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Food & Drinks

  • Best Pho

    Miss Saigon

    Let's talk alchemy. For centuries, wizened scholars — toiling in dark cellars, their wispy gray beards flirting with flames as they cooked cauldrons of metals and spices — searched endlessly for the secret to transmuting basic elements into something new, something otherworldly. Everyone from Isaac Newton to Tycho Brahe grew obsessed with finding the key. Honestly, they should have just… More >>
  • Best Breakfast

    First & First Southern Baking Company - CLOSED

    The American South has given us Hee Haw, boll weevils, Dollywood, and 92 percent of all mosquitoes in the United States. But it has also bestowed upon us Ray Hicks of West Virginia. It was he who brought Miami locals the First & First Southern Baking Company. When it comes to breakfast, Hicks's hot licks include cornmeal/blueberry pancakes; potato pancakes;… More >>
  • Best Chicken Wings

    Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza

    Almost as famous as this local chain's coal-oven pizza are its chicken wings. Spared from goopy sauces, Anthony's are seasoned with flavorful herbs and roasted at high heat in the oven. They arrive at the table in orders of ten ($8.95) or 20 ($14.95) with sweet caramelized onions and focaccia on the side. Their skin sports a nice char, and… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Coconut Grove

    Lulu

    We all love Lulu — at least those of us old enough to remember her tearfully singing, "How do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume?" to Sidney Poitier in To Sir With Love. Huh? Oh. Yes, of course. It goes without saying that we also all love Lulu the restaurant — operated by the team… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Coral Gables

    Route 9

    It is a labor of love born from a love story: Jeremy and Paola Goldberg met while they were students at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. After years of earning their stripes in other people's restaurants, the couple serendipitously ended up in Miami and opened a place of their own — located in Coral Gables and named… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in North Miami-Dade

    Hiro's Yakko-San

    Hiro's by the numbers: 3881: The Tokyo-style izakaya's new address on NE 163rd Street — bigger and far less cramped than the former location. 11: Categories on the menu — soups, rice, noodles, tempura, grill, etc. 100: Minimum number of items to choose from on any given night. 13: Vegetable offerings, most of which you won't see anywhere else, such as fermented natto in… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in South Miami-Dade

    Anacapri Italian Market & Restaurant

    Gustavo Ribero came to Miami from Bolivia when he was 14 years old. That is also the age when he began working in the restaurant industry. When Gustavo reached college age, he headed off with dreams of becoming... a doctor. Then, somehow, he came to his senses and realized that cooking was more fun. Plus he decided it was his… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Downtown Miami

    Sparky's Roadside Barbecue

    Sparky's should really be called "Sparky's & Sparky's," because the two chef/owners gave each other the nickname while cooking together years ago. "Slow down, take your time. You're probably only going back to work," goes their motto, and if you're beginning to get the idea that these guys are characters, let's make it clear they are characters with enviable barbecue… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Key West

    B.O.'s Fish Wagon

    "No shirt, no shoes, no problem," reads one sign in this open-air fish shack. The lack of strict dress code might have to do with B.O. having started out as a wagon on Duval Street some 25 years ago. "Cold beer sold here," reads another, and it's true — the bottles are kept in ice-filled coolers. Right there you've got… More >>
  • Best Décor

    Prime One Twelve

    In 1915, the year Miami Beach became a city, the Browns Hotel was the number one hot spot — the only place to be. In fact, excepting a nearby bungalow (since demolished) called Joe's Stone Crab, it was literally the only place to be, hot or otherwise. A "modernization" in the '30s buried the Browns under yucky stucco, but the… More >>
  • Best Animal Part

    Pig ears at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink and Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill

    "It sells pretty good," says Todd Webster, the man who butchers much of the meat at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink. "We braise them for about four to six hours, cut them into thin pieces, and fry them until they're nice and crispy on the outside." "They're a pretty popular bar snack," echoes Travis Starwalt, sous chef at Sugarcane Raw… More >>
  • Best New York Switcheroo

    Quattro Gastronomia Italiana

    It was August 2006 when chefs Nicola and Fabrizio Carro, identical twins from the Piedmont region, introduced their exquisite Northern Italian fare at Quattro in Miami Beach. One can never have too many chefs imported from Italy. On the other hand, a saturation point exists for restaurants imported from New York — especially when said restaurant's big-name chef lets his… More >>
  • Best Gelato

    Dolci Peccati truck

    Dolci Peccati bills itself as the "sweetest truck on the road," and that's true in every sense of the word. Not only was it one of the first all-dessert trucks to hit the road in Miami, but also its 20-something twin co-owners are among the friendliest mobile proprietors around. The Yepes sisters are all smiles in Hello Kitty aprons as… More >>
  • Best Fried Chicken

    Fritay Fried Pork & Chicken

    Inside a cozy storefront on NW Seventh Avenue in North Miami, the fryers are snapping, crackling, and popping Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The family-owned Haitian restaurant serves deliciously sinful wings, drumsticks, and breasts that are fried to crisp perfection. The meat is juicy and tender every time, whether you request a $2.49 two-piece meal or… More >>
  • Best Key Lime Pie

    Fireman Derek's World-Famous Pies

    When he's not cooking meals for the guys at Miami Fire-Rescue Station 1, Derek Kaplan is baking pies: apple, coconut cream, peach, banana cream, pecan, chocolate pecan, and his signature key lime. It all started as an experiment to perfect his recipe, but friends liked what they tasted, and Fireman Derek's Key Lime Pies was born in 2008. The citrusy… More >>
  • Best Cupcakes

    2 Girls and a Cupcake

    Got a secret fetish for sugar porn? There's no shame in getting off on sweet, moist treats. And 2 Girls and a Cupcake knows how to bring orgasmic bliss with aphrodisiacs such as Kiss Me I'm Cuban, a tropical coconut cupcake topped with mango buttercream and toasted coconut. Then there's the Ocean Drive, a blue vanilla cupcake topped with yellow… More >>
  • Best Desserts

