Over the past year, dozens of new restaurants have sprouted across the region's tri-county area, fueling the expansion of South Florida's long-overlooked culinary scene.
Be it longtime local and beloved chefs, out-of-town newcomers, or nationally recognized celebrity names, it appears everyone is rushing to the Magic City to get a piece of the metaphorical pie.
While the city has already welcomed a number of buzzworthy concepts, there's still more to come in the new year as we await the launch of several up-and-coming concepts set to bless the region with their culinary prowess.
With that in mind, here, in alphabetical order, are the top ten South Florida restaurants we're looking forward to welcoming in 2023:
Anthony's Runway 84330 W. State Rd. 84, Fort Lauderdale
runway-84.com Anthony Bruno's aviation-themed restaurant has long been the red-sauce go to, serving up classics for New York ex-pats homesick for their favorite Italian restaurants. For four decades, patrons enjoyed martinis at a bar where a large-scale replica of an airplane served as the focal point or sat in a booth to gaze at the Fort Lauderdale skyline from "cockpit windows" while Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin crooned in the background. They came for an oversized pork chop, fresh snapper, or a hearty bowl of pasta. So when the restaurant closed its doors in May 2022, there was a rush to make one last visit before the beloved institution closed for a reboot. When it opens in 2023, the airplane memorabilia and the cockpit windows will be gone, and the establishment will be transformed into a supper club with Rat Pack vibes. It will also have brought on new partners: Bruno has partnered with Pat Marzano (from Bruno's other venture, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza) and Marc Falsetto of Handcrafted Hospitality (Tacocraft, Pizzacraft) on the renovation estimated to cost about $3 million.
Bouchon Bistro2101 Galiano St., Coral Gables
thomaskeller.com Chef Thomas Keller is expected to open a second restaurant in the Miami area this coming year, news that came one month after his Surf Club Restaurant in Surfside was awarded a star in the newly minted Florida Michelin Guide. Dubbed Bouchon, the French bistro is set to open inside Coral Gables' historic La Palma building. Built in 1924, the structure is a classic example of Mediterranean architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Keller opened his first Bouchon in Napa, California, in October 1998, four years after opening the French Laundry, also in California's wine country. The restaurant, which has a second location in Las Vegas, is known for its classics like roast chicken, leg of lamb, and trout amandine. When Bouchon Bistro opens in Coral Gables, the kitchen is said to be placed into the hands of chef de cuisine Thomas Castellon, who has experience at the Surf Club in Surfside and TAK Room in New York City. While the Coral Gables menu is still in the development stage, expect Keller and his team to prepare dishes around seasonality and the restaurant's location, with frequent changes year-round.
Double Knot2550 NW Second Ave., Miami
doubleknotphilly.com Philadelphia-based chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson's newest endeavor will soon be opening in one of Miami's most sought-after locations. The chef, who owns a portfolio of restaurants under his company Schulson Collective, will bring an outpost of Double Knot — a sushi restaurant and izakaya from Philadelphia — to the former Wynwood Kitchen & Bar space on NW Second Avenue. The restaurant will serve up sushi, sashimi, and robata items, plus a chef's tasting menu of a bountiful collection of housemade mochi for dessert.
Lucky Cat119 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
gordonramsayrestaurants.com Soon, Miamians will be able to get up close and personal with the opening of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's first Miami endeavor, Lucky Cat. The restaurant is situated in the South of Fifth neighborhood, a U.S. outpost of the original Lucky Cat that opened in 2019 in London's Mayfair district. The restaurant, which harkens back to the Tokyo drinking dens of the 1930s, offers dishes inspired by various regions throughout Asia. The 9,000-square-foot space features an open kitchen, raw bar, chef's table, and a late-night lounge. As for food: Think a fun, relaxed atmosphere offering a varied selection of Pan-Asian dishes paired with incredible cocktails, sushi, sashimi, meats from the robata grill, and — if we're lucky — no screaming from the kitchen.
