We eat a lot while researching the various guides and reviews you see on our site. And we want to share some of that food with you, at least digitally. This guide is where we’ll be putting some of our favorite things we tried recently - the dishes that made us give a creepy smile to our plates. Hopefully it serves as a source of inspiration the next time you’re deciding what to order.
Fish & Chips
Next time you’re about to tell someone, “You can’t find good fish and chips in Miami” - stop yourself. Instead, say, “Actually, you can find some really good fish and chips at Bay 13 Brewery and Kitchen in Coral Gables.” Not only does that sound cheerier, but it’s also true. We checked out the Australian brewery and restaurant in Coral Gables this week, and couldn’t have been happier with the crispy beer-battered fish and thick-cut potato wedges, which we ate on their big outdoor patio.
Mike’s Hot Honey Classic
We encountered The Chicken Spot while doing research for a late-night South Beach guide. But their Mike’s Hot Honey Classic isn’t a sandwich you should only eat at 4am. Feel free to order this any time of day, because it’s just great. It’s simple, yet beautifully executed and has everything we typically love in a fried chicken sandwich: crispy thigh meat, hot honey, fried onions, bread and butter pickles, Sriracha mayo, and a toasted potato roll.
Seoul Chicken, the takeout/delivery pop-up operating out of the Design District location of Harry’s Pizza, continues to be a regular on our takeout rotation. And this week, we picked up a half chicken with a side of waffle fries and kimchi. If you’re a fan of juicy roast chicken with skin the color of a vintage mahogany desk, then you should really place an order here. It even comes with a little cup of chicken drippings, which, as far as we’re concerned, is more valuable than scorpion venom, the thing that came up when we Googled “most valuable liquids.”
Rigatoni Alla Vodka
There’s a new Italian restaurant in Sunset Harbour called Casa Isola. It’s right next to Pubbelly (its sister restaurant) and it’s an exciting addition for people who love great Italian food served in gigantic portions. We really liked everything we ate here - so much so that we’ve added this place to our Hit List. But one of the standout dishes was definitely the rigatoni, a simple but delicious pile of pasta, Calabrian chilis, and vodka sauce that could probably feed three people and a small animal.
We’ve already posted a ride-along about our dinner at Silverlake Bistro over on Instagram, but that burger deserves some more praise. The Silverlake Burger is excellent - easily one of the best in town - and consists of two patties, cheddar, porcini mayo, and strips of thick bacon, which are optional but, in our opinion, essential.
Pan Con Minuta
The pan con minuta is a great Miami sandwich that we don’t order enough. This is simply unacceptable. So, when we found ourselves having lunch at Luis Galindo this week, we got one. It turned out to be just a wonderful decision. The pan con minuta here is lovely, with a juicy piece of fried fish, a good ratio of potato sticks, and that essential Cuban bun.
Sweet Delights Key Lime Pies
Guava Key Lime Pie
Here’s how a visit to Sweet Delights Key Lime Pies goes: you walk into a small storefront in Homestead and are greeted by baker/literal angel Debra Allen. After welcoming you, she conducts a brief interrogation about your pie interests, then returns with a big tray of pie samples - like banana key lime, guava key lime, mamey key lime, and coconut key lime. There are about a dozen more options, and they’re all, in our opinion, the best key lime pies in the state of Florida. So, yes, there are currently six slices of pie in our freezer. And we’re trying very hard not to eat them all in 24 hours.
During our dinner at the new Wynwood spot Uchi, which is an excellent restaurant we just added to our Hit List, it came time to order dessert and we said something like, “Well, we can’t not get the fried milk.” And the server said something like, “Yeah, I don’t understand people who don’t order that.” It turned out to not only be an easy decision, but a great one. The pretty dessert includes a scoop of vanilla custard, salted fudge, a toasted blondie, and little balls of fried milk you get to crack open with a spoon.
