The Miami Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Miami    guide image

MIAGuide

The Miami Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Miami

The new spots we checked out—and loved.

The Hit List is our guide to the best new food experiences in Miami. We track new openings across the city, and then visit as many as we can. While the Hit List is by no means an exhaustive list of every good new spot, one thing you can always rely on is that we’ll only include places we have genuinely checked out (and loved). Our only requirement is that they're under a year old and making something delicious.

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

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Patrick Michael Chin

Joliet review image

Joliet

$$$$

1209 17th St, Miami Beach
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

Even though Miami is about as south as you can get in this country, good Southern American food is tragically hard to find. That’s why we really like South Beach’s Joliet. They don't overcomplicate the classics. The simple cornmeal fried yellowtail comes with a side of hushpuppies and chow chow. You can get a plate of Johnny cakes with a side of pimento cheese and thick slices of ham. And there’s not a single truffle involved in the sweet cornbread. But we also liked Joliet before the food hit the table. Its crisp dining room is covered in art and plants. It’s busy, but organized in such a way that never feels claustrophobic. This is a handy spot to have in your South Beach rotation anytime you need a slightly more sophisticated option that’ll still deliver something delicious and fried.

One of Miami’s best bakeries has a second location in MiMo. This Caracas outpost feels more like a proper cafe, with an expanded menu, sleek dining room, and the same great cachitos. (Thank God.) The new stuff on Caracas’ menu includes sandwiches like an excellent BEC on a sweet potato bun, a crispy broccoli and cheese sandwich, jambon beurre, and mushroom toast. It works well for any and all laidback breakfasts, brunches, or lunch plans. You can also come here alone with a laptop to get some work done, and by “get some work done” we mean “eat several cachitos.” 

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Some new restaurants feel like long-awaited albums from generational talents. And Walrus Rodeo, the sister restaurant of Boia De, is the equivalent of a collaborative Rihanna/Frank Ocean album with a surprise cameo by the original members of The Wiggles. Except it might actually be better, because it’s real. Even though it occupies the space (and inherited the pizza oven) of a former pizzeria, Walrus Rodeo isn’t quite Italian. The menu has some Italian-ish things—like massive potato gnocchi, an outstanding lasagna, and a white anchovy/maple brown butter pizza. But then there are completely unique dishes like a carrot tartare that’ll make you as excited about carrots as that kid on Tik Tok was about corn. The interior is a bright country western meets Italian disco aesthetic, with a silver ceiling, white brick walls, and two very fun bathrooms. If you’re going to spend time fighting for a reservation in Miami right now, make it this one. 

Next Door is a wine bar run by (and right next door to) Key Biscayne’s Flour & Weirdoughs. And it’s a perfect option for all occasions that call for a chill night out with a bottle of wine and some excellent dishes involving bread. The menu is tight, but as good as you’d expect from one of Miami’s best bakeries. They make a simple, outstanding choripan, eggplant escabeche served with sliced baguette and crispy baguette chips, and a few sourdough pizzas. Nothing on the menu costs more than $20 either. The space isn’t huge, but it’s perfect for small groups or couples. And if it’s nice out, they slide open the windows to take advantage of the ocean breeze. 

Our first experience with Oori involved a turmeric lemon poppy seed sourdough loaf in the parking lot of an apartment building. That’s how you used to pick up your order from the pandemic pop-up. Oori has since transitioned to a small brick and mortar in Little River, but one thing hasn’t changed: they’re still making some of the most delicious baked goods in Miami. Options here range from sweet to savory. The black sesame cinnamon rolls, adzuki and dark chocolate shoku-bun, and phenomenal black sesame shortbread cookies are all great choices if you’re in a dessert mood. If you’re not, go for the charcoal everything rolls and what has to be Miami’s best shokupan. There’s some counter seating and picnic benches outside if you want to eat there, but this is also a great spot to place a to-go order and fill your freezer with enough bread to last until next year. 

You’ll find Jholano’s in an apartment complex in Coral Gables, where the small Italian sandwich shop is operating behind a red door with a faded sign from the previous occupant. It doesn’t look like a restaurant, but override your hesitation against breaking and entering and you’ll find a small counter serving a dozen stellar Italian sandwiches. The tradizionale is a perfect cold Italian sub with crisp veggies and bread that has an ideal soft/crunchy balance. The 3am In Rome is a neatly organized combination of salami, capicola, hot honey, and thick slabs of mozzarella on focaccia that's pressed until it's crispy outside, but still fluffy inside. Jholano’s is mostly a to-go operation, but they have a couple picnic benches on the back patio if you don’t want to risk any passenger seat-induced sogginess. 

