Travel Channel globetrotter Andrew Zimmern is in town for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Seems like he knows Miami pretty well, judging from his spot-on picks for best local eats:
1. The Dutch
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Mini Oyster Po’Boys. Line ’em up and set ’em down. Pie for dessert. Good night, South Beach.
2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-938-3111.
Stone Crab Fettuccine.
Pubbelly is the original Miami gastropub that birthed a small empire of excellent restaurants, from a taco joint to a sushi bar. Sure the pork belly and pig cheeks are legendary, but the stone crab fettuccine is pretty darn tasty. More importantly this place is fully functional in the style department and the look and feel of all the PB restaurants are fun and comfy.
1418 20th St., Miami Beach; 305-532-7555.
3. The Bazaar
Foie and Coffee Flan.
Yes, the room is noisy and the entire SLS Hotel seems to be walking and gawking and peacocking by you, but WTF, it’s South Beach and from a food point of view there is nothing that beats it. Foie and coffee flan. Done. I rest my case.
1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-455-2999.
4. De Rodriguez
Modern Cuban cuisine and Doug Rodriguez. Enough said.
Doug is experiencing a renaissance in his career. A brilliant chef returning to confident and personal style that is some of the best food he has made in years. I am a huge fan of his and this restaurant showcases him well.
101 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-672-6624.
I haven’t been to the latest updated incarnation of Michelle Bernstein’s Biscayne Boulevard institution, but I can tell you this unequivocally: Michelle is one of the best chefs in America today. Her palate is exquisite and she understands what she wants to cook and how in a way that only a few culinarians do in this day and age. Don’t miss a chance to dine here.
6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-759-2001 (reopening soon).
6. Joe’s Stone Crab
I don’t want to hear one single bitchy comment about the slaw being “different” or the lines being “long” or anything approaching an analysis other than worshipful joy. Joe’s serves the best stone crab in town in an old-school environment with stupendous service. One of the great restaurants of our time. Period.
11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-0365.
Kevin Cory has created a brilliant, singular Omakase experience on Brickell Key that I think ranks as one of the best seafood meals you can eat in a town, dedicated to serving all the abundant gifts from the ocean. This is serious sushi for anyone who collects culinary experiences the way my kid collects Legos.
661 Brickell Key Dr., Miami; 305-947-6263.
8. Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
Pig Ears. Chicken Liver. Wood-Roasted Fish.
Simply delicious food with plenty of technical expertise hidden beneath its wealth of classics and the perfect Design District location.
130 NE 40th St., Miami; 305-573-5550.
9. Khong River House
Sleek, romantic, sweet-sour-salty-bitter, and without a doubt some of the best and most fun hybridized Viet-Thai food around. This is my perfect idea of a great meal on a hot Miami night
1661 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach; 305-763-8147.
10. El Palacio de los Jugos
Batidos, Chicharrones, Lechon.
This place is amazing. Come for a snack and stay for hours eating lechon and people-watching. Michelle Bernstein turned me on to this place years ago and I can’t get enough of it.
11. Fritanga Montelimar
Nica Grandmothers and moms cooking homestyle Central American classics in large portions from scratch for their friends and neighbors. Simple Nicaraguan food doesn’t get better, and the Nica style Nacatamales are INSANE. Eating here is what you imagine a holiday meal would be like if you married into a really happy Nicaraguan family.
15722 SW 72nd St., Miami; 305-388-8841.
12. Raspados Loly’s
Raspados Loly’s is the place for shaved ice, especially my favorite dulce de leche. All the syrups and mix-ins are home made, and try the dulce de leche with the pound cake stirred in. It sounds odd but it works beyond your wildest dreams.
10404 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-227-0488.