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By: Shayne Benowitz

Greater Miami & Miami Beach is a dynamic destination for foodies. In fact, the culinary scene continues to evolve as celebrated chefs set their sights on the area and talented local chefs inject the dining scene with new concepts. Read on to discover some of Greater Miami & Miami Beach’s top dining neighborhoods.

Fuegos
Argentine specialties at the glamorous Los Fuegos

Miami Beach

Hotel Restaurants

Home to both trendy celebrity chef-helmed restaurants and stylish local haunts, Miami Beach offers upscale as well as casual dining options. Hotel restaurants are a staple of the Miami Beach scene. For over-the-top glamour, head to Los Fuegos at Faena Hotel Miami Beach in Mid Beach to indulge in churrasco steak with chimichurri sauce in a flashy dining room crowned with a gilded chandelier.

Hakkasan
Steamed crystal lobster dumplings at Hakkasan

Another Mid Beach hotel with a perennially hot dining scene is the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, where you’ll find a trio of signature restaurants: Hakkasan for haute Cantonese, Scarpetta by Scott Conant for upscale Italian and StripSteak by Michael Mina for mouthwatering steaks.

Osteria Morini
Italian comfort food at Osteria Morini

Exciting newcomers in South Beach include Osteria Morini, an Italian gem tucked inside the Kimpton Palomar South Beach and Como Como Marisquería at the Moxy Miami South Beach, a gorgeous restaurant channeling the vibes of seaside Mexican spots where you can indulge in seafood dishes such as fish wrapped in banana leaves and tender octopus marinated in sour orange, coconut and mango.

Lure
Grilled Daurade at Lure Fishbar

Other notable hotel restaurants include Matador Room by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Miami Beach EDITION, The Bazaar by Jose Andres at SLS South Beach and Lure Fishbar at the Loews Miami Beach.

pubbelly
The craveworthy Big Eye Tuna at Pubbelly

Hip Favorites

For a local scene, head to 27 Restaurant at Freehand Miami for flavors inspired by Greater Miami & Miami Beach’s diverse cultures paired with cocktails by the team from The Broken Shaker. Other hotspots popular with locals include Pubbelly Sushi, Stiltsville Fish Bar by celebrity chef power couple Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth, and Lucali for delicious Brooklyn-style pizza. And don’t miss Carbone on Collins Avenue for refined Italian cuisine.

Cote
Enjoy the Butcher's Feast with friends at Cote Miami

Miami Design District

New and Notable

The fashion-rich Miami Design District is experiencing a culinary revolution with hot new restaurant openings such as Cote Miami. The Michelin-starred Korean-style steakhouse is one of the hottest reservations in town, thanks to 45-day dry-aged beef that’s prepared at your table on smokeless grills. Go for the “butcher’s feast,” with its selection of chef’s choice cuts and Korean accompaniments.

Le Jardinier
Artful burrata plating at Le Jardinier

Le Jardinier and L’Atelier are two concepts from celebrated French chef Joël Robuchon. Le Jardinier, which boasts a bold, futuristic aesthetic, delivers artful plates and offers a beautiful a la carte brunch on weekends. Its upstairs counterpart, L’Atelier, presents a more high-end dinner experience.

Family-owned Itamae, loved for its Peruvian spin on sushi and other fish dishes, has a shiny new location in the Design District’s Palm Court.

swan
Pharrell Williams' Swan is the place to be seen

Popular Neighborhood Restaurants

Popular neighborhood mainstays include MC Kitchen for upscale Italian and Mandolin Aegean Bistro, which transports guests to the Greek Islands with its al fresco patio and fresh Mediterranean cuisine. Swan, a hotspot from Pharrell Williams and nightlife impresario David Grutman, boasts a stylish jungle-like patio and a pretty-in-pink dining room.

MIA
Chef-driven food hall MIA Market has something for everyone

If you want to try a variety of cuisines in one place, MIA Market is a chef-driven food hall with many vendors, including favorites such as handmade pasta from Dal Plin, and crispy fried chicken sandwiches and other Southern fare from Coop.

Hiyakawa
Japanese hotspot Hiyakawa

Wynwood

The neighboring Wynwood Arts District is another serious foodie neighborhood. A hot newcomer is Uchi, an Austin, Texas-import from James Beard Award-winning Chef Tyson Cole. Here, you’ll find a non-traditional spin on Japanese cuisine with a menu boasting hot and cool tastings, and adventurous fish and sushi offerings. Another Japanese hotspot is Hiyakawa, a sleek fine dining concept where fish and other ingredients are flown in daily from the Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo. Heads up: They only serve 50 people each night, so plan appropriately and make a reservation early.

Kyu
Chef-driven Kyu in the heart of Wynwood

Follow the locals to chef-driven restaurants such as KYU, a wood-fired Asian concept where you’ll want to order shareable plates packed with flavor. Sample the roasted cauliflower steak in a shishito-herb vinaigrette, a hot pot of Thai fried rice crowned with an egg, and fiery Korean fried chicken. You’ll also find a slew of delicious casual spots like Coyo Taco, where diners line up for creative tacos and bowls – or longtime staple, Joey’s Italian Cafe for homemade pastas and pizzas.

