website or on OpenTable.

Maü

Midtown

The gist: The Tulum-meets-Mykonos tagline holds true, as the Mexican-inspired entry leads to a sexy, secluded interior that feels a world apart from the glass towers of Midtown.
The food: The sparkling bottles and sultry house music are the real stars of the show, as the vibe here harkens back to the Monday night parties at Tantra of yesteryear. The food isn’t quite on that level yet, but you’ll still be readily satisfied by the grilled steaks and fresh seafood. The most original and Instagrammable thing on the menu is the coconut ceviche, which adds a tropical flavor and a fun prop to the traditional presentation.
The cost: Ceviches and raw bar $25; starters $15-20; entrees $28-$38
How to order: Make a reservation via sevenrooms.com.

Osteria Morini
Osteria Morini | Photo Courtesy of Osteria Morini

Osteria Morini

South Beach

The gist: The folks behind Michelin-starred Marea and Ai Fiori in New York open up shop on the ground floor of the new Kimpton Palomar, offering fresh pastas and seafood on the Collins Canal.
The food: You don’t land yourself on prestigious lists of the best Italian restaurants in America without some seriously first-rate food, and Osteria Morini delivers. The pastas are fantastic up and down the menu, though the kale and black pepper pesto gnocchi is the most unique. And the cappelletti with truffled ricotta ravioli and prosciutto is great if you want something rich and rewarding. The grilled fish is the move if you’re not looking to carb bomb. Though once you’ve committed to eating here, you might as well.
The cost: Antipasti $15-20; pastas are all $27; entrees $38-56
How to order: Order online or make a reservation via their website.

Perl By Chef IP
PERL by Chef IP | Photo Courtesy of Carma Connected

Perl By Chef IP

Miami Gardens

The gist: Toast of the Indian Creek Island set Isaac Perlman finally takes his culinary creations outside mansion kitchens and into a small space just off Miami Gardens Drive. The modern space brings a chic bistro to an area that’s been severely lacking in creative, upscale food.
The food: Though Miami’s has plenty of fresh, raw fish, you’d be remiss not to try Perlman’s citrus-cured grouper carpaccio to start the meal. It’s served atop a sancho pepper, lime, and cilantro sauce that’s unique to Perl, and sets the stomach nicely for his Kosher bone-in ribeye with red miso marinade. Or, if you’re feeling a little lighter, the roasted half chicken with Dijon-champagne. It’s lots of new American offerings with small nods to global flavors, and a first of its kind at this crossroads of northeast Dade County.
The cost: Appetizers and crudos $16-23; sandwiches and burgers $17-23; entrees range from $23 for chicken to $75 for the bone-in ribeye
How to order: Reserve a table via sevenrooms.com.

Serena
Serena Rooftop | @serenarooftop

Serena

South Beach

The gist: The swanky new Moxy hotel in South Beach got the Coyo Taco crew to develop this rooftop gem, where you’ll sip on unusual margaritas with a warm, beachy breeze. Then indulge in elevated takes on the stuff we’ve come to love from Coyo.
The food: Scott Lindquist does it again with his flair for Mexican food, showing us he’s just as adept at creating tuna tostadas and cactus huaraches as he is playing the hits. Though the tacos are as great as you’d expect, branch out a little here and opt for the refreshing aguachile verde with Persian cucumbers and serrano chiles. Then sample the blue corn masa huaraches that are fluffy, savory ways to soak up the margaritas.
The cost: Most items between $10-20
How to order: Book a table via OpenTable.

Uchi
Uchi | Photo by Jimena Peck

Uchi Miami

Wynwood

The gist: The Austin hit omakase experience arrived in Wywnood to high expectations, and isn’t even a little bit disappointing. Its big name is matched by its quality food and, while never cheap, this is the place to drop some cash.
The food: It is wise to be suspect of any out-of-town restaurant that arrives to great fanfare, but Uchi is far and away the season’s winner for living up to the hype. The move here is the omakase tasting menu. But if you’re dead set on ordering for yourself, the hama chili with yellowtail will wake up your palate before moving on to the hot rock wagyu beef and the addictive sweet pumpkin tempura. Every piece of fish here is going to be spectacular, so don’t be afraid to order adventurously. Budget allowing of course.
The cost: The bite-size menu prices vary wildly, from $5 for tempura to $32 for lobster specials. The omakase prices depend on what they’re serving that day, but safely budget $125pp.
How to order: Order to go or dine-in via Uchi’s website.

