Miami’s Best New Restaurants Of 2022
photo credit: Cleveland Jennings
The openings of the past year were not exactly subtle. We gained multiple restaurants with design budgets that rival a small country’s GDP, the city’s eye-poppingly expensive omakase options doubled in size, and, for some reason, two massive nautical clubstaurants opened 450 feet away from each other in Brickell. But between the cracks of all these sparkly palaces of ill-advised indulgence, if you know where to look, you can find the opposite: soothing dining rooms that are like collapsing into a bean bag chair, menus that make you excited about crudo again, and restaurants that feel like being fed by a friend rather than lifted up by the ankles and shaken until every cent falls out of your pockets. These are the kind of places that make up the bulk of this guide. These are Miami’s best new restaurants of 2022.
Krüs Kitchen technically opened at the end of 2020 doing takeout, but it wasn’t until this year that the Coconut Grove spot debuted its seasonal dinner menu and became the restaurant it was always meant to be. The list of things we love about Krüs is longer than the spiral staircase you take to get to the dining room. On that list is a crudo so beautiful you’ll be nervous to make eye contact with it, an atmosphere that does for date nights what gamma radiation did for Bruce Banner, and glass block windows that face west and make the entire restaurant feel like one big flickering candle during sunset. We found ourselves recommending Krüs so much this year, because this combination of incredible food, welcoming service, and an interior so comforting it gives one the urge to take off their shoes is incredibly rare in Miami.
Ask us to sum up the year 2022 using a specific food and we’ll fling a slice of pizza at your forehead. This year’s openings were one combination of cheese and dough after another. We’re not complaining. The Miami pizza revolution was long overdue—and Miami Slice emerged as its clear leader. The former takeout-only pop-up transitioned to a tiny brick and mortar in Downtown this year. There, it makes the greatest NY-style pies we’ve ever had for very long lines of folks who clearly feel the same way. The slices here should be studied by pizza scientists. The crust has an edge-to-edge crisp, delicious toppings are precisely dispersed, and we’d rather not think about the many hours of our future we’ll devote to standing in line for the pepperoni proper slice (with the stracciatella add-on, of course).
If Miami didn’t already have enough stupidly expensive clubstaurants slowly draining the world of its crushed velvet reserves, we sure exceeded our limit in 2022. And whenever we began to feel suffocated by them, we took a deep breath and went to Off Site. The Little River beer bar is everything these places aren’t: small, chill, and always delivers a meal that will live in your head longer than the landline of your 6th grade best friend. The menu looks fairly straightforward at first glance. There’s a cheeseburger, hot dog, chicken wings, fried chicken sandwich. But every dish here is among—if not the—best version of these bar food staples anywhere in Miami. Especially that precious fried chicken sandwich, the hands-down best in the whole city.
QP Tapas exists in that grey area between a restaurant and a pop-up—the team takes over MKT Kitchen in Coral Gables Friday and Saturday nights for dinner. But the way these folks cook, we’d invite them to take over our entire house, every night of the week. Food is the main event here, both because QP is rather limited in what they can do with the space, and it’s just that good. The menu is a mashup of Spanish tapas and izakaya dishes. What, exactly, is that? Well, you can come here for a delicious pan con tomate with anchovies, Cool Ranch-dusted shishito peppers, thick okonomiyaki, and an uni risotto that is, in the best way possible, exactly what it sounds like. QP only opened in September, and is still a work in progress, but this is one of those concepts we’ll be watching like an MLB scout watches a minor league pitcher who can throw a 200-mile-per-hour fastball.
Miami didn’t need another astronomically expensive Big Night Out restaurant from an out-of-town hospitality group. But it sure did need one that didn’t completely suck. And this is why Klaw exceeded our expectations. Finally, here was a version of this restaurant archetype that seemed to remember what, exactly, a restaurant (especially one this pricey) was supposed to deliver: skilled service, a gorgeous space, and exceptionally sourced food. Klaw is all about two things: dry-aged steak and Norwegian king crab. This Edgewater spot makes the greatest surf and turf dinner in all of Miami with an added bonus of waterfront views that remind you how beautiful this city actually is.
For such a nightlife town, great new bars are a rare thing in Miami. And one that hosts live music and has a menu that extends well beyond lukewarm charcuterie? That’s a unicorn. And yet, that’s exactly what The Gibson Room is. At first glance, this place seems like a fun cocktail bar. But as the plates hit the table, it’s also clear that this is a serious restaurant. Dishes like the tamal en cazuela with foie gras and the rainbow trout atop a seafood lenteja would feel right at home in a fine-dining spot. But we like them much better here, where there’s no dress code, reservations, and usually something very fun happening on the small stage wedged in the corner.
We have, we’ll admit, lost faith in Wynwood. At least in terms of finding good food. The only restaurants that can seem to afford the neighborhood these days are ones that make us want to stay home and cook forever. But then came Doya, a restaurant that not only melted our Wynwood cynicism a bit, but is also just fantastic—no matter which neighborhood you put it in. The food, a blend of Aegean cuisine, is one of the most consistent menus in Miami. We haven’t found a single miss on it yet, from the great cocktails to the octopus salad so unbelievably tender you’ll wonder for a second if they brought you the wrong dish. Doya has really done the impossible: make us willing—even a little excited—to venture into Wynwood on a Saturday night.
When Tropezón opened on Española Way last December, we liked it a lot. And then, this year, they revamped the menu and now we love it a lot. The Andalusian spot, with its stellar selection of infused gins and snug spaghetti western interior, was always a fun place to drink. Now it’s also one of the best dinner spots in South Beach thanks to their excellent versions of classic tapas like pan con tomate and patatas bravas—but also because of bigger entrees like a duck confit paella. Food aside, Tropezón is just always fun and never feels needlessly exclusive—which is exactly the kind of restaurant South Beach desperately needs more of.
Vinya is a restaurant and wine bar and also has a really great liquor store. The menu has everything from morcilla spring rolls and a simple gnocchi to a huge smoked short rib you can make tacos out of. We’re not totally sure how to categorize this place, so we’ll just call it what it is: a pleasure. That’s really why Vinya is one of our Best New Restaurants—because coming here never feels like a chore, which was so refreshing during a year when having a nice dinner required so much hoop-jumping. But at the wonderfully reliable Vinya, the food is always great, reservations never require hunting, service is affable, and lazily browsing their excellent wine and liquor selection is the perfect way to digest the meal.