Where to dine in Doral (it’s not all chain restaurants anymore)

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.

8347 NW 36th St, Doral; 786-292-9613; www.marfilbistro.com

8347 NW 36th St, Doral

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.

3450 NW 83rd Avenue, Doral; 786-749-0070 www.cityworksrestaurant.com

3450 NW 83rd Avenue, Doral

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.

8551 NW 53rd Street, A101, Doral; 786-805-4344 or  www.piscoynazca.com

8551 NW 53rd Street, A101, Doral

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

3450 NW 83rd Avenue #212, 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.

3399 NW 72nd Ave, Ste 128, Doral; 305-592-6333 or bocasgrill.com/

3399 NW 72nd Ave, Ste 128, Doral

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.

3585 NW 83rd Ave, Doral; 786-814-4777  www.coopershawkwinery.com

3585 NW 83rd Ave, Doral

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.

5241 NW 87th Avenue, Doral; 305-222-7447  www.dragonflyrestaurants.com

5241 NW 87th Avenue, Doral

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.

5335 NW 87th Avenue, C#102, Doral; 305-260-6543 www.bullagastrobar.com

5335 NW 87th Avenue, C#102, Doral

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.

3450 NW 83rd Avenue, Suite 132, Doral; 786-347-5367 www.sloansicecream.com

3450 NW 83rd Avenue, Suite 132, Doral

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.

9036 NW 25th Street, Doral; 305-477-2588 or kokaisushi.com

9036 NW 25th Street, Doral

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.

10650 NW 41st Street, Doral; 786-475-5950 or divietoristorante.com/

10650 NW 41st Street, Doral

Priscilla Blossom is a freelance writer specializing in travel, pop culture, parenting, and all things feminist. She's a staff writer for Romper.com, a contributor to USA Today's 10Best, Hello Giggles, Ravishly, MommyNearest, and of course, Miami.com. She enjoys yoga, 90s and early aughts teen dramas, craft beer, fancy cocktails, vegetarian cuisine, and snuggling her toddler.