Miami is known for many things including beaches, nightlife and diverse culture. Many consider Miami one of the hottest cities in the United States and some of the best food in the country! I was born and raised in South Florida and have been a Miami local for the past 7 years! I am your typical millennial who likes drinking cocktails (particularly champagne), taking candid photos, and eating at trendy but delicious restaurants all throughout the 305! When I am not working or traveling you can find me exploring the Miami food and cocktail scene. Check out where I recommend you eat and drink while visiting Miami, Florida!
If you are interested in having a taste of traditional Cuban cuisine then Versailles should be on your list. This isn’t your typical trendy restaurant, but rather a Miami staple that has been open since 1971! Honestly, pretty much the entire menu is on point! The Cuban sandwich is always a great choice.
The Florida Stone Crab is a delicacy known around the world. For more than 100 years, no visit to Miami has been complete without stopping in at Joe’s Stone Crab. While Joe’s is known for Stone Crabs, there is such variety on the menu that you simply should try some other items, like the fried chicken. Don’t leave without trying the hash browns and signature Key Lime pie.
Stone Crab season opens October 15 each year and runs through May 15. If you’re visiting Miami outside of this time frame then you mostly likely won’t be able to experience Joe’s, so I suggest you visit during Stone Crab season!
TIP: No reservations are needed because they don’t take any! Prepare to arrive early or wait at the bar and grab a cocktail while you wait for a table.
If you’re a foodie and don’t mind driving some distance then take the trek on over to the suburb of West Kendall and visit Finka Table & Tap! This restaurant is a fusion of Cuban, Peruvian and Asian cuisine where you can order anything from empanadas to Korean fried chicken. All the dishes are perfectly executed and packed with flavor.
The cocktails I’ve tried are fantastic, but the one I had on my last visit has been my favorite: Tamiami Mami. A guava lovers dream…enough said!
The food is phenomenal. One of my favorite appetizers is the vaca-style tostones. You won’t be disappointed with the Cuban fried rice or Korean friend chicken. Trust me when I say, you will be impressed with Finka and it is completely worth the drive!
TIP: Come to Finka hungry and bring friends who like to share. This place is best enjoyed when you can savor bites from your neighbors plates over cocktails.
Bodega is over the top street food served from a taco truck on South Beach! Every single bite of every single item is amazing. Describing each taco is way too much for my fingers to type but take my word for it, eat here and your mind will be blown! If you’re looking for a great deal, happy hour is 6-8 PM every day and includes $2 tacos and half off their cocktails.
TIP: If you enter through the porta-potty door you will find a speakeasy bar and lounge serving up cocktails. Super cool vibe and place to hang out in Miami late night.
The Salty Donut is an artisanal donut and coffee shop located in the Wynwood area of Miami. Donuts are made with high quality natural ingredients and are fresh, soft and delicious! The Salty Donut is all about small batches, big smiles! Many places don’t live up to their slogans, but this place honestly does! How you ask? Well, people are waiting in the hot and humid Miami heat everyday of the week for these donuts!
I would suggest sharing so that you can try more this way. These aren’t your average donuts and are more dense and filling. I would say my favorite is by far the guava and cheese donut. The maple bacon is also up there on the list.
They also have spiked donuts with a shooter of liquid flavoring on the side. I’ll let you figure out the best technique for eating and injecting.
TIP: Look at the menu online before going and call to make sure they aren’t sold out of the donuts you want. Due to the fact they make everything in house and in small batches, they sell out on some days! Gluten allergy? Don’t worry they offer a few gluten free options.
Yardbird is the best southern food in town. The restaurant itself has a very farmhouse chic look to it and is the perfect brunch spot. Have you ever had a meal that was SO amazing that you never wanted it to end, no matter how full you were? That’s exactly how I felt when it came to my meal at Yardbird. I recommended ordering several items and sharing so that you can have a taste of more items off the menu. We shared the crispy chicken biscuits, fried green tomato BLT, deviled eggs, chicken n’ waffles with minty watermelon and macaroni and cheese. Every dish was outstanding! Add one of their Bourbon infused cocktails to your meal for the ultimate pairing.
