The Hit List is where you’ll find our favorite new food and drink experiences in Miami—whether they’re pop-ups, takeout spots, or exciting new restaurants. All we need is for these places to be less than a year old and making something tasty. We keep an eye out for new openings in town every month and then visit as many as we can. One thing you can always count on is that we’ll feature places we’ve actually visited – and loved.
We aim to make this list as diverse as the city itself, including a wide variety of cuisines, price points, neighborhoods, chefs and owners of all backgrounds and the industry’s many communities. If you think we’re missing a great new place, we’d love to hear it.
The Gibson Room (formerly The Mighty) is a bar and restaurant on Coral Way. This place comes from the Ariete team, which explains why the menu is much more creative (and tasty) than what you’ll find at your average bar. They serve impressively crispy chicken schnitzel, strozzapreti with diced ham, foie gras flan and other dishes from uni butter popcorn to oxtail and shrimp ramen. Coming here hungry is definitely a good idea, but regardless, it’s a great place to hang out. Sit in the completely dark bar with a martini, memorize the names of all the animal heads lining the wall and enjoy the live music and vinyl DJs they host every night.
The blind tiger
Eating sushi in secret rooms is about as common in Miami today as a 20% tip. Sometimes it’s a trick, but it works at Blind Tiger, a small sushi bar tucked inside Reunion Kitchen Bar in Aventura. The space has low lighting and soft music – a relaxing departure from St. Tropez atmosphere at Reunion Ktchn. They offer omakase for $150 along with an à la carte menu. This is not traditional Japanese food. What you eat here is more Miami-style – but it’s unique and not too cutesy (so no cafecito saketinis or croqueta makis). Your meal can start with oysters topped with passion fruit mousse, through ora king salmon nigiri with miso and bottarga, to matcha flan in a puddle of shoyu-infused caramel. They also have some great Japanese gins, including Awayuki, which tastes like strawberry Pocky (you get it with a splash of seltzer). Reservations are required.
Klaw will make you feel sophisticated. And not just because they serve beautiful dry-aged steaks and break your king crab legs at the table with fancy scissors. No, even if this place served chicken nuggets and Easy Macs, we’d still go here dressed up. The restaurant is inside a beautiful and historic Edgewater building with waterfront views from both the indoor dining room and outdoor bar. The spacious dining room isn’t so aesthetically busy that you can’t appreciate the architecture as well as the large arched windows that all face Biscayne Bay. Klaw isn’t cheap—you come here for $100+ steaks and great shellfish. This is a business dinner / special occasion restaurant. But the food is delicious, the service is excellent, and the whole experience is worth the beautiful building in which it is located.
Low Key Miami
Fried seafood and frozen cocktails in an outdoor area with live music is one of Florida’s greatest culinary traditions. And Low Key keeps that tradition alive in Miami. This place operates from a barebones outdoor patio on the Little River, sparsely populated with picnic benches and a few shaded tables. You can walk up to the tent and order some really good raw bar food or larger meals like a great fish and chips, grouper sandwich and clam chowder – all served with great crispy fries. It’s great to eat a frozen piña colada or a bottle of wine, which you can also order here. It’s the kind of place where you and your friends camp out for hours, listen to music, eat fish, and generally be in the spirit of Jimmy Buffett.
Lion & The Rambler
The Lion & The Rambler is for when you want a restaurant that is all about the food. The lighting is a little harsh and the soundtrack is a random mix of mostly pa rock, but this Coral Gables spot makes up for it with things on the plate. The menu is seasonal and varied: proteins, pasta and vegetables are cooked in such an interesting way that you tilt your head like a puppy trying to pay attention. The spicy/salty peanut and white asparagus ajo blanco was one of the tastiest things we ate this year (and the buttery boniato pelmeni with garlic foam was not far behind). Not every dish is homemade, but it’s all good, and there are enough excellent plates to justify a reservation. On weekends, they offer a six-course tasting menu for $85 per person along with the regular a la carte menu.
Vice City Pizza
Whether you’re looking for Detroit, Sicilian, Cuban, or a mix of them all, Vice City has mastered the art of thick crust pizza. Operating out of Abi Maria’s cocktail bar, this place makes amazing cakes expertly (and generously) filled with creative ingredients, rich but not greasy and chewy – but not so much that you feel like a bad dog piece of stale bread. Pizza isn’t the only thing they’re good at here. They also make croquettes filled with prosciutto, gorgonzola dolce and mozzarella with fig marmalade, which we now think about every night when we lie in bed. And if the good pizza and croquettes aren’t reason enough to go here, the cocktails are delicious.
