The Hit List is where you’ll find our favorite new food and drink experiences in Miami—whether they be pop-ups, takeout-only spots, or exciting new restaurants. Our only requirement is that these places are under a year old and making something delicious. Each month, we track new openings across the city, and then visit as many as we can. One thing you can always rely on is that we’ll only include places that we have actually visited—and loved.
The Infatuation’s goal is for this list to be as diverse as the city itself—inclusive of a wide range of cuisines, price points, neighborhoods, chefs and owners of all backgrounds, and the multifaceted communities within the industry. If you think we missed a great new place, we want to hear about it. Shoot them an email at [email protected]
Our first experience with Oori involved a turmeric lemon poppy seed sourdough loaf in the parking lot of an apartment building. That’s how you used to pick up your order from the pandemic pop-up. Oori has since transitioned to a small brick and mortar in Little River, but one thing hasn’t changed: they’re still making some of the most delicious baked goods in Miami. Options here range from sweet to savory. The black sesame cinnamon rolls, adzuki and dark chocolate shoku-bun, and phenomenal black sesame shortbread cookies are all great choices if you’re in a dessert mood. If you’re not, go for the charcoal everything rolls and what has to be Miami’s best shokupan. There’s some counter seating and picnic benches outside if you want to eat there, but this is also a great spot to place a to-go order and fill your freezer with enough bread to last until next year.
You’ll find Jholano’s in an apartment complex in Coral Gables, where the small Italian sandwich shop is operating behind a red door with a faded sign from the previous occupant. It doesn’t look like a restaurant, but override your hesitation against breaking and entering and you’ll find a small counter serving a dozen stellar Italian sandwiches. The tradizionale is a perfect cold Italian sub with crisp veggies and bread that has an ideal soft/crunchy balance. The 3am In Rome is a neatly organized combination of salami, capicola, hot honey, and thick slabs of mozzarella on focaccia that’s pressed until it’s crispy outside, but still fluffy inside. Jholano’s is mostly a to-go operation, but they have a couple picnic benches on the back patio if you don’t want to risk any passenger seat-induced sogginess.
The menu at QP Tapas is an izakaya/Spanish tapas mashup. That may sound a little busy, but this is not a case of conflicting puzzle pieces being jammed against each other—this place is delicious. QP isn’t technically its own restaurant. The team takes over the casual Coral Gables lunch spot MKT Kitchen Fridays and Saturdays for dinner service. The menu is a mix of simple dishes that let great ingredients shine—like caviar-topped Don Bocarte anchovies—and complex plates that will act like a defibrillator to anyone stuck in a restaurant rut. If you’re one of those people, order the uni risotto, which is exactly what it sounds like (and exactly as good as it sounds), and the excellent okonomiyaki made with your choice of mushroom escabeche or chorizo. Alcohol options include wine and sake by the glass or bottle as well as a lovely frozen sangria.
We have never had a more perfect slice of pizza than the ones served at Miami Slice, a small counter-seating spot on the northern edge of Downtown. The five or six New York-style slices you’ll find here have a crust that’s crispy edge-to-edge, yet still warm and fluffy when you bite into it. The toppings—like candied cherry tomatoes, garlic confit cream, and pesto swirls—are dispersed with the restraint of a famous Danish architect. The highlight of the still-developing menu, a pepperoni slice with red sauce, hot honey, and an optional (but non-negotiable) glob of additional stracciatella, made us briefly lose consciousness. There isn’t much to do here but grab a slice at the counter or take a whole pie to go. But that’s fine because this is a pizza that deserves one million percent of your undivided attention.
Sushi By Scratch
Sushi By Scratch is a sushi omakase with locations around the country. Their Miami expansion landed in Coconut Grove, where they’re currently operating from the living room of Stirrup House, a historic Coconut Grove home that’s a really unique (and tightly-squeezed) place to have an omakase. The 16-course meal is far from traditional Japanese sushi. Nigiri is topped with little slices of pineapple, drizzled with melted bone marrow, and brushed with a beet mustard sauce. It may sound chaotic, but everything works deliciously and no ingredient is tossed around simply for the sake of showmanship. Plus, the atmosphere is fun enough that you won’t have to feel self-conscious if you accidentally get a little drunk off one of the beverage pairings. Reservations go fast, so set your alarm for the first of the month at 1pm, when they release slots for the next 30 days.
The Gibson Room
The Gibson Room (which used to be The Mighty) is a bar and restaurant on Coral Way. This spot comes from the Ariete team, which explains why the menu is a lot more creative (and tasty) than what’s at your average bar. They serve an impressively crispy chicken schnitzel, strozzapreti with diced ham, foie gras flan, and more dishes that range from uni butter popcorn to oxtail and shrimp ramen. Coming here hungry is certainly a good idea, but it’s a great place to hang out regardless. Sit at the perfectly dim bar with a martini, think of names for each of the animal heads lining the wall, and enjoy the live music and vinyl DJs they host every night.
