Are Any Of These NYC Restaurants In Miami Actually Good?
We've been to just about all of them. Let's discuss.
The New York to Miami pipeline has been flowing for a long time. But these days, that pipeline is practically bursting. And one big consequence of that is a whole bunch of NYC restaurants opening locations in Miami. This begs the logical question: are any of them actually good? Lucky for you, it’s our job to go and find out. So here’s our rundown on which New York restaurants in Miami (both the new and old) are worth your time and money (and which ones aren’t).
Joe's Pizza Wynwood
Verdict: “Thin-crust royalty.” Enthusiastically approved.
Dear New York City: send us more places like Joe’s. This simple slice shop is wonderful. Our colleagues over at Infatuation NYC called this place "thin-crust royalty" and we agree. They make a deliciously uncomplicated New York slice. It's big, foldable, and hangs off a paper plate like a teen who outgrew their bed. Joe’s is also efficient. You can stop in and be holding a slice in minutes. This is where you want to be after a night of Wynwood bar-hopping.
Verdict: Not good enough to justify coming here on a Tuesday at 11pm.
We haven’t been back to Carbone since our first review. One day we'll check back in on them, but getting a table here is still a massive headache. We’ve yet to see any proof that it’s worth making a reservation for 5pm or 11pm on a weekday—which is pretty much the only way to eat here if you're a civilian. But even with a reservation, you might have to wait 30 minutes for your table on a Tuesday at 11pm. This place serves Italian-American food ranging from average to above average—but never really great (except for dessert). The most interesting part of Carbone's dishes is the presentation. They cut globs of mozzarella with shiny scissors and slice your veal parm with a pizza cutter. Nonetheless, our Carbone FOMO evaporated a while ago, and yours should too.
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Sadelle’s Coconut Grove
Verdict: An overpriced brunch for the clout-obsessed with wonderful French toast. Approved if you don’t mind spending way too much on brunch.
Sadelle's is Carbone's brunch cousin, and also quite a scene: the kind of buzzy spot people will brag about going to in an expensive group exercise class the next day. However, Sadelle's has proven an easier table to book—at least during summer. There are good things to eat here. The excellent french toast has a light crisp on the outside and a sweet, custardy interior. The cheese blintzes are great too. But there are some misses on the menu, including a $125 bagel tower that’s a scam right up there with clubs selling $30 bottles of vodka for $300. We haven't had a strong desire to return here, but if you're looking for a see-and-be-seen brunch spot and don't mind spending way too much on breakfast, go for it.
photo credit: Kris Tamburello
Dirty French Steakhouse
Verdict: A bizarre mix of hype beast culture and nostalgia that just feels all wrong. Not approved.
Dirty French, also a shiny member of the Carbone family tree, is pure aesthetic chaos. The Brickell steakhouse is a dizzying blur of animal print and mirrored surfaces that transports its guests to...we're not exactly sure? It feels like a place that people who couldn't get into Studio 54 would go. Regardless, it did not make us feel very glamorous. Service is slow (we waited almost an hour for our table with a reservation), food is average (and very expensive), and the only thing we remember about our dinner are the great martinis.
Verdict: One of Miami's best special occasion meals. Approved and then some.
We had high expectations for Cote because, by many reliable accounts, their New York location is excellent. And, from the second we walked into this futuristic Korean steakhouse to the last bite of vanilla soft serve with soy sauce caramel, these expectations were not only met, but exceeded. Cote is the kind of exciting, blowout dinner that actually deserves the hype, and even though its roots are in New York, the restaurant feels right at home in the Design District. We also love that you can eat like a damn Rockefeller for just $64 per person via the Butcher’s Feast tasting menu. It comes with portions of aged ribeye, American wagyu flatiron, hanger steak, and marinated short rib as well as banchan, some sides, and that wonderful cup of soft serve.
Tacombi Design District
Verdict: Not the cheapest or best Mexican food in town, but a lovely place to have tacos and margaritas. Approved.
