Photo courtesy of Tipsy Flamingo

When a purely Miami cocktail bar comes along — one without any lame gimmicks — we take note. That's what happened with Tipsy Flamingo, which recently landed downtown. The space combines the fun atmosphere of a bar with the trendy and intimate feel of a lounge. Dripping in tropical ambiance and illuminated by a rainbow of pastel-hued neon, it's the intimate venue that co-owner Juan Marcos Rancano says was missing in the city's cocktail scene. Here, the drinks stand as a liquid ode to Miami, each designed to showcase its many sides, from the "Downtown Mentirita" (the TF's version of the classic Cuba Libre) to the popular "My English Is Not Very Good Looking" (the most Miami of drinks created to taste like a pastelito de guayaba in a glass). Go during the daily happy hour from 5 till 9 p.m. or the monthly "No Flocks Given" party, when you can sip specially priced cocktails and dance to funk, hip-hop, and reggaeton.

Photo by Laine Doss

Never mind that he's a fictional character invented by novelist Ian Fleming. James Bond is the coolest person who ever lived. The British 007 agent is famously known for his ability to neutralize supervillains, drive gorgeous cars, win at casino tables, and bed beautiful women (many of whom also seek to kill him) — all while not wrinkling his tuxedo. Bond is also known for his love of martinis — you'll never to see this most interesting man in the world cradling a Dos Equis in his flawlessly manicured hand. Not just any martini, however. In the first Bond novel, Casino Royale, Fleming has Bond ordering a "Vesper," named after femme fatale Vesper Lynd (for whom — spoiler alert — things end badly). While most martini drinkers are either Team Gin or Team Vodka, the "Vesper" is a blend of both, with a hint of Lillet and a twist of lemon as a garnish. The real-lfie combination of the alcohol with the touch of sweetness and a citrus kiss makes for a perfectly nuanced cocktail. Find a proper version at Cote in the Design District — a place 007 would surely dine if his hazardous work transported him to 2022 Miami.

Courtesy of GreenStreet Cafe

Few drinks are as classic, quirky, and recognizable as the bloody mary. In fact, half the fun is in the bloody presentation. At Greenstreet Cafe in Coconut Grove, you're guaranteed not only a deliciously crafted drink but a fierce presentation fit for the 'Gram. The bloody mary is served in one of Greenstreet's trademark soup cans, spice-rimmed, towering out of which is a full stalk of celery and a bamboo toothpick skewering a chunk of cheese, a cherry tomato, and an olive. Whether you're in search of the perfect hangover cure or a cocktail to precede your omelet, Greenstreet is sure to deliver.

Who doesn't love a well-made margarita? If you want the best one, though, head to Tequiztlan Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar, the restaurant from Miami Beach's venerable Ortiz family (El Rancho Grande), which serves a variety of unique signature margaritas you won't find anywhere else, such as the "Flaca From Oaxaca," made with mezcal verde, and the "Hija de la Guayaba," with Herradura silver tequila, guava, and jalapeños. If straight-up tequilas and mezcals are your thing but margs aren't, try one of Tequiztlan's flights. (Pro tip: They don't stint on the food menu, either.) Sign up for their mailing list to keep abreast of private tastings, which are bound to return in force when we finally crawl out from under this pandemic.

Photo courtesy of R House

The famed rum-and-fresh-mint cocktail known as the mojito is served at many locations in and around Miami, and many a bartender muddles up a dandy one. But this year we're giving the nod to R House Wynwood, whose "Mojito Coqueto" offers a tropically tweaked take on the Cuban classic with the addition of coconut water and coconut flakes. Throughout the week, R House is a lovely spot for brunch. Weekends bring the stunning and uber-popular Drag Brunch — if you're aming for that slot, be sure to reserve a table ahead of time.

Valeria Nekhim Lease

If you want to spend a leisurely morning at a Parisian café, you can book a flight to France — or drive to North Miami. Café Creme is a quaint bistro next door to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami. The large covered patio is a friendly hive of activity around the breakfast table, a gathering spot where you might find everyone from local politicians to parents with strollers to randos popping in for a caffeine fix. The café offers housemade quiches, benedicts, fluffy omelets, and delicious pastries. Don't sleep on the croissants — especially the ones filled with almond custard.

Photo courtesy of Honey Uninhibited

For Miamians, brunch has become the most important meal of the weekend — and, if done right, the most fun. While there are plenty of low-key spots to snag a decent meal on a relaxing late morning or early afternoon, nothing says "Magic City by day" better than a good boozy brunch. At Honey Uninhibited, founder Carlos Dunlap offers precisely that from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. Dunlap's establishment delivers a menu of Southern staples that speak to the owner's travels and roots. Signature dishes like the "Gullah Shrimp 'n Grits" hail from the famed foodie city of Charleston, South Carolina, while the "Sweet Chick Benny," a breaded chicken thigh-topped waffle, is inspired by an entrée that left a lasting impression during a visit to Atlanta. If you're living your life meat-free, a number of vegan dishes are regionally inspired, from the egg-free scramble and banana bread toast to a vegan burger. Quench your thirst with an "uninhibited" mimosa kit, which pairs sparkling wine (Moët if you're splurging) with a choice of two juices, plus strawberries.

Photo courtesy of Treve Creative Miami

There's nothing better than an alfresco lunch, and the outdoor patio at Peacock Garden Resto + Bar is a lush, secret oasis that feels like you've stepped into an exotic fantasy. The greenery serves as a natural cooling system, making the patio seem like a chill respite. To start, order some oysters (grilled or on the half-shell) and a glass of roe, then follow up with a salad, a burger, or a seafood risotto. Because every lunch is better when enjoyed with your furry friend, Peacock Garden offers a Tail Wagger menu, from which your pup can choose between salmon crudo or beef tartare as an entrée, and a blueberry puppyccino for dessert, along with free-flowing Evian water to ensure Fido stays well hydrated.

Maureen Aimee Mariano

Strip-mall eating isn't for everyone. But Kon Chau is the exception that proves the rule. Nothing beats spending a Saturday morning hearing the clacking of ceramic dishes and cackling of conversation while stuffing your pie hole with freshly made dim sum. Make sure to arrive hungry, because you need to try at least one of everything. Classics include sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf, turnip cakes, shrimp dumplings, and wonton soup. Feel adventurous? Try the chicken feet with black bean sauce ($4.65), or the beef tripe ($4.65). No matter what you taste at Kon Chau, you'll leave satiated and happy.

You know the old proverb: "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If turn him on to a great deli, you feed him for a lifetime." True, finding a good deli can be a lifelong win for some but it may take a lifetime to find that special meatery. Which brings us to this year's unconventional "Best Deli" pick. Buena Vista Deli in downtown Miami isn't a deli, per se; it's more of a casual French bistro. The pastries are divine, from the croissants to the tarts to the éclairs. Their sandwiches, many offered on Buena Vista's flaky croissants, are likewise spectacular. Croque monsieur? Mais oui! We're also fans of the quiche Lorraine the salade niçoise, and, believe it or not, the escargots. Don't be a snail yourself, though — grouille-toi to Buena Vista and taste for yourself.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®