Required Eating: 100 Miami Restaurants We Can't Live Without

Dive into Miami's culinary scene.
Dive into Miami's culinary scene. Photo by Michael Campina
Miami is growing by leaps and bounds. It seems the skyline changes every month as yet another high-rise is erected. The same goes for the arts and cultural scenes, with Art Basel morphing into Miami Art Week and world-class museums giving the city serious cultural cred.

When it comes to progress, though, it may be Miami's culinary universe that's gained the most attention. What once was a city dominated by tourist traps and chain restaurants has evolved into a creative hub in its own right. Whether you're hankering for a fancy meal plated by a top-tier chef, planning a pilgrimage to your favorite storefront spot for authentic food like Mom used to make, or grabbing a few croquetas to fuel your afternoon, Miami has you covered.

Over the past several months, we on New Times' editorial staff set a challenge for ourselves: to identify the Magic City's can't-miss places and share them with our readers. "Required Eating: 100 Miami Restaurants We Can't Live Without" is as it sounds. It's a list of eateries that tell the tale of the 305.

We laid down a few guidelines to ensure we'd end up with a blend of old and new, plain and fancy, neighborhood haunts and chef-driven destinations. For the most part, we limited ourselves to Miami-Dade County, but it's foolhardy (if not impossible) for any serious eater to deny the existence of Broward County. We disqualified chains that aren't locally based, as well as breweries and bars that don't specialize in food. If a chef or restaurateur presides over more than one local establishment, we considered each on its own merits. Food halls were judged by their overall dining merits.

The process was not without conflict. After all, we're talking about taste, which is highly subjective, and every name that came up for deliberation was a place where one or more of us has had a memorable dining experience. These are the restaurants where we share meals with family and friends, the restaurants where we celebrate, the places we recommend to folks from out of town when they ask where to go for burgers or a solid cubano or to splurge on stone crab or steak.

Now that we've debated and decided, we're sharing our picks with you. And we'd love to hear your feedback. Did we expose your favorite hidden gem? Did we overlook a must-try spot? Let us know at [email protected].

"Required Eating: 100 Miami Restaurants We Can't Live Without" is written by Laine Doss, Zachary Fagenson, Clarissa Buch, Juliana Accioly, Chelsea Olson, and Nicole Danna.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss