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Brickell has no shortage of great options when it comes to having dinner and drinks. But where can you go for an amazing lunch that won’t put too much of a dent in your budget? Don’t worry —  we’ve got you covered. From incredible seafood to fresh fusion Nikkei and flavorful Mediterranean fare, check out our list of some of the best restaurants in Brickell open for lunch.

The River Oyster Bar

The River Oyster Bar - The Best Restaurants for Lunch in Brickell

This Brickell restaurant has been open for fifteen years, so you know they’re doing something right. Come during lunch and take advantage of their $25 prix-fixe three-course menu, which lets you choose delicious options like bacalao croquettes, squid ink spaghetti, West Indies spiced Mahi Mahi, handmade chocolate truffles, and creamy tres leches. 

The River Oyster Bar is located at 650 South Miami Avenue, Miami. For more information, call 305-530-1915.

Osaka Miami

Osaka Food Omakase Platter - The Best Restaurants for Lunch in Brickell
Osaka Food Omakase Platter

Though it launched just recently in Brickell, Osaka is quickly becoming known as one of the best places to eat in Miami. And guess what? It’s open for lunch Monday through Friday from noon until 3 p.m. Standouts from the lunch menu here include fresh ceviches and tiraditos (you can opt for a sampler if you can’t decide), Peruvian izakaya dishes like chirashi causa, and more. 

Osaka Miami is located at 1300 Brickell Bay Drive, Miami. For more information, call 786-627-4800.

Boulud Sud

Boulud Sud - The Best Restaurants for Lunch in Brickell

Daniel Boulud’s Miami eatery at the JW Marriott specializes in delicious Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, and lunchtime is hands-down one of the best times to savor them all. If you’re pressed for time, opt for the Express Lunch — you’ll enjoy any two courses for just $28. Or try their fixe-prix three-course lunch for just $5 extra, served Monday through Friday. To start, the labneh with roasted cauliflower is a must. Follow it with seared Mediterannean Branzino or braised lamb ragu and rigatoni. 

Boulud Sud is located at 255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami. For more information, call 305-421-8800.

Toro Toro

Toro Toro  - The Best Restaurants for Lunch in Brickell

If you have a big appetite, head to Toro Toro during lunchtime. The delicious Latin American fare there easily earns it a spot on our list of the best restaurants in Brickell, and if you visit Monday through Friday during lunchtime you’ll enjoy a robust buffet spread starting at just $27 per person. The spread highlights a different Latin American country every week, so you can taste your way from Mexico to Argentina.

Toro Toro is located at 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami. For more information, call 305-372-4710.

La Petite Maison

La Petite Maison - The Best Lunch in Brickell

If you’re craving French food, look no further than La Petite Maison. The lunch menu here features your choice of two starters, a main course, and dessert for just $29 per person. Standouts from the menu include the calamars frits, the ratatouille et feta, and the coquelet au citron confit, marinated in zesty lemon. Save room for one of La Petite Maison’s standout confections, like their tarte fine and selection of creamy sorbets.

La Petite Maison is located at 1300 Brickell Bay Dr, Miami. For more information, call 305-403-9133.

If brunching was a sport, Miami would be in the major leagues. Maybe it’s the constant sunshine and summer weather, but we South Floridians just love to spend our Saturdays and Sundays leisurely sipping rose and savoring delicious things. Still new to the whole brunch game? Don’t worry. Even if you haven’t yet started sipping the prosecco, these five Miami brunch spots will definitely make you a believer.


Brunch at Seaspice is an event worth getting excited for. Hosted both Saturdays and Sundays from 12-3:30 p.m., it’s a languid, rose-drenched affair best-enjoyed al fresco. Standouts from the a la carte brunch menu include the Seaspice lobster Benedict, served with potato hash, and chive hollandaise, and the hearty truffle parmesan tagliatelle, prepared with a poached organic egg. If you’re a traditionalist, opt for the shrimp avocado toast — it’s a fan favorite. 

Details: 422 NW N River Drive, Miami; for reservations, call 305-440-4200.

Los Fuegos by Francis Mallman

If you haven’t yet tried Los Fuegos’s legendary Sunday Asado brunch, you’re missing out big time. The key thing to remember here is to pace yourself; brunch at Los Fuegos is larger than life. Think stations where you can pile your plate high with salt-crusted salmon, skirt steak, lamb, and prime filet empanadas — not to mention a seafood ice bar loaded with oysters, snow crab claws and more. And we haven’t even gotten to dessert yet. 

Details: Brunch is priced at $95 per adult and $45 per child; 3201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; for reservations, call 786-655-5600.

