Best Brunch
Courtesy of Prime Fish

In Miami, brunch comes in many forms. There are reasonably priced experiences, indulgent buffets, and spirited parties with effervescent crowds. Myles Chefetz's Prime Fish in Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood has struck the perfect balance. It has a full-service buffet serving both breakfast and lunch dishes, an entrée selection, and bottomless bubbly, all for $59. Standouts include the Egg Foo Yung, with rock shrimp, Chinese sausage, and shiitake; the Green Eggs & Ham, with Serrano ham, wilted spinach, and manchego cheese; and a warm popover stuffed with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, scallions, and cream cheese. For an additional price, order from the raw bar, stocked with oysters, lobster, and caviar. Then there's dessert, from chocolate-Oreo squares and cranberry scones to homemade s'mores and chocolate and peanut butter bites. Wash it all down with mimosas, bellinis, prosecco, or house-made bloody marys. Try brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Best Dim Sum
Courtesy of Yip

Pembroke Pines' Gold Marquess Fine Chinese Cuisine is behind 1-800-Lucky's dim sum stall, Yip. There, you'll find a selection of dim sum served in small bamboo steamer baskets. Dumplings are made from scratch every morning and filled with ingredients such as shrimp and pork, carrots, mushrooms, and savory soup. There are also steamed buns packed with roast pork or chicken, as well as crunchy spring rolls stuffed with bean noodles. Don't skip dessert: Yip serves crisp steamed buns filled with dulce de leche, and hand-rolled sesame balls loaded with red bean paste. It's best to select a few sweet and savory items to share with the table. Try it from noon to midnight Sunday through Wednesday and noon to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Best Lunch
billwisserphoto.com

This bright, airy spot near Sunset Drive in South Miami has everything you could want offered in a way that makes it seem as if it emerged from someone's kitchen. Much of this is due to the spot-on sensibilities of co-owner Brendan Connor, who skillfully imparts culinary touches only a tried-and-true chef would think up into dishes that conjure happy memories of youth. Order a large iced tea and some pimento cheese spread with corn chips ($6.95) and follow them up with filet mignon salad ($17.95), deploying a rich onion confit that marries green beans, mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette, and a goat cheese fritter. That'll set you right for the rest of the day, or you can go for the open-faced chicken BLT ($14.95) and spend your afternoon in a delicious fog.

Next to Greynolds Park in North Miami Beach, find the charming coffee shop the Alchemist. Tucked inside a complex of unassuming houses on West Dixie Highway, the quiet retreat sits inside a barn-like structure, where the shop slings fresh-baked Belgian waffles and churns out 24-hour cold brew. Walking toward the entrance, you're greeted by a garden patio lined with trees and filled with intimate tables. Inside, a coffee bar is filled with laboratory-like flasks and beakers holding various teas and coffees. The baristas are called "coffee scientists." You'll spot the shop's syphon, a contraption used to brew coffee in-house. For the cold brew, beans are roasted onsite and cold-steeped for 24 hours. Then the coffee is mixed with brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk for a rich, creamy flavor. It's poured into a giant glass dispenser where it infuses further. Try one for yourself — a barista will hand-shake the brew inside a cocktail shaker and then pour it over fist-size ice cubes in a Mason jar. Order the café's signature menu item: an open-faced sandwich on Tuscan bread ($7.99). Choices range from savory to sweet, including turkey and Swiss, smoked salmon, melted Brie, caprese, and Nutella. Alchemist is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Kay Rico Coffee
Courtesy of Kay Rico

Kay Rico is a hip take on the Spanish phrase ¡Qué rico!, which translates to "How delicious!" And when you take one sip of the café con leche ($3.50) at Kay Rico, located at the Yellow Green Farmers Market in Hollywood, you're left proclaiming that phrase. At most places, the café con leche may be regarded as an inferior latte or a drip coffee upgrade. At Kay Rico, it's the highlight. The café con leche here is made with three kinds of bean — most recently from Honduras, Ethiopia, and Guatemala — that are hand-roasted weekly by the family-owned operation and then brewed to perfection each weekend (like the farmers' market where it's located, Kay Rico is open only Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The drink is finished with milk, sugar (optional), and a beautiful design.

