Miami is one of those places that you’re bound to fall in love with. With so much to do, from the beach to outdoor activities and a variety of restaurants serving different types of foods – you will definitely not be bored – even during a pandemic! Over the past few weeks, Miami has become my home away from home as I work remotely (and safely) to break away from the NYC routine due to COVID-19, and I have enjoyed discovering new restaurants around town. Whether you want to order takeout, or escape for a little while and dine out, here is the ultimate Miami Food Guide!
Located in The Betsy South Beach – a popular luxurious beachfront hotel, this classy New American restaurant brings guests international flavours from France, Asia, and Latin America. Guests can opt for indoor dining while enjoying live jazz and classical music, or outdoor, where you can people-watch. Choosing just one favourite dish is not an easy task, but a few favourites include the Soy Wasabi Ahi Tuna Tartare, the Chermoula Salmon and the Boucher Burger (with onion rings and black pepper bacon!). Make sure you ask for the popovers if they don’t offer it to you first. It is a fluffy, airy, buttery, heavenly bread that will change your world.
This former Versace mansion is nothing short of luxurious, and if you are looking to impress someone with a fancy experience, this is the place to go. Gianni’s serves a blend of Italian and Mediterranean food and wine selections that you can enjoy while admiring the stunning historic setting. Popular meals include Gianni’s Spaghetti Pomodoro and the Lobster Spaghetti.
Known as the intimate secret garden by the sea, Glass and Vine is the perfect place to relax while enjoying a great meal. It is located right by a park and the outdoor dining space seems to spill right into the park, so it feels like you are having a picnic. Occasionally, they also have live music which makes it even more romantic. You can find the calendar of events on their website. Popular menu items include the Coquito French Toast and the Short Rib Benedict. Glass and Vine is located in the popular chic neighbourhood of Coconut Grove, just a short car ride from Miami Beach.
Located on Ocean Drive, The Palace is known for its entertainment and brunch – including their famous drag brunch. Their show draws huge crowds of onlookers from the street, often blocking traffic. The ambience is festive and it’s a great place to people watch. Popular meals include steak and eggs, and their avocado toast. I’d definitely enjoy one of their cocktails too – maybe a Miami Vice or two.
This South Beach landmark is a dream come true, and one that you won’t want to leave. Where else can you enjoy a luxurious day bed while enjoying lunch and cocktails? Nikki Beach is located steps from the beach and Ocean Drive, where you can continue the party. Guest favourites include sushi rolls, fresh seafood entrees and of course, their cocktails!
The three-story indoor/outdoor eatery and lounge with a contemporary atmosphere serves Southeast Asian cuisine. It is located in the popular Brickell neighbourhood, one of Miami’s hottest and most upscale areas. Whether you plan to dine out or just enjoy a few of their cocktails in one of the three bars, Komodo is the place to be and to be seen. You may even see a few celebrities here. Dining favourites include the Peking duck and the lobster dynamite.
This fine dining experience brings you a unique atmosphere that blends the modern steakhouse and a chic lounge. The chain is well known in the US as well as internationally and is proud of being known as a traditional and high-quality steakhouse. It is no surprise that guest favourites include a variety of steaks. I highly recommend the Wagyu flat iron. Their sides are amazing too!
No trip to Miami is complete without visiting world-renowned Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s restaurant, Nobu. Nestled in the vibrant Nobu Hotel Miami Beach, Nobu’s contemporary décor is stunning, and the perfect option for fine dining when it comes to Japanese cuisine. You can’t go wrong with any of their menu items, but the Nobu Tacos are especially delicious!
Located directly at the beach, Mr. Chow brings guests a traditional and classic experience with indoor and outdoor dining options, as well as private dining. This Miami location is one of the six Mr. Chow restaurants opened by legendary restauranteur, Michael Chow. The menu features old authentic Beijing and original recipes – prepared by amazing chefs. Staff recommendations include the chicken satay and Mr. Chow noodles.