True Loaf Bakery
Dulce De Leche Monkey Bread
Yes, all three things we’ve added to the guide this week happen to be desserts. And we will not apologize for that, because we’ve been extra good about flossing lately. Also, it had simply been too long since we went to True Loaf, a great little bakery in Sunset Harbour. Our game plan here is normally to just walk in, get overwhelmed by the selection, frantically point to things, and pray our check is under $100. One of the things we pointed to on our recent visit was the dulce de leche monkey bread, and it was the perfect way to end a weekly dessert hat-trick.
This week we checked out Jeepney, a Filipino restaurant from New York that just opened a stall in Wynwood’s 1-800-Lucky. We had a bunch of things (which were all good), but there was one specific dish we knew we wanted to order: the sisig. It is hard to find sisig in Miami. But it’s easier now that Jeepney’s in town, serving a great version of this beautiful combination of crispy pork, onions, garlic, peppers - all topped with a freshly-cracked egg you get to mix in yourself. Before we even finished it, we knew Jeepney was headed to the Hit List.
Technically, we had Mora Pizza last week, but we were still working on leftovers early this week - and this vegan pizza was still so confusingly delicious. Mora made our recent guide to The Best Places To Eat Vegetarian And Vegan Food thanks to slices like buffalo chicken and “Big Mac,” which came with pickles and plant-based beef. Vegan or not, we liked Mora enough to add them to our list of The Best Pizza Places In Miami, and we’ll definitely be back for more.
It dipped below 70 degrees this week, so it felt like the perfect time to check out the new Wynwood ramen spot, Momosan. The restaurant has things other than ramen, but ramen is the main attraction here and we only get, like, six “cold” days a year. So we opted for the gyukotsu, which, according to the menu, they only make 25 orders of per day. Luckily we got one before it sold out, and it was pretty darn good. It came with a massive braised beef rib, a magical broth, and kale namul. We recommend seeking it out the next time it’s under 75 degrees.
Taste Of Awash Platter
We’re finishing up some research for a vegetarian-friendly restaurant guide, which finally gave us an excuse to drive out to Miami Gardens and try Awash Ethiopian Restaurant. We’ve been meaning to come here for a while and are so glad we finally did. This place is delicious, and should be on your radar whether you’re a fan of Ethiopian food or have never tried it before, which might be the case since this is Miami-Dade County’s only true Ethiopian restaurant. The Taste Of Awash platter is a great order since it comes with a little of all the vegetarian, beef, and chicken entrees with enough wonderfully spongy injera to scoop it all up.
Cafe Prima Pasta
This week, Cafe Prima Pasta was the winner of our weekly last-minute takeout decision. We went with the chicken parm. Not only did it travel well (and was easy to bring back to life in the oven), but it was more than enough for two people, especially with an added side of penne, which we got as well even though there was only one of us. We regret nothing, because it was delicious and also provided enough leftovers for breakfast pasta the next day.
Six-Pack With Cheese
We recently added Royal Castle to our Greatest Hits list, and to celebrate we stopped by the great Miami institution to order one of their slider six-packs. Every bite of these fantastic mini burgers was a reminder that they belong on the Greatest Hits. It takes about three and a half bites for us to eat each one, which means (if your mouth is a similar size) you’re in for 21 excellent bites next time you come here.
Crispy Artichoke & Mushroom Po’boy
We’re researching a vegetarian guide right now, which is why we drove out to West Kendall to try Sunday, a plant-based food truck we’ve been hearing very good things about. Those good things turned out to be true, and every dish we tried here was just outstanding. A clear favorite, though, was the crispy artichoke and mushroom po’boy. It is, as advertised, very crispy - but there are also some tomatoes, onions, and a tangy house sauce that cuts through all that fried stuff. Spoiler alert, you’ll most definitely be seeing Sunday on our vegetarian guide.
Pork Belly Onigiri
Every time we encounter Omusubee at a farmer’s market (which is where you’ll find them for now), we beeline to their stand and get all jittery with excitement for what we’re about to eat. They serve onigiri here, which are little rice triangles wrapped in seaweed and stuffed with all kinds of great things. It’s an excellent Japanese snack, and Omusubee makes great versions with things like plantain, ume, and shrimp tempura. This week, we grabbed a pork belly onigiri, and spent every bite wishing these folks had their own restaurant. Follow them on Instagram to stay updated on where to find them.
