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.

Cheeseburger Baby
Photo courtesy of Cheeseburger Baby

It's South Beach, you've been out drinking with friends and you're hangry. You're also too dressed up in club attire for fast food. So you ask yourself a vital question: What would Beyoncé do? Well, she'd whisper to Jay-Z, who'd ask the driver to stop at Cheeseburger Baby. This Washington Avenue staple has been serving Miamians and visitors a steady diet of burgers and fries since 2001. And, yes — the Queen Bey and Jay did eat here, and so have dozens of celebrities in need of a little late-night nourishment, including Kanye, Mario Wynans, Star Jones, Dwayne Wade, and David Beckham (who went back for seconds on the same day). That's a lot of star power for a tiny burger joint. But don't just go for the celebrity sightings. Go for the juicy burgers and crisp fries (there are vegan options, too) served daily until 4 a.m.

Smorgasburg Miami
Photo courtesy of Smorgasburg Miami

Here's a riddle: Where in Miami can you make a vegan, a carnivore, a sweet tooth, and a seafood lover all happy at once? The answer is: Smorgasburg. The Wynwood-based open-air food market, open only on Saturdays, offers almost anything your heart (and stomach) desires. Freshly shucked oysters? Check! Raclette dripping with cheese? Check! Barbecue, burgers, and pillowy dumplings? Check, check, and check! This outdoor food hall originated in New York City before popping up around the world in cities like Osaka and São Paulo. It gets pretty busy — you'll want to ask a friend to save a spot for you at one of the picnic tables while you peruse the 60-plus vendors and their offerings.

At the southwestern edge of Las Olas Boulevard's main drag, the legendary Fort Lauderdale diner known as "The Flo" continues to pack 'em in after 80-plus years. The dynamic charm and unpretentious vibe the Floridian boasts are like no other, particularly amid the endless influx of new and often bougie Fort Lauderdale offerings. There are floor-to-ceiling framed photos — historic snaps of the Las Vegas Strip, a wall of Marilyn Monroes — and decades-old newspaper articles posted throughout. There's the central boardroom-like table with office chairs around it, and you just might catch owner Butch Samp perched at its head. And the food, available 24/7, ranging from massive three-egg omelets to a towering chicken-salad club sandwich to a ten-ounce New York strip steak. The Flo never skimps, so you may well leave with leftovers.

Panther Coffee
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Though caffeine is a daily must for Miamians, we've traditionally sought out cafecitos when we want to perk up.Until Joel and Leticia Pollock decided to roast beans in Wynwood, that is. At first the couple distributed their beans wholesale, but they began introducing locals to the brand by selling cold brew from a tricked-out bicycle at food truck roundups. Panther was so well received that the Pollocks decided to open a brick-and-mortar shop in Wynwood. In doing so, they brought coffee culture to Miami. Now they pour their fragrant cups of goodness out of multiple locations, and you might spot their beans in shops as far-flung as New Jersey and Michigan. But their home will always be Miami.

Under the Mango Tree
Photo by Carla Torres

Juice bars are a dime a dozen — you can find one in just about any strip mall — but Under the Mango Tree manages to stand out from the crowd. The South Beach hangout provides a chill hangout where juice enthusiasts can sip their liquefied nutrients in relative tranquility. Here you'll find a wide selection of smoothies and juices, including the namesake "Mango Tree," a refreshing combination of mangos, the berry of the day, orange juice, and coconut nectar. Superhero fans can fight over whether to order the "Hulk" (pineapples, spinach, kale, OJ, and coconut nectar) or the "Iron Man" (beets, mangos, and lemon). Empanadas, baked goods, and açai bowls are available in the event your teeth need a workout.

Mitch's Downtown Bagel Cafe
Photo courtesy of Mitch's Downtown Bagel Cafe

It's a mantra we can all get behind, and it's plastered on Mitch's Downtown Bagel Cafe's wall in big, bright neon: "Bagels Don't Count as Carbs." Since it opened in 2021, folks in Fort Lauderdale have quickly learned that Mitch Shidlofsky's Flagler Village spot is about so much more than its poppin' décor and bright, plant-filled space. The bagels have decades of Shidlofsky family love behind 'em. Staples include the rainbow bagels and "The Hangover" (two eggs, American cheese, thick-cut bacon, and hash browns on a bagel) for the Instagram crowd. And the Cafe is about more than bagels, serving up a mean challah French toast, a corned beef and pastrami sandwich ("The Big Papa"), and matzoh-ball soup. As Flagler Village becomes Fort Lauderdale's bustling version of Wynwood, Mitch's has established itself as a mainstay.

LNB Grovestand's turmeric everything bagels are not some health gimmick that tastes like cardboard. Yet each ombré-hued bagel carries the health benefits of 5,000 mg of whole root turmeric, along with a soupçon of spice for flavor. Priced at $5, each bagel is served with LNB's own scallion black pepper cream cheese for a scrumptious schmear whose texture pairs nicely with the bagel's firm exterior and pillowy, subtly flavored interior. The little fruit stand on 135th Avenue in West Kendall churns out bagels on Sundays only, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The rest of the week they spend harvesting their homegrown turmeric from the family farm — duh. Also duh: The turmeric bagels are sold out well before closing time, so don't sleep in.

Flour & Weirdoughs
Photo by Nicole Danna

Key Biscayne bakery Flour & Weirdoughs lives up to its name. Here organic flours, milled and blended in-house daily, create a number of oddball creations. Take the cacio e pepe sourdough, replete with chunks of Pecorino cheese and toasted black pepper. Or the gray-toned Black Sabbath, which derives its essence from roasted black garlic and charcoal. Or a rosy "Beats on Repeat" that marries sweet beets and sesame. Or the "Irregardless 305," stuffed with jamón and queso like a giant croqueta. Even the pastries are meal-worthy, from the "Brisket B*tch" croissant, filled with brisket, grain mustard, and provolone cheese to danishes shaped into platelike squares to neatly house a fried egg topped with chopped bacon and melty cheese.

Pink Love Donuts and More
Photo by Nicole Danna

Doughnuts can be complicated. From sourdough and yeast to cronuts and cake, a vast array of deep-fried baked goods comprise this beloved pastry category. With plenty of inspiration from his travels domestically and abroad, Argentinian transplant Diego Macedo began tinkering with simple recipes like pão de queijo and pound cake before his Pink Love Donuts dream took off. Today, the thriving family-run business is three locations strong, best known for its made-from-scratch croissants, Argentine-style empanadas, and — of course — gourmet doughnuts. At Pink Love, there's no such thing as too many flavors. The bakery has more than 80 in rotation, from classics like a plain frosted or raspberry jelly-filled to gourmet doughnuts like a sriracha glazed flecked with bits of bacon. Macedo kicks it up a notch with a limited series of "ultimate" creations, a designation reserved for his most decadent flavors, including a line of "drunken" donuts. Outfitted with a miniature pipette aimed at the core of each pastry, these are filled with spirits like Baileys Irish Cream or Kahlúa, making for a buzzy morning treat.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®