The Aegean meze bar Doya has many qualities of a great restaurant. The food comes to the table fast and tastes various levels of very good to great. And then there's the restaurant itself, which is the kind of versatile space where you can have a relaxing, lazy lunch or a celebratory group dinner. Plus, you can generally find a reservation the very next day, even in the busy winter months, since the restaurant is so big.
Drop Doya in any neighborhood and it’d be a hit. But Doya isn’t just in any neighborhood, it’s in perpetually-slammed Wynwood. And yet, this place is refreshingly immune to all of the things about Wynwood that can annoy us (drunken crowds, impossible-to-book restaurants, overpriced mediocre food). It’s a low-stress dinner in a high-stress neighborhood. And no matter what kind of meal you’re trying to plan in Wynwood, there’s a good argument that it should happen here.
On the hierarchy of things we like about Doya, the food is at the top. They have a perfectly-sized menu of cold and hot meze. It has enough options to please a party of six very picky eaters, but not so many options that you’ll need an hour and an Adderall to read the whole thing. The cold meze portion has easy-to-love dishes like a simple, stunningly tender octopus salad alongside things we’ve never seen on Miami menus, including a pile of refreshing sea beans with garlic yogurt that pop in your mouth like salty little water balloons. The hot meze section has plenty of hits too, like grilled tiger prawns and some of the best kebabs in Miami.
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Just about everything is ideal for sharing, and there are a few huge tables in the dining room that can accommodate big groups. There’s also a lovely outdoor patio shielded from the sidewalk by plants, tables perfect for couples on dates, and tons of bar seating where you can enjoy a solo dinner and one of Doya’s excellent cocktails.
If you come here for any of those occasions, two things are going to happen. First, you’ll have a pretty incredible meal. And second, you’ll forget, for a brief moment, why you’ve grown sick of Wynwood. At least until you inevitably walk outside, almost get run over by a screaming pedal pub, and remember.
These are salty, crisp, little greens that grow along the shore and taste like the ocean. They’re a mandatory way to start dinner here, and also benefit from the small dollop of garlic yogurt on top. Taste a bean on its own before you mix it all up.
Octopus is on almost every menu in Miami, but this might be our favorite version. It’s quite a simple dish, and calling it a “salad” might be an overstatement. It’s just a pile of diced octopus, a few sliced green peppers, and a drizzle of olive oil. But that octopus is unbelievably tender—the consistency of fresh mozzarella.
This is a great option from the hot meze portion of the menu if you're in a seafood mood. The mussels come in a tasty white wine, butter, and garlic sauce—which you'll want to soak up with the hunks of bread that come with this dish. The mussels themselves are plump and delicious.
There are a couple kebab options on Doya's menu, but this is our favorite. The flavor from the chopped spiced lamb is delicious, and it comes on top of the thin, tender house lavash, which soaks up all the excess juices and flavor from the lamb like a delicious little towel.
Pide With Truffle
We've never met a combination of dough and cheese we didn't like at least a little bit, and we happily finished the pide. Still, there are more exciting things on the menu, and this just tastes like an above-average oblong pizza to us.