Guava Habanero Jam
Another fantastic farmer’s market find this week: spicy guava habanero jam from Gables Delight. The local jam makers were at the Legion Park farmers market last Saturday and had all kinds of tasty-sounding things. (We also bought a raspberry/lychee jam). The guava habanero is definitely worth ordering if you just dropped your only jar of jam onto the floor and had to spend a whole afternoon scrubbing it off the floor. It’s sweet up front, but leaves a lingering burn on your tongue that’ll wake you up in the morning. If you can’t find them at a farmers market, they sell their jams online too.
Potato Chips And Caviar Onion Dip
We love it when two very different ingredients get together like one of those wacky buddy comedies where, like, a CEO and a 10-year-old girl team up to solve a crime. That’s sort of the same principle behind the caviar/potato chip duo in this wonderful new dish at Sweet Liberty. The house-made potato chips are thicker than your average chip, super crunchy, and great for scooping up heaps of the caviar-topped onion dip. It goes well with just about any drink on Sweet Liberty’s new cocktail menu, which is outstanding per usual.
Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Sandwich
We have a new weekend ritual that goes like this: At about 9:34pm on Saturday we say, “I could go for some ice cream right now.” And then, immediately after that thought, we say, “Is Frice still open?!” They are (they close at 10pm), so we rush over and get ice cream. This week, we were talked into trying the cinnamon roll ice cream sandwich with the new coquito flavor. Now this is us trying to talk you into getting one, because wow - it’s good.
Carrot And Black Sesame Bao
After a week of ice cream and potato chips, we wanted to switch things up with some vegan food. So we went to go try Coconut Grove’s new vegan dim sum spot, Minty Z. We really liked this place - from the adorable little characters on their dining room mural to just about every dish we tried. But the clear standout here is the carrot and black sesame bao. It’s a ridiculously fluffy bun stuffed with a black sesame filling. It straddles the line between sweet and savory, with a slight nutty flavor and a fantastic texture. We could eat about 20. And we just might try the next time we come here.
Fried Onion Burger
There’s a smash burger and then there’s a Smash burger with a capital S. You can find the latter at the excellent new Wynwood pop-up, Ted’s Burgers. They’re operating out of J. Wakefield on Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at noon until sold out. When we recently stopped by, we ordered the fried onion burger, which comes with thin little sliced onions, American cheese, and a patty that looks like it’s been smashed by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson. (He played The Mountain on Game of Thrones, in case you were about to Google that.) Everything about this was delicious, but particularly the incredibly thin, crispy edges of the smashed patty. And some more good news: Ted’s told us they’ll be sticking around for at least a few months.
Smoked Turkey BLT
Ever since Hometown Barbecue opened in Miami, people have been telling us to try the smoked turkey BLT. We usually nod politely before proceeding to order ribs or brisket, but this week, we decided to give it a try and consider this paragraph our formal and heartfelt apology to all the people we ignored. You all were right - this sandwich is amazing. The turkey is smoky and so much juicer than the Thanksgiving birds we’ve consumed over the years. It’s served on Tempur-Pedic soft pullman bread and comes with an “avocado mayo” that is our new favorite condiment. Now we will be the one begging strangers to order this.
River Oyster Bar is one of our favorite restaurants in Brickell. It’s a consistently great seafood spot that is refreshingly casual and laid back compared to most of Brickell’s painfully upscale options. They recently opened back up in a new and bigger space just a few blocks away from their old location and, other than more tables and some outdoor seating, nothing’s changed. Everything we ate here was wonderful, but especially the scallop crudo, a plate of buttery slices of scallop with aesthetically pleasing dollops of lime, scotch bonnet, and avocado jam. Long live River Oyster.
