The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Sanguich de Miami

Sanguich de Miami
Photo by Ruben Cabrera
Imagine, for a moment, the Cuban sandwich of yesteryear. You could smell pork roasting from blocks away. Then came the sweet perfume of cured ham, followed by a waft of fresh bread and a quick jolt of tangy mustard seeds pickling in vinegar. Sure, it’s the 21st Century, the era of industrial food and ghost kitchens, but Rosa and Daniel Figueredo’s Sanguich de Miami is a throwback to cooking the way it once was and should be again. Organic meats and cheeses tucked into a cloudlike bun that’s pressed and crisped, creating an even better version of the masterpiece that has tantalized Floridians for decades. These careful, old-school techniques earned Sanguich a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2022. (In keeping with the times, Sanguich offers a vegan version, made with marinated jackfruit.) ($$)
2057 SW Eighth St., Miami, 33135

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Abbalé Telavivian Kitchen

Abbalé Telavivian Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Abbalé Telavivian Kitchen
Abbalé Telavivian Kitchen, a partnership between chef Samuel “Sam” Gorenstein and Omer Horev, founder of Pura Vida Miami, might just be the most charming restaurant in Miami Beach. The eatery, inside a small house complete with a porch lined with flowing plants and cozy cushions, offers a plethora of bright fare. Start with a few salatim, such as baba ghanouj, smashed avocado, roasted beets, or the “holy grail” of black and white tahini with grated tomato and green harissa (all served with fire-baked pita), before moving on to grilled lamb chops, a whole branzino, or baby cauliflower — all oven-baked. Gorenstein drew his inspiration from the cafés of Tel Aviv, a city he says is like Miami in style and climate. Abbalé is intimate, inviting, and altogether an extremely pleasant way to pass the time grazing on shareable plates while sipping a glass of wine (or two).
864 Commerce St., Miami Beach, 33139

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

The Anderson

The Anderson
Photo courtesy of the Anderson
The building that houses the Anderson has been a bar far longer than most of us have been alive. Restaurateur Ken Lyon has given the space new life with lush outdoor gardens, a tiki bar, and the taco joint El Toro Taco, decorated with wonderful black-and-white photos of people and places in Mexico — all shot by Lyon on his various trips to the country. Between the indoor lounge, the outdoor patios, and the eatery designed to look like a food truck, the Anderson seems more like its own little world than a simple bar and kitchen. ($$)
709 NE 79th St., Miami, 33138

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Arbetter's Hot Dogs

Arbetter's Hot Dogs
Photo courtesy of Arbetter's Hot Dog
It’s not necessarily the hot dogs themselves that are better at Arbetter’s. Rather, these all-beef or pork-and-beef franks are ideal blank canvases for the three garnish combinations that solidified Arbetter’s reputation when this family-run institution opened more than a half-century ago. The basic onion/relish dog is nicely tangy, and the sauerkraut/mustard dog, loaded with beautifully buttery, cooked-all-day-tender kraut, is even better. Along with the rich and flavorful but not overly hot all-meat chili topping from an old Arbetter family recipe, a garnish of diced raw onion adds that reassuring subliminal message that you’re consuming a healthful greenish vegetable that certainly counteracts the menu’s cholesterol count — so, hey, have another. For a taste of the 305, try a Miami dog, with mustard, onion, cheese, tomato, and potato sticks. ($)
8747 SW 40th St., Miami, 33165

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Ariete

Ariete
Photo by Charlie Garcia
Chef Michael Beltran’s Ariete adds an air of refinement to Coconut Grove not seen since the days when industrialist James Deering caroused its shores. Ariete serves dishes like foie gras with smoked plantains, but there’s something more than fancy amid the elegance offered by Beltran, who trained under chefs Norman Van Aken and Michael Schwartz. The Little Havana native twists bits of Cuba and France into every dish, just the way his grandparents taught him. Beltran's culinary craftsmanship earned Ariete a Michelin star. ($$$)
3540 Main Highway, Coconut Grove, 33133

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Awash Ethiopian Restaurant

Awash Ethiopian Restaurant
Photo by CandaceWest.com
At Awash, owners Eka and Fouad Wassel want to take you to an authentic Ethiopian-style home kitchen called a gojo bait. Try the doro wot, a rich chicken dish with a depth of flavor similar to the moles of Mexico. The Awash River, from which this restaurant and many other Ethiopian eateries across the nation take their names, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The valley surrounding it was where researchers in 1974 found 52 fossilized bone fragments of the famed early hominid Lucy. Carbon dating put the partial skeleton’s age at more than 3 million years. It’s a fact almost every Ethiopian knows. But it’s also one that brings home the history of this part of the world and the fact that much of human culture was born here. You might be tempted to visit only at night, but be sure to pop in during the daylight hours for a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, the same one that’s repeated up to three times a day in the Horn of Africa. Green coffee beans are pan-roasted, hand-ground, and then slowly brewed over hot coals. The point is to slow you to a stop in order to connect with the coffee and those with whom you’re sharing it. ($$)
19934 NW Second Ave., Miami Gardens, 33169

