La Provence French Bakery
BEST CROISSANT La Provence 1627 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach

305-538-2406 Although he wouldn't reveal the exact recipe, the key to a good croissant, says La Provence owner David Thau, is the way the baker works with the dough, which should always be cold. Also, all the ingredients have to be fresh and the butter real. The result is a croissant that isn't too huge (bigger croissants tend to be airier and mushier) and boasts the perfect ratio of flaky crispness on the outside and warm, buttery softness on the inside. Right off Lincoln Road on Collins Avenue, pop in for one and a café au lait before heading to the Lincoln Road farmers' and antiques markets, which cover about ten blocks. Walk it twice -- only French women don't get fat.

BEST CROISSANT La Provence 1627 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach

305-538-2406 Although he wouldn't reveal the exact recipe, the key to a good croissant, says La Provence owner David Thau, is the way the baker works with the dough, which should always be cold. Also, all the ingredients have to be fresh and the butter real. The result is a croissant that isn't too huge (bigger croissants tend to be airier and mushier) and boasts the perfect ratio of flaky crispness on the outside and warm, buttery softness on the inside. Right off Lincoln Road on Collins Avenue, pop in for one and a café au lait before heading to the Lincoln Road farmers' and antiques markets, which cover about ten blocks. Walk it twice -- only French women don't get fat.

BEST PLACE TO TAKE YOUR GRANDPARENTS TO DINNER

La Paloma Restaurant

BEST PLACE TO TAKE YOUR GRANDPARENTS TO DINNER La Paloma Restaurant 10999 Biscayne Boulevard

North Miami

305-891-0505 La Paloma caters to an older crowd. That's their niche and they're sticking to it. It's evident in all the details. Early seating begins at 5:00 p.m. Complimentary valet service is offered from the (wheelchair accessible) main entrance. The décor harkens back to another era, a time before Modernism, Minimalism, Art Deco, and all the rest. Deep colors, rich fabrics, dark woods, and antique collectibles dominate the ornately appointed spaces. Huge chandeliers hang from the ceiling in the grand dining room, which, you can't help but notice, is filled with patrons of a certain age. Polite waiters dressed in black provide quiet, attentive service, delivering thoughtfully executed Swiss Continental fare to the tables. Classic cuisine served with Old World charm. This is the formula that has made La Paloma a success for 28 years. Your grandma and grandpa will be so impressed they'll be bragging about you at bridge club for weeks.

BEST PLACE TO TAKE YOUR GRANDPARENTS TO DINNER

La Paloma Restaurant

BEST PLACE TO TAKE YOUR GRANDPARENTS TO DINNER La Paloma Restaurant 10999 Biscayne Boulevard

North Miami

305-891-0505 La Paloma caters to an older crowd. That's their niche and they're sticking to it. It's evident in all the details. Early seating begins at 5:00 p.m. Complimentary valet service is offered from the (wheelchair accessible) main entrance. The décor harkens back to another era, a time before Modernism, Minimalism, Art Deco, and all the rest. Deep colors, rich fabrics, dark woods, and antique collectibles dominate the ornately appointed spaces. Huge chandeliers hang from the ceiling in the grand dining room, which, you can't help but notice, is filled with patrons of a certain age. Polite waiters dressed in black provide quiet, attentive service, delivering thoughtfully executed Swiss Continental fare to the tables. Classic cuisine served with Old World charm. This is the formula that has made La Paloma a success for 28 years. Your grandma and grandpa will be so impressed they'll be bragging about you at bridge club for weeks.

Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop
BEST CUBAN SANDWICH Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop 186 NE 29th Street

Miami

305-573-4681 Abuelita is going to lay the smack down if she finds out about this guilty pleasure. It will most certainly break her frail heart to learn about the culinary adultery that will ensue once you bite into the orgasm-inducing pressed bread, ham, cheese, and pork this tiny shack serves up. They pile it on. A super-thick, hearty portion makes the sandwiches here almost two inches thick. What really makes it special is the juicy butter they dab on the bread that leads to a moist mouthful of heaven. Note: The fact that this place is located across the way from the New Times building may lead to speculation that we've been compromised. Bring abuelita and try one before casting any stones.