    Sosta - CLOSED

    Dessert menus at pizzerias are usually predictable and snore-worthy, so the folks at Sosta are probably damn happy that award-winning pastry chef Antonio Bachour is in charge of theirs. Let the competition serve stale cannoli from the neighborhood bakery, slightly defrosted cheesecake from a big-box store, and icky spumoni with candied cherry chunks. We'll be digging into Bachour's creamy vanilla… More >>
  • Best Churros

    Manolo

    The first restaurant of Manuel Benito and his family debuted in Burgos, Spain, in 1930. The clan immigrated to Uruguay during the Franco days, and Manolo became their trademark name for eateries in Costa Rica, Peru, Panama, Argentina, and the good old USA. Churros have a longer history than that. The fried, fluted, sugar-sprinkled sticks are said to be named… More >>
  • Best Dessert Crêpes

    Otentic

    The history of the crêpe is fodder for debate. Some contend the name is French for "pancake" and thus conclude the person who prepared the first flapjack in France simply forgot to add baking powder. This theory is vigorously disputed by the Crespelle Conspiracists, who believe the crêpe recipe was stolen from Italy by French nationalists in retaliation for Pope… More >>
  • Best Ice-Cream Parlor

    Todo Frio

    Forget checking Yelp to find the latest fancy, overpriced yogurt shop. Sure, that spot has a cutesy name, Ikea décor, UM girls who think your facial scruff is way cool, and other temptations such as 1,000 self-serve toppings charged by weight. Keep it simple and opt for ice cream. Todo Frio does it old-school with good, traditional, calorie-laden, scooped-up, no-soy-substitutes… More >>
  • Best Café con Leche

    Coffee Zone

    America might run on Dunkin' Donuts, but Miami sprints on café con leche. Basically, as soon as you're weaned off the bottle, you're given this stuff — one part superstrong coffee, 20 parts warm, sweet, comforting milk — thus conditioning an addiction that eventually becomes a dietary staple for most of the 305. Serving it dulce y clarito is Coffee… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse

    Nube Coffee Bar

    Nube, a quaint shop near Coral Gables City Hall, serves coffee hailing from small farms in places such as Brazil and Ethiopia, and roasted by Panther Coffee, a local independent. There are no venti white chocolate lattes or any drinks of that sort here. Nube's menu offers straightforward drinks — espresso, American, cappuccino, latte, frappe, and mocha — in eight-ounce… More >>
  • Best Teahouse

    SpecialTea Lounge

    We love Miami, we really do. This world of pastel concrete and banal vanity rooted in artistic expression warms our hearts like year-round sunshine. But some days, when we're sunburned and hung over and can't locate a baby-pink house with baby-blue shutters because all the houses are baby pink with baby-blue shutters, we crave a respite. Maybe a little café… More >>
  • Best Place to Smoke a Hookah

    Sawa Restaurant & Lounge

    Many Americans have smoked hookahs yet have never used tobacco in one. But Sawa Restaurant & Lounge is the spot to go if you wish to inhale any number of flavored tobaccos. Patrons puff while seated on soft leather sofas amid white curtains billowing under royal palms in the outdoor center of the Village of Merrick Park. The al fakher… More >>
  • Best Sandwich Shop

    Best Sub & Sandwich Shop

    Considering the name, it's surprising we haven't given this shoebox-size grilled-sub shack a Best of Miami award before. This seems especially true when you find out it's been operating in the same location — on a quiet, hidden avenue that snakes along East Kendall's Greenery Mall and curves to the rear of Pinecrest's Tattoos by Lou — for 32 years,… More >>
  • Best Free Snack on Lincoln Road

    Ghirardelli Chocolate Company - CLOSED

    Ghirardelli chocolate squares are tasty suckers. Individually wrapped in gold foil, they are culled from either white, milk, or dark cocoa and come filled with gooey additions such as caramel, raspberry, peanut butter, and mint. Best part: You get a free sample upon entering Ghirardelli Chocolate Company on Lincoln Road (bonus: the heavily air-conditioned ice cream/chocolate shop provides a restorative… More >>
  • Best Po'boys

    The Rumcake Factory

    The po' boys and girls of Miami-Dade don't have access to many real po'boy sandwiches. You can't blame Larry and Elena Robinson for this, because the husband/wife owners of the Rumcake Factory get their authentic version out to as many people who stop by their cozy café/take-out shop in North Miami Beach. The soft French bread that frames the po'boy… More >>
  • Best Hamburger

    Jr's Gourmet Burgers

    Food inspires passion. Just look at what happened to that Marie Antoinette lady when she got all creative with her cake. But few forms of grub inspire as much as the hamburger. She is, after all, a fickle mistress. Handled carelessly, the burger can be disastrous. But crafted by careful and practiced hands, it can be a downright transcendental experience.Junior… More >>
  • Best Pizza Joint

    Steve's Pizza

    Few foods are as ubiquitous as pizza. And most people will agree that even a bad piece of pie is better than most foods done right. Yet the search for truly great 'za is a lifelong journey, and anyone with taste buds has an opinion on the best. Our pick for that hallowed title: Steve's Pizza. The cozy North Miami… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    La Moon's Perro Colombiano

    Colombians excel at making a food item considered all-American: the hot dog. La Moon's downtown location is a neighborhood place open till the wee hours. It has quite a following of partygoers, hungry people, and others who swear by the specialty. These powerful dogs regularly turn vegetarians into ravenous, flesh-eating beasts. Sure, Nathan's are delicious, but these guys come topped… More >>
  • Best French Fries

