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Food & Drinks

  • Best New Restaurant

    Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill

    Each season yields a fresh crop of new restaurants. Sometimes they are highly anticipated due to a big-name chef. Other times they are preceded by a sizzling sister eatery in New York or L.A. Or maybe they boast a distinctive dining concept. Sugarcane brought none of those attributes to the table yet took this town by storm in a way… More >>
  • Best Hotel Restaurant

    Eos at Viceroy Miami

    Chef Michael Psilakis has put together the lightest, brightest, most brilliant hotel menu in town. Chef de cuisine Jason Hall executes the cooking impeccably: Lobster-and-sea-urchin risotto brings a bowl of yogurt, caviar, fried herbs, and a barely poached egg, and then the lobster and risotto get mixed in. Smoked octopus is shockingly good with diced pineapple, sopressata sticks, and paper-thin… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Comeback

    Solea at the W South Beach - CLOSED

    All comebacks are impressive by dint of courage to change and the grit to make it work. But not all are alike. Chef Allen revived his long-standing landmark restaurant in brilliant fashion last year via refurbishment and a revamped menu concept. Solea first opened its doors around that time, but the highly anticipated venue in the glittering new W Hotel… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Dining

    La Côte at the Fontainebleau

    It's easy to imagine you're lounging on the French Riviera as this two-level beach-club-cum-restaurant pulsates with pretty Europeans and presents peerless panoramas of the ocean (Atlantic, not Med) — as well as of the glimmering pool scene right by Côte's open-air tables. A DJ spins world music, bartenders blend tropical fruit cocktails, palm trees sway in the balmy breeze, and… More >>
  • Best Restaurant When You Pay

    The Morgans Restaurant

    Dear Cheapskate:These are just a few reasons I am leaving you for good:1. A cubic zirconia engagement ring.2. That used copy of the Sticky Fingers LP, without the zipper, that you gave my parents as a gift for their 50th anniversary.3. Your insistence on taking buses to restaurants in order to save on parking fees. Except when we go to… More >>
  • Best Restaurant When Someone Else Pays

    Emeril's Miami Beach - CLOSED

    You can start with gumbo of the day ($9), followed by pan-seared free-range chicken over Louisiana oyster-spinach bread pudding ($28), and complete the meal with a trio of sorbets made with fresh, local fruit ($5). That's a nice dinner conceptualized by America's most famous chef and brought to consistently fresh fruition by chef de cuisine Brandon Benack. You can enjoy… More >>
  • Best Last Meal On Earth

    Palme d'Or

    Why not experience your final round of pampering in heavenly surroundings — with a taste of the very finest on your tongue? Let your palate relish the purity of plant, fish, and flesh forged into unearthly delights such as morel soup with sweetbreads ($14); a napoleon of Dungeness crab layered with smoked salmon and brightened with lemon oil vinaigrette and… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Value

    Red Light Little River - CLOSED

    Note to all friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and family of Kris Wessel, chef/owner of Red Light Little River: Do not, under any circumstances, allow this newspaper to fall into his hands! If he asks whether anyone has seen the "Best of Miami" issue, tell him it was canceled. Keep him away from the computer too. Better yet, make a suggestion that… More >>
  • Best Place to Dine Alone

    The Sports Exchange - CLOSED

    Why are you dining alone? If it's because you have a personality most often described as "morose," the Sports Exchange is just the place to cheer you up. OK, who are we kidding? Let's just say this is the sort of place that might make you less morose. Maybe you're dining out by yourself because you meant to have dinner… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Intimate Conversation

    Charlotte Bistro - CLOSED

    She: I just adore the décor here — so quaint, dainty, even girly with all the flowers and feminine touches. He: Yeah. She: And that bacon-wrapped pheasant terrine with the pear slices cooked in cardamom butter. Wow. Didn't you love it? He: Boy, did I. She: What about that lobster tail poached in brown butter? He: Huh? She: The lobster, with the lobster ravioli, in the… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market

    Pinecrest Gardens Green Market

    Miami has never been known for its abundance of good farmers' markets. You know, ones with real farmers, the ones who sell the food they grow, not stuff imported from somewhere else. Transplants yearn for the markets they so loved in California or New York. Well, guess what? You're in Miami now, and the Pinecrest Farmers' Market is worth visiting.… More >>
  • Best Gourmet Market

    Gardner's Market

    Gourmet grocery stores are not just for food snobs. In fact, they cater more to the food lazy. We spent years in the kitchen, trying to prove our basting and chopping skills. Now we just want to eat well. So thank God for fine foods purveyor like Gardner's Market, where we can score delicious, already-prepared food. One of Miami's oldest… More >>
  • Best Food Court

    Miami International Airport's North Terminal

    Granted, the quality of eats found in food courts is generally not of epicurean note, but the selections at Miami International Airport's North Terminal (post-security, especially) give travelers a good taste of some pretty recognizable local offerings, so it deserves cred. Tourists who get to the airport late or go straight to South Beach would miss out on Little Havana's… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Hakkasan

