Everywhere You Need to Eat in Miami Right Now
From Scarface-style and upscale Korean steakhouses to a cozy Cuban-Italian joint in Hialeah, add these places to your must-try list.
In spite of the recent late season hurricane and moody weather, “season” is officially here. Need proof? Look around at all those different license plates all over the road. Fortunately, for all those seasonal residents and short-term visitors—who have hopefully learned about the Miami turn signal by now—we’ve opened a slew of new restaurants to greet them.
In addition to our slate of Michelin-starred stalwarts, we also welcomed a steakhouse with serious ‘80s Miami vibes, more omakase experts, and a fantastic late night option in Midtown. Ariete’s Micheal Beltran opened a new bar and restaurant on Coral Way. And Edgewater got its first rooftop, complete with a giant aquarium full of live King Crabs. Miami marches on as a world-class food scene this winter. Here are the hottest places to explore it.
La Romanita Restaurant and Lounge
La Romanita feels like the cozy Italian restaurants of your childhood, with murals of Rome on the wall and big, red sauce pastas on the menu. It's all complemented by a big selection of Latin American steaks, and a list of Italian and South American wines that could hold its own with anywhere in Miami. Intimate tables make the Cuban-Italian destination an immediate date-night staple, though singles would do well to come on Saturday and Sunday when ladies get free margaritas and dancing goes all night.
How to book: Reserve a table through La Romanita’s website.
No detail goes unnoticed in this new steakhouse from the Carbone folks, from the minute you roll up to the valet to the Chartreuse cart rolling by at dessert. The lounge is as close to visiting Scarface’s Babylon club as you’ll find, with painstaking tropical décor, dim lights, and plenty of shiny metal. The massive dining room is done up in zebra print and copper painted ceilings, complemented by equally decadent French takes on steakhouse classics. The mushroom mille feuille is its grand creation, set atop a corn and curry sauce that’s the season’s most original dish. The collection of prime steaks is hard to resist, though if you’re looking for something different, the chicken and crepes brings a whole bird made with both French and Moroccan influences.
The Gibson Room
Neighborhood bar meets hunting lodge at Michael Beltran’s homage to the great outdoors. The dimly lit space boasts a bar teeming with walking-distance regulars, giving Gibson Room the aura of a Midwestern neighborhood tavern. Mounted animal heads help this motif along, as does the taxidermied marlin. The menu brings flavors not typically found in Miami, like the Venison Bolognese Agnolotti and rainbow trout with chorizo vinaigrette. Be warned, the place is loud, pumping music at 2 am volumes during dinner. So, if you’re planning on an intimate meal, you may want to just hit this place for drinks instead.
How to book: Stop in for first come, first served service.
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.
This Spanish smash yakitori and noodle shop showed up on NW 24th Street this summer undeterred by stiff competition. And while its tortilla-chip-breaded-and-fried corral chicken makes a marvelous addition to yakisoba bowls and sushi rolls, where this place excels is its happy hour. Everything from Thai chicken tenders to gyoza samplers and fried prawns can be had for under $4, with $3.50 draft beers and $7 sushi rolls. The food’s as good as any other restaurant in the category, and going here between 4 - 6 pm might be the best food deal in the city right now.
The Grove’s most stunning new restaurant is this Lebanese Toronto transplant, appointed in tropical plants, wicker chandeliers, and giant clay pots. Though the feel is a Mediterranean beach house the food is far heartier, bringing diners kefta kebabs, steak skewers, and lamb chops that are nearly impossible to finish. It’s a vibe of shared plates and great celebrations, where the carefree feeling of the Med is combined with the spicy, savory flavors of the Middle East—all of which come in giant portions. While there’s nothing groundbreaking about the menu here, it’s small enough that you won’t find a weak spot. So, when your party of ten orders one of everything, you won’t be disappointed.
Late-night dining can be tricky even in a city as vibrant as Miami. And if you’re looking for somewhere with a sophisticated menu and atmosphere that stays lively well past midnight, Negroni is the spot. It’s almost like a Latin-American Cheesecake Factory, where whatever your late night cravings call for, it’s on the menu. Shrimp ceviche and pancetta bao buns? Sure. Burger and fries? There’s a huge one with caramelized onions and BBQ sauce. Add in a crowd that never seems to thin out and you’ve got a place tailor made for late nights—especially with a cocktail menu that stretches far beyond the drink named on the marquee.
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 $64 per person.
Espanola Way has seen a resurgence over the past year, much of it thanks to this art deco gem right next to the Esme Hotel. It comes from the minds that gave us Mandolin, so fantastic Mediterranean fare is a given, like the lemon-roasted whole chicken that can easily feed three. What we didn’t expect was pizza that’s quickly become some of the most talked-about in Miami, whether topped with smoked guanciale or trumpet and champignon mushrooms. The space is awash in pastels and big windows, too, a little like eating in the Miami Beach of yesteryear. It’s the odd local staple on a tourist drag, and a standout among a glut of Aegean-style eateries.
Like Mike Italian Taste
This unassuming little Trattoria on Main Highway was always a cozy, Lady and the Tramp kinda place for a romantic dinner. But this year Like Mike brought in a chef from Michelin-starred Re Santi e Leoni in Naples, Italy, immediately thrusting it into the upper echelon of Miami’s Italian restaurants. Like Mike plates up Neapolitan dishes unique to its menu, like the baked pasta e patate, where potatoes mix with melted provolone and porcini powder. And the gnocchi al limone made with lemon butter sauce, lemon zest, and coffee crumbles.