Tacombi may not register on the taco Richter scale in cities with more dynamic Mexican food scenes. But in Miami—especially the City of Miami—this place is one of the best options for a night filled with tacos, quesadillas, and burritos. It’s located in the Design District (a South Beach location is on the way too) and the colorful dining room is casual, yet still energetic enough to come with friends and split a very tasty margarita pitcher. Yes, $5 tacos aren’t exactly cheap—but it’s still one of the more affordable options in the Design District, and we’d happily return here for the carne asada and crispy fish tacos.
Verdict: An NYC icon for a reason. Approved.
Lucali has been holding it down in Miami way before this latest wave of NYC restaurants came to town. It’s still a marvelous pizza—easily one of Miami’s best. There is usually a wait here, but it’s nowhere near the wait times of the original New York location. It would actually probably be quicker to fly from New York to Miami to eat at the South Beach Lucali. We’re thankful for that, and we still love this pizza.
Verdict: Approved (but sit outside).
Osteria Morini is an Italian restaurant in a South Beach hotel on Alton Road. And like almost all restaurants located in South Beach hotels, it's slightly touristy and just a bit more expensive than it should be. But, those two faults aside, it’s a good restaurant. Focus on pasta here—especially the torcia nera, a squid ink pasta with shrimp ragù. But the best part about this place might be the lovely outdoor seating that’s situated along a little canal. It feels more Venice than South Beach, and makes this place one of the area’s better outdoor dining options. We're still prioritizing Macchialina for pasta in South Beach, but we can see Osteria Morini working for a business meal or dinner with out-of-town relatives staying nearby.
Verdict: Chaos. Pure chaos. Save yourself.
HaSalon is such a strange place. The South Beach Israeli clubstaurant has a bizarre and wildly expensive menu that reads like a freshman creative writing major's poetry. The food isn’t bad, but the real reason people come here is to dance on tables and wave napkins around, which happens after the clock strikes 9pm. The only situation we’d approve of coming here is if you have a sugar parent who’ll be handling the tab and you just want to have a wild, weird, loud South Beach night.
Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill
Verdict: The best (and probably only) place for fried chicken and sushi in South Beach. Approved.
We've always liked Blue Ribbon, and it's still a good option for a fancy-ish dinner in South Beach. The restaurant is located inside a cute little art deco hotel, has an equally cute lobby bar, and a very charming poolside outdoor seating situation. Plus, the food is all solid. Come here to eat good sashimi, any roll involving fatty tuna, and don't skip the very good fried chicken that comes with wasabi honey for dipping.
photo credit: Tasty Planet
Verdict: A badly-needed Filipino option with a seriously good burger. Approved.
Jeepney’s arrival always felt like a good thing, because more Filipino options in Miami are always a good thing—and also because our New York coworkers told us that this place is great. Turns out, everyone was right. And in a bittersweet twist, Miami is now the only place you can find Jeepney since their NYC location has closed. That's all the more reason to support this 1-800-Lucky vendor and their delicious sisig, lechon, and that outstanding Chori Burger, which comes with a longanisa patty and spicy banana ketchup.
Verdict: Serves a purpose, but not worth traveling for. No need to rush here.
Whitman’s is a casual burger and sandwich spot. They’re known for their Juicy Lucy, a regional Minneapolis creation that’s essentially just a burger stuffed with cheese. We tried it (plus a side of fried pickles and their “crack kale”). It’s all fine. Pretty much as advertised: a decent burger stuffed with a pool of pimento cheese that oozes out satisfyingly when you bite into it. We wouldn’t travel across town to come here, but it’s certainly worth keeping in mind if you’re in South Beach looking for a casual burger and beer.
Verdict: We miss the chicken hearts, but heavily approve nonetheless.
While we miss Hometown Barbecue’s original Miami menu, which included phenomenal dishes like tamarind glazed chicken hearts and a lamb bahn mi, this place is still great. Hometown is serving some of the best smoked meats in Miami. It’s also a fun place to hang out: the cocktails are very good, they have wine, and occasionally host live music in the back patio. Plus, we never really have trouble finding an open table to inhale brisket, ribs, and the glorious smoked turkey BLT.
Verdict: One of Wynwood's better casual-but-still-fun options. We approve.