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Azabu

Azabu
Photo by CandaceWest.com
Long before every other Miami restaurant was a New York transplant, Tribeca-based Azabu opened an outpost at the Stanton Hotel in Miami Beach. The sleek restaurant, with origins in the Azabu District of Tokyo, offers three areas: a lounge offering more than 40 different whiskies, the main dining room, and a hidden room called "the Den." The main room offers sushi and izakaya items from Azabu's robata grill, while the Den serves an incomparable omakase experience for fewer than a dozen diners per seating. The Den's pristine seafood, flown in from Japan, earned it a Michelin star. ($$)
161 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, 33139

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Bachour Bakery & Restaurant

Bachour Bakery & Restaurant
Photo by Javier Ramirez
Bachour Bakery & Restaurant, the namesake of Puerto Rican pastry chef Antonio Bachour, is an oasis of the Instagram-worthy creations that have made him a national sensation. Glass display cases proffer seductive rows of brightly colored cakes, macarons, croissants, and bonbons to satisfy even the most demanding sweet tooth. This 5,000-square-foot spot, tucked away in Coral Gables on a serene corner of Salzedo Street, offers not only melt-in-your-mouth pastries and desserts, but also workshops for culinary professionals and an all-day à la carte menu of salads, egg-based dishes, tarts, sandwiches, and hearty entrées such as churrasco and grilled salmon that earned the restaurant a Michelin Bib Gourmand designation in 2022. ($$)
2020 Salzedo St., Coral Gables, 33134

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Bakan

Bakan
Photo by Laine Doss
When you spot the decorative cacti out front, you’ll know you’ve arrived at Bakan. This lovely Wynwood restaurant offers traditional Mexican dishes far removed from the taco joints that proliferate throughout Miami. Here you’ll find Oaxacan mole dishes and whole grilled fish. If you’re feeling adventurous, look for the “Los Insectos” section of the menu, where you’ll find gusanos de maguey — pan-fried agave worms served with blue corn tortillas and a side of guacamole; and escamoles, a rare ant caviar sautéed with butter, serrano chilies, and epazote and then wrapped in a blue corn tortilla and topped with a spoonful of guacamole and pickled vegetables. Bakan also offers chapulines (a type of grasshopper native to Mexico and Central America) as a tostada dish. Pair your meal with a selection from Bakan’s list of 200-plus tequilas and mezcals. ($$)
2801 NW Second Ave., Miami, 33127

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

BarMeli69

BarMeli69
Courtesy of Barmeli69 Greek Bistro & Wine Bar
This tapas and wine bar, located in Miami’s MiMo District, sits alongside a no-tell motel. The location makes BarMeli69 seem all the more like a hidden gem, a personal find, the kind of place you whisper about to your friends, as in, “I just found this great little joint.” Inside, the restaurant feels like one of those wonderful little bistros or tavernas you only see in movies. You really can’t pinpoint the exact country or town; you just know it’s charming. Wines are predominantly from the Mediterranean, including off-the-grid selections from Sardinia and Israel. All the tapas are delicious, but the showstopper is the flaming saganaki; the Greek cheese dish is doused with brandy and set aflame. A friendly, casual vibe, an outdoor patio in back, along with good food and drinks at reasonable prices, makes BarMeli69 a great neighborhood joint. ($$)
6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 33138

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

The Bazaar by José Andrés

The Bazaar by José Andrés
The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel on South Beach comes to us thanks to the genius of James Beard Award-winning restaurateur, cookbook author, and Made in Spain TV star José Andrés. The Bazaar’s menu offers adventurous takes on the flavors of the world: Spain, Singapore, and Japan, as well as Miami’s unique Latin American connection. Thus we get exciting plates like Japanese tacos: perfectly grilled eel, shiso, and wasabi, wrapped in slivered cucumber and topped with flakes of crisp chicharrones; and a tribute to master chef Ferran Adrià in olive form. More traditional Spanish tapas, including hams, cheeses, and croquetas, are also available. ($$$)
1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 33139