How to book: Reserve on the website.
Miss Crispy Rice
One might assume every eatery at a nightlife venue would be a fast casual food stand. But past the tower bar at Oasis, you’ll find this sit-down sushi counter hiding right next to Poke OG. If you’re up for kicking off your dance party with an omakase, the one here is among the best in the city, and probably the only one you can end with a guava cream cheese churro. The A5 Wagyu crispy rice and hand rolls are rich treats that don’t wreck your stomach, and the spicy tuna and avocado-truffle crispy rices are both borderline addictive. Diners aren’t limited to this menu, though, as they’re welcome to order from Poke OG or Sushi OG as well.
How to book: Reserve a table on Tock.
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.
Tacking on to the two Michelin stars its upstairs neighbors got, this ground level spot from chef Alain Verzeroli notched a star of its own in 2022, 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 stuff like gnocchi with red kuri squash, brown butter, and sage in the fall. Or sweet potato velouté with grilled Honeycrisp apple and cardamom. Le Jardinier still has a handful of solid seafood and steak offerings, but the veggies are the stars of the show. Each one is plated so perfectly you’ll be hesitant to ruin it by eating.
Ingredients flown in from Mexico make up a menu of unique creations and seafood standouts, served on a sidewalk cafe to a soundtrack of international vinyl. Michelin thought enough of this spot to bestow it a star. Los Felix’s bill leans heavily on Mexican corn, and the culinary team here has brought in varieties rarely found north of the border. They’re best expressed in the Totopos (you might call them tortilla chips) served with fresh guac and a daily-made salsas. You’ll also get the full effect with an order of Esquites, a collection of heirloom corn mixed with chile emulsion and cotija cheese. The chef plays the classics, too, but with a communal spin, from Pork Cheek Carnitas served braised in a bowl with blue corn tacos to a Squash Blossom Quesadilla that easily served four.
Serving a menu of Basque stylings done with gourmet twists on the lush patio of the Rubell Museum, modern art and soft breezes combine to make this Miami’s new “it” date spot. If you’ve ever eaten at a real-deal family-style Basque restaurant, you know the general concept: large portions of meat, starches, and spices. But Leku takes that premise and makes it fancy, 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 too, like Iberico Croquetas and Galician Octopus. And with everything set in the stunning confines of the Rubell museum, it’s hard not to have a memorable experience at Leku.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms.
Buya Izakaya & Yakitori
The grunge era is alive and well at this Seattle-style yakitori shop, where grilled meats and ramen combine with a cleaned up ‘90s-era setting for the best casual Asian restaurant in Miami. Buya’s menu takes big inspiration from drizzly-day northwest yakitoris, where the modernized take on authentic Japanese dishes are almost guaranteed to make you over order. Start with the tempura beech mushroom, a deep-fried fungus that’s like a bloomin’ onion minus the bad breath. Move on to the grilled wagyu with shiso chimichurri or the pork belly with fuji apple glaze. The short rib ramen is tops if you’re feeling noodle-y, and every housemade sauce on the menu will have you asking if they sell the stuff in bottles.
Uchi’s big name is matched by its quality eats and, while never cheap, is definitely a good spot to drop some cash. Miami got hit with more new omakase spots in 2021 than we did named storms. But the leader of the tasting-menu pack is this Texas transplant, boasting the best selection of sushi in the city. If you’d rather skip the omakase and order 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.
Though it’s good to be skeptical of any Miami restaurant serving up expensive sushi with a heavy side of scene, Novikov is the odd eatery where the food lives up to the hype and high price point. 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 creations like the spicy prawn moneybag. The makis, sashimis, and bao buns hold their own against 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.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms.
Ghee Indian Kitchen
Niven Patel—who Food & Wine named one of its top 50 new chefs last year— brought home even more hardware in 2022, notching a Michelin Bib Gourmand. All he does is win by taking whatever’s fresh on his Homestead farm and transforming it into Floridian twists on Indian classics. The menu varies wildly at Ghee 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 anywhere.
Say hello to intimate modern Italian cuisine from the people behind the massively popular La Pollita food truck, buttressed by a collection of wines worthy of a restaurant ten times its size. And recently the recipient of a sought after Michelin star. The menu at Boia De is almost as tiny as its diminutive space, but you won’t find a weak link anywhere. It’s Italian without crossing the in-your-face red sauce line, with subtle options like Crispy Polenta with marinated eggplant, Kanpachi Crudo with heirloom tomatoes, and Grilled Broccolini leading the parade. The entrees hold up just as well, highlighted by homemade Pappardelle with rabbit and rosemary, and massive Lamb Ribs with urfa yogurt and spicy cucumbers. Pro tip: Do yourself a favor and ask for a recommendation from the wine list—it’s packed with stuff you’ve never heard of that you’ll spend years trying to track down again.
L’atelier De Joël Robuchon
Miami’s lone two-Michelin star recipient is fine dining at its very finest, with creations carrying on the legacy of Joel Robuchon served in a dark, sexy setting with the quietest open kitchen you’ve ever seen. You’d be hard-pressed to find anything short of “the best thing I’ve ever had” on the menu at L’Atelier, where Key West Pink Shrimp with habanero and shishito dressing, Beef and Foie Gras Hamburgers, and Crispy Skin Duck Breast with stone fruit and cherry confiture are but a few of the masterpieces that greet you upon opening the menu. The choices can be overwhelming, so save yourself some stress and opt for the seasonal prix-fixe, which gets you five courses for $170. Then grab 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 captivating beauty.