The 11 best Miami Beach restaurants
We can’t get enough of these Miami Beach restaurants, from swanky steakhouses to standout pizza and sushi spots
When it comes to Miami Beach restaurants, locals used to fall into two camps: residents of the resort city, who never have a reason to leave, and mainland-bound Miamians who only “schlep” there under protest. Recent innovations like Uber have made the commute more bearable, but it’s the thriving dining scene that has everyone flocking without any complaints—no matter the distance. Suddenly, top Miami Beach restaurants are some of the top in Miami, period. These are the best restaurants currently luring us with thick, juicy steaks, inspired sushi rolls, seasonal off-menu items and some of the best pizza in Miami.
There are certain things you expect when dining out at a steakhouse: You want the service to be top-notch, the atmosphere pleasant but not fussy and the selection superior—including the wine, of course. All of the above is true of Red, the Steakhouse, a South of Fifth neighborhood staple that’s been known to lure its share of passersby to its tastefully modern, crimson dining room. Steakhouse standards rule the menu, like jumbo shrimp cocktail and a hearty 22-ounce bone-in rib-eye. Among the tasty alternatives drawing in diners bored with the usual red-meat fare is fresh, never frozen Alaskan king crabs (though off the menu, the seasonal items warrant a little sleuthing), veal chop and a variety of pastas.
The Pubbelly boys put a fresh spin on sushi at their foray into Japanese cuisine. Chef/co-owner José Mendín and sushi chef Yuki Ieto introduce unexpected ingredients and Latin flavors to create inventive rolls you won’t find anywhere else: pork belly and clams, soft-shell crab and bacon—the list of interesting pairings goes on. Pubbelly’s gastropub pedigree means you’ll find heartier fare here too. Feast on a variety of New England–style sliders filled with rock shrimp or Maine lobster, or super-fresh fish skewers. Check the chalkboard wall for daily specials and a list of rotating brews from around the world.
James Beard Award–winning chef José Andrés—a spirited Spaniard whose frequent television appearances have made him a veritable ambassador of Iberian cuisine—knows how to turn a tapa on its head. At the Bazaar, croquettes come served inside a glass “sneaker,” caprese salad is skewered on a dropper filled with mozzarella and olive oil and caipirinhas are made tableside using dry ice. Unlike other gimmicky restaurants that value presentation over flavor, food here not only looks cool but actually tastes great too, which is partly why as many locals as tourists flock to this South Beach staple.
The Sunset Harbour outpost of Lucali, the famed Brooklyn-based pizza shop and wine bar, is perpetually slammed. Neither the limited menu—pizza, salad, two desserts and not much else—nor the higher-than-usual prices for a pie ($24 for plain cheese) deter crowds from stopping in daily. To understand why no one can resist Lucali in all its costly and crowded splendor, simply dig in to a slice of the traditional pizza (which you can sprinkle with free fresh basil), the kale Caesar (the best around) and the warm Nutella dessert pizza (sprinkled with powdered sugar, no less).