MIAGuide

The 25 Best Restaurants In Miami

Meet our 25 highest-rated restaurants.
A plate of tuna crudo with peppers on top.

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

Have you ever woken up and thought, “Gosh, I’d love to eat at a second-best restaurant today?” Of course you haven’t. Whether you’ve lived here your entire life or are visiting for the first time, it’s human nature to want to experience the best of the best. And that’s exactly why we wrote this guide.

These are our highest-rated restaurants in Miami—the ones we’d sit in an hour of traffic to get to. Food and experience are both taken into consideration, and any type of dining establishment is fair game. On this list you’ll find special occasion pasta, the very best Cuban sandwich in Miami, and casual seafood hangouts. And if you want to see what our favorite new spots are, check out our Hit List.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Emily Schindler

Italian

Buena Vista

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightDrinking Good WineEating At The BarLiterally Everyone
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What can be said about Boia De that hasn’t already been said about that chihuahua you follow on Tik Tok: it’s tiny, it’s adorable, and ever since you first encountered it, you find your thoughts drifting towards it multiple times a day. This narrow Italian restaurant on the edge of Buena Vista has one of those menus that's like a perfect album, with not a single song you’d dare skip. The only rules we’ll gently suggest are: order the chopped salad and the tagliolini nero. Also, set a timer for noon. That's when reservations go live for 30 days in advance (and then sell out within seconds). Or try to come super early for walk-in bar seating, which is our favorite seat in the house anyway. 

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

Even if you only eat in Miami sparingly, chances are you’ve come across one of our many Peruvian restaurants—and probably fallen in love with the food they make. But Maty’s takes those familiar dishes and reinvents them in ways that feel like watching your favorite band perform live and falling in love with their songs all over again. Are you a fan of lomo saltado? Well, you might never be able to look at it the same way again after trying Maty’s oxtail saltado. The dishes here have forever changed the way we think about Peruvian food.

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

It makes sense that Tâm Tâm started out as a sexy pop-up supper club, because dinner here is still a social event worth circling on your calendar. But you’re not coming to this Vietnamese restaurant in Downtown just to post a forehead selfie in one of the curvy mirrors on the wall. You’re here to eat some of the most delicious food in Miami. Many of Tâm Tâm’s best dishes—like the sticky fish sauce caramel wings and the tamarind glazed pork ribs—are gloriously messy. Maybe don’t wear white. But Tâm Tâm has even found a way to make washing your hands an absolute blast. We won’t spoil it, but pick the second bathroom on the right. 

photo credit: Anto.Re

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Maybe your days of bottle service and partying till sunrise are behind you. But if you still want to engage in some classic Miami indulgence—all while feeling like a classy adult—then make a reservation at Ariete. Everything on the rotating menu is fantastic, but if you're coming here to celebrate (or just want dinner to feel like a special occasion in and of itself) get the canard a la presse—a.k.a. the duck press. They wheel this medieval-looking machine to the table, compress various parts of the duck into a sauce, then use that sauce to smother the absolute best duck you’ll ever taste in your life. The meal, which serves two, also comes with flaky duck pastelitos, and more rotating sides that utilize every millimeter of the duck and its various parts.

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

On multiple occasions, we have left Zitz Sum convinced we’d just eaten the best dish Miami has ever produced. And then we’ve never seen it on the menu again. This happens. But even though the frequency of edits on this menu requires a printer with a Ferrari engine, they get away with it by making miracles more than mistakes. Zitz Sum is an “Asian-inspired” restaurant with a bit of an Italian thing going on. But the dumplings, bao, and pasta you’ll encounter here actually do deliver on the seemingly impossible promise to put half a world’s worth of flavors on a single plate. This is not a safe dinner option. This is the reservation to make when you need a meal full of unpredictable excitement.   

Even though the menu changes occasionally, we always know what to expect at Macchialina: Italian dishes (mostly pasta) that feel like a final draft, edited to near perfection without so much as one superfluous fragment of parmesan on the plate. Food aside, Macchialina is just always a thoroughly enjoyable experience—which makes it all the more valuable in South Beach, a neighborhood where it's too easy to have a thoroughly unenjoyable experience. But at Macchialina, the service is excellent, the drinks are great, and the restaurant's dim energetic dining room is exactly where you want to spend a Saturday night eating Miami’s best Italian food.

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

Since Miami always marches to the beat of its own tiki tiki music, it’s fitting that the city's best Indian restaurant is also uniquely Miami. And Ghee is serving food that could only exist in the 305. The bhel puri chaat is a seamless mashup of bhel puri and ceviche. The turmeric marinated fish uses a local catch, the bhatura has avocado in its dough, and so many of the best dishes source ingredients from Ghee's own farm in Homestead. This is Indian food done Miami style—and done in a way that makes a delicious argument that bhel puris, bhaturas, and vindaloo are just as Miami as pastelitos, Cuban coffee, and arriving very late to a party.

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 are fresh pastas that change with the seasons, 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 find ourselves recommending Krüs so much, 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.

