Deck Sixteen
Deck Sixteen

Take your four-legged friend to the pet-friendly brunch at Deck Sixteen, located on the third floor of the Hyatt Centric in South Beach. The indoor/outdoor restaurant, which serves brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, offers bottomless mimosas and bloody marys ($15), live music, and a robust selection of sweet and savory items with a Mediterranean twist. Look for Deck's brunch burger, layered with charred poblano relish, avocado, and a fried egg ($14), and French toast stuffed with guava and ricotta and showered in coconut rum maple syrup ($12). If bottomless drinks aren't your style, you can sip pup-inspired cocktails such as the Wooftini, the Bark Collins, and the Mutt Mojito instead. After drinks, take your pup to Wooftop Park, located next door to Deck Sixteen. The rooftop dog park is the first of its kind in Miami Beach.

Readers' choice: Tap 42

Best Deli
Karli Evans

Hialeah's Stephen's Restaurant — the oldest operating deli in Miami-Dade — opened in 1954 and has maintained its reputation as a weathered but charming Jewish-style deli for more than six decades. Through large-scale renovations by Matt Kuscher of Kush Hospitality — which is known for popular concepts such as Kush, Lokal, and the Spillover — the newly renamed Stephen's Deli will soon reopen to offer corned beef sandwiches, local beer, and burgers with a speakeasy vibe. The concept recently expanded, staking out a stall at Time Out Market's first U.S. location in Miami Beach, where many of the area's first Jewish delis opened in the early 1900s. Fun fact: The oldest employee at Stephen's, Henderson "Junior" Biggers, is the grandfather of Miami Heat player Udonis Haslem.

Best Farmers' Market

As temperatures creep into the high 80s, it's no secret that summer is around the corner. But don't worry — Miami's notorious heat doesn't have to stand between you, your favorite fruits and vegetables, and farmers' markets. Though some farmers' markets are nearing their annual hiatus, Market Mondays at the Adrienne Arsht Center sees no end, staying open through rain, shine, humidity, and any heat wave. That's why every Monday from 4 to 8 p.m., a handful of stalls are set up right outside the performing arts center, where they overflow with everything from seasonal fruits and vegetables to starfruit smoothies, exotic honey, and other delectables. To make these healthful options accessible to more locals, the farmers' market works with the Urban Oasis Project to double Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchases up to $40 for fruits and vegetables.

Café Crème
Valeria Nekhim Lease

Claude Postel and Corentin Finot, who opened Buena Vista Deli in 2010, have returned to the neighborhood with Café Crème. Similar to the flagship in North Miami, the 500-square-foot grab-and-go spot is stocked with Nutella beignets, chocolate croissants, small cakes ($2 and up), and panini ($10.95 and up). Items are prepared in North Miami and delivered fresh to the café, which faces NE Second Avenue near the front of Upper Buena Vista. Back in North Miami, the original Café Crème is significantly larger and offers an expanded menu of French signatures, from freshly toasted baguettes with butter and jelly, to steak frites ($19.95) and quiches ($9.50). Postel, a French Michelin-starred chef, is responsible for the food at both locations. Postel comes from a long line of chocolatiers, and his great-great-uncle used to make chocolates for the French royal family. Both locations display chocolate molds that were once used by the chef's family. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Budare Bistro
Zach Fagenson

A budare is life. In Venezuela, the word refers to the traditional stone, clay, or steel griddles used to cook arepas, sweet yellow corn cachapas, and casabe — the yuca bread that's popular in the East. Those less interested in backstory should head straight for Budare Bistro's vast menu offering everything from a classic pabellón criollo ($10.50) to the asado negro sweet brisket dish ($11). You'll also find a sizable selection of stuffed arepas ($6.50) filled with your choice of the avocado-flecked chicken salad, black beans and salty queso a mano, and asado negro. It's a worthy way to satisfy your lunchtime cravings, but don't forget: Budare is open from 9 a.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. You think that arepa was good? Wait until you try one when you're eight beers deep. Hours are 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday

