Down a long fluorescent hallway in a Downtown office building, you’ll find Balloo and its dozen seats wedged into a corner. The dining room has old photos, an antique cabinet, and is doing its best to make you feel like you’re in a house somewhere in the Caribbean rather than a block away from a Walgreens. No matter where you sit, you’ll be able to see everyone in the restaurant as they eat from a small but wonderful menu of Indian, Trinidadian, Carribean, and Chinese dishes. The menu changes a lot, but we like the spam fried rice, Singaporean chili crab tteok-bokki (stir-fried rice cakes), and amazing cheung fun with dried shrimp and scallion rice crepes. We’ll happily keep coming back here, especially if their phenomenal Thai-style micheladas are involved.
Balloo is permanently closed.
More spots in DowntownSee more
Meraki Greek Bistro
Meraki is a Greek restaurant in Downtown slightly hidden in a random little alley. If it’s a nice day, definitely sit outside.
Lost Boy is a pub in Downtown Miami with a great Happy Hour, solid cocktails, and an old piano you’re allowed to sit on.
Casablanca Seafood Bar & Grill
Casablanca is a casual seafood spot on the Miami River. Most of the seating is outdoor waterfront tables, which is exactly why you come here.
More Chinese spotsSee more
CY Chinese is a North Miami Szechuan spot that serves hot pot, dumplings, and more Szechuan dishes.
HaoChi is a dumpling pop-up that takes over Little Havana’s Union Beer Store Mon-Wed. The dumplings are fantastic.
Komodo is a big, flashy restaurant in Brickell serving a mix of Chinese/Japanese food where people go mostly to see and be seen.
Suggested by our writers
NIU Kitchen is a tiny spot in Downtown Miami serving excellent Catalan food. Bring someone you really want to impress.
Downtown’s Jaguar Sun is an excellent cocktail bar that’s also a very good restaurant. Come here for pasta and cocktails with a date or some friends.
Verde at Pérez Art Museum Miami
Verde is a cafe located within the PAMM where you can eat good pizza, salad, and more with a pretty stunning view of Biscayne Bay.
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