Years ago, dining in Doral meant driving out to 87th Avenue to pick from one of a handful of chain restaurants. There was a Chili’s (that continues to operate), a Hooters, a Miami Subs Grill (which has since closed), and a few other mom and pop spots hidden in strip malls. Then Dolphin Mall opened and began to attract more folks with additional dining options. These days, Doral is flourishing, not only as a place to do business or to outlet shop, but also as a rising star on the Miami food scene. If you don’t believe me, check out our dining guide for this popular suburb.
1. Marfil Bistro
Marfil is a relatively new Mediterranean fusion restaurant helmed by Chefs Jesus Godinez and Mariano Araya. The restaurant is divided into three separate concepts: a bistro open for lunch and dinner, a cafe perfect for a quick and casual breakfast, and a lounge that opens at happy hour and often features live music. Enjoy some Instagram-worthy meals at Marfil, such as the lobster ravioli, sea bass a lo macho, or grilled short rib empanadas, along with a grand marnier souffle for dessert that’s top notch.
2. City Works Eatery and Pourhouse
Located in the brand new CityPlace, this 8,000-square-foot restaurant is now open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunches. The menu here describes itself as Classic American with a twist, so think sriracha burgers, pork chops with chipotle maple glaze and fish tacos with cilantro lime cream. City Works is sure to become a popular game-watching destination, with 16 flat-screen TVs that are ready for streaming March Madness games, as well as 90 beers on tap, many of which are from local breweries.
3. Pisco y Nazca
This Peruvian gastropub is located in Downtown Doral and features an impressive menu with service and ambiance to match. The restaurant’s decor is based off the nazca lines, pre-Columbian geoglyphs the stretch over 300 square miles of Southern Peru’s desert, creating a truly unique look that honors the history of the country. As for the food itself, you’ll find plenty of delectable Peruvian fare, from causa tartar and passion fruit ceviche, to lomo saltado and a mariscada that involves clams, mahi, octopus, mussels, squid ink, and more.
4. CineBistro at CityPlace
Many of you may have visited the flagship CineBistro location inside Dolphin Mall, but now you’ll have the opportunity to check out their newest venture over at CityPlace. This new hub of entertainment and fine dining features seven screens and 550 reclining leather seats for you to relax in. CineBistro’s menu includes everything from hamachi taquitos and shrimp mac n cheese to theater favorites like popcorn and Junior Mints. This particular CineBistro will be adults only (21+) with the exception of Family Series events.
3450 NW 83rd Avenue #212, Doral; 786-762-4798 cinebistro.com/doral
5. Bocas Grill
This casual Venezuelan-Peruvian eatery has been around since 2014 but continues to impress locals and visitors alike. Bring your appetite to savor their extensive selection of Latin comfort foods, from stuffed arepas, tostones con lomo saltado, the picanha burger, arroz chaufa, tequeños, and more. And don’t forget to try the churros with nutella, condensed milk and dulce de leche for a real treat.
6. Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant and Winery
The Cooper’s Hawk chain of eateries first opened in Orland Park, a suburb of Chicago, and featured a full-service bar, gourmet dining, plus a barrel-aging room and a tasting room for their signature wines. Now they’re bringing the concept to Doral’s CityPlace, serving lunch, dinner, and house-made desserts, plus cocktails and of course, an extensive array of wines. Menu highlights include Asian pork belly tostadas, roasted beets & whipped goat cheese, soy ginger salmon and a cilantro ranch chicken sandwich.
7. Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market
Downtown Doral’s popular Japanese restaurant has been in operation for almost a year and continues to generate buzz among local food lovers. Izakaya-style restaurants are essentially Japanese gastropubs akin to Irish pubs or American taverns, and with a stellar menu and phenomenal Japanese whiskey list, Dragonfly lives up to the hype. And don’t forget to drop in the market after dinner and check out the fresh fish, sauces, rubs, dressings and more.
8. Bulla Gastrobar
This Spanish tapas joint is one of three locations (the other two being in Coral Gables and up north in Winter Park, near Orlando). It’s the perfect place for business lunches or after-work cocktails, and offers plenty of light bites to share. Their tapas include tuna tartar, ham croquettes, gazpacho, meatballs, plus plenty of dried meats and cheeses, and a wine list you’ll want to revisit again and again.
9. Sloan’s Ice Cream
Those looking to satiate their sweet tooth in Doral would be wise to check out Sloan’s. This spot in City Place brings whimsy to the ice cream experience. Indulge in any flavor of ice cream you can think of, plus warm cookies, candies, pastries, and more. Kiddos will also enjoy the assortment of toys and plushies available for purchase–a real treat for all.
10. Kokai Sushi & Lounge
The story of Kokai begins in Venezuela, where the family-owned establishment was known as the “first” Japanese restaurant in its area. From there, the owners branched out and opened their first U.S. restaurant in the heart of Doral. The decor leaves nothing to be desired, with a truly authentic feel the whole way through. As for the menu, teriyaki, yakimeshi, and yakisoba dishes abound alongside a wide array of sushi rolls and bento boxes.
11. Divieto Italian-American Fusion
Divieto’s art deco style is obvious from the moment you drive into the parking lot. Thought the menu is filled with classic Italian dishes like lasagna alla bolognese, frutti di mare, and linguine vongole, the chefs don’t stop there. You’ll also find a few fun surprises in the appetizers section, like jicama tacos and tropical tuna tartare. Enjoy live music on the outdoor patio Thursday nights, or bring a date on Friday or Saturday nights for a truly memorable and romantic evening.