Bueno, bonito, budget-friendly restaurant guide

When inflation is real but you still want to go out to a nice dinner in Miami

Jan
18
2023

Here is our budget-friendly restaurant guide.

Bueno, bonito, barato is a saying in Spanish that you’ve probably heard before but lately, you’re hearing it, more and more. Miami esta carisimo, y no hay nada que hacer.

We’ve created the Bueno, Bonito, Budget-friendly restaurant guide in Miami to navigate how expensive life has become. Think of it as a way to cut corners and learn tips on how to best dine at some amazing restaurants without feeling like you can’t leave your apartment for the next 2 weeks. We wouldn’t say these restaurants are cheap. The point is that you still want to go out, have a nice dinner, and not leave your rent money on the table.

The plan is to guide you through a dining experience and make it the most barato possible but still bonito. Oh and we already added a 20% tip to the price range per restaurant.

DOYA


Neighborhood: Wynwood
Address: 347 NW 24th St
Cuisine: Aegean
Price range: $75 – $85 (includes tax + 20% tip)

Doya located in Wynwood is serving refreshing flavors from the coast of Turkey. We are talking dips, fresh veggies, lots of olive oil, and wood-fired meats & seafood. We recommend stopping by for dinner or a weekend lunch. It’s great for big groups just make sure to book your table in advance cause this spot gets full!

At Doya you‘re getting top-notch hospitality and an amazing meze dining experience. Order for the center of the table, because you’re sharing. We love the Cretan feta dip, the manti, beef dumplings, drenched in a garlic yogurt sauce, and the Adana kebab with lavash bread. Oh, and if they have the dolmas cabbage leaves, get them. Special shout out to the grilled halloumi with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mint. If every person gets 2 to 3 dishes, and 1 to 2 glasses of wine, you’ll stay within budget and feel like you splurged with this delicious spread of small plates.

 

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SOYA E POMODORO


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 120 NE 1st St #2502
Cuisine: Italian
Price range: $75 – $85 (includes tax + 20% tip)

Soya e Pomodoro is a classic Downtown restaurant serving simple Italian dishes. If you love a good neighborhood gem and are all about nostalgia, come here with a date or a really good friend.

It’s rustic with unmatched vintage furniture, family photos, and even a snowman providing a cozy and quirky experience for diners. Order the fusillo fresco affumicato with homemade fusilli w/ sauteed arugula, mushrooms & smoked mozzarella in fresh tomato sauce. Here you can order an appetizer for the table, 1 entree, and 1 to 2 glasses of wine per person and you’re good.

JAGUAR SUN


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 230 NE 4th St
Cuisine: American, pasta
Price range: $75 – $85 (includes tax + 20% tip)

Jaguar Sun, a Downtown cocktail bar & restaurant with awesome pasta is like our second home in Miami. So it’s always nice to know that going home, isn’t going to cost us an arm and leg.

The best day to go to Jaguar Sun is on Tuesday. Get there between 5 PM & 7 PM to score at least two cocktails from their happy hour menu at $10 each. On Tuesday you can do $1 oysters all night long. The caveat is that you can only order 2 dozen per person. But who needs more than 24 oysters?! Leave remove for one of our favorite Ceasar salads, the best Parker house rolls, the Spicy Rigatoni bolognese, and Wolf Whistle, an espresso martini made with Tequila. You can now walk away, knowing you just had drinks and a meal at one of the best spots in Miami.

NEXT DOOR BY FLOUR & WEIRDOUGHS


Neighborhood: Key Biscayne
Address: 19 Harbor Dr
Cuisine: Wine bar
Price range: $65 – $75 (includes tax + 20% tip)

Flour and Weirdoughs, a rustic bakery in Key Biscayne recently opened a wine bar called Next Door, and luckily for you, it’s literally right next to the bakery. Currently, they’re only open on Thursday-Saturday from 5 PM – 9 PM.

It’s super informal and cozy. They also sell reasonably priced bottles of good natural wine. We’re talking $40 per bottle on the lower end. And the Argentinian-ish bites will warm your little souls. Some of our favorite dishes include the Eggplant Escabeche, Fried Milanesa with French fries, and the best Choripan you will have in Miami. Of course, there’s pizza and well you can imagine how good their sourdough crust is. We love the Prosciutto with arugula and lots of parm sprinkled on top and our favorite is the Mortadella, Burrata, and homemade Pesto. If you get a bottle of wine, 1 pizza, 1 appetizer, and 1 dessert, you’ll leave happy & full in the best way possible.

NIU WINE


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 134 NE 2nd Ave
Cuisine: Wine bar, Mediterranean
Price range: $65 – $75 (includes tax + 20% tip)

NIU Wine is a true wine bar in Downtown where they will open up any bottle and serve you by the glass. “Less is more” is the vibe at the new NIU Wine. The wine selections are beautiful, the food is yummy and the playlist is on point. Come here with your dearest friends. The ones that love good food and wine.

