Finding the best restaurants in Wynwood is a bit like looking for Waldo in those books that used to ask you to find Waldo. There are a lot of bad places doing good impressions of great restaurants, and it’s hard to tell them apart while a sidewalk busker is trying to sketch your face for $15. We made this guide so you don’t get tricked, because it’s happened to us, and it’s not fun to eat wet truffle fries while the absolute worst house music beats down on you.
If you’re in Wynwood and dont stop by Zak the Baker, you better have a good excuse. Maybe you tripped over a selfie stick and fell onto a tour bus and woke up in Little Havana. Fine. But anything short of that is unacceptable. Zak is not only partly responsible for establishing Wynwood as a place to eat delicious things, but this very minimal bakery continues to make Miami’s best bread and an assortment of pastries that should absolutely be coming home with you. Get the babka and the chocolate rye cookie to go. Any of the sandwiches or toasts are great too.
Kyu is probably the toughest place to get a table in Wynwood. It’s not that it’s small or very exclusive (like Hiden), but it’s just very, very popular. It’s a rare Miami restaurant where you can pretty much expect a packed house every night of the week - not just on weekends in winter or during Art Basel. This is because basically every dish at KYU is a crowd-pleaser: the roasted cauliflower, soft-shell crab bao buns, Thai fried rice stone pot, and fried chicken will probably all be on tables around you. This is one instance where you should listen to peer pressure and order them too.
We tend to be as suspicious of big Wynwood restaurants as we are of an unknown number that wants to talk to us about the money we’re owed by the IRS. But Doya is a wonderful surprise, and dinner here is as delightful as finding out the IRS does, in fact, owe you $5,000. There’s really nothing we don’t enjoy about Doya. The big Aegean restaurant has some lovely outdoor seating, and a spacious dining room that’s pretty enough for a date but casual enough for an easy Wednesday dinner. The best part about Doya is the food, though. The menu is a huge list of very good meze plates. The octopus in the octopus salad is as tender as fresh mozzarella, the lamb kebab is beautifully cooked, and the huge mussels are served in a perfectly balanced wine and garlic sauce.
Kush is an essential Wynwood spot thanks mostly to its burgers, which are some of the best in the city. But this very tiny restaurant also makes fantastic fried gator, has a great local beer selection, and somehow fits it all into a space the size of a studio apartment. There will be a wait here, but if you come Friday-Sunday you can spend that time at La Botanica, Kush’s next door bar/waiting room. After a beer in the Santeria-inspired room, your table will probably be ready. Squeeze in, order the Frita, and start thinking of an excuse to come back and do it all again as soon as possible.
The Oasis is a big outdoor space in Wynwood that’s part bar, part music venue, and part food hall. Come here if you want to keep things casual, are with a big group who can’t agree on what to eat, or if the host at KYU just informed you that your reservation is actually for next Saturday. It’s first-come-first-served here. There are lots of outdoor tables and six vendors serving Italian sandwiches, tacos, dumplings, fried chicken sandwiches, and more.
Hiyakawa is a Japanese restaurant in Wynwood that wins the award we just made up for “Most Interesting Ceiling In Miami.” But beyond the beautiful curved architecture of this place (which kind of makes you feel like you’re eating inside a fancy cave), there’s some very good things to eat here - specifically sushi. Hiyakawa offers nigiri, sashimi, maki, and more platter options from $55 to $95. There are also yakimono dishes ranging from lamb to duck to A5 wagyu. It’s an upscale place where you won’t feel out of place all dressed up, but the dining room is small, so it’s best to come here with a small party who appreciates good sushi.
Ted’s Burgers is a pop-up operating out of J. Wakefield on Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at noon until sold out. They do smash burgers here - the kind that are smashed within a millimeter of their lives, which results in the patty having these incredibly thin, crispy edges. It’s a technique we approve of, because the result is delicious. They serve a classic cheeseburger, a fried onion burger with thinly sliced onions, and they do their own version of a frita too. There’s outdoor seating available, and all the beer you could want is only a few steps away at J. Wakefield.
Uchi, a pretty well-known sushi spot in Austin, now has a Wynwood location, and it’s one of the best places to eat sushi in Miami. The menu is very large and portions aren’t designed to make you uncomfortably full, but if you want to celebrate an anniversary or just have 10 to 15 bites of phenomenal raw fish, Uchi is a good option. There’s really no bad choices on the menu, but we quite enjoyed the unagi, the hama chili, and the Hokkaido uni sashimi, which were four delicious lumps of uni topped with pineapple and wrapped in a shiso leaf. Oh, and the fried milk dessert is just as fantastic as it sounds. Uchi has a big dining room and some outdoor seating, though it is located alongside the driveway of an apartment building, so expect a steady stream of cars and loud motorcycles to roll by.
Sometimes, you just want a casual, tasty meal where you don’t have to spend more than $10. There really aren’t any places in Wynwood where you can reliably do that, except for The Taco Stand. That’s why this place is usually pretty crowded - but it’s also because the food here is good, and really the only place in Miami for California-style tacos and burritos. So if you’re a bit burnt out on $16 cocktails and $18 small plates, just come here and drop $9 on a very good California burrito, stuffed with beef, cheese, guac, salsa, and French fries.
