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MIA

Guide

The Miami Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Miami

The new spots we checked out - and loved.

Written by
22 Spots
Launch Map
22 Spots
Launch Map
Updated April 19th, 2021

It’s been a tough year for restaurants and bars, but that hasn’t stopped the spots on this guide from opening, pivoting, popping up, and finding more ways to support their communities. In one way or another, they’re all doing something new - and we’re excited for you to discover them.

The Hit List is where you’ll find our favorite new food and drink experiences in Miami. We track new openings across the city, and then visit as many as we can. While this isn’t an exhaustive list of every good new spot, one thing you can always rely on is that we’ll only include places that we have genuinely checked out, either in-person or for takeout.

Our goal is for this list to be as diverse as the city itself - inclusive of a wide range of cuisines, price points, neighborhoods, chefs and owners of all backgrounds, and the multifaceted communities within the industry. If you think we missed a great new place, we want to hear about it. Shoot us an email at miami@theinfatuation.com

Featured In

The Spots

Abba Telavivian Kitchen

$$$$ 864 Commerce St

Open for indoor and outdoor dining

Abba Telavivian Kitchen is an Israeli restaurant in South of Fifth that’s an excellent choice for a sit-down breakfast or lazy lunch. The breakfast menu is a little smaller, but you can still find a great shakshuka or Jerusalem bagel. The bigger lunch menu has more very good dishes, like crispy falafel and roasted local fish. But even if you got stuck on the causeway and missed the 4pm lunch cut off, don’t turn around and go home. They have a small “sunset menu” from 4-7pm, which offers glasses of wine, beer, and various salads and spreads like roasted onion tahini - along with that fantastic roasted fish. And you can eat all that while enjoying the actual sunset on their shaded outdoor patio.

Fujifilmgirl

Luca Osteria

$$$$
$$$$ 116 Giralda Ave

Open for indoor and outdoor dining

I woke up at 6:43am the morning after having dinner at Luca Osteria, an Italian restaurant in Coral Gables, and panicked. I realized I forgot the leftovers in the car. So I got up and retrieved the last bits of perfectly al dente cacio pepe, and citrusy bucatini alle vongole with tender manila clams. There were also a few bites left of the patate fritte, which was one of the best dishes I’ve had all year. The plate of little fried potato balls comes topped with a layer of parmigiano fonduta, black truffle, and an egg yolk, which you mix together. Everything I ate here was just phenomenal, and it’s easily one of the best Italian restaurants in Miami right now. There’s a lot of outdoor seating along a pedestrian-only street, and a simple dining room great for a date or dinner with the parents. But you really don’t need a specific situation to come here. Just come here, order the patate fritte, and, please, remember to take the leftovers out of the car.

Merritt Smail

Eleventh Street Pizza

$$$$
Pizza  in  Downtown
$$$$ 1035 N Miami Ave

Open for takeout

The Downtown restaurant Fooq’s is now Eleventh Street Pizza. This is, like, their third pandemic pivot - all of which have been really delicious (especially the short-lived pasta concept, Da Lida). So, it wasn’t a huge surprise when Eleventh Street Pizza, which serves New York Style pies to-go, turned out to be great. There’s nothing too complicated going on here - just tasty pizzas with sourdough crust that you don’t have to be a New Yorker to appreciate. My favorite was the pepperoni and hot honey pizza, which comes topped with Calabrian chili paste, sweet caramelized onions, and little pepperoni cups. They also offer a Sicilian square slice, which is actually more like four slices worth of pizza. When I visited, they had some tables set up outside in case folks wanted to eat there. But I brought mine home, heated it up in a cast iron skillet, and spent the next 30 minutes feeling grateful to have another great pizza option in town.

Casa Isola

$$$$ 1418 20th St

Open for indoor and outdoor dining

Sometimes you know you’re going to love a movie after the very first scene. Dinner can be like that too. At Casa Isola, a new Italian spot in Sunset Harbour, that first scene was the pane al prosciutto: a warm little circle of bread with cubes of prosciutto baked in and a parmesan honey butter for smearing. After that, I had the same thought I have during the first five minutes of most A24 movies: this is going to be good. And it was - from the simple but delicious rigatoni alla vodka to the massive veal chop parmigiana that arrives plated alongside the deep-fried bone it was once attached to. The food’s all great, served in big portions, and it’s the reason to love Casa Isola. They have some outdoor seating and a dining room you’ve probably seen in another Italian restaurant somewhere, with fake vines wrapped around an indoor pergola. But luckily the food is good enough to make this place as memorable as the best movie you watched this year.

