Take Out


This tasteful Mexican cafe foregoes the typical trappings of Mexican eateries, such as bright colors and sombreros, and instead takes a modern, elegant approach. Pastel colors, interesting art and coveted outdoor patio seats make this a perfect choice for a casually upscale lunch. Classic dishes include well-spiced black bean soup, zesty chili verde, and cheesy enchilada con queso in green sauce. This is a favorite among friendly locals as well as big names like Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. Though the ambience is relaxed during lunch, the lively bar heats things up in the evening.

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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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This secret treasure is a favorite with an impressive number of Miami's Japanese-Americans, thanks in large part to its irresistible sushi and tempura dishes. Regulars swear that no other restaurant in West Dade serves up such a delicious variety of sushi, including everything from Toro rolls to fresh sashimi. Best of all, the atmosphere is casual yet composed, happily lacking the flash and flair of some of its Miami cousins. Arrive early on weekends and expect to stand for a bit. Don't fret, though, as you'll soon discover what so many locals have tried to keep to themselves – Matsuri is well worth any wait.

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Bask in the sun and scope out the foot traffic as you lounge al fresco at casual, affordable Spris. Impossibly thin-crusted pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven are the draw, topped with broccoli, capers, marinated eggplant, calamari, artichoke hearts, prosciutto, mozzarella and sausage. Calzones and panini are reliably hearty as well. Although creative salads appeal to vigilant figure-watchers, the tiramisu is worthy of a little diet digression.

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Cafe Sambal Restaurant

Prepare to be taken a-back by this laid-back eatery's immaculate decor. Decorative accents, from terrazzo floors to a miniature pool, adorn the interior; views of Biscayne may be enjoyed from the dining room or adjoining patio. Awesome contemporary dishes, including grouper seviche, braised beef short ribs and pad thai line the menu. There's a sake and sushi bar, too!

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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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Prime 112
Photo courtesy of Gary James Photography

Frequented by an upscale, highly visible clientele, Prime 112 is a steakhouse without compare. Its decor honors the restaurant's historic structure while invigorating it with modern detailing. The menu continues this theme of reconsidered classics. Dry-aged Prime beef arrives sizzling, cooked to your specifications, and topped with a choice of butters or sauces. "Accessories" are sublime: truffled mac and cheese, sautéed forest mushrooms, or even rum-baked sweet plantains. Desserts, too, get stylish attention – apple pie is topped with candied walnut streusel, while chocolate pudding cake flaunts Amarene cherries and a dollop of sweet cream.

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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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Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish

Offering simple Florida cooking at its best, Garcia's serves the area's freshest seafood at incredible prices. A location on the Miami River grants picturesque dining, complete with picnic tables and umbrellas, and the super-casual ambience is much prized by regulars. They also swear by the dolphin sandwich, hushpuppies and crab cakes. Some items sell out quickly, but the staff can steer you to other satisfying options, and daily specials are always reliable. And don't forget to sample the seafood dip!

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This traditional Chinese restaurant focuses on Cantonese favorites, from stir-fries to spicy chicken dishes to seafood-studded fried rice. When you get the craving for good Chinese, come in for lunch or dinner, or take advantage of the popular and prompt takeout service. In the evening, the fixed price offering is a steal, with soup, egg roll, entree, fried rice and dessert for one low price. Friendly service and a low-key, neighborhood atmosphere.

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