Best Deli 2023 | Kush Hialeah | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Photo by Karli Evans

In a town that's way too comfortable demolishing its history to make way for luxury condos, it's noteworthy that Matt Kuscher and his team have preserved the integrity of one of the oldest New York-style delis in Miami-Dade dating back to the 1950s. When you step inside, Kush by Stephens feels as if it were cast in amber with nostalgic wood paneling, stained glass lamps, plush booths, and antique swivel stools at the bar. Keeping its original hand-sliced promise, the menu highlights Hialeah's Jewish-Cuban flavors with Bubbie's matzoh ball soup, crispy latkes, and Newman's Jewban, a sandwich marrying both cultures with pulled pork and corned beef. If you had any doubt that you were indeed in Hialeah — a city that boasts the largest population of Cuban and Cuban-American residents in the country — peek inside the men's bathroom for a urinal cake with Fidel Castro's face on it.

Etzel Itzik serves Israeli cuisine so authentic that each bite of hummus feels like it's bringing you closer to Tel Aviv. From the schnitzel to the shishlik, the meats at this Aventura restaurant are proudly all kosher. But don't miss the tahini, hummus, falafel, or daily specials. The menus are printed in English and Hebrew, and staff can understand and often speak both languages.

Bo Legs BBQ photo

Inspired by his North Carolina roots, self-made chef Kevin Doherty has spent more than 30 years perfecting the art of barbecue. His restaurant's new location inside an El Portal skatepark is an unexpected upgrade from his longtime outdoor operation from the Foxy Lady Laundry parking lot in North Miami Beach. As part of a collaboration with South Florida restaurant group Hip Hop Eatery, Bo Legs BBQ officially relaunched inside Skatebird Miami earlier this year. Don't worry, there's still classic oak wood-smoked meats like St. Louis-style spare ribs, beef brisket, turkey legs, and jerk chicken. Everything is designed to taste better when doused in Doherty's signature sauces (the yellow-hued golden barbecue sauce is addictive) and paired with sides, such as the homestyle mac and cheese, tender collard greens, smokey and sweet baked beans, and butter-slathered corn on the cob.

Platea Miami photo

The usual complaints arise when you tell urban-core Miamians that they simply must try Platea Miami, located in the suburban enclave of Pinecrest. "Too far," they grumble. "Traffic is awful," they gripe. But once diners get a taste of this Peruvian steakhouse's innovative fried ceviche, appetizers like the aji amarillo-inflected "foie mosaic" with balsamic pearls, and main course meat and fish options that are surprisingly reasonable for the superiority of the product, those objections simply disappear like reservations do on "Tomahawk Tuesdays," when you can enjoy a three-course meal for two, featuring a 64-ounce USDA Prime tomahawk, for $150.

Photo by Zachary Fagenson

When you're craving fresh seafood, there's no better spot than Coconut Grove's Shore to Door. As the name implies, the fish is sourced directly from local fishermen, meaning the day's menu is dictated by the day's catch. While Shore to Door primarily operates as a fish market, the shop throws open its back patio on weekends and serves whatever's available. The nugget-like wahoo bites ($17) are a must for any visit, but the minimalist whole-fried snapper ($39) might be the star of the show. Drinks are serve yourself; grab a glass of wine from the fridge out back or a beer from the ice-filled cooler and keep tabs of your count on the daily blackboard. You'll want to call before heading out, as weather and other last-minute changes can affect hours. While you're at it, get the scoop on any live music that day. The band starts most Saturdays around 6 p.m., turning the small patio into a casually festive backyard party.

Naomi's Garden has been a community pillar of delicious and affordable Haitian food for three decades. The charming Little Haiti restaurant was founded by Yaron and Shula Yemini, initially serving Israeli foods. Eventually, it adapted its menu to the neighborhood. Amongst the usual Haitian eats like jerk chicken, oxtail, or curry goat, Naomi's offers an impressive and unique list of vegetarian options, including tofu stroganoff, okra or spinach stew, legumes, curry jackfruit, all with a side of rice or baked mac and cheese, plantains, and spicy pikliz. Take your vegetarian meal to-go, or enjoy it in the restaurant's lush garden.

