The best restaurants in Miami

A guide based on consistency, quality, and hospitality

Oct
26
2023

Got caught up in life and realized we didn’t have this list: The Best Restaurants in Miami. So here you have it.

Before we get started, we’re going to say it because of course, people will come at us. This guide is OUR opinion, like all the other guides you will find on The Hungry Post. Of course, we have not been to every single restaurant in Miami. We do our best. Covering as many spots as we can, based on what we like and what we think you would like too. So if you feel deeply offended that we didn’t mention your favorite restaurant, then let’s talk about it. Let us know what we are missing out on HERE.

How do we go about picking these restaurants? It’s simple. The three things we care about when it comes to dining out and categorizing a restaurant as “the best” are consistency, quality, and hospitality.

84 percent of the restaurants on this list we’ve been to multiple times. There are a few exceptions that we will point out to you. These restaurants have consistently impressed us with their flavors, quality of ingredients, and we always feel cared for. That’s it.

Please enjoy what we consider to be the best restaurants in Miami.

BOIA DE


Neighborhood: Little Haiti
Address: 5205 NE 2nd Ave
Cuisine: Italian-American, pasta

If you’ve driven past an unassuming strip mall and seen a glowing pink exclamation point, then you have found your destination.

Since 2019, Boia De has consistently delivered some of the best food in Miami, if not the best food. So naturally, it’s challenging to score a table at Boia De.

Yes, you will find a tiramisu on the menu, however, this isn’t a traditional Italian restaurant, Chefs Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer are adding their modern take to the menu.

Of course, all the pastas are made from scratch, but here you aren’t getting typical Italian food. At Boia, they are pushing the boundaries of what you would expect. There is a depth in flavor and you can taste the creativity.

Order the Potato Skins with Stracciatella, hard egg, and caviar, or Luci’s Chopped Salad to start (one of our favorite salads in Miami). Work yourself down to the pasta section and try out the Bufala Ricotta Gnocchi Pomodoro and the Tagliolini Nero (served cold) with king crab, vin juane, truffle, and herbs. End the meal with a Crispy Tiramisu or Carrot Cake.

They do add new dishes to the menu here and there, so make sure to ask for what’s new. Reservations are highly recommended, however, if you are flexible they do accept walk-ins at the bar.

JAGUAR SUN


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 230 NE 4th St
Cuisine: American, pasta

Jaguar Sun is probably our favorite place in Miami. Some may call it a cocktail bar, others, a restaurant with an awesome pasta selection. We consider it a combination of both, where we can always count on fun, original, and balanced cocktails. And where the food is delicious and consistent.

The hospitality is like no other restaurant in Miami. Everyone who works there is super attentive. Go enough times and they’ll know your name. Not an easy find in our city, especially in the obscure lobby of a residential building.

The best way to do Jaguar Sun is to share. Our favorite dishes include the Hokkaido ScallopParker House Rolls, and the Caesar salad. Moving on to the pasta, we’d list them all cause we do love them all. But if we had to pick two, right now it’s the Tagliatelle with mushroom Parmesan, sherry, and an egg yolk; plus the favorite for most: Agnolotti with blue crab, corn, saffron, and Marcona almond.

Leave room for a Wolf Whistle, their version of a tequila espresso martini paired with dessert.

MATY’S


Neighborhood: Midtown
Address3255 NE 1st Ave
Cuisine: Peruvian

Chef Valerie Chang of Itamae and B-Side opened Maty’s in Midtown in 2023 and it quickly became one of our favorites.

Maty’s, is Val’s first solo project as Executive Chef/Owner, but the restaurant is a true team effort, developed in cooperation with the team behind Itamae and B-Side at 1-800-Lucky, including Chefs Nando and Papa Chang.

The menu celebrates traditional Peruvian cuisine while honoring both of Val’s grandmothers, who taught her how to cook. There’s a certain warmth we feel every time we eat at Maty’s. It’s elevated yet homey and we truly feel like Chef Val is cooking in the back with her abuelitas.

The menu is always evolving. Start with Cebiche Tradicional with black grouper, torrejitas de choclo & the most delicious ají limo leche de tigre; and the Oysters with aji amarillo leche de tigre. The Canary Beans are our favorite beans ever to be found at a restaurant. The Oxtail Saltado will blow any lomo saltado out of the park and the Chita Asada, whole roasted dorade with ají amarillo is what all the pescatarians won’t shut up about (and rightfully so). For dessert, get the simple Strawberries with lucuma dulce de leche, and lime.