    Original Ranch House

    A thunderstorm rages outside the Original Ranch House when a vintage Chevy truck pulls into the parking lot. A man clad in a poncho, plaid shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots climbs out of the driver's side. He high-steps to the front door and swings it open. The joint still has the charm of a '70s truck stop in the Appalachian… More >>
  • Best Falafel

    Anise Taverna - CLOSED

    Although falafel has evolved into a classic and often-craved street food — much like hot dogs or pizza —the chickpea fritters are traditionally served as part of the meze or small plates in Mediterranean cuisine. But we're guessing your latest exposure to the Hellenic Republic was watching Russell Brand and Jonah Hill binge-drink and vomit their way through Get Him… More >>
  • Best Hummus

    Barbar Grill

    Call it an extension of Murphy's Law: The last place you'd ever think to look for something is where it usually is. Your car keys? Yup, they're lodged under that unread Dr. Phil book your aunt gave you. That green T-shirt you haven't seen in weeks? Balled up into a tiny space you didn't know existed between your TV set… More >>
  • Best French Breakfast

    1st Avenue Bistro and Bakery

    The 1st Avenue Bistro is a charming spot owned by a French couple and located by the downtown Miami courthouse. You can enjoy lunch and dinner here, but we like the peaceful vibe and delectable fare served in the mornings from 7:30 to 11:30. You can go the continental route and have a freshly baked croissant with an espresso for… More >>
  • Best Conch Fritter

    Miracle's Fry Conch Fritter - CLOSED

    A "flop" is a Southern drink that mixes lemonade and iced tea. At Miracle's, an extra-large cup is as big as a bucket, costs $1.75, and offers a sweet, ice-cold counterpoint to the item for which the place is most famous. Almost 40 years ago, Thomas Carr opened what has become a historical landmark in the heart of Liberty City… More >>
  • Best Ceviche

    CVI.CHE 105

    Ceviche, once a fabled dish of raw fish macerated in juices from an exotic, foreign land known as Peru, is now almost as common in Miami as chicken fingers. But only a few restaurants make it well, and few do it better than CVI.CHE 105 in downtown Miami. The moment you step in, you understand this place is meant to… More >>
  • Best Raw Bar

    Tarpon Bend

    Tarpon Bend's raw bar menu might not be the longest in Miami, but what it lacks in variety it makes up for with consistent quality, cheap drinks, and fun personality. The oyster shots, tuna sashimi, and various chilled seafood platters are among the simple raw favorites. The Mexican shrimp "margarita," though not raw, draws raves for its exciting flavor combination:… More >>
  • Best Barbecue

    The Pit

    Sometimes you have to ask yourself the important questions, like "Sauce or no sauce?" and "Ribs or chicken?" Your answer will likely depend on several factors, including ethnicity, geographic location, and your BBQ: bare-fisted barbecue quotient. Those who tip the scale at barbecue genius have been frequenting the Pit on Calle Ocho for eons. Whether you make a scheduled stop… More >>
  • Best Salad

    Pega Grill

    What characteristics make a salad great? A refreshing taste. A bit of a kick, usually from the acid in the dressing. Contrasting textures. Crunch. Sass. Wetness. Freshness. A solid salad is salubrious — it sates the appetite, awakens a tired soul, and braces the spirit like a breeze of fresh air on a plate. Pega Grill's Greek salad is all… More >>
  • Best Bruschetta

    Trattoria Rosalia

    Bruschetta originated as a way of salvaging bread that was going stale. Americans have come to think of this central Italian snack as toast topped with tomato salad, but at its very heart, the stuff is simply grilled or roasted bread rubbed with garlic and sprinkled with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. At Trattoria Rosalia (sister to Carpaccio in… More >>
  • Best Samosas

    Thali Indian & Thai Cuisine

    The duet of fried tetrahedrons plated at Thali Indian & Thai is only one reason to visit this South Beach newcomer. Owner Denis Nazareth of Mumbai offers a menu filled with a plethora of cuisine from the headlining countries, including the namesake thali plates: a traditional Hindu compilation of small bowls filled with vegetables, dal, chutney, and other bites served… More >>
  • Best Curry Dish

    Soi Asian Bistro - CLOSED

    Four things you might not know about curry: (1) The origin of the word is traced to the Tamil term kari. (2) The first commercial curry powder appeared around 1780. (3) There are more Indian restaurants in London than in Mumbai and Delhi combined. (4) Massaman curry at Soi Asian Bistro has no equal in Miami. The meltingly soft beef… More >>
  • Best Pan-Asian Restaurant

    Yuga

    Yuga, which debuted in Coral Gables in 2006, translates to "elegance" — a perfect word to describe the food and décor. Owned and operated by the same family behind the wonderful Lan Pan Asian Café in Kendall's Dadeland Station, it specializes in East and Southeast Asian cuisine. Specifically, Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and an occasional traipse into the Philippines.… More >>
  • Best Breakfast Special

    Exquisito

    According to some expert, somewhere, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. According to us, it's the cheapest. Because this is Miami, you might or might not have a Cuban abuela, but in this town you can always enjoy a full Cuban breakfast for a few bucks. At Exquisito you'll get it for $3.75 before 10:30 a.m. And… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Lotus Garden Restaurant

    Looking for good Thai food in Coral Gables on Friday night? Expect a wait. The Gables has a glut of Thai restaurants, and they get crowded, especially on weekends. But Lotus Garden, on the northwest end of Miracle Mile, is the exception. There's hardly ever a wait, even during the busiest dining hours. And if you're looking for some new-fangled… More >>
  • Best Chinese Take-Out, South

    Jin-Jin Chinese Restaurant

    Not all of us are lucky enough to have a good Chinese take-out restaurant near home. This is probably why West Kendall residents thank the goddess Fortuna that Jin-Jin is in their hood. The place isn't gourmet or trendy. It simply offers the best Chinese take-out in South Miami-Dade. In fact, there is no means of dining in — Jin-Jin… More >>
  • Best Chinese Take-Out, North