The Deck at Island Gardens

Photo Credit: The Deck at Island Gardens

Michelin starred chef Alfio Longo is the mastermind behind the incredible Med-inspired menu at The Deck at Island Gardens — and Sunday brunch is the perfect way to experience all the magic of this waterfront hot spot. From noon to 4 p.m., kick back and soak up views of mega yachts gently bobbing atop the clear blue waters of the marina while you tuck into delicious offerings from a lavish buffet. We especially love the build-your-own-omelet station and Chef Longo’s BBQ options at the grill station. Make sure to save room for the roasted hazelnut brownie — it’s divine.

Details: Brunch is priced at $65 per person and includes a welcome mimosa or bellini; 888 MacArthur Causeway, Miami; for reservations, call 786-627-4949 or visit here.

LT Steak & Seafood at The Betsy

LT Steak & Seafood is the crowned culinary gem of the iconic Betsy South Beach. The spot is a go-to for romantic date nights, but this month we want to shine the spotlight on their Sunday Jazz Brunch, hosted weekly from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Executive Chef Danny Ganem has curated an a la carte menu of New American cuisine fused with international flavors, like Cuban molletes, crispy black grouper tacos, and a top-rated popover Benedict served with Gruyère cheese and ham. You can pair your meal with tasty libations from the bar, including craft cocktails and traditional brunch sips like bloody Marys and mimosas. It’s all set to the sounds of live jazz by visiting and local performers. 

Details: Unlimited mimosas or bellinis are available for $30 per person; 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; for reservations, call 305-531-6100. 

Via Emilia Garden

Tucked away in Miami’s chic Midtown neighborhood, this lovely gem feels a world away from the bustle of the city. Check out their Italian brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., and make sure you wear your eating pants — priced at just $45, the menu includes unlimited pasta, bottomless mimosas, and antipasti and dessert buffets.

Details: 3500 N Miami Avenue, Miami; for reservations, call 786-359-4990.

By Amanda Mesa, Contributing Writer

Looking for amazing food and drink deals to take advantage of after a long day at work? We’ve rounded up another five restaurants that know how to do happy hour in Miami right. Amazing bar bites, global wines, local brews, and expertly crafted cocktails — you’ll find them all at these South Florida hotspots, and at prices that won’t break your budget. 

Central Fare

Even if you’re not catching a train to get back home, Central Fare at the VirginMiami Central is a great spot to hit up for happy hour. One of it’s buzziest restaurants, La Estacion American Brasserie, serves $4 beer, $5 wine and $6 cocktails weekdays from 4-7 p.m.

600 NW 1st Avenue, 2nd Floor, Miami


Vista should be your happy hour go-to if you live or work in the Buena Vista area. Happy hour here runs from 3-8 p.m. on weekdays and highlights an amazing selection of craft cocktails and wine for $7 and draft beer for $5 — plus 50% off anything from the well drink bar.

5020 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami

Pizza & Burger 

This month’s award for most flexible happy hour goes to Pizza & Burger at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The Michael Mina spot hosts Social Hour from 5-7 p.m., followed by Reverse Hour from 11 p.m. until midnight, spotlighting specially priced cocktails, half-priced beer on tap, and a somm’s selection of vino.

4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

Corsair Kitchen + Bar

Happy hour at Corsair Kitchen + Bar takes place daily from 3-6 p.m., so you can take advantage during the weekend, too. Forget run-of-the-mill bar bites — this hotspot serves up amazing options like Corsair’s famous wings, a five-ounce burger, a Mediterranean platter, charcuterie and cheese, and more — all for great prices. You’ll also enjoy $9 specialty cocktails, $5 draft beers, and $7 wines by the glass.

19999 West Country Club Drive in Aventura

Boulud Sud

Located inside the JW Marriott, Boulud Sud turns up weekdays from 5-8 p.m. Brickellites flock to the bar and lounge to take advantage of $9 cocktails, $8 wines by the glass, $7 house drinks, $6 frozen drinks, $5 beer and $4 tapas — how’s that for a sweet slew of specials? The weekend crew can also save on late-night sips and snacks with deals every Saturday from 10 p.m. until midnight.

255 Southeast 4th Street, Miami

By Amanda Mesa, Contributing Writer

If you’re a fan of seafood, you’re in the right city. Miami boasts some of the best seafood restaurants in the country — no wonder, given our status as a major port city and our proximity to prime fishing waters. In addition to that, Miami is home to a great number of incredible chefs from around the world, so you can always count on variety when it comes to choosing where to go eat. To make the decision process easier for you, here are six suggestions on great Miami restaurants to try right now if you’re craving something delicious from the sea. 

