The Best Restaurants in Miami to visit

Mandolin Aegean Bistro lies in Miami’s Design District
Mandolin Aegean Bistro lies in Miami’s Design District | Courtesy of Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Diverse and intriguing, Miami’s best restaurants are an ode to the city’s tangible immigrant influences.

Mandolin Aegean Bistro

When you step through the cerulean front door and into Mandolin’s whitewashed courtyard, it feels as though you’ve teleported to Santorini. The Aegean restaurant opened in 2009, before the Design District developed into a popular Miami destination, and quickly garnered fans thanks to its fresh menu of Greek-Turkish classics and fruit-filled sangria. Snag a spot on the shaded terrace, and cover the table with grilled halloumi, fish swimming in olive oil and lemon juice, chunks of watermelon served with mint and feta, and spicy meat kebabs with thick yogurt.

Casa Tua

Taquiza

This traditional Mexican taqueria may look like your standard fast-casual restaurant, but it goes the extra mile in terms of its food quality. All of Taquiza’s tacos are served on handmade blue corn masa tortillas that are non-GMO and certified organic. There are 12 taco fillings to choose from, including four pork varieties, traditional tongue and the gutsy adobo-seasoned grasshoppers with guacamole. While it’s a meat-heavy menu, vegetarians are taken care of with the Huitlacoche (Mexican corn truffle, sweet corn, fresno chile and green onion) and the Rajas (charred peppers and onion tossed in oregano with crema and cotija cheese).

The Bazaar by José Andrés

The food at The Bazaar by José Andrés encapsulates flavors from Singapore and Miami – two Art Deco cities that embrace extravagance. The restaurant’s eponymous founder is a Michelin-decorated chef and humanitarian (famous for cooking 3.8 million meals for the people of Puerto Rico in the wake of 2017’s Hurricane Maria). His carefully conceived dishes include the 20-vegetable quinoa, baby Japanese peaches with creamy burrata, and a frozen blue cheese sandwich with lemon marmalade and walnut bread – a savory twist on a nostalgic childhood treat.

Yardbird Southern Table and Bar

Yardbird Southern Table and Bar serves up Southern hospitality from a light-filled corner restaurant near South Beach’s bustling Lincoln Road. Brunch is the highlight here – a feast replete with Southern favorites including blueberry pie pancakes and crab cake benedict with fried green tomatoes. First-time diners should not skip out on Yardbird’s famous fried chicken with watermelon and waffles or Mama’s classic buttermilk biscuits. Wash it all down with a blackberry bourbon lemonade or a Southern Revival – a sweet-and-sour mix of Jim Beam with passionfruit and basil.

Joe’s Stone Crab

In 1913, Joe Weiss opened up a small lunch counter down on the beach and gradually garnered a loyal customer base with his fried-fish sandwiches. However, it wasn’t until Weiss discovered stone crabs (which no Miamians ate in those days) that the business really took off. Now Joe’s Stone Crab is a Miami institution that does a busy trade during the crab season, October through May. The crabs come chilled and cracked with a mustard sauce – a simple recipe that’s stood the test of time. Though it doesn’t accept reservations and wait times tend to run long during busy hours, the neighboring over-the-counter takeaway option now offers cafeteria-style seating so that you can enjoy crab cakes and lobster rolls straight from Joe’s kitchen.

Amara at Paraiso

Amara at Paraiso’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer unobstructed views of Biscayne Bay. It’s a quintessential Miami scene, designed to work in harmony with a menu that embodies the city’s mishmash of Latin cultures. James Beard winner Michael Schwartz offers up coastal ingredients such as grilled Atlantic shrimp, crispy octopus alongside wood-grilled ribeye and house-made chorizos. All are served with farm-fresh veggies and fresh condiments, including fermented chile hot sauce and smoked paprika aioli.

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