Top 10 restaurants in Miami
Read time: 8 mins
Boasting an ever-expanding circle of chefs with international acclaim and a melting pot of cooking styles that has become the foundation of the town’s dynamic dining scene, Miami has some truly outstanding restaurants. From fiery Latin American eateries and cool Mediterranean bistros to classic comfort food joints and friendly farm-to-table diners, the vibrant coastal town has it all when it comes to flavour.
Choosing a place to eat in Miami can be as difficult as finding a parking spot on the city’s sun-kissed streets. But not to worry. We’ve done the hard work for you and put together the best of the best restaurants in Miami guaranteed to overwhelm all your senses with pure bliss.
Wynwood Kitchen and Bar
Where: 2550 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami
The scene: Oozing cool and dripping with style, Wynwood Kitchen and Bar is a trendy nightlife venue that doubles up as an outstanding restaurant serving flavour-packed New American small plates. The urban environs are more suggestive of a contemporary art gallery than a restaurant, with talk-worthy street-style artwork covering the walls both inside and out. While the graffiti-inspired masterpieces are nothing short of stunning, they’re little more than doodles compared to the creative presentation of the food. Menu choices come in a selection of bright and colourful soups, salads, tapas-like hot and cold plates, vegetable dishes and grilled skewers, all perfect for sharing and made with the freshest ingredients. If you prefer everything on your plate to be yours, there are also plenty of tempting full-size main courses, like the signature pan-seared scallops with crispy polenta, tomatoes and feta.
Signature dish: There are several signature dishes, but one of the most popular is the WKB Hamburguestia: a chorizo and chicken slider topped with pickled jalapeños, baby rocket and a chilli glaze.
The Bazaar by José Andres
Where: 1701 Collins Avenue, South Beach
The scene: Led by the award-winning chef José Andres, winner of the James Beard Award for excellence in cuisine, The Bazaar lights up South Beach with sophisticated tapas-style cuisine served in a playful, modern space designed by artistic genius Philippe Starck. The unusual menu at this avant-garde restaurant is inspired by the chef’s Spanish heritage, his personal ingenuity and influences from Latin America, resulting in innovative small plates with a rich history served in a hip, clever style. Cuban, Southeast Asian, Japanese, American and European dishes also all feature on the extensive menu, giving you the opportunity to taste the world in one sitting. The presentation of the food matches its quality when it comes to theatrics: Heston Blumenthal-style liquid nitrogen and chrome serving dishes often make an appearance in the dining room which looks like something out of a fairy tale itself.
Signature dish: Black Rossejat: paella-style noodle-thin pasta topped with ebony squid ink, prawns and pearl-white aioli.
Santorini by Georgios
Where: 101B Ocean Drive, South Beach
The scene: Serving up a refreshing selection of Greek flavours on the famous Ocean Drive, Santorini by Georgios is inspired by the beautiful island of the same name. This welcomingly casual yet effortlessly stylish restaurant creates a warm and friendly dining space through a bright blue and yellow colour scheme, beach club-inspired outdoor terrace and smiling, helpful staff. Specialising in local lobster caught daily, the biggest prawns you’ve ever seen, tender lamb chops and juicy prime steaks, Santorini by Georgios offers a vast menu. In addition the signatures, you’ll also find Greek-inspired tapas, meze, soups, salads, pastas, pita breads, pizzas, wood-fired plates and charcoal-grilled dishes: essentially everything you could ever need for an authentic Greek feast. To add to the tropical holiday feel, there’s a great selection of classic cocktails to choose from, plus giant cocktail bowls loaded with delicious fruity flavours and a serious punch of alcohol.
Signature dish: Colossal king prawns roasted in garlic, doused in a parsley olive lemon sauce and served with hand-cut chips.
KLIMA Restaurant and Bar
Where: 210 23rd Street, Miami Beach
The scene: Bringing a taste of Barcelona to Miami Beach, KLIMA Restaurant and Bar has warm and welcoming digs that are the perfect blend of traditional and modern. The bar sports a casual living room atmosphere with international wines and speciality cocktails that will blow you away. Elsewhere, wooden floors and ceilings, modern lighting and comfortable armchair-style seating create the ideal environment in which to savour the contemporary Catalan-Mediterranean dishes with roots that go back generations. While the menu items, such as the volcano lamb with onion and potato millefeuille and the oven-baked cod with lemon cucumber, are inspired by European flavours and cooking techniques, the majority of ingredients are wholly American, all sourced as locally as possible. The underlying theme for the food at this established restaurant is clean simplicity with honest flavours, carefully choreographed by talented chefs for the pure elation of diners: a solid theme that works every time.