    Hakkasan in London is one of the finest Chinese restaurants in the world, which is evidenced by a consistent Michelin-star ranking. Thankfully, the second incarnation, which debuted at the Fontainebleau Hotel in April 2009, has maintained the same standard of excellence in food and service. While the Cantonese cuisine is far more gourmet than your standard lo mein and beef… More >>
  • Best Chinese Take-Out/South

    Gourmet Gourmet

    For 17 years, Coral Gables residents snacked on lo mein and the like at Gourmet Gourmet. A year ago, the popular Chinese eatery moved to new, cheaper (less glamorous) digs in the heart of Miami. Not that the original location was anything spiffy. Fans of Chinese cuisine went there for the honey-garlic chicken, orange beef, and won ton soup. The… More >>
  • Best Chinese Take-Out/North

    Sun Wah Chinese Restaurant

    One thing about Chinese cuisine in the City of Progress: You can always count on dishes with a touch of Latin flavor. Sun Wah knows what we are talking about. The family-owned restaurant serves "sunny fried rice," the traditional Chinese dish modified with pineapple chunks for a sweet kicker. It is by far the most popular item on the menu… More >>
  • Best Steak House

    BLT Steak

    Rapper BLT Stake, keepin' it real: The popoveralone makes this a worthy stopover. The size of a baseball mitt eggy steam escapes from it when open — no dope'n. Chef Gorenstein's a Beard nominee You don't like meat, try yuzu with hamachi but it's the seared sizzling steaks like porterhouse and rib eye, for God's sakes! Angus or Wagyu, 30 or 40 Georges per slab Jalapeño mashed potatoes? I'll take… More >>
  • Best Refusal to Follow the Herd

    Red the Steakhouse

    It has become somewhat common for fine-dining restaurants to serve traditionally low-end comfort foods such as pizza and chicken wings — at fine-dining prices. But you won't find them at Red the Steakhouse. Why wouldn't chef Peter Vauthy finally quiet the chorus of customers who've been requesting burgers? Why wouldn't owner Brad Friedlander insist the high-profit item be part of… More >>
  • Best Hamburger

    Bar Burgers at Bourbon Steak

    The hamburger was named for the German city of Hamburg — although residents of Hamburg, New York, claim it was created in 1885 at the Erie County Fair when vendors Charles and Frank Menches ran out of pork for their sandwiches. It wasn't until 1912 when ground meat patties were actually called "hamburgers," and it didn't occur to folks to… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    Nassie's Famous Franks

    According to owner and operator Notorious Nastie (AKA Nassie Shahoulian), Nassie's Famous Franks were conceived to "end world hunger by putting delish dogs inside the mouths of hungry, hungry hipsters." Translation: These wieners are drunk food for cool kids. They include footlong, kosher, all-beef, and veggie varieties. And even though you're free to top your dog with pretty much whatever… More >>
  • Best French Fries

    Asia de Cuba - CLOSED

    The white-on-white décor inside this restaurant is reminiscent of fairy tales, while the hotties for which South Beach is famous congregate here for late-night supper and drinks. There are dinner, lunch, and breakfast, brunch, and poolside menus. One favorite option on the lunch and poolside versions: a side of mojito fries. They come with several dishes or à la carte… More >>
  • Best Bread

    Prime Italian

    While bread baskets are de rigueur at almost any restaurant, none are as anticipated as the warm garlic loaf that arrives at the beginning of each Prime Italian meal. The first time we tasted the luxurious slab of bread, we were in love. The tasty, tantalizing stuff is served with a saucer of hot and rich tomato sauce for dipping.… More >>
  • Best Croissant

    The French Bakery - CLOSED

    Bay Harbor might not be on your regular destination list. Perhaps you live in Kendall, Hialeah, or Homestead. But there's one reason you'll want to cross Broad Causeway to this community that stands on what once was a sandbar. It's the golden, flaky croissants served at a small French café owned by Argentine Maria Frumkin. Open Monday through Saturday from… More >>
  • Best Bakery

    El Brazo Fuerte Bakery

    Picture it. Cuban women with pens in their hair running back and forth behind windows filled with pastelitos and bocadito party trays that make you salivate. As you attempt to push through the crowd of hungry patrons, you rip a ticket from a number machine on the counter, and then someone shouts, "¡Proximo!" (Next.) Your number is up, and all… More >>
  • Best Bagels

    Bagel Bar East

    Miamians love to bemoan the lack of decent bagels here. "New York has the best ones," they whine. "It's all about the water." Well, forget about moving back to Manhattan (or Queens or Brooklyn or Staten Island). Try Bagel Bar East, which is one of the few places in Miami that still hand-rolls, boils, and bakes its dough. These homemade,… More >>
  • Best Breakfast Special

    Big Squeeze Juice Bar

    We know you need your bacon, eggs, and coffee the morning after a messy bender. But with the way you've been hitting the bottle lately, you've been ingesting that lard-soaked breakfast of champions every day. We didn't want to say anything, but you've put on some weight. Heck, you even sweat out egg yolk. Flip the switch on your body… More >>
  • Best Sunday Brunch

