Driving through MiMo can feel like you’re traveling through a vintage postcard in certain parts, between all the throwback motels and neon signs. But MiMo isn’t just a place for your grandparents to tell you about the days when alligators outnumbered people - it’s also one of the best places to eat in Miami. The diversity of restaurants here is impressive, with a Vietnamese/Cajun mashup, outstanding bagels, and wonderful arepas all within a mile of each other. This guide has the 17 best places to eat in the neighborhood, with a mix of the classics you haven’t visited in way too long and some exciting places that are worth fighting even the worst traffic on Biscayne Boulevard for.
This MiMo food-truck-turned-bagel-shop serves eight incredible bagel sandwiches. We often struggle to decide between the King Guava, a salty/savory work of bagel art that includes guava jam, crispy potato sticks, and a fried egg - or the the EB Original with scallion, bacon, and a roasted jalapeno that gives off the perfect amount of heat. But whatever you get is going to be the best bagel in Miami, hands down.
We expect certain things from Kush Hospitality, the folks behind Lokal, Kush, Spillover, and Stephen’s Deli. Among these things: excellent burgers, the option to order half sweet potato and half regular fries, and very fun bathrooms. The team’s newest restaurant, Cafe Kush, delivers on all of the above - though the bathrooms aren’t quite as fun as the Walter Mercado-themed one at Stephen’s Deli. Located inside MiMo’s Gold Dust Hotel, Cafe Kush has a slight French tilt to its menu, with new dishes like steak frites, croque monsieur, and ratatouille. There are also a couple of Kush classics, like the frita burger and collier county chicken sandwich. If you come here, ask for a table in the “riviera” seating, which is a little outdoor patio along a small canal where you might see a manatee floating by.
From the outside, Osteria Baiocco looks more like a Georgia sorority house than somewhere to get surprisingly great pasta. Inside, though, there are all the hallmarks of a neighborhood Italian spot: copper pans hanging on the wall, servers in white button-downs, and wine stacked to the ceiling. It’s a quirky space, but the food here is straightforward and delicious. Start with the I fritti romani, a crispy little sampler platter of perfectly fried things like zucchini flowers, cod fish, and a tomato rice ball. Then move onto the fantastic pasta - the gnudi di spinaci e ricotta are delicious little spinach and ricotta dumplings and we could probably eat about 300 of them.
This restaurant comes from the team behind Mandolin, a restaurant we really like. And we like Mr. Mandolin for many of the same reasons, mainly the very tasty Greek food. The restaurant is inside MiMo’s Vagabond hotel and has a menu of gyros, kebabs, pies, dips, salads, and sides like rice pilaf and some very crispy fries. There’s a little overlap with the original Mandolin menu, but Mr. Mandolin’s menu is mostly original and has plenty of stuff you can’t get at their sister restaurant - like swordfish kebabs and a warm tahini bun (pictured here) that deserves its own theme song.
The interior of O’Munaciello features a life-size statue of an angel with outstretched arms hanging from the ceiling. There’s a large diorama of an Italian village in the corner and strange little statues scattered around the dining room. But you won’t notice any of it when the pizza hits the table because it’s that good. This excellent Neapolitan pizza definitely requires a fork and knife to eat, but it’s not a soupy mess in the middle. The crust (which comes in regular and black charcoal) is soft and bubbly on the outside and thin and tender towards the center. The cornicione di ricotta has an amazing stuffed ricotta crust and is good enough to distract you from the pizza deity dangling 20 feet above your head.
Blue Collar is a strange little Miami institution that lives inside a MiMo motel, and it’s worth visiting a dozen times throughout the year because you’ll want to try everything on the menu. It’s an odd and delicious mix of food, some of which makes sense here, like latkes, Cuban sandwich spring rolls, and crispy skin snapper. And then there’s other randomness that does not, like pot roast, jambalaya, and something called the big ragout, which is basically an entire Italian deli stuffed inside a hoagie. Tragically, on your quest to try it all, you’ll end up falling in love with one dish (like their cheeseburger on a Portuguese muffin) and never be able to order anything else.
Luna Pasta is a little restaurant in MiMo that serves pasta, empanadas, and focaccia sandwiches. Pasta is the main attraction here. There are a dozen varieties on the menu, and we’ve enjoyed all the ones we’ve had, like ricotta ravioli and crab agnolotti. This place is very tiny and can get a little cramped when it’s busy, so it might not be the best option for big groups or a first date. But they do takeout as well, in case it’s looking like a pasta-on-the-couch kind of night.
Technically Pinch is located just outside MiMo on 86th Street, but you’re already in the car and it’s literally only an extra 90 seconds if you get a couple of green lights. This place does lunch, dinner, and a really great weekend brunch that’s always crowded. There are some delicious small plates like dumplings, wild calamar, and croquetas stuffed with rotating ingredients. Take a look at the daily special on the chalkboard above the bar too. The Pinch burger - if they happen to be serving it that day - is a great choice. It’s got a thick patty and requires some slight jaw flexibility.