BLT Prime Doral

It’s the start of a new decade, and BLT Prime Doral knows how to kick it off right. The famed restaurant has launched an oyster and martini pairing that includes a half dozen oysters paired with a martini (you can choose between Grey Goose vodka or Hendrick’s gin as the base), all for $20.20. Rejoice, oyster lovers, and get in on this special while it lasts — you likely won’t find a deal as good as this in Miami for another ten years.

4400 NW 87th Avenue, Miami

A Fish Called Avalon

This Ocean Drive spot has been around for three decades — a feat that’s incredibly hard to pull off in Miami Beach, so you know the food is good. There’s live music every night on the front porch and great happy hour specials every day from 6-8 p.m., but the real draw here is the menu. Order the crab-crusted grouper in a Chenin blanc butter sauce, or share the orzo seafood paella with someone special — it’s big enough for two and comes with Maine lobster, shrimp, sea scallops, mussels and more.

700 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach.


Gorgeous views of the Miami River and downtown skyline. The sound of the water lapping gently just steps away from your table. The scent of herbs and smoking wood wafting toward you from the kitchen. Welcome to Seaspice. Frequented by celebrities and locals alike, Seaspice serves a globally inspired menu brimming with all kinds of tasty creations, but seafood lovers should definitely try one of the restaurant’s famous platters. There are three options, the most extravagant of which includes two pounds of lobster, eight jumbo prawns, 24 oysters, Alaskan king crab, two ounces of Osetra caviar, sashimi, hamachi, and ceviche. 

422 NW N River Drive, Miami

Seawell Fish N’ Oyster

Come to Seawell for a taste of classic Americana with a twist, all expertly curated by Chef Julian Garriga. You’ll find all the staples here, from creamy clam chowder and lobster rolls, to beer-battered fish n’ chips and a rotating daily catch sourced from day boats — all served in a casual, nautical setting. Pair your seafood pick with one of the restaurant’s amazing cocktails (the Tavern Spritz is our current favorite).

660 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

Lobster Bar Sea Grille

A go-to for happy hour, brunch and date night, Lobster Bar Sea Grille checks all the boxes for a great seafood restaurant experience: a buzzing atmosphere, upscale design, and a great menu featuring both freshly caught and imported seafood. There’s plenty of fantastic options to choose from here, including a full raw bar menu that ranges from stone crab claws from Key West, to a magnificent shellfish tower. And if you’re a fan of caviar, you’ll find lots of delicious picks — we’re partial to the Siberian Baerii.

404 Washington Ave, Miami Beach

Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market

When Garcia’s opened in 1966, it was initially a fish market and wholesaler. Today, this local institution is repeatedly rated as one of the best places to eat seafood in Miami. Still family-owned, Garcia’s serves fish caught fresh off Florida’s coast every day by its own team. Start with Garcia’s famous fish dip and order some cracked conch fried or grilled. And if you’re having a tough time deciding on an entree, just ask your server for suggestions — everything here is delicious and fresh.

398 NW N River Drive, Miami

Much has changed since the days hotel bars were just a waystation for jet-lagged, bleary-eyed travelers. Players in hospitality are focusing more than ever on turning their onsite watering holes into buzzed-about hubs for locals and visitors alike. From speakeasy-style drinking dens, like The Blind Barber at Nautilus by Arlo, to gilded havens that harken to a glitzy past, like Le Sirenous at Four Season Hotel at The Surf Club, these Miami hotel bars are shaking up the scene with the first-class service, prime people-watching, and plenty of personality.  

Minnow Bar at Kimpton Angler’s Hotel

If you love gin, head to Minnow Bar at the reimagined Kimpton Angler’s Hotel (also home to Seawell Fish n’ Oyster). The menu here spotlights herb-infused craft cocktails made to complement unique gins from around the world. The atmosphere is great, too — sip a martini inside at the intimate counter, or enjoy a G&T al fresco in the bar’s breezy outdoor terrace. Not the biggest fan of gin? Don’t worry. The talented staff can shake up something delicious with pisco, cachaca, or white rum as a base, and there’s a great wine and beer list, too. 

660 Washington Ave, Miami Beach

Boulud Sud at JW Marriott

Beloved by Brickellites for its great daily happy hour deals, the bar and lounge at Boulud Sud inside the JW Marriott is perfect if wine is your thing. The selection sources heavily from the Mediterranean (though you’ll find some French, South American and domestic offerings). We especially love their Greek and Middle Eastern wine selection, which includes Assyrtiko from Santorini, Agiorgitiko from Nemea, and rose from Lebanon — all available by the glass and served with a side of gorgeous views.

