A couple of times this winter I’ve had northern friends ask me to meet them for lunch in Miami while they’re there for a short visit. Of course as the resident Floridian they want me to pick the newest greatest restaurant in the city.
I always jump at the chance to go to Miami because the restaurants are on the cutting edge of food and design. And while I hate the traffic in Miami during the busy season, at least during our dry winter I can drive across the Everglades without getting caught in a blinding summer rainstorm. If I go for lunch I can drive there and back and easily be home for dinner.
These are my three favorite Miami restaurants for lunch that will give you that super cool Miami experience plus fabulous food:
Michael’s Genuine – Located in the Miami Design District, Michael’s Genuine is widely regarded as the best food in Miami right now. It is very small and extremely popular so go early or try sitting at the bar. I was hooked from my very first visit when the waiter talked me into ordering the chorizo burger with crunchy onions. It was the best burger of my life – a perfect combination of hot and spicy with a cooling ranch sauce drizzled on top. And I always have their signature pan-fried onion dip with homemade chips. The setting isn’t anything special but strong flavors and unusual combinations make this my favorite Miami choice for food.
Juvia – For jaw-dropping design I love wowing my friends with lunch at Juvia. Located on the top floor of a new parking garage on the west end of Lincoln Road, start by parking the car downstairs in the super cool parking garage which appears to not have any exterior walls (there are thin metal cables as exterior barricades). Ride the elevator to the Penthouse and enjoy one of the best views in the City. The food is an innovative blend of French, Japanese and Peruvian cuisine but it’s the setting and the view that is the real main course.
Florida Cookery – The most recent addition to my trio of favorites is located in the newly remodeled James Royal Palm Hotel at the heart of South Beach. The menu focuses on unique Florida ingredients and new twists on old recipes. Very hip design in an Art Deco hotel you can sit inside in the sleek dining room or outside in the more casual poolside space.
Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink
130 Northeast 40th Street
1111 Lincoln Road
1545 Collins Avenue