The Ten Best Restaurants in Wynwood

There's no denying it: Wynwood is becoming a food mecca.

Turn back the clock a decade, though, and there was virtually nowhere to grab a bite besides Enriqueta's. Joey's changed that in 2008, when Tony Goldman saw a gourmet future for the neighborhood.

Today Wynwood is the place to go for the city's best coffee (Panther), bread (Zak the Baker), and pies (Fireman Derek's), with countless options to imbibe after the workday. Slowly but surely, Miami's arts district is putting as much emphasis on food and drink as it does on graffiti. And there are no signs of slowing.

The Ten Best Restaurants in Wynwood
Photo by Andrew Meade

10. Wynwood Kitchen & Bar

You'll want a place to nosh on small plates while still taking in art. That's Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. Since Art Basel 2010, WKB's vibrant setting smack in the middle of the Wynwood Walls has made it a hot spot to eat, drink, and people-watch. If you're there long enough, you might even spot a celebrity subtly making his or her way through the street-art museum. While you're waiting for the next star sighting, order some chicken ropa vieja empanadas and a Tony G to wash them down. The tribute to the late Tony Goldman (the man behind Wynwood's revitalization and WKB) mixes Bulleit red bourbon with spiced lemonade, Drambuie, and rosemary.

9. Jimmy'z Kitchen

For healthful, delicious comfort food, hit up Jimmy'z Kitchen. OK, so the churrasco with chimichurri mofongo and creole sauce is probably not that healthful, but it's the city's best mofongo. And unlike its South Beach predecessor, this Jimmy'z makes the dish available every day. Chef and owner Jimmy Carey earned his culinary pedigree working for Brasserie Le Coze in Atlanta's upscale Buckhead neighborhood. And although the only French-inspired dish on the menu is the steak-frites, there's all sorts of Latin, Caribbean, and Asian flair in a relaxed environment. Chill out and chow down on fresh ahi tuna with jasmine rice, avocado, tomato, and a soy-ginger dipping vinaigrette.

The Ten Best Restaurants in Wynwood
Courtesy of Joey's

8. Joey's

If Jay Z and Beyoncé like Joey's, so should the rest of Miami. When the music world's power couple had a romantic lunch at the Italian restaurant, they ordered burrata caprese with assorted salami, mista salad, rigatoni in meat sauce topped with shaved truffles, and branzino with asparagus. With ever-changing specials that include veal shank and the always-available pizza (noticed by Food & Wine), Joey's allows you to eat like a star. Wynwood's first foodie destination still has it.

The Ten Best Restaurants in Wynwood
Courtesy of GK Bistronomie

7. GK Bistronomie

Peruvian cuisine goes global at GK Bistronomie (218 NE 25 St.). The restaurant, whose name is a combination of the words "bistro" and "gastronomy," features an exhibition-style kitchen, an indoor-outdoor bar serving pisco infusions, and an outdoor courtyard. The cuisine is as artful as the decor, with a menu comprising four sections, including tiraditos, appetizers, and main courses, mainly influenced by local Florida fish and Peruvian cuisine. Peru's staple, ceviche, is given a new lease on life with diverse offerings ranging from traditional Peruvian fish ($17) to a mushroom and yuzu ($14) and tuna and foie gras ($25).

The Ten Best Restaurants in Wynwood

6. Kush

Three words: burgers and beer. What more could you want besides quite possibly the best lineup of craft beer and burgers made with locally sourced beef from Cowart Ranch and ground in house daily? But there's more to Kush than brew and buns, such as Florida alligator bites, Bahamian conch salad with conch caught 58 miles offshore, and Proper Sausages pork links with spicy slaw, sliced pickles, and house-made purple mustard. As for the burgers, do yourself a favor and order the frita, which presses guava jelly, melted Grueyère, potato sticks, Miami Smokers bacon, and Lokal sauce into perfection. Kush is the coolest kid on the block.

The Ten Best Restaurants in Wynwood
Courtesy of KYU

5. Kyu

Former Zuma chef Michael Lewis and former Zuma general manager Steven Haigh are the brains behind Kyu, a new Asian-inspired restaurant. Located at 251 NW 25th St., Kyu (pronounced like the letter q), uses a wood-fired grill as its focal point, where diners can watch their food being cooked via yakinku, the Japanese barbecue grilling method. The menu, designed for sharing, is broken into the categories "Fresh and Bright," which are vegetable plates; "Chilled and Refreshing," mostly seafoods; and "Wood Fired and Smoked," which includes many of the eatery's meats. For the best bang for your buck, order the beef short ribs ($28), a generous portion served with lettuce so you can make your own wraps.

The Ten Best Restaurants in WynwoodEXPAND
Photo by Clarissa Buch

4. Zak the Baker

No one quite breaks (or bakes) bread like Zak the Baker. For years, Miami was eating Zak Stern's sourdough at top restaurants all over town without knowing who he was. But today it's impossible for the Jewish baker with the impressive beard to go unnoticed. After successfully raising $30,000 through Kickstarter, Stern took his bread-making to Wynwood. Not only can you get fresh loaves of Jewish rye, plum fennel and rye, and country wheat, but you can also order open-faced sandwiches on sourdough topped with beets, feta, smoked salmon, chicken liver, egg salad, or whatever else Stern feels like making that day. In a neighborhood that's all about artistic expression, Zak the Baker exhibits the world's oldest and simplest act of fellowship.

The Ten Best Restaurants in Wynwood
Photo by Hannah Sentenac

3. Plant Food + Wine

Celebrity chef and healthy-eating guru Matthew Kenney recently opened Plant Food + Wine. The restaurant, located at 105 NE 24th St., is "the most beautiful restaurant I've ever worked on," Kenney says. As the name implies, the menu is plant-based, highlighting South Florida produce. The menu offers both raw and cooked dishes. If you think vegans have to be angels, think again — Plant Food + Wine also features a bar serving seasonally sourced cocktails, plus organic and biodynamic wine and sake.

2. Beaker & Gray

Beaker & Gray is the restaurant Wynwood has been waiting for — a lively eatery that places equal importance on its cocktail and food menus, thanks to partners Brian Nasajon and Ben Potts. Nasajon serves as executive chef, while Potts creates the bar program. Cocktails come fruity and fizzy (shaken) or bold and boozy (stirred), and the food is elevated from the usual pub grub — though an adult version of chicken nuggets ($12) can be found on the menu. Go for the weekday happy hour, when a variety of cocktails and small plates are offered for $5 each from 5 to 7 p.m. And check out the bonus late-night happy hour Monday through Thursday from midnight to 2 a.m.

1. Alter

Miami's buzz-worthiest restaurant just happens to be in Wynwood, thanks to chef Bradley Kilgore. The ambiance is unfussy — concrete walls and floors, with a hint of neon. This plain industrial space is the perfect canvas for Kilgore's culinary art. A simple chicken dish sees the bird stuffed with thigh meat and foie gras ($24), and a soft-cooked egg is enhanced by Gruyère cheese espuma ($15). Kilgore also serves dishes that please vegans, such as a plant-based pastrami. Both Kilgore and Alter were semifinalists for this year's James Beard Awards but didn't make the final cut. That's good news for diners, who can still get a reservation before next year, when Kilgore is a likely shoe-in for the culinary world's version of the Oscars.


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