The transition between 2020 and 2021 has been, well, let’s say not the most peaceful one. But it has come with it’s fair share of exciting announcements and, in the case of Miami’s food scene, landmark openings on the horizon. There’s no doubt that the pandemic transformed the hospitality industry, but there’s still quite a few newcomers we just can’t wait to celebrate. Here are some of the most exciting spots now open–or about to open–around Miami:
Celebrated Executive Chef Benjamin Murray created Benh Mi, an underground Vietnamese pop-up, out of his Downtown Miami apartment. Soon after his launch, Benh Mi began selling out days in advance through Instagram and became one of the City’s dine-at-home meal kit favorites. While continuing to expand his passion project, Murray reconnected with Michael Kaplan, his friend from culinary school and now NYC-based chef and restaurant owner. The two friends came together to transform the original Benh Mi concept into a brick and mortar location slated to open in the heart of Miami Beach this February.
If you lived in or around Miami in 2020, chances are you had serious FOMO when seeing your friends digging into the ridiculously delicious, naturally-leavened goodness of Old Greg’s Pizza. What started as a luck-of-the-draw pick-up became yet another pop-up sensation that took our city by storm. The team worked tirelessly to meet demand and deliver a mouth-watering product that was consistent and entirely new to the city. While their temporary pop-up wound to a close last year, we wait with bated breath for their brick and mortar opening which can’t come soon enough.
As a self-proclaimed Grovite, I’ve welcomed the newly renovated CocoWalk with mixed emotions. While I wish the aesthetic could have done more to honor and preserve Coconut Grove’s uniquely historical charm, it’s exciting to witness a new era of brick and mortars and local businesses that will breathe new life into one of my favorite Miami neighborhoods. Highly curated names like Free People Movement and PLANTA are among the spots already open, while beloved brands like Mister 01 Pizza, Salt & Straw, and Sushi Garage are slated to open very soon.
Formerly the Miami branch of St. Roch Market, Miami Design District‘s food hall experience is seeing a new path by adding new concepts by talented, emerging chefs to their culinary lineup. Among the new names at MIA Market to join the ranks is Foirette, a new American rotisserie concept led by acclaimed NYC couple/chef-duo Karen Ruedas and Tristen Reyes; Ruby Dee’s, a seasonal and vegetable-focused plates concept by Chef Daniel Roy (from The Generator Miami); and Sushi Yasu Tanaka a nigiri-focused concept by Chef Yasu, formerly of The Den at AZABU in Miami Beach.
EST.33 Thai Craft Brewery & Kitchen is set to open later this month inside Brickell City Centre. The restaurant features Asian flavors that meet the distinctive techniques of American barbecue complemented by Thai craft brews. This concept has been much buzzed about for quite some time, so we’re excited to see some progress happening where Miami will have what will be one of its most creative breweries in town.
One quiet opening that happened late last year is currently making waves in the food scene: Mr. Omakase. As the name implies, this concept is centered around the intimate, chef’s table-style of eating fresh sushi, and comes with three tiers that can get you anywhere between 12 an 18 tasting courses. Backed by the founders of Poke OG, master sushi chef Ryo Kato finally has a place from which he can birth his most flavorful, and creative concoctions.
This new classic American diner is from the team behind Meraki Greek Bistro, complete with a walk-up coffee counter, extensive milkshake menu, and will stay open for 24 hours every weekend. The menu at Miami Diner is filled with a variety of comforting dishes from Executive Chef Giannis Kotsos, with the classic retro decor that will transport diners back to the 1950s. This nostalgic and comforting spot opened late November/early December of last year in Downtown Miami and is well worth your consideration for late-night munchies.
While you know we are huge fans of anything that is 100% homegrown in South Florida, we do love when outsiders bring their passions down here, no matter what. This is one such case. The beloved fast-casual Filipino concept based out of NYC, Jeepney, quietly opened a pop-up in the 305 over the holidays and we can’t wait to try it. Helmed by James Beard nominee, Nicole Ponseca, the new outpost out of 1-800 Lucky started serving creative twists on comforting, Filipino classics just 5 days ago.
What started as a sushi-fueled dream in Japan in 1977 has now become a world takeover of revolving sushi bars. Kura Sushi, slated to open their Aventura location over the next couple of months, will be bringing their internationally-acclaimed, clean ingredient-focused sushi conveyor belt concept to Miami. Unlike similar concepts, Kura Sushi’s philosophy and ongoing promise is to prepare food using natural, premium ingredients with no additives or artificial preservatives and we can’t be more excited to feast.
When we found out that Coral Gables was getting a brewery, we knew that 2020 couldn’t have been all that bad. This is huge cause for celebration, since we’ve long-believed that the neighborhood was in dire need of a friendly watering hole for all ages–and Bay 13 is just that. From the team behind Threefold Cafe and a myriad of other beloved concepts around town, this Australian-inspired brewpub boasts shiny on-site tanks, a cocktail bar, and curated menu of bar bites. Head there now before the ball gets rolling!
The food scene was abuzz when award-winning celebrity chef, Marcus Samuelsson announced his opening of Red Rooster in Historic Overtown. And while the soft open had to adapt due to the pandemic, they’re making the most of a take-out situation by offering delicious Southern staples at an affordable price that respects its surrounding neighborhood. Their chicken dogs are no joke, and neither is their cornbread ice cream.
Cover photo courtesy of Miami Diner.