Mai-Kai3599 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale
maikai.com If you haven't been to the Mai-Kai, you'll want to be there for this longtime South Florida haunt's grand reopening later this year. Nothing quite compares to this Polynesian pop-themed restaurant, bar, and entertainment venue. In all honesty, we're lucky to have it — not many of our nation's original and historic tiki-themed establishments are still standing, and it was recently up for sale. Thankfully, Miami's Ball & Chain co-owner Bill Fuller has taken over operations to give the Fort Lauderdale gem a much-needed makeover, meaning we have plenty of tiki cocktails, fire shows, and Polynesian-themed fare to look forward to in 2023.
News Cafe801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
thetonyhotel.com Restaurateur Mark Soyka opened the News Cafe at Ocean Drive and Eighth Street in 1989 with his friend and real estate developer, Tony Goldman. Together, the two men helped South Beach experience a renaissance. For years, the café was known as the place to see and be seen. That's why Miamians were saddened when the popular South Beach haunt abruptly closed in January 2021. Four months later, however, it was announced the restaurant would reopen at its original location on the ground floor of the newly renamed Tony Hotel South Beach. Scott Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties, purchased the brand from Mark Soyka. Operated by Vida and Estilo Group (the restaurateurs behind Havana 1957, Paperfish Sushi, and others), the idea is to keep News Cafe as close to the original version as possible.
Pastis380 NW 26th St., Miami
pastisnyc.com We envision Pastis, New York City's iconic version of a classic Parisian bistro, will be all the rage when it opens in the coming new year. The original Manhattan restaurant — considered to be one of the first chic eateries to take root in Manhattan's Meatpacking District — closed in 2014. Helmed by two James Beard Award-winning restaurateurs, Keith McNally and Stephen Starr, the culinary duo say the Miami location will feature elements similar to the original from a curved zinc bar outfitted with signature subway tiles and vintage mirrors to handwritten daily specials and a mosaic-tiled floor. Guests can also dine on the classic bistro fare Pastis is best known for, with a menu that covers brunch, lunch, and dinner and highlights traditional French fare with signature offerings like garlic and parsley-seasoned escargot, moules frites, and steak sandwiches topped with caramelized onions and melted Gruyère.
Rao's1601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
raosrestaurants.com A New York City red-sauce institution is coming to Miami Beach, another restaurant famous for being impossible to get into. Resting its reputation on 125-year, time-earned laurels, Rao's has confirmed it will take up residence at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in early 2023. The 60-seat, East Harlem original is notorious for its waitlist, with reservations booked a year in advance.
Sra. Martinez2325 Galiano St., Coral Gables
mbcmiami.com A Miami favorite is expected to be back in business from husband-and-wife team David Martinez and Michelle Bernstein. Earlier this year, Bernstein announced via her Instagram that Sra. Martinez, her Miami Design District restaurant that closed in 2012, would be making a comeback. The small but lively space was beloved for its fun vibe and creative tapas served alongside a list of regional Spanish sherries and wines and some of the best cocktails in town created by Julio Cabrera. Bernstein will bring her Spanish-meets-Mediterranean tapas to Coral Gables, noting that it would be a "2023 version" of the original. The new 4,000-square-foot space was formerly home to Open Stage, a live-music venue and bar that closed during the pandemic.
Tablé180 NE 40th St., Miami
antoniobachour.com Tablé by Bachour will soon be the latest restaurant and café concept slated to open under the direction of celebrated chef and pastry whiz Antonio Bachour. With its location in the Miami Design District, Tablé will feature a menu rooted in French cuisine with an ambiance designed to evoke the spirit of a Parisian brasserie — with a Miami twist, of course. In addition to the main dining room, bar, and outdoor patio, the restaurant also will feature a café where customers can stop by for grab 'n' go fare like sandwiches and Bachour's beloved baked goods to jamón serrano sliced to order. Guests can even watch the magic of the in-house bakery through glass walls.