The Freehand's restaurant is located in a historic 1930s house directly adjacent to the hostel— the interior has a colorful, beachy vibe complete with picnic tables, bright pink and green shelving, blue-and-white wallpaper, and tables lit with candles. The menu is a mix of Miami's melting pot cuisine, with Caribbean, South American, and Middle Eastern foods in dishes. Their tiki-inspired drinks come with a garnish of orchids, plastic sunglasses, and nips of rum.
2727 Indian Creek Dr, Mid-Beach | 786.476.7020 $$
Considering its location in a nondescript strip mall, you could walk right by the Drunken Dragon without knowing it was there. Deceptively the space offers lofty ceilings, a long, dramatic bar, and sleek wooden midcentury chairs. Food here is served Korean barbecue-style and family-style. The main event is really a plate of raw cuts of meat that guests grill themselves over specially designed flames at the center of the table.
1424 Alton Rd., South Beach | 305.397.8556 $$$
Located inside the newly renovated EDITION hotel, the lauded Matador Room is helmed by Jean-Georges and marries Latin American and Caribbean flavors in a gorgeous, dimly lit space overlooking the pool. All of the tacos are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
2901 Collins Ave., Mid-Beach | 786.257.4600 $$$
For all Vegan lovers, Planta was opened with the purpose of creating delicious food that promotes environmental sustainability. Filling the void for an upscale, full service, plant-based restaurant, with innovative cuisine in a beautiful environment without the use of any animal products.
850 Commerce St., South Beach | 305.397.8513 $$
Bachour Bakery + Bistro
This idyllic breakfast-and-lunch spot is helmed by two star chefs: Antonio Bachour on sweets and pastries, and Henry Hané on savory dishes. Their brilliant culinary mashups include a pepperoni pizza toast, decadent tartines with ahi tuna and avocado, and a croissant patty melt. Mornings, the place is wafting with tantalizing smells of fresh-baked treats; for later, take home their chocolates, bonbons, macarons, petit gateaux, and tarts.
600 Brickell Ave., Downtown | 305.330.6310 $$
Fooq’s is fairly new (I think), they serve comfort food in an eclectic eatery. An urban, yet distinctly cozy concept which gives off a very “Feel Good Food” environment. The farm-to-kitchen fare at Fooq’s, features international menu selections inspired by global travels, but makes you feel at home too. With its bright and airy interior, the charming restaurant is a vibe-driven zone complemented by distinct hospitality.
1035 N. Miami Avenue, Downtown | 786.536.2749 $$
Komodo is a three-story indoor/outdoor eatery and lounge that combines contemporary Southeast Asian cuisine with a South Florida vibe to elevate the dining and nightlife experience. The 300-seat restaurant and lounge offers several unique multi-level dining options including three bars complete with a handcrafted cocktail menu as well as the signature outdoor floating “birds nests” seating.
801 Brickell Ave, Brickell | 305.534.2211 $$$$
The perfect spot for Miami brunch is Seaspice & Modern Garden, a waterfront seafood brasserie and lounge on the Miami River. There is 225 feet of docking facility is located on the bank of the Miami River introducing the area to some serious culinary swagger personified by a new sleek restaurant that focuses on restyled gastro classics and modern cocktailing.
422 NW North River Drive, Downtown | 305.440.4200 $$$
Beacker & Grey
One of my go-to brunch spots - Beaker & Grey is a trendy place to get some amazing cocktails with some equally impressive food. It also works great for date night, happy hour bites or a late dinner. Here you find the perfect balanced atmosphere. Its menu of shareable plates also straddles a smart line between flair and functionality. Saturdays and Sundays they only have a brunch menu, then after 6pm they have the dinner menu.
2637 N Miami Ave, Wynwood | 305.699.2637 $$
KYU’s wood-fired Asian grill features a diverse menu and focuses on professional yet relaxed service. Their #1 item is the fried chicken, which does not disappoint. The family-style menu allows you to try multiple small plates. The space was designed to bring elements of the neighborhood in with raw concrete, local art, and wood and metal accents, all are reflective of Wynwood’s up-and-coming scene.
251 NW 25th St., Wynwood | 786.577.0150 $$$
The Wynwood Yard
This is really several restaurants in one. Self-described as a "culinary incubator" it rotates food offerings frequently, mainly served out of streamliners. Mainstays include plant-based healthy bowl concept, Della Test Kitchen and Charcoal Garden Bar + Grill. But also currently on rotation are wood-fired pizza, Brazilian eats, tacos, and even a truck dedicated to all things matcha, plus many drinks from the bar to wash it all back with.
56 NW 29th St | thewynwoodyard.com $$
Norman Van Aken’s necessary reminder to this city of what, exactly, a fine dining experience is supposed to feel like. The open kitchen is stunning, as is the chic cocktail lounge on the roof for pre/post-meal drinks.
Three delivers flawlessly on every metric of the dining experience, from the moment you walk in the door to the first bite of grilled and glazed pork belly vigorón. The menu is a love letter to the many tastes of the Sunshine State.
50 NW 24th St #101, Wynwood | 305.748.4540 $$$
Coral Gables / Coconut Grove
Fontana @ Biltmore Hotel
Enjoy Traditional Italian Cuisine at its best in the Fontana, our resort casual grille featuring outdoor dining in a tropical fountain centered courtyard or indoor seating surrounding and open kitchen with a wide variety of specialties.
1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables | 305.445.8066 $$$$
Glass & Vine
Glass and Vine pairs beautifully with its surroundings. It is fresh, light, vibrant, and quality defined. The restaurant spins a contemporary spin on American cuisine, serving signature cocktails, regional craft beers, and an eclectic wine menu.
2820 McFarlane Road, Coconut Grove | 305.200.5268 $$
Peacock Garden Bistro
The charming spot offers a delightful garden setting ideal for a visit during any time of the day. The mimosas are all the rave, which are served in a large mason jar, and come in several flavors such as berry and mango. Bonus: there’s contemporary live jazz every Friday and Saturday night.
2889 McFarlane Rd, Coconut Grove | 305.774.3332 $$
Not really a restaurants but this chic teahouse has a "Scent Station" with 84+ choices to sniff, then sip, then order. You can smell the amount of flavor in the room. Small Tea is the cutest space for tea after a great dinner or some of their healthy quick bites for lunch with tea.
205 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables | 786.401.7189 $