MIAMI SLICE


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 1335 NE Miami Ct
Cuisine: American, pizza

Miami Slice has revolutionized slice shops in Miami. New Yorkers who have moved here can sleep at night knowing that this pizza spot is up to their standards.

Miami Slice, located Downtown near the Arsht Center is one of the best, if not the best pizza you will have in Miami. Truly ahead of its time.

When you think of a slice shop, you may think of a brightly lit, greasy, dirty NYC slice shop. Miami Slice is nothing like that. It’s a fancy joint (but no need to dress up) with warm lighting and a cute open kitchen where you can see the powerful ovens and all the action. Come as you are, to this elevated experience. The best seat is at the marbled bar where you can see all the pizzas being finished and topped off with fresh grated Parmesan.

The best day to avoid lines is for sure Monday. We recommend arriving at 4:45 to be the first one at the bar. Keep your party small, this will make the wait time less. They also have takeout available. You can order by the slice or a whole pie.

Ask for the “kicks” which are “IYKYK” type of add-ons like stracciatella and other good stuff to pimp your slice. Our recommendations include La Salsera with a kick of stracciatella and the Leeks on Bacon. But they’re honestly all good and you’ve never had a Margherita, this good.

B-SIDE BY ITAMAE


Neighborhood: Wynwood
Address: 143 NW 23rd St
Cuisine: Sushi

Come here when you want fresh, bold, and bursting flavors that will make you want to drink the leftover leche de Tigre in every dish.

B-Side by Itamae is the second concept of Valerie, Nando, and Papa Chang located inside the 1-800 Lucky Asian food hall in Wynwood. And just recently they opened a second B-Side in the former Itamae location in the Design District with more offerings than their Wynwood location.

If you ever visited Itamae when they first opened in Design District, well then this B-Side menu will feel familiar.

We’d stop by any time after noon and sit at the sushi counter. The menu at B-Side in the Design District also focuses on Nikkei cuisine. We recommend the Yellowtail Tiradito with avocado, capers, aji limo leche de tigre; the Tuna Cebiche with red onions, aji limo leche de tigre, and tostones; the Chicken Karaage with lime and huacatay ranch; and the Crispy Octopus with sarza criolla and botija olive. Oh and don’t skip the cheesy Hokkaido Scallop Bañadito with lime and Parmesan. Both B-Side locations offer a more condensed yet delicious takeout menu for dining at home.

 

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MACCHIALINA


Neighborhood: South Beach
Address: 820 Alton Road
Cuisine: Italian, pasta

Macchialina is that rustic Italian restaurant we have loved since 2012. They’ve always stayed true to who they are and have consistently prepared some of the most flavorful Italian dishes in Miami. In 2021, they expanded their outdoor seating, taking over what once was a small hostel and transforming it into “Il Gardino”, a covered backyard patio that is cozy and a great breezy dining option. Stop by of course, for all our favorite red sauce pasta like the Cavatelli Macchialina and the Spaghetti Pomodoro. We also can’t get enough of their specials that change often. Oh and if you love a little vino with dinner, they’ve always had an excellent wine program.

For dessert, don’t skip the most refreshing Tiramisu you’ve had. It’s made with dulce de leche and an espresso granita giving it an additional texture that is not usual when eating tiramisu. Make sure you dive in deep with your spoon.

 

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ZITZ SUM


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address: 396 Alhambra Cir Suite 155
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese

We loved Zitz Sum when they first opened in 2021 and we love it even more in 2023. Talk about consistency and the continuous element of surprise.

The Dim Sum & Izakaya concept by Chef Pablo Zitzmann is inspired by Japanese and Chinese street food with a Miami twist. The menu changes daily and we’re always pleasantly surprised by the delicious and balanced dishes that chef Pablo comes up with.

The dumplings are hand-rolled daily and we always want to order that whole section. We can’t get enough of the Braised Lamb Shank Bao with a labneh sauce, and the chicken and foie gras Wontons in Brodo. The Grilled Scallop is one of our favorites cooked and served with a potato & parmesan sabayon. Don’t skip the yellowfin tuna Crudo with a tonnato white soy sauce. As for staples, we’ll always go for the Korean-style Tartare hand roll with tobiko, egg salad, and nori. Oh, and the full dinner menu is available for takeout.

 

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NAOE


Neighborhood: Brickell
Address: 661 Brickell Key Dr
Cuisine: Japanese, sushi, omakase

NAOE is a hidden gem in Brickell Key and we can honestly say, it’s the best restaurant in Brickell. It’s one of our top places to go to for a truly special occasion.

