We hit up some great under-the-radar spots – not your typical buzzy and hyped-up SOBE places. My faves included The River Oyster Bar, Mi Rinconcito Mexicano (some say it’s the best Mexican in Miami – I agree!), Niu Kitchen – thank you Billy Melnyk for the reco, Lucali Pizza, and to top it all off, Azucar Ice Cream.
The River Oyster Bar – Brickell Area
Great Spot for oysters, fish (I had the salmon with an amazing salsa verde sauce) and a fabulous panna cotta dessert. Not trendy or particularly hip but great food, great service.
Mi Rinconcito Mexicano – in Little Havana
OMG – unbelievably delicious mole sauce We had both the chicken mole and the cheese enchiladas with mole. Love this place! Not fancy at all, understaffed so service takes awhile even tho everyone is working their butts off – and it’s helpful if you get an English-speaking server. Definitely one of the best Mexican restaurants I’ve been to in a long while.
Niu Kitchen – Downtown Miami
So fabulous – a tiny, very cool Catalan restaurant with absolutely delicious food. We went twice for lunch – highly recommend the Cold Tomato Soup (with mustard ice cream and manchego pesto), the Paleta Iberica Dehesa Cordobesa, the Pa Amb Tomaquet, and the Estiu (mascarpone cream, berries, balsamic vinegar and arbequina oil). Avoid the salads – huge but not very tasty.
Lucali Pizza South Beach
Loved this place because of its cool Brooklyn aesthetic (shout out to BuildMcKenzie.com for creating such a great space). The staff is super friendly and attentive and we especially appreciated Thomas (General Manager?) spending time with us and sharing tips on some of his fave places to eat/drink in Miami. Oh and i LOVED the Frank Sinatra soundtrack playing in the background – such a pleasant change from Miami’s ever present EDM soundtrack (gag me!).
In terms of food, it’s good pizza but I really prefer to have the option of pre-set chef-tested and approved toppings – things that the chef has decided will blow my mind with tastiness. I do not like having to put together toppings myself e.g. one of our pizzas was great, the other only OK because of choices I made. So Lucali – you know what to do to get 5 stars from me!!
There’s also a bar next door (1930 Social Club) accessed thru a somewhat secretive door from the pizza place. We checked it out but it was early and virtually empty – not even a bartender present.
Azucar Ice Cream – Little Havana
AVOID: OVER-HYPED AND UNDERWHELMING
Great style/design but the food is totally disappointing. Their beets tasted like they came from a can – definitely not made from scratch.
Considered the best Peruvian restaurant in Miami – one of our ceviche orders was great, one only so-so. Also i really preferred the ceviche at The Broken Shaker.