    The Palace

    When Sunday rolls around, how do you choose where to brunch? There are so many choices. Two words: bottomless mimosas. Three more words: sweaty drag queens. At the Palace, the 20-year-old beachside gay institution, "Brunchic" comes with all the usual makings of a lazy Sunday brunch. For $30, you get unlimited mimosas and a menu that might include rib eye… More >>
  • Best Early-Bird Special

    Capri Restaurant

    We were going to get all New York Times-y and talk about how a younger, suddenly cash-strapped crowd is discovering the early-bird special, and discounted eats before the traditional dinner rush is no longer just for the blue-haired, Bingo-playing set. We were going to add that more restaurant owners are catering to this demographic by adopting and expanding their early-bird… More >>
  • Best Tapas

    El Pimiento

    There is more to Miami Lakes, which is squeezed between Hialeah and Miramar, than residential neighborhoods, golf, and a shrine to sports legend Don Shula. Residents have been hiding a shopping-center tapas gem for almost four years. Complete with a Spanish flag, cork-covered tables, and two terra cotta walls decorated with wine bottles for the picking, the quaint locale whisks… More >>
  • Best Falafel

    Sultan Mediterranean Cuisine

    Before you even smell the chicken roasting or the souvlaki on the rotisserie, you'll see Tara Reid's face. There she is, mugging it up in a red velour tracksuit. And there she is again, next to Mickey Rourke. They're just two of the celebrities gracing Sultan's picture wall. This does not bode well — just another couple of emaciated stars'… More >>
  • Best Deli

    Buena Vista Deli

    All right, so this place isn't a Latin American musical mecca in the heart of Havana. Hell, it's not even in Little Havana. Nor is it a social club. And no, you won't find Juan de Marcos González shaking maracas while downing a pastrami on rye here either. In fact, if you can find a knish, a Dr. Brown's soda,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Yet to Come

    Tie: Norman's 180 and DB Bistro Moderne - CLOSED

    It's a two-way tie between Norman Van Aken's Coral Gables return (with son Justin) via Norman's 180, and in downtown Miami's Marriott Marquis Met Two tower, Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne (DB Bistro copped this category last year all by itself and let's hope will not be cited again next year). How often is it that two chefs of this… More >>
  • Best Sandwich Shop

    La Provence French Bakery

    In France, somehow, there are fresh-baked baguette sandwiches — made with care — at almost every major train station. That such a delicacy is sold alongside pooping pigeons and napping backpackers seems like it should be illegal. At La Provence, you get the authentic European treat without having to, say, step over a hobo or pay a euro to use… More >>
  • Best Arepa

    El Arepazo 2

    Don't let the old cafeteria look of this eatery dissuade you from walking in for an arepa. After all, you just made the trip to this nondescript strip mall in the heart of Doral. The Venezuelan hangout, where émigrés congregate to play dominoes or discuss big news back home, makes tasty arepas with a slightly golden crust and a steaming-hot,… More >>
  • Best Diner

    11th Street Diner

    It's all over you, that great stink of South Beach called pretentiousness. Your only hope is to step into the down-home oasis that is the 11th Street Diner. The tackiness of Ocean Drive hasn't seeped into this retreat where comfort food with retro flair has been served since 1992. The Airstream-style aluminum façade suggests authenticity, and the diner delivers. Frequent… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Kids

    Cafe Bambini

    "Cool! You mean we can eat pizza and ice-cream-type stuff and drink chocolate milk and then slide and tumble and climb and watch a puppet show and dress up like a ballerina or a cowboy? Yay! But what are you gonna do while we play, Mom? Dad? Hey, you're just gonna leave us inside here? You aren't gonna watch us?… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Dining

    The Alibi

    Does a Philly cheesesteak sandwich — thinly sliced rib eye, grilled onions, and Cheez Whiz on an Amoroso roll imported from Philadelphia — taste better at 3 in the morning than at any other time? No. It tastes better at 3 in the morning because you are eating it at the Alibi, a food concession within funky SoBe hangout bar… More >>
  • Best Wine Selection in a Restaurant

    The Forge

    The Forge for decades has had one of the most impressive wine cellars in town. However, with the relaunch of the "new" Forge a few months ago, enophiles on a budget have a reason to celebrate. Along with its revamped menu and décor, the Forge has introduced an enomatic wine system that allows patrons to sample more than 80 wines… More >>
  • Best Smoothie

    Miami Juice

    Today a cell phone can no longer be just a phone. It has to be a camera, a stereo system, a minicomputer, and an all-purpose replacement for human contact all in one. Smoothies have suffered a similar demand for multifunction. You can get ones that promise weight loss, muscle gain, better concentration, cures for minor ailments, even boosts to the… More >>
  • Best Cafe con Leche

    Bread n' Pan Cafeteria

    They say that when Egyptian shepherds discovered coffee, their goats began to dance. Had it been espresso, there also would have been some serious headbanging, followed by a tango and then a cabbage patch and a crash-and-burn. At Bread n' Pan — a teensy, one-woman joint on a hidden industrial strip of little Haiti — they make the stuff strong.… More >>
  • Best Salad