This cozy Japanese eatery has been around for 14 years and won several well-deserved accolades, including a recurring spot on Forbes’ list of five-star restaurants. Every night at 5 PM and 9 PM, up to eight guests (4 per seating) can enjoy Chef Kevin Cory’s daily Chef’s Choice menu for $280 per person plus a 20% service charge and sales tax. This is truly a life-changing experience and a rare find in Miami.

Japanese cuisine has been a part of Chef Kevin Cory’s life since he was 19. It’s in his roots with his family’s sake brewery, Nakamura Brewery in Ishikawa which has been around since the 1800s. In addition to producing their own sake, Chef Cory’s family also makes their own soy sauce which you will enjoy throughout your meal.

This is a two to three-hour dinner and for parts of it, we were extremely quiet, taking in every moment. The first two courses of the night were hot plates, including a Bento box, followed by the Nigiri-sushi portion of the evening and dessert. Everything was outstanding. Our favorites of the night included the Striped Jack, the Golden Eye Snapper, the Local Salmon fermented in koji, the Karasumi which melts on your tongue, the Ensui Uni, and the Kasutera Honey Cake with NAOE ice cream made with soy sauce was the perfect ending. We’ve only been to Naoe once but we promise that if you love Japanese food and culture you will agree with us.

 

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MILA OMAKASE


Neighborhood: South Beach
Address: 800 Lincoln Rd 2nd Floor
Cuisine: Japanese, Mediterranean, sushi, omakase

This one you may have not heard of, it might even surprise you, because for us it was one of the biggest surprises of the year and one of the best non-traditional omakase experiences in Miami.

Located inside MILA restaurant, MILA Omakase is hidden away behind a curtain-clad entrance, and down two floors. At first glance, you are met with cherry blossom trees, minimalist woodwork, and Japanese craftsmanship-inspired wallpaper. Oh, and let’s not forget the dramatic marble countertop and a 500-year-old hinoki wood cutting board—the real deal!

At the helm of this experience are Chefs Michael Michaelidis and Reiji Yoshizawa, craftsmen who have mastered the art of infusing Japan’s 72 micro-seasons into every bite. Though this hits many traditional notes, we can’t help but appreciate the untraditional approach when it comes to flavors and combinations.

For those of you looking to break from the norm, MILA Omakase adds a playful Japanese-Mediterranean twist to each dish, ensuring you get a little play of modern flair as you go through the 15-course experience. Trust us, it’s really mind-blowing, and not a lot of people are talking about it. We have only experienced Mila Omakase once but we will be back.

 

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KRÜS KITCHEN


Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Address: 3413 Main Hwy
Cuisine: Globally-inspired, seasonal kitchen

Krüs Kitchen is where we are going for seasonal flavors and where they make beautiful vegetables the stars of a dish. Chef Sebas Vargas and the incredible Krüs team have created a menu from the heart. Everything has been carefully thought out and made from scratch (even the bread and butter).

This is the food of fine dining except it’s in a chill, market setting located on a second floor. It’s a great date spot to drink some amazing wine or great for recurring dates. You can dress nice but also wear sneakers.

Enter through sister restaurant Los Félix, and head upstairs to Krüs Kitchen. The space is vibrant, with so much natural light and a cornered open kitchen. It is decorated with biodynamic wines and other products on display, which is always nice to look at while waiting for your dishes to arrive.

And speaking of, this evolving menu will change with the seasons but for now, after trying the entire menu with maybe two exceptions, our favorites include the Rock Shrimp Chitarra
 with tomato dashi, wild rock shrimp emulsion, trout roe, basil; Krüs Bread with an anchovy brown butter, black garlic, and sea salt; Oyster Mushrooms with a red miso potato foam, quinoa, and green onions; and the Day’s Catch crudo with radish, finger lime ponzu,  bonito, and avocado
.

 

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MATSURI


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address: 5759 Bird Rd
Cuisine: Japanese, sushi

Matsuri, located inside a casual strip mall off of Bird Road offers top-quality sushi at a reasonable price time after time. And we’ll never not love it.

This unpretentious, neighborhood spot has an extensive menu of soups, sushi, sashimi, rolls, and Matsuri’s New World (modern dishes with Japanese ingredients). We like to order by the piece. Anything from Salmon Belly to Amaebi Nigiri.

Or pick platters of sushi and sashimi like the Masa Special for three. It comes with 24 pieces of sashimi, sliced shellfish, 15 pieces of sushi, and two fish rolls. For a more premium boat platter, we’d go for the Go-To-Ren Special. Count on 28 pieces of sashimi, sliced shellfish, 22 pieces of sushi, and three fish rolls. End the night with an Ikura Handroll with a quail egg. It’s better than dessert.