    Susie Lai

    Jerry Seinfeld once said, "Where there's Chinese food, there's leftovers." That's not necessarily true with all such restaurants around town, but it's exactly what you get with Susie Lai when you're hankering for some Chinese take-out. This place serves enough Szechuan to keep you fat and giggly for at least half a week. Tucked in the corner of a tiny… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Bombay Darbar

    Fans of burn-your-face-off Indian cuisine might not head to Bombay Darbar first, but the average connoisseur of Indian food in Florida knows there are good eats at this relatively new eatery, which took over the site where Anokha, another Indian restaurant, was located. Those who appreciate freedom of choice will be thankful the menu includes everything from savory lamb biryani… More >>
  • Best Expensive Italian Restaurant

    Cioppino

    Listen, we Miami gals aren't interested in your dumb let's-hit-a-pizza-stand-and-eat-dinner-on-the-curb idea. We didn't spend a few thou on these Cavalli dresses and snakeskin Louboutins to be dining like the help. Take us to Cioppino if you really want to impress us. How 'bout we start with the burrata ($20) and then maybe a calamari steak ($36)? Or maybe the organic… More >>
  • Best Inexpensive Italian Restaurant

    Fratelli Milano

    Your knowledge of Italian-American culture is way extensive thanks to Jersey Shore, The Godfather, and The Sopranos, but do you really know good food of this persuasion? Prepare to bow down and scream, "We're not worthy!" as soon as you taste the food at downtown's Fratelli Milano. This small bistro is simply decorated with classic dark wood styling and banquettes.… More >>
  • Best French Restaurant

    DB Bistro Moderne

    It shouldn't surprise anyone that the bistro fare at Daniel Boulud's Miami restaurant is exquisitely delicious. After all, Mr. Boulud is acknowledged as one of the finest — if not the finest — French chefs working in America today. Still, without an executive chef like Jarrod Verbiak to translate Boulud's culinary magic, all we'd be talking about is an eatery… More >>
  • Best Spanish Restaurant

    Andalus - CLOSED

    It's Spanish time at the former Pacific Time space in the Design District. The arrival of Andalus means the clock moves slower and the wines are perhaps imbibed a tad faster. It means small plates of food and big doses of flavor. It means dining with no fuss and much fun. It means a host of hot and cold tapas… More >>
  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    Los Magueyes

    This Hialeah-Miami Lakes hole-in-the-wall is hard to find but well worth the mission if only to try the enchiladas poblanas, which include exotic, spicy mole slathered onto three corn tortillas stuffed with chicken and crowned with Mexican cheese ($12.99). Vegetarians can substitute spinach for the chicken and top the whole thing off with sliced avocados. If there were a category… More >>
  • Best Haitian Restaurant

    Le Lambí

    In the chain-restaurant-friendly, culinarily shy zone that is Kendall, there's a party going on near the parking lot of a Publix. Inside a nondescript, squat building, guitar music wafts, political debates sound in Kreyol, and the clink of silverware delving into platters of rich goat and fish stews fills the air. It's the area's only Haitian restaurant and a community… More >>
  • Best Bread

    Middle East Best Food

    No one has to tell Middle East Best's owner, Aziz Ali, that he makes the top pita bread in the region. He already knows. Actually, he'll tell anyone who's willing to listen that he makes the best pita in the whole damn nation. And if no one thinks to ask, it doesn't matter. He has signs hanging behind the register… More >>
  • Best Japanese Restaurant

    Maido

    Real Japanese food aficionados stuck in the United States live for the moment they find a local restaurant so good and so authentic that they can just hand the menu back to their server and exclaim, "Let the chef bring me whatever he'd like." Maido is that kind of place, except for one little detail: The extensive specials are written… More >>
  • Best Nicaraguan Restaurant

    La Hormiga de Oro

    Just off Miami Gardens Drive, inside a generic shopping center anchored by a Publix, you will find a golden opportunity to savor deliciously prepared Nicaraguan cuisine. A typical fritanga, La Hormiga de Oro offers cantina-style Nica dishes at moderate prices for dining in or taking out. Six dollars and 50 cents brings charbroiled steak and a choice of three sides… More >>
  • Best Colombian Restaurant

    Rincón Antioqueño

    It's true that if you're not familiar with this place, you might miss it. It's also true that you are the last priority for the servers — you will wait for drinks, napkins, and food. Oh, and the parking sucks. But as soon as you set eyes on the flying-saucer-size pan de bonos, all of those details fade away. You'll… More >>
  • Best Place to Eat Colombian and Watch Hockey

    Casa Vieja Restaurant & Bar

    It can be difficult deciding what to do if you find yourself on Hammocks Boulevard in West Kendall. What, you didn't know there was anything to do out there? It's home to Kendall Ice Arena, the funniest place to watch people bust their asses while wearing down-feather parkas in the middle of July. It's also home to a giant restaurant… More >>
  • Best Brazilian Restaurant

    Little Brazil

    Brazil, in almost every conceivable way, is the opposite of little. The largest country in South America has an exploding economy and an oversize world presence set to get bigger with the World Cup and the Olympics heading there in the next few years. The excellent Brasileño cuisine at Miami's Little Brazil restaurant isn't exactly minuscule either. The kitchen pumps… More >>
  • Best Argentine Restaurant

    Patagonia

    Argentines are known for their arrogance and red meat. At Patagonia, you get plenty of the latter without much of the former. Miami has a glut of Argentine meat factories/steak houses, and most are pricey. But this place in Coral Gables seems to dispense with presentation in favor of substance. Sure, there's no waiter service — you order at the… More >>
  • Best Organic Latin American Cuisine