    Grimpa Steakhouse

    Talk about a great value. For only $12.99, lunchtime diners get their fill of addictive cheese bread and can partake in Grimpa's whopping 28-item salad bar, comprising 20 types of salad and eight hot dishes. (The cost for this same meal at dinner rises to $26.50 per person, so tell Mr. or Ms. Tummy to get with the afternoon plan.)… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse

    Pasion del Cielo

    If you ever find yourself half-naked in a Coral Gables condo at 10 p.m., grinding your teeth and picking your scabs, you have a problem. You need caffeine and you need it badly. But there's a bigger problem. Your usual supplier, Starbucks, has already closed for the night. Ditto for Barnes & Noble. Even your supersecret, emergency espresso supply has… More >>
  • Best Nicaraguan Restaurant

    Pinolandia

    This fritanga is not gonna win any interior design awards. It looks like your abuelita's kitchen. But you're not coming here for a fancy sit-down dinner. This is 24-hour Nicaraguan take-out at its most epic. You get it and go. The first indication Pinolandia is way better than the rest: a never-ending, always-growing line of 30-plus Nicaraguan locals and wandering… More >>
  • Best Fajita

    El Rancho Grande

    The simple-minded contend that all fajitas are created equal. Take some tortillas, throw on some hot strips of beef or chicken, a green pepper or two, maybe some guacamole, and — boom — ya got a fajita. What's the difference, right? Anyone silly enough to make that argument hasn't visited any of El Rancho Grande's three Miami locations lately. The… More >>
  • Best Fried Chicken

    Magnum Restaurant & Lounge

    Few people would suspect that a piano bar blaring live show tunes is the site of the tastiest, crispiest fried chicken in Miami. Such is the case at Magnum Restaurant and Lounge, a local institution known for its kitschy atmosphere and savory dishes. Of course, anyone who dined at Jeffrey's on Lincoln Road in the '90s knows that owner Jeffrey… More >>
  • Best Empanadas

    Pamela's Delicatessen

    Pamela Canales sold empanadas from her home for a dozen years before she opened this namesake delicatessen in 1992. It's actually more of a Chilean market/bakery/café/full-service restaurant than a deli, but call it what you will. We call it our home whenever the craving for an excellent empanada arises. Of the five varieties offered, our favorites are the ones filled,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in South Miami-Dade

    RA Sushi Bar Restaurant

    RA Sushi is as sleek and stylish as any South Beach establishment. It serves sake, sushi, and Pacific Rim specialties and delivers a scene that's more stimulating than any other in the hood. The sake list includes a dozen serious imports and saketinis anchored with Ketel One. The 30 types of nigiri sushi ($4 to $5 for two pieces) are… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Restaurant

    Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin

    OK, so it's not the most creative name for a vegetarian restaurant, and we have no idea who Hakin is. That said, for meatless Miamians, this place is Mecca. The Rastafarian vegan fare served behind a dull façade in a North Miami Beach strip mall is packed with spices and flavors sure to renew taste buds dulled by frozen soy.… More >>
  • Best Natural Foods Restaurant

    Pura Vida

    Let's say, for hypothetical purposes, you're on a date with Madonna. She's great at the whole first kiss thing, but the Material Girl is way too picky about her dinner. She won't eat food that's been processed or genetically modified. And don't even think about ordering something that once lived inside a factory farm. So where do you take her?… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for a Power Lunch

    Gaetano

    Chef/owner/Italophile Gaetano Ascione might have intended for his new eponymous restaurant, a replacement for the long-adored St. Michel (a mere memory by January 2010), to be appealing to everyone. But the lawyers, bankers, judges, and suit-and-tie-wearers about town seem to buzz around here at lunchtime like bees. Their honey: Gaetano's authentic eats, such as his paccheri al pomodoro, large tube… More >>
  • Best Fresh Mozzarella

    Casale Pizzeria & Mozzarella Bar - CLOSED

    They arrive on a rough serving plate, five misshapen white lumps gleaming in the soft light of Casale's warm dining room, ready to challenge everything you think you know about fresh mozzarella. "No, we are not best chopped up with tomatoes in some salad," says the bufala campana, imported fresh from Italy."You want to melt us on a pizza?" huffs… More >>
  • Best Soul Food Restaurant

    Jackson Soul Food

    A real soul food restaurant should be a historical pillar, a sort of time capsule framing a community's epoch with its endurance and hard-worn antiquity. It should also offer generous helpings of tasty comfort food. Jackson Soul Food is all of that and more. Against the backdrop of 40 years of highs and lows — through riots, political strife, and… More >>
  • Best Cheese

    The Cheese Course

    This new entry in the Shops at Midtown features the largest selection of artisanal cheeses in Miami. There are some 150 of them from France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the British Isles, the United States, and other dairy regions around the world. Sources include cow, sheep, goat, and water buffalo milk. There are cheeses with names of indigenous provinces,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in South Beach

    Talula Restaurant & Bar - CLOSED

    It isn't as sexy as the slew of new multimillion-dollar establishments nestled in sun-blocking, skyscraping hotels nearby. But since opening their restaurant in spring 2003, Frank Randazzo and wife Andrea Curto-Randazzo have consistently courted locals and tourists alike with creative, well-crafted, contemporary American cuisine. There are also homespun touches thanks to influences from their Old World Italian families. Scrumptious small-plate… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in the Design District