Beef Shank Shumai
Research is underway for a new dumplings guide, which led us to try E&P Dmplngs (spelling intentional). It’s a new pop-up operating out of Threefold Cafe Thursday through Saturday. The menu is small with about four dumpling options, but these are some of the best dumplings we’ve ever had. The incredibly tender beef shank shumai, which comes with a demi-glace dipping sauce, was one of the best bites we’ve had all year. And if you’d also like to end 2020 with a dumpling-induced smile, grab a reservation online.
This Sunday, we were in the mood to eat a big sandwich while watching the Dolphins game, so we ordered one of Stanzione’s new subs. Our thinking was: well, even if the Dolphins lose, we’ll still have a very good sandwich to make us smile. Luckily, the Dolphins won and we got to enjoy one of the best Italian subs you’ll find in Miami right now - a hefty combo of prosciutto cotto, sopressata, mozzarella, onion, tomato, lettuce, and house dressing.
Botta Fine Italian Street Food
N’duja, Salami, And Mozzarella Panini
We had two big Italian sandwiches this week and we will not apologize for that - especially because the n’duja, salami, and mozzarella panini from Botta is one heck of a sandwich. You’ll find this place on the west end of 79th Street Causeway, serving out of a little ventanita. They do pizza too, but their paninis make a great quick lunch or a to-go beach snack.
Zak The Baker recently started making donuts for Hanukkah and we so badly hope they stay on the menu because they’re some of the best donuts we’ve ever had - especially the dulce de leche and strawberry jelly. Like, you could wake up to discover that your roof is leaking, your car got towed, and your cat ate your favorite shirt - but if you also had one of these donuts for breakfast, you’d probably think, “You know what? Today wasn’t so bad.” That is the power of these donuts. They sell out quick on the weekends, so try to come during the week.
Hallacas are perfect. So it makes sense that this Venezuelan dish of corn dough stuffed with any number of tasty things is normally eaten around the holidays, when we could all use something distracting and delicious. Hallaca-making is usually a family affair, but if you’re riding solo this year, go to La Latina. They’re selling delicious frozen hallacas that are super easy to prepare at home. Just boil them for 15 minutes, and savor the lack of screaming cousins in your kitchen.
Kush Hospitality just opened up a new restaurant in MiMo called Cafe Kush. We recently checked it out and loved everything we had (that normally happens at Kush restaurants). But one standout was the steak frites. It’s a beautifully tender 8oz hanger steak covered in a creamy peppercorn sauce with a side of crispy french fries. In a surprise to absolutely no one, it was great.
Lung Yai will probably always be one of the more difficult tables to get in Miami. But the great Thai restaurant recently opened up a new spot called Daek in Midtown. It’s far easier to get a table and has a really similar menu. We checked it out this week and ordered the green curry, which tasted pretty indecipherable from the version at Lung Yai. So hit this place up the next time you’re short on time and craving great Thai food.
It was the pastries that first drew us to Flour & Weirdoughs, but we’re glad we branched out and tried one of their savory sandwiches, specifically the lechon. It’s a lovely little number that comes on a baguette with a generous amount of tender lechon, ham, gruyère, mustard, and sliced pickles. If living in Miami has taught us anything, it’s that pork, bread, mustard, and pickles can rarely go wrong.
Luna Pasta is a little restaurant in MiMo that serves pasta, empanadas, and focaccia sandwiches. During a visit recently, we decided to try the bucatini carbonara. It was pretty darn good - really creamy with a healthy amount of guanciale chunks dispersed throughout. They have about a dozen pasta varieties here, and we plan on working our way through all of them eventually.
El Diner Latino
Sanduche De Pernil
We woke up Sunday and decided it would be a sandwich day, which provided the perfect excuse to try El Diner Latino, a new pop-up from the Palmar team. The menu consists of three famous South American sandwiches. We ordered two sandwiches (because you can do that on sandwich days) and the sanduche de pernil, a Venezualean classic, was downright delicious. So was the torta de milanesa, by the way. We’ll be ordering them all again soon, and so should you.