Matsuri is one of those local gems that gets packed. Here are some tips on how to score a table. But if you’re not feeling patient or in the mood to deal with the crowd waiting outside for a table, you can now schedule your pickup order HERE and indulge from the comfort of your couch.

PORTOSOLE


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address2530 Ponce de Leon
Cuisine: Italian, pasta

Portosole is one of the best restaurants in Coral Gables. Half the guests are Italian which is a good sign. Here you will feel important & well taken care of in a brightly lit, white tablecloth setting.

We love it for a bright lunch with family. It’s also great for clients or a cute day dress situation with your amigas.

Make sure you order one of the best Melanzane alla Parmigiana we’ve had in Miami, Ravioli di Ossobuco allo Zafferano for those who love saffron, and the classic and traditionally executed Tonnarelli al Cacio e Pepe.

Get the Sgroppino Veneziano, a dessert cocktail made with Prosecco, vanilla ice cream, and vodka. Finished off with lemon zest and ground coffee. Trust us.

NIU KITCHEN


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 104 NE 2nd Ave
Cuisine: Spanish, Catalan

NIU Kitchen in Downtown Miami is serving the best Catalan food. Chef Deme Lomas is pushing the boundaries with his creativity and bold flavors in this tiny space. The food speaks for itself and you’re unbothered by the typical chairs of your middle school classroom. The menu is constantly evolving so a reoccurring dinner on the calendar is a smart move. Dishes that might be there when you go are the Pa Amb Tomaquet (pan con tomate); Octopus Carpaccio; Charbroiled Calmar; and the Ous (poached eggs truffled potato foam, black truffle, and bits of jamon iberico sprinkled on top).

Lovers of biodynamic wine will also thrive at NIU Kitchen. When looking through the menu you will find a message that says, “Have you tried ordering [dinner] without thinking close your eyes? Point to an item on the menu with your [right] index finger.” We say, go for it.

LIDO RESTAURANT AT THE SURF CLUB


Neighborhood: Surfside
Address: 9011 Collins Ave
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean

Lido Restaurant at the Surf Club, inside the Four Seasons in Surfside has an important place in Miami Beach’s history. Since it opened its doors on New Year’s Day in 1930, it has been a destination for Italian Mediterranean dining and retro glamour.

The Lido Restaurant is in the Surf Club’s legendary ballroom and adjacent oceanfront terrace. Lido is where you go when you want to feel like you’re in Sicily.

The menu highlights simple Mediterranean cuisine. We recommend stopping by for lunch and sitting on the terrace. Some of our favorite dishes include the Ricciola al Limone, sliced yellowtail, “Amalfi” crudo with lemon dressing; Vitello Tonnato, thinly sliced veal, tonnato sauce, crispy capers, and Aged Balsamic; and the Saffron Risotto with organic Acquarello rice and Amarelli licorice.

LION AND THE RAMBLER


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address: 804 Ponce de Leon
Cuisine: Modern American

Lion and the Rambler is the most exciting new restaurant we tried in Coral Gables in 2022. And we recently went back and yes it’s still good. Chef Michael Bolen’s modern American concept opened in the former Eating House space. It offers an inventive a la carte menu focused on South Florida flavors, cultured butter, and homemade Koji – a Japanese fermentation starter used to make fresh miso plus produce from the best local farms in town.⁣⁣

Those who nerd out and get excited about a bread section need to stop by Lion & the Rambler. The menu will change frequently. Favorite dishes we’ve tried include the Yecora Rojo Focaccia with whipped goat cheese and roasted garlic; the Steak Tartare with jalapeño, green blueberry capers, and vintage cheddar; and the Line Caught Cod with sungold tomato, coconut bisque, scallion, and Thai basil.

LUNG YAI THAI TAPAS


Neighborhood: Little Havana
Address: 1731 SW 8th St
Cuisine: Thai

You’re literally going here because you love Thai food and for the best curry money can buy you in Miami.

If you’ve been a Miami local for some time now, then you know of this hidden piece of deliciousness on 8th Street. Known for its incredible Thai food and one-time ordering rule, many keep this spot in their back pocket.

Lung Yai does not take reservations, so you must get there on time. Parking is not as simple as pulling into a parking lot. You’ll have to do some searching for street parking as it is on 8th Street. We say if you want to secure a table try arriving 10 minutes before opening at 5 pm. There will be a line normally, so early weekdays are your best bet. Since there is a one-time ordering rule, service does move quickly. So, even if you have to wait in line it won’t be too long. If you don’t want to eat outside (currently their indoor area is closed) then you can order takeout.

