Best French Restaurant 2023 | Bagatelle Miami | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Bagatelle photo

With a rolling wave of French places opening up in town, it's becoming tough for Francophile culinarians to choose where to dine. Or is it? With fare that reflects the southern, sunshine-y aspect of the country, Bagatelle Miami serves plenty of dishes with fresh, explosive flavors, ranging from grilled octopus with blistered red peppers, tomatoes, and toasted almonds to steamed sea bass with Florida oranges and fennel. The art leans toward the pop culture side of things, and a DJ builds energy with bops leading into bangers, so you've got yourself a perfect Miami evening filled with a feast of entertainment.

Come to Niu Wine for its extensive natural wine selection and personalized recommendations. Located just a few doors down from its sister restaurant, Niu Kitchen, this industrial-chic space is just as intimate and romantic with narrow tables and candlelight. Rather than order off a menu, the staff will bring you some selections to try. Part of the experience is never knowing what to expect, whether it's a glass of grenache/syrah blend from Ardèche or an Italian vermouth. It all pairs perfectly with an ever-changing tapas selection.

Imagine wearing rose-colored glasses. That's what it looks like inside Lolita Dessert Club. In addition to displaying seemingly every shade of pink, this dainty tearoom is more than an Instagram backdrop. This intimate North Miami Beach space serves colorful macaroons and warm cookies. Opt for the chocolate-covered strawberries, or European sweets like dark-chocolate bonbons and homemade crêpes that come in a variety of flavors, including cheesecake, Nutella, and banana pudding.

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.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®