Miami is known for its vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, and of course – the food! With its melting pot of Caribbean, Latin American, and American influences, Miami offers some of the best and most eclectic cuisine in the country. From hole-in-the-wall ethnic eateries to swanky fine dining establishments, there is something to satisfy every palate and budget.
If you’re visiting Miami or even just looking for a new local spot to become a regular at, be sure to check out these 10 best Miami restaurants:
The Top 10 Best Restaurants in Miami
Miami is well-known for its vibrant food scene, blending Latin American, Caribbean, and other cultural influences into a delicious melting pot of culinary creativity. From small hole-in-the-wall establishments to James Beard award-winning hot spots, Miami offers exceptional dining for every palate and budget. Here are 10 of the best restaurants that no visitor to Miami should miss:
Specializing in contemporary Japanese cuisine, Zuma in downtown Miami provides an upscale and modern dining experience focused on shared plates. With award-winning interior design and an expertly curated wine and sake menu, Zuma is considered one of the city’s hottest high-end restaurants. Standout dishes include miso black cod, wagyu beef tenderloin, and inventive maki rolls.
A Miami institution since 1971, Versailles in Little Havana is the go-to spot for authentic Cuban cuisine. Known for its garlic-laden roasted pork, tangy marinated chicken, and fried staples like croquetas and empanadas, Versailles captures the spirit and flavor of Cuba. The restaurant also offers an expansive menu with seafood, beef, and vegetarian Cuban dishes influenced by African and Spanish techniques.
Chef Michelle Bernstein puts an elevated spin on Latin and Mediterranean flavors at her eponymous Michy’s in Miami’s arts and entertainment district. Known for using the freshest local ingredients, Bernstein has won multiple James Beard awards for her creative fare like duck confit empanadas, seared foie gras with passion fruit, and sea bream ceviche. The rustic-chic atmosphere matches the refined yet welcoming culinary experience.
4. Joe’s Stone Crab
Open since 1913, Joe’s Stone Crab is a beloved Miami Beach restaurant famous for its signature stone crab claws. But Joe’s also impresses with stellar service and a variety of seafood, from crispy red snapper to jumbo shrimp scampi. While the stone crab claws with mustard sauce remain an iconic must-try, the rest of the fresh catches shine on the menu as well.
5. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Blending southern American flavor with Asian and Latin influences, Yardbird in South Beach presents elevated comfort food celebrating the diversity of Miami tastes and traditions. Known for its charcoal roasted half chicken and lemon pepper wings, Yardbird also impresses with creative cocktails and striking mid-century modern interior design. The family-style shared plates foster a convivial, welcoming atmosphere.
6. Azul at The Mandarin Oriental
Offering a beachfront fine dining experience overlooking Biscayne Bay, Azul at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental hotel merges Pan Latin cuisine with Malaysian and Indian subtle touches. With dishes like Peruvian halibut ceviche, Brazilian churrasco, and Mexican molé rojo duck, Azul embodies Miami’s multicultural essence through expertly prepared seafood, meat, and vegetarian plates. Stunning views and attentive service complete the package.
Nestled in Miami’s trendy Design District, Palmar from famed Peruvian chef Diego Oka takes Nikkei cuisine to new heights with dishes that blend Japanese precision with South American zest. Highlights from the tasting menu include leche de tigre oysters, Wagyu beef tataki, and inventive maki rolls, all prepared with Omoka’s signature flare. You’ll find immaculate presentation matched by vibrant flavors.
8. Boia De
At this cozy, rustic-chic eatery in Buena Vista, chef Rocco Caravella puts a refined spin on the peasant food of his native southern Italy. With a seasonally changing menu emphasizing organic ingredients, Boia De tempts taste buds with housemade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, and Mediterranean-inspired small plates. Stand-outs include the eggplant parmesan, squid ink mafaldine pasta, and charred octopus salad. Intimate but lively, Boia De charms as you dine.
9. El Bagá
Serving up authentic Spanish cuisine in the heart of Miami since 2018, El Bagá is a charming spot focusing on high-quality ingredients, specialized imported goods, and exceptional tapas plates true to regional Spanish styles. From the extensive selection of cured meats and cheeses to paellas overflowing with plump shrimp and mussels, El Bagá presents Iberian excellence enhanced by an extensive Spanish wine list.
Chef Makoto Okuwa blends his Japanese heritage with South American ingredients and cooking methods at this upscale restaurant in the Bal Harbour Shops. Specializing in sushi as well as hot dishes, Makoto earns rave reviews for artful presentations and dance-in-your-mouth flavor combinations. Whether trying the signature hamachi truffle nigiri, Wagyu beef carpaccio, or Andean potato and quinoa croquettes, expect creative fusions executed masterfully.
From Asian fusion to Spanish tapas to new American cuisine, Miami offers incredible dining opportunities to experience global flavors and culinary innovation. Trying the stand-out restaurants above promises memorable meals reflecting Miami’s cosmopolitan character and talented chefs. So explore and eat your way through magic city’s vibrant food scene. ¡Buen provecho!
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