Miami is a multicultural city filled with mouthwatering eateries and delicious options from north to south. Choosing the best places isn’t easy, especially since everyone’s taste buds and cravings are different. From pizza to ice cream to healthy smoothies, Miami has it all. Distraction’s staff has picked out the best noms in the 305 to make the selection process a little smoother.
Italian: Fratellino Ristorante
264 Miracle Mile, Miami
There are lots of options when it comes to Italian food, but if you’re looking for a quality mom-and-pop meal, Fratellino Ristorante is the place to be.
Fratellino is owned by Beto DiCarlo, chef and third-generation restaurateur. In case you couldn’t tell, the restaurant is family owned. Just take a look at the walls, which are lined with family photos.
With one taste of the calamari ($16)– which isn’t doused in grease but is still perfectly crisp– you’ll know that this restaurant is one that takes pride in its food. If you’re looking for pasta, there is a whole list of options to enjoy.
Distraction’s pick: Gnocchi quattro formaggi– homemade ricotta and potato gnocchi with a four cheese sauce ($19)
7382 S.W. 56 Ave., South Miami
When homesickness strikes or you just need a dose of Southern love, Whisk Gourmet is the place to go for lunch in South Miami. The menu has an extensive selection, from bright, fresh plates like the marinated shrimp and avocado salad ($13.95) to heartier, more indulgent dishes like the grilled filet mignon sandwich ($14.95). Whisk also features daily specials that take advantage of seasonal ingredients and Chef Brendan Connor’s creativity. No matter what you order, it’s hard to go wrong– every item incorporates comforting, familiar Southern flavors with a signature modern spin. Plus, the restaurant is right around the corner from campus near Sunset Place, so it’s perfect for a quick bite in between classes.
Distraction’s pick: Fried green tomato sandwich with pimiento cheese, bacon and arugula ($10.95)
2360 Collins Avenue, Miami
Brainchild of powerhouse restaurateur Stephen Starr, the Continental serves some of the best food in the Magic City. It’s a casual, yet top-quality restaurant with a cool, retro feel inspired by the ‘60s. Though it opened less than a year ago, it’s already making a big mark on the local culinary scene. The Continental shines brightest during brunch, combining classics such as a smoked salmon benedict ($19) and buttermilk pancakes ($15) with imaginative and playful plates such as the cheesesteak eggroll ($17). And for those especially indecisive days, this Miami Beach eatery has you covered, offering breakfast, lunch and even dinner-style dishes on the brunch menu.
Distraction’s pick: Avocado toast on ZTB multigrain bread with poached eggs and crispy potatoes on the side ($14)
Coffee: Eternity Coffee Roasters
117 S.E. Second Ave., Miami
Let’s face it: we’re getting sick of Starbucks. Luckily, at Eternity Coffee Roasters, owner Chris Johnson cares as much about what goes in your cup as you do. He even co-owns the Colombian farms and micro-lots where the beans are grown, and flies there regularly to keep a close eye on them. All that hard work translates into bold, sophisticated brews, served at Eternity’s downtown location on Second Avenue. New to the coffee scene? Not to worry– the baristas are far from the stereotypical condescending coffee snobs and are more than happy to help guide customers to the right drink.
Distraction’s pick: Dirty Chai ($4.85)
Grocery store: Whole Foods
6701 Red Road, Coral Gables
We hate to be basic, but Whole Foods really is that good. Other natural grocery stores can’t compare, especially when it comes to prepared items. The buffet offers a wide range of dishes with cuisines that span the globe, from Indian to Chinese. For the less adventurous eaters, the mac and cheese is just as impressive. Though it’s not the best option for grocery buying on a budget, head to Whole Foods for a healthy lunch, specialty items or a cool cup of iced coffee, brewed in-store.
Distraction’s pick: Vegan oatmeal raisin cookie ($1)
223 Valencia Avenue, Coral Gables
For an authentic dose of the Middle East, Maroosh is the perfect place to bite into baklava or binge on baked kibbehs. Unlike other Arabic joints, there’s more to this menu than just hummus and kababs. Order grape leaves stuffed with rice, parsley and meats or vegetables, then add on a plate of shawarma served with french fries and hummus. Of course, don’t leave without dessert. The options are endless. For a truly exotic experience, finish off your meal with a Turkish coffee– it’ll put your regular latte to shame.
Distraction’s pick: Nakanek- Lebanese sausage appetizer ($7.95)
Inexpensive Fare: LoKal
3190 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove
LoKal, pronounced “lo-ka’l,” has been serving up the juiciest burgers in town since December 2011. Located in Coconut Grove, LoKal is owned by Matthew Kuscher, who takes the restaurant’s commitment to quality seriously. LoKal sources from local farms, dairies and breweries for dishes unparalleled by any other burger joint in town. The best part? LoKal is the first restaurant in Miami-Dade County to use 100 percent renewable energy from wind and solar power.
Distraction’s pick: Frita By Kush– burger topped with guava jelly, melted gruyere, stuffed with potato sticks, crispy bacon and a LoKal sauce, pressed down and cut in half ($12)
Sushi: Red Koi
317 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables
Miracle Mile in Coral Gables is synonymous with wedding dresses, fine restaurants and now, Japanese food. You can find some top-notch sushi at Red Koi Lounge, where you can have dinner downstairs or chill out with friends upstairs in the relaxing candle-lit lounge. The menu boasts a whopping 33 choices of just sushi rolls, and that doesn’t even include the sashimi and entrees. Make sure to go hungry, because you’ll definitely want them all.
