If you’re looking to grab a seat at a busy restaurant, here’s a pro tip: Sit at the bar. Odds are there’s at least one seat available for walk-ins, and the entire menu is usually available. Here are seven places with a full-fledged bar menu.
Buya is almost always busy—its tasty Japanese-inspired bites and affordable drinks make it a Wynwood favorite. If you can’t find a table, grab a seat at the bar and dig in: The full food and drink menu is up for grabs. Some of the top sellers include the karaage chicken, duck gyoza hot pot, and tempura beech mushroom. No matter what you order, you won’t break the bank.
Buya is located at 250 NW 24th Street, Miami, FL 33127. For more information, visit their official website.
Hiyakawa is another Wynwood hotspot for Japanese cuisine. Instead of opting for a regular table, make your way to the sushi bar for the ultimate meal. While Hiyakawa does offer an a la carte menu of nigiri and other delights, you’re better off choosing one of the chef’s tastings—this is an experience. Expect a pricey bill but enjoying some of the freshest fish in town is worth it.
Hiyakawa is located at 2700 North Miami Avenue, #5, Miami, FL 33127. For more information, visit their official website.
Over on the other side of the causeway, Kosushi is also offering guests an exquisite Japanese experience—with some fusion flair. Hailing from Brazil, the restaurant is known for its masterful use of flavors and textures in dishes like salmon aji amarillo, crispy tuna rice, yuzu Hamachi, miso sea bass skewers, and wagyu aburi truffle. The diverse sushi, sashimi, and temaki menu ensures you’ll be a return customer.
Kosushi is located at 801 South Pointe Dr., #105, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, visit their official website.
It’s a bit on the smaller side but the bar at La Placita is a great place to enjoy a meal, catch a game or just make a new friend. The Puerto Rican restaurant’s entire menu is available, but you’ll likely find yourself just drinking here or ordering a snack or two instead of a full meal; it’s a little tight. The best combo: a freshing Medalla and La Placita’s signature empanadillas. Leave the mofongo and larger dishes for a bigger table.
La Placita is located at 6789 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33138. For more information, visit their official website.
Any concept by Food & Wine’s Best New Chef Niven Patel is always packed, and his Caribbean concept is no exception. The tropically inspired Mamey in Coral Gables has wowed guests with bites like Jamaican short rib empanadas, key west pink shrimp taquitos, white truffle and brie grilled cheese, and mojo roasted pork belly. All of these bites and more can be had at the eatery’s small-but-mighty bar, where you’re likely to find at least a solo seat available. Strap in for an unforgettable culinary journey.
Mamey is located at 1350 South Dixie Highway, Coral Gables, FL 33146. For more information, visit their official website.
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
Anybody who knows anything about Miami food knows that Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink is the Design District’s shining star. The restaurant recently reopened after extensive renovations, so guests will find an expanded menu, dining room, and patio to enjoy. The eatery’s famous—and generous—happy hour hasn’t gone anywhere: It’s hard to beat amazing $7 to $10 cocktails and sub-$5 snacks like deviled eggs, crispy pig ears, and shrimp toast. The full menu is available at the bar as well.
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink is located at 130 NE 40th Street, Miami, FL 33137. For more information, visit their official website.
Toscana Divino is one of the best Italian restaurants in the city—period. As a result, grabbing a table for dinner can be tough without a reservation. That said, there’s almost always room at the bar for a solo diner or couple. Besides the amazing pastas here, one of the biggest draws is the wine selection—hundreds upon hundreds of bottles are housed here; it’s among the largest selections in town. What we’re trying to say is that you’re going to be here a while.
Toscana Divino is located at 900 South Miami Avenue, #185, Miami, FL 33130. For more information, visit their official website.