Travel

Miami Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Mandolin Aegean Bistro
4312 N.E. 2nd Ave., Design District
Husband and wife Ahmet Erkaya and Anastasia Koutsioukis opened this warm, inviting restaurant in a restored 1940s bungalow in the Design District in 2009. In the years since, they've established themselves by serving up excellent, simple Mediterranean food. In addition to the property's garden, where they harvest their own seasonal ingredients, the 150-seat space boasts a beautiful outdoor dining area and a bakery. Small plates include grilled octopus, pickled beet roots, and keftedes; there are plenty of fresh salads to choose from in addition to heartier offerings, like lamb gyro or the whole grilled Mediterranean sea bass.
Mister O1
1000 S. Miami Ave., Downtown
Mister O1 (formerly Visa O1, named for the US visa given to people with extraordinary ability or achievement in their fields), serves Neapolitan-style, thin-crust pies at their popular South Beach location. Small, cozy, and usually packed, they're known for a pie with a photogenic star-shaped crust topped with San Marzano sauce, ricotta, Calabrese salami, and fresh basil. Pretty much any pizza off their varied menu is sure to please, though—if you prefer, you can opt for vegan cheese, and there are plenty of salads to choose from for the gluten-averse. There's a location in South Beach, too.
Mister O1
1680 Michigan Ave., South Beach
Mister O1 (formerly Visa O1, named for the US visa given to people with extraordinary ability or achievement in their fields) serves Neapolitan-style thin-crust pies at its popular South Beach location. Small, cozy, and usually packed, it's known for a pie with a photogenic star-shaped crust topped with San Marzano sauce, ricotta, Calabrian salami, and fresh basil. Pretty much any pizza from the varied menu is sure to please, though. If you prefer, you can opt for vegan cheese, and there are plenty of salads to choose from for the gluten-averse. There's a location Downtown, too.
Zak the Baker: Deli
405 N.W. 26th St., Wynwood
Zak Stern (aka Zak the Baker) has become legendary in Miami. His kosher baked goods are beloved, and deservedly so. At the beginning of 2017, without fanfare, Stern turned his bakery space into an Eastern European style deli/restaurant—making kosher corned beef and gravlax sandwiches and potato kugels—overseen by twenty-five-year-old chef Melissa Sosa, who spent the past few years working for Stern. The deli started selling out right away. It's worth going to the bakery, too, which is in a bigger space, just a block away. (The croissants are perfectly crispy, buttery, light.)
Drunken Dragon
1424 Alton Rd., South Beach
Considering its location in a nondescript strip mall, you could walk right by the Drunken Dragon without knowing it was there. Look for the "market" sign to guide you into the space, which deceptively offers lofty ceilings, a long, dramatic bar, and sleek wooden mid-century chairs. Food here (the menu is helmed by Xavier Torres, an alum of the Dutch, Nobu, and Zuma) is served Korean-BBQ style, so while you'll order a few sides for the table (the bok choy is a crowd-pleaser), the main event is really a plate of raw cuts of meat that guests grill themselves over specially designed flames at the center of the table. The drink menu is appropriately dramatic, focusing on tiki-style rum cocktails, and you can enjoy them well into the evening—or morning. The restaurant stays open until 6 a.m. on weekends.
Coyo Taco
1111 S.W. 1st Ave., Downtown
Coyo is the place to go for straightforward Mexican street food. The focus is on tacos, but you can get any of the meats as a burrito, bowl, or quesadilla (plus, there are excellent sides, like corn on the cob with cojita and chipotle aioli). The uncomplicated menu makes it a great place to come with the kids in tow, though the Wynwood location can get rowdy later in the evenings as people make their way to the secret bar in the back, where they serve super fresh margaritas and a crazy-long list of tequilas and mezcals. The Brickell location has a slightly expanded menu and the notable addition of Spanish tortas.
Coyo Taco
2300 N.W. 2nd Ave., Wynwood
Coyo is all about straightforward Mexican street food—the focus is on tacos, but you can get any of their meats as a burrito, bowl, or quesadilla (plus, there are excellent sides like corn on the cob with cojita and chipotle aioli). The uncomplicated menu makes it a great place to come with the littles in tow, though the Wynwood location can get rowdy later in the evenings as people make their way to the secret bar in the back, where they serve super-fresh margaritas and a crazy-long list of tequilas and mezcals. The recently opened Brickell location has a slightly expanded menu and the notable addition of Spanish tortas to the offering.
Beachcraft (Closed)
2395 Collins Ave., Mid-Beach
Tom Colicchio's restaurant inside the 1 Hotel matches the rest of the building's airy, beachy aesthetic, with woven chairs, light woods, brass light fixtures, and a generous patio overlooking Collins Avenue. Admirably, Colicchio serves only antibiotic-free meat and locally caught fish. There's also an excellent raw bar (perfect with a crisp white wine on a hot afternoon) and a peaceful Sunday brunch. If you can snag a reservation on a Friday or Saturday night, you'll be treated to live music performed by local musicians while you eat.
El Carajo
2465 S.W. 17th Ave., Coral Way
This historic family business, founded over thirty years ago, began as a liquor store run by a father and son—it's actually located inside a gas station. Now a full-service restaurant, El Carajo is home to one of the most extensive wine selections (over 2,000) in all of Florida. The menu specializes in unique Spanish tapas—bacon-wrapped chorizo-stuffed dates, a classic Spanish omelet—that are meant to be shared. The popular spot fills up fast on the weekends, so call ahead to make a reservation, or visit the El Carajo Bakery Café, which offers the same quality on the go.
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