Freehold confused us when it first opened, because they marketed themselves as a hotel without the rooms, which is just...huh? But this place makes a lot more sense when you treat it as a restaurant, which is what it is. They have a pretty outdoor space with a giant disco ball, DJ booth, and a little courtyard with blue astroturf. You're coming here for solid thin-crust pizza and cocktails. The service is speedy too. Overall, it's a good addition to Wynwood, and a great bet for dinner and drinks before a night out.
Prince Street Pizza Miami
Verdict: No, for so many reasons.
Prince Street Pizza is one of the vendors inside Wynwood’s Oasis, an outdoor food hall/concert venue. It’s a place we haven’t paid much attention to because their ownership has a deeply troubling history of racism, but also because there have been so many exciting local pizza spots opening lately. But we did give them a try for the purposes of this guide, and now we have another reason to not pay much attention to them—the pizza isn’t that good. The spicy vodka is, in fact, not spicy. The pepperoni pie is better, but only because of the crispy, cupped pepperonis. Both pizzas came on the same uninspired dough that tasted a bit like the pre-made stuff you can buy from Publix.
Verdict: Miami needs more big, meaty Italian subs. Approved.
You’ll also find Alidoro in Wynwood’s Oasis—and it’s a much better option. The New York Italian sandwich shop is operating out of a shipping container, and serving good hot and cold Italian sandwiches. Miami doesn’t have a ton of Italian subs, so we're happy this place exists for the next time we're craving some combination of bread, prosciutto, and cheese. We like the Gothamist, which comes with prosciutto, sun-dried tomato paste, lemon basil pesto, and a healthy amount of burrata. It's a little messy, but very satisfying.
Verdict: We still don’t quite get this place, and can’t think of a good reason to come here. Not approved.
Shelter is an Argentinian spot with a slightly confusing hunting lodge aesthetic. What we ate here—pizza, empanadas, and an octopus hot dog—wasn't bad, but it also wasn't really good enough to make us want to come back. The empanadas were the best thing, but they still don't stand out much in a city as empanada-obsessed as Miami. You don't have to yell at your friends if they make a reservation here, but if you're looking for a better Argentinian option nearby, make the short drive to Fiorito.
Verdict: Not Wynwood’s best ice cream. But it’s tasty and cute. Approved.
These little fish ice cream cones were an OG viral food trend. Their little Wynwood stand inside 1-800-Lucky is still a good place for an aesthetically pleasing ice cream cone that also tastes good. It’s not the best ice cream in Wynwood (that honor goes to Dasher & Crank) but we just can’t hate on Taiyaki. It’s too damn cute.
Verdict: The big menu is hit-or-miss, but the ramen is good. Approved if you’re in a noodle mood.
A celebrity chef opening a restaurant in Wynwood—there are a lot of red flags in that sentence. But Momosan isn't awful, especially if you're in the mood for ramen. There are lots of other things on the menu here too—sushi, bao, rice bowls, and more. We've found the rest of the menu a bit inconsistent. So ramen is what you should stick to, especially the gyukotsu, which comes with a huge braised beef rib.
Red Rooster Overtown
Verdict: Food isn’t mind-blowing but it's fun, especially for a boozy brunch. Approved.
We haven't been blown away by anything we've tried at Red Rooster, but we've also happily finished everything we've ordered. Plus, this place isn't just about the food. It's a fun, loud restaurant with a pretty dining room and a lovely outdoor patio. There's usually a DJ playing in the bar area, and occasionally live music during brunch. The fried yard bird is the best thing we've had here—a plate of crunchy dark meat with a lovely sour orange hot honey. The interesting menu has diverse options too, including jollof rice and a massive roasted wagyu oxtail. It deserves a visit eventually, even if it's just for a drink at the bar.
Verdict: Keep walking. Not approved.
Zazzy's Pizza is a little slice shop smack in the middle of Wynwood, and it’s mostly a takeout spot. But unless you are standing outside this place and will simply combust if you don’t get a slice of pizza in the next five minutes, you can skip it. They’re pretty meh slices with an underwhelming dough and lackluster toppings. With options like Joe’s and Pizza Tropical within walking distance, it’s just too hard to think of a good reason to come here.