Uchi Miami

$$$$
JapaneseSushi  in  Wynwood
$$$$ 252 NW 25th St

Open for takeout, indoor, and outdoor dining

I’ve never been to the original Uchi, but I did once walk by it in Austin and mumble, “Hey, that’s Uchi. I’ve heard of Uchi.” So when I saw they were opening a location in Wynwood, I grabbed a reservation as soon as I could. I’m glad I did, because the Uchi hype is well-deserved and they’re making some of the best sushi in Miami. Dinner was a blur of small plates. There were tasting menu options, but I ordered a la carte and the dishes came out one after the other with excellent timing between courses. I remember being particularly in love with 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, also the fried milk dessert is just as fantastic as it sounds. Uchi does have 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. Also, portions here aren’t quite designed to get you stuffed, so don’t fast for 24 hours before your reservation.

Jeepney

$$$$
Filipino  in  Wynwood
$$$$ 143 NW 23rd St

Open for takeout, indoor, and outdoor dining

When a New York restaurant opens in Miami, I typically Slack one of my many New York coworkers to get some intel. And when Jeepney, a New York Filipino restaurant, announced it was opening a stall in Wynwood’s 1-800-Lucky, I was told to “go eat it ASAP” and to also “get burg if you see burg.” I took that advice, and am now passing it along to you. Even though Jeepney only occupies a small corner of 1-800-Lucky, they’re pumping out some great Filipino dishes. The Lechon Express is a plate of twice-cooked pork belly with a crispy skin that melts in your mouth. They also serve an excellent sisig, with bits of crispy pork, onions, garlic, peppers, and a freshly-cracked egg you get to mix in yourself. And that burger? Also outstanding. It comes with a patty made from ground beef and cured pork sausage, a sweet challah bun, an egg, and it’s worth Slacking a coworker over.

Rami Sabban

Taqueria Hoja

$$$$
Mexican  in  Downtown
$$$$ 19 SE 2nd Ave #4

Open for takeout, delivery, and indoor dining

I ordered takeout from Taqueria Hoja, a small taco spot in Downtown, and got flautas, a couple of burritos, and some tacos. While I was waiting for the flautas and burritos to warm up in the oven, I decided to go ahead and eat my koji sweet potato taco over the sink, which is always an appropriate place to eat a taco in my opinion. Never before had I been sadder to finish a taco, because it was outstanding - a little sweet and savory with an amazing morita sauce made from peanuts and almonds. I was furiously upset that I didn’t order 17 of them, until I realized there was more food waiting for me in the oven. That stuff - which included crispy shrimp and potato flautas and a simple but delicious carne asada burrito - was also good enough to make me sad when it was gone. But thankfully, Taqueria Hoja will still be there next time my taco cravings hit. And you can bet I’m ordering at least three sweet potato tacos next time.

Cafe Kush

$$$$
BurgersFrenchSandwiches  in  MiMo
$$$$ 7700 Biscayne Blvd

Open for indoor and outdoor dining

I have come to expect certain things from Kush Hospitality, the folks behind Lokal, Kush, Spillover, and Stephen’s Deli. Among these things: excellent burgers, the option to order half sweet potato and half regular fries, and very fun bathrooms. The team’s newest restaurant, Cafe Kush, delivers on all of the above - though the bathrooms aren’t quite as fun as the Walter Mercado-themed one at Stephen’s Deli. Located inside MiMo’s Gold Dust Hotel, Cafe Kush has a slight French tilt to its menu, with new dishes like steak frites, croque monsieur, and ratatouille. There are also a couple of Kush classics, like the frita burger and collier county chicken sandwich. If you come here, ask for a table in the “riviera” seating, which is a little outdoor patio along a small canal where I have seen many manatees before.

Karli Evans

Itamae

$$$$
$$$$ 140 NE 39th St

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

When I heard Itamae, an excellent Nikkei spot that initially debuted in a Design District food hall, was going to open its own restaurant, I was way too excited. I probably checked their Instagram page on a weekly basis for updates. I even ended up interviewing Nando and Val Chang about the process of opening during a pandemic, which sounded like a planetary-size headache. But the new Itamae finally debuted in late November, and it exceeded my already-high expectations. The cebiche, tiraditos, and sushi rolls here are just as good - if not better - than I remembered. There are new things on the menu too, like torrejitas de choclo (fried corn fritters), an outstanding jasmine cream dessert, and a selection of natural wines, which you can enjoy while sitting outside in the Design District’s Palm Court. After only a few weeks in business, I not only feel comfortable saying Itamae is one of the best new restaurants in Miami - but one of the best restaurants, period.

