Best Chocolate Shop 2019 | Garcia Nevett | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Courtesy of Garcia Nevett

In 2012, sisters Susana and Isabel Garcia Nevett, who worked as chocolatiers in Venezuela, launched Garcia Nevett (formerly Cacao Art) inside their home shortly after immigrating to Miami. Unlike other chocolate shops, which brand themselves as bean-to-bar, the sisters use chocolate made from Venezuelan cacao as a base for dozens of treats, such as cookies, cakes, bonbons, and fudge jars ($3 and up). They also serve coffee and hot chocolate, and they make marshmallows and homemade caramel using honey from Key West. The Nevetts have won three silver medals in the Americas competition at the International Chocolate Awards, which recognize excellence in fine chocolate products around the world. The winning items, which can be found in their store, include a Florida Keys sea salt ganache, an orange honey caramel bonbon, and the Patanemo ganache — a bonbon made with single-origin cacao from a small town in Venezuela ($6 and up). Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Photo courtesy of Dasher & Crank

Wynwood ice-cream shop Dasher & Crank has created more than 200 flavors in a little over a year. Last April, the light-pink storefront, marked by a glowing neon sign in the shape of an ice-cream cone, debuted with a whimsical lineup of ice creams, including raspberry wasabi sorbet and mint with activated charcoal ($5 for one scoop, $7.50 for a double, and $10 for a triple or a pint). Owner Daniel Levine continues to introduce new creations and often joins forces with local spots such as Miami Smokers, Zak the Baker, El Bagel, and Per'La for local collaboration flavors. Past favorites have included Avocado Toast, featuring lightly toasted Zak the Baker sourdough and an avocado swirl, and Maple Bacon, made with cured meat from Miami Smokers. Guests can also swing by for a few of the shop's classics, such as vanilla, the Chocolate Crank, and Chicken and Waffles, which mixes chunks of chicken and waffles from the nearby restaurant Kush. Prices start at $5. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday

Fireman Derek's Bake Shop

Firefighter-turned-pie-maker Derek Kaplan runs one of Miami's most popular dessert shops, Fireman Derek's. At his Wynwood flagship, he serves a signature lineup of sweets ($3 and up), which includes his best-selling crack pie (named for its addictive quality) as well as cakes and coffee. But Kaplan is best known for offering the Magic City's tastiest key lime pie ($7.55 per slice and $35 for a whole pie). It was one of the first flavors when the shop opened in 2014, and after all these years, the key lime pie remains wildly popular. Each slice strikes a harmonious balance between sweet and tangy and is served with a generous scoop of real whipped cream. Hours are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Also check out Kaplan's new shop in Coconut Grove.

Pink Pie

There's a new place to dig into freshly made pies in Wynwood. This past January, Miami's Pink Pie opened its first brick-and-mortar mere steps from Wynwood Walls. The concept, which launched in September 2016 at Hollywood's Yellow Green Farmers Market, specializes in three-inch sweet and savory pies ($3 each). Guests can sample a dozen permanent and rotating flavors, some filled with Oreo and Nutella, guava and cheese, key lime, or salted caramel, and others come topped with onion and duck confit. Limited-edition favorites include tiramisu, caramel pretzel, and hot cocoa. The s'mores pie, which is smoked using hickory wood and filled with burnt marshmallow cream to re-create a campfire experience, is among Pink Pie's best sellers. Vegan and gluten-free varieties — such as matcha and passionfruit chocolate — are also available. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Nico Norena, known online as the Succulent Bite, is 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 piece of cake or an ice-cream sundae. With more than 400,000 followers, Norena posts elaborate photos and videos of overindulgent foods, ranging from a graham cracker dunked into a piping-hot skillet of s'mores, to the step-by-step process of making wood-fired pizza. Though Norena won't disclose how much money he makes from his posts, large followings can equate to hefty sums of cash for so-called influencers. Because of the attention elite Instagrammers command, the value of sponsored posts can range from $700 to more than $50,000. According to some estimates, an influencer can expect about $100 per 10,000 followers.

Photo by Anastasyia Yurkevich

Michael Lewis believes breakfast should start with raw ingredients, not from a bag or the freezer. That's why at Laid Fresh, his all-day breakfast spot, the potato rolls for breakfast sandwiches such as the sausage and cheese ($9), the soft scrambled with Brie and avocado ($9), and the egg-topped BLT ($9) all start with actual potatoes. Russet potatoes are boiled, cooled, and milled and then combined with flour, a starter, and just a touch of sugar, yielding a bun that combines the puffy delight of a potato roll with the rich, airier crumb of brioche. There's house-made sausage, made with the shoulders and bellies of North Carolina-grown Cheshire pigs, designed to mimic Jimmy Dean's without the nitrites. And the American cheese sauce recalls Cheez Whiz or individually wrapped Kraft singles, but it's punched up with fontina, Parmesan, and a few other higher-end ingredients. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Readers' choice: All Day

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

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.

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.

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.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®