    Bernie's L.A. Café - CLOSED

    Benevolent dictator. Cheap Lamborghini. Hilarious Pauly Shore film. Some adjectives simply don't belong next to some nouns. The combination jars the eyes and sets the brain aflame: Something is wrong here! In Miami, the proximity of organic to Latin American cuisine has exactly that effect on far too many diners inured for years to greasy arepas and questionably sourced ropa… More >>
  • Best Cuban Restaurant

    Islas Canarias

    Sure, you can get a sandwich de medianoche and a giant plate of vaca frita anywhere in this town. But what if you're craving harder-to-find Cuban specialties such as tasajo con boniato, cured, salted beef boiled soft with vegetables and spices and served with sweet potato; or pechuga con quimbobo, chicken slowly stewed with potatoes and okra? At those times,… More >>
  • Best Batido

    Los Pinareños Frutería

    When the nostalgia thermometer of a Cuban exile registers a dangerously high level, it usually signifies the person is in a state of hallucinatory shock known as "acaba de llegar." Symptoms include calling all friends socios, having a packed bag that weighs exactly 44 pounds sitting next to the door, and frequently waving a ration book at the man behind… More >>
  • Best Flan

    Rio Cristal

    Like sugar melted into caramel, flan in Miami constantly burns a hole through our hearts. It's so easy to make: eggs, milk, and sugar — maybe a little vanilla or cinnamon — whisked into a custard. And every Latin American country has its own perfected rendition. So why are we constantly subjected to overly creamy masses of what basically amounts… More >>
  • Best Croissant

    Le Royal French Bakery

    When in search of French boulangeries where you can twirl your mustache, ponder life's intricacies over a cup of café au lait, and enjoy romantic accordion music in your head, you probably head for Miami Beach. But the French twins who own Le Royal, a tiny café tucked into a strip mall, know better. They had the foresight to predict… More >>
  • Best Empanadas

    Che Tano

    Argentines are recognized for their meat. In fact, you can find a parrillada serving loads of churrasco, sausage, and ribs in almost any Miami neighborhood. Argentine bakeries are not as ubiquitous, although they should be. Somehow, while the rest of the Hispanic world never thought to venture past chicken and beef empanada fillings, Argentines boldly went where no Latino had… More >>
  • Best Mofongo

    Old San Juan Restaurant - CLOSED

    In the mainland United States, we have baseball, apple pie, and mom. Substitute mofongo for apple pie and you have a fairly good working list of priorities in Puerto Rico. The Boricua specialty — a heaping mound of mashed fried green plantains studded with crisp pork cracklings — has many incarnations across the island: drenched in tomato sauce, loaded with… More >>
  • Best Cuban Sandwich

    Mario's Latin Café

    A Cuban sandwich — that majestic combination of ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, and pickles — is supposed to be so massive that you can't finish the whole thing. Most restaurants today offer a smaller, contemporary version, but for those of you with a hankering for an old-school sandwich, fear not. Mario's Latin Café on South Dixie Highway… More >>
  • Best Croquetas

    Ricky Bakery II

    Do not confuse croqueta with croque monsieur — the French grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich — although two traditional fillings of croquetas are indeed ham and cheese. A croqueta likewise has little to do with croquant, which is French for "crunchy," or with croquembouche, a dessert named for the translation "crisp in mouth." Yet the croquetas at Ricky Bakery are very much… More >>
  • Best Tapas

    El Bocaito

    The term tapas derives from the Spanish verb tapar, "to cover." This jibes with at least one history of tapas, which has it that the snack originated as pieces of bread that Andalusians placed atop their sherry glasses to prevent fruit flies from diving in. Sometimes meat, such as ham or chorizo, were used as well; the saltiness increased beverage… More >>
  • Best Taco

    Taqueria El Carnal

    If tacos — somewhat shaped like mouths — could talk, there would be an argument of such epic proportions that every Mexican restaurant would be forced to give out free earplugs. The (marinated) beef would be between the Tex-Mex version of fast-food chains and the simple, authentic, ungarnished magic offered at a place such as El Carnal. The first, drowning… More >>
  • Best Burrito

    Cantina Grill

    She stared dejectedly at the empty basket in front of her. "It's gone. It's really gone." No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't fathom how she had fit that entire burrito — almost the size of an infant — inside her petite frame. "I just couldn't stop eating. I tried, but I just couldn't stop." We know, honey. All… More >>
  • Best Arepas

    Don Toston y Doña Arepa

    Like Valentine's Day mystery chocolates or great novels, it's what's on the inside that counts when it comes to arepas. Sure, a good one calls for a perfectly charred and crunchy corn shell. But any half-decent cook who has wandered through Caracas or Bogotá can get that right. No, it's the fillings that really make the arepa. And Doña Arepa,… More >>
  • Best Food Truck

    Dim Ssäm à GoGo

    In the land of the food truck court, Dim Ssäm à GoGo is king. It also rules over the court of public opinion, as measured by the most scientific means possible: Lines are longer than those at any other truck. This speaks to the good taste of the masses. Peasants, royalty, serfs, and surfers alike queue up for Kurobuta pork… More >>
  • Best Cheesy Food Truck

    Ms. Cheezious

    Dear Ms. Cheezious: We're a little embarrassed. It's been a really long time since we were crushing bad enough to write an anonymous love letter. But we just needed to tell you: You are freakin' sexy! And, like back in the day, when we were just a young teen trying to conceal ill-timed wood in math class, we can hardly… More >>
  • Best Bagels

    The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co.

