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Miami Miami Moving Guide

10 Best Restaurants in Miami

plate of food on a dinner table

In recent years, Miami has developed quite a restaurant scene. Award-winning chefs have moved to South Florida, or local chefs have proved they were deserving of awards.

Miami's culinary scene has expanded considerably, with rave-worthy restaurants popping up in many neighborhoods, offering a Miami twist on cuisines from Latin to Italian to Japanese.

If you're looking for a special night out, with adult company, whether it's for a date or with friends, here's ten of the best restaurants in Miami.

1. Joe’s Stone Crab

Miami Beach

food from Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach, Florida
Image via Joe’s Stone Crab/Facebook

This is the dean of Miami restaurants. Joe's began as a lunch counter in Miami Beach, in 1913, serving fish sandwiches and fries. Hungarian-born Joe and Jennie Weiss discovered in 1921 that stone crabs were worth eating, and the rest is history. Stone crabs are in season from Oct. 15 through May 15, though you may be able to get frozen ones other times of year. Side dishes are meant for sharing, and the famous ones are the hashed browns and the creamed spinach. Save room for Key lime pie. Expect to wait for a table if you come during a busy time, because Joe's doesn't take reservations. If you want to create a romantic dinner at home, or you don't want to wait, you can get many of the menu items to go at Joe's Take Away.

2. Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink

Miami Design District

broccoli rabe pizza from Michael's Genuine in Miami, FL
Image via Michael’s Genuine/Facebook

Chef and owner Michael Schwartz has been serving up what's fresh and local in a bistro setting in the Miami Design District for more than a decade. The James Beard award-winner serves up dishes as varied as kale pizza and wood oven-roasted snapper with a grapefruit fennel vinaigrette.

3. Ortanique on the Mile

Coral Gables

Chef-owner Cindy Hutson likes to call her Caribbean-inspired offerings "Cuisine of the Sun," which means you can find practically any type of food under the sun. She and partner Delius Shirley have run Ortanique for more than 18 years and now have other restaurants in Florida and the Caribbean. The Caribbean flavor shows up in such dishes as Jerked Chicken Penne Pasta and Caribbean Seared Ahi Tuna.

4. Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill

Midtown Miami

poké bowl and a pink beverage on a table from Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill in Miami
Image via Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill/Facebook

This Midtown Miami gem is the place to go for small plates in a trendy atmosphere that seeks to evoke the mood of Old Havana, with seating inside and out. Chef Timon Balloo has won a number of awards since the restaurant opened in 2010,and Sugarcane has now expanded to Las Vegas and Brooklyn, New York. The raw bar includes sushi and sashimi. Other offerings range from salads to goat cheese croquettes to Five Spice & Honey Spare Ribs.

5. Divieto Ristorante

Doral and Aventura

Linguine pasta topped with shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari from Divieto Ristorante in Doral, FL
Image via Divieto Ristorante/Facebook

Not all of Miami's best restaurants are in the urban core. Divieto means "prohibition" in Italian, and this restaurant evokes the 1920s with its décor and ambiance at locations in Doral and Aventura. The eateries offer traditional Italian fare, including pizza and pasta, but with a tropical twist and local ingredients. The restaurant is best known for its Ruota di Parmigiano, fettuccine Alfredo tossed at your table in a Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese wheel.

6. Kyu

Miami Wynwood

fried chicken next to a cocktail from Kyu in Miami, FL
Image via Kyu/Facebook

This Asian barbecue restaurant has garnered lots of attention since it opened two years ago in Miami's Wynwood arts neighborhood. The eclectic menu was partly inspired by chef Michael Lewis' global travels. Dishes are variously wood-fired, smoked or served raw. Menu items range from Korean fried chicken to duck breast "burnt" ends to tuna tartare to Thai coconut creamed spinach.

7. Soul Tavern

Miami Beach

Vegetable chirashi with avocado, wakame, edamame, and mango from Soul Tavern in Miami, FL
Image via Soul Tavern/Facebook

Soul Tavern bills itself as "Miami's first plant-based gastropub," specializing in vegan and vegetarian friendly cuisine. The creative menu includes mushroom ceviche, jackfruit gyoza, vegetable "sushi," and burgers made of either beet, garbanzo and mushroom or Portobello and crispy eggplant.  The restaurant also serves pizza (with real or vegan cheese), salads and desserts.

8. Barceloneta

Miami Beach

Piquillo peppers in a cast iron dish from Barceloneta in Miami, FL
Image via Barceloneta/Facebook

This Spanish Mediterranean venue is known for tapas, seafood, rice and gin cocktails. Created by the Pubbelly team, this cozy bistro serves up small plates, entrees and rice dishes, overseen by chef Juliana Gonzalez. The restaurant also offers outdoor seating for optimum South Beach people watching.

9. Ariete

Coconut Grove

small burger from Ariete in Miami, FL
Image via Ariete/Facebook

Chef Michael Beltran draws from his Cuban American roots and his experience with cooking gurus Norman Van Aiken and Michael Swartz to create what he calls a New World American cuisine in Coconut Grove. The menu is small but includes dishes as varied as a Frita Cubana (small burger) to Country Fried Rabbit Leg to local fish of the day. (Vegetarians may be less impressed.)

10. Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Miami Design District

plated fish with salad from Mandolin Aegean Bistro in Miami, FL
Image via Mandolin Aegean Bistro/Facebook

Husband and wife Ahmet Erkaya and Anastasia Koutsioukis restored a 1940s bungalow on a crowded corner in Miami in 2009 and began serving foods from Greece and Turkey. Mandolin is a friendly neighborhood place with a chance to eat excellent food at a reasonable price. Seafood, meat, salads and the shareable appetizers known in the Middle East as mezes, are all on the menu.

Where to eat in Miami? Look no further than these ten restaurants which are sure to please. There's no shortage of Miami restaurants, and soon enough, you’ll find your favorite.

About the author

Teresa Mears

Teresa Mears is a website publisher, writer, blogger and editor in South Florida who was raised to be frugal. After working as a newspaper reporter and editor, she moved her career online. In addition to running Miami On The Cheap, Florida On The Cheap, Fort Lauderdale On The Cheap, Palm Beach On The Cheap, Living on the Cheap and other websites, she writes about personal finance for U.S. News & World Report and other publications.

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