Lucky
So much to choose from at the hip 1-800-Lucky

Don’t miss the high-energy Asian food hall 1-800-LUCKY, where you can sample from seven vendors including Poke OG for fresh Hawaiian-inspired poke bowls; Yip for piping hot bamboo baskets filled with dim sum; and the inventive sushi concept, B-Side by Itamae.

Quinto
The cozy terrace at Quinto La Huella

Downtown Miami & Brickell

Miami’s financial district is also heating up with favorites both new and old, catering to the area’s young professionals and business travelers. At lifestyle centers such as Brickell City Centre, dining and shopping go hand in hand, thanks to an array of delicious restaurants such as Pubbelly Sushi and CH’I, a gorgeous new spot with a Chino-Latino menu. You can indulge in South American cuisine at Quinto La Huella, where fire cooking reigns supreme.

zuma
Zuma's Jumbo Tiger Prawn

You’ll find high-end Chinese cuisine such as Peking duck and dim sum at Hutong. At KAORI, an airy two-story cocktail bar and restaurant nestled inside the SLS LUX Brickell, you’ll be treated to Mediterranean and Asian-inspired cuisine. Zuma is one of the neighborhood’s longstanding hotspots, offering some of the best Japanese food in town inside the Kimpton EPIC Hotel.

Bellini
Upscale Italian dishes at Bellini

Coconut Grove

Miami’s oldest neighborhood is experiencing a modern-day renaissance, with countless new developments including restaurants, hotels, shops and condos. This eclectic bayfront neighborhood is home to outposts of some of Miami’s most beloved institutions, as well as newcomers such as Planta Queen. Tucked inside the revamped CocoWalk shopping center, you’ll find plant-based cuisine with an Asian flair here.

At the Mr. C Miami Coconut Grove hotel, head to the rooftop Bellini restaurant for upscale Italian fare by the Cipriani family, as well as their famous Bellini cocktails and amazing views.

Glass
Glass & Vine is a local favorite

The Grove is also home to classic destinations such as Greenstreet Cafe, with ample outdoor seating, and Monty’s Raw Bar, the ultimate post-boating destination. Locals also love Glass & Vine, overlooking Peacock Park, and Sapore di Mare, where you’ll find upscale Italian seafood.

Talavera
Talavera Cocina Mexicana for fine Mexican cuisine

Coral Gables

Fittingly known as The City Beautiful, Coral Gables boasts wide avenues, Mediterranean Revival architecture, lush landscaping and elegant plazas. It’s a lovely place to explore, especially with the newly expanded pedestrian streetscape along Giralda Plaza, lined with restaurants such as Talavera Cocina Mexicana.

Caffe Abbracci
Delectable pasta at Caffe Abbracci

Caffe Abbracci is a Coral Gables institution, serving traditional Italian comfort food like beef carpaccio, fettuccine Bolognese and branzino “Belvedere” since 1989.

A newcomer to the area is FORTE by Chef Adrianne on Miracle Mile, where the chef offers her own personal interpretation of Italian cuisine as an homage to her Sicilian lineage. Another new hotspot on Miracle Mile is The Gramercy, an American brasserie perfect for indulging in bistro favorites as piano music plays in the background.

And for a flavorful culinary adventure, try the Caribbean-inspired restaurant, Mamey, inside the Thesis Hotel.

Versailles
Cuban classics served at Versailles

Little Havana

You simply can’t visit Miami without sampling Cuban cuisine. Head straight to the source in Little Havana, where you’ll find Cuban bakeries, grocery stores, fruit stands and coffee windows, as well as restaurants serving traditional Cuban fare such as ropa vieja (stewed beef with spices), warm croquetas and Cuban sandwiches made with sweet ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and yellow mustard pressed on crunchy Cuban bread.

Versailles Restaurant is a must-visit classic. Family-owned and operated since 1971, not only does the restaurant function as the unofficial town square for Miami's Cuban diaspora, but it also serves delicious Cuban favorites like empanadas, stuffed plantains, croquetas and, of course, Cuban sandwiches.

Cafe La Trova
The refreshing Mojito at Cafe La Trova

Little Havana is home to chef-driven restaurants such as Cafe La Trova, where Miami’s beloved Chef Michelle Bernstein takes a contemporary approach to Cuban dishes. There’s also Casa Tiki, a tropical tiki bar with a Latin-style interpretation of Polynesian culture and cuisine. Grab a seat at the thatched bar to sip exotic cocktails out of fun glasses during happy hour, and check the schedule for events and entertainment. Stop by Doce Provisions to hang out on the tropical back patio, throw back a beer and nosh on Latin bites.

azucar
Cuban-inspired flavors at Azucar Ice Cream Company

For authentic Mexican cuisine, have lunch or dinner at Taquerias El Mexicano, a favorite among locals. And don’t skip Azucar Ice Cream for a scoop of the Abuela Maria, made with guava and cream cheese. It’s a taste of Miami in a cup or a cone.

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