Top Five Restaurants in Miami

Posted On: 8th Jul 2015

The Miami dining scene is as varied and vibrant as the city itself. There are some incredibly good restaurants, but on the whole you’ll hear more buzz about them for their celebrity guests, as opposed to their food. I need both when I travel. Travelling has always been my inspiration, so the last thing I want to do is head straight to a Nobu or Cipriani, as much as I love them, you could be anywhere from Dubai to New York. So below are my top 5 dining spots.


Pubbelly and Pubbelly Sushi

Despite the name potentially conjuring up images of portly bar men, the Pubbelly boys are churning out some seriously educated and refined cooking. The original venue does admittedly still have sports running on a wall mounted screen, but the decor is edgy and fun, the music is loud and the drinks list is full of decent wines and craft beers.

The menu is rich with Modern Asian influences and European twists. Think Chopped bone marrow, gremolata, miso toast and bacon jam and Pork cheeks with Feta Gnudi with Tzatziki.

The Short rib tartare with apple, quail egg, and tobanjan served on goats butter toast was actually the best dish I have tasted, anywhere, for a very long time. Next door it’s younger sibling Pubbelly Sushi is along the same lines but with less meat dishes and more crudo fish. If I lived in Miami, this is where I would eat on a regular basis. Pubbelly boys, please come to London.

Raleigh Hotel, Micheal Schwartz

I am obsessed by the long passed era of the 1920’s and 30’s. Miami feeds this addiction well, with is pastel coloured Art Deco hotels and vaguely kitsch vibe. The Raleigh Hotel was built in the 1930’s, Miami’s boom time. Walking into this hotel makes you feel like a movie star, and sitting under the seagrape trees, by that iconic pool, is something special. Chef Micheal Schwartz continues the goodness with high end cooking. Think moreish Grilled shisto peppers, and deluxe juicy prawn toasts or Grilled skirt steak warm fingerling potato salad and lomo-saltado butter, nothing disappoints.

If your a morning person, I highly recommend a early jog down the broad walk (that is where the nature of Miami’s long beach and the hub of the town converse) and breakfast at the original 1930’s coffee bar in The Raleigh’s reception.

Sea grape

Newly opened in the Thompson Miami Beach Hotel, by female Chef Michelle Bernstein, Seagrape is a strong contender for a future Miami hot spot. Bag a good table on the terrace and relax in the coral and eucalyptus blue colour scheme and hanging lanterns. The menu is interesting and modern, think Uni and Lardo toasts, Foie gras Terrine with Yuzu Marmalade and rainbow beet salad. Leave space for the deserts too, they are outstanding. A “Walk in the woods’ is an amazing creation with chocolate trunks, pistachio sponge moss and a sea salt olive oil path, hard to imagine, but a winning combination.

River Oyster Restaurant

You can eat great seafood all over Miami, fresh fish, ceviches, conch salad and stone crabs are a plenty and there are some really well known places like Joes’ Stone Crab, but be warned of tourist mayhem and big prices.

I wanted to try somewhere different of the drama of South Beach and discovered River Oyster Seafood Bar. I am not going to lie the interior is tired, darker and heavier than I would like, but they are moving this summer to a riverside venue, after 10 years of being based in the city, so keep an eye on them.

The fish is so damn good though, it is worth it, I had the sweetest steamed Maine lobster, with drawn butter, softly flavoured scallop tiradito with wasabi avocado, Casino grilled clams and zinc laden fresh oysters. The menu is original too, with interesting sides like Crab and garlic fried rice and roasted Shitake mushrooms. When Miami is in it’s hot season, this place would seem like a cooling oasis.

Puerto Sagua Restaurant

The Cuban influence on Miami is huge, you can feel it everywhere from the music to the fashion and of course the food. I always have a few foodie boxes to tick when I visit a place and trying a proper cuban sandwich was top of the page. Stepping into Puerto Sagua is like stepping back in time and has a proper diner feel. I went for breakfast on my last visit and perched at the bar where I could have my pick of the Empanadas, Coconut Alfajores biscuit and Tres leches cakes. The piece de resistance was a piping hot, cheese oozing, piquant with pickles, Cuban sandwich. Brilliant any day of the week, but sure to restore you when Miami’s party scene has taken it’s toll, just don’t forget to order a strong Cordadito coffee too. It’s on Collins Avenue and 8th, so a short walk from South Beach.


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