Best Dim Sum 2021 | Zitz Sum | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Photo by FujifilmGirl

An unforgettable dish we tasted at Zitz Sum perfectly encapsulates what chef/owner Pablo Zitzmann is doing at his new restaurant, a culinary mashup of Asian, Mexican, Latin American, and Italian influences: the pork in brodo, a hybrid dumpling-tortellini riff on wonton soup. Ground pork shoulder is flavored with aromatics, then tucked into a tortellini-like wrapper and plunged into a Japanese dashi broth infused with Parmesan rinds and a touch of soy. Native Colombian Zitzmann's love affair with Asian cuisine dates back to his days at Nobu under chef Thomas Buckley and stints in Hong Kong, Japan, and Hawaii. He returned to Miami in 2014 and opened No Name Chinese. That spot closed in 2019, but Zitzmann revived its Instagram account during the pandemic to launch a home-based takeout service. Success propelled him and wife/partner Natalia Restrepo to open their Coral Gables restaurant earlier this year, with chef de cuisine Guido Parodi bringing an Argentinian-Italian element to the mix. Although the menu changes frequently, the best of Zitz Sum can be found in dishes like Parodi's charred cabbage, brined in a sweet and salty liquid and charred over Japanese charcoal, then mopped with an onion purée and chile vinaigrette and topped with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and dry miso. Another Italian-Asian-Latin blend: shrimp har gow served in the chef's stew-like ragout flecked with minced pork and garnished with fresh cilantro.

Monique Messer and Keon Lewisopened Groovin' Bean to be more than a simple coffee shop. Sure, you can get a great latte or a banana smoothie and relax, but this coffee bar, located in the center of historic Overtown, is also meant to be a community hub. Groovin' Bean offers free Wi-Fi and a comfortable place to work, gather, or just read. Instead of the usual coffee-bar doughnut, have a warm beignet. If you're hankering for a midday treat, by all means try the banana pudding frappé: It's like a Starbucks frappuccino married a banana cream pie in a Vegas wedding ceremony. On the weekends, Groovin' Bean hosts live music and spoken-word performances. Oh, and did we mention that Groovin' Bean also has wine, beer, and cocktails? Let's see your strip-mall chain coffee shop compete with that!

Photo courtesy of Stillwater & Co.

When Alex Karavias opened Meraki Greek Bistro in early 2017, downtown Miami got a go-to spot for affordable taverna fare. But Karavias had always kicked around the idea of an American-style diner, and late last year he and chef/partner Giannis Kotsos doubled down downtown with the Miami Diner. The décor is retro, from the black-and-white checkered floor to the booths and barstools, vintage memorabilia and the refurbished Seeburg jukebox — albeit with a significant splash of Miami Vice pink and blue and a strong hit of neon. The diner is open late on weekends and serves breakfast all day, every day. There are plenty of non-breakfast options, though —chicken wings, coconut shrimp, burgers, subs, salads, pasta dishes and entrées like steak and eggs and Greek lemon chicken. Milkshakes come in all the classic flavors, but the adventurous diner diner might want to try "The Munchies," made with mint chocolate chip ice cream infused with CBD oil and finished off with a brownie or a mint chocolate Kit-Kat. If milkshakes aren't your beverage of choice, there are soda floats, local craft beers, and, of course, coffee. The partners have also opened a second location on Alton Road in Miami Beach.

Courtesy of Raw Juce

Eight-year-old Raw Jūce isn't built on a fad foundation, nor is it riding any bandwagon. Instead, the founders of this South Florida-based business got into juicing for all the right reasons: to fight disease via a raw-food diet. Today, Raw Jūce's mission remains the same: to educate the public on the benefits of juicing while making it easy to adopt a produce-filled diet with its line of fresh-pressed, conveniently bottled juices. Made daily, all of Raw Jūce's signature drinks aim to maximize nutritional density, thanks to cold-pressing, a method said to deliver long-lasting bioavailability — not to mention the best possible flavor. There are over a half-dozen options in a rainbow of colors, including the aqua-tinged Electro Fuel, made with Blue Majik photosynthetic algae. Or keep it OG with Raw Green, a veggie-forward combo of parsley, spinach, romaine, kiwi, lemon, kale, green apple, chlorella, ginger, and probiotics. In addition to juice, you'll find vibrantly hued açaí bowls that fuse ingredients such as goji berries, honey, mango, strawberries, and bee pollen, as well as an array of smoothies, raw oatmeal, salads, and yummy vegan desserts like cashew-butter cups.

Photo courtesy of Fireman Derek's Bake Shop

Derek Kaplan loves to eat, and he loves feeding people. At 15 years old, he was already a talented baker and perfected the key lime pie for which he's best known. Today, the retired City of Miami firefighter owns one of Miami's premier bakeries. There's a reason there's regularly a line out the door. At Fireman Derek's Bake Shop, the cakes are moist, the cookies are soft-baked, the cheesecakes are decadent, and the pies are, well, legendary. With an expansive menu of more than 50 flavors of pies, cakes, cookies, bars, brownies, and cheesecakes, it's always difficult to choose what to order. But each sweet treat you try will be just as delicious, if not more scrumptious, than the last.

