As we put a cap on 2018, Eater surveyed a group of friends, writers, and all around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them eight questions: from top standbys to top newcomers, from best meals to restaurants they’ve broken up with. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the 2018. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein.
Amber Love Bond (Eater Miami contributor): The beach might be back. I think I’ve spent more time on the other side of the bridge this year than I have in a while. When my bluetooth in my car connects to my phone on Sundays it automatically tells me how long it will take me to get to Generator, I guess I’m there a lot… the brunch is reallyyy good.
Evan Benn (Indulge Miami): I’m feeling more of a pull toward Coconut Grove than ever before. I could eat at The Kitchen every day. I meet people for coffee in the morning at GreenStreet. My wife and I have date nights at Sapore di Mare and Ariete. We take the family to Glass & Vine.
Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): I’m going to say Downtown because I like to drink. So best drinking neighborhood of 2018 w/ Jaguar Sun, Mamá Tried & Lost Boy Dry Goods.
David Rosendorf (Food For Thought): If I’d gotten to Brad Kilgore’s brand new spot, Kaido, I would probably be ready to say Design District: between Kaido, Ghee, the new St. Roch Market (Itamae, Yuzu, Sabal Coffee, and the cocktails from the Mayhaw Bar are particular favorites), Blue Bottle Coffee, La Pollita serving those awesome tacos and chicken cemitas in Jade Alley, plus Michael’s Genuine still going strong, Mandolin Aegean Bistro around the corner – that’s a lot of strong options. But I’ll save that verdict for next year, when Kaido is fully online and its sibling Ember is open, plus – supposedly – a Joel Robuchon project still in the pipeline.
So for now, maybe not “best,” but most improved? North Beach / Upper East Side. I’m being a complete homer, as this is my ‘hood, but there are now good taquerias within a couple miles either east or west (Taquiza North Beach on Ocean Terrace, which also has great cocktails and seating right across from the beach, and 222 Taco on the Kennedy Causeway), Sushi Erika (where Chef Michio’s daughter is doing the old Sushi Deli menu plus her own creations), Wabi Sabi (have I mentioned I’m crossing my fingers Chef Shuji is coming back), Vagabond Sushi (I still miss the original iteration of Vagabond with Alex Chang, but am happy to see sushi chef Mike Hiraga behind the counter), The Anderson (great cocktails, great vibe, great crispy chicken sandwich), Cake Thai, Paulie Gee’s (the new lunch menu with Detroit-style square pizza by the slice and Italian-style heroes is awesome), plus if you stretch just a bit further, more great pizza at Ironside, new-school Vietnamese at Phuc Yea, Roman-style pastas at Osteria Baiocco, plus modest but solid new-ish spots like SilverLake Bistro, Black Sheep, and Pinch Kitchen.
Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): Design District/Buena Vista area.
Virginia Gil (Time Out Miami): Wynwood is still it for me, though I predict the Design District will make a strong case for Miami’s next dining neighborhood in 2019.
Alona Martinez (Eater Miami Contributor): So many spots to choose from! Wynwood / Downtown
Dara Lynn Smith (Eater Miami Contributor): Buena Vista
Sara Liss (Miami.com): The DD picked up some momentum this year with St. Roch and Madlab Creamery and of course Swan and Kaido. Wynwood is definitely exciting but it still feels like such a mission to do anything there between the construction craziness, the tight parking and dodging people on Instagram photo shoots. So since I love ample and easy parking I’m going with the Sunset Harbor/Purdy Ave ‘hood where you can get everything from an avocado toast to a fancy cocktail without going nuts.