It’s easy to oversimplify Nicaraguan food and assume it can all fit neatly in a styrofoam box. But Madroño is the best example of how incredibly nuanced and diverse Nicaraguan restaurants can be. This classic spot serves unfussy comfort food in a white tablecloth environment worthy of celebrating your niece’s First Communion. If you're here with a group, get the bandeja, a lazy susan filled with the most popular dishes from the entire left side of the menu. No matter who you're here with, end with a Pio V for dessert. And if you're celebrating a birthday, expect an aggressive amount of colorful streamers to be thrown in your general direction.

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

QP Tapas is unlike any other restaurant on this guide—partially because it doesn’t have a permanent home, but mostly because no one in Miami is cooking this kind of food. The izakaya/Spanish tapas pop-up has moved to three different locations since 2022. But there’s one place it must live: high on this list. Each of QP’s locations brings new hurdles they leap right over. The menu changes when it needs to, like when they’re presented with the challenge of a kitchen without any burners. So out with the paella, and in with a crunchy pork tonkatsu laced with saffron. If you missed QP the first time around, your new priority in life is to make sure that doesn’t happen again—especially while they’re in the gorgeous garden at The Mayfair House Hotel. 

Los Félix is the sister restaurant to Krüs, located directly underneath it. And they feel like siblings in the best way possible—connected, yet each with their own distinct personality. Los Félix has more of a dinner party energy, especially on the weekends when a DJ spins vinyl in the dining room. But the big difference is the food. Los Félix serves rotating Mexican dishes, most of which use the house speciality: fresh milled masa. It’s a delicious dinner where you’ll always feel like you’re among friends, even if you don’t have the social energy to actually attend a dinner party.

photo credit: CLEVELAND JENNINGS / @EATTHECANVASLLC

Rosie's will make you fall madly in love with brunch again—even if you never even liked it that much to begin with. The restaurant serves a mostly Southern American menu from a new indoor/outdoor space they've recently moved into. The food here is pretty recognizable: fried chicken and waffles, biscuits, crispy fish and grits. But you will do a double take when you taste it, because it's that much better than any version you may remember from your own personal brunch history. There will be other things on the menu you wish you had the stomach capacity to eat—but just come back. That won’t be hard, because unlike many brunch scenarios, nothing about Rosie’s feels like a chore.

We weren’t always this excited about Cuban sandwiches, especially after years of eating pretty average versions with cold cheese and pitifully thin ham. But then Sanguich de Miami came along and now we think Miami’s official slogan should just be a picture of their Cubano. This Little Havana shop nails every aspect of the Cuban sandwich—from the crunchy bread down to the homemade pickles and perfect amount of mustard. We would tell you to come here if it was the only thing they sold, but they also make other great sandwiches you should try eventually—especially the self-titled Sanguich de Miami, which is a delicious mash-up of a BLT, turkey sandwich, and Cuban sandwich.

Walrus Rodeo takes ideas that have very little to do with each other and makes them work gloriously. There are dishes like carrot tartare, which surpasses all tuna or steak versions we've ever tried, and mustard green lasagna (our favorite lasagna in the city). The interior is a bright country western meets Italian disco aesthetic. But behind all the goofy contradictions is a restaurant that’s just delicious and fun. If you stick to the starters, salads, pastas, and the rodeo pizza, you'll have a meal nearly as impressive as the one at their sister restaurant, Boia De. But this place isn’t just a backup plan if you can’t get into Boia De. Walrus Rodeo is one of those rare special occasion spots that’s also perfect for most regular occasions. 

Yes, the food, cocktails, and service are always outstanding at Jaguar Sun—but its greatest quality also happens to be that rarest of things in a Miami social life: a guaranteed good time. Jaguar Sun is fun, and not conditionally so. You don’t have to be at the right table or order the right cocktail or entree to enjoy yourself here. Everything (both in liquid and solid form) is delicious, and the staff is a small team of extroverts hell-bent on making sure your glass is never empty. You're coming here for outstanding pasta, oysters, a cold martini, and because you need a dinner that'll make you completely forget why you woke up in a bad mood today.

There’s no menu at Shore To Door, a Coconut Grove seafood market and weekend restaurant. Instead, the cook—who might be in the middle of cleaning a fish—will tell you what came in off the boat that morning. The menu might include fried grouper bites, a whole fried yellowtail snapper, wahoo fish dip, or other sea creatures. But it will be delicious, and you can eat it in their fantastic backyard, which has a bunch of mismatched furniture and an atmosphere that feels almost as Key West as Jimmy Buffett riding a dolphin while reading a Hemingway novel out loud. If you want a beer, pop open the cooler and help yourself. Just try to keep tabs on how many you drink, because even though this place feels like a friend’s backyard, you’ll still have to pay at the end of the meal.