255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami

Zucca at Hotel Place St. Michel

Hotel St. Michel is one of Coral Gable’s best-kept secrets. A true hidden gem with nearly a century of history behind it, Hotel Place St. Michel is the best place to go if you’re looking for Old World charm in the heart of South Florida. The bar here is located inside the hotel’s acclaimed Zucca Ristorante and offers a great selection of light bites, charcuterie, global wines, and Italian-inspired craft cocktails.

162 Alcazar Avenue, Coral Gables

The Biltmore Bar

The Biltmore Bar is famous for a number of things — it’s where you’ll find the best Vesper martini in Miami and one of the city’s most extensive collections of vintage liquor and cognac (the hotel even keeps a cognac expert on staff to help guests navigate the menu). And with its dark wood paneling, gleaming marble floors, and dim golden lighting, it’s the perfect place to unwind like it’s 1926. Get there between 5 and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and you’ll enjoy half-off select drinks. Premium cigars are also available to smoke in the bar’s loggia.

1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables

Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Surf Club

For those who like to sip champagne with a heady dose of glamor, there’s no place like Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar at Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club — the first U.S. outpost of the iconic brand in Positano. The bar seems to exist between two worlds; housed in a ballroom where legends like Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra once danced, with white wooden windows thrown open to reveal the Atlantic Ocean, a crowd that’s always smartly dressed, and white-jacketed bartenders that serve the greatest negronis in the country, Le Sirenuse keeps you wondering if you’re truly in Miami, or if you’ve fallen through the rabbit hole and emerged somewhere on the Amalfi Coast. 

9101 Collins Avenue, Surfside

Edge Steak & Bar at Four Seasons Miami

Also popular among downtown Miami and Brickell’s professional scene, Edge Steak & Bar at Four Seasons Miami checks all the boxes. It has a great selection of bites, like chorizo and cheddar croquetas, spiced lamb meatballs, spiced onion rings, and foie gras and truffle bonbons. The craft cocktails are top-notch, blended with housemade syrups and infused spirits (you can’t leave without trying the Double Cask Auld Fashioned). The wine list is well-rounded and robust. And during happy hour, which happens on weekdays from 4-7 p.m., you can enjoy it all at a discount.

1435 Brickell Avenue, Miami

Blind Barber at Nautilus by Arlo

Speakeasy-style bars have become as commonplace in Miami as vape counters and exotic car rental shops. But Blind Barber at Nautilus by Arlo has managed to maintain ]a high cool factor with its unique brand story, its barbershop-meets-bar concept, and its delicious drinks. Cocktails here are creative, pairing flavors like hibiscus-infused vodka with sparkling wine, sage, and grenadine, or reposado tequila with Campari, sweet vermouth and cacao nibs. And while there’s a solid menu of small bites to choose from, the real gem here is the bar’s selection of artisanal grilled cheese sandwiches (there are five varieties in total).

1825 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

Innovative Asian Cuisine Awaits

Geoffrey Anderson Jr., a contributing writer

At Pao By Paul Qui, it pays to be adventurous. The Asian restaurant inside Faena Miami Beach draws from an extensive list of influences, including Japanese, Spanish, and Filipino. This mix of cultures ultimately results in an unforgettable meal you’ll still be talking about well after it’s over.

First things first: Hats off to Pao for its very user-friendly menu. Other restaurants should take note of how well-organized all the items are presented. Sections on the dinner menu are separated by protein, and small (and handy) symbols denote whether you’re searching the veggie, meat or fish list. Offerings are further split between Small and Large, making it easy for parties of all sizes to make their selections – of which there are many. 

Fried Chicken

This impressive presentation extends to the actual dishes, which are sure to blow up your Instagram feed. Vegetable-forward selections like the Mushroom “bistek” (aka steak) and Filipino Spaghetti taste as good as they look, too, and oftentimes you’ll find yourself forgetting you’re not eating meat. Like we mentioned earlier, the dishes are fun as well – the spaghetti is reminiscent of the popular sweet spaghetti from Filipino fast-food joint Jollibee (except much better, obviously). If you haven’t had it before, the roasted banana-tomato sauce will make a favorable lasting impression.

Fish and meat options are just as memorable, with the kinilaw – the Filipino version of ceviche – and Key West pink shrimp being favorites in the former category: You’re enjoying super-fresh seafood complemented by flavorful elements that bring the dishes full circle. It’s a party in your mouth, and we never want it to end. On a related note: We are not fans of the sea-urchin. We see it on a menu, and we immediately think, “Nope.” But Pao’s sea urchin – dubbed the Unicorn — was different. Despite a scary, spiky presentation, the Unicorn with its grilled sweet corn pudding actually won us over. Iffy about sea urchin? Give this one a try; it might convert you as it did us.