TIP: Make reservations in advance or else you will be waiting a long time before chowing down. Make sure you ask for a side of their homemade hot sauce for your chicken or literally anything you want to add some spice to!
Tacology is a trendy and modern Mexican restaurant located in The Brickell City Centre.
This market style restaurant has 4 different prep stations and items are delivered to your table as they are ready. After being greeted by the waiter, we were educated on the menu and then left to order our cocktails and food off an iPad. Traditional taco ingredients with a flare and a unique presentation. Not only do the menu items look appealing, but they are absolutely mouth watering. You can’t go wrong with the any of the tacos, ceviche sampler or guacamole.
The jalapeno margarita is the perfect addition to any meal and so tasty! I have to say the food prices are typical Miami prices which is not cheap, but it’s completely worth it!
The great thing about Tacology is you are satisfied after your meal and still have room for dessert. Don’t skip dessert here! They are SO good. We opted for a more refreshing dessert since it was hot out. We loved the Mexican mango paleta with a cayenne salted rim for dipping. Every bite was sweet and savory. They offer many other flavored paletas as well as ice cream cookies, flan and guava cheesecake.
Bazaar Mar by José Andrés is ultra chic and located in the SLS hotel in Brickell. Interesting presentations and top notch dishes. Everything about this place screamed perfection. From the service, to the menu, to the ambiance. This is a foodies dream restaurant. Very unique and alluring.
José Andrés has created an absolutely fantastic restaurant where the flavors and creativity make it impossible not to love the food. It is expensive and it is not a place to come expecting to fill up, but it is somewhere to visit if you want to experience what a culinary master can do with seafood.
Mister 01 is a pizzeria located in Brickell and an absolute gem! If you are a pizza lover then you MUST visit! The pizza is thin crust with all the majority of its ingredients imported from Naples, Italy. My favorite pizza has to be the Coffee Paolo which consists of San Marzano marinara, mozzarella cheese, gorgonzola blue cheese, honey, coffee and spicy salami! Yes, you read that correctly! Coffee grounds on a pizza! Literally a party in your mouth. Try it and you will see!
TIP: They do not take reservations so get there early to avoid a long wait time.
Rosa Mexicano is my favorite Mexican restaurant. I actually worked at the original Rosa Mexicano in NYC during graduate school. Not only did I enjoy working there, but I LOVE their food. After spending endless hours studying and selling this menu, I can truly say the ingredients are very fresh and of great quality. My favorite margarita is La Unica, which is topped with a Grand Marnier floater. One of the things I like about Rosa Mexicano is their drink pours aren’t weak. The frozen pomegranate margarita is a classic if you want something to cool you down. You have to order the table side guacamole, no questions about it. The enchiladas suizas and alambre a la mexicana are great menu options. On a budget? Go between 4-7 pm and after 9 pm for happy hour specials 7 days a week.
Chef Adrianne’s is a hidden gem located in West Kendall, a suburb of Miami. Don’t be fooled by the location. It may not be in South Beach or Brickell, but this place truly has the best steak! The portions are very large and are definitely a good size for two people to share. Great restaurant for a special occasion. HIGHLY recommend you make reservations well in advance and whatever you do make sure you order the French onion soup!
Fi’lia is an Italian restaurant in the SLS Brickell featuring fresh ingredients by award winning Chef Michael Schwartz. The ambiance at this Italian restaurant is lovely, with its hanging plants, pizza ovens and a farm-to-table vibe. Noteworthy – the beef carpaccio. It was spectacular, very fresh and had a nice twist to it with crunchy potatoes on top.
Azcuar is located in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. Ice cream flavors are inspired by South Florida’s diverse cultures and hot subtropical climate. Creations include a variety of unique Latin inspired ice creams made from local fruits and vegetables. Try their signature ice cream Abuela Maria, which consists of guava, vanilla ice ream, cream cheese and Abuela Maria crackers. Literally, INSANE! Want to spice it up a bit? Order their new flavor Burn in Hell, Fidel! – chocolate ice cream with cayenne pepper.
Pisco y Nazca is a ceviche gastrobar with a modern twist to traditional Peruvian cuisine. The ambiance is low-key and fun-filled with a bar featuring a vast selection of beers, wine, liquors, and creative cocktails. Don’t miss “hora loca” or crazy hour from 5-7 pm everyday, which offers half off wine, beer and house liquors.
