Miami's top restaurants
include Washington Avenue's Osteria del Teatro and Joe's Stone Crab
Updated: Finding the best places to dine in our culinary community can change at
the drop of a chef's hat, so we update our Editor's Picks
keep you in the know before you go! Divided by neighborhood, our Best
Restaurants Guide includes a variety of menu options to suit every taste
and budget. Bon Appétit!
—Best Restaurants in Miami Beach—
1440 Ocean Drive / South Beach / 305-673-0044
The stampede of pricey steakhouses on South Beach leaves most diners wondering
which restaurant merits the hefty price tag for pounds of porterhouse and gobs
of lobster topped mac and cheese.
BLT Steak Restaurant at the Betsy Hotel
Chef Laurent Tourondel's BLT Steak may not be
the scene-iest (that's Prime 112), and it may not be the loudest (STK by a
mile), but it is by far the tastiest combination of quality beef, delectable
sides, professional service and civilized atmosphere in town. While most of
Ocean Drive seems tawdry and commercial, interiors at the Georgian Revival Betsy
Hotel are conservative and cool. Waiters drop off complimentary crostini with a
liver mousse and then steaming hot popovers to enjoy while perusing the menu and
sipping cocktails. By the time the appetizers are gone, one message is clear;
BLTSteak is no mere chop house - it's a culinary destination.
Southern Table & Bar
1600 Lenox Avenue, South Beach 305.538.5220
Taking over the kitchens at Yardbird this season, Chef Clay Miller plans
to uphold the restaurant's reputation for down home favorites like crisp
fried chicken, tender shrimp and grits and addictive fried green
tomatoes that keep patrons lining up seven nights a week. Weekend
brunches bring in fans from nearby Lincoln Road Mall who dine indoors or
out at the busy sidewalk tables where small dogs and toddlers don't seem
to faze the friendly waitstaff.
Yardbird Southern Table on Lenox Avenue
in South Beach
Smart travelers know that table reservations help
mitigate a long wait at the bar, but if you do find yourself with some
time before dinner, check out the curated list of bourbons and the crazy
good cocktails, wines and craft brews on hand to help ease your pain.
Weekends call for the all-day brunch menu which includes chocolate chip
& banana Elvis Pancakes, cheddar waffles and a delightfully tender
smoked beef brisket sandwich served until 4pm. By the time Supper rolls
around, the kitchen hits its stride, sending out platters of golden
chicken, smoky ribs and biscuits so flaky, you'll start to wonder whose
grandma is out back cutting them out with a ball jar.
Khong River House
1661 Meridian Avenue, South Beach 305.763.8147
Creating a unique fusion of regional Asian fare, Khong River House
brings all the flavors of the Mekong River to South Beach.
Khong River House on Meridian Avenue in
Southeast Asian tastes, ingredients and cooking
techniques inform the menu that finds its roots in Thailand, Cambodia,
Laos and Myanmar. Served in an artfully rustic dining loft located just
off Lincoln Road Mall, the restaurant offers artfully crafted weekend
brunches, hearty lunches and inspiring suppers seven days a week. Chef
Sudarat Loasupho - affectionaltely known as "MaMa Pai" - leads an adept
culinary team through the composition of Banh Mi sandwiches, noodle &
rice dishes and one plate meals that are best shared with a table filled
with foodie friends.
Joe's Stone Crab
11 Washington Avenue / South Beach / 305-673-0365
Stone crab season runs from October through May and this classic Miami Beach
dining room serves the best crabs in town to a crowd more than willing to wait
in line for a taste of the ocean's bounty. Much like celebrity Chef Anthony
Bourdain, Joe's has No Reservations. While insiders debate about the loaded
handshake that might transport savvy diners to the front of the line, we find
it's best to visit at lunch or early evening to sample the coveted claws, crisp
fried chicken, onion-filled Lyonnaise potatoes, steamy clam chowder and chilled
Key Lime Pie that have made Joe's Stone Crab a South Beach landmark since 1913.
De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean
101-B Ocean Drive / South Beach / 305-672-6624
Miami is filled with workmanlike renditions of Latin American cuisine from
humble Cuban storefronts to tiny South American bistros. While the local ex-pat
community may frown upon attempts to create upscale fusions of their native
dishes, Chef Douglas Rodriguez elevates the simple to the sublime every night of
the week at his eponymous restaurant De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean. From
sparkling ceviche to savory croquettes and empanadas, the essential home made
quality of each offering remains intact while his clever flavor profiles take it
to new heights. Enjoy the best of the Nuevo Latino scene including a heady
sangria Sunday brunch at De Rodriguez at the Hilton Bentley Hotel.
