10 Best New Restaurants in Miami Now
Miami has never lacked in dining options – not since the city became a go-to destination in the mid 1990s. But the culinary landscape has now reached new heights, thanks to a group of A-list restaurant openings by high profile chefs. Move over, NYC
Sushi by Boū
It’s only fitting that South Beach’s glam new omakase den would be found in the opulent Versace Mansion. New York City’s star sushi chef David Bouhadana is the mastermind behind the 17-course sashimi and sake tasting menu. However, you’ll have to fight a long waitlist to snag one of the exclusive six seats, hidden away in the third-floor former suites. The 75-minute experience runs at $125 per person (which is a steal for Miami standards).
This isn’t your typical Indian food. Leave it to Michelin-starred chef Hemant Matu to put a completely creative twist on upscale Indian cuisine. In Midtown, Maska trades masala for meals such as tandoori lamb chops, crab tadka dumplings, pulled duck tacos, and Kashmiri slow-braised short ribs. There’s even a chutney tasting and an Indian-inspired cocktail list to top it off.
As the cutting-edge art center of Miami, Wynwood is no stranger to trendy newcomers. The laid-back Mexican spot Bakan evokes breezy Tulum vibes with its spacious bamboo-lamp patio and tropical interiors. But the best part is what’s cooking in the kitchen. The menu is a modern take on Mexican food—something Miami’s been missing for the most part. Standouts include: the langosta con chorizo taco (lobster with sausage and black beans) as well as the mole verde, with fresh Oaxacan green mole and a choice of Chilean sea bass or rack of lamb. Plus, every dish has a mezcal pairing—a feat that’s not difficult when the bar stocks 350 bottles of the agave-based spirit.
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You’ll have to trek out to Coral Gables for Ad Lib, but the drive is more than worth the dinner. Chef Norman Van Aken helms the seasonal New American menu, showcasing veggie-centric plates like zucchini blossoms stuffed with homemade ricotta, sumac, and preserved kumquats as well as carnivore-friendly options like ribeye with romanesco, hen of the woods, and ricotta dumplings bathed in black truffle butter. Whatever you do, don’t leave before dessert. Two-time James Beard nominee and pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith has invented otherworldly sweets including the brown butter semifreddo with pistachio halvah and apple confit or the bittersweet chocolate tart with toasted sourdough gelato, blood orange marshmallows, and salted caramel.
Café La Trova
Little Havana’s Café La Trova is the brainchild of James Beard Award-winning chef, Michelle Bernstein, and cocktail maker and cantinero, Julio Cabrera. The two have recreated retro 1950s Cuba—think live Trova music, photographs of old Havana street scenes, and bow-tied bartenders pouring world-class Cuban cocktails. There’s a selection of Latin bites and Cuban classics; order the sweet corn and chicken empanadas, paella croquettes with seafood caldo, and octopus a la plancha with squid ink aioli and crunchy garlic.
Kaido is a sleek Japanese cocktail lounge in the heart of Miami’s Design District. On the food front, restaurateur and chef Brad Kilgore whips up small plates of blue crab Rangoon and uni fondue or Iberico ham dumplings dunked in a delicate Chinese vinegar sauce. But the real winner is the drink menu, courtesy of French master mixologist Nico de Soto. Order the shiso negroni or the Hokkaido sour (soy milk-washed Japanese whisky, licorice kuromitsu syrup, lemon juice, kombu biters). If you want a more, ahem, private affair, head to the sultry AMA speakeasy behind Kaido.
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Swan and Bar Bevy
This buzzy 250-seat concept marries the vision of an unlikely trio: Miami hospitality magnate David Grutman, singer/producer Pharrell Williams, and Europe’s Top Chef winner, Jean Imbert. Swan pops with pastel pink hues, artwork by fashion illustrator David Downton, and a striking horseshoe-shaped, pink onyx bar. Out-of-the-box dishes include: caviar spaghetti and Williams’ favorite dish: creamy polenta topped with popcorn and brown butter. Upstairs, you’ll find Bar Bevy, a seductive drinking den with velvet booths and dark walls, and an outdoor rooftop lounge strung with twinkling lights for hot Miami nights.
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Jim and Neesie
When the hip Generator hostel chain debuted its first American outpost in Miami, it quickly became the next cool-kid hangout on Collins Avenue. At its core: Jim and Neesie, a laid-back lobby bar overseen by Gui Jaroschy of Broken Shaker fame. The inviting space serves Miami’s younger, creative set who come for the killer tableside drinks (yes, the OMFG Margarita is really that good). The light snacks—whipped up by chef Daniel Roy from Matador Room—are a great complement to the cocktails. Don’t miss the crackling salmon and the citrus-roasted carrots.
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Let’s face it, Miami is all about over-the-top atmosphere—and Mandrake delivers in spades. At first, you may mistake the 5,000-square-foot Asian restaurant for a South Beach club, which is no surprise considering it was created by Miami nightlife mogul Roman Jones. A life-size gold gorilla statue greets guests at the entrance and the dining room is done up with Christian Lacroix-upholstered chairs, a mural by artist Juan Rozas, and a neon sign that says “Me So Horny” (no joke). The menu is just as outrageous, with sushi by a former Nobu chef, and Izakaya-style plates like shrimp and scallop wontons and duck gyoza. Meanwhile, the drinks nod to hip-hop icons with cocktails like Meek Dills and Future Hendricks.
One of the most-anticipated openings is Puerto Rican pastry chef Antonio Bachour’s eponymous flagship in Coral Gables. The bakery has some of the best desserts in Miami as well as an impressive brunch line-up. Start with the guava and cream cheese mousse pancakes or skip straight to the display cases stocked with sweets and try the 10 different macarons or the strawberry mascarpone cheesecake croissant.
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