Miami

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No Michelin guide just yet, but both the mainland and Miami Beach have made impressive strides in the past few years, creating a new “Floribbean” blend of restaurants to add to the already plentiful Latin American options.

Top Restaurants in Miami

Azul

Open since 2001, Azul is still among the top restaurants in town for its stellar views of the Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami skyscrapers. Chef Clay Conley has crafted a strong menu of nouvelle cuisine laced with Mediterranean, French, and Caribbean influences. Don’t miss his signature blend of raw tuna, Maine crabmeat, and tempura avocado topped with caviar and yogurt-marinated swordfish. Ask one of the servers to help you navigate the excellent, though slightly intimidating, 700-variety wine list.

500 Brickell Key Dr., FL, 305-913-8358, www.mandarinoriental.com
Tags: expensive | editor pick | views

Barton G

Known for its theatricality in both décor and cuisine, the young and trendy flock to Barton G's magical, gorgeously lush, outdoor patio to enjoy desserts like Big-Top Cotton Candy and Over-The-Top Popcorn Surprise.

1427 West Ave., FL, 305-672-8881, www.bartong.com
Tags: expensive | american | trendy

Dogma Grill

Unusual toppings such as sliced avocado, vinaigrette, Parmesan cheese, and Kalamata olives join mustard and ketchup in the lineup at this gourmet hot dog stand where the franks come in beef, turkey and veggie varieties. Wraps, salads and fries are also available, and the fresh mint lemonade is the perfect Miami heat buster.

7030 Biscayne Blvd. (btwn. NE 70th & 71st sts.), FL, 305-759-3433, www.dogmagrill.com
Tags: family | budget | vegetarian

El Rancho Grande

A laid-back attitude and a cheery dining room popping with primary colors accompany the tasty Mexican dishes served at this long-running local favorite tucked just off the bustling Lincoln Road pedestrian mall. Don’t expect the typical cheese-smothered Tex-Mex standards; savory flank steak and zesty chicken with mole sauce are the stars here.

1626 Pennsylvania Ave., FL, 305-673-0480, www.elranchograndemexicanrestaurant.com
Tags: moderate | local favorite | mexican

Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish Market

Finding this seafood-only restaurant on the Miami River isn't easy, but it's definitely worth the effort. What began as a family-run fish market in 1966 has evolved into a casual two-story eatery that attracts a mix of downtown business types and tourists as well as artsy Design District denizens. Choose a seat on the waterfront back patio to best enjoy the ultra-fresh catches of the day.

398 NW N. River Dr., FL, 305-375-0765, www.garciasseafoodgrill.com
Tags: moderate | seafood | great value | waterfront | patio

Green Street

People watching while lingering over Sunday brunch is a longtime local hobby at this Coconut Grove favorite, but the neighborhood’s nonstop visual feast makes it worthwhile any day of the week. Lunch and dinner menus are heavy on pasta, sandwiches and salads, with a nod to the health-conscious. Velvet drapes and wrought-iron accents add dramatic punch to the interior lounge, while brocade couches bring funky style to late-night noshing on the sidewalk.

3468 Main Hwy., FL, 305-444-0244, www.greenstreetcafe.net
Tags: moderate | patio | italian | pizza | brunch

Joe's Stone Crab

Joe’s has been serving up tasty crustaceans and straight-up, surf-and-turf fare since 1913. Closed from May 16th through October 14th.

11 Washington Ave., FL, 305-673-0365, www.joesstonecrab.com
Tags: seafood | expensive

La Sandwicherie

When post-clubbing munchies strike, this tiny eatery provides a popular deli-style cure: subs on French bread or flaky croissants served until 5am. Only a few stools line the walk-up window, so be prepared to take away salads, sandwiches and fruit smoothies no matter what the time of day.

229 14th St., FL, 305-532-8934, www.lasandwicherie.com
Tags: budget | open late | takeout

News Café

A great staple in South Beach, the café has a decent menu with something for every palate – sandwiches, salads, grilled meats, and vegetables, plus a few Middle Eastern dishes.

800 Ocean Dr., FL, 305-538-6397, www.newscafe.com
Tags: family | moderate

Pasha's

Perfect for the whole family, Pasha’s has indoor/outdoor seating, funky-mod décor, and healthy Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean-style grilled meats and salads.

900 Lincoln Rd., FL, 305-673-3919, www.pashas.com
Tags: family | budget | trendy | middle eastern fusion

Prime One Twelve

This upscale steakhouse forgoes the dark gentlemen's club model in favor of a warm, vivacious South Beach style. Brick columns and acrylic panels embedded with natural grass comingle with Dade County pine accents and vintage photos that pay homage to its historic setting: inside circa-1915 The Browns Hotel, Miami Beach's first hotel. Dry-aged beef is king, served with a selection of rich sauces and butters, but creative seafood and chicken dishes are also on the menu. Book a few weeks in advance for prime-time seating, particularly during winter high season, as this is the dinner den of choice.

112 Ocean Dr., FL, 305-532-8112, www.prime112.com
Tags: expensive | smart splurge | hotel restaurant | patio | steakhouse | jim's pick

Versailles

The comandante of Cuban eateries in Little Havana lures Cubans and Latin Americans with its solid, home-style cooking and Versailles-like atmosphere (think glass chandeliers and backlit mirrors). Try the special, Lechon Asado – a succulent marinated pork – with a side of maduros (plantains).

3555 SW 8th St., FL, 305-444-0240
Tags: budget | editor pick | cuban

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