The Toughest Reservations In Miami Right Now (And How To Get Them)  guide image


The Toughest Reservations In Miami Right Now (And How To Get Them)

Our take on the busiest restaurants in Miami—and advice on how to get in.

At any given time, there are a handful of Miami restaurants where trying to get a table feels like trying to get across the Rickenbacker Causeway, backwards, on a unicycle. Right now, these are those restaurants. Some spots on this list are excellent, and some aren't. But they are the hardest ones to get into—and we want you to know which are actually worthwhile. We also want to help you get a reservation, so you don’t have to sit at home and write sad songs about how you’ve never been to Boia De. Below, you’ll find our verdicts on the busiest places in the city, along with some info that’ll help you get that table (or bar seat). Check back for regular updates.


Bouchon Bistro

Verdict: There aren’t any big flaws in dinner at Bouchon, the French sister restaurant of The Surf Club. The restaurant is pretty, the food is very good (please get the crispy pig ears), and the service is attentive enough to make you feel special. It works for a special occasion, dinner with parents who are picking up the tab, or also just a martini at the bar with a side of those pig ears (once again, please order them).

How To Get In: Every man, woman, child, and peacock in Gables seems to be fighting for a table here, and Bouchon is nearly completely booked. However, the bar is open to walk-ins (and was empty when we went at 5pm on a Thursday). It’s a fine place to eat if you’re alone or just a party of two. Resy reservations go live 30 days in advance at midnight. So have that 5pm espresso or set your alarm.

Verdict: We feared this day would come, and it’s here. Boia De has officially become a slightly impossible reservation to book. But unlike so many Miami spots that are booked for months out, the frenzy around eating here is justified. Boia De is outstanding, exciting, and always fun. And a night of wine, pasta, and the world’s greatest chopped salad is very much worth dedicating a full year of your life to snagging a table here.

How To Get In: Boia De reservations go live on Resy at noon, 30 days in advance. So that is when you need to be at your computer, refreshing the page like your life depends on it. Use desktop, not mobile. It'll allow you to refresh and click around faster than Resy's app. If that doesn't work, Resy notifications are your friend. Turn them on and be ready to round up your party with only a couple hours notice. We’ve had luck that way, taking the seats of last-minute cancellations. Boia De also still holds space for nightly walk-ins. It’s a gamble, but try to come 20 minutes before they open. They just opened for dinner on Tuesdays, and the restaurant recently posted on Instagram that it’s a good day for attempted walk-ins.

Verdict: Pastis isn't quite as consistent as the original in NYC. We've been here and had great service. And we've also experienced not-so-great service. But the food's always been pretty good, and it's a solid option for a fun night out in Wynwood. We've enjoyed most of the things we've had here, but particularly the steak frites.

How To Get In: Pastis is pretty tight-lipped on when, exactly, its reservations go live. It doesn't specify on their Resy page, and when we've asked a host in person, we got very vague answers. However, there's a big bar (both inside and outside) where you can try your luck if you just can't find an open table. Walk in on the earlier side, and you should be fine. Have a martini, cheeseburger, and people watch.

Verdict: The food at the NYC-import Carbone is fine and it’s quite the scene, but there is nothing about this place that justifies the effort it takes to eat here. This is a restaurant that exists solely for clout and not much else, which is not our favorite kind of restaurant at all. If someone happens to invite you to dinner here and you’re curious, sure—go for it (and try to be in the bathroom when it comes time to split the checks).

How To Get In: Carbone reservations have gotten slightly easier to find—although mostly on weekdays at 5pm or 11pm. But as tourist season ramps up, reservations will probably begin to evaporate. If you still want in, they’re released via Resy 30 days in advance at 10am. Don’t bet on being able to walk in unless it’s just for a drink at the bar—and even then you may be turned away if it’s too crowded.

Verdict: There may be no reservation in Miami that’s been so difficult to snag for so long. Everyone loves Mandolin, and we’re including ourselves in that group. Not only is the Greek/Mediterranean food really good, but Mandolin has one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in Miami. That’s why most people want to eat here. It’s a very stunning, unique patio that feels like one big house (because that’s what it used to be). The nicer the weather gets, the harder the reservations get. Still, it’s a table worth fighting for.

How To Get In: Lunch. Ever heard of it? It’s that thing we sometimes do before dinner. And at Mandolin, lunch is far easier to book. It’s not impossible to find an open dinner reservation. They’re out there—mostly at 4:30pm or 10:30pm. They also accept walk-ins, although walk-ins are usually seated inside, which is still a cute little living room situation that’s a lovely place to have dinner. Luckily, all people with reservations are guaranteed an outdoor table.

Verdict: What a strange, strange restaurant. This place appears to have been designed by a mermaid on MDMA. The massive pink and blue dining room is covered in shiny sculptures of sea creatures that cost so much money it’ll make you mad. But as visually chaotic as this place is, the food is incredibly boring by comparison. It’s also laughably expensive. We see no reason why you should devote a second of your life attempting to eat here.

How To Get In: Once again, lunch is pretty easy to book. A weekend dinner is less so. But this restaurant also makes the least amount of sense when the sun is out. For a dinner reservation, look on OpenTable either very early in the morning or very late at night. That seems to be when they release new dinner slots about a month out. You can try to walk in for a drink at the bar, but they have a very imposing velvet rope outside and we can’t think of anything sadder than being turned away from the Sexy Fish bar.

Verdict: Cote is great. Not only does it give Miami another Korean option—which we so badly need more of—but it’s phenomenal for a special occasion. Especially one that you’d like to involve meat. You’re coming here for steak (the $68 butcher’s feast tasting menu is the way to go) and excellent cocktails in a futuristic dining room that feels like it’s going to take off for outer space any second.

How To Get In: There's no great Cote reservation hack because walking in isn’t an option, and there's a bar—but no bar seating where you can eat. So book through Resy and you’ll find a smattering of dinner reservations—usually at 5:30pm or 11pm. If you book a month out, you’ll find some more reasonable 8:30pm and 9pm reservations. Lunch is a thing here too (and much easier to book).

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The Toughest Reservations In Miami Right Now (And How To Get Them)  guide image