10 Miami Restaurant Openings You Might Have Missed

From a speakeasy-style omakase to the city’s first all-natural wine bar.

Jia
Jia | Photo by Seth Browarnik
Jia | Photo by Seth Browarnik

Miami’s ever-evolving food scene is tough to keep up with, especially during a year when no one knew if our beloved hospitality industry would even survive. Fortunately, it's not only survived, but thrived, with new openings popping up on the regular from lauded local names and ambitious imports determined to make their mark on the Magic City alike. And no neighborhood is immune to this influx, from the sleepy town of Miami Lakes to the hot shores of South Beach.

Here are ten recent restaurant openings that deserve a spot on your dining calendar, stat.

ZZ’s Sushi Bar

Design District
Craving something sceney but also a bit exclusive? ZZ’s Sushi Bar is a pseudo-membership club serving up high-end omakase bites and other Japanese delicacies by Major Food Group, the same folks who brought Carbone to the 305. The space is skillfully curated by designer Ken Fulk, who describes it as a “tropical tuxedo: dressed up, but ready to party.” The menu is a party in your mouth, that’s for sure, filled with delights like Wagyu katsu sandos with truffles, caviar temaki, and ZZ’s Clam Bar classics like toast topped with trout roe and honey, the carpaccio of tuna, foie, uni and scallop, and a daily selection of exoctic steaks. Continue the evening upstairs, where diners enjoy a cigar terrace and a lounge ideal for a night cap. 
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Jia
Jia | Photo courtesy of Casa Conde

Jia

SoFi
Guaranteed to be South of Fifth’s newest hotspot, this modern Chinese dinner club concept is serving up authentic Cantonese-style dishes in a chic setting with a killer cocktail program. Signature items include crispy cube tofu, black truffle sticky rice, Peking duck, and Alaska crab cream egg. When it comes to drinks, Michael Parish (a veteran of fan favorites Sweet Liberty and Broken Shaker) has curated a lineup of thoughtful tipples presented in unique vessels and often served tableside. Not down for dinner? Pop in for late night dumplings, dim sum, and karaoke complete with bottle service—because, Miami.
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

La Traila BBQ
La Traila BBQLa Traila BBQ

La Traila Barbecue

Miami Lakes
Founded by Austin pitmaster Mel Rodriguez and Miami native—not to mention Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver—Isaiah McKenzie, this fast casual dining hub has brought life and the divine aroma of smoked meat to Miami Lakes. The space gives off a homestyle vibe with open-air service, upbeat music, and, of course, a large flatscreen TV undoubtedly tuned to your favorite NFL team come gameday. Now, let’s get to the good stuff: the barbecue. There’s a plethora of cuts to choose from, including slow-smoked prime brisket, beef dino ribs, pulled pork, jalapeno cheddar sausage, and more, all available by the half-pound. If you’re looking for something a little more original, go for the brisket sundae, piled high with mac and cheese, layered with baked beans and creamed corn, then topped with smoked brisket, cotija cheese, crema, and house sauce.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out online.

Minibar
Minibar

Minibar Tacos

SoFi
Okay, so this one isn’t totally new, but South of Fifth’s Minibar has fully taken over the lobby of Urbanica Meridian, transforming it into a taco shop serving authentic Mexican staples from breakfast until late night (think 5 am tacos on the weekend). Starting at 8 am, you’ll find chilaquiles, breakfast burritos, and huevos rancheros before the menu switches over to lunchtime tacos, quesadillas, queso fundido, and more, all served with housemade sauces. Prepared right in front of you at the counter, these count among South Beach’s most legit tacos. 
How to book: Stop by for counter service.

