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.

In 2015, after relocating from Venezuela, husband-and-wife team Salomon and Cori Salama dreamed of opening a business stateside that would fill the void of the two restaurants and gourmet cracker factory they'd left behind. Their goal: to create a place where customers could enjoy the flavors of the world through a variety of massive, decadent milkshakes. With the help of childhood friend Gabriela Bergoderi, the duo dreamed up a menu of more than a dozen dessert creations. A recent cheesecake series brought a list of 15 shakes, each one delivered like a statuesque tower covered in candy, cookies, or baked goods. Among the cotton candy, brownie, and cake-topped treats, memories of a "Creamy Cookies" shake linger: a cookies 'n' cream ice cream milkshake delivered in a vanilla frosted glass adorned with crushed Oreos sporting a triple-stack of chocolate doughnuts layered with a rich Oreo cream filling and crowned with a giant Oreo cookie. When you're finished, you might not be headed to Heaven or Hell, but you'll definitely be in food-coma purgatory. (If you find yourself up north, there's a Holy Shakes location in Boca Raton.)

If pie were a portal, a slice from Fookem's Fabulous would transport you directly to Key West. The scrappy business — run out of an inconspicuous home in Coconut Grove — was born during the early days of the pandemic after Joshua Abril, an out-of-work TV producer, taught himself to make key lime pie by watching dozens of YouTube tutorials. The version Abril settled on — a creamy, tart delight with a salty graham-cracker crust — quickly rivaled those made by the best pastry chefs in Miami. Grab a pie outside Abril's home daily from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., flag him down as he rides his bicycle cooler through the Grove, or place an order through DoorDash. Whole pies run $28, or try a mini pie for $6.

Bianco Gelato

The best way to beat the heat is with a frozen treat. Bianco Gelato brings a taste of Italy by transporting a Milanese family recipe to South Florida, with locations in the heart of Coconut Grove and the Shops at Bal Harbour. What, you ask, is it that elevates Bianco Gelato from standard gelato and Ice cream shops? It's their commitment to ingredients, freshly sourced and organic. The flavor profiles please children and adults alike, and in the event not everyone screams for gelato, Bianco also offers sorbets, popsicles, smoothies, baked goods, and (highly recommended!) granitas. Shunning artificial flavors and chemicals and embracing options for vegans and any dietary restrictions, Bianco Gelato is guilt-free. It's the perfect treat for a passeggiata any day of the week.

Best Desserts
Photo courtesy of Barton G.

There's something whimsical about Barton G., the Magic City restaurant with a flair for the dramatic. It's the type of place you go to impress your Tinder date or when you want to feel like every dish you order deserves its own photo shoot. Seriously, where else are you encouraged to pose for pics with a giant fork? That's especially true for dessert, where you can order a Marie Antoinette cotton candy bust — a two-foot-high twist of pink cotton candy "hair" artfully arranged atop a mini-mannequin head that's accompanied by a slice of vanilla cake. Or end it all on a giant note with The "Dolla Dolla Bill Y'all," the most expensive dessert on the menu. A platter's worth of chocolate and bling, it includes a brick-like s'mores-and-dulce-de-leche tart topped with toasted marshmallow meringue that's torched tableside. It's presented beside a giant faux gold brick and delivered by a sparkler-waving server along with a giant hundred-dollar bill for that Insta-worthy glam shot before you dig in.

A slew of contenders have rolled up for this award lately. Suddenly pasta makers — people, not machines — have appeared in restaurant windows and at highly visible perches all across the city. But we're still fans of the original Via Emilia 9 on South Beach, and sibling restaurant Via Emilia Garden in Midtown, where we first encountered Emilia-Romagna-style fresh ravioli, tortellini, tagliatelle, and more, made right there in the dining room, on the spot. After a not-so-brief interruption courtesy of the pandemic, we're happy to see them back rolling, stuffing, and pinching dough, just for us. Well, okay, for other guests, too — if you insist. After all, we can't eat it all — or can we?

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®