    Mai Tardi - CLOSED

    Ten reasons why Mai Tardi is the neighborhood's best bet:1. Ninety-seat outdoor piazza under 150-year-old white oak trees is peerless setting for alfresco dining. 2. Competition is pricier. Starters here run $6 to $12, pastas and entrées $15 to $24 — and even less during the "Beat the Clock" daily special.3. Beat the Clock special: Select pastas and pizzas, normally… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Coral Gables

    Whisk Gourmet Food & Catering

    Host: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another edition of Name That Restaurant. Please give a warm welcome to this week's celebrity guests, Kim and Khloé Kardashian! (applause). Let's get going with the first clue: This teeny, 15-seat eatery in Coral Gables posts its daily-changing menu on a blackboard. Khloé: The Coral Gables High School cafeteria? Host: No, sorry, that's not it. Kim: Starbucks? Host:… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Coconut Grove

    Gibraltar

    We've asked Joseph Cataliotti of Jersey Joe's Used Auto Emporium to help sell the attributes of the elegant Gibraltar restaurant. Take it away, Joe!Hey, yous all out there. This is Jersey Joe telling you to drive to the ritzy Grove Isle Hotel & Spa and fill your tank at the swank Gibraltar restaurant. I ain't never been to the real… More >>
  • Best Healthful Fast Food

    Sakaya Kitchen

    Healthful fast food used to be an oxymoron. Nowadays, you would have to be a moron not to have noticed the influx of fresher, more nutritious fare being dished behind counters at a new wave of casual, inexpensive eateries. Sakaya Kitchen, for instance, offers a concise menu of Asian/Southeast Asian goodies such as egg rolls, pork buns, orange/honey-glazed ribs, ginger/scallion… More >>
  • Best Greek Restaurant

    Mandolin Aegean Bistro

    Match the letter with its proper corresponding number and win a better grasp of the great Greek bistro that opened in Miami's Buena Vista neighborhood this past year:A. What diners are brought before dinner.B. Steamed mussels, fried calamari, flamed cheese saganaki, kefte meatballs, tzatziki, tarama.C. A difference between Mandolin and other Greek joints.D. The dining room.E. Key West Sunset Ale.F.… More >>
  • Best Japanese Restaurant

    Naoe

    Top 10 differences between Naoe and your favorite Japanese restaurant — or, for that matter, any restaurant: 1. Chef/owner Kevin Cory worked in Japan at a traditional kaiseki restaurant, put in a startlingly impressive stint locally at Siam River, and has relatives that own sake and shoyu breweries in Oono and Ishikawa. 2. Live scallops, mirugai, aoyagi, anago, unagi, hamachi,… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Sea Siam

    It's usually a good rule of thumb that you shouldn't ingest any food included in a restaurant's name. If you did, can you imagine how many canton-bamboo-lotus-crane-stars you would have consumed? Think about the heartburn! Yet Sea Siam's case is different. The fare is pretty oceanorific. Take the pla lad prig: a fresh, whole fried snapper with delicate, crisp skin… More >>
  • Best French Bistro

    Petit Rouge

    Neal Cooper doesn't look, act, or speak like a Frenchman. Fair enough: He isn't French. His prior restaurant, Il Migliatore, and his eponymous eatery from 1993 were both excellent; neither, however, was French. Mr. Cooper did dabble in Escoffier and the French classics at the Culinary Institute of America, but more important, he knows how to operate a restaurant that… More >>
  • Best Haitian Restaurant

    USA Seafood and Car Wash

    Step out of Miami and into Port-au-Prince at USA Seafood and Car Wash, a character-driven Little Haiti joint notable for its giant parking lot. This place is popular for its take-out, so don't let the Styrofoam containers and plasticware put you off. Try the griot. The fried pork chunks are plentiful, have a nice fat-to-meat ratio, and are spiced for… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Imlee Indian Bistro

    You have to look pretty darn hard to find chow from the place where Columbus thought he had arrived. Sure, there are plenty of the walk-up cafeterias selling café cubano. And you can find yuca fries. But you could drive for miles and never find any chai lassi, raita, or garlic nan. Luckily, there's a small Indian restaurant called Imlee… More >>
  • Best Cuban Restaurant

    Las Culebrinas

    Eat at a Cuban restaurant and expect big portions. It's never just a palomilla steak; it's always some kind of gazelle on a plate. In this respect, Las Culebrinas doesn't disappoint. You'll get enough to satisfy a recently arrived, starved balsero. But it's in the execution where you'll get your money's worth here. Cuban food is typically pedestrian; there's only… More >>
  • Best Croquetas

    Versailles

    Cuban or not, if you live in Miami, you have tasted croquetas — those delicious, deep-fried nuggets of meat and béchamel. You know, the ones neatly piled next to the pastelitos de guava at every bakery, gas station, and birthday party. The real quest is to find the diamonds in the Cuban-pastry rough. So it seems only logical for the… More >>
  • Best Cuban Sandwich