BEST CUBAN SANDWICH Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop 186 NE 29th Street

Miami

305-573-4681 Abuelita is going to lay the smack down if she finds out about this guilty pleasure. It will most certainly break her frail heart to learn about the culinary adultery that will ensue once you bite into the orgasm-inducing pressed bread, ham, cheese, and pork this tiny shack serves up. They pile it on. A super-thick, hearty portion makes the sandwiches here almost two inches thick. What really makes it special is the juicy butter they dab on the bread that leads to a moist mouthful of heaven. Note: The fact that this place is located across the way from the New Times building may lead to speculation that we've been compromised. Bring abuelita and try one before casting any stones.

Siam River
BEST SUSHI Siam River 3455 NE 163rd St

North Miami Beach

305-945-8079 In a town where sushi is served everywhere, from normal Japanese restaurants to kosher tea rooms, it's hard to pick just one as the best. If it's fashionable elegance you're after, Bond Street and Nobu can't be beat. If you put your faith in native Japanese chefs, head for Matsuri or Sushi Deli at the Japanese Market in North Bay Village. And if you're looking for "white tuna," head anywhere but Siam River, where chef Kevin Cory, a sushi stickler, refuses to serve the unaccountably popular faux fish. (It's not tuna at all; most often it is escolar, a fish that causes an allergic reaction in many people.) What you will find at Cory's sushi bar (several years old but still something of an insider's secret owing to its location in an out-of-the-way Thai restaurant) is something hard-core sushi mavens most crave: our town's freshest seafood. Local catches of the day, straight from the docks at Haulover, were swimming just hours earlier; exotics are flown in fresh. What you'll never find here is frozen fish being passed off as fresh, an unethical practice all too common in Miami.

BEST SUSHI Siam River 3455 NE 163rd St

North Miami Beach

305-945-8079 In a town where sushi is served everywhere, from normal Japanese restaurants to kosher tea rooms, it's hard to pick just one as the best. If it's fashionable elegance you're after, Bond Street and Nobu can't be beat. If you put your faith in native Japanese chefs, head for Matsuri or Sushi Deli at the Japanese Market in North Bay Village. And if you're looking for "white tuna," head anywhere but Siam River, where chef Kevin Cory, a sushi stickler, refuses to serve the unaccountably popular faux fish. (It's not tuna at all; most often it is escolar, a fish that causes an allergic reaction in many people.) What you will find at Cory's sushi bar (several years old but still something of an insider's secret owing to its location in an out-of-the-way Thai restaurant) is something hard-core sushi mavens most crave: our town's freshest seafood. Local catches of the day, straight from the docks at Haulover, were swimming just hours earlier; exotics are flown in fresh. What you'll never find here is frozen fish being passed off as fresh, an unethical practice all too common in Miami.

Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop
BEST BREAKFAST SPECIAL Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop 186 NE 29th Street

Miami

305-573-4681 It's not just low prices that draw the morning crowd to Enriqueta's for breakfast each day, though $3.50 for fried or scrambled eggs, bacon or ham, Cuban toast, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a kick-ass café con leche is pretty tempting by itself. Equally alluring is the cool, communal coffee-shop cachet, with a rainbow coalition of blue- and white-collar workers congregating at the window counter with their cafés cubano, or seated at the indoor counter, or comfortably plunked into tables and booths. No-frills breakfast fare is fulfilling, service is speedy, and if you need to sharpen your basic Spanish skills, ordering breakfast here is a great way to do so.

BEST BREAKFAST SPECIAL Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop 186 NE 29th Street

Miami

305-573-4681 It's not just low prices that draw the morning crowd to Enriqueta's for breakfast each day, though $3.50 for fried or scrambled eggs, bacon or ham, Cuban toast, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a kick-ass café con leche is pretty tempting by itself. Equally alluring is the cool, communal coffee-shop cachet, with a rainbow coalition of blue- and white-collar workers congregating at the window counter with their cafés cubano, or seated at the indoor counter, or comfortably plunked into tables and booths. No-frills breakfast fare is fulfilling, service is speedy, and if you need to sharpen your basic Spanish skills, ordering breakfast here is a great way to do so.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®