Another pop-up we tried for the first time this week was Da Lida, the new pasta concept that’s taken over Fooq’s kitchen. We got the rigatoni bolognese, and it was just lovely. Everything was good here, and it’s all easily in the running for some of the best pasta in Miami right now.
Naan Indian Eats
Loaded Cheese Naan
We also finally had some time to try out yet another pop-up, Naan, the Indian concept temporarily taking over Taquiza’s South Beach location. We had a feeling that something called a “loaded cheese naan” would be good. And you know what? We were right. This particular naan was filled with paneer and topped with garlic, sichuan peppercorn, kalonji, crispy onions, and sesame seeds. And the phrase “loaded cheese” continues to be one of our favorite things to see on a menu.
Crispy Rice And Sai Krog Muu
This weekend, we stopped by Lil’ Laos’ new home inside The Citadel to check out their new menu. We tried this place out before when they were a roaming pop-up, but they’re on a new level now. We ordered the crispy rice and sai krog muu (pork sausage) and spent the next 15 minutes saying things like “damn” and “wow” to our plate. The crispy rice is especially outstanding. It’s got little chunks of crispy coconut rice mixed in with Lao spam, dried chilies, and peanuts. And when you combine it with the equally outstanding pork sausage, you might just start talking to your food too.
We finally got around to trying Diya Sunset Harbour last week. The South Beach Indian restaurant is all vegetarian and serves their own version of a bánh mì they call a “Naan Mi.” It’s basically fried soy chunks (or spicy tofu) with some pickled onions and garlic ginger chili sauce - and the whole thing gets wrapped in a big, warm naan. It came unassembled, so we got to put it together at home. The result? A very good dish that managed to satisfy cravings for both Indian flavors and a bánh mì.
Jerk chicken research is coming to an end this week (stay tuned for the full guide soon) and one of the last spots we checked out was Jamaica Kitchen in South Miami. Sorry for the spoiler, but you’ll definitely be seeing them on our final jerk chicken guide. This spot - which is Chinese-Jamaican - hit all the notes we’ve come to expect from a proper jerk chicken (after eating about a dozen versions over the last month). It’s a little smoky, spicy, and incredibly juicy. We’ll be stopping by here again next time we’re in the area.
Dandee Donut Factory
You know what’s hard right now? Getting an appointment at the DMV. To get one, we had to stay up till midnight refreshing the DMV’s website, which appears to have been coded by the evil puppet from the Saw movies. The only open slot we ended up getting was in Pompano Beach. But you know what else is in Pompano? The freaking Dandee Donut Factory, baby. So we swung by after our journey to the inner core of government bureaucracy to remind ourselves that there are, in fact, good things in this world. Specifically, these old-school donuts. They’re open 24/7, in case you ever need your own donut reminder. Peanut butter and jelly was our favorite, but they’re all great.
Shrimp, Cabbage, And White Miso Dumplings
The era of the pop-up in Miami isn’t over yet, and this week we met an excellent new one: HaoChi Dumplings. They’re taking over Calle Ocho’s Union Beer Store Mon-Wed, serving a small menu of excellent things like charred snow peas and crispy chicken wings. But the dumplings are the main event. They serve three different types, but our favorite was the “Triangle,” with shrimp, cabbage, and white miso. You can watch the full experience on our Instagram ride-along.
Australian Wagyu Denver Steak
This week we published a guide to The Best Butcher Shops In Miami. We hope it ends up being a useful guide for everyone, but it was also a fun excuse to buy some expensive steaks in the name of “research.” The best steak we tried came from Josh’s Premium Meats, a family operation in a warehouse off Bird Road. These folks are selling some extraordinary cuts of beef, and they even have a special menu of olive-fed wagyu with a $130 ribeye. We went with the slightly more reasonable Australian wagyu Denver steak (about $18), cooked it using the reverse sear method, and it came out just beautifully.
