If you’re a food lover who spends any time on Instagram, you’ve likely seen posts on your feed from Miami foodie queen Samantha Schnur. Better known online as The Naughty Fork, Schnur is the founder of a lifestyle, food, and beverage brand that’s been heating things up on social media with her accounts on Instagram and TikTok, offering posts chock-full of original foodie content.
Like many accounts, the 28-year-old’s page came to fruition out of fun. She was a student at Florida State University, studying biology and chemistry, with plans to go to medical school when friends suggested she create a separate Instagram account to post her food pics. “It started growing and growing,” recalls the Miami Beach native, who is now a full-time influencer. “People love food. It’s something people love to talk about and see. [My page] was something so different because no one was really using the platform for that at the time.”
Soon, Miami restaurants were jockeying to land a spot in Schnur’s posts. Riding the wave of Buzzfeed’s then-popular “Tasty” videos, she began creating recipes, recording them from start to finish, and posting them to her followers. Her account began growing so rapidly that she took a semester off from school to launch a website and build her brand before transferring to and graduating from the University of Miami.
Since then, Schnur has focused on nurturing The Naughty Fork (her Instagram account boasts more than one million followers). Her content landed her on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Food & Drink list in 2019, garnering serious national attention.
Next up? Schnur is bringing her culinary visions to a larger audience with the opening of three concepts at Oasis in Wynwood. In partnership with Poke OG founder Andrew Mayer and influencer Yanni Georgoulakis of @foodyfetish, it marks the first Miami restaurant to feature two influencers as partners. Fans of The Naughty Fork will be able to enjoy selections like Papi Churro (offering churros and soft serve), Miss Crispy Rice (the first upscale crispy rice bar in the world), and Sushi OG (a fast-casual sushi spot).
Schnur says the food scene in Miami has grown in recent years and isn’t just for tourists anymore. “What I love about the food scene now is that people are appreciating it and people are saying, ‘You know what? I will wait three hours in line for an artisanal bagel because I want to try it,” she says. “Miami has always been like, ‘Where can I get the fastest meal?’ But now everyone is fully enjoying and immersing themselves into the food culture.”
While Miami Beach is known to many as a haven for tourists, the neighborhood is also home to some incredible hidden gems and delicious eats (if you know where to look).
Homemade pastas, an extensive wine list, and a homey environment make Macchialina the perfect Italian restaurant. Try their chef’s tasting menu to sample a little bit of their best dishes (get the wine pairing, too—they know what they’re talking about). Order the Gnocco Fritto (warm, pillowy bread) and their burrata with prosciutto. I like to rip the Gnocco Fritto in half and put some of the cold burrata and prosciutto inside like a little sandwich.
This dark, sexy pizza spot is perfect for a date night or a night out with friends. Other than pizza, you must order their chicken wings, kale salad, and pepperoni chips! Pro tip: If you
can’t get a table (they’re really busy) go next door to Bay Club. They have the same menu, and you can also grab a cocktail.
The perfect post-beach day activity? Grabbing a sandwich from La Sandwicherie’s counter. This unpretentious spot is loved by locals and tourists alike. My order? The Terminator sub with fresh mozzarella on a toasted buttered croissant, drenched in their famous vinaigrette. (Be sure to buy a bottle to take home with you). This spot is also open late- night, so pick up a sandwich and go across the street for a drink at the oldest bar in Miami: Mac’s Club Deuce.
A La Folie
This hidden gem is tucked away on Española Way, serving delicious French food in a bistro-style atmosphere. You can build your own savory or sweet crêpe using their extensive list of ingredients. Try the Impériale: whole duck leg confit over a cream truffle mushroom crêpe.
Very few places in Miami double as an excellent bar and a great restaurant. Sweet Liberty serves arguably the best piña colada in the country (they’ve literally won awards for it), one of the finest cheeseburgers in Miami, and even has 95-cent oysters during happy hour. Pro tip: Book the chef’s table behind the bar and gather ‘round while you and five of your friends take in all the action.
Taquiza serves some of the best tacos in Miami. They have homemade tortillas, filled with flavorful meats, and serve the absolute best totopos and guac anywhere. (Go ahead and overlook the chips at other taco joints, but don’t make that mistake at Taquiza.) You can also try tacos filled with unique ingredients like grasshoppers and beef tongue.
Little River & MiMo
This up-and-coming area in Miami is now home to some of the best food in the city. You may still be in Miami, but it feels like Brooklyn. If you’re looking for delicious eateries where locals dine, this is right where you want to be.
One of Miami’s best new restaurants is located inside a strip mall. This charming Italian spot has an ever-changing menu. Try the potato skins with caviar and the sweet corn agnolotti. Reservations are nearly impossible to snag, so plan to walk in, put your name down, and head over to Upper Buena Vista for a drink while you wait.
Hachidori Ramen Bar
New to the neighborhood, Hachidori is my favorite ramen in the city. Grab an order of the umami sticky buns to go with your ramen if you love sweet and salty. You can also check out its speakeasy in the back, which serves an entirely different omakase-style menu.
Nothing beats a simple grilled cheese sandwich. And while you can find simple at Ms. Cheezious, you can also order sandwiches filled with croquetas, mac n’ cheese, spiced apples, and even s’mores. Order the Mackin Melt with gouda mac n’ cheese and smoked bacon or the Croqueta Monsieur with ham croquettes, ham, and béchamel.