The menu at QP Tapas is an izakaya/Spanish tapas mashup. That may sound a little busy, but this is not a case of conflicting puzzle pieces being jammed against each other—this place is delicious. QP isn’t technically its own restaurant. The team takes over the casual Coral Gables lunch spot MKT Kitchen Fridays and Saturdays for dinner service. The menu is a mix of simple dishes that let great ingredients shine—like caviar-topped Don Bocarte anchovies—and complex plates that will act like a defibrillator to anyone stuck in a restaurant rut. If you’re one of those people, order the uni risotto, which is exactly what it sounds like (and exactly as good as it sounds), and the excellent okonomiyaki made with your choice of mushroom escabeche or chorizo. Alcohol options include wine and sake by the glass or bottle as well as a lovely frozen sangria.  

We have never had a more perfect slice of pizza than the ones served at Miami Slice, a small counter-seating spot on the northern edge of Downtown. The five or six New York-style slices you’ll find here have a crust that’s crispy edge-to-edge, yet still warm and fluffy when you bite into it. The toppings—like candied cherry tomatoes, garlic confit cream, and pesto swirls—are dispersed with the restraint of a famous Danish architect. The highlight of the still-developing menu, a pepperoni slice with red sauce, hot honey, and an optional (but non-negotiable) glob of additional stracciatella, made us briefly lose consciousness. There isn’t much to do here but grab a slice at the counter or take a whole pie to go. But that’s fine because this is a pizza that deserves one million percent of your undivided attention.

The Gibson Room (which used to be The Mighty) is a bar and restaurant on Coral Way. This spot comes from the Ariete team, which explains why the menu is a lot more creative (and tasty) than what’s at your average bar. They serve an impressively crispy chicken schnitzel, strozzapreti with diced ham, foie gras flan, and more dishes that range from uni butter popcorn to oxtail and shrimp ramen. Coming here hungry is certainly a good idea, but it’s a great place to hang out regardless. Sit at the perfectly dim bar with a martini, think of names for each of the animal heads lining the wall, and enjoy the live music and vinyl DJs they host every night.

Klaw makes you feel sophisticated. And that’s not just because they serve beautiful dry-aged steaks and deshell your king crab legs tableside with a fancy pair of scissors. No, even if this place served chicken nuggets and Easy Mac, we’d still put on nice clothes to come here. The restaurant is inside a gorgeous and historic Edgewater building with waterfront views, both in the indoor dining room and on the bar’s outdoor patio. The spacious dining room isn't so aesthetically busy that you can’t appreciate architecture like the huge arched windows that all point towards Biscayne Bay. Klaw isn’t cheap—you’re coming here for $100-plus steaks and fancy shellfish. It’s a business dinner/special occasion kind of restaurant. But the food is very good, the service is excellent, and the entire experience is worthy of the very dignified building it’s in. 

This is the second time Vinya has appeared on the Hit List. We loved the original Key Biscayne location, but we might just love the new Gables location even more. This one’s bigger in both size and food options. It has a diverse menu, and the one commonality between dishes is that everything on it goes great with wine (which you should be drinking here). There are crispy morcilla spring rolls with a marmalade dipping sauce, simple but delicious Pernod mussels, and fluffy gnocchi sitting atop a lovely tomato passata. The restaurant has a thoughtfully minimalistic aesthetic, tall ceilings, and archways lining the walls. It’s a perfect date night option, and also the perfect antidote to so many of Miracle Mile’s more antiquated options.


Krüs Kitchen in Coconut Grove is the upstairs neighbor and sister restaurant of Los Félix. Like its downstairs neighbor, Krüs feels more like a living room than a restaurant. The airy space—a pitch-perfect date spot, by the way—has a domed ceiling, scattered wooden tables, and shelves of natural wine and pantry supplies (which you can buy to-go). Krüs has been doing lunch and takeout for longer than a year, but they recently launched a proper dinner menu. It's a seasonally rotating mix of crudos, pasta, and more. Because it changes often, we can't guarantee what you'll encounter here. But our last trip involved a hunk of fresh bread with anchovy/black garlic butter, smoked corn agnolotti, and beef cheek ragu—all incredibly delicious things that made us sad to leave the table.


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