A true hidden gem among local coffee houses, Lemoni Cafe serves up a range of classic panini and creative salads. It's their hot and cold coffee and tea selection, however, that keeps locals and vacationers alike coming back. On the menu, you'll find everything from Cuban cortaditos to macchiatos, iced lattes, and espresso shots. If you're feeling extra indulgent, add a dollop of whipped cream to your brew. Vegans are also welcome to add a little almond milk to their beverage, not to mention enjoy many of the sandwiches and other yummy foods on the menu, which is a blend of French Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine. Located in the vibrant Design District, Lemoni Cafe's European coffee selection alone is unparalleled in Miami. Drop in for a near perfect cup of coffee and a delightful dessert before or after hitting the town.
Recommended for Lunch because: Working wifi and delightful dishes spanning Mexico to the Mediterranean make Lemoni one of Miami's loveliest lunch spots.
Priscilla's expert tip: Bring your vegetarian and vegan friends to this joint. They'll love you for it. And if in a hurry, call in your order to-go.
Middle Eastern restaurants are few and far between in Miami, but those in the know always know to go to Daily Bread. This marketplace offers a delectable array of tabouli, baba ghanoush, falafel, hummus, and lamb or beef kebabs, all served with generous portions of literally the best and freshest pita bread in all of Miami. Daily specials may include lamb and cauliflower with preserved lemon, and gourmet sandwiches and salads satisfy on-the-go patrons. Quick service and wallet-friendly prices also please, and the baklava is widely regarded as some of the best in town. It's the place to go whether you're well-versed in Middle Eastern cuisine or are simply a first timer looking to fall in love with new flavors.
Recommended for Lunch because: Pita sandwiches and gyros make for filling, portable, and tasty lunch options. Add a sweet treat like harissa or baklava and you're set.
Priscilla's expert tip: Always check the specials as they change daily.
Makoto is one of the top Asian restaurants in the area, located in the ritzy Bal Harbour Shops. This modern Japanese spot is the dream-child of James Beard semifinalist Stephen Starr and Iron Chef competitor Makoto Okuwa. Chef Okuwa has over twenty years of experience and was once head chef at Morimoto New York and Philadelphia. You'll find plenty to write home about at Makoto's, including traditional and contemporary Japanese flavors enjoyed in a chic-yet-casual ambiance. Opt to dine in the elegant, wood-heavy dining room or enjoy sitting in the lush, green outdoor patio area. You can also grab a quick cocktail at the lively bar.
Recommended for Lunch because: Sparky's is a great Downtown locals lunch spot. They've got the best barbecue in the area, some of the best prices, and friendly staff.
Priscilla's expert tip: If you've got a date, try the Chef's combination sushi platter. You'll enjoy a number of robust flavors and probably even take home some leftovers.
Vegan and plant-based diets have slowly been gaining popularity around the country, and Miami is no different. While some older establishments in the scene have come and gone, we're happy that Planta (a fully plant-based restaurant on South Beach) is still making a splash since its opening. The original Planta opened in Toronto several years back, and when hospitality-and-entertainment mogul David Grutman happened upon the vegan Canadian favorite, he decided to bring it back to the 305. The establishment is more than just plant-based; Chef David Lee only uses ingredients from ethical suppliers, making this a vegan's paradise. What's even better is the wide variety of foods to try while here: spicy tuna (with watermelon "ahi"), a "meat lover's pizza" topped with cashew cheese and farro sausage, heart of palm "crab" cakes, coconut ceviche, and of course, a Planta burger, are all on the menu. Bring a group, order everything, and get to tasting!
Recommended for Lunch because: Anyone looking to stick to a plant-based diet will appreciate the lunch offerings here like eggplant-zucchini lasagna, truffle udon noodles, and tofu-kimchi lettuce wraps.
Priscilla's expert tip: Definitely try their brunch at least once. With dishes like "crab" cake tostadas and land "lox" scrambles, you're in for a very unique treat. And don't forget to check out their other nearby locations in the Grove and West Palm Beach!
Chef Johnson Teh has got Asian food covered. Not only does he do Thai, Japanese and Chinese flavors in this pan-Asian cafe, he likes to add in Filipino, Taiwanese, Korean and a blend of original interpretations that Miamians can only label "yum." So while it's difficult to perhaps pinpoint all his influences in some dishes, such as the crispy almond snapper in the saffron-soba broth, it's also hard to really care. From appetizers like the wild mushroom salad with cilantro-ginger dressing to the Filipino rice bowl topped with pork, a sunny-side-up egg and pickles, it's a veritable bonanza of playful Asian flavors. Complementing the fare, Teh also serves authentic bubble teas, house-made sodas, and a select sake and wine list. A sibling establishment in Coral Gables, Yuga, expands on the pan-Asian theme in a slightly more elegant way, and a food truck, Lan on the Go, has put the bubble teas on wheels.
Recommended for Lunch because: Lunch specials under $11 include red curry beef, garlic chicken, vegetarian mapo tofu, sashimi, vegetable stir fry, and pork katsu. What more do you need?