Bagel Cove

Used to be you couldn't throw a rock in Miami without hitting a bagel. But over the years many of the town's historic delicatessens have closed down. Not Bagel Cove. For close to 30 years, the Aventura deli has offered a consistently hearty, delicious, chewy circular bread product with a hole in it. Whether you choose pumpernickel, poppyseed, whole wheat, or their available-Fridays-only "Challagel" — an unhole-y (literally, there's no hole in it) combination of bagel and challah — theirs is the rare bagel that you can enjoy without a schmear. Plain bagels go for a buck a pop, and you save a dollar if you take home a dozen. The takeout window is open every day from 6:30 a.m. till 10 p.m., the dine-in deli's hours are 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ever gone to a doughnut shop and wished your delicious morsels of fried dough were a little more...badass? That's the central idea behind LuchaDough, a professional wrestling-inspired pop-up shop that sells gourmet doughnuts with a hardcore twist. Co-owners Christian Aparicio and Nicole Gallego, AKA Señor and Señorita LuchaDough, travel to different locations every weekend — usually breweries and venues staging wrestling matches — to sell their "squared circle" doughnuts, which are adorably reminiscent of a wrestling ring. While the company's branding and signature tagline ("Delicious F'n Donuts") lean in to the edgy side, their gourmet products are anything but unsophisticated. The "Trailblazer" doughnut ($4.25), made with maple-bourbon glaze and cayenne candied bacon is a high-class blend of sweet, salt, and spice on an airy brioche. For diehard Miami flavor fans, LuchaDough offers the "MVP" ($4), filled with guava cream cheese and topped with white chocolate and Biscoff cookie crumbles. For info on where LuchaDough will show up and throw down next, check its Instagram Stories @luchadough for hours and location. They sell out quickly, so show up early!

Photo by Elena Vivas

There's only one thing better than a scoop of ice cream to cool you off after a long Miami day, and that's an alcohol-infused scoop of ice cream. That's the sentiment that Matias Aubi and his friend Rafa Ramsa had when they decided to marry some of the world's best spirits with quality ice cream. Sit at Aubi & Ramsa's "bar" and choose between such flavors as "Kentucky Crème Brûlée" (an organic vanilla-pudding ice cream made with Maker's Mark bourbon and caramelized sugar) and a passionfruit margarita sorbet made with Casamigos tequila. The ice creams and sorbets come in personal-sized 3.7-ounce servings ($7 to $10) or shareable pints ($20 to $26). In addition to the Design District shop listed above, there are locations in Wynwood, Aventura Mall, and at Hard Rock Hollywood. Delivery is available.

Photo courtesy of Doggi's Arepa Bar

There's something magical about a little pocket of savory corn flour filled to the absolute brim with as much meat, cheese, avocado, or whatever the heck else you want — and Doggi's Arepa Bar provides just the right kind of alchemy. With a laundry-list menu of arepas ranging from the classic "Reina Pepiada" to the more adventurous "arepa de pulpo" (octopus), Doggi's offers a wide selection of scrumptious mouthfuls that will have you spilling some of their contents on your plate only to scoop them up when you're done for an after-meal treat. There's a vegan and vegetarian section of the menu, and plain cheese arepas for those of us who aren't lactose intolerant or who're willing to pay with few abdominal cramps. The crispy texture of the Doggi's arepas make every bite a pleasure to enjoy, and the flavors require no sauces or toppings — though you may as well sample the sauce spread Doggi's has available.

Photo courtesy of Babe's Meat & Counter

Melanie Schoendorfer — the self-proclaimed "sausage queen of Miami" — and her husband, Jason, know their meats. The couple first came on the South Florida food scene in 2013, offering house-made smoked sausages, specialty bacon, and handcrafted artisan sandwiches via pop-ups at the Pinecrest Farmers Market and local breweries. What began as a grassroots side hustle turned into a full-fledged business in 2018, when the duo opened the brick-and-mortar Babe's Meat & Counter in Palmetto Bay, expanding the menu with a curated selection of high-end specialty meats. Today, a butcher counter doubles as a breakfast and lunch spot, offering charcuterie, sausages, and sandwiches built around premium cuts. But the most popular menu item is the burger. Each week, the house meat blend changes slightly, explains Jason. While each five-ounce patty starts with prime chuck and brisket, an assortment of top-quality trimmings — a hint of prime Angus here, a bit of American Wagyu there — makes for a delicious final mixture. In another nod to zero waste, trimmed fat is set aside for frying oil, creating the ultimate beef-fat fries to go with the burgers. It all adds up to Miami's best, with each patty cooked to order on the grill, then topped with American cheese, house-made pickles, and sriracha mayo, and fitted into a fluffy Martin's potato roll.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®