The Hit List: New Miami Restaurants To Try Right Now

The new spots we checked out—and loved.
two fried chicken sandwiches stacked on top of one another.


When new restaurants open, we check them out. This means that we subject our stomachs and social lives to the good, the bad, and more often than not, the perfectly fine. And every once in a while, a new spot makes us feel like Pitbull at a white suit sale. When that happens, we add it here, to The Hit List. 

The Hit List is where you’ll find all of the best new restaurants in Miami. As long as it opened within the past few months and we’re still talking about it, it’s on this guide. The latest addition might be a tasting menu spot with a dedicated caviar attendant. Or it might be a ventanita where a few dollars will get something that’ll rattle around in your brain like a loose penny in a dryer.

Keep tabs on the Hit List and you will always know just which new restaurants you should be eating at right now.


photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc



$$$$Perfect For:VegansVegetarians
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On the last Sunday of every month, Isabel’s takes over the kitchen at Tâm Tâm and gives us a day of vegan magic. All it takes is a textured vegetable protein and a no-skips Latin playlist to transform the Vietnamese restaurant into a plant-based Tex-Mex party. A table of two won’t have any issue ordering the entire menu (which changes often). If they have it, get the barbacoa. Slightly sweet and creamy mole is the base for a mountain of soy protein that has a delightfully bouncy texture. Finish off with one of their desserts, which will most likely include an imaginative cheesecake—like one with a thin layer of gelatinous chamoy. Reservations are announced on their Instagram a week before the last Sunday of every month, so be on the lookout for that.

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

Yoso makes the kind of reasonably priced sushi Miami needs more of. The former Design District food truck recently traded in its wheels for a tiny six-seat counter in the back corner of Upper Buena Vista where chefs tell funny stories and cats hang out waiting for dropped tuna. To get the best of Yoso's delicately scored nigiri, order a platter. The combination for two ($60) or four ($150) people comes with a crisp miso salad, salmon tataki, nigiri, and a maki roll. But if you're looking for a quick lunch or an easy Tuesday dinner, their poke, tempura, and katsu bowls are all reliable, too.

Sporadic pop-ups used to provide the food at this excellent Doral Brewery, but now they've got their own dedicated kitchen they're calling Trippy Kitchen. The menu feels as if it was designed by a pregnant woman with spontaneous cravings. A 16-ounce ribeye worthy of a special occasion is accompanied by the kind of curly fries you might pop in the oven at 3am when you're hungry. But it works in a place that embraces all things unusual and has a giant mural of a stoned chihuahua. They also have a delicious list of small bites like panko breaded olives, ceviche, and tostadas topped with corn and bacon. Finish off with an overstimulating passion fruit raspadito that has pop rocks and condensed milk. It sounds like it was made by a child, but the experience is a mouth rollercoaster more complex than anything a toddler could create.


$$$$Perfect For:Late Night Eats

Once the clock strikes midnight in Miami, people often settle for garbage meals. Not at Li Cho, a Haitian fried chicken pop-up that lives inside Wynwood’s outdoor club, Brick, and makes one of the best fried chicken sandwiches we’ve eaten, drunk or sober. Of the three options on the menu, go for the maduro sandwich with crispy chicken, spicy mayo, and sweet fried plantains between toasted brioche buns that look like an ad for tanning spray. Li Cho is open until 2:30am from Thursday to Sunday, and for Sunday brunch starting at 1pm. But stop by around 10pm, when the backyard bar isn’t too crowded yet, and you might see the security guards dancing to "Yeah!" by Usher.


During the day, people walk in and out of here lugging dense takeout boxes from Jrk, Mangrove’s sister spot that operates in the same space. But at night, Mangrove turns into a restaurant and bar worthy of a fun weekend meal with friends who like to dance to reggae while holding utensils. After you eat great Jamaican dishes like jerk wings, curry oxtail, a whole fried snapper, stay for some cocktails and dancing. Just make sure to find a moment to appreciate the bar’s backsplash constructed out of thousands of dominoes.

This casual Doral sandwich shop has a menu inspired by literary characters from 17th century Spanish novels and, much like a good book, you can inhale their sandwiches in one sitting. El Cid—their massive take on a pan con bistec—is made using half a loaf of cuban bread. The mahi sandwich has a thick slab of mahi so soft your teeth suddenly feel superfluous. And some sandwiches come with toothpick-thin potato sticks that are made in-house. Cuento also makes incredible croquetas, lemonade, and half-baked brownie cookies. If it’s your first time, get El Cid. It just might make you read up on 300-year-old literature to figure out when the word beefsteak became bistec.

Gramps is one of our favorite bars in Miami, and now you don’t have to brave the chaos of Wynwood to satisfy a Gramps craving. You can just go to Gramps Getaway in Key Biscayne. Here, in the former Whiskey Joe’s space, you’ll find pretty much everything we loved about the original Gramps: rare $12 cocktails, DJs playing songs you forgot you knew all the words to, and an old school atmosphere that’ll feel familiar to anyone who’s lived here for more than 10 years. But there’s also a waterfront view and The Lazy Oyster, a pop-up serving oysters, lobster rolls, and other small seafood plates. This is the perfect way to end any Key Biscayne beach day.

photo credit: Virginia Otazo

$$$$Perfect For:Date Night

Palma is a tasting menu-only restaurant so thoughtful, the team could blindly buy your mother-in-law the perfect birthday present. The $85 menu changes every 10 to 15 days. But you can expect seven courses (and a palate cleanser) of locally sourced dishes, like fresh steamed snapper with spigarello or steak tartare wrapped in a crunchy ribbon of radish. A silver spork is the weapon of choice for attacking a meticulously scored and seared squid in mushroom ragu with pepitas, ensuring no seed or sauce is left behind. And a mid-service bread course fills the empty room in your stomach and doubts in your mind that you’ll leave famished after eating otherwise light and small portions. Plus, the dark, moody lighting and candles make it the ideal spot for a sexy night out.

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