The Oasis
Photo courtesy of The Oasis

The Oasis

Wynwood
In perhaps the city’s trendiest neighborhood, you’ll find a new multi-functioning 35,000-square-foot space that features two bars, six dining concepts, and a stage that’s already seen performances by Tiesto, Ludacris, and Charli XCX. When it comes to food, there’s a little something for everyone. Grab Greek at Mr. Mandolin, inhale pepperoni at NYC’s famed Prince Street Pizza, nosh on sandwiches from Alidoro, down dumplings from Buya, feast on tacos from Los Buenos, or treat yourself to all sorts of chicken from the aptly named Chikin. Hang outside by the Tower Bar or head inside (hello, Miami summer) to cool down with a drink at Huacachina.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Kaori
Kaori | Photo by Spazio Bressan

Kaori

Brickell
Tucked away on the ground level of SLS LUX Brickell, this Mediterranean-Asian fusion concept Kaori sports a vibey bar and lounge space peddling intriguing cocktails like the Red Bean Pina Colada (Santa Teresa 1796 rum, red bean, pineapple, coconut, miso) and the Fennel Seed Negroni, a mix of Sipsmith gin, sweet vermouth, Campari, fennel, elderflower, and citrus. Sip on those while enjoying live music before heading upstairs via a dimly lit staircase for dinner. The menu features a wide range of land and sea items with signature dishes spanning an A5 Japanese Miyazaki Kobe strip loin with shiso chimichurri, furikake chicharron with yuzu mojo, yellowfin tuna with charred avocado and miso sweet potato puree, homemade short rib dumplings with manchego foam, and kabayaki-glazed sea bass.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Como Como
Photo courtesy of Como Como

Como Como

South Beach
A play on the Spanish term for “how I eat”, Como Como is a marisqueria and raw bar that channels the flavors of Puerto Escondido, Los Cabos, Acapulco, and the rest of coastal Mexico. Located inside the hip new Moxy hotel on South Beach, this is the newest spot by the team behind Coyo Taco. Dishes are large and easy to share, which is perfect because you’re going to want to try it all. Whatever you do, make sure to order the carnitas de pescado—available in salmon belly, hamachi, or pulpo—for flash-fried fish chunks served inside warm fresh tortillas and topped with all the fixings. After dinner, make your way to Mezcalista for a cocktail or two. This speakeasy-style drinking den is home to an impressive menu of over 100 mezcals. Each cocktail is served with an extra side of mezcal meant for sipping to enhance the experience and educate imbibers about the smokey agave-based spirit.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Nossa Omakase
Nossa Omakase

Nossa Omakase

South Beach
Looking for a little thrill with your omakase? The speakeasy-esque South Beach hideaway has you covered. Nossa (inspired by the chorus of a popular Portueguese song) means “wow,” and that's the experience you’ll get here—if you can track down the door, of course. Your reservation comes with specific instructions to arrive 15 minutes early and make your way into Koa Poke where you’ll be handed an envelope leading you to the right spot. Once you’ve found your way inside, relax and enjoy a welcome beverage of sake or sparkling wine while you wait for your dining companions. After everyone has arrived, you’ll be led into the tasting room, where the skilled kitchen team dishes up a prime 16- to 18-course presentation that differs every night of the week.
How to book: Reserve via Tock.

Behn Mi
Behn Mi | Photo by FujifimGirl

Behn Mi

South Beach
Previously of Pao at Faena, chef Ben Murray, like so many others, found a way to successfully pivot during the pandemic. Early on in lockdown, he started making his version of simple Vietnamese fare out of his apartment’s kitchen. And thanks to social media, Murray’s offerings began selling out almost instantly. Now, Behn Mi has found a home just off Espanola Way inside the brand new Esme Hotel. The menu features bahn mi-style sandwiches and an extra crunchy chicken tender bucket filled with three tenders and spiced waffle fries.
How to book: Stop by for counter service.

Margot Natural Wine & Aperitivo Bar
Margot Natural Wine & Aperitivo Bar

Margot Natural Wine & Aperitivo Bar

Downtown
Picture the prettiest shades of natural vino and that’s the exact color palette inside this vintage-inspired wine and aperitivo bar. Named after Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter, the menu boasts a whopping 75+ natural selections spanning bubbles, whites, reds, roses, skin-contact, and beyond, making it the city’s first 100% natural wine bar. The bill also includes low ABV cocktails for those looking to mix it up, alongside a seasonally rotated array of small plates by chef Jimmy Lebron of 27 Restaurant. Standout snacks include pinto gild (anchovy, olives, piparra peppers), swordfish crudo, and harbison fondue.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

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Amber Love Bond is a contributor for Thrillist.