Man vs Fries

Brickell

The gist: Imagine you took a state fair fried food stand, then combined it with every stoneriffic creation you made in college, then threw it all in a food truck just south of the Brickell bars. That would be the healthy version of this place.
The food: Look, there is absolutely nothing “good for you” on the menu at Man vs. Fries. But that is precisely why we love it. From the meat-and-cheese covered carne asada and pollo fries, to burritos filled with grilled steak and Cheetos, to crunchy quesadillas filled with yet more Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, it’s a late-night diner’s dream come true. And a cardiologist’s worst nightmare.
The cost: Menu prices range from $10-15
How to order: Order delivery via DoorDash, Postmates, or UberEats. Or stroll up to the truck just south of SW 13th St and SW 1st Ave.

Jeepney
Jeepney | Photo Courtesy of Jeepney

Jeepney

Wynwood

The gist: James Beard-nominated Filipino chef Nicole Ponseca brings Miami its first modern-Filipino food outlet in the corner of 1-800 Lucky.
The food: Miami’s best wings may well be in a Filipino restaurant, as the adobo-spices ones at Jeepney will have you finishing an entire plate without offering any to your friends. But for the love of god do not fill up on them, because the egg-topped chori burger can make a case as the best burger in the city, too. If you came here to try something other than wings and burgers, get the sisig tradicional, a hangover cure with egg and pork belly. Or the crabfat, fly-AF rice.
The cost: Entrees are all around $15
How to order: Head to 1-800 Lucky and order to your heart’s content.

Ojo De Agua
Ojo de Agua USA | @ojodeagua.usa

Ojo De Agua

Brickell

The gist: A healthy Mexican hit opens up in Brickell, bringing colorful Mexican décor, a small produce market, and fresh-pressed juices to the SLS Lux.
The food: Ojo de Agua would be best described as “fancy fast casual,” because while you’ll be ordering at a counter everything here is prepared and presented like a full-service restaurant. The tacos are far more inventive than what you’re used to, with octopus and spicy tuna the most intriguing to try. But you’ll also enjoy the epic selection of salads and sandwiches, highlighted by the chutney mango and atun spicy deli.
The cost: Most food  items between $15-20. Juices about $10.
How to order: Order to-go from the restaurant or via UberEats

The gist: Ok, so eating on Ocean Drive is right up there with turning left on US-1 on every Miamian’s list of enjoyable activities. But this Vegas transplant is an actually-enjoyable experience on our most tourist-clogged street, offering fantastic food behind thick foliage that almost makes you forget the masses.
The food: The menu is, in true Ocean Drive fashion, all over the board, ranging from ceviches to pizzas to massive fried chicken sandwiches. But in very un-Ocean Drive fashion, nearly everything is great, whether you’re going healthy with a farro and avocado bowl, or indulging in a Nashville hot chicken sandwich. It’s an ideal place to take guests who can’t decide what they want to eat. Or to surprise locals by showing them great food exists on Ocean Drive.
The cost: Sandwiches, bowls, and tacos are all between $15-21. Entrees $20-30.
How to order: Reserve a table though the website.

Rosie's
Rosie’s Pop-Up | @rosiesmia

Rosie's

Overtown

The gist: A pair of enterprising young entrepreneurs have revamped an old Overtown hotel and transformed it into the Copper Door B&B. Its ground level is home to Rosie’s, where chef-owner Akino West is putting out Miami’s best brunch food in the most unexpected of places.
The food: If you’re lucky enough to get a brunch seat at Rosie’s you are in for a calories-don’t-count treat. The lemon-ricotta pancakes covered in blackberry sauce might be the lightest thing on a menu that’s best noted for its crispy hot chicken and biscuits. If you don’t have plans for your Sunday, though, opt for the shrimp and grits with smoked sausage, which can legitimately last three meals.
The cost: Brunch items range from $5-15
How to order: Rosie’s doesn’t take reservations but you can order the food online.