1700 James Avenue / South Beach / 305-673-1010
Secluded behind a dense hedgerow that surrounds a 1925-era palazzo in the heart
of South Beach, Casa Tua feels like a posh private club on the Italian Riviera.
The price of all this exclusivity makes this a special occasion destination,
especially the private, second-level lounge that's so popular with celebrities
and socialites. Escape the everyday at this upscale Italian restaurant with a
wildly romantic garden terrace just steps from the South Beach scene.
Osteria del Teatro
1443 Washington Avenue / South Beach / 305-538-7850
Servers who know the ins-and-outs of running a dining room set the stage at this
classic 25-year-old Miami Beach Temple of Italian cuisine perched on the edge of
one of the most thumping dance clubs in the city. This ironic pairing of the old
and the new captures what is best about South Beach and what makes Osteria work.
While the menu is a comprehensive collection of traditional pastas, seafood and
meats, the daily specials posted on the blackboard make it difficult to bother
reading any further.
Prime One Twelve
112 Ocean Drive / South Beach / 305-532-8112
This South Beach hot-spot enjoys a loyal local and international celebrity
following and consistently dazzles with huge steaks, giant lobsters and decadent
truffled macaroni and cheese served in a noisy see-and-be-scene dining room that
crackles with excitement until midnight.
Prime One Twelve Restaurant
From Presidents to Pro Athletes, from
Supermodels to Rap Stars, if it's happening in Miami it's happening at Prime
1801 Purdy Avenue / South Beach / 305-531-2228
Miami Beach fairly groans with the weight of dozens of Italian restaurants, but
regional Italian cuisine is a fairly new concept on these shores. Sardinia
showcases the best of the tiny island's cookery with a menu that works
seamlessly with Miami's own peculiar gastronomy and geography. House made flat
breads and imported salumi and formaggi (cured meats and artisanal cheeses) pair
deliciously with big-bodied wines. From salt-roasted branzino to succulent
rosemary-scented roast baby pig, the chef's mastery of the wood-burning oven
lends a rustic flair to each dish.
The Forge Restaurant
432 Arthur Godfrey Road (41st Street) / Miami Beach /
While most Miami Beach restaurants have been around for very few years and
strive toward whatever is new and trendy, the Forge offers a long-standing,
traditional fine-dining experience at every touch point.
The Forge Restaurant in Miami Beach
Valet parkers whisk
away your car, dressy hosts escort your party, and formal captains oversee your
table service. A futuristic enomatic wine bar and a newly renovated interior set
the stage for Chef Dewey LoSasso's clever culinary riffs on classic, continental
cuisine including lobster PBJs, prime steaks, and decadent desserts. Locals
celebrate birthdays and anniversaries here and have since the 1930s.
270 Biscayne Boulevard / Downtown / 305-577-0277
The Epic Hotel trumps the odds-makers scoring two top rated restaurants
under a single roof as Zuma joins Chef Michael Reidt's Area 31 serving
pristine fresh seafood to an adoring crowd.
Zuma Restaurant in Downtown Miami
With raw granite walls, pale wooden tables and a
modern Japanese teahouse design, the interior soothes even as the sushi,
sashimi and grilled items dazzle with artful presentations and bold
flavors. Executive Chef Bjoern Weissgerber may indeed be German (with a
side of Swiss), but he definitely understands the complexity and
precision required to craft stunning Japanese plates with unique flavor
combinations that make Zuma one of Miami's brand new heavy hitters!
335 S. Biscayne Boulevard / Miami / 305-373-0063
Downtown Miami takes back the night at this pricey temple of classic Italian
cuisine served overlooking the Bay by an old school, highly attentive wait
staff. Offering gratis chunks of fragrant Reggiano Parmesano and just-made
Fritti to temp your palate and ruin your diet, hosts Gino and Fernando Masci
bring more than 25 years of service at New York's Il Mulino to this heavenly
high-rise culinary destination. By the time you've sipped the last of your
limoncello digestivo, you'll be fortified enough to face the dinner check.
661 Brickell Key Drive / Downtown Miami /
Fans of this storefront 17-seat Japanese restaurant where Chef Kevin
Cory crafts perfect bento boxes for reservations-only diners who pay
rapt attention to the mastery of an artist doing what he does best will
thrill to learn he is now moving to new digs on tony Brickell Key. Cory
ventures to nearby marinas to secure the day's fresh catch and airlifts
the rest straight from Japan to fill out his daily menus. Every night's
meal is determined by the chef and served in an atmosphere of Zen-like
simplicity at three sittings. After the last bento box is served, the
chef slices perfect duets of sushi and sashimi for each guest until
everyone is ready to go home and dream in fluent Japanese.
