14 Fall Restaurant Openings in Miami to Get Excited About

From glitzy South Beach escapes to neon-strewn Bayside bars.

Casa Mariano
Photo courtesy of Casa Mariano

If the back-to-school specials and bi-weekly tropical storm warnings haven’t tipped you off, fall is right around the corner. In some parts of the country, that means changing leaves and a chill in the air. In South Florida, it means summer, but with football. It also means we’ll be welcoming a slew of cool new bars and restaurants to the scene, from Sexy Fish to a rooftop bar in...Kendall? Read on and get excited, because the best part is you’ll get to try them all before the snowbirds come back.

Chug’s Diner
Chug’s Diner | Photo by @antore

Chug’s Diner

Address: 3444 Main Highway, Coconut Grove
Opening date: Late August
Michael Beltran re-invents his old Cuban diner in a vastly larger space, where you’ll be able to grab coffee from a ventanita, snag a sandwich from the grab-and-go counter, or settle in for a full meal in the dining room. The menu will still have all your old favorites like cast-iron pancakes and Papi’s pastelitos, but you’ll also find intriguing new additions like foie gras peanut butter and jelly bunuelos and medianoche pierogis.

Sexy Fish
Photo courtesy of Sexy Fish

Sexy Fish

Address: 1001 South Miami Avenue, Brickell
Opening date: Fall
You don’t need to know a thing about the restaurant biz to spot Sexy Fish’s two-story “coming soon” mural and know it’ll be over-the-top. The colorful window dressing along South Miami Avenue hints to the insane interior you’ll find inside this London transplant, who among other things will offer America’s largest selection of Dom Perignon. If you’re actually coming here to eat, the food won’t disappoint either, with a seafood-heavy menu of dishes like smoked tuna belly, black cod, and king crab with bone marrow.

Mimi’s

Address: 2501 Biscayne Boulevard, Edgewater
Opening date: Just after Labor Day
A chef from Pao and the restaurant group behind South Beach’s Benh Mi have joined forces to bring a breezy new casual eatery to the heart of Edgewater. The preview menu lists some interesting offerings—the Drippy Egg Sandwich certainly raises eyebrows—plus a special caviar service served with an order of fried chicken.

Los Felix

Address: 3413 Main Highway, Coconut Grove
Opening date: September
This Mexican spot along Main Highway is a tribute to traditional Mexican cooking, with family recipes influencing the restaurant’s homemade tacos, quesadillas, tamales, and other classics. It’ll also have fresh blue corn tortillas, an extensive natural wine bar, and a regular DJ spinning vinyl on an analog sound system. Surprisingly, no word of a secret backroom speakeasy, which makes us wonder if they’ll be able to get a Dade County Taqueria license.

Orno
Photo courtesy of Orno

Orno

Address: 1350 South Dixie Highway, Coral Gables
Opening date: September
The long-awaited upscale dining option at the Thesis hotel finally opens its doors this September, as Nivel Patel launches his ~750th new concept in the last two years. This latest venture is all about wood-fired everything, from pizzas to Iberico pork pluma to skirt steak with corn chimichurri. You’ll also find plenty of farm-fresh favorites from Rancho Patel, so expect the menu to change on the regular.

Le Kebab

Address: Virtual
Opening date: Fall
Say what you will about David Foulqier—the guy knows how to adapt. The man behind full-service Fooq’s and hit slice shop Eleventh Street Pizza is ghosting us this fall with Le Kebab, a concept he’s publicly dubbed a “lifelong dream.” He hasn’t gone into much detail about the menu, but if his penchant for Persian cuisine over at Fooq’s is any indication, they’ll be well worth the delivery fee.

Vinya
Vinya

Vinya

Address: 328 Crandon Boulevard, Key Biscayne
Opening date: September
It’s actually kind of surprising that Key Biscayne’s island paradise didn’t already have a spot for its exclusive residents to sip fine wine. But it gets one this fall in the form of Vinya from sommelier Allegra Angelo. She’s curated the Key’s best collection of wine, where you can grab a bottle right off the shelf, and learn all about it from the expert herself. They’ll also have a full cocktail bar and high-end snacks on certain nights, plus daily wine tasting and tons of boozy educational opportunities.