MIA Beer Company is the perfect spot for any craft beer lover. MIA Beer Company is known for vibrant designs and a vast portfolio of unique brews infused with Miami’s rich culture. They have 54 beers on tap, over half of which are their own and others are from varied microbreweries. Located in Doral, which is a little outside of the typical Miami night life, but completely worth the trip. Food menu is available, which you can check out here.
Remember that place I mentioned earlier – Yardbird? Well, Spring Chicken is pretty much a more affordable and fast casual concept of it. The chicken is Yardbird quality at a faster pace. It’s tender, juicy, crispy, everything you’d want from fried chicken and nothing less. The watermelon is still served minty fresh and mama’s biscuits are the real deal. The mac and cheese is creamy perfection and lightly topped with breadcrumbs. Spring Chicken has become a quick go to spot for lunch! For the investment, I think I would go over to Yardbird and have the real thing but this is a great option if you’re on a budget or time crunch.
Hillstone is one of the few places in Miami that is highly sought-after and has the ability to serve you a perfect meal every time. Located in Coral Gables, Hillstone serves up a phenomenal menu and provides impeccable service. You must start with the spinach dip or the smoked salmon dip! I have been to this restaurant many times and can say without a doubt that everything on the menu is on point! They have the best loaded baked potato! I mean, they have the best everything pretty much! Hillstone is a reliable choice to have a great meal.
TIP: Reservations are required! I have never been to this restaurant and it not be on a huge wait.
Coyo is one of the “happening” spots in the heart of the Wynwood area, serving tacos, quesadillas and burritos. Everyone knows about this place who visits Wynwood, and so should you! They recently opened a new location in Brickell, but the Wynwood location is where it’s at! I was literally Mexican in my past life, so you can pretty much find me here or any other Mexican joint I’ve mentioned in this post. This is the spot to go if you’re craving some tacos and margaritas after exploring the surrounding area.
TIP: This place gets busy so the line can be outrageous at times. Have a friend hold down a table while you order because seating is limited.
Sugar is located on the 40th floor of the East hotel in the heart of Brickell. As you enter this posh rooftop garden, the view is hard to miss as you are surrounded by panoramic views overlooking the downtown Miami skyline and surrounding waterways below. This is a great place to see one of the many beautiful views of the city of Miami. Drinks as no shock are highly priced, but the view is worth at least one cocktail. Feeling rich? Reserve a table and a stay awhile.
Lokal is located in Coconut Grove and known for their burgers! All burgers are grassfed from Florida and ground in-house fresh everyday by hand. If you want something on the light side you can sub your bun for some lettuce. Hands down the Frita by Kush is my favorite burger – the perfect amount of guava, Gruyere cheese and the potato sticks for a crunch. Can’t choose between sweet potato or regular fries? No worries, you can have both. Not in the mood for a burger – then try the Chicken Bahn Mi. So light and refreshing with a lettuce bun and flavorful with their homemade chimichurri sauce. Lokal is vegan and gluten free friendly too!
TIP: Don’t forget to bring your pup to lunch with you. Lokal offers a great doggy menu which includes yummy dishes and beer. Check it out here.
Vicky’s House Milkshake Bar and Tasting is a throwback to your grandmother’s house in the ’80s. In fact, this place is decorated exactly like the owners childhood home. Make sure you come with a SUPER sweet tooth and empty stomach. The milkshakes are over the top and then over the top again. I tried the Breakfast Club which was a vanilla milkshake with captain crunch cereal on a peanut butter rim, then topped with whipped cream, bacon, a donut from The Salty Donut and a shot of espresso!!!!! Holy crap, that’s intense, but ridiculously good! Definitely worth a visit and make sure to bring a hungry friend to share your milkshake with.
Phew! Well that sums it up for now! I plan to continue to add to this post as I keep exploring the Miami food scene, so check back from time to time to see my updated list! Whether you’re a local or just visiting Miami, I hope you will give some of my favorite restaurants a try.
What restaurants or bars do you recommend I try in Miami? Please let me know in the comment section below!
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