The Ultimate List of the Best Restaurants in Miami
Over-the-top sushi spots, a Detroit-style pizza shop, and other top restaurants in Miami.
There’s a certain excitement that comes with summer in Miami. No, it’s not the giddy feeling we get running to Home Depot every time we hear the words “cone of uncertainty” or the rush that comes with wading to your car during an afternoon thunderstorm. It’s that the summer months mean the city empties out a little bit, giving year-round Miamians a chance to explore the great things about our city without big crowds.
Perhaps the most exciting thing to explore is our blossoming dining scene, that seems to be the talk of the American restaurant landscape. These past few months brought Miami some spectacular new spots, from a breezy middle eastern rooftop in Wynwood to a Michelin-starred tasting menu in the Carillon hotel. Sushi and french fries? Yeah, we’ve got that too. So hurry up and check out the best restaurants in Miami before the snowbirds get back.
The Tambourine Room by Tristan Brandt
In the latest round of Michelin awards, this exquisite French spot hidden near the bar at the Carillon Hotel earned its first star. Chef Tristan Brant helms the kitchen at this intimate 18-seater, where mirrored walls and bright lights set the scene for a journey of artfully plated French creations. The modern takes come in three- and six-course tasting menus, which start off with mango and avocado ceviche, before moving on to meat selections ranging from ora king salmon to veal and guinea fowl. Each course comes paired wines from across the globe. With inventive dishes and thoughtful pairings, It sets a new standard for South Florida special occasion dining.
This stunning new French restaurant serves as a second outpost of the New York classic, a celeb hangout immortalized in Sex and the City and other early-aughts pop culture. The interior is nearly identical to the original, beginning with a stunning brick archway leading into an upscale brasserie dining room. Restaurant manager and sommelier Wissam Jaugeon says this version of Pastis was designed “not to compete with the French—to beat the French,” and the food just might do it. Expect classics like escargot soaked in garlic-parsley butter, marbled Steak Frites, and savory Duck Confit.
The old Paris Theater space has been reimagined as everything from a movie house to a nightclub of last resort. Now it gets a stunning new life as Queen. Walking through the lobby feels like a toned down red carpet, as you move past classic movie posters and on to the glamorous host stand. Shimmering crystal decor hangs among gold-coated accent walls, under which you’ll enjoy elegant food like the just-the-right-amount-of-spicy tuna roll with sweet carrots and the 8-ounce Queen’s Fillet. Queen doesn’t skip on theatrics, either, as every so often an acrobat steps into the dining room and does a few tricks for the crowd of well-dressed guests.
Fresh sushi and truffle fries is the combination you didn’t know you needed, until you step inside this chic space on Biscayne Boulevard. The restaurant bills itself as “Japandi,” which the menu describes as “Scandinavian simplicity with Japanese elegance and French sophistication.” It’s a fun, casual bistro where your meal moves from Nordic Venison Carpaccio, then on to Nikkei Tenderloin and Veal Schnitzel. The novel beer selection also fuses European tradition with Asian flavors, offering intriguing brews like the Japas Matsurika flavored with a hint of jasmine, or the Japas Oishii with orange and ginger.
Square Pie City
The hit Detroit-style pizza shop that was the talk of Time Out Market recently moved into the old Harry’s Pizza space, slinging square pies and slices alongside a solid selection of craft beers. Jeremiah Bullfrog crafted this menu of pizza that puts fun twists on classic toppings, like the Red in the Head, Fire in Bed which tingles your tongue with Calabrian chiles. There’s also an entire menu of white sauce pies, like the Many Magical Mushrooms pie topped with cremini, porcini dust, two types of cheese, and garlic for an absolute flavor bomb.
Sushi by Scratch
Miami’s omakase boom shows as many signs of slowing down as the real estate market, so finding a way to stand out beyond fresh fish is important. Enter Sushi by Scratch, a hidden door down Main Highway where you tuck inside for 17 courses from chefs with Michelin-starred restaurant pedigree. The journey isn’t mere fish-on-rice, as chefs jazz up the cuts with everything from homemade chili sauces to compressed pineapple. Guests at the 10-seat counter can opt to pair their dinner with a selection of sakes, cocktails, and beer. Or just go all-in and get six different kinds of sake.
Calista Greek Restaurant
Dining under the stars on Giralda Avenue always feels a little like a trip to the old world. But you’ll never feel more like you’re abroad than when scarfing grilled branzino at this classic Greek taverna. Ebullient servers greet you with a rare selection of Greek wines, as a warm breeze blows through and you peruse the menu over bread and olive oil. The fresh Octopodi seems like it could have just been pulled from the Mediterranean, as does much of the extensive seafood menu. The seafood is all excellent, but you’d be remiss to skip out on moussaka, the Greek take on lasagna that’s a hearty counter to the rest of the menu.