AC Hotel Miami Dadeland
AC Hotel Miami Dadeland

AC Bar & Lounge

Address: 7695 NorthKendall Drive, Dadeland
Opening date: September
Kendallites no longer have to endure leaving one of Miami’s coolest suburbs to get in on the rooftop bar scene. This fall, the shiny new AC Hotel Miami Dadeland will bring its own take on craft-cocktails-with-a-view to Downtown Dadeland, serving up tapas and unique tipples like a dark rum strawberry mango mojito, a zesty sugar rush that’ll have you almost forgetting about the happy hour over at Ale House.

Casa Mariano
Casa Mariano | Photo by RMSTUDIOCORP

Casa Mariano

Address: 8200 NW 27th Street. Suite 106, Doral
Opening date: September
Local Argentine favorite Mariano’s Cuisine was a disappointing COVID closure. And yet, an undaunted chef Mariano Araya is making a comeback with this small, Mediterranean restaurant done up in blues, whites, and corals. The menu promises a departure from his South American roots, verging on a coastal European vibe with Osso Bucco ravioli, bucatini Bolognese, and bacon-wrapped chicken stuffed with gouda.

Kuba by the Bay
Photo courtesy of Kuba by the Bay

Kuba by the Bay

Address: 401 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite R106, Downtown
Opening date: October
If you think about it, posing for pictures in an old classic car while downing mojitos is a tailor-made Bayside experience. That’s why the people who brought touristy fun to Doral via Kuba Cabana are behind this Bayside offshoot, opening right in time for the return of cruise ships. There’ll be a massive waterfront patio, a bar inside a vintage Pontiac, lots of neon signage, and Cuban-inflected head-turners courtesy of local artists. Menu items made famous in Doral, like swordfish carpaccio, asado negro short rib, and arroz y mar, round things out.

Monterrey Bar

Address: 40 Island Avenue, Miami Beach
Opening date: Fall
The midcentury-chic Standard Hotel will house this swanky cocktail lounge, adding a cool new refuge for rained-out pool partiers. Behind the Amazonite bar you’ll find late afternoon pick-me-ups like the Meet Me After, with coffee-infused mezcal, espresso, and Mexican vanilla. Alongside refreshing daytime stuff like a pea flower gin and tonic and the Lido gin martini, there’ll also be a menu of upscale bar bites to pair with your drinks, with a butter-poached prime filet carpaccio and sea scallop crudo leading the parade.

The Drexel
The Drexel

The Drexel

Address: Corner of Drexel Avenue and Espanola Way, South Beach
Opening date: October
Anytime the people behind Mandolin do anything, it’s cause for great excitement. And when they’re bringing their special spin on Middle Eastern cuisine to the Mediterranean oasis that is Espanola Way, you know it’s going to be major. This new venture inside the forthcoming Esme Hotel will offer lots of grilled meats in a bright, indoor-outdoor expanse, essentially guaranteeing it’ll be jam-packed once high season rolls around.

Esmé Miami Beach
Esmé Miami Beach

El Salon

Address: Corner of Drexel Avenue and Espanola Way, South Beach
Opening date: October
Alongside the Drexel, the Esme Hotel is also planning an inventive cocktail bar doing things we’ve never even seen before. They’ve teamed with the mix-masters at Lost Boy to stock their impressive backbar with exclusive, one-of-a-kind spirit blends and while menu specifics are still under wraps, rest assured things will go down a little differently inside these posh confines.

Playa

Address: 915 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach
Opening date: Just after Indigenous Peoples Day
The folks behind midtown’s Tulum-meets-Mykonos hit Mau are taking the show to Lincoln Road with this new restaurant specializing in Southern Mediterranean eats. The indoor-outdoor space introduces lobster crostini, wagyu skewers, truffle pasta, and seafood towers to the ground floor of Lincoln Road’s Sterling Building, making it fall’s best new spot for prime time people watching.

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Matt Meltzer is a Miami-based contributor for Thrillist.