Sara's Kosher Restaurant
Courtesy of Sara's Kosher Restaurant

Tired of boring takes on traditional Jewish food? Ditch those spots and try a place so amazing it would make your bubbe's head spin. Nestled in an anonymous strip mall, Sara's Kosher Restaurant adds a vegetarian twist to many of your favorite Jewish delicacies. The 17-page menu can be intimidating to newcomers. There are even vegetarian takes on Italian, Cuban, and Mexican food. One highlight is the $14.95 stuffed cabbage — a Hungarian dish of cabbage filled with rice and a vegan faux-beef simmered in a sweet-and-sour sauce — served with a freshly baked challah roll or pita bread for vegans. Also not to be missed is the $11.95 falafel platter served with Israeli salad and French fries, and two pitas.

Kuro
Courtesy of Kuro

Step inside Kuro, the crown jewel of Hard Rock's restaurants, and you'll think you've been transported to a swanky restaurant in L.A. It's tough to choose just one dish to highlight here. Main courses are broken up into land and sea. There are variations of both (sushi, nigiri), but the undeniable headliner of the show is the Wagyu beef ($24 per ounce), which diners can either cook themselves on a hot stone tableside or have charcoal-grilled in the kitchen. Kuro's rib-eye miso ($43) could also be considered a costar. The dish comes covered in succulent pine-nut miso and shiso dressing with a side of perfectly grilled asparagus. Kuro not only is the best restaurant in Hollywood but also offers the best experience. It's a show wrapped up in a meal that's inside the greatest casino this side of the Mississippi.

The Maghreb is the region of Northern Africa that includes Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania. Not going there soon? That's OK, because a new restaurant in Plantation serves authentic Moroccan fare. Dar Tajine boasts an in-house boutique that peddles everything from rugs to hookahs. The menu includes the region's best comfort foods, from tagine and kebabs to massive communal platters of steaming couscous ($9.99 to $18.99). Don't miss house specialities such as chicken bastilla — a savory pie with so many flavors and textures you could spend a lifetime identifying each one. In this fragrant dish, spices such as saffron, ginger, and cinnamon meld perfectly with an herb-laden omelet layered within crisp warqa pastry and topped with crunchy fried almonds sweetened with orange-flower water ($6.99). Moroccans heartily season ground beef and lamb with cumin and paprika, and that's how you'll find the meat in the kafta tagine ($11.99), baked in a clay pot with poached eggs. Plus, Dar Tajine is 100 percent halal.

Rosetta Bakery
Courtesy of Rosetta Bakery

About a block from Lincoln Road, an array of Italian breads, pastries, and picture-perfect desserts attracts a steady stream of customers. Inspired by Milan café culture, Rosetta Bakery makes small batches of baked goods ($2 to $10) numerous times throughout the day. Flaky croissants, berry tarts, Nutella-filled bombolones, and large panettones are prepared by Italian chefs who have been specifically recruited to work at Rosetta. The bakery recently opened three other locations, two in Miami Beach and one in Aventura. Outposts in North Beach and Brickell are expected to open within the next year.

MadLab Creamery
Photo by Laine Doss

Soraya Kilgore's palace of sweets adds a sparkle to the Design District. Surrounded by tony shops such as Louis Vuitton and Dior, the former Alter and Brava pastry chef's MadLab Creamery entices young and old via edible glitter, swirls of pink cotton candy, golden-sheet sprinkles, and unique flavors of ice cream and chocolate. Try a blend of green matcha and rich chocolate soft-serve topped with hand-spun cotton candy and a whiff of glitter ($6 and up). Or savor a 100-gram piece of dark chocolate and cereal bark ($7.50) along with a slice of fluffy Japanese cheesecake ($7.50). Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Bio Bio Gelato
Courtesy of Bio Bio

On the edge of Miami Beach's Sunset Harbour, Bio Bio serves made-from-scratch Italian gelato. Among two dozen unique flavors are the sweet and salty, the ricotta and figs, and the yogurt honey and walnut. Each blend is served in a cup or cone, and some can be made into frozen slushies ($5.50 and up). Flavors are 100 percent organic and use fresh and seasonal ingredients. Beyond the shop's creamy blends, find cases of frozen desserts, from chocolate-covered ice pops and gelato cakes to fruit sorbet pops and mini gelato cones. Products, including all gelato flavors, are made daily in the shop's kitchen. Bio Bio is deeply rooted in Europe. The first location was founded nearly 60 years ago by an Italian family-owned company called MO.CA in Northern Italy's Emilia-Romagna region. The Miami Beach shop is the first in the United States. Try it from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Aubi & Ramsa
Photo by Elena Vivas

Behind a wooden bar, a wall of bottles glows at Aubi + Ramsa. But this is no ordinary bar. Your choice of spirit will come in the form of an icy scoop, not a liquid pour. The space, for patrons aged 21 or older, offers frozen treats fused with various spirits, from tequila and rosé to vodka, gin, and red wine. Try Macallan 12-year single-malt Scotch blended with a creamy Belgian chocolate cream ($7 to $10), or a serving of Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut balanced with a light tangerine sorbet. Then there's the Kentucky Crème Brûlée, an organic vanilla-pudding ice cream made with Four Roses single-barrel bourbon and caramelized sugar sprinkles. A 3.7-ounce serving contains about 4.9 percent ABV and will set you back about $9. Consider it dessert and a significantly cheaper option than a cocktail at a nearby bar. Aubi + Ramsa is open from noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Best Key Lime Pie
Photo by Noah Fecks

A slice of key lime pie at the Dutch is distinctive. Maybe that's because executive pastry chef Josh Gripper takes the classic recipe up a notch by sprinkling it with sea salt, adding a smudge of passionfruit sorbet, and serving a light raspberry sorbet alongside. Garnished with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce, his salted lime pie ($12) is a sweet, succulent, and citrusy explosion. Check it out from 7 to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 4 p.m. daily, 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 6:30 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday

Phenomenom Bake Shop
Courtesy of Phenomenom

It's 2 a.m. and you're in the mood for a fresh-baked cookie oozing with chocolate and sprinkles. Cue the cleverly spelled Phenomenom. You might be familiar with the South Beach shop's owner, 26-year-old Chuck Woodard, who created Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream and opened the brand's first location in Pinecrest in 2012. He sold his ownership in 2014 to pursue Phenomenom. Visit the shop for cookies the size of doughnuts, weighing about six ounces each ($4). With a moist and gooey texture and a soft center, flavors include chocolate chip, M&M's and Oreo, s'mores, half-and-half, and sugar sprinkles. Opt for the milk and cookies, which pairs a cookie with a large cup of milk. Try it noon to midnight Sunday through Thursday and noon to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Contenti Cupcakes churns out more than two dozen uniquely flavored cupcakes. All are made from scratch. Favorites from this South Miami operation include a key lime cupcake topped with graham cracker crust and key lime buttercream; a sundae garnished with chocolate ganache, sprinkles, and a cherry; and a guava-infused cupcake crowned with a dollop of cream cheese frosting. Orders for mini or standard-size cupcakes, which must be placed three days in advance, cost around $30 for a dozen or more. There's also an option to turn a cupcake into a large cake. Or go for a pie, such as key lime, strawberry, or salted caramel apple.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®