Best Restaurant (Brickell) 2023 | Kaori | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Photo by Sofia Barroso/FIID Agency

Within the chaos of Brickell's traffic and drawbridge, Kaori offers a serene escape embellished with clean wood accents reminiscent of a modern art museum except with thought-provoking dishes in lieu of abstract paintings. The Asian-inspired menu is visually complex and ingredient-driven, including the wagyu and foie gras gyoza with doubanjiang sauce, goma sauce, and leeks, the beef tenderloin paired with Japanese sweet potato, and the bluefin tuna sashimi, which is served with crisp sunchoke, coconut-lime sauce, spiced coconut gel, and Thai basil oil. Come for the restaurant's happy hour, which runs Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m., for elevated cocktails and $1 oysters served with a shiso mignonette.

Photo by Joshua Perez

Pastis, with its Parisian food and ambiance, has been one of New York City's most beloved restaurants for years — and restaurateurs Keith McNally and Stephen Starr have brought the French bistro to Wynwood by way of the Big Apple. Step inside and be welcomed by its warm, golden lighting, patina mirrors, and white-tiled walls. The menu offers classic French dishes, including French onion soup, croque madames, and steak frites. Whether you order a burger and a beer at the bar or celebrate a birthday with friends, Pastis, both comfortable and stylish, is the little black dress of restaurants that goes with everything.

Best Restaurant (Design District/Midtown)

Tablé by Bachour

Tablé by Bachour photo

At his upscale Design District restaurant Tablé by Bachour, chef Antonio Bachour offers beautiful light fare perfect for quenching all cravings after a long day perusing Dior and Gucci. Everything on the Lebanese- and French-influenced menu is satisfying, but you know you're really here for the dessert. The chef, who owns Bachour in Coral Gables and Doral, stayed true to his reputation at Tablé, pulling out all the stops when it comes to sweet treats. There's a Camembert cheesecake with cherries and raspberry jam that toes the line between sweet and savory, a millefeuille with its seemingly thousands of layers of buttery puff pastry lovingly layered with vanilla bean creme in between each one, and a chocolate financier called "100 Percent Chocolate" that's true to its name: Basically, it's chocolate, filled with chocolate, topped with chocolate. Add a full bar to the mix and you've got all the decadent bases covered. So go ahead and get dessert for dinner. You've earned it.

Best Restaurant (MiMo/Little River)


Rosie's photo

The first time you drive to Rosie's, you might miss it altogether. A small sign is the only clue that this restaurant exists. Once you pass the gate, you'll find a charming little oasis of tables underneath shade trees and umbrellas. Chef Akino West offers a concise menu of Southern favorites like hot chicken and biscuits, shrimp and grits, and waffles. The menu might be simple, but the flavors are not. The chicken, for example, is spiced with hot Calabrian chili oil instead of the usual cayenne, giving the bird a delightful zing. The restaurant, which opened as a pop-up during the pandemic in an Overtown location, is solid proof that a restaurant need be neither glitzy nor even indoors to win the hearts of Miami — or some big-time recognition: Rosie's received a Bib Gourmand in the 2023 Florida Michelin Guide and chef West was a semifinalist for a 2023 James Beard Award.

Midorie Miami photo

Midorie Miami is hard to find. The tiny Japanese eatery is tucked behind a courtyard, and friendly folks at neighboring establishments often instruct the lost and hungry to "walk past the bike store, take a right at the trash bin, and if you find yourself on the street, you've gone too far." Once inside, you'll encounter a sushi counter and not much else. Clay pots and a driftwood arrangement decorate the mint-green walls. There are six tables for al fresco dining. There's no music whatsoever. But you're here for the fish, flown in daily from Tokyo's Toyosu fish market. With a simple one-page menu, art dealer turned restaurateur Alvaro Perez (Hiakawa, Wabi Sabi) has made Midorie a haven for sushi purists. A 12-piece chef's choice sushi meal is a reasonable $90, but the restaurant also offers bowls of reasonably priced fresh fish and a choice of rice, salad, or noodles, along with a good selection of hand rolls.