This is Viny’s second chart appearance. We like the original Key Biscayne location, but we might like the new Gables location even more. This one is larger in size and food options. It has a varied menu and the common thing between each dish is that everything goes well with wine (which you should drink here). There are crispy morcilla spring rolls with marmalade sauce, simple but delicious scallops Pernod and fluffy gnocchi sitting on a beautiful tomato passata. The restaurant has a thoughtful minimalist aesthetic, with high ceilings and arches lining the walls. It’s the perfect date option, as well as the perfect antidote to many of the older options on the Miracle Mile.
It was Greg
Old Greg’s Sourdough Pizza has gone from pop-up to brick-and-mortar. And while it’s impossible to get a reservation at Greg’s on their pop-up days, we’ve had no problems getting a table so far. Operating out of the former Ghí space in the Design Center, they sell crispy square pies and (a new addition to the menu) really good round pies with firm crusts and big sprigs of basil. The first-come, first-serve spot also has great hoagies, wine, beer, and a very cool alligator mural (plus an equally cool bathroom).
7. coffee shop
7th Cafe is an Allapattah breakfast and lunch restaurant started by the Rosie’s team in the former Rosie’s space while they build the new Rosie’s location. We know that’s a confusing sentence, but here’s everything you need to know: Their menu includes all kinds of great NYC-inspired breakfast and lunch options, including not one, but three things that make up our best sandwich guide, hot dogs. and baguettes. The restaurant is located in a sunny spot on the ground floor of an office building and is a great place to get some work done (they have Wi-Fi) or a long lunch (as they are only open during the week).
Krüs Kitchen in Coconut Grove is a neighbor and sister restaurant upstairs to Los Félix (location found below). Like its neighbor downstairs, Krüs feels more like a living room than a restaurant. The airy space—a perfect date spot, by the way—has a vaulted ceiling, scattered wooden tables, and shelves stocked with natural wine and pantry items (which you can buy to go). Krüs has been doing lunch and takeaway for just over a year, but they recently launched a good dinner menu. It’s a seasonally rotating mix of crudos, pastas and more. As it is constantly changing, we cannot guarantee what you will encounter here. But our last trip included a piece of fresh bread with anchovy/black garlic butter, smoked corn agnolotti and beef cheek ragout – all so delicious we were sad to leave the table.
Tropezón is an Andalusian gin and tapas bar on Española Way. And not only is it worth weaving your way through the many tourists on the street, it’s officially one of our favorite spots in South Beach — new or otherwise. The space – split 50/50 between bar and dining room – has a cozy interior with lots of wood and jamon legs hanging from the ceiling. In other words: exactly the kind of place where you can graze on small plates and drink gin for a few hours. Both are good here, although the drinks are better than the food. They have a selection of excellent infused gins and a menu that is mostly tapas like yuzu kosho tortilla, pan con tomate and large ribeye. Whether you’re drinking or eating (or ideally both), this is the reservation to make the next time you need a fun night out with gin.
When we talk about a restaurant we like, we usually focus on the most interesting thing, be it the food, the atmosphere or the beautiful dishes. But Los Felix in Coconut Grove makes that approach difficult because we just love everything about this place. So, in no particular order, let’s list all the great things about Los Felix: crispy sweet potato tetela with perfectly grilled oyster mushrooms; a dining room that’s in the sweet spot between claustrophobic and cavernous; a spiral staircase that takes you to the natural wine cellar upstairs; casual but attentive service; fresh tortillas that are thin but never tear and leak into your taco; and (talking about tacos) fall tender pork cheek carnitas. To sum it up, go here next time you want a tasty dinner with interesting Mexican dishes in an environment that is fun enough to drink your 3/4 JUICE bottles.
Chug his dinner
Chug’s is not a new restaurant, but it has undergone a major renovation and expansion. And coming back here is like being reunited with a cousin you haven’t seen since they were five—now a cool adult with interesting opinions, a unique sense of style, and the ability to cook amazing meatloaf. All of which is to say: Chug’s is better and cooler than ever, and it feels like a new restaurant. The Coconut Grove spot has the DNA of a classic bistro, with booths, counter seating and a laminated menu that you can flip to any table. It’s a great call for breakfast or brunch, but it’s also lively enough for weekend dinners (the cocktails are great, too). It is known for excellent food, mostly Cuban food. But there are plenty of unique twists along the way, like medianoche pierogis filled with ham and lechon and a meatloaf that will get you excited about meatloaf for (maybe) the first time ever.