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Experience seafood at its best at this wonderful, classy restaurant that's a favorite of locals. Large windows expand the intimate space, and plenty of candles add romantic atmosphere in the subdued dining room. The seafood is grilled in an open kitchen, constantly tempting you with fabulous aromas. Grilled Fish is always crowded, so be prepared to hang out at the bar while you wait. The excellent food, cooked to your specifications, is definitely worth the wait.

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Los Ranchos


What started as one restaurant has grown to a chain of six bustling eateries. The success has been exceptional, and it's a fitting tribute to the award-winning menu that folks often come back for more – and recommend Los Ranchos to their friends. The cuisine has hints of Latin American, Cuban and Nicaraguan styles. Sample the delectable Gallo Pinto, spicy fried rice and red beans, or go the traditional route with their claim to fame – the churrasco. This center-cut tenderloin, chargrilled to perfection, is a favorite with regulars. Early-bird dinner specials are an impressive bargain.

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The Forge


For American cuisine with a creative French twist, try the elegant Forge. Renovated in 2009, in honor of its 40th anniversary, the space is chock-full of eye-catching antiques and an eclectic mix of upholstered and metal furniture. The farm-to-table menu draws you in, offering tantalizing dishes such as herb-infused steamed local snapper "In a Bag" and grilled wild salmon with basil mashed hearts of palm. Beef is a favorite, and the 16-ounce aged oak grilled "Super Steak" has been named the nation's number one steak by "Wine Spectator." Speaking of wines, the cellar houses an enormous collection – more than 80,000 bottles of various vintages. Also, the Enomatic wine serving system, that serves wine by the glass, is great for sampling different wines by the ounce. Reservations suggested.

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Joe's Stone Crab


This legendary restaurant, open since 1913, has become a Miami institution. They say you haven't visited South Florida until you have been to Joe's. Stick out the typical two-hour wait and you'll be amply rewarded with some of the best stone crab known to man, great side dishes like hash browns and creamed spinach, and the phenomenal, ultimate Key Lime Pie. If you don't like crabs, follow the lead of Bill Clinton and try the fried chicken. Joe's is open full hours during stone crab season, from October through May, and opens for 2-3 months during the summer with a limited menu in the bar area.

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Big Pink


This style-conscious American diner offers upscale interpretations of classic comfort foods, and breakfast is served all day. The dining room is all imagination and whimsy, with colorful diner decor, an open kitchen and communal tables. Try the hot malted waffles or the filling and tasty Big Pink breakfast burrito – both are as popular in the evening as they are in the morning. Sit at a nostalgic booth in the industrial-style dining room or enjoy an outside table facing busy Collins Avenue. Free delivery.

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5
Little Haiti
Granny Feelgoods


An important cornerstone in downtown Miami for many years, this restaurant is famous for vegetarian, fat-free and low-fat fare, along with interesting daily specials. Try the soup of the day – always a winner – or an omelet and a smoothie. Although red meat is not on the menu, even dedicated carnivores are sure to be satisfied with chicken, seafood, vegetable, or pasta dishes served in imaginative ways. Low prices and a relaxed, upbeat environment make this eatery a lunchtime favorite, particularly with the executive set.

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Cheesecake Factory - Dadeland Mall


This popular chain's New American menu features a broad array of dishes, from avocado egg rolls and Mexican chicken pizza to Jamaican shrimp and shepherd's pie. However, desserts really steal the show, and it's easy to see why once you've taken a gander at Linda's Fudge Cake, White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake, and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch Cheesecake. An attractive garden patio offers the perfect setting for a late-afternoon respite, accompanied by gourmet coffee, good conversation, and of course, one of 40 delectable cheesecakes.

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A popular South Beach spot, this restaurant gained notoriety after the death of designer Gianni Versace – he used to come here daily. Always packed and promising a wait for any table, it's set on a prime corner that permits many glimpses of beautiful people strolling about or on their way to the beach. For lulls in your people-watching, buy a book or magazine from the adjacent store to peruse as you enjoy a cup of coffee and a muffin, pastry or full morning meal.

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South Garden


Even experts who've had every style of Chinese cuisine will be pleasantly surprised by this simple restaurant, which offers a long menu of traditional favorites with a few unique recipes thrown in for good measure. Dishes are sophisticated and varied, using fresh produce and excellent cuts of beef, chicken, seafood, and pork. Sesame chicken, crispy skin duck, hot pots, and lo mein dishes are top sellers. A great choice whether you want to eat in or grab a meal to take out.

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Christy's Restaurant


Christy's is a long-standing local favorite in Coral Gables, with a cozy dining room, attentive service and perfectly prepared, classic Continental cuisine. A favorite for business lunches and power dinners, the steaks are especially popular. Try the huge prime rib with horseradish sauce or the filet mignon in a flavorful teriyaki marinade. Lighter appetites will love the Caesar salads and tasty baked sweet potatoes. The grand finale? Impressive Baked Alaska or dense Blackout Cake are two outstanding options. Reservations recommended. Business casual attire.

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