It doesn’t stop there when we’re talking about Miami restaurant superlatives, but we’ve got to stop somewhere. As for you, we recommend you make a stop at all of these places at some point, if you really want to be a well-rounded, well informed and well-fed foodie. Bon appétit
• Beaker & Gray: Two words: Omelet dumplings. 2637 N. Miami Ave., Miami; beakerandgray.com.
• Glass and Vine: Giorgio Rapicavoli has this meal mastered, from the Coquito French Toast made with coconut milk and cinnamon to the Wood Oven Baked Eggs with confit garlic cream, grana padano and cauliflower. 2820 McFarlane Road, Coconut Grove; glassandvine.com.
• Essensia at the Palms: Highlights include French Toast Bread Pudding with syrup and berries, Baked Eggs “Dip” with Gruyére and warm homemade bread, and Fish Tacos with avocado, cabbage slaw, jalapeño-cilantro corn and chipotle crema. 3025 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; thepalmshotel.com.
• Blue Collar: Get there early, because this tiny spot in the MIMO district takes no reservations and hungry patrons line up outside the door fueled by thoughts of dishes like Artichoke Benedict with lemon aioli on ciabatta and Brioche French Toast with Bananas Foster Sauce. 6730 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; bluecollarmiami.com.
• Bulla Gastrobar: It won’t be easy, but pick three gastronomic miracles from the Brunch Tasting Menu—can’t go wrong with the Cochinillo Hash, comprising shredded suckling pig, jumbo poached egg, breakfast potatoes and garlic confit, or the Blueberry & Ricotta Pancakes—and ascend into bliss. 2500 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; bullagastrobar.com.
• Joe’s Stone Crab (October-May only) It’s legendary for a reason: it’s worth the often hours-long wait. 11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; joesstonecrab.com
• The Forge Old-school yet modern—and still fabulous—Shareef Malnik’s iconic upscale restaurant is still the place to be seen while enjoying a memorable meal. 432 W. 41st St., Miami Beach; theforge.com
• Milos by Costas Spiliadis 730 1st St., Miami Beach; milos.ca/restaurants/miami
• Paris 6 Grand décor, live music, and it’s open 24/7—what else is there to say? Party on! 2200 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; paris6bistro.com
• Azul in the Mandarin Oriental Get decked out and indulge on Oysters & Caviar, steak, lobster or anything else on the menu—there are no mistakes here—and gaze out at the water from the glam dining room. 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami; mandarinoriental.com
WORTH A DRIVE
Head down to Key Largo’s brand new Las Olas at Playa Largo Resort & Spa
and indulge in concoctions from the resident rum master—along with your craving for every kind of fresh-from-the-ocean-tasting ceviches and tiraditios, from the Mixto Classico featuring local grouper, Key West pink shrimp and octopus to Causa Peruana, ahi Amarillo, octopus salad, huancaina sauce and olive crema. 97450 Overseas Hwy., Key Largo; playalargoresort.com
Paradigm Kitchen (1834 Bay Road, Miami Beach; paradigmkitchen.com) wins for its menu that could draw you back day after day to try to eat your way through the lunch offerings, from Wraps like the Pollo Trippy Cali Dosa—dosa, hemp aioli pulled chicken, dill beets, greens, roasted carrots, sprouted legume salad and shiitake bacon—to Bowls such as the Hippy Poke Poke, with arame tofu poke poke, passion fruit kimchi, shredded roots, avocado ceviche, brown rice, marinated kale, greens, bali coconut crumble and sunflower sprouts. It’s a mouthful before you even dig in.
NEW, BUT BUILT TO LAST
• LaMuse Café The EPIC Hotel draws fine eateries, and this one, offering the fresh, light, tasty fare Miamians live for, is no exception. 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; lamusecafe.com
• Jack’s Miami Italian comfort food like JP Parlavechio’s sausage with peppers and onions, spaghetti Bolognese and pasta with Sunday gravy will never go out of style, even in weight-conscious South Florida—and that’s a comfort in itself. 2426 NE 2nd Ave., Miami; jacksmiami.com
• Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz Michael Schwartz continues his record of no missteps with this warm, inviting spot in the SLS Hotel serving breakfast, lunch and dinner (don’t miss the Corn Agnolotti with roasted lobster sauce) plus snacks and really good cocktails. 1300 S. Miami Ave., Miami; slshotels.com
(DINING) ROOMS WITH A VIEW
• Area 31 in the EPIC Hotel 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; area31restaurant.com
• Juvia 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; juviamiami.com
• The Deck at Island Gardens 888 MacArther Causeway, Miami; islandgardens.com
• Red Fish Grill 9610 Old Cutler Road, Miami; redfishgrill.net
• Il Gabbiano 335 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami; ilgabbianomia.com
STEAK HOUSES WITH STAYING POWER
• Red, the Steakhouse 119 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; redthesteakhouse.com
• Diplomat Prime 3555 S. Ocean Drive, Hollywood; diplomatprime.com
• Prime 112 112 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; mylesrestaurantgroup.com
• Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Drive, Aventura; turnberryislemiami.com
• Wolfgang’s Steakhouse 315 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami; wolfgangssteakhouse.net
BEST CHEAP EATS
• Harry’s Pizzeria 3918 N. Miami Ave., Miami, and 2996 McFarland Road, Coconut Grove; harryspizzeria.com
• Primanti Brothers 901 N. Atlantic Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; primantibros.com
• Yakko-San 3881 NE 163rd St., N. Miami Beach; yakko-san.com
• Huahua’s Taqueria 1211 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; huahuastaco.com
• My Ceviche 1250 S. Miami Ave., Miami, and 3252 NE 1st Ave., Miami; myceviche.com
Icebox Café (1855 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; iceboxcafe.com) is one of those places that makes healthy-food haters into converts, with offerings like Kale and Quinoa Fritters served with tahini yogurt dip and Grilled Ceviche of the Day with fire-roasted hominy. But they’ve also got heartier options for those who can’t do without them, like Farmers Pie made with slow-braised brisket, vegetables and a red wine reduction. The famous, made-from-scratch desserts are worth an extra few hours at the gym, especially the Devil Dog: three layers of chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache and whipped cream.
