Photo courtesy of Peacock Garden

There are some in Miami who recall a time when Coconut Grove was a tropical oasis of Bohemian abandon. They speak of lazy days on the water and hiding from the sun under a banyan tree. There were artists, late nights, and life lived seemingly without a care. Sometime later, the neighborhood became best known for being slicked with vomit of drunken University of Miami students. Most recently, the place has taken on a bourgeois vibe, with million-dollar townhouses and rising glass towers. Peacock is a step back, a step aside, a step away from time's relentless march. Here, enveloped by the rustle of tropical greenery shifting in the wind, cool orange lighting and comforting vintage furniture, is the perfect place to let time and all of its concerns slip away and focus on the person in front of you and this single moment in time.

Photo by Roberto Pastoriza/@rpphotographics

Yes, the cubano is a delicious sandwich. There's something about the combination of meat, cheese, and pickles pressed together between two slices of Cuban bread. But, contrary to your abuela's belief, not everyone enjoys pork products. Whether for health, ethical, or other reasons, more and more people are eating plant-based foods. If Burger King can make a meatless Whopper, why can't Miamians enjoy meat-free croquetas and medianoches? Vegan Cuban Cuisine answers that question and more with delicious plant-based versions of cubanos made with marinated jackfruit, plant-based ham, and creamy nut cheese ($12); croquetas made with cashew cream ($2.50); even a meatless frita ($12). If you think all this lack of pork isn't kosher (so to speak), the restaurant is run by Steven Rodriguez and Lismeilyn "Liz" Machado, who came to Miami from Cuba as preteens and met in middle school. If their abuelas approve, so will yours. Open Tuesday to Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

Photo by Laine Doss

You'll know Clive's Cafe by the murals of a little girl and Bob Marley on the side of the building. This Jamaican joint isn't fancy, but if you're looking for soulful meal at a great price, you've come to the perfect place. For nearly half a century, Clive's has been serving classic Jamaican dishes. The Little Haiti location is comparatively new (the restaurant relocated from Wynwood in 2013), but the menu — and the prices — haven't changed much. For $7 you can get a jerk chicken platter with two sides. Go for the rice and peas and mac and cheese so rich and dense it's cut into pieces rather than spooned onto your plate. Other favorites include fried conch ($12 with sides) and hot wings ($9). Clive's serves breakfast, also at unbelievable prices. The "Glorious Morning" platter, which includes two eggs, bacon, ham or sausage, grits or potatoes, and toast, for example, is priced at $4. Even if you're operating with the change from your car and couch cushions, you'll eat well here. An egg sandwich is just $2.25, a small soup is $2.50, and Jamaican patties are $2 apiece. Open Monday through Saturday.

Photo by Michael Pissari

If you feel takeout doesn't fully capture a fine-dining meal, LPM will you change your mind. This French Mediterranean restaurant's curated menu selections are delivered to you in sustainable canvas totes, hand-painted by the staff and packing the LPM's trademark table setting: a bottle of olive oil, a tomato, a lemon, and freshly baked baguette. We recommend adding signature dishes such as burrata with tomatoes and basil ($16), grilled lamb cutlets with smoked aubergine ($39), slow-cooked duck legs with orange glaze ($37), and vanilla cheesecake ($10) — all packed in biodegradable takeout containers, along with a variety of make-at-home mocktails ($6). Make your meal more memorable with the "LPM - La Vie en Rosé" Spotify playlist, available via

It may look and sound more like a self-deprecating sports bar than a raw bar. But go to the half-price oyster happy hour — actually, more like three hours, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. — every Tuesday through Friday, when a dozen on the half shell are only $18. Varieties range from Little Skookum to Cranberry Creek to Pink Moon, or you can try them chargrilled, roasted with Andouille sausage or chili butter, or turned into ceviche. Don't worry. From shrimp to conch to lobster, Gringo's offers plenty of freshly chilled (or grilled) seafood. And thanks to its new patio misters, you won't feel like you're dining in a sidewalk sauna.