Photo by RMStudioCorp

Chef Michael Bolen moved to Miami from San Diego and opened Lion & the Rambler, a modern California restaurant highlighting offerings from some of the best farmers and purveyors in the country with an ever-evolving seasonal menu. What started as a tasting-menu-only concept was modified soon after opening by customers' demand: They wanted a neighborhood joint with plenty of a la carte and small plates that could keep them returning for more. As a rule of thumb, if it isn't seasonal, it's probably made from scratch, like the finishing salts extracted from Miami's waters, the housemade bread, and flavored butters.

Pla-Tu Sushi Thai Tapas photo

Pla-Tu Sushi Thai Tapas doesn't believe fast food necessarily means good food. That's why each dish at the 40-seat South Miami restaurant is made to order and uses the freshest ingredients possible. "We don't precook food," restaurant partner Oui Pholasamee previously told New Times. "You may have to wait a bit, but the food will come out tasting good." The Thai-Japanese fusion spot, voted number one on Yelp's Top 100 Places to Eat in Florida this year, prides itself on its top-notch ingredients. Aside from preparing a selection of top-grade, melt-in-your-mouth sushi and a surprisingly affordable omakase dinner at just $40, the restaurant also serves up an array of authentic Thai dishes like moo nam tok (grilled pork salad) and chicken khao soi (coconut curry noodle soup). The staff is kind and attentive, the food is Instagram-worthy, and the spicy tuna crispy rice is immaculately crisp.

Reunion Ktchn Bar photo by Ivan Nava

Reunion Kitchn Bar is next door to a pizza chain and a dentist, but don't let the location fool you — this restaurant has some serious chops. First off, the bartenders know how to make an exceptional martini, and there's an entire menu of "culinary cocktails" inspired by chef's dishes, including a black truffle old fashioned. The menu is a global experience blending Peruvian, Cuban, Mediterranean, and Japanese dishes. It's arguably one of the only places in the city where diners can find escargot, ceviche, tagliatelle, saganaki, and sushi, all under the same roof.

Best Restaurant (Fort Lauderdale)


Photo by Nicole Danna

Some may know Rino Cerbone as the frontman for the South Florida band Stellar Revival. But if you'd like to taste his Italian heritage, head down to Heritage, a hidden gem nestled in an unassuming building on the southern outskirts of Flagler Village. As chef/owner, Cerbone showcases his family's Italian heritage via a casual fine-dining experience. The Heritage menu is small but focused. Each dish comes from the Cerbone family recipes with Cerbone's spin. Start with fried squash blossoms, delicate flowers stuffed with creamy mascarpone and bound by a thin and crispy tempura-like shell and paired with a sherry-spiked marinara or the black mushroom arancini, dense globes of rice set atop smoked garlic and tomato aioli and flavored with oyster, portobello, cremini, and shiitake mushrooms and held together by a trio of cheeses. Pizza takes up a good portion of the menu, an homage to his father's pizzaiola background, a calling evident with just one bite of the classic tomato, a simple pie prepared with fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. But it's the mafaldine bolognese, a recipe crafted to impart influences from both Cerbone's parents, that shines. The slow-cooked ragu is rich and hearty, with a blend of pork, veal, Wagyu beef, and smoked pancetta that goes perfectly with fat ribbons of handmade mafaldine pasta. Just one bite, and you'll have a newfound appreciation for the legacy behind this Fort Lauderdale favorite.

Carmela and Fulvio Jr. Sardelli, owners of Hollywood favorite Sardelli's, opened Carmela's Italian Ristorante in the heart of downtown Hollywood without any signage. But you'll know you've arrived when you encounter the crystal chandeliers and romantic lighting that give Carmela's a more elegant vibe than the usual pubs and mom-and-pop restaurants in the area. The menu is small, but everything is fresh and delicious. Want a steaming dish of rigatoni alla vodka? Carmela's version is toothsome, creamy, and with a hint of Calabrian chilies. The chicken parm has the proper crisp perimeter. Carmela's also makes some of the finest cocktails in Hollywood, including a truffle-washed "Bee's Knees" and an old fashioned with pistachio orgeat and bitters. Grab a seat at the bar with friends or ask the host for a seat at the secret back garden for a romantic date night.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®