Taqueria Hoja
Taqueria Hoja | Photo Courtesy of Carma Connected

The gist: Somehow, the hidden-down-an-office-building-hallway taqueria trend didn’t catch on quite like the taco shop speakeasy. But this Mexico City-style taqueria is trying to make it a thing, where chef Alex Chang is plating up tacos unlike any we’ve seen in the city. 
The food: Hoja’s expertly crafted taco selection is worth the journey into the heart of the Ingraham building, where burnt habanero salsa and fresh fried chips wait to welcome you. After chips, it’s a simple sampling of complex flavors, whether you’re nibbling on the koji sweet potato, peanut, and almond tacos or trying the shrimp and potato flautas with salsa campechana. All are served on fresh-made tortillas, utilizing blue, white, and yellow corn.
The cost: Tacos are $4.50 each.
How to order: Find the restaurant in the middle of the Ingraham building. Or, if you don’t feel like going all Goonies to get some tacos, order via Uber Eats, Postmates, or DoorDash.

Freehold Miami
Freehold | Photo Courtesy of Social Media Advance

The gist: The hotel-without-a-hotel concept that took Brooklyn by storm opens in Wynwood, where a tropical lobby bar welcomes you to the fabulous new Freehold. From there, it’s out to the spacious patio where an astroturf courtyard awaits, surrounded by a swanky cocktail bar and plenty of intimate tables.
The food: The most talked-about item on the menu is the pizza, coming to Miami courtesy of noted pizza man Anthony Falco. The thin-crust doesn’t disappoint, but if you’re looking for something other than pizza to enjoy with your cocktails, the vegan meatballs are better than most meat-based alternatives. And the tuna tacos in blue corn shells are a surprising hit in a place not known for its Mexican cuisine.
The cost: Pizzas are $15-19. Shared plates about $12. Sandwiches around $17.
How to order: Book a table on Freehold’s website, or at Sevendoors.com.

Ol’ Days

Midtown

The gist: If you’re into coffee—like into it so much your friends don’t wanna hear you talk about it any more—Ol’days is like your ComiCon. Behind the bar, you’ll find like-minded baristas who’ll love to talk sipping notes about coffees from all over the world, all over fresh pastries or fantastic vegan entrees.
The food: Your best bet is breakfast, as the fresh-baked scones, muffins, and cookies are worth the trip to Midtown if you don’t live nearby. Visit later, and you’ll find a mixture of healthy and traditional Argentine food. So whether you’re feeling the rainbow quinoa bowl or the fajitas rancheras (which are more like quesadillas), there’ll be something you like.
The cost: Most items between $15-20
How to order: Download the Ol’days app for delivery and takeout

Cote Miami
Cote | Photo Courtesy of Cote

Cote Miami

Design District

The gist: Not to be confused with grill-it-your-own-damn-self Korean barbecue, this first of its kind Korean steakhouse comes to us after garnering multiple James Beard Awards and three straight years of Michelin stardom in New York.
The food: So what, exactly, makes a Korean steakhouse different from any other grilled beef emporium? Well, first, there’s a grill in the middle of your table, where your server cheerfully grills the finest American wagyu and prime beef, all dry-aged on site in a blend of Himalayan pink, British Maldon, and Korean thousand-day salt. Rather than coming out with the usual bevvy of buttered-up carbs, these steaks are served with meticulously pickled vegetables alongside a wine list from wine prodigy and Master Sommelier Mia Van De Water.
The cost: Prime steaks are $40-50; wagyu are $50-80; butcher’s feast sampler of both is $58 and probably your best bet.
How to order: Book a table on Cote’s website or at sevenrooms.com.