It’s hard to get mad at a restaurant dedicated to grilled cheese, especially one that treats the childhood classic with as much respect as Ms. Cheezious. They work in ingredients that take the simple sandwich to another level, like prosciutto, ham croquettes, and pulled pork. The sandwich shop has some outdoor seating in its backyard and the MiMo location does a good job of blending in with the neighborhood aesthetic thanks to the awesome vintage neon sign above the entrance, which features an excited young lady sitting on top of a grilled cheese sandwich.
Andiamo looks like it might take off and fly into outer space at any moment. It was originally built in 1956 as a tire shop and it’s one of the best examples of the “Miami Modern” architectural style. It’s now a very popular pizza place - thanks in part to Miami’s lack of reliable pizza places, but Andiamo’s pizza is also much better than just a last resort. It’s on the thicker side of the thin-crust spectrum and comes with a lot of topping options. Our favorite is the very heavy Sunday pie with meatballs, ricotta, pepperoncini, parmesan, and basil. Most of the seating is outside, so it’s a great choice if you want to eat pizza while watching cars whiz by on Biscayne.
If there was such a thing as a high school for arepas (we smell a young adult novel), Doggi’s versions would easily win the senior superlative for most popular. Everyone loves these arepas, which are as fat as structurally possible. They have a wide range of ingredients you can stuff inside your warm arepa, including hearts of palm, fried pork belly, and plantain. The arepa Santa Barbara (churrasco, tomato, avocado, and cheese) is a favorite and would probably be the high school quarterback in this novel we’re about to start pitching. Come here for the huge breakfast special too, featuring beef, plantains, avocado, cheese, and eggs so you can practice your own arepa-stuffing skills, which will prove very useful one day.
This place calls itself “Viet-Cajun,” though people come here mostly for the Vietnamese dishes - specifically the pho, which has a great broth and comes in portions big enough to share. It’s a pretty upbeat place, and the cocktails are worth ordering and tend to come with a pretty garnish you can either eat or dry off and stick in your hair. There are a few separate smaller dining rooms to sit in, which keeps things snug in a good way. You can come here with friends before a night out or with a date you want to keep awake as you tell them - for the third time - about breaking your wrist while whitewater rafting.
La Placita serves Puerto Rican food, which you may be able to infer from the absolutely massive Puerto Rican flag mural that covers the outside of the building. Inside is just as loud and splashy with a tropical aesthetic that’s even present in the bathroom, where a soundtrack of jungle noises play on a loop. It’d be quite awkward if a place this proud of its heritage didn’t deliver on the food, but La Placita plays it straight with the classics. The mofongo is simple and tasty and you can customize your order with protein options like ropa vieja, shrimp, and chicken. Add some chicharrones de pollo and a piña colada and you’ll seriously consider painting a giant Puerto Rican flag on your house too.
Yes, we know Wabi Sabi is actually in the Upper East Side, but sometimes we like to break the rules. At first glance, this little shop just looks like a casual grab-and-go option. But we like to hang out for a bit while eating one of their bowls for lunch, which you can customize with a base of sushi rice, cha-soba noodles, or greens and top with very good tuna or salmon. There are daily specials too, which include things like wagyu, uni, and toro.
Jimmy’s is MiMo’s reliable diner, and it does all the things reliable diners are supposed to do. There are leather booths that suck you in like quicksand, local radio playing in the dining room, and counter seating where you can comfortably dine solo and chug cup after cup of coffee. You can get an order of eggs with hash browns and sausage links for under $7, then come back for lunch and grab a patty melt on rye. Dinner isn’t an option at Jimmy’s - unfortunately it closes at 4pm - even though they shot that dinner scene in Moonlight here.
On a nice, breezy day in MiMo, you want to sit at one of Dogma’s outdoor tables with some chips, a hot dog, and a beer. The sidewalk hotdog stand has been a local landmark for years - the kind of place where you’ll see little leaguers celebrating a win alongside a couple of club kids in sunglasses trying to beat a hangover. The hot dogs showcase styles from around the country with Chicago, Atlanta, and Coney Island versions. But they also go international with a Colombian dog featuring Thousand Island dressing, chips, swiss cheese, pineapple, and bacon - which is exactly what you need if you just danced for nine hours straight at Space.
Barmeli69 is a casual little restaurant that is the physical manifestation of wine mom culture. There is wine, of course, and plenty of it, as well as printed-out memes (all of which usually involve a joke about loving and/or drinking wine) taped to the wall. The food here is exactly what you want to go along with a nice bottle after a long day. There are prosciutto-wrapped dates under the “snack ‘n’ chat” section of the menu, a handful of cheese plate options, and some bigger Mediterranean seafood dishes like grilled branzino. It’s an easy neighborhood option that can work for a quick date or a nice dinner with mom, who - yes - will take another glass of the pinot grigio, thank you very much.