The Hit List is where you’ll find our favorite new food and drink experiences in Miami—whether they be pop-ups, takeout-only spots, or exciting new restaurants. Our only requirement is that these places are under a year old and making something delicious. Each month, we track new openings across the city, and then visit as many as we can. One thing you can always rely on is that we’ll only include places that we have actually visited—and loved.
Our goal is for this list to be as diverse as the city itself—inclusive of a wide range of cuisines, price points, neighborhoods, chefs and owners of all backgrounds, and the multifaceted communities within the industry. If you think we missed a great new place, we want to hear about it. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you see it as Detroit-style, Sicilian, Cuban, or a mash-up of them all—Vice City has mastered the art of the thick-crust pizza. This spot, which operates inside the cocktail bar Abi Maria, makes outstanding pies that are expertly (and generously) topped with creative ingredients, rich but not greasy, and chewy—but not so much that you feel like a rabid dog tearing into a piece of old bread. Pizza isn’t the only thing they do well here, though. They also make croquetas stuffed with prosciutto, gorgonzola dolce, and mozzarella with a fig jam that we now think about every night while lying in bed. And if great pizza and croquetas aren’t enough reason to get over here, the cocktails are stellar.
This is the second time Vinya has appeared on the Hit List. We loved the original Key Biscayne location, but we might just love the new Gables location even more. This one’s bigger in both size and food options. It has a diverse menu, and the one commonality between dishes is that everything on it goes great with wine (which you should be drinking here). There are crispy morcilla spring rolls with a marmalade dipping sauce, simple but delicious Pernod mussels, and fluffy gnocchi sitting atop a lovely tomato passata. The restaurant has a thoughtfully minimalistic aesthetic, tall ceilings, and archways lining the walls. It’s a perfect date night option, and also the perfect antidote to so many of Miracle Mile’s more antiquated options.
The sourdough pizza spot Old Greg’s has graduated from pop-up to brick and mortar. And even though ordering from Greg’s was sort of impossible during their pop-up days, we've had no trouble getting a table here so far. They’re operating out of the former Ghee space in the Design District, selling crispy square pies and (a new addition to the menu) truly excellent round pies with a sturdy crust and big sprigs of basil. The first-come-first-served counter-service spot also has some extraordinary hoagies, wine, beer, and a very cool alligator mural (plus an equally great bathroom).
7th Cafe is an Allapattah breakfast and lunch restaurant that the Rosie’s team launched in the former Rosie's space while they build out a new Rosie's location. We realize that was a confusing sentence, but here's all you need to know: their menu has all sorts of really good NYC-inspired breakfast and lunch dishes, including not one, but three things that made our best of guides to sandwiches, hot dogs, and bagels. The restaurant is located in a sunny space on the ground floor of an office building, and it's a great spot for getting some work done (they have Wi-Fi) or taking a long lunch break (since they're only open during the week).
Krüs Kitchen in Coconut Grove is the upstairs neighbor and sister restaurant of Los Félix (a spot you'll meet just a few blurbs down). Like its downstairs neighbor, Krüs feels more like a living room than a restaurant. The airy space—a pitch-perfect date spot, by the way—has a domed ceiling, scattered wooden tables, and shelves of natural wine and pantry supplies (which you can buy to-go). Krüs has been doing lunch and takeout for longer than a year, but they just launched a proper dinner menu. It's a seasonally rotating mix of crudos, pasta, and more. Because it changes often, we can't guarantee what you'll encounter here. But our last trip involved a hunk of fresh bread with anchovy/black garlic butter, smoked corn agnolotti, and beef cheek ragu—all incredibly delicious things that made us sad to leave the table.
Tropezón is an Andalusian gin and tapas bar on Española Way. And not only is it worth weaving through the street’s omnipresent crowd of tourists, but it’s officially one of our favorite spots in South Beach—new or otherwise. The space—a 50/50 split between a bar and dining room—has a snug interior featuring lots of wood and legs of jamón hanging from the ceiling. In other words: exactly the kind of spot where you can spend a couple hours grazing on small plates and sipping gin. Both are good here, although the drinks are a bit better than the food. They have a selection of really great infused gins and a food menu of mostly tapas, like a yuzu kosho tortilla, pan con tomate, and huge ribeye. Whether you come to drink or eat (or, ideally, both) this is the reservation to make next time you need a fun night out involving gin.
