Finding the best restaurants in Wynwood is a bit like looking for Waldo in those books that used to ask you to find Waldo. There are a lot of bad places doing good impressions of great restaurants, and it’s hard to tell them apart while a sidewalk busker is trying to sketch your face for $15. We made this guide so you don’t get tricked, because it’s happened to us, and it’s not fun to eat wet truffle fries while the absolute worst house music beats down on you.
These are Wynwood’s best restaurants - whether you’re looking for a relatively quiet date night, a ridiculously good seven-course meal, or some late-night food to line your stomach on the way home from a bar. Read up on our favorites and you’ll be able to spot the real Waldo in no time.
Kyu is probably the toughest place to get a table in Wynwood. It’s not that it’s small (like Alter) or very exclusive (like Hiden), but it’s just very, very popular. It’s a rare Miami restaurant where you can pretty much expect a packed house every night of the week - not just on weekends in winter or during Art Basel. This is because basically every dish at KYU is a crowd-pleaser: the roasted cauliflower, soft-shell crab bao buns, Thai fried rice stone pot, and fried chicken will probably all be on tables around you. This is one instance where you should listen to peer pressure and order them too.
If you’re in Wynwood and dont stop by Zak the Baker, you better have a good excuse. Maybe you tripped over a selfie stick and fell onto a tour bus and woke up in Little Havana. Fine. But anything short of that is unacceptable. Zak is not only partly responsible for establishing Wynwood as a place to eat delicious things, but this very minimal bakery continues to make Miami’s best bread and an assortment of pastries that should absolutely be coming home with you. Get the babka and the chocolate rye cookie to go. Any of the sandwiches or toasts are great too.
Dukunoo is a Jamaican restaurant where you can come to drink cocktails (including one that’s served in a bong) and listen to loud music. Or you can sit down and have a big meal of very good Caribbean dishes. Ideally, you can do a little of both, which is what makes this spot a great place to start the night off or have a celebration dinner. The food here is really good - but we definitely recommend the outstanding jerk chicken, which comes with two big festivals and a side of vinegary slaw.
Like reliable forms of public transportation or viable quarterback options, Miami really needs more Chinese restaurants. You’ll be reminded of that fact at Palmar as you crunch your way through the crispy prawn and rabbit egg roll before moving onto soft-shell crab fried rice. The popular spot - with its cute pink booths and red lighting - is too small for big groups, but it’s comfortable for parties of three or four and it’s a solid date spot too (grab a reservation because this place usually fills up).
Kush is an essential Wynwood spot thanks mostly to its burgers, which are some of the best in the city. But this very tiny restaurant also makes fantastic fried gator, has a great local beer selection, and somehow fits it all into a space the size of a studio apartment. There will be a wait here, but if you come Friday-Sunday you can spend that time at La Botanica, Kush’s next door bar/waiting room. After a beer in the Santeria-inspired room, your table will probably be ready. Squeeze in, order the Frita, and start thinking of an excuse to come back and do it all again as soon as possible.
Sparky’s is a mostly outdoor venue located inside a vintage car museum, which is a very Wynwood sentence. But the antique vehicles aren’t the most interesting thing about this place - it’s the excellent barbecued meats they serve, including very tasty versions of jerk chicken, pork, and ribs. You can smell this place from a block away. The jerk chicken here is particularly good, and comes with a choice of three sauces, the hottest of which one employee referred to as the “holy sh*t sauce.” It was an accurate description.
You don’t accidentally end up at Alter. No one walks through Wynwood after a few beers, looks at their friends and says, “Hey, anyone down for a tasting menu right now?” No, you plan for Alter, make a reservation for a special occasion, and spend days looking forward to it. The tasting menu starts with a white asparagus chowder that looks like a marshmallow and keeps getting more strangely delicious from there. They do a five and seven-course tasting menu as well as a chef’s experience that includes a few extra plates. The five-course is plenty of food, though, especially if you supplement with the soft egg and bread and beurre (to dip into the soft egg). It’s like scooping up a good soup with a nice piece of bread times infinity.
Before Wynwood was Wynwood, it was a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood known as Little San Juan, and El Bajareque is one of the last remaining reminders of that. This place has been around for more than 40 years and it feels like little has changed here since then. It’s a small spot with some tables and countertop seating. There’s laughter coming from the kitchen and the staff will probably address at least three customers by name while you’re there. The food is mostly familiar classics like mofongo, chicharrones de pollo, and alcapurrias - order all three if you have a hungry eating partner or just want a ton of leftovers.
1-800-Lucky is the closest thing you’ll find to a food hall in Wynwood. Vendors fluctuate, but there are usually around seven different Asian stalls going at any one time. Options here range from ramen to dim sum and ice cream, but your best bet is the little sushi counter called B-Side. The rolls are delicious and packed with high-quality, fatty fish. Things can get a little loud and congested when it’s busy, especially on the weekend, so come with a few friends rather than a big group that wants to sit together. And then stick around for drinks at the outside bar if it’s nice out.