Best Lunch

The latest Miami venture for Daniel Boulud, the James Beard Award-winning French chef and restaurateur, Boulud Sud takes the place of DB Bistro Moderne, his former restaurant in the same space. Here, Boulud serves a refreshed take on his cuisine in a re-energized and decidedly more glamorous atmosphere. It's Boulud's way of adapting to a more casual dining culture without compromising quality. Lunch is the best time to visit because the restaurant offers an express, three-course option for $35, showing off the best of Boulud's seasonal menus. For instance, begin with a hummus platter, followed by the Moroccan shakshouka with goat cheese and a soft-poached egg or the seared Mediterranean branzino, and wrap up with a chef's selection of desserts including a lavender peach zalabia and a mascarpone cheesecake. Lunch is served from noon to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Babe's Meat & Counter
Photo courtesy of Babe's Meat & Counter

Montreal-smoked meat is Canada's answer to New York's pastrami. Many of our friends north of the border claim it's superior to pastrami thanks to a certain amount of sugar being replaced by condiments and spices such as black pepper, coriander, and mustard. Regional disputes aside, Babe's Meat & Counter chef/owner Melanie Schoendorfer has given Miami a Montreal meat sandwich ($10.99) that stands far above any would-be competitors. Perhaps it's Schoendorfer's use of Wagyu beef brisket that makes this sandwich so delicious, but don't ponder it too much. All you need to figure out is whether you want to Reubenize the thing for another two bucks and which cuts of meat you'd like the Sausage Queen of Miami to prepare for you when you arrive. Regular hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Summer hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Best Cuban Sandwich
Alex Broadwell

Size matters, and Sarussi has it. The half-century-old spot is the place to go for a hulking, 16-inch Cuban sandwich generously loaded with ham, pork, pickles, and mustard ($13.60). But the real kicker here is the secret spicy sauce that perfectly complements all of that fatty richness. That might not sound like your abuelo's recipe, but in Tampa, which makes its own claims of Cuban-sandwich superiority, they use salami, and it's a respected form. So, sure, Sarussi's sandwiches aren't toasted as you might find at your neighborhood cafeteria, and the idea of a spicy sauce might throw you off, but considering they've been doing it deliciously for decades, who are we to question their methods? Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

La Esquina del Lechon
Zachary Fagenson

At La Esquina del Lechón, piping-hot rolls come served in baskets strewn with butter packets and fried pork chunks just to get things going. A life-size, wood-carved pig greets diners, who can opt to sit at the bar or in the main dining area, filled with millennials, abuelitos, and construction workers eating shoulder-to-shoulder throughout the week. The menu is huge, but go for the classic "el famoso lechón en nuestra caja china" ($24): a pile of pork that's slowly roasted for seven hours. Come with extra mouths or extreme hunger, because this dish can easily serve two. A hearty portion of moist meat peeks out from beneath a crunchy layer of pork skin, and the sautéed onions are buttery and sweet. The restaurant bottles and sells its own barbecue sauce in two flavors —Smoky & Sweet and Guava — but the tender meat does just fine on its own. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Cafe la Trova
Photo by Adam Delgiudice

It's always a party inside Café La Trova. On a recent evening at the Calle Ocho restaurant, which combines chef Michelle Bernstein's take on traditional Cuban fare with the cocktails of world-renowned mixologist Julio Cabrera, a live band performed a careful dance with trumpets and guitars behind the bar while skilled bartenders crafted mojitos and daiquiris. At the same time, Bernstein's dishes, executed by Cuban chef Raul Salgado, formerly of Havana's iconic El Floridita, were whisked from table to table, from paella croquetas served with a shot of seafood caldo and saffron aioli ($11), to plates of lechón con chicharrones, where braised mojo-marinated pork shoulder is served on a bed of steamed yuca with tangerine mojo ($19). It's the kind of place where one comes for dinner but stays for the evening, swaying to the sounds of la trova, a renowned genre of Cuban music, while sipping elegant cocktails. Hours are 6 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Readers' choice: Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®