    Einstein's makes a tasty roll with a hole in the center. New York Bagels and Brooklyn Bagels (no relation) are OK in a pinch. But the Original Brooklyn Water Co. bagels ($1.29 each) are the real deal: soft, malty, and yeasty inside, with a crisp, bronzed crust that comes from being preboiled. An in-house filtering system "Brooklynizes" the water —… More >>
  • Best Fish Sandwich

    The Fish Box Food Truck

    Evolution (if you believe in it, and we'll pretend you do, because otherwise we'll point and laugh at you) is a beautiful thing. You might have heard of Garcia's on the River, but did you know that the Garcia family also owns La Camaronera? And last year La Camaronera gave birth to the latest Garcia baby, the Fish Box. Yes,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Kids

    BTTR (Biscayne Triangle Truck Roundup)

    Restaurants and kids don't always go together. True, there are kid-friendly eateries, but they tend to have clowns walking around or pizza that tastes like it's made from cardboard and Silly Putty. If you're not into eating the concoctions most restaurant chains disguise as "kiddie meals," pack the little darlings into the car and head to the Biscayne Triangle Truck… More >>
  • Best Last Meal

    Latin House Grill

    If we're going to croak anyhow, we might as well eat the most fattening, sweet, savory, artery-clogging, gut-busting, sensory-overloading, greasy meal available at a place where we don't have to get dressed up, wait for a seat, or deal with a snotty server. Yep, we're hunting down Michell Sanchez in the Latin House Grill food truck for an embarrassment of… More >>
  • Best Inexpensive Restaurant

    Crumb on Parchment

    The Design District is not exactly bargain central, unless you consider a $500 Y3 cardigan or a futuristic $2,000 two-legged chair to be a steal. The same goes for the up-and-coming area's culinary scene: Restaurants like Michael's Genuine and Sra. Martinez offer great food, but at significant prices. For those working in the neighborhood, finding an affordable meal means praying… More >>
  • Best Early-Bird Special

    Chopsticks House Thai & Chinese Restaurant

    There's an ancient Thai proverb that says those who serve noodles earliest stay around longest. OK, that's made up. But if it wasn't, Chopsticks House Thai & Chinese Restaurant in the Old Cutler Towne Center would be the proof. The restaurant opened in 1994 and was named Best Thai Restaurant by this publication in 1996. It continues to stand out… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Gluttons

    Nexxt

    South Beach is known for tanned, perfect bodies and overpriced restaurants serving tiny portions (which is fine because who needs to eat a lot when you're trying to fit into your Brazilian bikini year-round). But what, pray tell, do tourists and regular people do for food? The portions at Nexxt are so large that a family of four could eat… More >>
  • Best Soul Food

    Ruby's Kitchen of Soul - CLOSED

    A down-home place located in South Miami-Dade, Ruby's is a spot where customers can forget their wallets and the owners won't have to worry about them not coming back. And even though Ruby's doesn't offer a sit-in dining room, the kitchen window is always packed with people waiting for orders of oxtails, collard greens, and yams, or pork chops, mashed… More >>
  • Best Restaurant When You Pay

    American Noodle Bar - CLOSED

    American Noodle Bar's Big Mama's pork egg rolls: $3 Bottle of water from hotel mini bar: $10 ANB's fried cheeseburger dumplings: $5 Leopard-print Snuggie: $14.99 ANB'S Pabst Blue Ribbon: $3 Samuel Adams' Utopias beer: $100 (24 oz.) ANB's barbecue pork roll with zesty slaw: $6 Chinchilla fur-lined gloves: $280 ANB's noodle bowl with smoked lobster sauce and deep-fried egg: $7 Dolce & Gabbana limited-edition City of… More >>
  • Best Restaurant When Someone Else Pays

    The Villa by Barton G. - CLOSED

    And the envelope please — a wax-sealed envelope that is, containing the menu of the Villa by Barton G. The waiter who delivers the envelope is dressed in jacket and tie. The restaurant, located in the Versace mansion, includes an opulent lobby, a stunning and intimate 30-seat dining room with pebble-patterned walls and royal-blue tablecloths, and a patio overlooking the… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Intimate Conversation

    Romeo's Café

    For the past dozen years, Romeo Majano has been serving lunch and dinner in his cozy café. There is no set menu here. Romeo visits each table and quizzes customers about their tastes and preferences; then he composes a six-course dinner (or three-course lunch) accordingly. The charming Majano never fails to whip up delectable Northern Italian fare, whether it be… More >>
  • Best Bakery

    Sweetness Bakeshop & Café

    Latin bakeries have their country-specific pastries. Cupcake shops have icing-topped sweets. Lunch cafés have sandwiches, and couture cake shops have custom fondant creations. Each has its specialty, but what if you can't decide where to go? Hit up Sweetness Bakeshop & Café in West Kendall. It's a coffee and pastry joint in the morning, a savory lunch fix in the… More >>
  • Best Place to Dine Alone

    Chowdown Grill - CLOSED

    7:43 p.m.: @lonelygal Chowing down on beef/porcini dumplings at Chowdown Grill in Surfside. 7:44 p.m.: @lonelygal At counter as usual, just a loner I guess. 7:48 p.m.: @lonelygal Lo mein or chow fun. Anyone have a suggestion? 7:55 p.m.: @lonelygal G, thx for nothing. I'm going with lo mein, chewy noodles with Oriental kale and choice of protein. Price is just $11. 8:07… More >>
  • Best Waterfront Dining

    Bayside Grill at the Standard

    Some of the best chefs in America call Miami home, but they're not entirely responsible for the quality of dining here. Mother Nature blessed this region with paradisiacal weather. And because the beauty of our shoreline is an economic engine, we have plenty of choices when it comes to waterfront dining. But that doesn't always add up to a great… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Dining

    Cecconi's

    Sung to the tune of "My Way": Martinis, I have a few After work at dear Cecconi's I meet some friends, have dinner too Italian fare, it's all so tony. The outdoor patio, so lush and green An open sky, a lively scene Fresh pastas too, divine cuisine I love Cecconi's. Tuscan bean soup and beef tartare A thin-crust pie, a roast branzino, I hope the waiter doesn't go far We need… More >>
  • Best Place for Outdoor Salad and Smoothie

    T.H.R.I.V.E.