The must-have curry is the Khao Soi. It comes with fresh egg noodles in a golden curry topped with crispy noodles, coriander, red onions, peanuts, and a choice of protein (chicken, pork, beef, tofu, mixed veggies, or $3 more for shrimp). We also love the Yum Ped, this crispy duck salad with red onion, cilantro, and scallion in spicy lime dressing. If you want something really spicy that you can still eat and not hate yourself, go for the Shrimp & Calamari Herb Salad with red onions, chili, cilantro, scallion, and a spicy lime dressing. Although we do love to share, the Khao Mam Kai is easier to enjoy for one. It’s a chicken poached in garlic, and ginger, with rice cooked in chicken broth. It is served with a fermented soybean sauce mixed with garlic, and Thai chili; as well as a broth on the side.

THE SURF CLUB RESTAURANT


Neighborhood: Surfside
Address: 9011 Collins Ave
Cuisine: Modern American

Okay so when thinking of the best restaurants in Miami, The Surf Club Restaurant was one we were procrastinating on. We were avoiding it because it’s far, Miami traffic, and we don’t love getting super fancy. But let us tell you that now having experienced The Surf Club Restaurant, we will go back in a heartbeat and even wear heels.

When there is a big name attached to a restaurant, expectations are always going to be high and The Surf Club Restaurant by Thomas Keller did not disappoint. 

Chef Keller is famously known for The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Per Se in New York City. Chances are that if and when you decide to stop by The Surf Club Restaurant, Chef Keller won’t be there. But it doesn’t matter. Excellence exists here. And now we want to celebrate any major life achievements at the Surf Club Restaurant. 

We hope that whenever you do decide to stop by, you get Justin to guide you through your meal. He had an amazing presence and nailed all the recommendations. In his past life, we swear he worked in the secret service. 

We could talk forever about how beautiful and regal the Surf Club Restaurant is but this guide isn’t really about that. It’s definitely a plus though. But what we really want to talk about is the food. 

The à la carte menu interprets classic Continental cuisine delivering a sense of nostalgia through every dish. Start your meal with a beautifully executed cocktail at the bar before heading to your table. We loved the refreshing Basil Smash with gin. 

From the appetizers, we recommend the best crispy, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake of your life and the Hass Avocado & Garden Vegetable Louie. Moving on to the main event, let’s talk for a second about the Fettuccine. We would never order this dish, but confidently Justin recommended it and we knew to trust him. Well hello, let us introduce you to the best fettuccine we’ve ever had. It wasn’t overpowering. It was light and creamy. Normally, we’re meh about truffles but in this dish, it made sense. And I can’t believe we’re saying this but we would order it again. This is a splurge experience and if you’re going to spend $53 for a pasta in Miami. This is where you should do it. 

It was our first time at The Surf Club Restaurant, so of course we had to order the Prime Beef Short Rib Wellington for $150. The dish comes with a Périgourdine sauce and serves two. This is an intricate dish, so if you’re going to try it somewhere try it at The Surf Club Restaurant. Worth it. 

We can’t wait to go back for the monthly fried chicken and to order the rest of the menu. 

One last thing, you have the option of booking in three different spaces. Reserve in the Club Room if you’re going for a more pristine and classic outing. The Banyan room is brighter, for those looking to feel like they’re dining al fresco except you’re not and there’s AC. And the lounge is more vibey with live music at times. Choose wisely, that’s all.

WALRUS RODEO


Neighborhood: Little River
Address: 
5143 NE 2nd Avenue
Cuisine: 
Wood-fired kitchen

There are three things you need to remember about Walrus Rodeo: porchetta, pizza, and green mustard lasagna. 

 Walrus Rodeo, Boia De’s sister restaurant located in the same Little Haiti shopping center is one of our favorite newcomers. 

The menu theme is “charred”. They’re all about those wood-fired oven flavors with dishes like the Charbroiled Island Creek Oyster and Charred Bone Marrow. They recently updated their pizza selection and we need you to order the Clam Chowda Za with Florida little neck clams, potatoes, and crispy pancetta. Close your eyes, because when you take a bite of this pizza, you’ll think wow, “que rico un clam chowder.” Confusing? Yes. Delicious? 100% percent.

At Walrus they know what to do with the meats. And we love everything about the Porcelet Porchetta. Make a little lettuce wrap with the sliced porchetta, rocket pesto, pepperonata, and rodeo ranch. Oh and off the menu, you must order the mustard green lasagna with lamb ragu, grana padana, and stracchino. The most unique lasagna we’ve ever had in Miami.

 

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