BEST AÇAI BOWLS & FRESH JUICES
Hands down, this honor goes to Raw Republic (20804 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura, and 14871 Biscayne Blvd., N. Miami Beach; drinkrawrepublic.com), where yes, juicing fanatics will thrill at the creative cold-pressed juices and cleanses, but also where those of us who just love good food enjoy tucking into creative açai bowls chock full of goodies.
BEST BIG BREAKFAST
Big Pink’s Hollywood Breakfast—crispy polenta fries, Applewood smoked bacon, sautéed spinach, two poached eggs, cheese sauce and fresh basil—is not something you’d find a weight-conscious celeb chowing own on, but we certainly would. Again and again. 157 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; mylesrestaurantgroup.com
BEST UPSCALE LATIN FOOD
Chefs Christopher Camacho and Carlos Castro make magic at Ola at the Sanctuary (1745 James Ave., Miami Beach), with ocean-fresh ceviche and fish brought in from local markets every day—Zagat calls it “extraordinary for food with a 27 rating.” • Downtown, the freaking gorgeous Peruvian-inspired Coya Miami (999 Brickell Ave., Miami; coyarestaurant.com) serves devastatingly delicious lunch, dinner and brunch with something for everyone, from hardcore carnivores (try Chuletas de Cordero, or Lamb Chops, with tomatilla salsa and chips, or Solomillo de Res, a spicy beef tenderloin with star anise and crispy shallots) to seafood fanatics who’ll find the Ceviches and Tiraditos a must-try, along with the simply perfect Rollo Pez Limón, yellowtail with jalapeño and lime. The unsung PM Fish & Steak House (1453 S. Miami Ave., Miami; pmrestaurantes.com) serves outstanding steak and seafood in an enormous, gorgeous, clubby dining room with an equally gorgeous and cozy al fresco bar.
BEST DOWN-HOME LATIN FOOD
Forty-six years after opening its now world-famous doors, Versailles (3555 SW 8th St., Miami; versaillesrestaurant.com) still makes the list (go for the Calle Ocho Special—sweet ham, turkey, bacon and Swiss on toasted Cuban bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato). Then again, Islas Canarias (13695 SW 26th St., Miami; islascanariasrestaurant.com) hasn’t been around for 30-some-odd years for nothing—from a menu as long as the eatery’s history, choose from traditional plates like Picadillo Habanera, Arroz y Maduras and Bistec Empanizada. On the beach, Puerto Sagua (700 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; dishes out some of the best ropa vieja we’ve ever tried.)
SWEET INDULGENCES 5 Worth the Calories
• Maple Bacon Brioche Donut with pure maple glaze and Miami Smokers’ bacon cracklings at The Salty Donut | 50 NW 23rd St., Miami; saltydonut.com
• Brown Sugar Cake with Caramel Bananas, Coconut Mousse, Lime Cream and Guava Granita at NaiYaRa | 1854 Bay Road, Miami Beach; naiyara.com
• Coconut Panna Cotta with Key Lime gelée and blackberry sorbet at Bagatelle | 220 21st St., Miami Beach; bistrobagatelle.com
• Beso de Moza, a Peruvian chocolate shell with strawberry and rocoto meringue, crispy quinoa and goat yogurt ice cream, from La Mar by Gastón Acurio | 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami; mandarinoriental.com
• Edge, Steak & Bar’s Floating Island of orange Anglaise, Florida citrus, candied fennel and Campari | 1435 Brickell Ave., Miami; edgerestaurantmiami.com
• Rok Brgr: Where’s the beef? Right here, along with Famous Chicken & Waffles, gourmet Mac n’ Chees, Disco Fries (made with Wisconsin cheese curds, brown gravy, fried egg and short rib) and fresh salads. There are four locations (soon to be five), including one at 600 Silks Run, Hallandale Beach; visit rokbrgr.com for more.
• Novecento: Argentina in your own backyard, done perfectly every time—with a very decent wine list to boot. Three locations, with two in Miami and one in Aventura; visit novecento.com.
• Pincho Factory: This family-owned burger and kebab spot is all about quality, and it tastes like it. Two locations, in Hialeah and Pembroke Pines.
• Suviche: Cheap, healthy, delicious food and a Pisco bar? Be right there. Three Miami locations and one in Broward; visit suviche.com.
• 3 Chefs and a Chicken: Those of us who love to grab a well-prepared bird on the run—whether chopped in a bowl with rice and assorted ingredients (called “Cheféns” here), in a wrap, or straight up with a side or two can appreciate the love 3 Chefs puts into their food. Visit 3chefsandachicken.com for locations.
YUM! DIM SUM
Dining at Hakkasan at Fontainebleau (4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; hakkasan.com) will dispel any notions you’ve ever had about Chinese cuisine—ever—but the Dim Sum Lunch is akin to a spiritual awakening. In particular, the Fried Dim Sum Combo with pan-fried foie gras, Shanghai dumpling, pan-fried spicy beef with lotus root dumping and a vegetarian pumpkin puff will send you back to work in a state of bliss. (Note: there’s a vegetarian option as well.)