If you are on the hunt for some combination of noodles and broth, this is the place you want to be. Ramen is definitely the main attraction here, and options include tonkotsu, spicy vegan miso, and gyukotsu, which comes with a prehistoric-looking braised beef rib that sticks out of the bowl like a flag. There are other good Japanese dishes on the menu too, like chef’s choice carpaccio seared with hot oil, grilled butabara (pork belly) skewers, and buri bap mixed tableside in a cast iron bowl. The restaurant has an open wall facing the street, so you can do some Wynwood people-watching even if you’re sitting inside.
Before Wynwood was Wynwood, it was a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood known as Little San Juan, and El Bajareque is one of the last remaining reminders of that. This place has been around for more than 40 years and it feels like little has changed here since then. It’s a small spot with some tables and countertop seating. There’s laughter coming from the kitchen and the staff will probably address at least three customers by name while you’re there. The food is mostly familiar classics like mofongo, chicharrones de pollo, and alcapurrias - order all three if you have a hungry eating partner or just want a ton of leftovers.
1-800-Lucky is the closest thing you’ll find to a food hall in Wynwood. Vendors fluctuate, but there are usually around seven different Asian stalls going at any one time. Options here range from ramen to dim sum and ice cream, but your best bet is the little sushi counter called B-Side or the great Filipino vendor Jeepney. Things can get a little loud and congested when it’s busy, especially on the weekend, so come with a few friends rather than a big group that wants to sit together. And then stick around for drinks at the outside bar if it’s nice out.
Buya is a Japanese restaurant where you can order a bunch of small plates like grilled chicken meatballs, miso-glazed quail, and yellowtail snapper skewers. It’s a solid place to start a night out and share a bunch of things. The food is consistently good across the menu, but the best thing here is the tempura beech mushroom, a big crispy mushroom that comes sitting on top of a great “Tokyo ranch” sauce.
If you, like us, are the kind of person who gets excited over a donut, then it’s worth waiting in the line (which is pretty much always there) at Salty Donut. The small Wynwood shop isn’t too remarkable, but the donuts at the end of your wait are Miami’s best. You will want to eat the brown butter and salt, guava and cheese, and white chocolate tres leches. But you’ll probably only make it through one and a third of the huge donuts before you realize you’ll have to shove the rest of them in your fridge and try again tomorrow.
Hiden is one of Miami’s most expensive omakase restaurants - but it’s also one of the most interesting dining experiences in the city. The eight-seat restaurant is located in the back of The Taco Stand, and you need a special code to even get in the door. You’ve got to book your seat weeks in advance and dinner here costs $170 per person. It’s some of the best sushi you’ll find in Miami but the entire experience of eating here - which makes you feel like a secret agent on a raw fish mission - is really what makes this place so special.
Palatino is a great Jamaican spot in a part of Wynwood that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic, even though it’s one block north from where most people think Wynwood begins. Come here if you want some great jerk chicken, oxtail, roti, and more Jamaican classics, but save it for when you’re not in a big rush. Palatino is a small operation and normally it’s just the very sweet owner taking orders from everyone, so you might be waiting 20 minutes or more. It’s always worth it though - and better than most food you can get in the neighborhood.
Ono Poke is a reminder of how good a poke bowl can be when done properly. The fish here is super high quality (you can do tuna or salmon) and they limit the topping options to only the essentials. You can build your own bowl, but you probably won’t do a better job than the shop’s five menu options - especially the spicy crunchy tuna bowl. This place is small, very casual, good for a quick lunch, and has a tropical flamingo wallpaper we really want to steal.
Sometimes the hardest part about going out is finding that middle ground between a place that devotes half its menu to rare caviar and somewhere that considers a spork an acceptable form of silverware. Beaker and Gray is almost always a good call when caught in such a dilemma. We’ve never had a bad meal or cocktail at this place, which serves Latin-inspired dishes like cheeseburger croquettes, alongside very recognizable things like pork belly, octopus, and fried chicken. It’s good for big groups or parties of two. It’s also part cocktail bar, which should trick your brain into thinking you went out and make you feel better about not leaving the house for the next week.
Coyo Taco serves some very good tacos, which is why there’s usually a line out the door during the lunch and dinner rushes here. We typically go with the crispy duck (carnitas de pato), which we shower with an obnoxious amount of house chipotle aioli - but they’re all good enough to justify the wait, which usually isn’t as bad as it looks. If it looks way too crowded on a weekend night, those people are probably in line for the little nightclub in the back of Coyo, not the food. Join them if you’re in the mood to dance and don’t care too much about personal space.
Wynwood’s casual options include things like burgers, ice cream, pizza, and there’s usually a snow cone guy hanging out somewhere on NW 2nd Ave. But sometimes you want something out of the usual casual suspects. The vegan spot Love Life Cafe is a great alternative. The bright restaurant has long communal wooden tables, some solo counter seating, and a couch in the corner where you can just sit down and read. The food includes some things you expect, like smoothies and acai bowls, and other things you don’t - like vegan arepas, pizza, and a meat-free burger with very convincing plant-based cheddar and a bun brushed with coconut oil.