“Where’s the best place to eat in Miami?”
Our four Miami Herald food critics hear this question from diners more often than any other.
So we’ve created a list of the Herald’s top 10 best reviewed restaurants of 2017 — so far. The restaurants are listed by star rating, alphabetically.
We use a 4-star system: 1 (Poor) 1 1/2 (Fair) 2 (OK) 2 1/2 (Good) 3 (Very Good) 3 1/2 (Excellent) 4 (Exceptional)
This is a running list so it could change weekly with our Big Review.
What else could affect the list? If a chef leaves. If the menu changes. A bad health inspection report, which you can check out on our continually updated Dining Adviser.
You can download the Dining Adviser as an app on your phone’s home screen for quick reference to all our reviews and state inspection reports.
Filia ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 (Excellent)
“If you think farm-to-table restaurant cooking is a relatively new concept, think again. Michael Schwartz, who helped bring to Miami an emphasis on seasonal local ingredients 10 years ago with the opening of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, knows this from his days as a young cook watching the nonnas make pasta in Philadelphia. You don’t have to be a fan of “Tuscan Kitchen” to know that Italian fare is by its very nature farm-to-table, and that synchronicity is on display at Fi’lia, the newest gem in Schwartz’s jewel box…. It’s a place for palates both adventurous and risk-averse.”
Sushi Garage ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 (Excellent)
“When partners Jonas Millan and chef Sunny Oh first set foot into the garage, they saw a car being serviced on a lift in the very space that would become Sushi Garage’s chic-minimalistic dining room. Now … behind a sleek raw bar, a panel of experts slices ultra-fresh fish…. The food here is quite traditional Japanese, with Chef Sunny’s creative tweaks here and there.”
1111 Peruvian Bistro ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Very Good)
“Unassuming 1111 Peruvian Bistro quietly opened last year in the shadow of the Metromover’s Brickell neighborhood stop, but its fresh, progressive menu establishes it as an informal, affordable equal to high-end Peruvian standouts La Mar at Mandarin Oriental and Coya Miami.
The menu is divided into 11 starters, eight raw bar choices and 10 entrees that party around Peru’s incredible biodiversity. Seafood is fried, baked, steamed, marinated as ceviche in tangy citrus and cut sashimi-style into raw tiradito. The country’s 5,000-year-old bond with potatoes is showcased in causa dishes that top seasoned mashed yellow potatoes with king crab, poached chicken and tempura corvina.”
Bazaar Mar ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Very Good)
“Bazaar Mar is that mind-bending culinary playground brought to life inside the base of the SLS luxury hotel in Brickell, where famed Spanish-American chef José Andrés shape-shifts food in a sea-inspired, psychedelic dining room designed by Philippe Starck.
Food — most of it plucked from oceans around the world — is emulsified, squeezed, squirted, cured, chilled and mixed with chemical compounds until it resembles something swiped from another planet. Flavor is turned into powder, gels and foam, called “air” here. Even the margaritas come topped with ethereal puffs of salt and tequila. Traditionalists, however, are in for a jolt…”
Boho ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Very Good)
“This Mediterranean spot is at once casual and easy but with an authentic sense of hospitality that is increasingly rare in our growing metropolis. Boho lives up to its name with its gypsy chic décor of mismatched iron and wood chairs, swaths of verdant botanical wallpaper, well-worn wooden planked floor and area rugs that look as though they came from Yia Yia’s attic. The food is so elemental, so appealing, so vibrant and fresh. The service equally so.”
Cibo ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Very Good)
“As far as they are concerned at Cibo Wine Bar, the old adage that you can’t be all things to all people is nonsense. This place has it all…. The menu is as wide as the range of experiences, with nearly 30 pasta dishes and more than 15 pizzas along with multiple starters and meat and fish entrees…. Pastas are the true signatures here. Lobster ravioli is utterly lush, the tender pillows stuffed with ample meat and afloat in a bechamel lobster cream sauce enlivened with lemon.”
El Carajo ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Very Good)
“El Carajo, the bakery/wine shop/tapaceria embedded in a Mobil station on South Dixie Highway, opened in 2011, and six years in, it’s still a corner of Miami serendipity beloved by regulars and discovered by newcomers. Its passion for quality extends from the impressive and fair-priced (and 24-hour) wine shop and aromatic bakery up front to the cramped but cozy-in-a-good-way dining room in the back….. Communal tables inspire new friendships, struck over fried sardines, rich cod fritters and robust red wines. Even the tightly packed individual dining tables (52 seats in all) foment friendliness.”
Forte dei Marmi ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Very Good)
“Every detail from the namesake marble to the waiter’s crisp khaki uniforms to the cascading bursts of pink bougainvillea at the arched entryway adds to the always-summer allure…. As you might expect, seafood is what’s highlighted here. Most of it is imported from Portugal…. For those who can afford it, there is plenty to recommend this Italian summer fling all year round.”
Upland ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Very Good)
“If you value attentive, smart service in a sophisticated, casual setting with some reliable, subtle dishes, then we’ll repeat the suggestion and send you to Miami Beach’s southernmost point. There are no stunning head-snappers here, but as a neighborhood comfort spot, Upland Miami has become a major asset for the South of Fifth district since opening one block from the beach in late November…. There is a stronger emphasis on fish in Upland’s Miami version. As starters, the drunken snapper marinated in tequila, cilantro and tart key lime, and the tuna tartare, which relies on crunch from a base of puffed wild rice, are respectable, but nothing to rave about.”
Via Emilia 9 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Very Good)
“Chef Wendy Cacciatori left his restaurants in the Emilia Romagna region in northern Italy for his family to run, and he moved to South Beach with his wife about two years ago to open Via Emilia 9. His idea was as simple as it was romantic: He would only create dishes you could eat while traveling the via Emilia, an ancient road that runs through some of the most iconic food cities in Italy, including Parma, Modena and Bologna. The menu plays to Cacciatori’s strength: fresh-made pasta. More than a dozen different pasta dishes are offered in the primi section of the menu, where Cacciatori shows off varying sauces and fillings to highlight his delicately crafted pasta.”