    The recent annual meeting in Copenhagen of the Committee to Study Things That Nobody Cares About yielded surprising yet, as always, unimportant news: Salads, smoothies, and other healthful foods are perceived by our taste buds to be more flavorful and satisfying when eaten in natural surroundings. The folks who funded these fictitious findings were fans of T.H.R.I.V.E., a raw/vegan restaurant… More >>
  • Best Food Court

    Florida International University's Market Station

    Florida International University has really given its Modesto A. Maidique Campus a beefy, chickeny, and smoothie-y makeover. When it was University Park, there were just blue tables. Hungry, broke, and with limited options, everyone ate Pizza Hut bread sticks and smoked pack after pack of cigarettes. Now FIU has perfected the art of food-courtism, and by perfected we mean Chick-fil-A.… More >>
  • Best Downtown Food Court

    Miami Tower

    Tucked away in the shadows of the Miami Tower building is a quaint, colorful, brick-walked area that can be entered via four separate alleyways. In the center is a circle of some half-dozen eateries whose cuisines span the globe: Thai Angel, Habibi Mediterranean Grill, Pistou Bistro (casual French), Giovana Caffe (home-style Italian), Martini 28 (Asian/fusion), and Caprichos (Peruvian café/bakery). Outdoor… More >>
  • Best Diner

    Jimmy's Place

    Rain hits the windows at a staccato beat, like the trailing shots from a dying man's gun. At least this place should offer some shelter from the weather. I just hope they serve a good cup of joe. Looking at the menu makes me dizzy. Am I dreaming? While I was trying to shake those guys, did I somehow cross… More >>
  • Best Vegan/Raw Food Restaurant

    Lifefood Gourmet

    "I do not like green eggs and ham." What about raw eggs and "ham"? How about a shot of green, green, grass? Would you like that? Would you, I ask? How about some nacho "cheese"? What if I asked you, please? It's just so good for you, you see. When you eat straight from the tree. Pictures on the menu… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    Zuma

    Zuma roared into downtown Miami last year like some flashy Japanese Harley (zuma-zuma!). Everyone looked. First they saw the stunning Tokyo-inspired room, with soaring ceilings and a sleek merging of natural textures — granite, rice paper, Indonesian wood. Then they took in an open sushi counter that dishes market-fresh sashimi, nigiri, and maki. There was an open robata grill turning… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Spinoff

    Jimmy'z Kitchen

    The original Jimmy'z Kitchen has long provided freshly cooked meals from its tiny, weathered location in a little, rickety strip mall on Alton Road in Miami Beach. The venue is easy to pass without noticing, which is probably why lots of SoBe natives don't even know it exists. But the new Jimmy'z, on the ground floor of the Cynergi Building… More >>
  • Best Deli

    Goldstein's Prime

    When Goldstein & Sons opened at Collins Avenue and 74th Street 30 years ago, there was no shortage of competition with three other kosher butcher shops and deli markets in the surrounding North Beach neighborhood. Today, rechristened with a slightly different name, the mom-and-pop store is the last one standing. Jews and gentiles from all over Miami-Dade's northeastern communities trek… More >>
  • Best Steak House

    1500 Degrees - CLOSED

    Food blogger Veggie Alice here. A bit about myself: I am a dental assistant by trade, so I can't say I have much in the way of culinary background — unless you count the time I served hors d'oeuvres at a party that Demi Moore attended! And I'm usually not big on steak houses; they're so dark and scary! But… More >>
  • Best Hotel Restaurant

    The Restaurant at the Setai

    Five things the Restaurant at the Setai offers that your favorite hotel restaurant might not: (1) An executive chef who, like the Setai's David Werly, trained under the incomparable Alain Ducasse. (2) A series of distinct kitchen stations — grill, tandoori, wok, Peking duck, and so forth — where chefs work in fully open view of the diners. That's entertainment!… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Dining

    Gigi

    It wasn't that long ago when Miami postclub dining implied a meal at Denny's or some regrettable late-night pizza joint lighted like a neon carnival. But now that we have Gigi, which stays open until 2 a.m. on weeknights and until 5 a.m. on weekends, that middle-of-the-night Grand Slam looks more and more like a Grand Whiff. Gigi is a… More >>
  • Best Restaurant to Bite the Dust

    Talula - CLOSED

    Two old married folks reminisce: — Remember Talula? — Oh, yes. And Joan Crawford too. They were my favorites. — No, you old fool, I mean the restaurant on 23rd Street that we used to go to. — Oh, of course. Those Italian kids. — Frank and Andrea Curto-Randazzo. She was some chef! Wonder what happened to her? — She went on TV, that's what… More >>
  • Second Best Restaurant to Bite the Dust

    Joe Allen - CLOSED

    Tucked away on Purdy Avenue, Joe Allen served a solid menu of upscale American bar classics (think burgers, salads, fish, steaks). This New York restaurant's Miami Beach outpost catered to Big Apple expatriates who wanted more than a meal — they wanted excellent service. From the moment you were greeted at the door by Mario, the jovial owner/manager who seemed… More >>
  • Best Chefs

    Jan Jorgensen and Kris Wessel

    Qualifications for this annual lifetime achievement type of award include talent, passion, creativity, and most important, a track record of having produced fantastic food for a long time. Past winners are Norman Van Aken, Mark Militello, Allen Susser, Pascal Oudin, Philippe Ruiz, Michelle Bernstein, Michael Schwartz, Doug Rodriguez, Cindy Hutson, Jonathan Eismann, and Dewey LoSasso. This year's inductees have been… More >>
  • Best Restaurateur

