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Guide

The Miami Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Miami

The new spots we checked out - and loved.

Written by
15 Spots
Launch Map
15 Spots
Launch Map
Updated November 19th, 2020

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

Whether you’re looking for outdoor dining or takeout and delivery, or basically anything else a restaurant can conceivably do, The Hit List is here to help. Read on to find your new favorite spots.


The Spots

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.

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.

Karina Rey

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.

Tasty Planet

El Bagel

$$$$
Cafe/Bakery  in  MiMo
$$$$ 6910 Biscayne Blvd

Open for takeout

I went to El Bagel the day after it opened. I knew it would be busy - people (myself included) had been waiting for this Miami bagel savior to arrive for months. But busy was an understatement. There was a line out the door and people had this wild look in their eyes, like they were there to see a band, not a bagel. When the lockdown hit, I worried if El Bagel could adjust to the new reality with such high demand. But the staff adapted and did so remarkably well. They now have an entirely to-go system, keeping the safety of their team and customers in mind. You just place an order online, get a text, and then drive to go pick up your phenomenal bagel sandwich, which, for me, is almost always an EB Original with scallion, bacon, and a roasted jalapeno. I know it sounds like a lot of work for a bagel, but they are outstanding bagels - crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and stuffed with perfectly cooked ingredients like Proper Sausage bacon, guava and potato sticks, and lox.

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.

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.

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 switched 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.

Da Lida

$$$$ 1035 N Miami

Open for takeout, delivery, outdoor, and indoor dining

Pasta is the reason you should come to Da Lida, the pop-up currently operating downtown at Fooq’s. It’s very good - and if you are one of those pasta people who owns bucatini bedsheets and gets light headed at the very mention of the words “al dente,” then make a reservation. They serve linguini with Dungeness crab, rigatoni pomodoro, bucatini amatriciana, and rigatoni bolognese. My great dinner here consisted of both rigatoni dishes, anchovies and toast, and a bottle of orange wine. And afterward, I briefly considered becoming a pasta person.

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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