This retro hot dog stand is one of those spots you just have to try. They serve hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, and Philly cheesesteaks. I order their Chicago dog with a side of their amazing onion rings, plus cheese sauce. Add a few onion rings and the cheese sauce to your hot dog for a delicious custom combo!
Miami’s Design District has quickly become the fashion capital of the city. While high-end shopping comes with upscale dining, don’t miss my favorite (and fashionable) outposts that won’t break the bank.
This Korean steakhouse cooks incredible meats right at your table. This spot can get pricey, so I order the Butcher’s Feast, which features four delicious courses for less. Or check out Cote for lunch and try their delicious sandwiches.
The best example of incredible Nikkei cuisine in Miami is at Itamae. It’s nearly impossible to get a table, but try to grab a seat at the bar inside and don’t miss the traditional ceviche, Conchitas à la Parmesana, and the Octopus Bañadito.
Mandolin is like walking into an eatery in Santorini—if you can get a table. Don’t miss the octopus, manti dumplings, feta fries, and moussaka. Pro tip: You can mix and match the Greek and Turkish sampler to try a variety of dips and spreads.
Sushi Yasu Tanaka at MIA Market
Inside MIA Market sits a humble counter serving some of the best sushi in Miami—not to mention one of the most affordable omakases anywhere. Don’t leave without trying the handrolls! The fish is so fresh, you’ll be coming back for more.
Want to up your food photo game? Try my tips for Insta-worthy food snaps and videos:
Find natural light. Find natural light. It’s more relatable when you avoid using artificial light. I don’t bring huge lighting setups. That looks very commercial to me. I know everyone thinks that direct sunlight is good, but the lighting on an overcast day is perfect. I usually take photos or videos outside for natural light or I sit by a window inside of a restaurant.
Use an actual camera. I use a Canon, but you can use a Sony or Nikon DSLR camera. In my opinion, you get better-quality photos (as opposed to using a phone) that are still relatable. In terms of taking videos, I find that shooting them at restaurants is easier and more relatable when you use a phone.
Cue the action. Let’s say there’s an eggs Benedict. You want a photo or video of when you’re popping the egg yolk. If there’s pasta, you want to get the cheese being sprinkled on top. You always want some sort of action and movement; you don’t want it to look flat.
There’s no place in Miami that’s as culturally rich as Little Havana. If you want to immerse yourself in the city’s Hispanic culture, this is the place to do it. From the cigar patrons, ventanitas, domino parks, and delicious food, you’ll love taking a stroll (or two) down Calle Ocho.
This ice cream shop screams Miami, offering insanely delicious flavors like café con leche and Oreo, and Abuela Maria made with chunks of guava, Maria cookies, and a sweet plantain. They also offer seasonal flavors made with local ingredients.
Lung Yai Thai Tapas
You can’t make reservations at this casual yet authentic Thai restaurant. The owner stands outside with a clipboard and writes down your name while you wait on the curb. (It’s part of the charm.) Order the chicken wings (they’re the best in Miami), larb salad, red curry, and the Khao Soi. The flavors are undeniably rich and delicious. Pro tip: You can only order once here—no second orders—so choose wisely!
This iconic seafood market is a Miami staple. But most people don’t know that you can grab lunch here too! While you can definitely buy the freshest of fish, you can also sit down and enjoy a meal from their extensive (and very fried) menu. Get their famous Minuta sandwich with a whole fried snapper (I get it fully loaded), and their conch fritters.
Sanguich de Miami
This sandwich shop has taken Calle Ocho by storm. Serving incredibly fresh sandwiches like pan con bistec (my favorite) and a classic Cubano, you’ll love every bite. Ask them to add extra papitas to your pan con bistec (brushed with rendered pork fat before being pressed) and croquetas or chicharrones as a side order. And make sure to grab a cafecito on the way out after your meal.
Wynwood & Allapattah
Wynwood has become one of the top culinary destinations in Miami with Michelin-star chefs, speakeasies, omakase, vintage eateries, craft breweries, and more. The neighborhood’s artful touch paired with its eclectic atmosphere has made it one of Miami’s top foodie destinations.
Le Chick serves my favorite burger in Miami, but other don’t-miss items include the fried chicken, Parmesan truffle fries (I add cheese sauce), and of course the Royale with cheese,
which comes with a secret sauce and two dry-aged brisket patties. It’s a great place for a late-night bite when you want to sit outside and enjoy the party scene.
dbakers Sweet Studio
If you’re looking for colorful, fun, and delicious baked goods, check out dbakers Sweet Studio. This is one of the few bakeries that have ready-made cakes available for day-of purchase—plus they’re beauti- ful and affordable! Grab some homemade macarons, chocolate chip cookies, and if you need a birthday cake, this is definitely the place to buy it.
Zak the Baker
This hip bakery has taken Miami by storm. On top of their croissants, babka, and challah (made fresh to order every Friday), try their salmon Rueben or their tuna melt. Make sure to order online so you can bypass the long lines that stretch out the door on most days.
KYU is arguably the best restaurant in Miami for any occasion. It’s perfect for date night, business meals, a celebration, or dinner with friends. It also has some of the best fried chicken in town. Other must-order dishes are the whole cauliflower, Thai fried rice stone pot, tuna crispy rice, and coconut cake, which is easily the best in Miami. Make sure to make a reservation at least two weeks in advance (or try to walk in for happy hour).