Smoked Shortrib Asado
Smoked Shortrib Asado

If meat is more your thing, then do yourself a favor and order the fried chicken. Roasted banana ketchup and sweet chili sauce turn this dish into a force to be reckoned with. At under $20, it’s a bargain and should be a part of any Pao experience. Guests not concerned about budgets should turn their sights onto the Smoked Short Rib Asado, a 72-hour Wagyu beef accompanied by Japanese sweet potato puree. It sounds simple on paper, but your taste buds will say otherwise. Prepare to be wowed.

After such a satisfying meal, you may feel like skipping dessert. We implore you to reconsider. The pastries are unlike anything you’ve likely had in Miami. Calling them creative is an understatement: Pao’s takes on a Rice Crispy Bar, Ice Cream Sandwich and Panna Cotta need to be seen — and eaten. Another highlight: the Chai Tea Rock, which is exactly what it sounds like. There is no wrong choice here.

And that’s the beauty of Pao’s menu: It’s full of delicious choices that will keep you coming back for more.

By Geoffrey Anderson Jr., a contributing writer

Every new year brings new surprises, and we’ve rounded up ten that foodies will love. From an intimate soon-to-launch omakase counter in Wynwood to a tiny Greek taverna in Coconut Grove, these new Miami restaurants prove the city’s dining scene is on the up and up. 

Osaka Nikkei

Osaka Food Omakase Platter
Osaka Food Omakase Platter

With successful restaurants across South America, Osaka Nikkei made its U.S. debut on the first floor of Brickell House last month. Helmed by owners Diego de la Puente and Diego Herrera, the concept began in Peru as a weekly pop-up and has since spread to cities including Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Quito, and Bogota. The menu at the new Brickell restaurant will include location-exclusive dishes, plus some of Osaka’s signature creations — not to mention a world-class mixology program. 

Osaka Nikkei Miami is located at 1300 Brickell Bay Drive, Miami

Thatch Miami

Thatch Miami

This newcomer to the Midtown Miami scene specializes in 100% plant-based dishes made with organic ingredients. You’ll find all kinds of good-for-you (and delicious) dishes here, like shareable Foccacia, Hummus with Za’atar, and Thatch Mac and Cheese, plus entrees that range from artisan pizzas and salads to heartier fare — the Coconut Thom Kha “ramen” is a fave. If you’re into wine, Thatch offers a great list of natural whites, reds, roses and skin contact vintages. 

Thatch Miami is located at 3255 NE 1st Avenue, Miami

Nativo Kitchen & Bar

Nativo Kitchen & Bar

This new dining room on the 25th floor of Conrad Miami also debuted in December and has been making waves ever since. Executive Chef Pablo Lamon (you might recognize him from Bravo’s Top Chef season 16) spotlights Miami-inspired cuisine here, elevating breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a Latin American twist. Happy hour takes place daily at the restaurant’s gorgeous new lounge, inviting guests to pair delicious drinks with breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay. 

Nativo Kitchen & Bar is located at 1395 Brickell Avenue, Miami

INTI.MO by Juan Chipoco

Achupao de Langosta
Achupao de Langosta

Celebrated Peruvian chef (and owner of CVI.CHE 105 and Pollos y Jarras) Juan Chipoco recently debuted his latest concept, INTI.MO, in South Beach. Feeding the city’s love for Peruvian Nikkei cuisine, the new restaurant focuses on fresh, flavorful fare that leaves guests “feeling light but satisfied.” The dining experience always starts with a complimentary cup of fish broth to cleanse the palate, and special consideration is given to preparing the perfect wine and cocktail pairings to go with each dish.  

INTI.MO is located at 840 1st Street, Miami Beach

Little Hen

Offering guests a taste of England right here in Midtown, the recently opened Little Hen blends European-inspired design with updated classic breakfast and lunch dishes by Executive Chef Rafael Velazquez. There’s a stellar cocktail program, too, for those who like their brunch boozy — plus artisanal coffee, fresh-pressed juice, and a great selection of wines.

Little Hen is located at 3451 NE 1st Avenue, Miami


Gregory and Marine Galy will open MILA on Lincoln Road on January 24. Encompassing 5,000 square feet of breathtaking rooftop space, the new spot will serve “MediterrAsian” cuisine by Executive Chef Nicolas Mazier. MILA will also feature an extensive spirits program by acclaimed mixologist Jennifer Le Nechet and Mido Yahi, served across two bars.