Charcoal Rolls With Everything Seasoning
This week we published a guide to Miami At-Home Pop-Ups - and while we haven’t been able to sample every place on the list, we did order some things from Oori Bake Shop. They serve a lot of very good baked goods here, like various sourdoughs, shokupan, and cinnamon rolls with lemon cream cheese frosting. But their savory charcoal rolls with everything seasoning really blew us away. It’s like the best dinner roll you ever had married an everything bagel. We will be ordering these again and so should you.
Lamb & Beef Pita
Mr. Mandolin, a restaurant from the Mandolin team, happens to be dangerously close to our living room. And so it’s one of those places we hit up on a regular basis. This week, we were reminded of just how good their lamb and beef pita is. It’s simple, tasty, and they’ll even shove some french fries in there for you. We will probably be meeting this pita again in approximately six days.
This month we’re researching a new jerk chicken guide, and one of the first places we hit up was Cliff’s in North Miami. It’s a small Jamaican restaurant that serves a lot of classic dishes - but their jerk chicken (as you can probably infer from its inclusion here) will absolutely be making our guide to Miami’s best jerk chicken. Sorry, we didn’t happen to get a picture of this before we inhaled it. You’ll have to wait for the guide to see it in all its glory.
Chicken and Waffles
Last week we had brunch at Rosie’s to check out their new outdoor seating. You can watch our ride-along to see what the full meal was like (spoiler alert: incredible) but the chicken and waffles was definitely a standout. Rosie’s fried chicken is excellent - juicy, crispy, and any other positive adjective you can think to throw at fried chicken. It comes with vanilla waffles, some spicy maple syrup, and we feel comfortable saying it’s the best chicken and waffles in town.
Our guide to The Best Cuban Sandwiches In Miami dropped this week and one of the last sandwiches we tried was Tinta Y Cafe’s Patria. It’s their version of a Cuban, though they add mortadella and use a baguette instead of Cuban bread. Nonetheless, it’s outstanding. When we called for Cuban sandwich suggestions a few weeks ago on our Instagram, there were tons of people calling out Tinta Y Cafe. And you know what? They were 100% right.
Sullivan Street Bakery
Assorted Bread Things
Sullivan Street is a bakery that normally sells wholesale to various restaurants around town, meaning you can’t just walk in and ask for a loaf of sourdough. But lately they’ve been having bake sales every Saturday from 9am-1pm, where you can walk right up, point to something, and take it home with you. We stopped by last Saturday and got a box full of wonderful things, like sweet and savory canotto, pizza, and loaves of sourdough and focaccia. It was all just lovely - and you should carve some time next Saturday to go see for yourself.
Glaser Organic Farms
We gave this mango salsa from Glaser Organic Farms a shoutout in our guide to Specialty Grocery Stores To Check Out When You’re Sick Of Publix, but we just picked up some more this week and can still confirm that it is quite possibly the best thing that anyone in Miami is doing with a mango. This little tupperware container has mangoes, cilantro, lemon juice, and jalapeno. It’s a little sweet, salty, acidic, and spicy - and tastes as fresh as you’d expect from a store with the word “farm” in it. Bring this and a bag of good tortilla chips to a friend and they might propose to you.
Tempura Beech Mushroom
We decided to check out Buya while researching outdoor restaurants in Wynwood and we are glad we did. The new restaurant serves yakitori, ramen, and more Japanese dishes. But if you find yourself here, you better order the tempura beech mushroom. It is by far the best thing we tried - crunchy, tender, and comes sitting on a lovely “Tokyo ranch” sauce. Easily one of the best mushroom dishes we’ve had in Miami.
Croquetas de Jamon
We take any excuse to visit the classic Islas Canarias, and this week we had a good one: research for our Cuban sandwich guide (which is coming very soon). We’ll wait until then to talk about that sandwich, but we will say (and this is really news to no one) that Islas’ croquetas are incredible. If someone asks you, “Hey, what does a Cuban croqueta taste like?” you throw them in a cab and tell it to come here. We went with the jamon croquetas, which have a golden-brown crust and that soft interior Cuban croquetas are known for. We would like to carry around a suitcase full of these things.