Doral's Best Restaurants For Globetrotters

Peppers at Bulla Gastrobar

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Peppers at Bulla Gastrobar

By: Jennifer Agress

There’s more to Miami than just sun and beaches. In fact, go further inland to neighborhoods like Doral and you’ll get to experience multicultural Miami in the best way: through food. Just minutes from the Miami International Airport, Doral has become a top destination for people from all over the world to start a life here in South Florida. From Asian restaurants and South American steakhouses to a great Cuban spot, California cuisine and more, here are all the places where you can get a taste of Doral’s international community.

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La Esquina del Lechón

Amidst Miami’s countless Cuban restaurants, La Esquina del Lechón manages to stand out from the pack. At this temple of swine, start with a basket of miniature arepas, Cuban bread soaked in butter and juicy chunks of chicharrón. From there, move on to the Cuban classics. Think: pan con lechón, palomilla steak, vaca frita and Colombian-style bandeja paisa with grilled steak, white rice, black beans, pork rinds, avocado, fried egg and a corn flour arepa. This pork and steak house is most known for its “famoso” caja china lechón, where a whole pig is seasoned in the restaurant’s house-made mojo rub and roasted for seven hours. 8601 NW 58th Street #101, Miami, FL 33166

    Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market

    When this Japanese izakaya-style restaurant opened in early 2016, it was part of a new group of dining spots that made Downtown Doral cool again. An “izakaya” is similar to a Japanese tavern and the menus typically center around drinks and small plates. Grab a table under its high ceilings and fishhook chandeliers and choose from a menu of Japanese comfort foods, raw bar specialities, sushi and sashimi. Pair that with a drink from Dragonfly Izakaya and Fish Market award-winning rare Japanese whiskey, sake and shōchū list or its seasonal Omakase cocktail menu. Before you leave, stop by the in-house fish market—it nods to Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan—and go home with fresh whole fish, meat rubs and house-made sauces and dressings. 5241 NW 87th Avenue, Doral, FL 33178

      Bulla Gastrobar

      This trendy tapas joint gives Miami diners a modern taste of Spain. Try house favorites like Spanish omelettes with garlic aioli, Serrano ham croquettes with fig jelly, mixed plates of cured meats and cheeses, three types of paella, patatas bravas and more, and pair it with a drink from Bulla’s extensive wine, sangria, cocktail and “cerveza” list. If you’re there for weekend brunch, don’t miss the signature Huevos Bulla, which tops scrambled eggs with homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam and truffle oil. Bulla Gastrobar is good for a business lunch, dinner, brunch or even just after-work drinks with friends. 5335 NW 87th Avenue C102, Doral, FL 33178

        Kokai Sushi & Lounge

        After setting the standard for Japanese cuisine in Venezuela, this family-owned spot made its way to the United States by way of Doral. Not surprisingly, the menu at Kokai Sushi & Lounge is a fusion of Japanese and Latin flavors, and it’s made up of a variety of sushi, bento boxes and teriyaki, yakimeshi and yakisoba dishes. See how easily these two cultures pair when you try Kokai’s signature sushi rolls: like the Pasion de Limon with eel, wakame, scallions, masago, avocado, lemon and Kokai’s secret sauce, or the Fantasy roll with salmon tempura, spicy mayo and mango sauce. 9036 NW 25th Street, Doral, FL 33172

          Chuy’s

          Coming from Austin, TX, this Tex-Mex favorite brings a fun, funky twist on Mexican food to South Florida. Chuy’s Texas Martinis and popular margaritas aren’t to be missed, nor are the famous Big as Yo’ Face Burritos stuffed with refried beans, cheese, your choice of meat and one of ten Chuy’s sauces. Every meal is complemented by a free and unlimited “nacho car,” which is a build-your-own nacho station with fresh chips, salsa, queso, beans and ground sirloin served from the trunk of an actual vintage car. 8001 NW 36th Street, Doral, FL 33166

            Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant

            Take your taste buds straight to Napa Valley when you go to Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, located in trendy City Place Doral. Aside from its tasty New American menu and in-house Cooper’s Hawk wines, this dining destination is part upscale-casual restaurant, part wine tasting room, part private barrel-aging room and part wine shop. Start with the award-winning Asian Pork Belly Tostadas with a sweet chili BBQ sauce, and choose from a large menu of meats, fish, gluten-free pasta, burgers, chopped salads, different types of risotto and more. All menu items (even the appetizers) come with a suggested wine pairing, and the restaurant has its own monthly wine club that gives members complimentary wine bottles and invitations to exclusive events. 3585 NW 83rd Avenue, Doral, FL 33122

              El Arepazo

              El Arepazo, named after the popular Venezuelan corn cake, is a Doral staple. Connected to a Chevron gas station, it’s here that Venezuelans and South Floridians alike go to discuss the latest news, play dominoes and of course, eat authentic arepas and cachapas. Choose from nearly 100 options of the two, like the Domino arepa with black beans and white shredded cheese or the Reina Pepiada with chicken, avocado and mayonnaise. This laid-back eatery also serves typical Venezuelan soups, fajitas, tequeños, plantains, tostones, Carne Mechada, empanadas and more. There’s also a store where you can buy hard-to-find Venezuelan products too. 10191 NW 58th Street, Doral, FL 33178

                Il Forno Ristorante

                When you’re craving a taste of Italy in Doral, look no further than Il Forno Ristorante. In a rustic setting with an open kitchen and wood-burning oven, enjoy classic Italian dishes like pappardelle pasta with wild and porcini mushrooms, grilled veal chop with rosemary, Salsiccia pizza with mozzarella and Italian sausage and more. Whatever you eat, end your night on a sweet note when you order the chocolate mousse infused with Grand Marnier. Good for both a date night or a group, Il Forno invites guests to belly up to its intimate cocktail bar, grab a table on the terrace or enjoy live music in the main dining room. 9350 NW 25th Street, Doral, FL 33172

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