Meet our 25 highest-rated restaurants.Less
Every meal at Itamae feels like a first date—except one that you know won't suck. In fact, it will be the antithesis of suck because the Design District Nikkei restaurant serves the most consistently exciting and delicious food in Miami. And they manage to do that even though their menu changes on a near-daily basis. Our favorite part about every meal here are the surprises—like tiny firefly squid swimming in squid ink leche de tigre or meltingly soft slices of Hokkaido scallop.
This narrow Italian restaurant on the edge of Buena Vista has one of those menus that's like a perfect album, with not a single song you’d dare skip. The only rules we’ll gently suggest are: plan to make a reservation a couple weeks out, order the shockingly amazing chopped salad, and definitely get the tagliolini nero if you see it on the menu. You can also try to come super early and snag walk-in bar seating, which is our favorite seat in the house anyway.
Everything on the menu at Ariete is fantastic, but if you're coming here to celebrate (or just want dinner to feel like a special occasion in and of itself) get the canard a la presse—AKA the duck press. They wheel this medieval-looking machine to the table and use it to compress various parts of the duck into a deep, rich sauce. They then use that sauce to smother the absolute best duck you’ll ever taste in your life. Not a duck fan? Then go with the equally impressive monkfish wellington.
Zitz Sum shocks us out of routine—and not just because their chili oil is perfectly calibrated. The food here is unlike anything else in the city. Dishes are influenced by Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Laotian, and other Asian cultures. You’ll find DIY Korean-style hand rolls that come with steak tartare, short grain rice, and Japanese egg salad. The brisket sheng jian bao made us forget everything we learned in kindergarten about sharing.
Every single dinner at Sunny's still feels like being in on a secret, even though the pop-up-turned-outdoor-steakhouse is, by now, anything but. But the constant crowds at this outdoor space kind of make dinner feel like a very fun wedding reception. Except Sunny's flawless martinis and perfectly-cooked steaks put the floppy asparagus at your cousin's wedding to shame. Sunny's does plan on closing this summer to renovate the space and turn it into a permanent year-round restaurant.
Drinking Pig serves up the kind of barbecue classics where every bite you take requires a moment of quiet contemplation. This place is still a roaming pop-up at heart, and operates on Saturdays at Wynwood's Smorgasburg, a weekly open-air food market, and Sundays from their original location on the end of a North Miami cul-de-sac. Whenever you manage to track this place down, order big. Brisket, ribs, and cornbread are all non-negotiable. Some mac and cheese and sausage is highly encouraged too.
It takes a lot for us to recommend a dinner that costs somewhere around a month’s rent. It has to be really, really, really good. And Naoe, a nondescript omakase in Brickell Key, truly is one of the best and most unique meals in Miami. The marathon dinner does include a stunning nigiri section, but unlike most pricey Miami omakase options, you'll also encounter a constantly rotating mix of local vegetables alongside rare (for Miami) seafood like braised sazae.
Located in Sweetwater, the heart of the Nica expat community, Madroño is so chic that you’ll think it was plucked from the Design District and dropped into a strip mall next to a Sedano’s. Madroño’s menu features a lot of Nicaraguan classics done better than anywhere else in Miami. The tajadas are crunchy and never greasy, you can taste each individual grain of rice in the gallo pinto, and every element of their nacatamal is flawless.
Sanguich nails every aspect of the Cuban sandwich—from the crunchy bread down to the homemade pickles and perfect amount of mustard. We would tell you to come here if it was the only thing they sold, but they also make other great sandwiches you should try eventually—especially the self-titled Sanguich de Miami, which is a delicious mash-up of a BLT, turkey sandwich, and Cuban sandwich.
NIU Kitchen went through lots of changes during the pandemic, and is now located in the space that once housed its sister restaurant, Arson. But the most important characteristic of NIU Kitchen remains unchanged: the Catalan spot is still serving some of the most delicious food in Miami. Dinner here should always start with the cold tomato soup with mustard ice cream. The ous, a bowl of poached eggs and truffled potato foam, is another must-order.