Back in October, we had to say goodbye to Boxelder, one of the few remaining bars in Wynwood we actually liked. This was very sad, but there was a silver lining: part of the Boxelder team and the chef from Taquiza were planning to open a nano-brewery and restaurant in Little River called Off Site. That bar is finally here. Like Boxelder, Off Site is a small, chill space perfect for a beer and a conversation. Unlike Boxelder, they have a kitchen and are serving some of the best bar food you’ll find in Miami. There’s a Cuban sandwich with bread pressed crispy enough to play shuffleboard on. Their huge (but not unmanageable) fried chicken sandwich just might be the best version in town. And there are more delicious things—like wings, a hot dog, and a burger—all of which are among the best versions in Miami. We still miss Boxelder—but we miss it a little less now that Off Site is here.
When we talk about a restaurant we like, we usually focus on the most exciting part, whether it be the food, atmosphere, or adorable tableware. But Coconut Grove’s Los Felix makes that approach difficult, because we just love everything about this place. So let’s just list, in no particular order, all the great things about Los Felix: the crispy sweet potato tetela plated with a crown of perfectly grilled oyster mushrooms; the dining room that’s right in the sweet spot between claustrophobic and cavernous; the spiral staircase that takes you to the natural wine shop upstairs; the casual-yet-attentive service; the fresh tortillas, which are thin but never tear and spill the innards of your taco; and (speaking of tacos) the fall-apart-tender pork cheek carnitas. To sum it up, come here next time you want a delicious dinner of interesting Mexican dishes in an environment fun enough to make you want to drink 3/4s of a bottle of wine.
Chug’s is not a new restaurant, but they did just undergo a big renovation and expansion. And going back here feels like reuniting with a cousin you haven’t seen since they were five—who is now a cool adult with interesting opinions, a unique sense of style, and the ability to cook phenomenal meatloaf. All this is to say: Chug’s is better and cooler than ever, and feels like a completely new restaurant. The Coconut Grove spot has the DNA of a classic diner, with booths, counter seating, and laminated menus you can flip through on each table. It’s a great call for breakfast or brunch, but it’s also lively enough for a weekend dinner (the cocktails are great too). The excellent food is familiar, mostly Cuban dishes. But there are plenty of unique twists along the way, like medianoche pierogis filled with ham and lechón, and a meatloaf that will make you excited about meatloaf for the first time since (possibly) ever.
Throw a library, a wine bar, some tinned fish, and a glob of sourdough starter into a cauldron, stir a few times, and you get Paradis Books & Bread. The excellent little North Miami spot straddles the line between bar and restaurant. You can certainly come here just to drink, read, and chat. But it’d be a shame if you didn’t order at least something to snack on, like the tinned sardines served with seaweed butter and slices of fresh bread. The pizza is outstanding as well, and has a delicious light brown crust that tastes like whole wheat dough that just got back from a delightful vacation with a loaf of sourdough. Inside, Paradis is only one room, with a few tables and bar seating great for a date. But there’s an outdoor area with round tables that are better for bigger groups too.
We tend to be as suspicious of a big, new Wynwood restaurant as we are of an unknown number that wants to talk to us about money we’re owed by the IRS. But Doya is a wonderful surprise, and dinner here is as delightful as finding out the IRS does, in fact, owe you $5,000. There was really nothing we didn’t enjoy about Doya. The big Aegean restaurant has some lovely outdoor seating, and a spacious dining room that’s pretty enough for a date but casual enough for an easy Wednesday dinner. The best part about Doya is the food, though. The menu is a huge list of meze plates, and just about everything is great. The octopus in the octopus salad is as tender as fresh mozzarella, the lamb kebab is beautifully cooked, and the huge mussels are served in a perfectly balanced wine and garlic sauce. It’s not only an excellent dinner, but might make us actually hear out that person who claims to be with the IRS next time they call.