Where to Eat in Miami Right Now

From an updated steakhouse staple to revolutionary New York-style slices.

Como Como
Como Como | Photo by Deyson Rodriguez
Como Como | Photo by Deyson Rodriguez

Think back on the Miami of a year ago, when nobody was sure if our city’s meteoric ride to the top of the American food scene would survive the pandemic’s brutal wrath. Flash forward to now, and even in the height of summer, snagging a reservation at a top restaurant is a tough feat, like Art Basel just kept on going right into hurricane season.

Whether or not our restaurant renaissance continues is anyone’s guess, but for now we can all revel in a year that’s seen week after week of world-class openings. This spring’s crop was especially robust, and if you’re wondering where the best new spots are, or which restaurants from the last five years are still worth braving the crowds, read on for our picks for the best places to eat, drink, see, and be seen in South Florida.

Buya Izakaya + Yakitori
Photo courtesy of Buya Izakaya & Yakitori

The gist: 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.
The food: 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.
Cost: Small plates and shareables $8 - $20
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable

Jaguar Sun
Jaguar Sun | Photo by Michael Pisarri

Jaguar Sun

Downtown

The gist: After thriving in exile at Lot 6, Downtown Miami’s perennial dinner hangout is back where it belongs, slinging Green Ghouls, stellar pastas, and Parker House rolls to loyal followers.
The food: Jaguar Sun’s craft cocktails like the aforementioned Green Ghoul with tequila, mezcal, poblano, and lime bring people in the door. But once they see the menu stacked with cacio y pepe bucatini and spicy rigatoni with pork sugo, they usually stick around for a while. Then continue coming back—again and again—lured by those Parker House rolls and honey butter that keep many a Miami-area gym in business.
The cost: Bar snacks $7, small plates $12 - $16, mains and shareables $15 - $25.
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Christy's
Photo courtesy of Christy’s

Christy's

Coral Gables

The gist: This storied special occasion hub has reopened under new ownership and reinvented itself as a modern chophouse with colorful art, classic cuts, and no jacket required.
The food: Before there was Prime 112, Red, or even a downtown Morton’s, there was Christy’s, the venerable Coral Gables institution where generations of Miami power brokers went to do things the Herald would inevitably uncover later. Realizing jacket-and-tie steakhouses weren’t cutting it in 2021, Christy’s new management shut the place down and re-imagined it as an art-filled meat palace, where you’ll enjoy a lengthy menu of prime cuts and fresh seafood under the watchful eye of provocative paintings. 
The cost: Starters $15 - $28, steaks $40 - $55, entrees $35 - $45
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Luca Osteria

Coral Gables

The gist: Giorgio Rapicivoli gets into his Italian roots, opening up shop along Coral Gables’ sunny Giralda Plaza.
The food: We knew it was only a matter of time until Chopped champ and local restaurant impresario Giorgio Rapicivoli delved into the world of Italian cuisine. As expected, he’s put some genius twists on the standards, like wagyu beef carpaccio with crispy sunchokes and little gem lettuce with cacio y pepe dressing. The pastas are all worth a try, though the short rib Bolognese will have you rethinking every meat sauce you’ve ever had. If you want even more meat, the 28-ounce bone-in NY Strip will easily feed you for multiple meals.
The cost: Starters $12 - $20, pastas $23 - $34, mains $36 - $88
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Eleventh Street Pizza
Photo courtesy of 52 CHEFS

The gist: Fooq owner David Foulquier slings Brooklyn-style and Sicilian pies in his restaurant’s old downtown space. The Barstool guy approves.
The food: Though taking pizza advice from a guy running a sports website makes about as much sense as living by restaurant ratings from a tire company, Dave Portnoy absolutely got this one right. The pizza he called “the best stuff I’ve had” is a crispy-crusted, wood-fired Brooklyn-style pie that immediately became a contender for best in the city. The round pies are the heavy hitters, but the Sicilian-style slices are also Miami’s most authentic, forgoing excessive cheese on top for crispy parmesan and grilled zucchini. You can also grab slices at the walk-up window starting later this summer.
The cost: Salads and starters $11, pizzas $24 - $3, lasagna $28
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out via Toast.