    El Rey de las Fritas

    Bueno. Bonito. Barato. Those who don't speak Spanish, feel free to Google. The three-word alliteration loosely means "pretty darn tasty and cheap." Any way you put it, when it comes to the best sandwich in the Magic City, nothing comes close to a frita. And who else would make the best but the king? El Rey de las Fritas makes… More >>
  • Best Foodie Frankenstein

    El Rey del Chivito - CLOSED

    If Dr. Victor Frankenstein had been born an unnaturally hungry Uruguayan food fanatic and not an Austrian alchemist hell-bent on cobbling together a humanoid creep show from dead body parts, he might have invented El Rey del Chivito's trademark creation, the Chivito Rey Emperador. Basically a monstrous mountain of random foodstuffs, the Rey looks like it was dredged from the… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant Neighborhood

    Midtown Miami

    To think that one year ago, this area had only Subway, Lime Mexican Grill, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and a Starbucks counter inside a Target. Not only has the number of dining venues more than tripled since then, but also the quality of entries has been impressive. Sakaya Kitchen, Mercadito Mexican, and Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill are three of… More >>
  • Best Dining Trend Likely to Stick

    Gourmet meals on wheels

    The arrival of gourmet food trucks to Miami made hungry stalkers out of even brown-baggers. Some of them sit by their computers, refreshing Twitter feeds and Facebook pages, waiting for the message that tells them where the truck will pop up. An internal debate follows: Should I go? Do I have time to go there and get back to work?… More >>
  • Best Food Truck

    GastroPod Mobile Gourmet

    Jeremiah Bullfrog ain't no Mister Softee. He ain't no Dairy Queen either. Yet his GastroPod foodmobile, a shiny silver converted '62 Airstream trailer, attracts streams of enthusiastic followers wherever it goes — as if he's the Pied Piper of foodies or something. He ain't that either, but the Miami native is a damn seriously talented chef; locals still talk about… More >>
  • Best Spanish Restaurant

    El Rincon Asturiano

    In every Spanish restaurant, there's one sound that triggers Pavlovian slobbering. It begins faintly, like the flutter of several Spanish fans. Then it ramps up, like castanets. It's a rapid-fire sizzling: the sound of a hot chorizo. At El Rincón Asturiano, 12 meaty chunks ($6) come in an oil bath that's still bubbling when served. Some people say chorizo is… More >>
  • Best Brazilian Restaurant

    Botequim Carioca - CLOSED

    Excuse our stating the obvious, but it's true: Brazil is hot. The home of caipirinhas will host the World Cup in 2014 and just won rights to the Summer Olympics two years later. It seems everyone wants to be in Rio. But if you're stuck in humble Miami-Dade, don't fret: Botequim Carioca exists to satisfy your every Brazilian need. Tucked… More >>
  • Best Argentine Restaurant

    Las Vacas Gordas

    As soon as you hop out of your car in the parking lot next to Las Vacas Gordas (translation: the fat cows), you'll smell the hot grill. For avid carnivores, the Normandy Isle Argentine parrilla offers one-pound servings of red meat along with chitlins, blood sausage, chorizo, and vegetables cooked on the grill. A huge bowl of spicy chimichurri awaits… More >>
  • Best Barbecue

    Ribs-2-Go

    Everyone knows God took a rib from Adam to create Eve. But he must've snatched a second one and given it to Mark A. Gibson, a former minister who's now grillmaster and owner of mobile barbecue business Ribs-2-Go. There's just no other way to explain his homemade slabs of pure deliciousness. If you frequent midtown or the Design District, chances… More >>
  • Best Chicken Wings

    Bulldog Barbecue

    At celeb chef Howie "Bulldog" Kleinberg's North Miami barbecue joint, the smokehouse wings are so big they look as though they were ripped from the body of a superchicken bred in a black-market agrarian chem lab. But don't worry — these wings aren't the product of bio-engineering, synthetic hormones, or any other brand of black magic. Only the hand of… More >>
  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    Talavera Cocina Mexicana

    Talavera is newer, prettier, and more refined than the sort of Mexican dives we like to think of as authentic. But partners Eduardo "Lalo" Durazo, Martin Moreno, and chef Oscar Del Rivero (the Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar & Latam Grill team) come from Mexico City, and many of the recipes used here derive directly from family and country — though… More >>
  • Best Guilt-Free Burrito

    Chilorio's Very Mexican

    If you're human, you like burritos. It's impossible not to — you're genetically programmed to like guacamole, sour cream, refried beans, and shredded, melted cheese wrapped in an easy-to-hold (and devour) tortilla. Unfortunately, you're a human who lives in Miami, and bikini season (or hot-pink-Speedo-thong season, we don't judge) is here. So what are you supposed to do when your… More >>
  • Best Taco

    El Santo Coyote

    Every once in a while, we like to round up a few friends and head to Homestead for a little Mexican Sunday. We pack into a booth at El Santo Coyote and indulge in tacos and cervezas for the afternoon. For a buck-80, you can sink your teeth into a taco with one of six meats. El Santo has carnitas,… More >>
  • Best Restaurateur