Novikov

Brickell

The gist: Though it’s good to be skeptical of any Miami restaurant that serves expensive sushi with a heavy side of scene, this London transplant is the odd eatery where the food lives up to the high prices. 
The food: It’s Chinese-Japanese fusion, which sounds like a recipe for disaster if you grew up eating in strip malls, but works masterfully here. Novikov’s best known for its dim sum, with duck-and-foie-gras-filled dumplings complimenting stuff like the spicy prawn moneybag. The makis, sashimis, and bao buns can stand up with any in Miami, and if you want a big plate delving into the cilantro pesto branzino or sweet and sour mango chicken won’t lead you astray.
The cost: Sashimis and makis run from $20-30, bao buns and veggies are $15-20, entrees range from $31-115, and cocktails are $15-18.
Open for outdoor dining: Yes
How to order: Make your reservation for outdoor dining online or call 305.489.1000

Ghee Indian Kitchen

Downtown Dadeland

The gist: Niven Patel—who Food & Wine named one of its top 50 new chefs last year—takes whatever’s fresh on his Homestead farm and uses it in his Floridian twists on Indian classics.
The food: The menu varies wildly at Ghee, as much of what you’ll find is based on what’s in season at Rancho Patel. One week you may wolf down an entire tomato and eggplant curry. Another week you’ll order multiple ears of charred corn with smoked paneer. Niven’s happy to play the hits too, and does tikka masala and saag paneer as well as anyone in America. 
The cost: Most plates run from $10-15, naans and chutneys are $3-5. 
How to order: Make a reservation for outdoor dining on OpenTable, order takeout on the website, or get delivery through Uber Eats.

Chotto Matte

South Beach

The gist: A Nikkei hit from London lands in South Beach, where you can feast on Peruvian classics in a retractable-roof space that feels a little like eating in a cenote. 
The food: With our perfect winter weather, the soft breeze that blows through the open roof makes the Nikkei nibblers like chilled branzino ceviche and chu-toro tiradito taste especially refreshing. Currently, Chotto is plating its sushi and sashimi with house-made sauces. On the meatier side, the pork belly and lamb chop anticuchos are the must-haves off the extensive robata menu.
The cost: At $85 a person, the tasting menu is, believe it or not, is the best value at Chotto Matte. But if you opt to go a la carte, sushi is around $18 for rolls, anticuchos range from $17-36, and robata-grilled meats are $18-30. Cocktails are $16.
How to order: Make reservations online or by calling 305-690-0743 or order delivery through Uber EatsDoorDash, Seamless, and Grubhub.

The gist: Set in an unassuming strip mall a few blocks from Hard Rock Stadium, this family-run spot is bringing unique Ethiopian flavors to a city that’s often a North African food desert. 
The food: If you’re new to Ethiopian cuisine, the best way to enjoy this is around a large table, scooping up the spicy, savory dishes with injera—a spongy teff grain flatbread which some tout as a superfood. For the optimal experience, go with the Taste of Awash, which offers a substantial sampling of stuff like doro wot (stewed chicken), kitfo (ground beef with spices and herbed butter), and shiro (split peas with red pepper). Awash is especially inviting for vegetarians and vegans, too, as much of Ethiopian cuisine is entirely plant-based.
The cost: Starters are $5, entrees are $10-14, and the Taste of Awash is $30 for two people.
How to order: Make reservations by calling 305.770.5100 or order delivery through Grubhub.

Glass and Vine

Coconut Grove

The gist: Chopped champ and Eating House impresario Giorgio Rapicavoli ventures into fine dining outside the old Peacock Park library. Breezy dinners and decadent brunches ensue.
The food: For social distance dining, it doesn’t get much better than Glass and Vine, where you can enjoy sweet potato tater tots, local heirloom salad, and grilled Florida snapper in glorious fresh air. The new American creations aren’t as stonerriffic as what you might find at Eating House, but brilliantly showcase Rapicivoli’s diversity as a chef. It’s especially evident at brunch, where carbonara fries, passion fruit waffles, and short rib benedicts highlight the strongest a la carte brunch menu in the city.
The cost: Starters and salads are $10-15, entrees are $20-35, and brunch mains are around $15.
How to order: Make outdoor dining reservations by calling 305.200.5268 or through OpenTable, get takeout through ToastTab, or delivery through Grubhub and Uber Eats.