Priscilla's expert tip: As it is one of Miami's only bubble tea bars, you'd be wise to try some here. Actually, try the house made ginger ale, too.
Spanish-style gastrobars have been popping up around town for the past few years, but the one folks keep returning to is Bulla. Pronounced "boo-yah!" (which you know folks love saying), this exciting eatery created by Por Fin's Carlos Centurion has exploded from a trendy tapas spot for locals into a fast-growing concept now with locations in Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina, and across Florida. But since we're in the 305, let's dish a little more on the original locale in downtown Coral Gables. Bulla's a great place for happy hour cocktails or a chic date night, as ambiance is generally a bit more grown up and smartly dressed. They've also got prixe fix lunch menus for under $20, bottomless brunch mimosas, seasonal menus, and of course scrumptious bites. From patatas bravas and albondigas to impressive meat and cheese platters to churrascos and paellas if you're feeling extra hungry, you'll find plenty to nosh on here.
Recommended for Lunch because: Bulla's Prix Fixe lunch menu is excellent if you're low on time and high on indecision.
Priscilla's expert tip: If the prix fixe menu isn't your thing, feel free to split a number of tapas plates with your lunch dates to get the most out of your meal.
This cash-only fish joint has been a staple in the Little Havana neighborhood for almost 50 years. Originally known as the Garcia Brothers Seafood Market, the venture was a labor of love, created by the exiled Garcia family, who left their native Cuba shortly after Castro took power. The family had already been in the fishing business back home so it was a logical move for them to open the market. By 1976, the Garcias decided to begin serving fresh-cause-and-cooked seafood at their market, and it quickly became known as "Los Paraditos", a place where locals could enjoy fish-fry while standing at the market's window. These days, La Camaronera has expanded and become a full-fledged, sit-down restaurant where patrons can enjoy specialties like camarones fritos (fried shrimp), filete de pescado (fish filet), shrimp tacos, conch fritters, and a tres leches for dessert.
Recommended for Lunch because: The sandwiches here are second to none and you'll get all the energy you need for your afternoon meeting by lunching here.
Priscilla's expert tip: Bring cash! Don't arrive and whine about the lack of credit card service. This place is dirty cheap; don't look a gift horse in the mouse.
When seeking out home-style restaurants, you might be thinking about comfort food but you also might be thinking about food that's literally close to home. Cue Kush. The creation of restaurateur Matt (a.k.a. Kush) and beer connoisseur David, Kush is mostly a place to bask in the glory of a well-perfected craft beer menu. However, it is also the ideal place to chow down on flavorful dishes like Hobo Frito Pie, Florida Alligator Bites, Vegan Jambalaya, and Chicken and Waffles, who all use locally-sourced ingredients. Meat from the Cowart Ranch in Sumterville, Florida; smoked bacon from Miami Smokers in Little Havana; and local gator from Cypress Creek Farms in Starke, Florida are among the fresh components of Kush meals.
Recommended for Lunch because: Great mid-day vibes to go with even better burgers, sandwiches, and salads (and craft beer) make Kush a great go-to for lunch.
Priscilla's expert tip: With limited seating, you might be better off calling in your order ahead of time.
This newcomer to the Grove is just the spot to cure your culinary boredom. Chef Sebastián Vargas (formerly of NYC's Michelin-starred Eleven Park, among other highly-revered restaurants) brings diners a fresh, seasonal menu filled with crisp green salads, hearty sandwiches, and more. Enjoy apps like grilled eggplant or coconut ceviche with a coworker, then move on to mains like bbq mutton snapper, a veggie sandwich with basil pesto, or maybe a pastrami and gouda sandwich--all light enough to not leave you asleep at your desk later but still tasty and filling to get you through the rest of your day. Add a delightful natrual wine bar and the always lively ambiance of outdoor dining on Main and you've got yourselves a winner.
Recommended for Lunch because: You'll have trouble picking out just one dish for lunch at this incredibly tasty establishment. Pastas, salads, sandwiches, and more to choose from.
Priscilla's expert tip: We know your lunch hour is sacred, so keep in mind Krus is closed on Mondays (save them for later in the week!)
Those who know Miami's food scene know about the infamous Jaguar Hospitality Group (who own the Grove's Jaguar Ceviche). Now let's get to know Bakan, where your tastebuds can enjoy a delightful tour of Mexican cuisine. At Bakan, you'll find hand-made tortillas made from imported nixtamal (that is, partially cooked corn), meats and seafood cooked on a wood fire grill, and one of the longest lists of regional Mezcals you'll probably ever encounter in South Florida. Patrons will enjoy digging into some queso fundido or munching on tostadas topped with octopus and nopales (cactus pads). The more adventurous in the bunch will be happy to see more unique offerings like gusanos de maguey (pan-fried agave worms that are more typical across the Gulf). Add to this how aesthetically pleasing Bakan is (and must be, since it's located in the heart of artsy Wynwood), and you get the full enchilada.
Recommended for Lunch because: Mexican fare done right for all (from moles to tacos for omnivores and vegans alike), in a hip atmosphere make for a solid lunch spot.
Priscilla's expert tip: Please bring your vegetarian friends here, they have an entire menu section devoted to them.