    Myles Chefetz - CLOSED

    First he opened the eclectic Nemo at Collins Avenue and First Street in South Beach. Then came the hip Big Pink diner across the street and up the block. Both were huge hits, but Myles Chefetz was just getting started. Next was Shoji Sushi, next door to Nemo, and then, just more than a dozen years ago, he hit the… More >>
  • Best Natural Foods Restaurant

    Metro Organic Bistro - CLOSED

    America is an amazing place. In what other country can you enjoy an organic arugula and goat cheese croquette salad while you watch your car get washed next door? Yes, Metro Organic Bistro's location is remarkable, but that little quirk does nothing to diminish its status as the best example of a natural foods restaurant our sunny city has to… More >>
  • Best Healthful Fast Food

    Go-Go Fresh Food Café

    If you're looking for scantily clad dancers wearing high vinyl boots and white lipstick, you've come to the wrong place. If, however, you're in search of fresh, healthful, and delicious food on the "go-go," you have arrived. Wedged between a laundromat and a gym, Go-Go Fresh Food Café isn't supereasy to find, but what good things are? Baked-to-order Go-Go pies… More >>
  • Best Smoothie

    My Smoothie

    The choices here are overwhelming, the possibilities endless. You could spend days crafting a perfect smoothie — creamy, fruity, low-cal, herbally enhanced, or protein-boosted. Or you could start with a house specialty, such as the Yan & Jan (passion fruit, banana, strawberry, and raspberry) and build whatever elixir you crave. Need a little immune boost? Toss some echinacea into your… More >>
  • Best Chicken Sandwich

    Doggi Style

    Being a chicken head in a place called Doggi Style might make you feel like a slut. Especially when Doggi Style is a sweet, little Venezuelan hot dog stand that makes a chicken sandwich good enough to accept as payment for turning a trick. Tasty and tremendous enough to tame the taste buds of the freakiest of fowl fiends, this… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market

    South Miami Farmers' Market

    Look for the green tent. That's where every week a selection of produce grown in what market organizers refer to as the Greater Everglades Foodshed is on display and for sale. Finds include oyster mushrooms, herbs, vegetables, honey, and eggs from small Florida farmers. So who cares if there aren't rows and rows of booths selling produce? All you need… More >>
  • Best Gourmet Market

    Laurenzo's Italian Center

    Some people need special lighting, kitschy artwork, stuffy classical music, and sky-high prices to feel like they're buying gourmet. If that's you, skip Laurenzo's, where the focus is on awesome food at reasonable prices. The family has been in the food biz in South Florida since 1951, and many locals have been customers for decades. The store is huge, offering… More >>
  • Best Wine Bar

    The Blue Piano Music Lounge & Wine Bar - CLOSED

    Dear Blue Piano:To the naked eye, you look like any other modest neighborhood place: small with simple wood tables, some art on the walls, and a bar. Yet you're more than meets the eye. You're down-to-earth, and your staff has a way with guests, welcoming them into your cozy space and guiding them through your unique selection of wines. It's… More >>
  • Best Juice Bar

    Futuro Supermarket Cafeteria

    We live in a city that regularly sees temperatures above 90 degrees. Fortunately, Miami's climate is also ripe for growing awesome produce of all kinds. That means there is no reason to settle for a made-from-concentrate, prepackaged juice box when you can have the real thing. Futuro Supermarket is like a blast from the past with its antiquated cash register… More >>
  • Best Sushi Happy Hour

    Doraku

    When your wallet is dwindling toward empty, the most luxurious spots start to feel like deserts full of shimmering, inviting oases that evaporate the second you try to parch your thirst. Take Lincoln Road: You can spend all day staring into hip restaurants packed with beautiful people scarfing sumptuous dinners, but if you have only 20 bucks to drop, you… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Shibui Japanese Restaurant

    You can afford to visit Shibui whenever the raw-fish fancy strikes. The family-owned restaurant, which opened in 1981 just north of Sunset Drive in Kendall, serves teriyaki, tempura, katsu, sukiyaki, and stir-fry dinners along with sushi (and some in tandem with it via combo plates). More than three dozen rolls are offered, many of which are now-familiar American fusions such… More >>
  • Best Seafood on the Beach

    Blue Door Fish - CLOSED

    Blue Door at the Delano changed to Blue Door Fish this past year. The indoor portion of the restaurant, especially the lobby seating, is still defined by lofty white drapes. And the crowd is still trendy. Now, however, the executive chef is Sean Bernal, former top toque of the Oceanaire Seafood Room. And the focus is seafood-centric, the regional influence… More >>
  • Best Seafood on the Miami River

    Casablanca Seafood Bar & Grill

    Living in a coastal town such as Miami, where shores line a large portion of the topography, you expect good seafood to be readily available. But there's good, and then there's great. For the latter, look no further than Casablanca. When a place boasts its own market, fishermen in its employ, and more than 20 years in the biz, you… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in South Beach

    Pubbelly

    — I'm not sure I like the name Pubbelly. What's that supposed to mean? — Ya see, it's like a pub: a bar serving loads of craft beers, boutique wines, and sakes. A bit dark, a hangout for locals. — And the belly? — Mostly of the pig, and all for the human. — Huh? — Pork belly. In a McBelly sandwich with kimchi… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in the Design District/Midtown

    Sustain Restaurant + Bar - CLOSED

    "Our menus change with the seasons. It is our mission to provide customers with the purest and finest local ingredients and to support farmers who take great pride and passion in their work." Yeah, yeah, right. Heard that one before — like every single time a restaurant opens these days. But the owners of Sustain, which began operating this past… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    M&M Package Discount Liquors

    At the intersection of LeJeune Road and SE Eighth Street a week before the March 15 recall election, Robert Gewanter's storefront sign captured the electorate's mood concerning a certain county commissioner facing imminent ouster: "Sweep Natacha Seijas out of office with the same broom she flew in on." For the past 18 years, Gewanter has been Miami-Dade's de facto town… More >>
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