Signature dish: Fennel carpaccio with olives, oven-dried tomatoes and stracciatella dressed in a citrus vinaigrette.
Where: 7382 SW 56th Avenue, South Miami
The scene: Serving feel-good American classics with strong Southern influences, Whisk is one of South Miami’s hidden gems. The restaurant’s specials change every day to take full advantage of fresh, seasonal produce and local ingredients, so there’s always plenty of new and tasty things to try. While the lunch and dinner offerings are outstanding, especially the salads which are good enough to convert even the most stubborn veggie haters, the brunch menu is really where it’s at. Overflowing with delights such as papa’s buttermilk pancakes with pecan-caramel praline butter and pan-seared steak sandwich with blue cheese dressing, brunch at Whisk guarantees you’ll stay full until dinnertime. Despite the traditional comfort food, the décor is classic and minimalist, with tall bar-style seating, a clean-cut colour scheme and an open kitchen hatch that lets you peak inside and catch a glimpse of the culinary magic.
Signature dish: Low Country shrimp and grits: stone-ground grits topped with juicy prawns, pecan wood smoked bacon crumbles, scallions and cremini mushrooms.
Where: 1245 Lincoln Road, Miami
The scene: Undoubtedly one of the coolest, trendiest restaurants in Miami Beach, CVI.CHE 105 features a space-age design, with a sleek grey and silver colour palette, mesmerising purple lights and abstract sea-inspired artwork. This happening Peruvian hangout specialises in delicate ceviche dishes, all served with a squeeze of fresh Chulucanas’ lime juice, Arequipan onions and your choice of sauce. The cooked fare is equally impressive and takes the form of everything from generous platters loaded up with bite-size Peruvian delights designed for sharing, meat and fish plates based on old recipes rooted in tradition and fresh seafood dishes that use some of the less popular yet incredibly tasty seafood. There are so many amazing desserts that you’ll be hard pressed to choose just one, although the Chantilly cream soufflé with strawberries is a total winner, and the inventive cocktails with Peruvian twists will tempt you to try the whole menu.
Signature dish: Ceviche Ganador Mixto: fresh ceviche made with local catch of the day fish and seafood.
Where: 251 NW 25th Street, Miami
The scene: Following the mantra “wabi-sabi” (the art of finding perfection in imperfection), KYU Miami is a modern Asian-inspired restaurant with rustic-industrial digs. The creative, artistic energy washes over you as soon as you step through the door and will stay with you long after your final bite. Rugged concrete walls, wooden and metal accents, and a huge open kitchen combine to give the place an urban loft-like feel, making KYU Miami the ideal place to catch up with friends over some stellar eats. The diverse menu offers an intoxicating array of flavours and sensations inspired by the Japanese barbecue style and the head chef’s international travels. A truly balanced collection of uplifting chilled crudo, healthy texture-loaded nibbles, smoky wood-fired dishes and creative vegetable sides await hungry diners browsing the a la carte menu. But for a truly sensational evening, opt for the Chef Experience with beverage pairing and let the masters choose your meals for you.
Signature dish: Duck breast burnt ends with yuzu pickles.
Where: 134 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami
The scene: Making good on their promise to feed your imagination and give you a taste of the extraordinary, NIU Kitchen proves that you don’t have to understand something to like it. This rustic venue has a wine bar vibe, with wood panelled walls, low moody lighting and hand-written chalkboard menus that captivate the essence of Catalonia in a heartbeat. The largely tapas-based cuisine veers from authentic and traditional Catalonian plates to risky and experimental novelties, all paired with a carefully selected wine list. Classics such as Pa Amb Tomaquet and Jamon Iberico rub shoulders with edgy pairings like gazpacho with mustard ice cream and pan-seared foie gras with raspberries on the fascinating menu, providing you with the opportunity to make a real taste bud tingling feast if you mix and match your plates. The brunch dishes are just as sublime as anything you’ll find on the lunch and dinner menus, with Spanish cheeses, sausages and charcuterie platters providing a slightly more exotic alternative to the Full English.
