The Best Restaurants in Downtown Miami

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the best restaurants in downtown miami

When it comes to good food and even better cocktails, Downtown Miami knows what it’s doing and does it just right. Diving fork-first, as we know best, here are some restaurants, lunches, brunches, bars, and happy hours you’ll be happy to have in your back pocket next time you’re in the area. 

The Best Brunch in Downtown Miami

Boulud Sud

For a Mediterranean-inspired extravaganza, head to Boulud Sud on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 p.m. to 2 p.m. Expect a decently sized menu of savory and sweet sharable Mediterranean plates, steak and eggs, burgers, and more. Be sure to pair your meal with the bottomless beverage option ($35) and treat yourself to two hours of tasty cocktails with a twist.

Boulud Sud is located at 255 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website.

Novikov

Every Sunday from 11 p.m. to 4 p.m., Novikov opens its doors to the brunch crowd with a premium ($199) or signature ($99) brunch package, each including unlimited drinks, bottomless appetizers, a buffet, dessert, and your choice of an entrée.

Expect the same Pan-Asian dishes on Novikov’s regular menu, including cucumber tataki, shishito peppers, ginger bok choy, duck fried rice, mushroom dim sum, sushi, sashimi, and so much more.

Novikov is located at 300 S Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website.

Verde

The Best Restaurants in Downtown Miami

In the market for one of Miami’s best waterfront views and a post-meal jaunt to Perez Art Museum Miami? Then Verde marks the spot.

The modern-casual eatery, located in PAMM, features a sprawling outdoor terrace overlooking Biscayne Bay and prides itself on crafting its dishes and cocktails with locally inspired, seasonal ingredients. Their small but mighty brunch menu is available both Saturday and Sunday and offers a variety of elevated staples – think Benedicts, pancakes, burgers, and more.

Verde is located at 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132. For more information, visit their official website

Zuma

One of the best reasons to put on pants on a Saturday or Sunday morning is brunch and brunch at Zuma makes you want to jump right into them. You can choose from several brunch “packages” that each include snacks, access to the buffet, and one hot dish per person. Expect a sushi bar, a raw bar, and a robata station.

As for beverages, there are lots of classics like bloody marys, bellinis, mimosas, and other more creative cocktails like lychee and rose petal martini and Japanese sangria. Cherry on the cake? All brunch packages come with a Zuma dessert platter for the table to share. Thank us later.

Zuma is located at 270 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website.

The Best Lunch in Downtown Miami

Garcia’s Seafood Grill & Fish Market

This quintessential Miami spot got its start in 1966 when it was first established by the Garcia brothers as a fresh fish market and wholesaler before growing into the iconic riverfront restaurant it is today. Garcia’s continues to offer some of the freshest seafood around, with locally- and responsibly sourced, daily-caught fish that varies based on what their boats bring back each morning.

Think stone crabs—when in season, conch, mahi mahi, lobster, and the like; and simple but delicious sides like maduros, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, and grilled veggies. Come hungry, and don’t expect to want to move around too much after your lunch. 

Garcia’s Seafood Grill & Fish Market is located at 398 NW N River Dr, Miami, FL 33128. For more information, visit their official website

Manna Life Food 

Signs you’re at Manna: plant-based food, gluten-free food, loads of acai bowls and smoothies to match. Manna prides itself on serving healthy dishes with no artificial flavors, additives, GMOs, or refined sugars, and if you paused after reading this and thought it all seemed too healthy to be delicious, then you would be wrong.

Head over in full confidence that you’ll be lunging into something tasty soon, and don’t skimp on the sweet treats menu—a gluten-free eater’s paradise. 

Manna Life Food is located at 80 NE 2nd Ave Alfred Dupont Building, 80 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132. For more information, visit their official website

Meraki Greek Bistro

Meraki, a Greek expression for putting something of yourself into your work, does a fine job at living up to its moniker with authentic Greek food served in crisp, white and blue digs that are casual enough to pop over for a quick solo lunch and nice enough to host a business meeting.