Panther Coffee groupies, take note: There's a Broward kid on the block worth your sip. Switchbox Roasters, the cool, vintage-style coffeehouse in the revived Oakland Park's Culinary Arts District, is serious about serving responsibly sourced coffees from around the world. Aside from the standard espresso ($2.75 for a double shot), cappuccino ($3.85), and latte ($3.85 for six-ounce, $4.85 for a 12-ounce, and $4.85 for iced), there are hip baristas who look as if they organize protest marches in their spare time. They prepare a plethora of hot and cold brews. Try the cortado ($3.50) to experience java in its purest expression: sweet, chocolatey, and buttery, with Instagram-worthy designs made in the foam. They roast their own beans here, so if you have trouble finding the place, follow the intoxicatingly rich aroma. Purchase a 12-ounce retail bag ($15 to $18) to take home, or join the subscription-based service to have the socially responsible elixir mailed straight to your home. There are plenty of pastries and toasts offered to pair with your caffeine, including Zak the Baker croissants, cinnamon rolls, and breads ($3). Take Switchbox's classes for cupping (professional coffee evaluation process) and brewing basics to amp up your know-how.

Hank & Harry's
Courtesy of Hank & Harry's

Years ago, Miami Beach reigned as South Florida's deli capital. Places such as Wolfie Cohen's, Pumperniks, and Junior's served corned beef on rye and bowls of warm matzo ball soup to thousands of customers. But as Miami's Jewish population moved north, most establishments shuttered. The opening and speedy popularity of Hank & Harry's, a modern New York-style deli, marks a resurgence in Miami's long deli history (along with proof of hunger for a quality pastrami sandwich). Created by Miami-based restaurant group Sliderz MG, Hank & Harry's whips up breakfast, lunch, and dinner at three locations: Lincoln Road, Aventura Mall, and South Miami. Menu items include traditional Jewish deli plates such as corned beef and pastrami sandwiches ($12.95), knishes, house-made bagels and cream cheeses ($1.50 to $3), and black-and-white sugar cookies ($1.50). There are also Italian-influenced plates such as hot meatball subs ($5.95 for half and $9.95 for a whole).

When Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth opened Root & Bone, its fried chicken had but one flaw: You had to go to New York City to get some. Thankfully, Miami's cutest culinary couple brought their chicken to Miami Beach. Why all of this hoopla for fried chicken? Well, it starts with free-range birds brined in a sweet tea bath before being dusted with tart lemon powder and fried to a golden shade. The lemon tea gives the chicken an incredible fragrance and flavor — sweet and smoky with just a touch of citrus to tingle the tongue. A satisfying crunch leads to impossibly moist and tender meat beneath. The chicken, served with Tabasco-spiked honey, is available in a half bird for $19 and a whole for $36. As you chew in ecstasy, one thought will run through your head: Everything, truly, is better with a bird on it. Hours are 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

House of Wings
Courtesy of House of Wings

When it comes to chicken wings, options and customization separate the good from the mediocre. And both are offered at Mussaddiq "the King of Poultry" Muhammad's House of Wings. The chicken-wing master chose historic Overtown as home base for his counter-service eatery specializing in — as his nickname suggests — the most prized part of poultry. Since opening in 2003, the place has become a neighborhood institution. It offers more than 50 sauces that can be used on a choice of grilled, dry-rubbed, or deep-fried wings. Selections include everything from barbecue, sweet, or savory to spicy and homestyle. Popular choices include "Barack Obama" (a sweet blend whose ingredients are top secret) and "Ghetto" (a sweet-smoky mixture of four barbecue sauces). However, the jerk wings — flavored with a combination of fiery jerk seasonings and classic, vinegary Buffalo sauce — never disappoint. The selections don't stop there. You can order five wings with a combo meal that includes fries, onion rings, rice, or a side salad for $6.96 or up to 200 wings with four to eight sauces (call for pricing). And, yes, blue cheese and celery are included.

World Famous House of Mac
Courtesy of World Famous House of Mac

Mac 'n' cheese is one of those rare foods we love as kids and don't outgrow. Sure, there are four-star macs, and (heaven forbid) healthy and vegan versions made with nutritional yeast instead of cheddar, but you really want a big, heaping dish of gooey, sloppy, heart-stopping cheesy goodness. House of Mac brings out your inner child with its over-the-top mac and cheese. You want truffle in your mac ($10)? Check. How about a Philly cheesesteak mac ($15)? Yep. But if you've had a crappy day and need the food equivalent of a big hug from Grandma, go with the chicken parm mac 'n' cheese ($14). Hunks of fried and breaded chicken are mixed in and then graced with what seems like more cheese than can fit into the tin. Sure, it's big and you meant to share, but one bite leads to another and another and — whoops! — It's gone. Don't worry. It happens. Just order another. House of Mac isn't here to judge. It's here to comfort. Hours are noon to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to midnight Friday and Saturday.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®