Table by Bachour
Once you’ve effectively conquered the Miami pastry scene, a French bistro in the Design District is the next logical step, right? It is if you’re renowned patissier Antonio Bachour, who’s expanding past the sweet stuff to a full French menu at Table. Opt for a seat either inside the pastel dining room or on the NE 40th Street people watching patio, then sample his savory creations like classic escargot and salt cod fritters. The Parisienne Nicoise Gnocchi is the standout pasta, though the steak frites is as good as you’ll find across the pond. Of course, you’ll still find the pastries Bachour is famous for, so be sure to leave room for dessert.
Brickell’s most stylish new restaurant comes to Miami via Mexico, but it's best known for plating up Basque-style specialties inspired by the Spanish city of San Sebastian. Kick back in a plush chair inside the towering dining room, where a financial district chic crowd feasts on large plates of Confit Mussel Croquettes and Branzino Tartlets with fennel cream and caviar. As with most Spanish coastal cuisine, the menu is big on seafood and grilled meats, though if you’re looking to splurge the Japanese Wagyu with roasted veggies is worth the spend.
Sushi | Bar
You know Miami has evolved as a food city when our most notable restaurant feud has gone from Chicken Kitchen vs. Chicken Grill to a pair of high end omakase counters. We won’t go into the specifics, but this spot inside the Esme Hotel has some old ties to Sushi by Scratch. While which one is better is a matter of great debate, the concepts are equally brilliant. Your night here begins inside the Esme’s sexy cocktail lounge, then moves to a 12-seat counter where 17 courses of fresh sushi await. Each cut is dressed with housemade sauces and marinades, with compressed citrus and other inventive additions.
If you’re the type of person who bases their Friday happy hour around oysters, you might never leave soft wood stools at Joliet. Because while the Gulf Coast-inspired menu has all kinds of creative offerings, the oysters here are the stars of the show. Making a whole meal out of them, however, might not be the best move for your stomach, so branch out and try the Johnny Cakes or cornmeal fried shrimp with green apple salad. The cajun specialties run deep at this eatery from the Lost Boy Team, too, where jambalaya and gumbo fill you up like you’re making a base for a night on Bourbon Street.
The descriptor “Tulum vibes” gets thrown around a lot in the Miami restaurant world. But this new Wynwood rooftop stunner certainly does capture the flowing white linen decor and Burning Man-esque soundtrack of Tulum. The food is a model of modern Middle Eastern, where you’ll dine among jungle foliage on hummus and labneh before delving into tandoori-spiced redfish or an 8-ounce Allen Brothers filet. The sides, though, are where Executive Chef Ian Fleischmann’s skill really shines, as the complex flavors of the smoked carrots with massaman sauce and charred English peas with avocado yogurt and garam masala leave even more of an impression than the beautiful aesthetics.
Platea Prime Steakhouse
If one doesn’t live in the southwest suburbs, they might think Pinecrest is a little far to go when Miami’s got plenty of great steak and fresh seafood that don’t involve dealing with US-1. But take heed, Miamians, everything about Platea is worth the trip, whether it’s the prime steaks coming off the grill, the exquisite wine list, or the ceviche that may well be the best in Miami. This unassuming spot in a suburban strip mall could make a case as the city’s top steakhouse, the opposite of the majority where what it lacks in celebrities it more than makes up for in food. What’s better, dinner at this family-operated gem clocks in at about 70% of what it would cost east of the Palmetto.
Restaurant menus are sometimes a little like baseball lineups, where you have your heavy hitters and then some spots that are just there to fill out the card. Neya, however, is a murderer’s row of restaurants, where literally everything on the menu will have you cleaning your plate and wondering why you didn’t order more. This Israeli spot in Surfside knocks every single dish out of the park, whether it's crispy brussels sprouts in turmeric tahini, josper roasted harissa tiger prawns, or the margol flatbread topped with hearty tomato sauce and arugula. Portions aren’t oversized either, and there’s a kosher rib eye for the restaurant’s observant and/or meat-loving clientele.
Beauty And The Butcher
Fresh off his Michelin star at Stubborn Seed, Jeremy Ford’s latest meat-centric palace can be found in the old Public Square/Shula’s space on Red Road. Glass-door meat lockers line the back of the bar, where guests can gaze at the cuts that will soon be adorning their plates. After a cocktail, diners are treated to a menu of locally sourced, shareable plates that are as delicious as they are beautiful. Dry-aged fish isn’t typically something one sees in South Florida, but Ford’s Japanese crudo with citrus shows it can be done. The jerk charred heirloom carrots put a spicy spin on a pretty standard side, and the Wagyu beef tenderloin lives up to the expectations that started when you saw it behind the bar.