Expect a ton of small and large mezze plates like stuffed grape leaves, saganaki, and spanakopita; plus salads, seafood entrees, chef’s specials, and hefty family platters. Mandatorily leave room for their desserts, which are all homemade and the dreams of every sweet tooth out there. 

Meraki Greek Bistro is located at 142 SE 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website

Tacos El Porky 

When it comes to authentic Mexican food, Tacos el Porky is a game master. Don’t expect too many bells and whistles at this establishment. The eatery is simple and pours its energy into a short menu of absolutely mind-blowing tacos you won’t want to miss. Our modest suggestion: eat as many as you possibly can. 

Tacos El Porky is located at 16 W Flagler St, Miami, FL 33130. For more information, visit their official website

Toro Toro 

The Best Restaurants in Downtown Miami - Alloy Bistro Gourmet, Bistro Cafe, Boulud Sud, Bunbury, Cafe Bastille, Crema Gourmet, El Vecino, Fratelli Milano, garcia's seafood grill & fish market, Il Gabbiano, Jaguar Sun, Las Palmas Restaurant, Lost Boy Dry Goods, Mama Tried, Manna Life Food, Meraki Greek Bistro, Niu Wine, novikov, Over Under, Rosa Sky Miami, Soya e Pomodoro, Tacos El Porky, The Corner, Toro Toro, Verde, Vero Italian, Zuma - June 2024

Is the food at Toro Toro good? Yes. Can you stuff your face for under $40? Also yes. Toro Toro’s endless lunch ($39) will prompt you to go straight from the table to horizontal, but this little inconvenience is well worth it if you don’t need to run back to an office after lunch or can at least snooze at your desk.

Aside from the prix-fixe menu, you can choose a la carte options such as Peruvian ceviche, short rib and bone marrow arepa, Cuban sandwich, Toro Toro burger, rib eye, skirt steak, filet mignon, and much more. 

Toro Toro is located at 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website

The Best Italian Restaurants in Downtown Miami

Alloy Bistro Gourmet

The Best Restaurants in Downtown Miami - Alloy Bistro Gourmet, Bistro Cafe, Boulud Sud, Bunbury, Cafe Bastille, Crema Gourmet, El Vecino, Fratelli Milano, garcia's seafood grill & fish market, Il Gabbiano, Jaguar Sun, Las Palmas Restaurant, Lost Boy Dry Goods, Mama Tried, Manna Life Food, Meraki Greek Bistro, Niu Wine, novikov, Over Under, Rosa Sky Miami, Soya e Pomodoro, Tacos El Porky, The Corner, Toro Toro, Verde, Vero Italian, Zuma - June 2024

Beloved for its spot-on Italian cuisine, Alloy Bistro Gourmet serves up dishes as beautiful as they are delicious. Think starters like duck prosciutto and sea scallops, homemade pastas and risottos, and interesting takes on classics like their gnocchi foie gras. Definitely leave room for dessert, of which they always have a nice variety, and if you’re a coffee drinker, their affogato coffee is a must. 

Alloy Bistro Gourmet is located at 154 SE 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website

Fratelli Milano 

Always a solid choice, Fratelli Milano boasts a long menu of traditional Italian dishes and a vast selection of wines to pair them with, plus desserts that will suddenly open up a second stomach for you. Aside from a delectable round-up of pastas (all worth the carb overload), you’ll find classic items like veal Milanese and chicken caprese, and of course, sweet treats like tiramisu, profiterole, panna cotta, and more. 

Fratelli Milano is located at 213 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website

Il Gabbiano 

Il Gabbiano may be on the pricier side, but its epic waterfront views, white tablecloth interiors, and made-to-order pastas make up for it in full. The swanky restaurant is known for its true fine dining experience, catering to Miami’s see-and-be-seen crowd while still serving up deliciously comforting Italian dishes. Pro tip: do not skimp on the glorious bread basket. You want the bread basket. 

