There's no denying it: Wynwood is a food mecca. It's the place to go for Miami's most creative restaurants, craft breweries, and unique cocktails. From an omakase sushi spot hidden behind a wall, to a world-class bakery that offers much more than bread, Wynwood's eateries are as vibrant and diverse as the street art covering the colorful and artistic neighborhood.
Alter223 NW 23rd St., Miami
Miami's buzz-worthiest restaurant just happens to be in Wynwood thanks to chef Brad Kilgore. The ambiance is unfussy — wooden chairs and concrete flooring — with a bit of neon. This industrial-chic space is the perfect canvas for Kilgore's culinary art, which earned him several James Beard nominations. Alter's multicourse tasting menus offer precise, colorful plates that are intricate yet accessible. Dine at the chef's counter to discover the inner workings of the restaurant, or grab a snack at Bar Alter, the restaurant's casual outdoor bar.
Beaker & Gray2637 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Beaker & Gray is a lively restaurant that places equal importance on its cocktail and food menus thanks to partners Brian Nasajon and Ben Potts. Nasajon serves as executive chef, while Potts creates the bar program. Cocktails come fruity and fizzy (shaken) or bold and boozy (stirred), and the food is elevated from the usual pub grub. Favorites, from chicken wings to ramen bowls, come with a sophisticated twist. Visit during the weekday happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., when a variety of cocktails and small plates cost $5 each, and check out the bonus late-night happy hour Monday through Thursday from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Hiden313 NW 25th St., Miami
Inside the Taco Stand, a small silver keypad hangs next to a bare copper wall. Enter a secret code, and the wall becomes a sliding door. It slowly opens, revealing a covert room fit for no more than ten people. This is Hiden, a mysterious omakase restaurant without menus. The chef determines the meal only hours before guests arrive. Traditionally, diners are offered two cold appetizers, a soup, seven to eight sushi courses, a hot item, and dessert. The two-hour experience is limited to eight guests and requires reservations.
Kyu251 NW 25th St., Miami
Zuma's former chef Michael Lewis and former general manager Steven Haigh are the brains behind this Asian-inspired spot in the heart of Wynwood. The focal point of Kyu (pronounced like the letter q) is a wood-fired grill, where diners can watch their food being cooked via yakinku, the Japanese barbecue grilling method. The menu, designed for sharing, lists items in several categories, including "Fresh and Bright" (vegetables), "Chilled and Refreshing" (seafood), and "Wood Fired and Smoked" (meats). The biggest bang for the buck comes in a generous portion of beef short ribs ($44) served with lettuce to make wraps.
Laid Fresh250 NW 24th St., Miami
Lingering at this egg-centric eatery by Kyu's Steven Haigh and Michael Lewis is made easy. Laid Fresh's friendly counter-service team crafts mouthwatering meals of fresh sandwiches, salads, gluten-free options, and beignets — as well as a crispy chicken sandwich no fast-food chain can rival. This all-day breakfast and brunch spot also offers a chance to disconnect from the daily grind: A wall of headphones hanging from the ceiling offers a selection of tunes ranging from heavy metal to wave sounds. You'll sit, relax, eat, drink, and never want to leave. Order a second mimosa ($4) and stay for a while.
Ono Poke2320 N. Miami Ave., Miami
This small Wynwood shop, resplendent in bright pinks and greens, serves a small menu of food that's delectable and well priced. Ono offers basically one thing: a poke bowl ($13 to $16). But that bowl, customized to your liking, is filled with really good stuff. The fish — the prized ingredient of a good poke bowl — is high-quality sushi grade and never frozen. In fact, the shop closes when it runs out of seafood for the day. Customize your bowl with rice, greens, ginger, pickled cucumbers, and other delicious toppings until your container looks as colorful as a Hawaiian garden after a rain. The result is a heavenly lunch that also happens to be nutritious.
Plant Miami105 NE 24th St., Miami
Located at the Sacred Space Miami, Plant Miami serves cutting-edge plant-based cuisine inspired by South Florida. Executive chef Horacio Rivadero and pastry chef Veronica Manolizi offer a vibrant menu that blends innovative techniques with seasonal, local produce and includes many classic raw dishes. Miami's tropical climate and its broad cultural influences are ideally suited for the restaurant’s clean, modernist approach.
R House2727 NW Second Ave., Miami
R House chef and owner Rocco Carulli has had a long-standing love affair with Wynwood since before the neighborhood became a hot spot. His restaurant is a hip place that's half restaurant and half art gallery. Abstract paintings hang on slabs that can be moved to change the space's layout. The menu is a trip around the globe, reflective of Carulli's time spent in Brazil and his Italian heritage. Try the corvina ceviche, a fresh, peppy mixture of fish, avocado, and corn relish. The braised lamb shank is cooked until practically melting and doused in a fragrant wine reduction accompanied by an herby Israeli couscous. Saturdays and Sundays, join Carulli for a sassy drag brunch.
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Wynwood Kitchen & Bar2550 NW Second Ave., Miami
For a place to nosh on small plates while enjoying art, head to Wynwood Kitchen & Bar (WKB). Since Art Basel 2010, the restaurant's vibrant setting next to Wynwood Walls has made WKB a mecca for eating, drinking, and people-watching. You might even spot a celebrity subtly browsing the works in the street-art museum. While you're waiting for the next star sighting, order some chicken ropa vieja empanadas.
Zak the Baker295 NW 26th St., Miami
Zak the Baker isn't your average coffee shop selling a few pastries. Miami's Zak Stern, a James Beard-nominated baker, has found his way into hearts and bellies through his perfectly baked bread. Nearly every Whole Foods location in South Florida carries a variety of his signature loaves, cookies, and other artisan delights such as chocolate babka. Plus, his mighty wholesale operation provides many local restaurants with the very best bread for their sandwiches. At his Wynwood bakery, you can purchase loaves of freshly baked sourdough, grab a few pastries, and take a seat for breakfast or lunch.