FRSH St

Coral Gables

The gist: Del Monte Fresh Produce’s Coral Gables headquarters opens up a fast-casual, fresh-food lunch spot that’s also pouring some of Miami’s best coffee.
The food: “Del Monte???” you sneer. “You mean those people who make the sticky convenience store fruit cups I only eat on road trips?” Well, those pineapple purveyors also run a massive produce division, and their finest wares are on display at this unassuming Coral Gables café. You’ll be getting their freshest veggies and curated meats at a build-your-own bowl-and-sandwich bar, next to a coffee stand with single-origin Colombian beans up there with the best we’ve had in Miami.
The cost: Mains $10 - $12
How to book: Stop by for first come, first serve seating or order delivery via Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub.

Planta Queen Coconut Grove
Photo by Steven Lee

Planta Queen

Coconut Grove

The gist: Plant-based food gets a Chinese twist at this elegantly-designed Asian eatery on the second floor of what was once CocoWalk.
The food: If nothing  else, Planta Queen avails us of the notion that plant-based food is always going to be healthy. Don’t get us wrong, as far as Miami Chinese food goes, Planta Queen is up there with any place not called Tropical. But when you’re eating crispy carrot and cabbage gyoza, General D’s Cauliflower (chef David Lee’s take on General Tso’s chicken), and bang bang broccoli with sweet chili and peanut sauce, it’s hard to convince yourself the calories don't count. 
The cost: Starters and sides $5 - $16, dumplings $15, mains and shareables $16 - $24
How to book: Reserve via Resy or order take-out and delivery via Toast.

Como Como
Photo by Hakien Pagan

Como Como

South Beach

The gist: South Beach’s swanky Moxy hotel opens a high-end Mexican concept, with gourmet seafood dishes set in what feels like a Mexico City mansion. As per Dade County Code, there is also a secret back room mezcal bar.
The food: Coyo chef Scott Linquist has another hit on his hands, this time making carnitas out of seafood by braising fish in pork fat, cooking it crispy, and dropping his culinary mic. He’s also grilling sushi grade tuna and jumbo shrimp for the coolest kebabs in the Beach, and has a whole menu of Mexican ceviches that are just as intriguing as the ones he crafted upstairs at Serena.
The cost: Starters and shareables $15 - $30, skewers ~$30, daily seafood market price
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Layla
Photo courtesy of Layla

Layla

South Beach

The gist: Miami’s most beautiful new culinary escape is canalside at the Kayak Hotel. Like dining on a luxury jungle river cruise, you’ll enjoy fine food surrounded by lush plants and light, tropical décor plus the occasional boat zipping past.
The food: While the big, meaty mains at Layla are all pretty solid, the move here is cocktails and small plates by the water. The tragic romance-themed drink menu is loaded with sweet libations like Summer Nights with Coconut Cartel, watermelon and mint. It pairs nicely with the fresh pita and mezze platter or applewood-roasted carrots. Order the octopus with lemon and pimento and flaming saganaki to round out the experience, then head up a back staircase to the rooftop bar to finish off the night.
The cost: Small plates and salads ~$15, mains $17 - $32, cocktails $18
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Abba Telavivian Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Abbale

Abbale

SoFi

The gist: Miami’s first Telavivian restaurant offers light, refreshing fare on a sunny patio or inside in a cozy café.
The food: Abbale shows us that a city founded in 1909 doesn’t need centuries of tradition to forge a great cuisine. The Telavivian restaurant’s fire-baked pita might be the best pre-dinner bread in Miami, and will have you ordering the fire-roasted onion tahini and roasted beet spread multiple times. The pita sandwiches will live up to your expectation of food from the falafel capital of the world, but if you’re looking to branch out, the fire-grilled meats are spectacular too. The sumac chicken shashlik is our pick, served with  laffa, hummus, salad, and tahini.
The cost: Pita and dips $6, salads and sandwiches $18, mains and shareables $21 - $52
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Shelter
Photo courtesy of Shelter