Photo by Jonathan Molea and Eduardo Hernandez
Nouvelle croissants

If you never thought you'd be able to enjoy simple pleasures like a croissant, macaron, or even a croque monsieur again because you're conscious about animal welfare, the environment, or your health, then you clearly haven't been to L'Artisane, which claims to be the first full-fledged French vegan bakery-café in the nation. Thanks to chef-owner Caroline Molea, who trained at Le Cordon Bleu and at Michelin-starred restaurants, diners can nosh on astonishingly delicious French vegan (and often gluten-free) items to their bodies' content. Not vegan? We swear omnivorous taste buds can't tell the difference.

Photo by Nicole Danna

Franky's Deli Warehouse promises "the best six inches" you'll ever have. For more than 20 years, this Hialeah gem set among industrial warehouses steps from I-75 has been serving some of Miami's best sandos for breakfast, lunch, and possibly even dinner. Just ask South Florida famous locals like Billy Blue and Flo-Rida, both listed among the establishment's earliest steadfast patrons. Pass through the doors during a busy lunch rush, and you'll be instantly recognized as a frequent sandwich shopper or cheerfully greeted as a newcomer. If the list of 27 sandwiches is overwhelming, owner Frank Diaz and staff are happy to help. Their top-sellers include the #1, a straightforward Italian sub that marries fresh-sliced ham, capicola, salami, and provolone; the #16 tuna salad, prepared fresh daily using 20 pounds of tuna; or the #20 cheesesteak, chopped and seared ribeye that can be gussied up with onions and sweet peppers. A frequent-buyer VIP punch card lets you work your way to a free sando the more you eat — and lets the staff know you've become a regular. With just one bite, you know it won't be long before you've worked through all 20-plus menu options and a loyalty punch card or two.

Photo by Nicole Danna

Tourists might flock to La Sanguich and Versailles, but locals (and their abuelitos) are endeared to Bella Cuba, a longtime, family-owned establishment in South Beach. The first Bella Cuba opened in Ireland, but when owner Omar Jimenez's family relocated to Miami when he was a kid, they brought their restaurant with them and opened it a stone's throw from Lincoln Road and the Miami Beach Convention Center. Since 2005, the kitchen has consistently churned out some of the city's best Cuban fare, a perfect union of Afro-Caribbean and Spanish dishes from tender ropa vieja and indulgent crema de malanga soup to frita sliders and seafood paella. But you're here for their generously portioned Cuban sandwich. It starts with fresh-baked Cuban bread pressed to perfection and layered with slices of salty ham, a mountainous pile of fragrant house-roasted pork, and the requisite trio of Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. The result is a mouthwatering combination of savory, sweet, and tangy. If you're feeling adventurous, it's also available as a wrap that's equally loaded with all the ingredients and delivers a burrito-style Cubano experience with everything but the bread.

Photo courtesy of Le Chick

With a name like Le Chick, this Wynwood eatery has essentially declared itself the reigning ruler of Miami poultry. Fortunately, the restaurant's chicken sandwich is as close to perfection as you can get for golden-fried goodness. There's nothing fancy about this sandwich, and it starts with the basics: The buttermilk fried chicken breast is crunchy on the outside, and plump, juicy, and flavorful on the inside. It's topped with homemade ranch, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pickles and rests on a brioche bun that won't deflate into a soggy mess during the meal. The sandwich can be gussied up with add-ons like applewood smoked bacon, avocado, and truffle aioli. (A fried egg on the sandwich is divisive but ultimately rewarding for those who love a runny yolk.) Le Chick also has a great cocktail program and a robust selection of wines by the glass. Dine on the garden patio for an elevated chicken sammie experience.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®