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Tasty Planet

Rosie’s

$$$$
$$$$ 439 NW 4th Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

Rosie’s caught me off guard. It wasn’t that I didn’t expect it to be good, I just didn’t expect it to be this good. I never really expect anything to be this good. Not even Nicole Kidman HBO dramas, and I love Nicole Kidman HBO dramas. The menu here (takeout-only at first) consists of Southern dishes like fried chicken and waffles and fish and grits. When I took my first bites of both of those things, my mouth sent a 4th of July fireworks finale to my brain. The restaurant started as a pop-up from Overtown’s Copper Door B&B team, but since it opened, Rosie’s has slowly become more of a permanent restaurant, with outdoor seating and an expanded menu. New dishes like wild mushroom polenta and rigatoni carbonara have appeared more recently, and while I haven’t tried either yet, I have a feeling it’s just going to be more brain fireworks when I do.

Merritt Smail

Flour & Weirdoughs

$$$$ 19 Harbor Dr

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

I remember hearing about Flour & Weirdoughs, a new bakery in Key Biscayne, and people kept talking about their brisket croissant. “Brisket croissant?” I thought. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea.” Turns out, I was wrong. (This happens a lot.) The croissant was not, as I feared, a soggy, greasy mess. It was a delicate, savory little delight of a pastry - and I think I could eat about six of them in a row. The rest of the bakery is full of more pleasant surprises, like guava and cheese babka, huge cinnamon rolls, and a pan con lechon sandwich I thoroughly enjoyed. There are more things here I want to try, like their cacio e pepe sourdough loaf. I’m sure it’s great too, because I will never doubt these bakers again.

Tasty Planet

Over Under

$$$$
$$$$ 151 E Flagler Street

Open for takeout, outdoor, and indoor dining

In a previous job, I actually interviewed Over Under’s Brian Griffiths about the restaurant he planned to open in Downtown Miami. That was in August 2018. They finally opened this summer. And while Brian deserves a bathtub full of Advil for the construction headaches he no doubt had to put up with, I’m just glad this place is finally open, because it’s everything I’d hoped for: an unpretentious spot perfect for a date, day drinking, or just any old Tuesday when you want a shot and a cheeseburger. The menu is small, but constantly changes, and that cheeseburger is in the running for one of the best burgers in Miami. The brunch here is fantastic too, with stuff like jackfruit chilaquiles and horchata french toast. Personally, I plan on consuming many shot/cheeseburger combos here for, I hope, years and years to come.

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Raphael Buchwald / @raphael.buchwald

Drinking Pig BBQ

$$$$
BBQ  in  North Miami
$$$$

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

I got lost on my way to Drinking Pig, circling through a North Miami neighborhood I didn’t really know and panicking that the barbecue I’d spent the last four days looking forward to was getting cold. At one point, I tried to roll down the window and smell the air like a bloodhound. It didn’t work. Turns out, I was only one street away, and when I finally rolled up to the massive smoker parked at the end of a cul-de-sac, I assumed I was in the right place. Drinking Pig is a front yard barbecue pop-up (one of many great pop-ups I tried this year) run by Raheem Sealey, Mark Wint, and Yohanir Sandoval. On weekends, the crew serves barbecue brisket, pork and beef ribs, and chicken along with sides like mac and cheese, cornbread, and collard greens. Quite simply, it’s some of the best barbecue I’ve ever had in South Florida - the kind where every bite requires a moment of reflection. You can place an order by DM’ing them on Instagram, and they also have a few picnic benches out front in case you also get anxious about your ribs getting cold.

Tasty Planet

United States Burger Service

$$$$
$$$$ 8300 NE 2nd Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, outdoor, and indoor dining

I fell in love with USBS, like many people, at Boxelder, when I was about three beers deep. The Wynwood bar was known to host some outstanding food pop-ups in its backyard (El Bagel is also a Boxelder alum), so I swung by for drinks and to try the new cheeseburger in town. And what a cheeseburger it was: a homemade potato bun, perfectly seared double patties, and some kind of runny, beautiful cheese sauce they called “government cheese.” When USBS finally got its own space inside The Citadel food hall in September, I was thrilled to discover that the burger I fell in love with still tasted the same, even zero beers deep. It’s also now joined by a fantastic little fried chicken sandwich.

Cleveland Jennings

Lil' Laos

$$$$
$$$$ 6009 NE 2nd Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, outdoor, and indoor dining

Right next to USBS, you’ll find Lil’ Laos. They used to be a pop-up too, bouncing from kitchen to kitchen with a menu of Laotian dishes. It was Sakhone Sayarath’s attempt to introduce Miami to her native cuisine with her husband, Curtis Rhodes, doing the cooking. I had tried Lil’ Laos before, but the food never tasted as good as it does now. I ordered a few things on my most recent visit: the sai krog muu (pork sausage), nam tod khao (crispy rice), and goong nam pa (shrimp ceviche). That sausage still makes appearances in my hunger-induced daydreams, as does the perfectly acidic ceviche, and crispy rice, which came mixed with chunks of spam. I plan on working my way through the rest of the menu (especially the Lao pho) as soon as possible.