Signature dish: Ous: poached eggs, truffled potato foam, jamon iberico and black truffles.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Where: 1600 Lenox Avenue, Miami Beach
The scene: The place to go in Miami Beach for home-style Southern cuisine with a sophisticated modern twist, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is a rustic-chic eatery that offers a peaceful hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the busy street. An outstanding place to visit at any time of day, the brunch menu is filled with drool-worthy delights such as fried green tomato BLTs with house-smoked pork belly and hickory smoked chocolate coffee cake with ice cream. The super-rich and indulgent plates carry on into the supper menu which features short ribs braised in cabernet with cauliflower mashed potatoes and smoked roasted bone marrow with onion marmalade and toasted country bread. The homely comforting cuisine works perfectly with the pretty dining room enhanced by wooden accents, soft booth seating and farmyard-inspired décor.
Signature dish: Chicken ‘n’ Watermelon ‘n’ Waffles: a sharp cheddar cheese waffle served with crispy fried chicken and cubes of chilled spiced watermelon, smothered in honey hot sauce and bourbon maple syrup.
Vero Italian Restaurant
Where: 90 SE 1st Street, Miami
The scene: Inviting you on a culinary journey through the best that Italy has to offer, Vero Italian Restaurant serves a vast selection of light and tasty Mediterranean classics. The rural-look dining room with wine barrel tables and light wooden features coupled with the courtyard-inspired outdoor patio provide the perfect location for a romantic dinner date. Get your taste buds going with some classic Italian small bites, like tomato bruschetta or swordfish carpaccio before delving into the gourmet main courses. From hand-crafted pasta made using traditional Italian preparation techniques and hand-spun pizzas with a huge selection of tempting toppings to generous main courses such as marinated Cornish hen and lamb smothered in béchamel sauce, the menu is brimming with classic dishes inspired by kitchens from all regions of Italy. But don’t over-indulge on savoury eats: it would be a gastronomic sin to miss the light and creamy heaven that is the restaurant’s tiramisu.
Signature dish: Vero Italian lasagne bake with bolognese sauce, béchamel, melted mozzarella cheese and a hint of nutmeg.
Best of the rest
With exceptional restaurants serving creative takes on international cuisine almost everywhere you turn in Miami, we couldn’t possibly stop this “Top Restaurants in Miami” list at just ten venues. So just in case you can’t get a table or want something a little closer to you, here are nine more out of this world restaurants that almost made the main list.
A modern Japanese restaurant serving diners phenomenal edible artwork sushi and izakaya-inspired Japanese dishes in gallery-worthy surroundings.
La Mar by Gaston Acurio, Miami
A sophisticated destination for traditional Peruvian eats, this beautifully appointed restaurant is known for its outstanding ceviches, tiraditos and pisco sour cocktails.
Blue Collar, Miami
Serving up generous portions of gourmet American comfort food, this neighbourhood joint has a canteen-like feel, but the devastatingly delicious menu options and excellent craft beer selection more than make up for it.
Hakkasan, Miami Beach
A classy showcase for contemporary Chinese cuisine, Hakkasan delivers incredible Cantonese fare in chic nightclub-like surroundings that will make you want to stay until the early hours.
Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, Miami Beach
This laid-back sushi bar has a great focus on classic rolls, traditional sake and grilled specials served in a comfortable, homely atmosphere made even more welcoming by happy, helpful servers.
Pubbelly, Miami Beach
The ideal place to hang out with friends, Pubbelly is known for its rustic pub scene, generous beer list and an Asian-fusion menu loaded with small and large plates designed to share.
Joe’s Stone Crab, Miami Beach
A legendary Miami Beach restaurant for stone crab, this centuries-old seafood speciality venue also serves a huge range of fresh seafood, fish and prime cuts in a fine dining ambiance.
The Dutch, Miami Beach
The sibling of Andrew Carmellini's NYC dining hotspot, this New American bistro serves down-to-earth food in a smart dining room with rustic brick touches and contrasting modern highlights.
NaiYaRa, Miami Beach
Serving up flavour-packed Thai street food inspired by the head chef’s childhood, NaiYaRa provides cool, fun surroundings to enjoy everything from signature cocktails to sweet and sour duck.