Smitty's Old Fashioned Butcher Shop
Photo by Travis Cohen

Supermarket meat departments just aren't the same as real butcher shops. Sadly, Miami is kind of a desert when it comes to quality purveyors of all things meaty. But if you're willing to make the trek to Fort Lauderdale, you'll find a carnivore's Shangri-la — Smitty's Old Fashioned Butcher Shop, open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. This place will make you wonder why you ever settled for less. Smitty's has it all, from wet-aged American Kobe tomahawk steaks for $38 per pound to Wagyu beef cheeks for $14.99 per pound to veal brains for $10.99 per pound. They have a freezer full of beef bones for making stock, frozen demi-glace, whole pheasants, guinea hens, and filleted alligator tails. They sell baby-back ribs — Danish and Canadian — black grouper fillets, sausages made in-house, and obscenely delicious pies baked by Chessa, who also works behind the counter and gives some of the warmest customer service in South Florida. And the place boasts not only an impressive variety of meats, but also quality that's as good as it gets. There's a reason Smitty's has been open since 1962 and has always had a loyal fan base of happy carnivores.

Best Food Instagram
Photo by Alex Markow

Samantha Schnur is a not just any Instagrammer, but a member of an elite club of food photographers who can earn thousands of dollars for posting a single picture of a soufflé or branzino. In 2015, Cosmopolitan published the online list "15 Food Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow Immediately." Schnur was number eight. The Florida State University dropout (and University of Miami grad) has more than 660,000 followers on her Instagram page — the Naughty Fork — and about 200,000 likes on a Facebook account under the same name. At least one of her Instagram videos (showing the preparation of waffled mozzarella-stick pizza) has been viewed 14 million times. She has earned as much as $4,000 for a single post, and she recently scored deals with major corporations such as Oreo, Amazon, and Arby's. She also works with local businesses such as Pincho Factory, El Patio, and Honeybee Doughnuts.

Best Restaurateur
Photo by Kristin Bjornsen

Miami nightlife king David Grutman knows how to stay busy. He's best known for owning the nightclubs LIV at the Fontainebleau and Story in South Beach, along with restaurants OTL in the Design District, Komodo in Brickell, and Planta in Miami Beach. And later this year, he'll open Swan and Bar Bevy. It's only fitting that Grutman launch Groot Hospitality, gathering all of his venues under one umbrella and promoting his places to the city's hungry populace.

Best Chef
CandaceWest.com

Niven Patel is the kind of chef all cooks should aspire to become: tenacious, humble, and expressive — one who tells you what's important in life with each of his plates. He has turned the sprawling backyard of his house in Homestead into a farm that now feeds two locations of his Ghee Indian Kitchen, which specializes in the Western Indian cuisine on which he was raised. Moreover, he has trained and maintained a crack team of cooks who help him set a new standard for dining in Miami, all while opening two of the area's favorite restaurants within the span of a year without business partners, a public relations firm, or any of the bells, whistles, and shenanigans most places use to get you and your wallet through the door. Finally, Patel carefully balances serving refined, elevated versions of familiar Indian dishes with offering the country's vast array of cuisines that rarely see the light of day in the West. Hear that, James Beard Award people?

Best Baker
CandaceWest.com

Pastry chefs begin and end a meal. They bake bread that's usually customers' first taste of a restaurant and create a lasting impression with dessert. Devin Braddock, the 27-year-old corporate executive pastry chef at Blue Collar and Mignonette, two of Miami's most intimate and popular eateries, has worked her way up to Miami pastry royalty. Her grandmother, a former executive pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New York, taught her at the age of 6 to mold almond paste into the shape of an orchid. After a stint at Johnson & Wales, Braddock dove headfirst into Miami restaurants, where she scored gigs at hot spots such as Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, Michael's Genuine, and Alter. Today find her at Danny Serfer's string of restaurants. Her sea salt and chocolate chip cookies are toothsome, with just the right balance of sweet, salty, and gooey. Then there's her chocolate cake, comparable to a pillowy slice of heaven. Oh, and her pies. They, too, are a delight.

Mr. Bing
Courtesy of Mr. Bing

Mr. Bing's technicolor food truck rolls around Miami peddling a frozen treat like no other. It's called shaved ice cream. Paper-thin ribbons of sweetened frozen cream are shaved off a huge cylindrical block at superhigh speeds. The consistency is comparable to frozen cotton candy, while the appearance is similar to a carnation. Here, the Taiwanese-inspired dessert comes in a variety of flavors, such as coconut and green tea — an homage to the treat's Asian roots — as well as chocolate and original sweet milk. Then come toppings such as Pocky sticks, mini marshmallows, and crushed Oreos. There's no guilt involved either. A standard 3.5-ounce serving of Mr. Bing contains about 100 calories.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®