    Barton G. Weiss

    Don't let the live giraffes, cryogenic nitro-martinis, and dumbfounding desserts such as the "chocolate fun-do fountain" gurgling with four pounds of Belgian dark distract you from seeing the serious genius of Mr. Barton G. He was already known as Miami's most outlandishly creative caterer by the time he opened his namesake South Beach restaurant in 2002. The sophisticated eatery with… More >>
  • Best Chefs

    Jonathan Eismann and Dewey LoSasso

    Past winners of our annual lifetime achievement type of award (where seniority counts!): Van Aken, Militello, Susser, Oudin, Ruiz, Bernstein, Schwartz, Rodriguez, and Hutson. It is time to etch Eismann and LoSasso into our Rushmore of pioneering Miami chefs. Jonathan Eismann introduced pan-Asian cooking and spearheaded fine dining on Lincoln Road when he opened Pacific Time in 1993; back then,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Host

    Nino Pernetti

    Nino Pernetti's life story includes growing up in postwar Venice, Italy; training at a prestigious hotel school; cooking across four continents; and taking trips to Kabul, Caracas, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur — well, a lot of places. But you needn't know that, or the fact that he serves on more boards than Dwyane Wade — Make-A-Wish Foundation, Jackson Memorial Foundation, Florida… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Decor

    STK Miami

    Located just off the Gansevoort lobby, STK Miami practically glistens with big-city allure. Like the original in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, this lofty, two-story steak house boasts an industrial-chic warehouse look, but with a dash of decidedly South Beach style. Celebrated design team ICRAVE uses a muted palette of textures such as wood, marble, mirrors, glass, suede, stone, and white brick,… More >>
  • Best Expensive Italian Restaurant

    Il Mulino

    Hey there, Mr. I-Used-to-Have-a-Bottomless-Expense-Account. Back then, you would breeze into Il Mulino like a big shot, thumb through the wine list, and choose one of the vintage reserves. Lucky for you, there are bottles starting a bit below $50. Plus you'll still have your classic Manhattan cocktail — for chrissakes, a man's gotta live. And if you're polite, there's a… More >>
  • Best Inexpensive Italian Restaurant

    Spiga

    Italian restaurants come and go. And come and go. And come and go. Some boast prime location; some tout wood-burning ovens, early-bird specials, happy hours, and karaoke nights. Spiga doesn't go in for a whole lot of razzmatazz. Located in the boutique Hotel Impala, the cozy, romantic restaurant is aglow in low light and awash in rich wood; the porch… More >>
  • Best Pizza Joint

    Pizza Volante - CLOSED

    Jonathan Eismann evidently took the famous exhortation "Go West, young man!" to mean the west side of Miami's Design District (plus he waited until he wasn't all that young). Eismann charged into the fledgling neighborhood with his flagship Pacific Time and has recently added the new duo of Q and Fin. But perhaps his most heralded pioneering effort came when… More >>
  • Best Raw Bar

    CJ's Crab Shack

    Got a hankering for topnotch seafood and service with a smile while sunning yourself on SoBe's golden shores or perusing shops along Ocean Drive? There's only one place to go. With an extensive menu of sumptuous ocean fare and fair prices that get even better during happy hour, CJ's Crab Shack has something for everyone. Owners Chris and Jori opened… More >>
  • Best Seafood Restaurant

    AltaMare

    Claudio Giordano's Alta Mar restaurant in South Beach had been an unqualified success since 2002, so it came as a surprise when this past year, he moved the eatery next door, brought in new chef Simon Stojanovic, and even changed the name of the place by adding an e to the end. The current space boasts an open kitchen, chef's… More >>
  • Best Fish Sandwich

    El Floridita Seafood Restaurant

    El Floridita takes you back to a time when life was simple: Men were men, women were women, fish were fish, and fish houses were made of wood and featured fish tanks, raw bars, saloon-style alcohol, and trophy fish on the wall. El Floridita makes fish sandwiches the old-fashion way too — as in tasty, not fancy. First the folks… More >>
  • Best Conch Fritters

    Snappers Fish & Chicken

    It is difficult to come across a real conch fritter in Miami — one loaded with the most delectable shellfish in the Caribbean. Rest assured, Snappers has you covered. The mom-and-pop-ish fast-seafood eatery makes Bahamian-style fritter balls loaded with conch and chili pepper pieces that will — to borrow a phrase from another nearby island — make you feel irie… More >>
  • Best Fish Taco

    Fish Shack & Market - CLOSED

    We're talking with Bimini Baja Bob, self-proclaimed "fish taco expert extraordinaire." He is apparently a little upset with us for claiming the finest fish taco can be found at Fish Shack & Market. "They use juicy chunks of fresh-from-the-water mahi-mahi that's been spiced and grilled to perfection," he says loudly, his face getting red. "Then they plump the fish into… More >>
  • Best Ceviche

    D. Rodriguez Cuba

    Doug Rodriguez isn't the daddy of ceviche; the practice of macerating seafood in citrus juice precedes him by quite a few years. One can say, however, that the renditions he has created locally first at Yuca, then OLA, and now at D. Rodriguez Cuba are the mother of all ceviches: snapper marinated with sour orange and topped with a dice… More >>
  • Best Fresh Seafood