Serving authentic Italian cuisine, off the historic Espanola Way between 14th and 15th streets on Miami Beach, Pasta & Vino is the perfect restaurant whether you are looking for a casual dinner out or a sophisticated date night. This new Miami restaurant, and sister restaurant to the popular Pane & Vino, not only has great food but amazing service as well. Their staff highly recommends the lamb pasta and cannoli – which will have you begging for more.
This bakery is highly recommended by locals and is located in the trendy arts district, Wynwood. The Wynwood area became famous for its graffitied walls and art scene but now you can add bread and pastries to the list. Although you can never go wrong with pastries, which I recommend their chocolate brownies, apple turnovers, cheese pastries… well, just about everything… Zak the Baker is best known for its fresh-baked bread. They also serve a delicious Salmon Rueben with kraut, Thousand Island dressing, and swiss cheese served on a hot-pressed sourdough rye bread.
Priding themselves in their unique and interesting menu and drinks from South America, this relaxing and chic restaurant, bar, and lounge offers a festive ambience. The patacones with steak and garlic shrimp are great. I recommend ordering their popular Caipirinha – Brazil’s national cocktail.
Before Miami Beach was even a city – back in 1913, Joe Weiss was selling top-notch fish sandwiches and fries at a small local lunch counter. The business only grew from there and with more than 100 years in business, visiting Joe’s Stone Crab is a must. Joe’s Stone Crab has a dining section as well as a takeout section with seats where you can order all the same menu items. Maybe it is a little cliché, but I have to recommend the stone crab!
With over 30 years in business, this European bakery with Hispano American specialties is loved by locals and tourists alike. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner – favourites include just about everything from pastries, coffee, sandwiches, cake, and more! The owners are both from South America, so the menu really reflects their Venezuelan roots. You must try their famous empanadas and Cachito (freshly baked bread filled with traditional ham and cheese)! Moises is located in North Beach away from the busy touristy section of South Beach.
Right across the street from Moises Bakery, Sazon Cuban is known for its authentic Cuban flavours and charming atmosphere in North Beach. The extensive menu offers the best traditional Cuban dishes and desserts along with a few original menu items inspired by their chef. Sazon Cuban has a great outdoor dining area and they even have a ventanita – little window where they serve food and, of course, Cuban coffee. Dishes include the Sazon Sandwich (Shredded Beef in a Tomato Sauce) and Vaca Frita de Carne (Shredded Flank Steak). Make sure to leave room for their Flan de Caramelo!
Opened in 1996, Big Pink offers a retro diner experience in a relaxed atmosphere, with large TVs lining the walls and signature pink Volkswagen Beetles parked outside. With over 200 menu items, there is something for everyone! But if you need help narrowing down that long list, popular dishes include the steak & eggs, the brioche French toast, and my personal favourite – chicken and waffles. Big Pink is especially popular with partygoers looking for a late-night snack as they serve comfort food and even breakfast all day long. Big Pink is located on a quiet side street away from the beach and Ocean Drive so you need to specifically look for it.
This ultimate food hall includes seven vendors serving Asian dishes from ramen to Vietnamese sandwiches. The setting is like an Asian market with an indoor and outdoor setting, with the added fun of a karaoke lounge and two full bars.
Whether you are looking for indoor or outdoor dining or takeout, Puerto Sagua is a great option for Cuban and New American cuisine. The amazing comfort food combined with great prices will have you going back for more. The ropa vieja or Cuban sandwich are just two of many favourites.
Wynwood’s First Taqueria, Coyo Taco, a fast-casual spot, serves authentic Mexican street food. It’s so popular they opened another location in Brickell and have locations in Latin America as well. At Coyo Taco, they hand press corn tortillas on a plancha (griddle) because the quality of the tortilla is what makes a good toco great. The street food experience adds to a fun ambience, and from carne asada to quesadillas, churros, and more, you can’t go wrong with whatever you decide to order.
Feature Image: Betsy Hotel