Il Gabbiano is located at 335 S Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website

Soya e Pomodoro 

Soya e Pomodoro doles out as much charm as they do pasta, and it’s entirely delightful. The restaurant is located in a historic building from the 1920s, and their food—unpretentious, delicious, and often accompanied by live Jazz—offers as much character as the space itself.

On the menu, you’ll find traditional appetizers like bruschetta and carpaccio; a variety of salads, fresh pastas like fettucine Bolognese and homemade linguini with clams; and mains such as braised lamb shank and Mediterranean branzino. 

Soya e Pomodoro is located at 120 NE 1st St #2502, Miami, FL 33132. For more information, visit their official website

Vero Italian 

Vero Italian has mastered the atmosphere of the trattoria in its quaint, unassuming space, with a focus on authentic Italian eats, cooked simply and pristinely. Go hungry and expect to need multiple visits. With a menu of over ten pages, including one page dedicated to bruschetta options, you certainly won’t be at a loss for options, of which there are—to put it lightly—many. 

Vero Italian is located at 90 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website

The Best Bars in Downtown Miami

El Vecino

If you’re looking for a distinct and unique Miami experience, this may be a fun one. El Vecino is a cigar lounge from the mind of Ariete chef Michael Beltran and the team at Ariete Hospitality Group, which means you’ll find a pretty upscale cigar lounge experience complete with vintage décor, plush furniture, cigars of course, high-end cocktails, and a tasty snack or two. 

El Vecino is located at 698 NE 1st Ave Suite 172, Miami, FL 33132. For more information, visit their official website

Lost Boy Dry Goods

You’ve finished work and want to grab a solid cocktail. Lost Boy is there for you, equipped with all the charm of an English pub meets Western saloon, quiet enough to converse with friends and fun enough to return again and again. If you’re hungry, they also have a pretty substantial menu to hold you over during your escapades. Think meatball subs, hot dogs, salads, and snacks.  

Lost Boy Dry Goods is located at 157 E Flagler St, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website

NIU Wine 

NIU Wine is an intimate, candlelit space perfect for a date night that feels like you’ve left Miami and meandered into Spain.

Created by the team behind NIU Kitchen, the wine bar offers a curated (and rotating) selection of natural, low-intervention wines as well as a short menu of Catalan-inspired bites like anchovies with smoked butter, mussels escabeche, patatas bravas, and deep-fried brie. Everything, both liquid and solid, is wonderful. 

NIU Wine is located at 134 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132. For more information, visit their official website

Over Under

You’ll know you’re at Over Under when you spot a neon mosquito sipping a martini. Barring that, when you find yourself in a bar with some seriously good food.

Aside from the cocktails (A+), you’ll find a variety of memorable plates on the menu, like their cheeseburger, oysters “farmed by an actual aquaculture biologist in Sebastian, Florida,” crispy alligator and a smoked fish dip that’ll leave you giddy. The kitchen closes at midnight, so go before then if you’re looking to eat. 

Over Under is located at 151 E Flagler St, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website

The Corner

The Corner is the place to go for “another round.” Here, you can have another round until 5 am, leaving you just enough time to run home for a quick shower before heading to work if you are a superhero. Expect reliably good cocktails, beers, sandwiches, and small plates, and an overall great way to escape the nearby club scene in lieu of something lowkey and lovely. 

The Corner is located at 1035 N Miami Ave #101, Miami, FL 33136. For more information, visit their official website

The Best Happy Hours in Downtown Miami

Bunbury

This Argentinean gem is great on any day, but even better during happy hour if you enjoy a good special. Theirs runs Tuesday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and features a pretty solid menu of light bites (think mini shrimp balls, sliders, and cheesy fries), $9 wine cocktails (Aperol spritz, sangria, and more), and signature cocktails (negronis, martinis, old fashioneds and then some). 