For decades, Sonia's has been a tropical oasis right where the world needs it most: on a canal in suburban West Miami-Dade where the traffic is gridlocked and the Everglades loom a few miles away. See, when you're on the beach, you're already in paradise. It's easy. Not so when you're way out on SW Eighth Street. But when you step past the signs offering Presidente beer, hear the salsa music blaring, and see your plastic throne nestled under a palm tree offering just the right amount of shade, all the concerns of the world fall away. Start with hot, crisp cod fritters ($8.99) before moving on to a whole fried fish with congri and tostones. Order another beer. On your way out, you might be tempted to pause at the fish market to pick up some Gulf shrimp, mullet roe (when it's in season), or hog snapper to take a little of this paradise home with you.

More than 30 years have passed since Diego Maradona's infamous "Hand of God" ignited Argentina's 2-1 victory over England in the quarterfinals of the 1986 World Cup. To this day, soccer, er futból fans remain incensed at how the brash Argentinean cheated to secure the wine. The five-foot, five-inch footballer's mug graces the walls of this Little Haiti hideaway that celebrates meat like no other place in town. The dishes brothers Maximiliano and Cristian Alvarez are putting out could make you forgive even Maradona's sins. Creamy, roasted sweetbreads are veneered with a gorgeous, smoky crust highlighted by a fragrant leek chimichurri ($9). A trio of house-made sausages ($12) become the new standard by which you will judge all sausages. The way they keep a steak Milanese ($15) so tender and juicy inside with such a shatteringly crisp crust defies all logic. Of course the churrasco ($25) and bife de chorizo ($25) are perfectly seasoned and seared, and large enough to satiate even the most aggressive carnivore. Wash it all down with a bottle (or two) of malbec.

Photo courtesy of Aura Groupe

This category has taken on a more urgent meaning in 2020, and our pick is one of its newest exemplars. Wave is less of a restaurant and more of a staycation. Swaying palms and the soft kiss of sea air greet you as you work your way to your spot. Choose a table or lounge on a comfortable sofa — let your mood be your guide. The menu, self-described as sea-to-table, features a raw bar — and much more. The mezze platter is great for sharing, a generous display of labneh, white-bean hummus, roasted pepper muhammara, vegetables, and lavash, served on a board ($35). Order a frosé ($16) and thank your lucky stars that you're in Miami Beach. Open Friday through Sunday.

Adrian Gaut/The Standard Spa

Considering that Miami is a city known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-blue oceans, there aren't as many waterfront restaurants as one might think. That's what makes Lido Bayside Grill at the Standard Hotel so unique. Perched along Biscayne Bay, it's situated on the water, but it's also located behind the posh hotel's tropical oasis on the Venetian Islands. The perfect place to bring visitors, Lido has the perks of being on South Beach with a more remote island vibe. The Japanese izakaya-style menu has a fresh take, and the healthy juice drinks and ice cold frosés are always flowing. Whether you show up to take in a sensational sunset or simply to enjoy the salty sea breeze, this slice of heaven has everything you could want when dining by the water.

Photo courtesy of Naoe

As the city by the river has grown and changed, Kevin Cory's move from Sunny Isles Beach to Brickell Key some years ago has been a boon to the neighborhood and his compact omakase spot continues to thrive even as other places pour in and out. Seasonal seafood like whelk, a whole universe of snapper, and even sea cucumber, is regularly flown in from Japan. Each meal (priced at $250 per person, plus service charge and sales tax) commences with a perfectly crafted bento box that includes rice, raw sliced fish, and a smattering of lightly seasoned local vegetables, then launches into an omakase progression the likes of which are rarely seen in these parts. Cory began his training at the age of 19 and for more than a decade has been Miami's greatest, and quietest one-man show. Pay attention to everything here, even the soy sauce. The heady stuff hails from the Cory family's nearly-200-year-old brewery in the tiny town of Oono on the shores of the Sea of Japan. If you want to see what leaving no detail overlooked truly means, look no further.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®