By: Shayne Benowitz
Discover some of the best restaurants in Downtown Miami and Brickell.
The dining scene in downtown and Brickell is heating up with a slew of brand new restaurants alongside longtime classics. Whether you’re staying here for business or simply want to explore a new neighborhood, a reservation at one of these sizzling restaurants will give you a taste of the city between its towering skyscrapers—or in some cases, on the rooftop.
Zuma has been a perennial Miami hotspot ever since it opened in the lobby of the swanky EPIC Hotel downtown. The Japanese stunner serves some of the freshest sushi in the city to a trendy crowd that’s included many celebrities over the years, from Kim Kardashian to LeBron James. Whether it’s a power lunch or a romantic dinner, you’re guaranteed to impress with a meal here. Brunch is also the stuff of legends with bottomless Champagne, cocktails, a lavish buffet and entrees made to order. Pro tip: Never skip dessert. Their eye-catching platter comes with a variety of tropical fruits and creative chocolates, cakes and pastries. 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami, FL 33131
For a taste of Parisian elegance in the heart of Brickell, Marion Miami is decked out in red and cream with bistro chairs and leather banquettes for the perfect power lunch or evening out. Start with an authentic Lyonnaise salad with boiled egg, cured pork and parmesan or a charcuterie board of cheese and cured meat. Then, move onto a main course of delicate garganelli pasta made with tuna confit, lemon zest and chili. You can also enjoy down-to-earth, yet elevated dishes like the Marion Burger made of short rib or the forest mushroom quiche. With a dessert menu that could rival a Parisian patisserie, don’t skip a sweet treat at the end of your meal. 1111 SW 1st Ave., Miami, FL 33130
From the nightlife impresario behind LIV and Story, Komodo is David Grutman’s first restaurant concept and it’s already garnered a loyal following of Miami’s glitterati. With a clientele of beautiful people who look like they could either be behind the decks of a DJ booth or dancing on the table inside one of Grutman’s high-octane nightclubs, this is a flashy spot to see and be scene. The food, you ask? That’s almost beside the point, but the menu consists of creative pan-Asian small plates and sushi meant to be shared. Highlights include truffle beef tartare, tuna tacos and the Hong Kong grilled lobster. 801 Brickell Ave., Miami, FL 33131
Soya e Pomodoro
Soya e Pomodoro might just be downtown Miami’s best kept secret. For something unexpected, seek out this haunt serving authentic Italian alongside live jazz music in a romantic, airy setting. You’re sure to impress your date. This hidden gem is unassuming, down-to-earth and dimly lit. Even though it’s in the heart of downtown Miami’s hustle and bustle, the restaurant’s historic Beaux-Arts architecture and moody ambiance transports you to Italy. And the fresh pasta is to die for, whether it’s the pappardelle with shrimp in a pistachio sauce or the fazzoletti stuffed with fresh pear and cheese in a creamy ricotta sauce. 120 NE 1st St., Miami, FL 33132
New to the Downtown scene, PB Station opened inside the brand new boutique Langford Hotel. A former financial institution built in the 1920s, the building is now a stylish destination for business travelers, power lunchers and happy hour goers at one of the only rooftop bars downtown. PB Station is designed to resemble an Old World train terminal with black and white subway tiles, arched mirrors and major US cities scrawled on the walls alongside clocks reflecting their time zones. It’s also the latest from beloved local restaurateurs the Pubbelly Boys who consistently turn out hit after hit. PB Station’s concept is New American with many dishes repurposed from their former Sunset Harbour PB Steakhouse. Don’t miss the creative heirloom radish and burratta salad, French onion soup dumplings or the PB burger. 121 SE 1st St., Miami, FL 33131
Set dockside on the Miami River where you could conceivable arrive by yacht, Seaspice is a glitzy, al fresco restaurant for the see-and-be-seen crowd. Whether it’s Champagne soaked Sunday brunch or a sumptuous dinner out, dress to impress and expect to rub shoulders with Miami’s social set. The menu is just as indulgent as the scene with an extensive caviar and raw bar menu and dishes like the gorgonzola pear black truffle pizzetta and A5 wagyu steak cooked on a hot stone before your eyes. 422 NW North River Dr., Miami, FL 33128
Next door to Seaspice, Garcia’s has been a staple of the Miami River waterfront for the last half decade. A down-to-earth destination for fresh caught fish founded by Cuban exiles, it’s also the antitheses of Seaspice. Diners come here for a no fuss meal of grouper, snapper or mahi-mahi in a relaxed setting overlooking the water. With a fish market on site, it’s home to some of the freshest seafood in Miami. 398 NW North River Dr., Miami, FL 33128
La Mar by Gaston Acurio
For upscale Peruvian in a luxurious setting, renowned chef Gaston Acurio’s La Mar is one of Brickell’s most sought after dining destinations. Located inside the Mandarin Oriental on posh Brickell Key, La Mar specializes in a refined twist on the beloved South American fare. With seating indoors and out, the luxurious dining room is home to gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. There’s a range of ceviches, tiraditos (sashimi-style fish), causas, anticuhos (skewered meat) and traditional dishes on the menu like the whole grilled branzino with anticuchera sauce, chimi-churri garlic butter and crispy yucca. It’s a feast of flavors not to be missed on a visit to Miami. 500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami, FL 33131
Serving a menu that could be described as New American, European or even Persian, Fooq’s is a new downtown destination with an eclectic, hearty menu and a hip vibe. Favorites include the crave-worthy meatballs made with ground brisket and Berkshire pork and the Persian salad made of asparagus, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, olives and tumeric pickles. It’s located in a burgeoning entertainment district downtown near popular bar The Corner and 24-hour nightclub E11even.
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