Shelter

Wynwood

The gist: Spring’s most elaborately-decorated new restaurant is an exercise in hunting lodge chic, where you’ll feast on grilled Argentine specialties under taxidermy animal heads and handsome dark wood paneling.
The food: Though Shelter’s Brooklyn original got famous for its pizza, Wynwood’s Instagram star of spring was the octopus hot dog, a char-grilled tentacle wrapped in bacon on a brioche bun. There’s also 14-ounce ribeye that can stand up against most cuts at high end steakhouses and empanadas like Argentine calzones, where Shelter’s famous pizza dough envelopes beef, chicken, pork, and veggie innards. If you’re coming here for the pizza, though, go with the burrata and prosciutto, which is just as rich and decadent as it sounds.
The cost: Pizzas $16 - $24, mains $18 - $34 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Seasy

Coral Gables

The gist: You know those charming, fresh seafood spots on the water people brag about going to on summer vacations in Greece? Replace the Aegean with Coral Way and this pretty much captures the essence.
The food: Miami might not be lacking for Mediterranean seafood spots, but it is lacking for Mediterranean seafood spots that don’t make you feel like a yutz if you can’t shell out $60 for a FedExed branzino. That’s where this unassuming little spot on Coral Way comes in, where simple, cozy tables provide a laid-back atmosphere for enjoying fresh snapper, tempura crab, and wild salmon with spinach and tzatziki sauce. The seafood may be the main attraction, but the gnocchi sorrentina holds its own just as well. 
The cost: Starters ~$15, pastas $18 - $24, mains $20 - $25
How to book: Reserve via Google or order take-out and delivery via UberEats, Postmates, GrubHub, and Seamless.

Wayku

Wynwood

The gist: A collection of pan-South American favorites combine for an unusual menu of tapas, sandwiches, and raw bar selections.
The food: The unorthodox fusion of Andean and Asian cuisines works wonderfully at Wayku, where you can order tuna tataki, a fried pizza, and rack of lamb with Andean potatoes, and it all naturally comes together. The ceviche is probably the best thing on the menu, but if you came hungry, the braised short ribs with wasabi puree are always a winner.
The cost: Small plates $15 - $25, mains $20 - $37.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Strawberry Moon
Photo by Matthew Taylor-Gross

Strawberry Moon

South Beach

The gist: This season’s winner for “Best Restaurant when Somebody Else is Paying” is a wonder in pink and pinstripes, with epic portions of middle eastern food served outside at the swanky Goodtime Hotel.
The food: It should surprise absolutely no one that a $600-a-night hotel has introduced Miami to the world of the $68 lamb kebab. But that day has arrived, and while shelling out that much for a meat skewer might seem painful, the food at Strawberry Moon is both plentiful and delicious. The Yemeni Moon Bread is a little like Bimini bread, and just as addictive. The mezzes are equally diet-busting, where mixing the spicy feta, hummus, and pink sultan spreads creates a dip you’ll remember for days. The kebabs, while pricy, are massive and expertly grilled, seasoned with spices like harissa and smoked paprika. So as long as you don’t have to think about how much all of it’s costing, you’re in for… .a good time.
The cost: Mezze platters $14, starters $15 - $25, mains $28 - $85 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Gramercy

Coral Gables

The gist: The Gables’ first sceney restaurant serves up Instagram-ready sushi, steaks, and Italian-American dishes straight from the northeast, with live nightly shows to keep things buzzing.
The food: Though we’d never thought we’d see a velvet rope on Miracle Mile, Roman Jones has somehow made it happen. The man who was Grutman before Grutman was Grutman gives the Gables its first taste of champagne sparkler dining, with leopard print banquettes, gothic columns, and plenty of mirrors. The food is a lot more than a club owner’s afterthought, though, with a giant wagyu meatball headlining a menu of Italian-American classics and more. You’ll also find a Gram Burger and Gram Roll—clever plays on the restaurant’s name and the food’s primary purpose—that are just as tasty as they are photogenic.
The cost: Starters $18 - $25, sushi rolls $14 - $21, mains $24 - $59 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Uchi Miami
Uchi | Photo by Jimena Peck

Uchi Miami

Wynwood

The gist: Uchi arrived in Miami to high expectations and has yet to disappoint. Its big name is matched by quality eats and, while never cheap, is definitely a good spot to drop some cash.
The food: It’s a decent bet that Miami will get hit with more new omakase spots in 2021 than we will named storms. But the leader of the tasting-menu pack is this Texas transplant who boasts 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.
The cost: Tasting menu ~ $125 per person, a la carte dishes $5 -$32 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable, order take-out via Aloha, or get delivery via Uber Eats.