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Blue Collar

Blue Collar
Photo courtesy of Blue Collar
Danny Serfer’s Blue Collar takes its cues from the classic American diner. The tiny restaurant in the MiMo District offers daily specials and elevated comfort foods. Start with a gutsy New Orleans-style dish of shrimp and grits with bacon and Worcestershire-based barbecue sauce, or Chanukah latkes (served year-round). Don’t miss the veg chalkboard, filled with delightful options from which you can build your own customized plate. Order up a cheeseburger, a thermos of Panther coffee, and a “parm of the day” and make yourself as comfortable as you’d be in your mom’s kitchen. ($$)
6730 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 33138

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Boia De

Boia De
Photo by FujifilmGirl
This hip Little Haiti spot run by chefs Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer offers an ever-changing lineup of pastas designed to comfort and enchant. Look for pappardelle alla lepre, unctuous shreds of braised rabbit tangled with wide ribbons of pasta. It’s not all about noodles here, however. Boia De offers plenty of non-pasta delights, including meat and fish dishes and crisp potato skins filled with milky stracciatella cheese, caviar, and a hard-cooked egg. The editors of Florida's first Michelin Guide took note, awarding the restaurant a star. ($$)
5205 NE Second Ave., Miami, 33137

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Bombay Darbar

Bombay Darbar
Photo courtesy of Bombay Darbar
What began as a mom-and-pop 30-seater has grown into an Indian-food mainstay with two locations (Coconut Grove and Fort Lauderdale). Diners crunch on crisp papadum wafers while watching Bollywood movies on a large screen and perusing the menu. That list is lengthy, but at its heart are the tikkas, tandooris, and vindaloos that fans of Indian food crave. Bright vegetable samosas are a good start, as are some of the tandoor-baked breads — try the soft, fluffy onion-flecked kulcha naan. Most dishes can be made mild, medium, high medium, hot, or super-hot. (On that last note, Bombay Darbar thoughtfully offers cold Kingfisher beers to cool you down from even the spiciest of culinary adventures.) ($$)
2901 Florida Ave., Miami, 33133

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Byblos

Byblos
Photo courtesy of Byblos
Byblos, the Eastern Mediterranean eatery at the Royal Palm South Beach, focuses on interpreting dishes from Levantine culture, found mostly in Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, and parts of southern Turkey. The original Byblos is in Toronto, and as is often the case with Miami outposts, this one offers a more extensive seafood selection than its Canadian sibling. It’s equipped with a wood-burning oven, used to bake pide (Turkish flatbread) and to finish off whole fish, lamb, and chicken dishes that are rustic yet refined. ($$$)
1545 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 33139

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Cafe La Trova

Cafe La Trova
Photo by Adam Delgiudice
Between Cuban cantinero Julio Cabrera’s daiquiris and chef Michelle Bernstein’s fare, there’s something uniquely Miami about Cafe La Trova. Bernstein’s comfort food is all-around tempting. She works to meet the foodie fantasies of her guests, whether they’re in search of elaborate dishes or a traditional tres leches dessert. Cabrera's cantineros take pride in the art of drink making. Here they "throw" daiquiris, tossing the precious liquid from shaker to shaker to create an arch in the air, before spontaneously bursting into a choreographed dance number. But as with all things Magic City, this joint isn’t fueled solely by good food and drink: At any given time of the day, expect guayabera-clad musicians or jazz trumpet players to fill the air with their vibrant tunes, all set against a stage backdropped with the weathered façade of an Old Havana edifice. ($$)
971 SW Eighth St., Miami, 33130

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Cafe Martorano

Cafe Martorano
Photo courtesy of Cafe Martorano
Steve Martorano is, bar none, Broward County’s most colorful restaurateur. For more than two decades, Cafe Martorano has been turning out Philadelphia-style Italian comfort food with a side of entertainment. Though its old-school menu of Italian classics — such as chicken cacciatore and pappardelle with sausage — are delicious, regulars flock to the restaurant for the people behind the food. No matter the time of day or night, Cafe Martorano attracts a lively mix of locals, snowbirds, and celebrities who come for the cook’s meatball salad and stay for Martorano’s DJ skills. ($$$)
3343 E. Oakland Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 33308

The Top 100 Miami Restaurants of 2023

Captain Jim's Seafood Market & Restaurant

Captain Jim's Seafood Market & Restaurant
Photo by Michael Campina
La Camaronera’s David Garcia now owns this iconic North Miami seafood joint, which dates back to the 1990s. This heir to Miami seafood royalty kept the menu mostly unchanged, allowing Captain Jim’s to do what it does best: Serve the freshest fish possible. Favorites include stone crab claws and a beautiful take on conch salad with meaty hunks of the mollusk tossed in a spicy tomato marinade and cubed red and green peppers. Fresh yellowtail snapper and hogfish can be ordered grilled, blackened, or fried. Regulars go for the “Captain’s Combo”: the catch of the day served with one side. ($$)
12950 W. Dixie Highway, North Miami, 33161