Brad Kilgore is back at it, this time helming the restaurant at Wynwood’s swanky new Arlo Hotel. He’s picking up right where he left off at Alter and Ember, this time packing the menu with Sunshine State tributes like layered brioche with orange blossom honey and grouper al pastor with finger lime and orange peel. The low-key hit of the lineup, though, is the housemade hand-cut tagliatelle, which tastes like it came straight off the drying rack, then topped with Homestead tomato pomodoro and sweet crab.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms
Miami master Chef Niven Patel may have made his name crafting Indian specialties at Ghee with ingredients fresh from his farm. But he gained his nationwide acclaim with Orno, the woodsy, wood-fired restaurant at the THesis Hotel. The menu is still mostly inspired by what’s fresh down at Rancho Patel, full of veggie specialties like vadouvan cauliflower with pickled apples and Aleppo pepper. Patel adds his homegrown produce to fish with the spicy tuna tartare with Calabrian peppers and guanciale. Carnivores aren't left out of the fun either; the meat lineup includes a Wagyu Denver steak and Iberico pork tenderloin with cilantro and scallion.
Opulence is the name of the game at the old Miami Women’s Club, which welcomes you to Edgewater’s first rooftop bar with an alarming tank of live King Crabs. These poor guys are destined to be your dinner downstairs, where an over-the-top menu of fresh seafood and dry-aged steaks awaits. The two-story dining room is lined with windows looking out to Biscayne Bay, but even without the view, eating at Klaw is an experience. The menu is dotted with casually listed delicacies like bluefin tuna, black grouper crudo, and Norwegian king crab, leading to a collection of steaks sorted by provider rather than cut. You might feel a little sticker shock when you see the prices, but most of the are dishes are easily enough for two.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms.
While it’s always smart to be leery of any South Florida restaurant that touts its New York pedigree, this Korean steakhouse is the real deal. Combining the top collection of meats in the city with a heavy dose of pink neon “scene,” Cote strikes the balance between cool and quality like nowhere else. Servers bring out a platter of beautiful meats and cook it on a tabletop grill, with a selection of veggie-centric Korean banchan surrounding. It’s a very different kind of steakhouse experience that doesn’t leave you weighed down. What’s better, you can sample it without breaking the bank, as Cote’s signature Butcher’s Feast is a quite-reasonable $68 per person.
The old chef from Mandolin sets up in a secluded garden along NW 24th Street, plating Aegean specialties good enough to earn the place a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Doya is one of Miami’s most romantic restaurants not just because of its dreamy, twinkling garden setting. It’s also because eating here is a sharable exploration, where dishes with names like turkey pastrami hummus and pacanga pie beg you to discover what’s next. Doya’s dips stand above any Mediterranean eatery in Miami, with a red-pepper based muhammara that’ll have you begging for the recipe as you leave.
This spot from chef Alain Verzeroli recently notched a Michelin star of its own, plating beautiful, vegetable-forward dishes in a colorful, contemporary space. You don’t have to be a vegetarian, or even like vegetables much more than a stubborn seven-year-old, to appreciate what they’re doing at Le Jardinier. The menu is driven by which veggies are in season, meaning you’ll find options like corn ravioli with roasted tomatillos and cilantro as we move into summer. Le Jardinier still has a handful of solid seafood and steak offerings, but the plants are the stars of the show—each one is plated so perfectly you’ll be hesitant to ruin it by eating.
This stunning restaurant set among modern art and soft breezes on the Rubell Museum patio takes gourmet twists on traditional Baqsue cuisine. What is Basque, food, exactly? Well, if you’ve ever eaten at a real-deal family-style Basque restaurant in the US, you know the general concept: large portions of meat, starches, and spices. But Leku leans more toward the fare found in the Basque region of Spain with top-quality ingredients prepared simply but extremely well, plating a 50-day Dry-aged Prime Bone-in Ribeye alongside Patatas Caseras and Wild Mushroom Rice. You’ll also find more-traditional Spanish tapas (i.e. Basque “pintxos”) too, like Iberico Croquetas and Galician Octopus.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms.
This little modern Italian restaurant wedged next to a Little Haiti supermarket shows you don’t need big name backing to be Miami’s best. Husband-and-wife team Alex Meyer and Luciana Giangrandi have created a menu without a weak link, and a wine list worthy of a restaurant ten times Boia’s size. It’s Italian without crossing the in-your-face red sauce line, with subtle options like Crispy Polenta with marinated eggplant, homemade Pappardelle with rabbit and rosemary, and massive Lamb Ribs with urfa yogurt and spicy cucumbers. Pro tip: Though reservations inside book up about a month in advance, show up on almost any night and you can get a seat outside or at the bar with only a short wait.