MILA will be located at 800 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach 


Fans of this downtown Miami gem will be thrilled to know managing partner Alex Karavias and Executive Chef Giannis Kotsos have brought their standout Greek concept to the heart of Coconut Grove. Done up in a clean, summery palette of bright white and cool Aegean blue, the new location also offers outdoor terrace seating that’s perfect for enjoying a chilled glass of Assyrtiko

Meraki Coconut Grove is located at 142 SE 1st Avenue, Miami

Bulla Gastrobar 

Sangria of Bulla Gastrobar

Miami mainstay Bulla Gastrobar will bring its beloved Spanish tapas and dishes to The Falls in late February or early March of 2020. The new restaurant will be the brand’s third location in South Florida after successful openings in Coral Gables and Doral. 

The new Bulla Gastrobar will be located at 8888 SW 136th St, Miami

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants

On January 27, the award-winning Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant will open a new location at Dania Pointe in Dania Beach, marking its 11th outpost in Florida and its 4th in Broward County. Guests can look forward to a menu of modern-American fare with globally-inspired flavors, plus options for the perfect wine pairing.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant is located at 1822 Pointe Blvd, Dania Beach


The interior design of Hiyakawa
The interior design of Hiyakawa

Say “Konnichiwa” to Miami’s newest go-to for authentic Japanese food — Hiyakawa, opening in Wynwood this month. The brainchild of Wabi Sabi’s Chef Shuji Hiyakawa and restaurateur/art dealer Alvaro Perez Miranda (who launched the Vagabond Restaurant & Bar), this new Wynwood hideaway will serve guests in an intimate 28-seat setting. Foodies can also get excited about a $100-per-person omakase menu — one of the best omakase deals in the city. 

Hiyakawa will be located at 2700 North Miami Avenue, Miami

Pink Taco

Succulent Lobster Enchiladas

All the way from Los Angeles, Mexican eatery Pink Taco has landed in South Beach. Blending made-from-scratch Mexican fare with a fun, lively atmosphere, this highly anticipated taco shop will open the doors to the public January 14 on Ocean Drive. Menu items we’re extra excited about including the namesake Pink Taco, stuffed with achiote chicken, avocado, arbol salsa, and more, Succulent Lobster Enchiladas, and a slew of creative Margaritas that range from prickly pear to avocado chile.  

Pink Taco will be located at 1200 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach

By Amanda Mesa, a contributing writer

An entrepreneurial spirit fuels her life as a baker, educator, and writer

It was Pamela Wasabi’s diagnosis of a thyroid condition at just 19 years old, along with her eventual pregnancy, that paved the way for her current life path. After ignoring her thyroid condition for years, once she became pregnant with her daughter, she realized she had to take action. Never good in the kitchen—admitting she was actually banned from the kitchen by her mother—Wasabi learned to cook out of necessity.

In an effort to provide her daughter with a healthy entry into the world, Wasabi studied everything she could about wholesome cooking and baking. The phrase, “To control your health, you have to control your ingredients and to control your ingredients, you have to cook your own food,” stuck with her. Her new mantra, intense studying, and practice in the kitchen led to her founding Pamela Wasabi Bakery, a wholesale bakery of plant-based and gluten-free desserts that quickly grew in popularity and is now distributed throughout three counties in South Florida.

She’s also the author of Nourished: The Plant-Based Path to Health and Happiness, which explores people’s relationships with food and the environment. Wasabi is currently working on her second title, Returning to the Wild Woman, which expands on women’s food challenges and body-image issues.

She sat down to chat with DiningOut Magazine about her childhood in Colombia, her path to founding the bakery, and her mentor, an iconic name in Miami’s restaurant industry:

DO: What inspired you to take this particular culinary path?
Wasabi: I did not have a good relationship with the kitchen or what cooking was about. Where I grew up in Colombia, eating meat was a priority but I never liked meat, not even the smell of it. Then there was the thyroid disorder diagnosis and eventually, after living in the United States for nearly twelve years, I got pregnant. Doctors told me because of my condition, I couldn’t have a natural childbirth, so I started looking for answers and came across a nutrition school. Learning to cook and bake for myself revolutionized my life; it helped rid me of my condition.
I immediately saw a shift in the way I related to food, what I was thinking about, and the food itself. The condition was a wake-up call to take care of myself. Our relationship with food has to be about communication, quality, and how we see ourselves. We have to take care of ourselves because ultimately, no one else is going to be there for us; it’s our own responsibility.

