The Best Restaurants In Brickell
photo credit: Courtesy Kaori
Ah, Brickell: all the inconveniences of a big city with almost none of the perks. We won't sugarcoat it. Unless you live in Brickell, you probably dread coming here. We, too, occasionally have flashbacks to that one time we got stuck at the drawbridge for 45 minutes. But do not let Brickell's general mayhem and plethora of overpriced clubstaurants convince you that there is nothing delicious here. Against all odds, there are great Brickell restaurants. And if you're looking for bars in Brickell, we've got a guide for that too.
We’ll be the first to tell you that Brickell is full of overpriced restaurants that leave both your wallet and stomach empty—but River Oyster Bar is our favorite exception. The portions here are big and reasonably priced (by Brickell standards). We love the crab cakes—they’re the size of Costco muffins and bursting with crab meat. But our favorite dish is sea scallops a la plancha. These scallops are perfectly seared and so large it feels like the restaurant accidentally ordered the wrong size. Food aside, River Oyster is just an uncomplicated restaurant in a very complicated neighborhood. It’s an obvious Brickell favorite, but also one of the best places for a seafood dinner in all of Miami.
Come to this Brickell classic for some of the best Neapolitan pizza in Miami and a small list of natural wines. Or, if you're in a sandwich mood, get one of the subs—like the excellent morty with mortadella, smoked mozzarella, and pistachio pesto. They've recently added some pasta to the menu too. This is just one of those places where everything is reliably good—from the recognizable margherita down to the more elaborate lemon and burrata white pie. Getting a table is usually pretty easy, and it's nice enough to bring a date for a bottle of wine and a pizza.
La Mar is a Peruvian restaurant on the mysterious millionaire island known as Brickell Key. They serve some of the best Peruvian food in town, and their waterfront views are also pretty stellar—so good that it's almost not even worth coming here unless you can sit outside. In terms of food, you can't go wrong starting with the very good traditional Peruvian ceviche. They also make a great lomo saltado and have rotating anticucho options, including an excellent version with veal heart. This is a hotel restaurant, so expect a slightly touristy crowd. Luckily the food is good enough to distract you from the vacationing businessmen punching away on his laptop at the bar.
Kaori is one of our favorite Brickell safe spaces. Exiting the chaos of Mary Brickell Village and walking up the stairs to its peaceful dining room is akin to stepping out of a blizzard and into a hot bath. Kaori has a broad, modern Asian menu—a slightly vague style of cuisine you’ll find butchered throughout this neighborhood. But Kaori pulls it off. Start with the sashimi or any of the seasonal vegetable dishes. And if you’re here with a group and want a showstopper entree, get the kurobuta kan-kan pork chop. The huge slab of pork has a nice mix of fatty and lean pieces, and comes with bao buns, lettuce wraps, and more tasty construction materials. The downstairs vinyl lounge is a good place to linger if you don’t feel like facing the athleisure hordes outside yet.
Momi Market is light-years more casual than most of the surrounding sushi options—but it’s also better than nearly all of them. This little spot does donburi alongside a small menu of nigiri, rolls, and sashimi. The fish is sliced beautifully, and exactly what you want when you’re craving chutoro on a Wednesday. We like it for a walk-in dinner, but the donburi options are also perfect for a lunch break (the counter seating is great for eating alone). They also do one of Miami's best omakase, which feels like a private dinner since they only serve one party at a time.
There are Motek locations scattered around Miami, and they’re all a safe bet for a reliably good meal with quick service. The Brickell Motek doesn’t have our favorite atmosphere out of the bunch, and we blame that on the general chaos of the Brickell City Centre. But it does have the same consistent Mediterranean dishes we’ve come to expect from these folks. The flat pitas are perfectly fluffy, the hummus is ultra smooth and creamy, and the kebabs are tender and juicy. This is the biggest Motek of them all and has enough massive tables to handle big groups, so keep it in mind if you need a last-minute option for coworkers or visiting family who insist on dragging you along to their shopping spree at the Brickell City Centre.
With other locations in Dubai, Vegas, and Doha—LPM attracts the sort of people who own racehorses. It’s a white tablecloth restaurant with high ceilings, French shutters, and Modern art hanging above a long banquette. But LPM isn’t just a place to be seen, it’s a good restaurant. And if you love French Mediterranean food and have about $300 to spare, come here. They make our favorite escargot in the city, along with an incredible corn salad with bursts of pomegranate. Its two-tops are a little too close together, so be prepared to make friends with the couple sitting next to you. Maybe you can help them narrow down their horse’s name to Is That A Carrot In Your Pocket and The Neighs Have It.
Technically, Oriental Bakery falls outside Brickell’s official border—but only by, like, 200 yards. Plus, this market/restaurant (which specializes in Syrian, Greek, and Armenian foods) is casual, affordable, and very tasty. All of those things are rare in Brickell, so it’s a good place to have in your rotation. Like the name implies, it’s a bakery and grocery store selling food and pantry items. You can grab a bag of meat pies, a great za’atar flatbread, or an excellent baklava to-go. But they also have a few tables where you can sit down and enjoy a solid falafel sandwich, shawarma platter, hummus, kibbeh, and more—all for around $10.
Edge is an upscale spot inside the Four Seasons, and this place really has two purposes. You could use it for any sort of fancy, formal meal—like wooing clients or a dinner with your partner’s hard-to-please parents. Or, you can just come here any time you want some excellent steak and are OK dropping a decent amount of money in the process. Also, the brunch buffet is great (so, three purposes actually). Start with the really good charcuterie plate. Then, you can’t really go wrong with any of the steaks, especially the wagyu churrasco. It’s perfectly cooked to your liking, has a great sear, and is super flavorful despite being such a lean cut. The Aussie lamb chops deserve an honorable mention, too.
Take Hillstone, slam it into an American bistro, and you’ve got The Henry. The menu is designed to cast a very wide net of appeal: pretzels with fondue, bolognese, dover sole, short rib potstickers, and butter noodles all coexist. The food isn’t going to blow anyone away, but it’s solid, consistent, and really the only place you should be eating in the Brickell City Centre. Wood, leather, and green accents make it feel like a restaurant that could exist in any major east coast city. So is coming here worth getting lost in the parking underbelly of Brickell City Centre? We think so. It’s a good lunch or dinner option for indecisive people.
Kush has teamed up with the owners of Tobacco Road (which was, at one point, the oldest bar in Miami) to bring the classic Brickell spot back—sort of. It’s not in the same location, but it does feature a lot of the bar’s old decor and a food and drink menu inspired by the original Tobacco Road. But the best part about this place is that it’s one of the only spots in Brickell for a laid-back cocktail and good bar food. Like all Kush establishments, the food (burgers, wings, sandwiches, and various bar snacks) is solid and pairs beautifully with a cold beer.
Naoe is not practical. Dinner for two at the Brickell Key omakase will cost you somewhere around $1,000 and lasts close to three hours. But those three hours are filled with unique, phenomenal dishes. Most folks in Miami hear the word “omakase” and assume sushi. And while there is a nigiri section of Naoe’s menu (which might make you cry a happy tear) Naoe is so much more than sushi. Dishes are constantly rotating based on seasonality, but you’re bound to encounter a mix of local vegetables alongside rare (for Miami) seafood like braised sazae, milt, and chunks of cured mullet roe. It's hard for us to recommend Naoe for, well, anything really on account of the price tag. But it's a once-in-a-lifetime meal worth knowing about in case you encounter a lost duffle bag full of money one day.