    Golden Rule Seafood Market

    Once upon a time, a Miami girl with Louisiana ties wanted to make gumbo for her friends. She searched and searched for fresh crawfish to no avail, so she had no choice but to settle for the frozen variety, which she found somewhere in Homestead. If only our girl had known about Golden Rule Seafood Market. Established in 1943 and… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Bonsai

    The $38 "lobster bomb" (lobster tail tempura, crab salad, avocado, lettuce, red tobigo, spicy mayo, and eel sauce with a side of sautéed lobster, scallops, and sautéed mushrooms) is simply to die for at this western outpost. There are also specialty rolls such as the "Bonsai G," with deep-fried salmon, crab, shrimp, and masago. You won't find rolls with Rice… More >>
  • Best Restaurants to Bite the Dust

    Au Pied de Cochon, North One 10, and Tuscan Steak

    This is our tribute to a toppled threesome: Tuscan Steak, longest-running of the trio (premiered in 1998), became a victim of the economy; it has since donned a sombrero as El Scorpion Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar, whose specialties of tacos and tequila are more in line with today's restrained budgets. Still, we'll always be grateful for Tuscan's delectable namesake… More >>
  • Best Restaurants Snubbed This Year

    Area 31, Bin 18, Chef Allen's, Escopazzo, Fratelli Lyon, Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish Market, Hiro's Yakko-San, Lido at the Standard, the Oceanaire Seafood Room, Osteria del Teatro, Pascal's on Ponce, Sardinia, Sra. Martinez, Tap Tap, Timó

    They're just too good not to mention.… More >>
  • Best Desserts

    Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

    Gastronomic pairings that will live on forever: Escoffier and Ritz. Batali and Bourdain. Schwartz and Goldsmith. Finkelstein and Frump. No, wait — sorry, we got confused: Finklestein and Frump is our legal team. But it was Michael Schwartz and Hedy Goldsmith who brought Nemo to everyone's attention in 1995, and as good as Michael's Genuine Food & Drink was when… More >>
  • Best Cupcakes

    InStyle Cupcakes

    What's cuter than a cupcake? A puppy? A kitten? A puppy/kitten hybrid tangled in an adorable knot of yarn? No. The only thing cuter than a cupcake is a tiny cupcake, and InStyle Cupcakes — a local, virtual, cupcake-only bakery — has a fleet of sweet. These two-bite delights come in a handful of flavors: vanilla with gooey vanilla buttercream… More >>
  • Best Ice-Cream Parlor

    Mooie's

    Miami Shores has a tradition of dropping marshmallows from the sky into a field for kids to pick up at Easter. What does that have to do with ice cream? Mooie's owner, Sean Saladino, says he got the idea to open an ice-cream shop after going to the marshmallow drop and realizing how many children live in the area. Open… More >>
  • Best Frozen Yogurt

    Red Kiwi

    You know that feeling of fat-kid disappointment when you've hit the midpoint of your frozen-yogurt takedown only to find you've run out of toppings? Well, Red Kiwi offers a fix: bottoming, otherwise known as double toppings. Yes, that's twice the Fruity Pebbles, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, sprinkles, gummy bears, or whatever spoonful you desire in one small $5 cup. The frozen… More >>
  • Best Yogurt Toppings

    Tutti Frutti

    Fill your cup, but leave some space — There's more than just yogurt to stuff your face.Squishy marshmallows, crunchy nutsSo what if you get fatter than all those sluts?Rainbow sprinkles and the choco ones tooEven Cap'n Crunch. Woohoo!Chewy mochi and cookie dough, so sweetChunks of cheesecake and brownie treats.Tiny M&Ms, mints from AndesJust about every chocolate candy. Fruity Pebbles and… More >>
  • Best Gelato

    La Gelateria

    Watch the tourists: dripping sweat, crisped to crimson by hours in the sand, stumbling like zombies along Lincoln Road. Suddenly, they're drawn in. Maybe it's the cool aluminum look of the place, the promise of chill air. Maybe it's that blue umbrella, beckoning: Gelateria. Life returns to their watery eyes as they scan the tubs of fresh-made, silky-smooth gelato. But… More >>
  • Best Brownie

    Triple Chocolate Brownie at Miami Beach Cinematheque

    It's hard not to kiss kiss bang bang an art-house movie theater that avoids 3-D blockbusters, sticky seats, and stale popcorn in favor of Citizen Kane, a comfy chaise lounge, and its own line of baked goods. This is especially true when one of the goodies is the Miami Beach Cinematheque's triple chocolate brownie. Thick and made with all-natural ingredients,… More >>
  • Best Flan

    Chico's

    It's after midnight. You've just spent the past five hours studying for a big midterm exam or finishing a work project that has an 8 a.m. deadline. You need a sugar fix. Not just your run-of-the-mill Snickers bar high, but the sort of mental state brought on only by flan. The perfect flan. The kind with a smooth, sweet layer… More >>
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