What was the journey like from cooking at home to ultimately owning the bakery?
It was my way out, a way to survive. I used to work in fashion, and eventually quit and got myself a job in a coffee shop, and later got hired as a cook. I became Chef de Cuisine of Jugo Fresh but after a while was let go, so I began meal prepping as a private chef. Unfortunately, the fast pace brought back my thyroid condition and I realized in order to heal I needed to slow down. I evaluated what my next step would be and how I could have control of my own career. I thought, perhaps I could do wholesale, and I created a menu and offered my goods to Panther Coffee. I made brownies, cookies, and muffins, and Panther said they wanted to try the cookie and they loved it. They started carrying my cookie and the rest was knocking on doors, one cookie at a time, and it grew organically from there. I grew and I healed as well.
That led to me being invited to participate in the Seed Food and Wine Festival, where I was prepping food in Ken Lyon’s kitchen. I got acquainted with Ken, which led to me asking if I could use his kitchen to prep for a catering gig. He eventually became my mentor and has been supporting me for the past eight years.

In the eight years since you began working with Ken, how has your business grown, and where can people find your products?
Panther Coffee now carries my vegan and gluten-free cookies, muffins, and cupcakes at all their Miami locations.
Additionally, my products are in 50-60 locations around Miami. Love Life carried several of my desserts and is one of my top-selling locations, and Charlie’s Vegan Tacos also carries my desserts. I also created the menu for the new Japanese restaurant in The Standard Hotel, including Lava Bean Chocolate Cake, Lychee Cheesecake, and Almond Crumble. Additionally, MC Kitchen in the Design District carries my Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake, Apple Cobbler, and Trail Mix Bar.
I like to use wholesome, exotic ingredients—charcoal salt in my Chocolate Chip Cookie, roasted pistachios and sea salt in my Lavender Cookie, and smoked salt and wild cherries in my Double Chocolate Chip Cookie.

How are you able to expand your menu to this size?
It is a very organic process, and it’s about being creative and building relationships with restaurants whose concept I love, then mutually helping each other. The bakery has grown to carry about 11 cookies and brownies and has another 10-12 items including cheesecakes, fruitcakes, muffins, tiramisu, and cupcakes—a whole range of desserts. There’s one main baker, two baking assistants, and a driver for deliveries, so it’s essentially a five-person operation.

Read more about Pamela Wasabi Bakery and her latest ventures, writings, and philosophies at www.pamelawasabi.com.

By Josie Gulliksen, Contributing Writer

You don’t have to wait until the weekend to get your drink on when you live in Miami. Because there are so many options, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite happy hour spots in the city for you, so you can focus less on scouring Yelp and more on deciding how many cocktails are acceptable on a Wednesday night. The best part? These bars and restaurants aren’t just known for delicious tipples and wallet-saving deals — they also serve up incredible eats. Raise a glass to that.

Bourbon Steak

If you live or work in the Aventura area, head to Bourbon Steak between 5 and 7 p.m. on weekdays and sip your fill of house wine for just $10 a glass in the bar and lounge area. And come with an appetite, because you’ll also get to dig into an off-menu selection of burgers by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina, all priced at $21. If you’re feeling adventurous, go for the Falafel Burger.

Details: Bourbon Steak is located at JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa, 19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL. For reservations, call 786-279-6600 or visit www.bltprime.com.

Corsair Kitchen + Bar

This American-inspired kitchen and bar spotlight comfort food that’s light and good for you. And during happy hour — served daily from 3 pm – 6 pm — it’s all about $9 specialty cocktails, $5 draft beers, $7 house wine by the glass, and specially-priced bites like a signature burger, a fresh Mediterranean platter, creamy mac ‘n’ cheese, wings and more, all for $10.

Details: Corsair is located at JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa, 19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL. For reservations, call 786-279-6800.

Isabelle’s Grill Room & Garden

A lush garden oasis at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Isabelle’s is one of Miami’s top spots for date night. It also hosts one of the best ladies’ night specials in town. Every Wednesday, gather up your gal squad and sip $5 rose in the terrace from 5-10 p.m. Make sure you save room for some shareable plates off the restaurant’s Secret Garden menu, like Mediterranean-inspired mezzes, raw oysters, lollipop chicken wings, crisp artichoke, and buttery gambas al ajillo — starting at $11.

Details: Isabelle’s Grill Room & Garden is located at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, 3300 Southwest 27th Avenue, Coconut Grove. For reservations, call 305-400-0562 or visit www.isabellescoconutgrove.com. Guests receive a discounted rate of $7 for valet with validation.

Pizza & Burger by Michael Mina

Social Hour Room

Social Hour at Pizza & Burger by Michael Mina has one of the best-loved drinking deals in Miami Beach. All you have to do is purchase a specialty cocktail from 5-7 p.m. (and then again from 11 p.m. until midnight), and you’ll get your second drink for just $1. If you want to snack while you sip, try some of the amazing eats off Pizza & Burger’s Bar Bites menu. Think Beer Bratwurst with grain mustard aioli for just $8, al Tartufo waffle fries with truffled pecorino and truffle oil for $12, and crispy chicken chicharrones with garlic shallot mignonette for $15.

