Where To Go When You Can't Get Into Boia De guide image


Where To Go When You Can't Get Into Boia De

Not seeing any open tables at everybody’s favorite microscopic Italian restaurant? Try one of these spots instead.

Boia De is one of the absolute best restaurants in Miami. It’s also roughly the size of a shipping container. And so, unfortunately, it has become one of the toughest reservations to get in Miami, especially during tourist season. We’re not mad. It’s no one’s fault. These things happen. And they deserve all this love and then some. We do, however, want to provide you with some excellent alternatives in case you have spent the last 13 days refreshing their Resy page like a hypebeast waiting for an expensive sneaker to drop.


photo credit: Cleveland Jennings

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Walrus Rodeo


5143 NE Second Ave, Miami
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Maybe you planned on walking into Boia De to try and sit at the bar—but saw a small army of people waiting outside who are trying to do the exact same thing. Well, walk about 40 steps south and try your luck at Walrus Rodeo, Boia De’s new sister restaurant. This place is an easier reservation to book. It’s also a fun spot serving a menu that defies categorization but does not defy deliciousness. Vegetables, pizza, and pasta are the move here. Get the carrot tartare, mustard green lasagna with lamb ragu, anchovy pizza, and you’ll be so happy you won’t even find yourself staring out the window at Boia De like some kind of jealous ex.

You’re probably trying to go to Boia De for some combination of fun and great food, and very few places in Miami nail that combination like Jaguar Sun. Jaguar Sun is a great time, 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, or because you need a dinner that'll make you temporarily forget any other restaurants exist.

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So your wifi went out just as you were about to confirm your Boia De reservation and now you need another spot to impress that date who has intimidatingly better taste than you? Don’t panic. Go make sure your wifi is secure and find a table at Krüs, which is also very cute, very intimate, and serves pasta that’ll make you want to high-five the moon. Krüs has an outstanding menu full of seasonal vegetables alongside the aforementioned pasta, like a smoked corn agnolotti floating in a savory porcini broth.

Just in case you also couldn’t get into Krüs (seriously, get new wifi) or just weren’t feeling the menu, keep Los Felix in mind, too. It’s Krüs’ sister restaurant (and located directly underneath it). This place is also intimate, but it has more of a house party energy on the weekends and a totally different menu of wildly impressive Mexican dishes that all utilize some form of fresh masa. The crudo is always a beautiful sight and you can get a big pitcher of the best sangria in Miami.

If you are Boia De reservation hunting because you want food you’ll remember for the next two and a half years, then Zitz Sum is here to save the day. Just like Boia De, this Coral Gables spot has one of the best menus in Miami, which changes often but results in a combination of the best food adjectives you can think of. Rotating dishes are influenced by Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Lao, and other Asian cultures. You’ll find dumplings, Thursday night ramen specials, and a brisket sheng jian bao that made us forget everything we learned in kindergarten about sharing. And because the menu changes constantly, dinner here is still exciting even if you come on a weekly basis.

There’s a decent amount of characteristics in the center of the NIU Kitchen/Boia De Venn diagram. Trendy restaurant, natural wines, excellent small plates, and cute little date spot are all in there. The big difference is that NIU Kitchen serves a Spanish/Catalan menu, but it’s nonetheless delicious. They make a wonderful cold tomato soup with frozen mustard and a dish called ous, a creamy bowl of poached eggs and truffled potato foam. Plus, it’s just a nice place to hang out and have a lazy dinner with a bottle of wine or two.

If you’re not starving, though, consider NIU Wine (NIU Kitchen’s sister wine bar). It’s just down the street and is probably the closest of anywhere on this guide to the actual size of Boia De (in case you’re just really craving a narrow dining experience). But even if NIU Wine was located in an airplane hangar, we’d still tell you to come here. The food menu is small, so, again, go to NIU Kitchen if you’re trying to have a big meal. But if you’re just trying to graze on a few tapas while swirling wine inside a space that feels designed for date nights by date night scientists, NIU Wine is the move.

Miami, like so many cities, has an incredible amount of Italian restaurants. But if you’re looking for the top .0001% of Miami’s Italian restaurants, you’ll find a very small number of options. And within that circle (other than Boia De) is Macchialina. The classic Italian spot has been motivating locals to go to South Beach for years, and it’s still always our top pick for any night involving wine, pasta, and desserts that make us want to bring our spoon home so we can frame it and hang it on the wall. Service here is always pretty flawless and efficient too, which is unbelievably rare in South Beach.

Next Door is a wine bar run by (and right next door to) Key Biscayne’s Flour & Weirdoughs. And it’s a perfect option if you’re looking for a fairly chill night out with a bottle of wine and some excellent dishes involving bread. The menu is tight, but as good as you’d expect from one of Miami’s best bakeries. They make a simple, outstanding choripan, eggplant escabeche served with sliced baguette and crispy baguette chips, and a few sourdough pizzas. Nothing on the menu costs more than $20—which is quite refreshing in this current moment of everything costing more than $20. The space is small, but it’s great for dates and if it’s nice out, they slide open the windows to take advantage of the ocean breeze.

If you’re trying to eat at Boia De, may we suggest Itamae. Honestly, these restaurants share little in common other than one very important thing—they are the top two highest-rated restaurants on this whole website. This is because both Itamae and Boia De never deliver anything but a meal that might actually make you cry. At Itamae, those tears will be induced by an assortment of unique and absurdly delicious takes on Nikkei dishes—like perfect ceviche, conchitas a la parmesana with bubbly little hats of parmesan, and the cremolada, which rotates in flavor but is simply our favorite dessert in all of Miami.

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Boia De is a little Italian restaurant in Buena Vista that serves one of the most exciting dinners in Miami. You’ll need a reservation.

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