The Best Restaurants In MiMo
Our favorite places to eat in and around MiMo.
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 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 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. They have a little back patio where you can eat, but this is mostly a takeout spot. They typically sell out by noonish, so placing an early online order is highly encouraged.
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 is a great choice. It’s got a thick patty and requires some slight jaw flexibility.
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photo credit: Karli Evans
Blue Collar is a 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 a delicious mix of food, some of which makes sense in Miami, 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. But the one thing Blue Collar's menu does have in common is that it's so, so, so good. Tragically, on your quest to try it all, you’ll end up falling in love with one dish (like their perfect cheeseburger on a Portuguese muffin) and never be able to order anything else.
photo credit: Cleveland Jennings
Caracas Bakery MiMo
One of Miami’s best bakeries has a second location in MiMo. This Caracas outpost feels more like a proper cafe, with an expanded menu, sleek dining room, and the same great cachitos. (Thank God.) The new stuff on Caracas’ menu includes sandwiches like an excellent BEC on a sweet potato bun, a crispy broccoli and cheese sandwich, jambon beurre, and mushroom toast. It works well for any and all laidback breakfasts, brunches, or lunch plans. You can also come here alone with a laptop to get some work done, and by “get some work done” we mean “eat several cachitos.”
Zoi isn’t a particularly remarkable restaurant—but it does have one big superpower: its backyard. The Mediterranean restaurant is located in a historic building made from bricks of coral—but it’s the backyard that warrants a moment of quiet appreciation usually only reserved for mountain peaks or a perfectly ripe avocado. Tables are scattered between trees and plants and a couple of bright blue man-made lagoons. It’s undeniably romantic. The standard Mediterranean dishes are good—not as good as they need to be for the price point—but good nonetheless. There’s also a hookah lounge and bar area in the back if you just want to come for a drink. Needless to say, sit outside.
photo credit: Courtesy Patio Isola
Patio Isola in MiMo is the sister restaurant to South Beach’s Casa Isola. Although the two menus are slightly different, they’re both great choices for reliably good Italian dishes served in big portions. It’s a casual spot where you won’t have to worry about a dress code. They also have a covered patio that works great for eating a big bowl of noodles outside. Patio Isola makes one of the best versions of spicy rigatoni alla vodka in town, a crunchy chicken parm, some average pizza, and antipasti dishes. Pasta is what you should focus on here—it’s the best stuff on the menu.
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.
Luna Pasta e Dolci
Luna Pasta is a little restaurant in MiMo that serves rich pastas, 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.
Andiamo Brick Oven Pizza
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.
Doggi's Arepa Bar
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.
Phuc yea is a Vietnamese fusion spot, though people come here mostly for the more straightforward Vietnamese dishes—specifically the pho, which has a tasty broth and comes in portions big enough to share with three people. It’s a pretty upbeat place, with a stylish dining room and good cocktails. 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.
Yes, we know Wabi Sabi is actually in the Upper East Side, but sometimes we like to break the rules. And Wabi Sabi is certainly worth knowing about if you're in the area. The casual Japanese restaurant works for takeout, but it’s even better for a relaxing, leisurely meal consisting of some of Miami’s best sushi. They serve that sushi in a few different forms. Their donburi bowls are excellent and filling, with a base of sushi rice, cha-soba noodles, or greens. They offer maki as well as a la carte nigiri, sashimi, and very good hand rolls. They also have nigiri, sashimi, and chirashi omakase options. The chirashi is the most affordable (about $40) and filling of the three, thanks to the delicious pile of sushi rice the sashimi sits atop of.
Jimmy's East-Side Diner
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.