Details: Pizza & Burger by Michael Mina is located at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. For reservations, call 305-674-4636 or visit https://fontainebleau.com/dining/pizza-burger.

Stripsteak by Michael Mina

If you’re craving a more elevated post-work power-hour, head to Stripsteak. Also located at Fontainebleau, this classic meat-lovers’ haven hosts a Cigar Social on the terrace, where you can enjoy a cigar-and-spirit pairing starting at $25. Go the extra mile and order some east or west coast oysters, some truffle-flavored steak tartar, or Chef Mina’s take on “instant bacon” — Braised Pork Belly served with Smoked Pineapple and Radish Salad or Splurge and go for the Imperial Seafood Tower — a whole Maine Lobster with Lobster Salad, Chilled Shrimp, a dozen Oysters, King Crab and Tuna Tartar for $150.

Details: Stripsteak by Michael Mina is located at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. For reservations, call 305-674-4641.

Lobster Bar Sea Grille

Famous for its fresh seafood offerings, Lobster Bar Sea Grille is a go-to for special occasion meals and upscale client dinners. It’s also hotspot among those looking to grab affordable and delicious drinks every day. You read that right — Twilight Happy Hour at Lobster Bar Sea Grille runs daily from 5:30-8 p.m. and features specials like $6 wine by the glass, $8 spirits, $4 domestic beers, and $7 specialty cocktails — the fancy kind, with ingredients like lavender petals, rosemary-basil essence, and mint-infused ice. There are plenty of delectable small bites to choose from, too, including lobster buns, oysters and crispy-thin tartes, all starting at $5.

Details: Lobster Bar Sea Grille is located at 404 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach. For reservations, call 305-377-2675 or visit buckheadrestaurants.com.

Amare Ristorante

Amare Dining Room

Regulars at Amare love Michelin-starred chef Cosimo Cassano’s coastal Italian dishes, like the Cappellacci Di Branzino, a Ravioli stuffed with sea bass, mascarpone, butter, sage and lemons from Sorrento, and the Torta di Formaggio, a decadent Ricotta Cream Cheesecake made with Strega Liqueur and best-paired with a Double Espresso Chocolate Martini. But mouthwatering food isn’t the only reason to make a beeline for this Miami Beach mainstay. The restaurant recently launched Apericena Hour every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m., offering $9 Aperol Spritzes and Negronis, $8 select wine by the glass, and $7 Peroni.

Details: Amare Ristorante is located at 1 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. For reservations, call 786-598-8622.

By Amanda Mesa, a contributing writer

When you start to crave human interaction after a Netflix binge, head to one of these hot spots to spread your social butterfly wings

Cigar Social Thursdays at StripSteak by Michael Mina

Whether you’re a fan of cigars or just craving an elevated alternative to the traditional post-work happy hour, StripSteak’s Cigar Social offers a unique way to change up your weekday routine this summer. Every Thursday from 5-7pm, Michael Mina’s classic American steakhouse serves a cigar and spirit pairing on the outdoor terrace for $25. The selection rotates every month, which means you’ll have ample opportunities to sip and smoke your way around the world. Rally some friends or colleagues and make it your new Thursday evening tradition.

Lavish late-nights at Villa Azur

Fantasies of a night out in Miami come true at this glamorous and singular South Beach setting featuring delectable French-Mediterranean cuisine. From the sparkling chandeliers to the plush white couches and the fabulous tropical patio setting, Villa Azur offers a slice of paradise to everyone who visits. DJ music encourages dancing under the stars, making this a true late-night Miami hotspot. Indulge in the Pâte a la Meule, a decadently rich dish combining linguini, mushroom sauce, and fresh truffle flambéed tableside, or opt for the Cornish Hen en Cocotte, a classic French favorite. Whatever you choose, rest assured a stop by Villa Azur will take any night to new heights.

Social Hour at Pizza & Burger by Michael Mina

Fontainebleau Miami Beach might not be the first place that comes to mind when you’re chasing drink specials, but Pizza & Burger—the resort’s casual-cool dining concept helmed by, yes you guessed it, award-winning Chef Michael Mina once again—has some of the best libations in town. During Social Hour from 5-7pm, you can sip half-priced beer on tap plus a selection of wines hand-picked by the sommelier. And if you order a specialty cocktail or punch off the menu, you’ll enjoy the second one for just a dollar. Night-owls can also take advantage of these deals during Reverse Hour from 11pm-midnight. Not to mention, you can round out your drink selection with any of Chef Mina’s decadent takes on pizza, burgers, and other classic bar bites. So go get your drink on already.

By DiningOut Staff