Distraction’s pick: Kiwi roll– Krab salad and avocado topped with spicy tuna mix and kiwi, served with kimchee sauce and spicy mayo ($15)
Delivery: My Ceviche
5900 S.W. 73rd St., South Miami
My Ceviche planted its roots in South Beach back in 2012. Now with four locations, including one in South Miami, fresh seafood cuisine is always just around the corner.
A typical go-to order is the My Ceviche Bowl, which includes a protein choice of fish, shrimp, octopus or chicken. It also comes with coconut-jasmine rice or cilantro quinoa, mixed lettuce, red onions, fresh cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes, sweet potato and yellow corn. No time to sit and dine? Put in the same order, but as a burrito. Heads up– the restaurant offers student discounts on Tuesdays and delivery is only $3, a much better deal than Postmates, if we do say so ourselves.
Distraction’s pick: Shrimp and fish ceviche bowl tradicional over coconut-jasmine rice served with red onions, cilantro, jalapeños, tomatoes, sweet potato and yellow corn ($11.95+)
6701 SW 57th Ave., Coral Gables
Good snacks don’t always have to be deep-fried and loaded with cheese (despite our weakness for mac and cheese bites at the Rat). Sometimes a sweet, colorful trip to Jugofresh is more than enough. The quaint juice bar and smoothie shop has two convenient locations: one across the street from campus, the other in Miami beach. The products are also available all over town. We love it for its array of flavorful acai bowls, which come overflowing with fruits, coconut shavings, granola, almond butter and chia seeds, among other ingredients. Probiotic and protein parfaits are also available, as well as healthy juices.
Distraction’s pick: Summer chia juice with pineapple, orange, strawberry, ginger and chia seeds ($9.50)
Indian: Raja’s Indian Cuisine
33 NE 2nd Ave., Miami
Take your taste buds on a trip to South Asia and enjoy some Indian cuisine at Raja’s. This restaurant serves up some delectable flavors in the middle of downtown Miami. All menu items are less than $10, so it’s a serious deal. Vegetarian? No worries. There are scrumptious veggie samosas and vegetarian versions of their lunch meals. Don’t forget to order the naan or roti bread to complement the dish. Newbie foodies be warned: Indian food is packed with intense flavors and spices.
Distraction’s pick: Chicken tikka massa with veggie rice and chana or chickpeas ($8.99)
186 N.E. 29th St., Miami
In the land of authentic Cuban food, it’s not hard to find tasty pasteles or a satisfying cafe con leche. Sure, there’s always Versailles, but unless you want to be mistaken for a tourist by the loyal Cubanos who frequent the joint, hit up Enriqueta’s for fast, delicious Cuban fare. The cafeteria-style eatery serves up hearty breakfasts and lunches from its modest Design District location. All the staples are served: think empanadas, medianoches and tostadas. Just don’t spill the beans about this local favorite, entiende?
Distraction’s pick: Special steak sandwich with tomato, onion, potato sticks and cheese ($4.85)
Fast Food: Grown
8211 S. Dixie Highway, Miami
Conceptualized by Miami Heat player Ray Allen and his wife Shannon, Grown is a newly opened fast food eatery that will help you say goodbye to McDonald’s forever. Serving “real food, cooked slow, for fast people,” Grown has fused mindful eating with convenient service. The dishes are made with locally sourced, organic ingredients, some of which even come straight from the restaurant’s rooftop garden. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, Grown’s got you covered.
Distraction’s pick: Grilled, wild caught salmon with roasted garlic Brussels sprouts and a Mediterranean quinoa salad ($17)
Lunch Special: Samurai
8717 S.W. 136th St., Miami
With a hibachi grill surrounded by a table that seats up to 10 people, Samurai offers an interactive dining experience that does more than just satisfy palates. The Japanese eatery tends to be on the pricey side around dinnertime, but on Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the lunch special features almost the same dishes for half the price. Order the hibachi shrimp, which is grilled in front of you and served with a Japanese vegetable broth, vegetable fried rice and an assortment of onions, zucchini and mushrooms ($9.75). For a few extra dollars, binge on scallops, filet mignon, shrimp, calamari and beef julienne with the same sides. Make sure to order extra shrimp sauce, a creamy, succulent dip that is mildly addictive and goes well with everything. Bonus points if the chefs throw shrimp tails in their hats and profess their love for you with heart-shaped fried rice.
Distraction’s pick: Hibachi shrimp grilled with butter and lemon ($12)
Beer: Concrete Beach
325 N.W. 24th St., Miami
If you’re a fan of a good beer, Concrete Beach Brewery is the place to be. Located in Wynwood, Concrete Beach offers a classier alternative to our usual Natty Lite. Not only is this brewery getting us buzzed, but it’s also teaching us how the beer masters brew their beer through tours. In a rush? Pick up a growler to go and drink in the comfort our your own home. If you can’t make the pilgrimage all the way of to Wynwood, Concrete Beach’s beer is sold right across the street from campus at the Whole Foods in South Miami.
Distraction’s pick: Tropic Of Passion Wheat Ale ($6)
words. distraction staff. photo. valentina escotet and rori kotch.