Where to eat if you’re avoiding Art Basel

If you're not about the "scene" stay south this week

Dec
01
2021

Where to eat if you’re avoiding Art Basel and staying away from all things “sceney”. 

Our city is about to be invaded with art installations, fashion activations, and more. And while some of you might be ecstatic, others are dreading this invasion.

We have a funny feeling that this year it will be bigger than ever which is great for Art Basel. However, this means inevitable traffic jams, parking anxiety, and Uber prices surging.

If you hate Art Basel, then this guide is for you. We’ve created a hater’s guide for where to dine if you’re avoiding Art Basel, focusing on some of our favorite restaurants in Coral Gables and Coconut Grove.

ZITZ SUM


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address: 396 Alhambra Cir Suite 155
CuisineAsian-inspired
Book your table: HERE

Through a hidden-ish entrance inside of a buttoned-up office building lobby in Coral Gables, you will find Zitz Sum. This Dim Sum & Izakaya concept is inspired by Japanese and Chinese street foods with a Miami twist. The menu is constantly evolving and it always keeps getting better. From the newer additions to the dinner menu, we’re loving the tuna with miso onion soubise, macadamia, Parmigiano, aonori and white soy. They also recently launched lunch from Tuesday – Friday, 11:30 AM – 3 PM. Get the crab rangoon dip with stracciatella. It will make your jaw drop.

 

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LOS FÉLIX


Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Address: 3413 Main Hwy
CuisineMexican-inspired
Book your table: HERE 

When we say best corn tortilla in Miami, we mean it. From the same owners of Krus Kitchen comes a second Grassfed Culture Hospitality concept: Los Felix. It’s all about corn here. Founders Pili Restrepo, Josh Hackler, and chef Sebastián Vargas have created a menu that respects and follows the traditional and almost extinct Milpa farming techniques of heirloom corn. Using a traditional Mexican molino, Los Felix is where you’re getting your taco fix if you can’t take a trip to Mexico City.

Our favorites include the sope with black beans, cotija, sofrito, grilled mushrooms, and a hazelnut macha salsa; the pork cheek carnitas, and the crudo. This dish is everything. It comes with thinly sliced jicama, avocado oil, pepitas oil, and a crispy corn tostada. We’ve had every dish on this menu and you can’t go wrong. The dishes are small so make sure you order accordingly.

If you love natural wine, they’ve got lots of options. You’re going here for the food, the wines but also the vibe. They play records on vinyl on Friday and Saturday night with a late-night happy hour from 10 PM – 12 AM. See you under the disco ball. 

 

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LUCA OSTERIA


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address: 116 Giralda Ave
CuisineItalian
Book your table: HERE 

Luca Osteria is the newest restaurant by Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli. Tapping into his Italian background, Rapicavoli has created a fresh and inventive menu where every ingredient has a purpose. We recently stopped by with some vegetarian friends and it’s nice to know we can take them here and they can truly enjoy the menu. If you’re dining with one other person we recommend a seat at the bar. We also love sitting outside, especially when the weather is nice and we can people watch.

We’d share the rich patate fritte with potatoes, black truffle, egg yolk, and a buttery Parmigiano fonduta. The grilled wild mushroom should also be at the center of the table. These mushrooms are served with Bagna Cauda, a sauce from Piedmont with garlic, salted anchovies, and olive oil; and shaved bottarga di muggine or grey mullet roe. The simple little gem lettuce with a cacio e pepe dressing is light, has a great crunch, and is finished with some limoncito. They have recently added an escargot pasta with roasted garlic breadcrumbs that we can’t wait to try. Oh, and after a long day, you’ll need a cocktail (or two). Don’t skip the Portofino, a vodka martini with green olive vermouth, and a drizzle of Sicilian olive oil. Stanley Tucci would approve.

 

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MATSURI


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address: 5759 Bird Rd
Cuisine: Japanese
Book your table: call +1 (305) 663 1615

Matsuri, located inside of a casual strip mall off of Bird Road offers top-quality sushi at a reasonable price. This unpretentious 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 nigiris. If we’re sharing some appetizers we tend to go with the chicken katsu. End the night with an ikura handroll with a quail egg. It’s better than dessert.

If you’re not in the mood for a la carte, they also have some great platter options. Matsuri is one of those local gems that gets packed. Here are some tips on how to score a table.

 

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BOMBAY DARBAR


Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Address: 2901 Florida Ave
CuisineIndian
Book your table: call +1 (305) 444 7272

Bombay Darbar is one of our favorite Coconut Grove staples. It’s pure comfort in every bite with the warmest hospitality. Don’t miss the paneer pakoras, chicken tikka masala, and the vegetarian samosas. Come with the fam or a group of friends so that you can all share. They also have a location in Fort Lauderdale, if you’re staying up north.

 

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MISTER O1


Address: Various locations
CuisinePizza | Italian

If you like your pizza crispy and thin, then you have to stop by Mister 01. Sit outside, bring the kids and get the Claudio pizza. It comes with tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh burrata, truffle oil, basil, and stracciatella cheese. We also like the Fabio with tomato sauce, mozzarella, gorgonzola bleu cheese, speck, and white truffle oil. If you’re into riskier flavors, try the coffee Paolo with tomato sauce, mozzarella, gorgonzola bleu cheese, honey, coffee, and spicy salami. With various locations, we’d stick to the one in Coconut Grove, if you’re avoiding Art Basel.

KUSH BY SPILLOVER


Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Address: 2911 Grand Ave, Suite 400
CuisineAmerican
Book your table: HERE 

Kush by Spillover located in Coconut Grove brings Miami flavors to life. Think alligator bites sprinkled with Old Bay ready to be dipped in a creamy garlic sauce or their version of a Cuban frita. If you’re into seafood sandwiches, this is the spot. Their offerings include a crab cake sandwich and a grouper Reuben. Love a good cider? They’ve got you. Don’t miss their happy hour that includes 3 oysters for $5, 50% off on select drafts and wine, 20% off specialty cocktails, $5 selected appetizers, and more. They also offer the dreamest brunch for your hangover. Overall, they like to have fun here with their menu items, decor, and space. And we dig that. Oh, one last thing before we go, Kush by Spillover is dog-friendly. So bring the pups over and treat them to chicken and brown rice, the doggy special on the menu.

PHOTO CREDIT ZITZ SUM
Where to eat if you’re avoiding Art Basel
THE HUNGRY POST
Where to eat if you’re avoiding Art Basel