The small menu of dishes includes anchovies with smoked butter, patatas bravas, oysters, deep-fried Brie, and a few more dishes. The average glass of wine is $12 so you can easily have 3 to 4 small plates, 3 glasses of wine and feel great when leaving.

 

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SALUMERIA 104


Neighborhood: Coral Gables | Midtown
Address: 117 Miracle Mile | 3451 NE 1st Ave, #104
Cuisine: Italian trattoria
Price range: $65 – $ 75

Salumeria 104 in Midtown Miami and Coral Gables fuses the Italian trattoria and neighborhood salumi shop concepts. This spot is great for a quaint Italian meal. You can dress up or dress down. Per person, we’d go with one appetizer, one pasta, and a glass of wine to stay within the budget. Some of our favorites include the Vitello Tonnato (thinly sliced roasted veal covered with creamy tuna sauce and fried capers), Spaghetti alla Bottarga (Gragnano spaghetti with cherry tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and bottarga), and the Ravioli del Salumiere (house-made prosciutto ravioli with brown butter and sage sauce).

 

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JOLIET


Neighborhood: Miami Beach
Address: 1209 17th Street
Cuisine: Seafood
Price range: $85 – $95 (includes tax + 20% tip)

Joliet, a new neighborhood seafood restaurant located in Miami Beach proves to be an exciting and rare find. The menu created by the talented Chef Juan Garrido is inspired by the sweet, spicy, soulful, and bold Cajun flavors found in New Orleans cuisine.

You can get away with sticking to 2 to 3 appetizers and a cocktail person. The fish dip is by far one of the best fish dips we’ve ever had. Each bite is set to be enjoyed with chow chow pickles, and a housemade hot sauce on a fried saltine cracker. The New Orleans-style BBQ prawns soaked in a Worcestershire, garlic, and beer sauce is a must-order. We also loved the simple Johnny Cakes served with pimento cheese and country ham. They tasted like childhood.

 

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PHUC YEA


Neighborhood: Little River
Address: 7100 Biscayne Blvd
Cuisine: Modern Vietnamese
Price range: $85 – $95 (includes tax + 20% tip)

Tucked away on 71st and Biscayne Blvd you will find glowing red lanterns and flavorful food. Phuc Yea has been around since 2016. Half Vietnamese and Half Cajun, you are getting a culinary melding from the chefs helming the kitchen front. With Aniece Meinhold’s Vietnamese heritage and Chef Cesar Zapata’s Colombian roots, they come together for soulful, family-rooted plates.

The great thing about Phuc Yea is that the dishes are big so all you need is two per person and you’re good. Some of our favorites include the 5 Spice Roasted Pork bao, Salt ‘N Peppa Soft Shell Crab Bao, Edamame Hummus, and PY Noodles.

 

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QP TAPAS


Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Address: 3000 Florida Ave
Cuisine: Spanish tapas, Izakaya
Price range: $75 – $85 (includes tax + 20% tip)

QP Tapas is a pop-up serving Izakaya-style Spanish tapas at The Fountain Lounge at Mayfair House Hotel & Gardens. Chef Josh Elliott is behind the dinner-only menu that features crudos, yakitori, paella, and Okonomiyaki, a savory Osaka-style pancake.

At this low-key dinner spot, Chef Josh is adding his Asian take on mostly classic Spanish delicacies, but uni risotto and steak tartar do make an appearance on the menu. If you get 2 to 3 dishes and one glass of wine per person, you’ll keep within budget for this one.

Make sure you get the steak tartar. This original dish is served with shrimp crackers for texture and made with a ramen egg and a chili crunch dijonnaise. Other standouts include the stuffed piquillo peppers with confit tuna belly, wasabi aioli; and the tender charred lamb belly prepared with fish sauce, date teriyaki, and coriander.

 

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MATSURI


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address: 5759 Bird Rd
Cuisine: Japanese, sushi
Price range: $65 – $75 (includes tax + 20% tip)

Matsuri, located inside a casual strip mall off of Bird Road offers top-quality sushi at a reasonable price. The space is clean and minimalist. We highly recommend you arrive at 5 PM or 9 PM to avoid waiting.

This unpretentious spot has an extensive menu of soups, sushi, sashimi, rolls, and Matsuri’s New World (modern dishes with Japanese ingredients). For this guide, we’d go for one of their sushi boats.

For example, the Masa Special for three is priced at $75. It comes with 24 pieces of sashimi, sliced shellfish, 15 pieces of sushi, and two fish rolls. For a more premium platter go for the Go-To-Ren Special starting at $70. Count on 28 pieces of sashimi, sliced shellfish, 22 pieces of sushi, and three fish rolls. If you’re going with  2 to 4 these combinations are usually a good deal. You can also order some sushi rolls and you’ll still be good with your budget. Lunch is also a steal with their lunch box deals that range between $11 – $25 and include miso soup, house salad & other dishes depending on what you get.

Matsuri is one of those local gems that gets packed. Here are some tips on how to score a table.

THE HUNGRY POST
Bueno, bonito, budget-friendly restaurant guide
PHOTO CREDIT DOYA