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 in the most unexpected of places.
The food: If you’re lucky enough to get a seat at Rosie’s, you’re in for a calories-don’t-count treat. The chocolate guava croissant might be the lightest thing on a menu best noted for its crispy hot chicken and biscuits. If you don’t have plans for the afternoon, though, opt for the shrimp and grits with smoked sausage, which can legitimately last three meals.
The cost: Dishes $5 - $15
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out online.

Novikov

Brickell

The gist: 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. 
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 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.
The cost: Sashimis and makis $20 - $30, bao buns and sides $15 - $20, mains $31 - $115, cocktails $15 - $18
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms.

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 transforms it into Floridian twists on Indian classics.
The food: 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 countrywide. 
The cost: Naans and chutneys $3 - $5, starters and mains $10 - $15
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable, order take-out online, or get delivery via 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: No matter the weather, the soft breeze blowing 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: Tasting menus $85 per person, a la carte sushi ~$18, anticuchos $17 - $36, grilled mains $18 - $30, cocktails $16
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable or order take-out and delivery via Uber Eats, DoorDash, Seamless, and Grubhub.

Glass and Vine

Coconut Grove

The gist: The shady, breezy patio outside the old Peacock Park library showcases fresh, inventive dishes for the best outdoor dining experience in Miami—and it doesn’t even have a water view.
The food: For al fresco dining in the Magic City, nobody tops Glass and Vine, where you can enjoy shrimp and watermelon salad, chicken and black truffle gnocchi, and Maine lobster mac and cheese in the glorious great outdoors. And while dinner is always first-rate, brunch at Glass and Vine is a phenomenal way to waste away a sunny Sunday sipping on mimosas and indulging in corn flake crusted French toast, surf and turf benedict, and dulce de leche waffles. 
The cost: Starters and salads $12 - $20, dinner mains $20 - $48, brunch mains ~$22
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable or order take-out via Toast.

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 a must-visit for any Miami ‘cue fan.
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 poured 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 $6 - $10, sandwiches $10 - $12, 1.5-pound beef rib $32
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out via Toast, or get delivery via Uber Eats and Postmates.

Boia De

Buena Vista

The gist: Intimate modern Italian 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 tiny as its space, but you literally won’t find a weak link anywhere. We’re talking Italian without being in-your-face red sauce, with subtle options like crispy polenta and marinated eggplant, Amberjack crudo with yuzu salsa verde, and grilled broccolini leading off the hit 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—there’s stuff on there you’ve never heard of that you’ll spend years trying to track down again.
The cost: Starters and sides $9 - $25, mains $20 - $36
How to book: Reserve via Resy or order take-out via UpServe.

The gist: The journey to Key Biscayne is worth it for the kind of addictive baked goods people in big cities wait in line for hours just to try. Fortunately, there’s rarely a line here (except for weekends) for the baguettes, croissants, and pastries we’ll easily call South Florida’s best.
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 scratch bakery in Miami. This quirky shop on the Key is baking up croissants, muffins, cookies, baguettes, and other oven-fresh breads that are so good the word “carb” will disappear from your vocabulary. They’ve also got a solid menu of sandwiches served on their own 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: Pastries $4 - $5, sandwiches $12 - $14
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out 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 nails every proverbial hat they wear. 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 diving into curry bowls, veggie power bowls, vindaloos, and blackened mahi. Or just keep it simple and order something from their spectacular menu of prime steaks.
Cost: Starters $11 - $19, salads $15 - $22, steaks $40 - $50, mains $25 - $32
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable, call 305-549-8997 for take-out, or order delivery via Uber Eats.

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

The gist: Expect 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’d be hard pressed to find anything short of “the best thing I’ve ever had” on the menu at L’Atelier, where Hawaiian kampachi sashimi with guacamole, beef and foie gras hamburgers, and spiced Long Island orange duck 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 where you’ll get 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.
Cost: Prix-fixe $170 per person, a la carte small plates $25 - $40, a la carte mains $40 - $120
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Matt Meltzer is a contributor for Thrillist.