Five Miami Food Neighborhoods to Watch in 2017

Atlas Meat Free Deli is slated to open in Little River this year.
Atlas Meat Free Deli is slated to open in Little River this year. Courtesy of Atlas Meat-Free Deli
Twenty sixteen was the year Coconut Grove cemented its place as one of Miami's premier dining destinations. Although the charming area has always had nice restaurants, newcomers such as Ariete, Glass & Vine, 33 Kitchen, and Harry's Pizzeria have propelled the Grove to the next level. With 2016 behind us, it's only logical to wonder which neighborhoods we ought to watch this year. Which one will emerge as the Coconut Grove of 2017?

Since 2012, Miami's restaurant scene has been continually heating up, and 2017 is already looking like it will be another game-changer for the 305. Read on for the five areas we'll be paying very close attention to in the next 12 months.
1. Little River
Adjacent to the rapidly gentrifying Little Haiti and just west of Miami's Upper Eastside, Little River is in the early stages of a renaissance. Miami Ironside (7610 NE Fourth Ct.) has been in the area for a couple of years and consists of a block of art and design studios, workspaces, event spaces, and one of the city's best Neapolitan-style pizza joints, Ironside Pizza. It's an idyllic and playful space that makes visitors temporarily forget where they are.

For a while, Ironside Pizza was one of the only spot in Little River to grab a good meal; however, that's quickly changing. Rail 71 Café joined the neighborhood recently, and 2017 will see the highly anticipated opening of Atlas Meat-Free Deli, Bousa Brewing Co., and Cindy Lou's artisanal cookie shop. You can add Little River's close proximity to the Design and MiMo Districts as just two more reasons this pocket of Miami is will see its stock soar this year.
Dragonfly Izakaya at the Shops at Downtown Doral. - BILLWISSERPHOTO.COM
Dragonfly Izakaya at the Shops at Downtown Doral.
2. Downtown Doral
Last November, the inaugural Doral Food & Wine Festival (DFWF) took place — a sure sign the city wants to be taken seriously for its dining scene. Also in 2016, Doral caught the attention of many Miami foodies when the owners of Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market chose the neighborhood for the third location of their successful Japanese concept. Dragonfly was then joined by Bulla, the hip Coral Gables gastrobar serving modern tapas, which opened its doors at the Shops at Downtown Doral. And last but not least —Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes came onto the scene this past December.

Doral's restaurant landscape is certainly growing, and 2017 will be a pivotal year that determines whether the neighborhood becomes a bona fide food destination or just another area with a few standout eateries scattered amid ordinary chains. Stay tuned.
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Valeria Nekhim was born in the Ukraine and raised in Montreal. She has lived in Manhattan and Miami. Her favorite part of food writing is learning the stories of chefs and restaurateurs.