Society BBQ

Multiple locations

The gist: Richard Hales of Blackbrick and Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives fame is plating the best barbecue we’ve had outside of Texas. It’s all reasonably priced, too, and is a must-visit for any barbecue fans spending time in Miami.
The food: Though Society’s logo has a big map of Florida, this is pure Texas-style goodness with slow-smoked brisket that could go up against anything in the Lone Star State. The pulled chicken and pulled pork sandwiches make for great lunches, and the vegan burnt ends also taste fantastic with Hales’ collection of homemade sauces drenched on top. Reading this from outside South Florida? No need to get on a plane, as Society is happy to ship the stuff nationwide. 
The cost: Meats are $6-10, sandwiches $10-12, and the 1.5-lb. beef rib is $32.
How to order: Open for outdoor dining, order takeout through Toast, or delivery through Uber Eats and Postmates.

Boia De

Buena Vista

The gist: Intimate modern Italian spot from the people behind the massively popular La Pollita food truck, where you’ll find a collection of wines worthy of a restaurant ten times its size.
The food: The menu at Boia de is almost as small as its space, but you literally won’t find a weak link anywhere. The food’s Italian without being in-your-face, with subtle options like crispy polenta and marinated eggplant, ribeye carpaccio with black truffle, and squash blossom tempura leading off. The entrees hold up just as well, highlighted by the homemade pappardelle with rabbit and rosemary, and the massive lamb ribs with peaches and parsley. And be sure to do yourself a favor and ask for a recommendation from the wine list; there’s stuff on there you’ve never heard of that you’ll spend years trying to find again.
The cost: Appetizers are $7-21 and entrees are $20-25.
How to order: Make an outdoor dining reservation through Resy or order takeout through UpServe.

The gist: The journey to Key Biscayne is worth it for the  kind of fresh, addictive bakery people in big cities wait in line for hours to try. Fortunately, there’s rarely a line here (except for weekends) for the baguettes, croissants, and pastries we’ll easily call the best in Miami
The food: If you’re willing to wait in line for bagels, you should be willing to jump in your car and cross the causeway for the best new breakfast spot we found last year. This quirky bakery on the Key is baking up croissants, muffins, cookies, baguettes and other fresh breads that are so good the word “carb” will leave your vocabulary. They’ve also got a solid menu of sandwiches served on their fresh baked creations. Do yourself a favor and get a little bit of everything to take home, just try not to eat it all before you get there.
Cost: Croissants and other pastries are $4-5; sandwiches $12-14.
How to order: Order via Toast.

Moxie's

Brickell

The gist: Chic, sleek Canadian import with a lively bar and a menu spanning multiple cuisines. Think of it like an ultra-modern Cheesecake Factory, with exponentially better food.
The food: Massive menu dining is not, in fact, dead and is absolutely crushing it in the former Rosa Mexicano space. And while, typically, being a jack of all trades is a recipe for mediocrity-at-best, Moxie’s nails them all. So go ahead and order the tuna ceviche, Thai chili chicken, and Korean cauliflower to start. Then move on to a filling kale and quinoa salad before delving into curry bowls, veggie power bowls, vindaloos, and blackened mahi. Or just keep it simple and order something from the best new list of prime steaks we’ve had this year.
Cost: Appetizers are $11-19; salads in the $15-20 range; steaks are $40-50, and if you’re not into steak the extensive entrée list is $20-30.
How to order: Make reservations via OpenTable or order delivery and takeout from Moxie’s website.

L’atelier De Joël Robuchon
Beet, apple and avocado sorbet | Photo Courtesy of L’Atelier de Joel Rubichon

The gist: Fine dining at its finest with creations that carry on the legacy of Joel Robuchon, served in a dark, sexy setting with the quietest open kitchen you’ve ever seen.
The food: You will be hard pressed to find anything short of “the best thing I’ve ever had” on the menu at L’Atelier, where scallops in cilantro broth, a beef and foie gras hamburger, and spiced Long Island orange duck are but a few of the masterpiece that greet you upon opening the menu. The choices can be overwhelming, so save yourself some stress and opt for the seasonal prix-fixe menu where you’ll get five courses for $135. Then snag a seat at the bar and watch the kitchen work with the precision of a silent drill team, plating each dish with immaculate detail and culinary beauty.
Cost: Prix-fixe is $135; a la carte small plates are $20-35; larger plates start at about $40 and can go all the way up to $90.
How to order: Make a reservation via OpenTable or Resy.

Matt Meltzer is a contributor for Thrillist.
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