Best Indian Restaurant 2023 | Bengal Indian Cuisine | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times

It seemed the never-ending pandemic would rob us of one of the guiltiest pleasures in life: the all-you-can-eat buffet. But thankfully, the lunch buffet at Bengal Indian Cuisine hasn't gone extinct. Every weekday, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the downtown Miami spot offers a bottomless plethora of Indian delicacies for $15.95. Soup, salad, naan, a variety of rice and entrees, including three or four vegetarian options, are all to be had at your leisure. The food is made fresh and frequently replenished. If you're not a glutton or prefer a more a la carte experience, you can't go wrong with the samosas or the eye-watering chana saag, a medley of spinach and chickpeas. When they ask you how spicy you want it, be warned that "medium" packs a punch of heat.

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Most Mediterranean restaurants offer fare from the Greek Isles and southern Italy and can overlook dishes from the Mediterranean Sea's northeastern shore: Turkey. El Turco puts Turkish fare at the forefront of its menu and serves it al fresco under a giant Banyan tree. The restaurant offers many Mediterranean favorites you're familiar with, including hummus, grape leaves, yogurt, and fresh fish. Still, there are dishes that are meant to be explored, like the eriste, a homemade pasta dish tossed with walnuts, feta, and parsley, and izmir kofte, a casserole of meatballs, carrots, and potatoes in a fragrant tomato sauce. Finish your meal with a cup of rich, potent Turkish coffee. El Turco doesn't offer wine, but you can bring a bottle.

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Calista Taverna's white-and-blue storefront looks as if it were chiseled off a Santorini cliffside and magically transplanted onto Giralda, the popular pedestrian street in Coral Gables. The housemade moussaka is the eatery's pride and joy, as is the Greek salad made with Greek-imported feta. Pescatarians can rejoice in the daily fresh selection of whole fish and seafood on ice in the back of the restaurant. But don't skimp on the turf-based offerings, including chicken souvlaki and lamb chops.

George Martinez

Because Miamians are always chasing after the next big thing, too distracted with the shiny and the new, we forget, never learn, or don't care about the truly terrific restaurants like Tim Andriola's Timo that thrive in nontouristy neighborhoods and quietly celebrate 20 years of serving high-quality, inventive Italian fare to adoring fans. Well, now you know. Pass it on to the tech bro from California to whom you just sold your condo for three times what it's worth.

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Sure, Zeru Miami serves plenty of Basque cuisine, ranging from tasty pintxos (snacks) to socarrats (rice dishes that mimic the burned, stuck-to-the-pan part of paella). And we know how a separatist Vascongado might feel about getting lumped in with anything that says Spain, even for an award. But since Zeru offers a range of the country's cuisine, with most of the main courses and side dishes cooked on a very Spanish Josper grill, we figure it fits within the parameters just fine. That said, while Zeru mines inspiration from Spain, it takes its cue from quality, and sources proteins from all over the world, including a don't-miss Alaskan king crab with miso glaze, a Wagyu tomahawk, and Japanese Kobe striploin.

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.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®