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Which are the 'Best of the Best' restaurants in Miami South Beach right now?

I was wondering which were the top 10 best restaurants in Miami South Beach right now? I'm putting together a list for a friend but as I haven't visited Miami South Beach in awhile, so I'm not sure which are the best restaurants right now. The list can cover the entire price spectrum, where I'm looking for places that have a combination of great food, design and atmosphere.

Can anyone help? Thanks!

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  1. Do you want this list limited to only South Beach? Design District/Downtown? Coral Gables? While this list will clearly be different across the spectrum of opinions and the areas you want included, for me throughout the city, I would say:

    Michael's Genuine
    Joe's
    Sra. Martinez
    Palme D'Or
    Osteria del Teatro
    Il Gabbiano
    Romeo's Cafe
    Azul
    Naoe
    Solea

    9 Replies
    1. re: mikek

      Thanks Mike! I'm trying to keep the list to around the South Beach & Design District/ Downtown areas

      1. re: wilconcres007

        In that case, knock off Palme D'Or, Naoe and Romeo's. Not sure what else I would add in their place other than Talula (which I completely forgot about the first time around). Many love Sardinia, though I was underwhelmed when I last went.

        1. re: mikek

          is romeo's good ? I never hear anything about it!

          1. re: HabaneroJane

            It is still on my list, but several foodie friends whose opinions I trust have said it is the absolute best dining experience they have had in Miami. Said everything from the food to service to the creation of the menu to the wine pairings are 100% spot on.

            1. re: mikek

              I have not been in a long time but my old review of romeos can be searched...

      2. re: mikek

        just went to solea and have to agree that it is a contender

        1. re: mikek

          Just went to Joe's and got previously frozen stone crab. Very disappointing. They claim that they never sell frozen product, but these were either frozen or left soaking in water much too long. I've had stone crab a hundred times or more and these were as bad as the worst I've ever had. Some comments on Chowhound suggest that they know what they have and they try to pass it off to unsuspecting customers. If indeed they are frozen, their cost is far below the cost of fresh crab and might make financial sense for them.

          1. re: Buzzy2

            Stone crabs are a local product, and presumably Joe's is buying their crabs off the boats. If they're frozen it's because Joe's is freezing the claws themselves, not because they're buying them frozen.

            1. re: Frodnesor

              Either way, they are not of the quality that would justify their cost and reputation.

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            1. I'd add meat market to the sobe list, great steak and sides. I wouldnt rate it in my top 10 for all of miami, but as far as the design dist goes, ive had some yummy meals at buena vista bistro.

              1. I'm not big on making lists, but I'll give it a shot.

                SOUTH BEACH:
                - Talula
                - Indomania
                - Sardinia
                - Joe's Stone Crab

                MID-BEACH
                - Hakkasan
                - Scarpetta

                OFF-BEACH
                - Michael's Genuine
                - Sra. Martinez
                - Pacific Time
                - Sugarcane

                Also worthy of mention, but I've either not been yet or not been recently enough to give an opinion: Solea (SoBe), Meat Market (SoBe), Setai and Grill at the Setai (SoBe), Mandolin Aegean Bistro (nr Design District).

                Edited to add - my "Off-Beach" list is based on OP's limitation to Design District & downtown.

                www.foodforthoughtmiami.com

                8 Replies
                1. re: Frodnesor

                  You forgot michy's. If you are already going over the bay you might as well...

                  In south beach you forgot osteria del teatro and if you are going to include indomania, I would put creek 28 ahead of it...also alta mar -- alta mare is doing friends and family now btw. They will open very soon.

                  1. re: tpigeon

                    There are many restaurants I like that I excluded because they're not South Beach, Design District or Downtown. Not that it's really so far, but Michy's is about 30 blocks north of the Design District.

                    I've not been to Osteria, Creek 28 or Alta Mar (I know - for shame).

                    1. re: Frodnesor

                      speaking of Creek 28...anyone been there lately? Hearing it's really good. Under the radar kind of spot like Barolo.

                      1. re: HabaneroJane

                        Went to creek 28 last year for dinner, was romantic and delicious

                        1. re: morganeats

                          We are excited about trying many of these eateries during an upcoming visit to Miami. Can anyone weigh in on which of these places might be the most successful / hospitable for the one vegan in our party?

                          1. re: annadk

                            - Indomania does a vegetarian rijsttafel.
                            - Pacific Time has lots of vegetables on the menu and is good at responding to special diets.
                            - Interesting that from the online menu at Michy's, it's one of the few places in town to apparently offer a vegetarian entree (chick pea panisse w mushroom spinach ragout at bottom of menu) ->
                            http://michysmiami.com/menus/dinner/
                            - Sra. Martinez may have even more vegetable tapas to put together a meal and some of the best things there are the veggies - crispy artichokes; eggplant with honey; corn w chiles; padron peppers
                            http://www.sramartinez.com/menus/dinn...
                            - At Sugarcane could put together several vegetable tapas.
                            - Hakkasan has several tofu, vegetable, noodle & rice dishes that would likely work.

                            1. re: Frodnesor

                              On 20th Street right near Publix is Barbu, an organic tapas restaurant with vegetarian entrees. Very, very casual. I will not comment on the food as I know the owner so don't want to be biased. The menu is on the Web site.

                              http://marcandblue.com/aboutus.aspx

                  2. re: Frodnesor

                    note my comments about Joe's above. I have removed them from my list.