Orantique on the Mile
278 Miracle Mile / Coral Gables / 305-446-7710
Cindy Hutson's "Cuisine of the Sun" is as bright and warm as a mythical
Caribbean marketplace. Serving Bahamian black grouper in an orange liqueur or
jerk-seasoned pork in a rum-guava glaze, the kitchen meets it's match in the
deliciously colorful dining room and terraced outdoor garden. Take your taste
buds on an island holiday without leaving the cozy confines of Coral Gables.
Michael's Genuine Food and Drink
130 NE 40th Street / Miami / 305-573-5550
Transforming the Design District from stuffy decorator showrooms to a dynamic
nighttime destination, Michael Schwartz deserves the key to the city. If opening
a successful restaurant with trendy small, medium and large-sized plates
designed for pairing and sharing weren't enough, the innovative chef managed to
capture the imagination of New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni and
every vacationing celebrity and super star chef passing through town as well. If
you can get a reservation, run, don't walk to MGFD. Create your own menu of
beautifully prepared, locally sourced entrees and dazzling small plates at this
hip MidTown bistro. Save room for dessert because pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith got
the nod from James Beard this year too. While it might be awkward to order more
than one of her sweet treats after dinner, her coffee cake, hand made poptarts
and doughnuts are the best part of Sunday brunch.
6927 Biscayne Boulevard / Miami / 305-759-2001
James Beard Award Winning Chef Michelle Bernstein owns and operates this
successful Biscayne Corridor restaurant with her husband David managing the
Michy's Restaurant in Miami
Together they create a quirky but casual gathering place for
mid-Miami hipsters and knowing foodies in an area that used to be our seedy
red-light district. While parts of the neighborhood still feel sketchy, the
restaurant is always crowded with fans of Bernstein's small plate presentations
including crisp baby quail, grilled sweetbreads, truffled parmesan polenta and a
fabulous strawberry shortcake or baked alaska for dessert. Portions are served
in half of full orders to mix and match and sharing is definitely encouraged.
The Federal - Food, Drink & Provisions
5132 Biscayne Boulevard / Miami / 305.758.9559
If ever there was a Miami restaurant the locals do not want anyone to
talk about so they can still hope to score a table on a Saturday night,
it is The Federal. Tucked away in a non-descript MidTown shopping center
alongside a dry cleaner and a Dunkin Donuts, this innovative foodie
hotspot takes inspiration from Michael's Genuine Food & Drink and then
stirs in a healthy dose of youthful bravado to come up with
frequently-changing menu items that make our tastebuds stand up and
salute. Helmed by Chef Cesar Zapata, the standouts on our most recent
visit include small plates like the Jar O'Duck (a clever riff on duck
rillette paired with sweet potato and charred marshmallow fluff), Pig
Wings (buffalo spiced pork shank with house made pickled veggies) and
the Federal Lamb Burger topped with a fresh duck egg and serve on a
pretzel bun baked at the restaurant's brand new Acme Bake Shop which
recently opened nearby.
Hiro's Yakko San
3881 Northeast 163rd Street /
North Miami Beach / 305-947-0064
When the chefs around town finally call it a night, they head to this
decidedly off-the-radar Japanese kitchen known for just-caught fish and
small plates of exotic tapas crafted from the fresh offerings of the
marketplace that change each day. Chef Hiro and his team enjoy cult
status in a town of jaded foodies who appreciate their culinary skills
and unstuffy presentations served until the wee hours to an in-the-know
crowd. You may need a GPS to find the IntraCoastal Mall, but once you've
tried Hiro's, you'll be back!
Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak
19999 W Country Club Drive / Aventura / 786-279-6600
Our northernmost destination is worthy of a foodie's pilgrimage if only to
sample the crispy fries cooked in duck fat and served with a trio of house made
sauces. The chef makes his own onion ketchup and barbeque dipping sauces that
truly offer the taste of success. Mina is famous for his luxurious spins on
modern American comfort food and diners can indeed take comfort in the chef's
remarkable ability to create upscale lobster pot pies and truffle-speckled
macaroni and cheese. All this goodness comes with a hefty price tag, but this
21st Century steakhouse really dazzles.