Every year a new batch of eateries opens in Miami. Owners hope to win favor with tourists and locals alike. Some fall below the
10. Wynwood Diner
French toast for dinner? Yes, please. But
9. Ni.Do. Caffe
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When chef Michael Pirolo returned to the U.S. at age 25 after four years of staging in Italy, he brought back more than the recipes that helped make Scarpetta and later Macchialina successes. During his time there, he picked up a number of a tricks and lifelong lessons from the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cooks he worked alongside. They all manifest at Bazi, his seemingly unexpected Asian joint that opened in Collins Avenue's fabled Marlin Hotel. It's clear Pirolo isn't dumbing down his cooking or the robustness of Asian ingredients to capitalize on his successes.
The local community has embraced Alter and its talented young chef/owner, Bradley Kilgore, since day one. Indeed, New Times critic Zachary Fagenson wrote that Kilgore "cooks some of Miami's most exciting cuisine." For his first solo venture (he was previously at J&G Grill), Kilgore partnered with local food enthusiasts Javier Ramirez and Leopoldo Monterrey, and at
6. Coyo Taco
Fast, fresh, and extra-flavorful food is why folks line up outside Coyo Taco. It also doesn't hurt that you can have an entire meal for less than $20 at this quick-service taqueria in Wynwood. Here, all of the corn tortillas are hand-pressed, the ingredients are locally sourced, and vegetarian options are aplenty. A must-try are the tacos with quinoa-and-queso "falafel," cilantro yogurt, and cucumber pico. In short, Coyo taco has brought the Mexican street food experience to Miami at the right time and the right place. Bonus: Visit the funky, not-so-secret bar tucked away in the back.
5. Vagabond Restaurant and Bar
In the kitchen at the Vagabond is Alex Chang, a 25-year-old chef who rose to semistardom after appearing in a documentary about an illegal restaurant he ran with a college roommate. Clearly, this is one toque who isn't afraid to take risks. For instance, he surprised us all by serving chapulines — spicy Mexican grasshoppers — and pan-seared beef hearts. But Chang's food is delicious above all else, and he creates sensory experiences out of seemingly simple dishes such as toast with saffron honey and stracciatella cheese, or a classic cheeseburger. What's more, the Vagabond features incredible artwork and an eclectic, Jetsons-esque vibe. So whether you come here for brunch, lunch (one of the best in town), dinner, or drinks, you're almost guaranteed to leave impressed.
The restaurant's name, Visa-O1, says it all. An O-1 visa is reserved for "individuals with extraordinary ability," according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. So, yes, this pintsize Italian pizzeria hidden inside a South Beach office building thinks highly of its pies, and for good reason: They’re exceptional. Only the freshest ingredients and premium-quality cheeses (vegan cheese is offered at an additional charge) are allowed atop the thin-crusted, crisp pizzas served here. You can’t go wrong with the classic margherita, followed by a Nutella pizza for dessert.
3. Cena by Michy
At Cena by Michy —- a revamped and redecorated version of chef Michelle Bernstein's popular eatery Michy's, the local toque mixes old favorites such as beef short ribs with new winners like cauliflower steak and scallop tempura. It's no surprise that Bernstein is a household name in Miami culinary circles — the James Beard Award-winning chef makes the food we crave while ensuring we're never bored. Mike
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The man behind the counter is Ryo Kato of SushiSamba South Beach, a young sushi chef from Japan who trained with Kazuo Yoshida of 1 or 8 in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood. Yoshida, a legend of sorts in the sushi sphere, partnered with Jake Smith, a Late Night production assistant and writer-turned-restaurateur to open