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HaoChi Dumplings

$$$$
$$$$ 1547 SW 8th St

Open for takeout, outdoor, and indoor dining

Ask me what Miami needs more of and I will say without hesitation, “dumplings.” There are about three million other things on that list, but we don’t have the time. This is about HaoChi Dumplings, because they are quite possibly the best dumplings you’ll find in Miami right now. HaoChi is a pop-up that takes over Union Beer Store every Mon-Wed from 4-9pm, and the options include mushroom and leek; shrimp, cabbage and white miso; and pork, beef, and peanut gyoza. You should probably get all three versions - plus a bulgogi snow pea stir-fry. And obviously a beer too. They also have a wonderful Little Havana backyard patio where you can eat, complete with a wandering rooster.

Merritt Smail

Motek Cafe

$$$$
$$$$ 36 NE 1st St

Open for takeout, delivery, outdoor, and indoor dining

I only got to try takeout from Motek, but that was enough to convince me that there was something special happening here. I ordered hummus tehina, a Jerusalem grilled cheese, and the arayes burger from the Downtown Israeli cafe. The hummus was perfect and the Jerusalem bagel grilled cheese - how could that be bad? My favorite thing I tried, though, was the arayes burger, which comes with four soft little pitas stuffed with beef and then grilled. I can’t wait to go back for a proper sit-down dinner and try the shakshuka and crispy chicken schnitzel plate. It’s also BYOB with no corkage fee right now.

Ruben Cabrera

Tran An

$$$$
$$$$ 215 NE 82nd St

Open for takeout, delivery, outdoor, and indoor dining

Tran An is a small Vietnamese restaurant in Little River and it’s got an interior that I’m going to call, “infrared disco hunting lodge.” It looks like a restaurant inside an upscale spaceship, with severed golden animal heads jutting from the walls and a bathroom that feels like a tiny nightclub. It’s not all looks here, luckily. The food is good - especially the pho, which is so good I will happily eat it on a 90-degree day. Other things you might want to eat include banh mi, green papaya salad, and crispy pork and shrimp imperial rolls.

Jaguar Sun

$$$$
AmericanPasta  in  Downtown
$$$$ 230 NE 4th St

Open for outdoor dining

Jaguar Sun is not a new restaurant. But it makes the Hit List because, over the last six months, it has felt like a new restaurant. Several new restaurants, actually. First, the small Downtown spot moved to takeout, with cocktails to-go and a brand new brunch menu. Next, they moved the entire restaurant to Lot 6 in Little Haiti - not exactly a space fit for a functioning restaurant - and made tacos. Then, just as they had figured that out, they pivoted yet again to become an outdoor steakhouse, making perfect martinis and beautiful dry-aged ribeyes under the Miami sky on weekends only. What will they be six months from now? No idea. But with the team here, I’m sure it’ll be fantastic.

Open for takeout

The pandemic lockdown saw the nationwide rise of the at-home pop-up, Miami included. Essentially, these were people making food in their own kitchens and running small-scale takeout operations from their homes. I tried a few great ones over the last few months, but Oori is still the one I think about most. Run by Helen Kim, Oori specializes in sourdough baked goods, and if I close my eyes and try, I can still smell Kim’s everything charcoal rolls, still warm from the oven. Her shokupan and red bean and dark chocolate milk buns also now live in my head, where, about every week, they whisper “order me” into my subconscious.

Tasty Planet

Mr. Mandolin

$$$$
Greek  in  MiMo
$$$$ 7301 Biscayne Blvd

Open for takeout, delivery, outdoor dining

I was quite sad to hear that Gregory’s, a very promising restaurant, was closing during quarantine. But there was a silver lining: the team opened up a new place, Mr. Mandolin. It’s the sister restaurant to Buena Vista’s Mandolin Aegean Bistro, and they also serve really good Greek food - things like gyros, kebabs, savory pies, hummus, and the warm tahini bun that we think about no less than six times per day. Mr. Mandolin is very takeout-friendly, so it’s great for a casual dinner in or for those nights when you can’t get a table at the other Mandolin.

Dan Kocsis

Buya Izakaya + Yakitori

$$$$
Japanese  in  Wynwood
$$$$ 250 NW 24th St

Open for takeout, delivery, outdoor, and indoor dining

I accidentally ordered way too much food the last time I went to Buya, a new Japanese restaurant in Wynwood. I was hungry and some of the yakitori dishes were a little larger than I anticipated. But this is one of those restaurants where ordering too much food is kind of a good thing. The grilled chicken meatballs, miso-glazed quail, and yellowtail snapper skewers are all good enough to eat even if you reached “full” seven bites ago. But the best thing I had here was the tempura beech mushroom, a big crispy mushroom that comes sitting on top of a great “Tokyo ranch” sauce.

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