10 Restaurants In Miami You Should Definitely Try

alter

Alter

Cafe La Trova

Steak at Cafe La Trova

Joe's

Joe’s Stone Crab

seaspice

Seaspice

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By: Jennifer Agress

Miami is constantly reinventing itself, and that goes for the dining scene, too. From casual Cuban watering holes and fancy, star-studded restaurants to local eateries with food from all over the world, here are ten restaurants that are so good you’ll want to keep visiting Miami again and again.

Joe’s Stone Crab

First opened as a casual takeout counter for stone crabs in 1913, and still owned by the same family today, Joe’s Stone Crab is a Miami staple. Located in South of Fifth, it’s also an experience. Here, tailed waiters swirl around white tablecloth-covered tables carrying trays piled high with jumbo stone crab claws, hash browned potatoes, fried chicken, its famous Key lime pie and more. It doesn’t take reservations, so expect to have to wait awhile for a table. (It’s worth it.) Don’t want to wait? Hop next door to Joe’s Take Out. It’s the same good food, minus the white-gloved waiters. 11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Swan & Bar Bevy

The brainchild of Miami nightlife guru David Grutman and music superstar Pharrell Williams, Swan & Bar Bevy is part elegant restaurant, part swanky bar. Downstairs, find a seat in the fairytale-like garden or the Art Deco-inspired, pastel pink-and-opal dining room, where you can feast on Top Chef Europe winner Jean Imbert’s creative, global cuisine. Upstairs, sultry Bar Bevy couples a haute cocktail menu with vibrant velvet seating, paintings of women on the walls, twinkling string lights and animal print accents. The experience of the food, drinks and ambiance at both is transformative. 90 NE 39th Street, Miami, FL 33137

Estefan Kitchen

This fine-dining Cuban restaurant and lounge is the brainchild of music superstar duo, Emilio and Gloria Estefan. Located in the Miami Design District, this dazzling restaurant is everything you’d expect of the couple—think: live dancers, pianists and singers, purple mood lighting and shimmering-white tables. While the ambiance pays homage to Havana in the 1950s, the menu puts an upscale twist on the childhood recipes Emilio and Gloria love. Go to Estefan Kitchen for its award-winning lechón asado, vaca frita, world-famous mojitos, bacon-wrapped maduros, flan, yucca and more. 140 NE 39th Street #133, Miami, FL 33137

Alter

Taking over a former warehouse in Wynwood, Brad Kilgore’s New American haunt serves exquisite, fine-dining cuisine in an unassuming setting. At Alter, a la carte, prix-fixe and tasting menus focus on what is local and seasonal. Expect the unexpected with duck breasts grilled over pine cones, Kilgore’s signature soft egg with a sea scallop fume or snapper sashimi with feta. Grab a seat at the chef’s table, which faces the open kitchen, and don’t leave without grabbing a drink from Bar Alter, right next door. 223 NW 23rd Street, Miami, FL 33127

Ghee Miami

This Western Indian haunt is so popular that, after just opening in downtown Dadeland in 2017, it opened a second location in the Miami Design District just six months later. Named for the Indian word for clarified butter, which is used in everything from food to religious rituals, Ghee Miami serves an unexpected twist on Gujarat-inspired Indian classics. On the menu, find sharing plates like “rancho” vegetable uttapam, lamb samosas with green mango, chicken tikka masala or brown basmati rice and quinoa with raisins and cinnamon. The ingredients for most dishes on the menu come from James Beard Award-nominated chef Niven Patel’s huge Homestead produce farm, which he’s nicknamed “Rancho Patel.” 8965 SW 72nd Place, Kendall, FL 33156

Versailles

Opening on Calle Ocho since 1971, Versailles is a Miami staple. Decorated after the French palace for which it is named, but serving a mix of classic and modern Cuban dishes, this Cuban bakery and restaurant is covered in giant mirrors and gold chandeliers. Start your day here at the “ventanita” window with cafecito and ham croquetas, or sit down for lunch, dinner or late-night dining and get huge plates of Cuban “medianoche” sandwiches, fried sweet plantains, black beans and rice, “vaca frita,” “ropa vieja,” braised goat and more. Even if you aren’t hungry, go to Versailles. It’s known as a gathering place and unofficial “town square” for Miami’s Cuban exiles, and it’s not uncommon to see local, national and global politicians or TV crews there covering the latest news. 3555 SW 8th Street, Miami, Florida 33135

Seaspice

A favorite of celebrities like Beyoncé, Jay Z, Dwayne Wade and even Michelle Obama, Seaspice is where Miami’s finest go to wine and dine. Taking up an airy white boathouse, this swanky dock restaurant, brasserie and lounge serves an elevated, globally-inspired menu that’s heavy on the seafood, with a raw bar, meats cooked on 850-degree volcanic stone slabs, truffle-dotted pastas and sexy weekend Champagne brunches. Another draw? You can get there by land or sea. We’re serious: Seaspice is located right on the Miami River, so it’s not uncommon to see its A-list diners arriving at this St.-Tropez-like spot by yacht. 422 NW North River Drive, Miami, FL 33128

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz needs no introduction in Miami, especially since his restaurant, Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, single-handedly brought the Design District back to life. Go to this relaxed-upscale haunt for imaginative New American small and large plates inspired by what’s fresh and local to South Florida. When the weather is nice, grab a seat in the sunny courtyard, let the sommelier recommend a bottle of wine for the table and start ordering. Menu items like crispy pig ears, kimchi peanuts, shrimp toast "banh mi," truffle pizza with porcini fondue and mango tart tatin with a rosemary-honey ice cream will keep you coming back for more. Once you love it, check out Michael Schwartz’ other restaurants in Miami: Harry’s Pizzeria, Genuine Pizza, Amara at Paraiso, Tigertail + Mary, ella and Fi’lia. 130 NE 40th Street, Miami, FL 33137

Cafe La Trova

The world famous Julio Cabrera and James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein teamed up to create Cafe La Trova, a trendy ode to all things Cuban in the heart of Little Havana. Part bar, part restaurant and part coffee counter, this spot offers a menu inspired by Miami Cuban culture in the 1980s. There are plenty of cocktails, a modern twist on Cuban-style dishes (including an entire empanadas menu), live music, a dominoes table, a weekend 80s bar and a cigar bar on the patio. To complete the transformative dining experience, servers and bartenders wear a mix of tropical prints and cantinero style-vests, and the back is decorated in that historic Miami Vice turquoise and salmon pink. 971 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33130

Palme d’Or

Helmed by James Beard Award “Rising Star” nominee, executive chef Gregory Pugin, Palme d’Or makes diners feel like they’re eating an elegant dinner in Paris. The vibe is old-world elegance and the service earned the restaurant James Beard nods for “Outstanding Service.” In a 1920s-era dining room inside the Biltmore Hotel, Palme d’Or serves a mix of a la carte and prix-fixe menus with haute French plates like: seared foie gras with an elderberry gastrique, Japanese Kobe beef with Bordelaise sauce and a chocolate éclair dessert with Grand Marnier, to name a few. 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134

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