Zak The Baker is to Miami bread what Pitbull is to Miami music. Except we're actually thrilled about Zak's ubiquity, and the fact that one can encounter slices of his sourdough in nearly every cafe within Miami-Dade County. We still love taking trips to this Wynwood bakery too, even though the crowds can be intense. Because it's only at the bakery where you'll find some of Zak's best stuff, like perfect bagels, Miami's best babka, and an outstanding bacon, egg, and cheese that uses salmon bacon instead of actual bacon. And here's a very useful tip if you hate lines as much as us: go online and order ahead. 

photo credit: CLEVELAND JENNINGS / @EATTHECANVASLLC

This West Kendall restaurant invented its own cuisine: Miami-style barbecue. It stuffs pastrami in Venezuelan tequeños, burnt ends in empanadas, and serves cafecito-rubbed brisket atop a mole poblano sauce. These aren’t mindless mashups. The food here tastes like it’s been put through more rehearsals than a high school theater kid, and dishes hit their mark every time. Almost everything on the menu is smoked, including the flan, but what really makes Smoke & Dough special is how they’ve created something completely new by combining quintessential Miami flavors with traditional American barbecue techniques. It’s not just extraordinarily good—it’s something unique to our city that could only exist here.

photo credit: CLEVELAND JENNINGS / @EATTHECANVASLLC

For the longest time, people (mostly from a state with the word “New” in it) could talk down on Miami’s pizza scene. They had a point. Then Miami Slice came into our lives, making a New York-style pizza we’ll slap any naysayers across the face with to initiate a pizza duel. The slices at this tiny shop are crispy from corner to corner, perfectly ratioed with incredible toppings, and one of the very few foods in this city we will cheerfully wait three hours in the sun to consume. Takeout can actually take longer than waiting for a seat at the counter, so just brave the often chaotic line and eat it fresh from the oven.  

Ask us to hang out between 8am and 2pm and—even if we don't really like you—we will agree to the plans. Because then we'll have an excuse to go to Caracas Bakery. The things this MiMo cafe does with bread are so wonderful that we'd share a meal here with the world's most annoying person. On the counter are rows of symmetrical danishes and puffy croissants alongside cachitos so supple you’ll have to resist the urge to reach over the sneeze guard and poke one. But Caracas' sandwiches are the highlight of the menu. The jambon beurre and broccoli sandwich make up about 87% of our collective lunch cravings. Luckily this casual cafe, where you’ll inevitably run into at least three people you know, is the kind of place where you’ll want to become a regular.

photo credit: CLEVELAND JENNINGS / @EATTHECANVASLLC

$$$$Perfect For:Date Night

You expect to find certain things in Hialeah, but an adorable French bistro is not one of them. And yet, La Fresa makes so much sense to anyone who grew up in Miami. The cluttered dining rooms feel like a multi-abuela design collaboration, and while the really good food is mostly straightforward takes on classic bistro dishes, La Fresa’s location in one of Miami’s most Cuban neighborhoods does come through with a few wonderful moments of guava. One such case, the pastelito de foie gras and guayaba, is the most brilliantly Miami thing we’ve ever eaten. This is the kind of place you will sorely miss if you ever move to another city. 

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

Frank and his cachapas are exceptions to the widely accepted truth that all parking lots suck. This emerald food truck in Doral makes cachapas you could use as a throw blanket. They also make incredible versions of more Venezuelan delicacies like patacones and arepas outstanding in both size and taste. Unlike most food trucks, you’re coming to Frank Cachapas to have a sit-down meal. It feels like a neighborhood block party on weekends, but it’s also the kind of easy, affordable dinner that deserves to become a weekly ritual. 

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

The chefs at this Miami Shores pop-up make magic with ingredients you probably have smooshed into the bottom of your sneakers right now. They turn sea grapes into sorbet and use bait fish in their crudo. EntreNos has taken the all-things-local mission statement further than anywhere else in town by sourcing 99.9% of its menu from the frustratingly long state of Florida. And four nights a week they turn a casual sandwich shop into a restaurant that makes you contemplate how delicious your own backyard is. It may not be a revelatory meal for everyone, but if your favorite day of the week is the trip to the farmers market, this could be your new favorite dinner spot in Miami.

If you are even in the slightest mood for Jamaican, all roads in Miami lead to Clive’s. This classic Little Haiti spot makes our favorite versions of so many Jamaican dishes, like their excellent jerk chicken. But there are more phenomenal staples worth ordering: curry goat, oxtail, ackee and saltfish, and conch served steamed, fried, or in a curry. Needless to say, making a decision here can be a difficult thing. But whatever you get will probably fall right off the bone and come with a side of rice and peas big enough to use as a pillow. Clive’s works for both takeout or dine-in, and we firmly consider a fork full of equal parts Clive's mac and cheese, plantain, and jerk chicken to be the best bite one can have in Miami.  

Of all the restaurants on this guide, Cafe La Trova stands out because we don’t come here for the food. It’s good. The empanadas are great and so is the arroz con pollo. But Cafe La Trova’s superpower is its ability to throw a party seven nights a week. It’s amazing how few restaurants can pull this off in Miami, a city that prides itself on being able to party. But when people come to us looking for a dinner worthy of a celebration, this is pretty much the only place we send them. Cafe La Trova has an outstanding cocktail program (and the world’s best daiquiri), live music, dancing, and bartenders who sporadically whip out instruments and start singing along with the band. This—not some overpriced clubstaurant nonsense—is the dinner party Miami deserves. 

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