Buya is a Japanese restaurant where you can order a bunch of small plates like grilled chicken meatballs, miso-glazed quail, and yellowtail snapper skewers. It’s a solid place to start a night out and share a bunch of things. The food is consistently good across the menu, but the best thing here is the tempura beech mushroom, a big crispy mushroom that comes sitting on top of a great “Tokyo ranch” sauce.
If you, like us, are the kind of person who gets excited over a donut, then it’s worth waiting in the line (which is pretty much always there) at Salty Donut. The small Wynwood shop isn’t too remarkable, but the donuts at the end of your wait are Miami’s best. You will want to eat the brown butter and salt, guava and cheese, and white chocolate tres leches. But you’ll probably only make it through one and a third of the huge donuts before you realize you’ll have to shove the rest of them in your fridge and try again tomorrow.
Hiden is one of Miami’s most expensive omakase restaurants - but it’s also one of the most interesting dining experiences in the city. The eight-seat restaurant is located in the back of a Wynwood taco shop, and you need a special code to even get in the door. You’ve got to book your seat weeks in advance and dinner here costs $170 per person. It’s some of the best sushi you’ll find in Miami but the entire experience of eating here - which makes you feel like a secret agent on a raw fish mission - is really what makes this place so special.
The late-night food options in Wynwood are bleak. There used to be a guy who pulled up outside bars at 1am with a barbecue smoker hitched to his Toyota, but we’re pretty sure he got not-so-politely asked to stop. So now your best bet is BND Burger. This little burger joint right next to always-packed Wood is bigger than it seems from the exterior, and inside there are tables and booths, a full bar, and tasty little burgers served on potato buns. They’re soft and juicy and fit into the palm of your hand nicely, and while they taste great after three drinks, these burgers are 100% good enough to seek out sober.
Three is definitely one of the more upscale options in Wynwood - a good place to take your boss who drives an obnoxiously nice car or that date you want to impress after accidentally taking them to a terrible sushi restaurant on South Beach last week. The chairs are velvet, but you can still come here in a t-shirt without anyone caring. The rotating menu here is mostly seafood, Florida-focused, and meant for sharing. Three also has a cocktail bar above it, which they generously refer to as a rooftop bar even though it’s only two stories high. Still, it’s a nice view on a breezy night and a good place to apologize to your date about that garbage nigiri.
This place is part cocktail bar and part chicken restaurant and uses a lot of familiar design trends like serving food on cutting boards, a pink neon sign, and a slightly unfinished interior that looks like the construction crew stormed out halfway through the job. There’s also some outdoor seating that’s a good move on a nice night. They do solid rotisserie chicken here, but if you’re a burger person, skip the bird and go with the royale with cheese. It’s what a fast-food burger would taste like if fast food burgers actually cared what they tasted like.
Palatino is a great Jamaican spot in a part of Wynwood that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic, even though it’s one block north from where most people think Wynwood begins. Come here if you want some great jerk chicken, oxtail, roti, and more Jamaican classics, but save it for when you’re not in a big rush. Palatino is a small operation and normally it’s just the very sweet owner taking orders from everyone, so you might be waiting 20 minutes or more. It’s always worth it though - and better than most food you can get in the neighborhood.
Ono Poke is a reminder of how good a poke bowl can be when done properly. The fish here is super high quality (you can do tuna or salmon) and they limit the topping options to only the essentials. You can build your own bowl, but you probably won’t do a better job than the shop’s five menu options - especially the spicy crunchy tuna bowl. This place is small, very casual, good for a quick lunch, and has a tropical flamingo wallpaper we really want to steal.
Sometimes the hardest part about going out is finding that middle ground between a place that devotes half its menu to rare caviar and somewhere that considers a spork an acceptable form of silverware. Beaker and Gray is almost always a good call when caught in such a dilemma. We’ve never had a bad meal or cocktail at this place, which serves Latin-inspired dishes like cheeseburger croquettes, alongside very recognizable things like pork belly, octopus, and fried chicken. It’s good for big groups or parties of two. It’s also part cocktail bar, which should trick your brain into thinking you went out and make you feel better about not leaving the house for the next week.
Coyo Taco serves some of Miami’s best tacos, which is why there’s usually a line out the door during the lunch and dinner rushes here. We typically go with the crispy duck (carnitas de pato), which we shower with an obnoxious amount of house chipotle aioli - but they’re all good enough to justify the wait, which usually isn’t as bad as it looks. Once you order, the food shouldn’t take longer than 10 or 15 minutes. If it looks way too crowded on a weekend night, those people are probably in line for the little nightclub in the back of Coyo, not the food. Join them if you’re in the mood to dance and don’t care too much about personal space.
Wynwood’s casual options include things like burgers, ice cream, pizza, and there’s usually a snow cone guy hanging out somewhere on NW 2nd Ave. But sometimes you want something out of the usual casual suspects. The vegan spot Love Life Cafe is a great alternative. The bright restaurant has long communal wooden tables, some solo counter seating, and a couch in the corner where you can just sit down and read. The food includes some things you expect, like smoothies and acai bowls, and other things you don’t - like vegan arepas, pizza, and a meat-free burger with very convincing plant-based cheddar and a bun brushed with coconut oil.