The question was posed to me in an email from some food television media type for an unspecified project:
What is the best restaurant street in Miami? Think in terms of diversity or history or kitchen talent -- whatever quality makes it interesting and worth eating one's way from one end of the street to the other.
I gave it quite a bit of thought and came up with three roads that I think are our best for dining. I list them after the jump, with my reasoning. But you might want to add your two cents to the issue. What street would you choose? And why?
This dish at Michy's is just one reason to come to this street.
3. Biscayne MiMo Corridor
Michelle Bernstein's Michy's. Kris Wessel's Red Light. The cool Blue Collar, the Greek Anise Waterfront Taverna, Dogma Grill for hot dogs, Moonchine Asian Bistro, Balans, Uva Restaurant & Lounge, the Who burger spot where Kingdom used to be... lots of talent, lots of diversity.
Sugarcane's outdoor seating.
2. Northeast First Avenue in Midtown Miami
This street has New York ethnic eats by way of Primo Pizza and Brooklyn Bagels. It contains our only/best cheese shop/cafe, The Cheese Course, and our only/best salumeria, Salumeria 104. Then there's the big three: Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill, Sustain Restaurant + Bar, and Mercadito (and Mercadito's taqueria next door). Not much history here, but there sure is cooking talent and diversity.
You can't eat history, but it counts just the same.
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1. Washington Avenue South of Fifth Street in South Beach
This is a somewhat unconventional selection, but think about it: We've got SoBe's most famous gastronomic landmark there and our most famous modern landmark: Joe's Stone Crab (plus Joe's Takeaway, which is also excellent), and if you hurry, you can catch China Grill before it moves out. In between these iconic bookends is one of our finest steakhouses, Red the Steakhouse. Plus a couple of quaint cafes with outdoor seating: La Locanda and The Dining Room. The latter is one of Miami's best intimate restaurants. Fratelli La Bufala makes great pizza and other items, and the street now has a Beard-nominated chef, Sam Gorenstein, putting out fresh ceviche and seafood at My Ceviche. Diversity, history, cooking talent? You have it all on this street.
I'm fairly certain I've got the correct three streets listed as our finest. I'm assuming you all agree?