Klaw makes you feel sophisticated. And that’s not just because they serve beautiful dry-aged steaks and deshell your king crab legs tableside with a fancy pair of scissors. No, even if this place served chicken nuggets and Easy Mac, we’d still put on nice clothes to come here. The restaurant is inside a gorgeous and historic Edgewater building with waterfront views, both in the indoor dining room and on the bar’s outdoor patio. The spacious dining room isn’t so aesthetically busy that you can’t appreciate architecture like the huge arched windows that all point towards Biscayne Bay. Klaw isn’t cheap—you’re coming here for $100-plus steaks and fancy shellfish. It’s a business dinner/special occasion kind of restaurant. But the food is very good, the service is excellent, and the entire experience is worthy of the very dignified building it’s in.
Fried seafood and frozen cocktails in an outdoor space that hosts live music is one of Florida’s greatest food traditions. And Low Key is keeping that tradition alive in Miami. This place operates from a barebones outdoor patio in Little River, sparsely populated with picnic benches and some shaded tables. You can walk up to a tent and order some very good raw bar dishes or bigger entrees like a really great fish and chips, a grouper sandwich, and clam frites—all served with impressively crispy crinkle cut fries. The food goes great with the frozen piña colada or bottle of wine you can also order here. This is the kind of place to camp out for hours with some friends, listen to music, eat fish dip, and just generally emulate the spirit of Jimmy Buffett.
Lion & The Rambler
Lion & The Rambler is for when you want a restaurant that’s all about the food. The interior isn’t too remarkable, but the menu is seasonally focused and diverse: proteins, pasta, and vegetables cooked interestingly enough that you’ll give your plate a head tilt like a puppy trying to pay attention. Start with the nutty, refreshing white asparagus ajo blanco and then focus on the two or three pasta options that are usually on the menu, like the buttery boniato pelmeni with garlic foam. The menu changes a lot, and not every dish is a home run, but it’s all good and there are usually enough excellent plates to justify making a reservation.
Whether you see it as Detroit-style, Sicilian, Cuban, or a mash-up of them all—Vice City has mastered the art of the thick-crust pizza. This spot, which operates inside the cocktail bar Abi Maria, makes outstanding pies that are expertly (and generously) topped with creative ingredients, rich but not greasy, and chewy—but not so much that you feel like a rabid dog tearing into a piece of old bread. Pizza isn’t the only thing they do well here, though. They also make croquetas stuffed with prosciutto, gorgonzola dolce, and mozzarella with a fig jam that we now think about every night while lying in bed. And if great pizza and croquetas aren’t enough reason to get over here, the cocktails are stellar.
This is the second time Vinya has appeared on the Hit List. We loved the original Key Biscayne location, but we might just love the new Gables location even more. This one’s bigger in both size and food options. It has a diverse menu, and the one commonality between dishes is that everything on it goes great with wine (which you should be drinking here). There are crispy morcilla spring rolls with a marmalade dipping sauce, simple but delicious Pernod mussels, and fluffy gnocchi sitting atop a lovely tomato passata. The restaurant has a thoughtfully minimalistic aesthetic, tall ceilings, and archways lining the walls. It’s a perfect date night option, and also the perfect antidote to so many of Miracle Mile’s more antiquated options.
The sourdough pizza spot Old Greg’s has graduated from pop-up to brick and mortar. And even though ordering from Greg’s was sort of impossible during their pop-up days, we’ve had no trouble getting a table here so far. They’re operating out of the former Ghee space in the Design District, selling crispy square pies and (a new addition to the menu) truly excellent round pies with a sturdy crust and big sprigs of basil. The first-come-first-served counter-service spot also has some extraordinary hoagies, wine, beer, and a very cool alligator mural (plus an equally great bathroom).
Krüs Kitchen in Coconut Grove is the upstairs neighbor and sister restaurant of Los Félix. Like its downstairs neighbor, Krüs feels more like a living room than a restaurant. The airy space—a pitch-perfect date spot, by the way—has a domed ceiling, scattered wooden tables, and shelves of natural wine and pantry supplies (which you can buy to-go). Krüs has been doing lunch and takeout for longer than a year, but they recently launched a proper dinner menu. It’s a seasonally rotating mix of crudos, pasta, and more. Because it changes often, we can’t guarantee what you’ll encounter here. But our last trip involved a hunk of fresh bread with anchovy/black garlic butter, smoked corn agnolotti, and beef cheek ragu—all incredibly delicious things that made us sad to leave the table.
Tropezón is an Andalusian gin and tapas bar on Española Way. And not only is it worth weaving through the street’s omnipresent crowd of tourists, but it’s officially one of our favorite spots in South Beach—new or otherwise. The space—a 50/50 split between a bar and dining room—has a snug interior featuring lots of wood and legs of jamón hanging from the ceiling. In other words: exactly the kind of spot where you can spend a couple hours grazing on small plates and sipping gin. Both are good here, although the drinks are a bit better than the food. They have a selection of really great infused gins and a food menu of mostly tapas, like a yuzu kosho tortilla, pan con tomate, and huge ribeye. Whether you come to drink or eat (or, ideally, both) this is the reservation to make next time you need a fun night out involving gin.