Bunbury is located at 55 NE 14th St, Miami, FL 33132. For more information, visit their official website

Jaguar Sun 

Jaguar Sun’s happy hour runs daily from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., which means you get two hours, on any day of your choosing, to indulge in some excellent $10 cocktails and half off oysters. During happy hour, expect classics like martinis, Manhattans, and Moscow mules.

If you need to munch on something more than bivalves to keep up with your libations, their regular menu is chockful of delicious options, like wagyu carpaccio, agnolotti with blue crab, spicy rigatoni, and more. 

Jaguar Sun is located at 230 NE 4th St, Miami, FL 33132. For more information, visit their official website. 

Mama Tried

Quiet during happy hour, rowdy during the wee hours. Take your pick or simply mosey on from the first into the latter. Happy hour at Mama Tried runs every day until 8 p.m. and includes a variety of $7 cocktails, $4 and $5 beers, $6-8 wines, and $5 wells, as well as their “daily shot of whiskey,” if you want to kick it off strong, for $5. 

Mama Tried is located at 207 NE 1st St, Miami, FL 33132. For more information, visit their official website

Rosa Sky Miami 

Soaking up the Miami skylines while sipping on a fancy cocktail? Don’t mind if we do. This rooftop lounge offers happy hour Tuesday-Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m, You’ll find $10 specialty cocktails, $9 sparkling wines, $5 draft beers, and $10 bites like salmon tacos, short rib grilled cheese, buffalo chicken empanadas, and more. 

Rosa Sky Miami is located at 115 SW 8th St 22nd Floor, Miami, FL 33130. For more information, visit their official website

The Best Breakfast in Downtown Miami

Bistro Café 

Bistro Café has an enormous menu to choose from, with a little bit of something for everyone. Expect sweet (oreo, guava) and savory (ham and eggs) pancakes, loads of croissant and waffle options, so many types of omelets, stuffed avocados, and more. The dishes are as large as the menu itself and quite Instagrammable, to boot. 

Bistro Café is located at 1352 NE 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33132. For more information, visit their official website

Café Bastille 

Café Bastille serves all-day brunch, but since it starts at 8 a.m. on the weekdays and 9 a.m. on the weekends, we’re throwing it into the breakfast mix for good measure. Whatever you can think of possibly wanting to eat in the morning, Café Bastille likely has it. From acai bowls, crepes, and French toast to benedicts, burgers, and shakshuka, they cover every single base imaginable and do so fantastically. 

Café Bastille is located at 248 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website

Crema Gourmet Espresso Bar 

Crema offers their breakfast menu all day long, so feel free to hop over for breakfast whenever the fancy strikes (until 7 p.m.).

They serve a variety of egg dishes, breakfast sandwiches, toasts, pancakes, and more, and as the name may imply, many coffees, including cortados, chai lattes, cappuccinos, americanos, cold brews, affogato, and more. Into something a little healthier? They also have plenty of smoothies, power drinks, and fresh pressed juices. 

Crema Gourmet Espresso Bar has multiple locations. For more information, visit their official website.

Las Palmas Restaurant 

No Miami breakfast list would be complete without an option for a solid Cuban breakfast. Las Palmas is a no-frills, diner-style joint where you can grab a great breakfast and cafecito for under $15, which is practically unheard of in the rest of the city. Think palomilla steak and eggs, Cuban sandwiches, egg sandwiches, hashbrowns, and more. 

Las Palmas Restaurant is located at 209 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website

Ana Heretoiu

Ana Heretoiu is a freelance writer/brand copywriter based in Miami. Over the last 8 years she has covered hospitality, fashion, art & wellness in both editorial and advertorial capacity. Her former stints include being an editor for Eater Miami and contributor for several print and digital publications, including Ocean Drive Magazine, Modern Luxury, Think Magazine, Racked & Dining Out. Aside from writing, Ana enjoys teaching Yoga, getting in and out of the twistiest of shapes, and inventing new words, like “twistiest.”

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