The Required: Miami

The Required: Miami

A definitive guide to Miami's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

August 18, 2020
The Required: Miami

The Required: Miami

A definitive guide to Miami's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

August 18, 2020

Miami welcome to the Required Club. 

The Required is our expert version of a "best list," comprised of the stand-out restaurants that have garnered the all-time most recommendations from our expert community. That's 5,000+ all-star chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, and more — no black box of food editor committees or user surveys, just plain, crave-able cred.

Read on to plan your next trip — or just to be sure you've checked all the boxes on your home turf. 

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

The Story: James Beard award-winning chef and owner Michael Schwartz’s flagship restaurant has become a contemporary Miami classic. Following the New American standard of sourcing seasonal, sustainable ingredients and showcasing them creatively, the menu riffs on Latin, Asian, and Italian influences. 

What to Eat: Our Experts are all about the Crispy Hominy: “"It’s like having gourmet chipotle-dusted Corn Nuts with fresh-squeezed lime and tableside cilantro. It comes out quickly so you can have it right away," says Expert/Chef Gabriel Fenton. Other favorites include the Crispy Sweet and Spicy Pork Belly– “It's one of my all time favorite pork dishes. The sweet and spicy sauce cuts through the fatty pork belly and makes you feel like you can eat ten pounds of it during one sitting," says Expert/Chef Jorge Ramos. For brunch try the Housemade Pop Tarts filled with preserves made from local seasonal fruit, and the Kimchi Benedict, which our Experts swear by as the perfect “hangover food.” 

What to Drink: Cool off with a Phucket G&T–Beefeater, Passion Fruit, Sambal Curry, Lime, and Tonic. Or go for a carafe of one of their many imported European wine varietals. 

The Vibe: A welcoming neighborhood bistro with a chilled oyster bar and the glow of red paper lanterns warming the view. 

When to Go: Open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to at least 10 p.m. (midnight on Friday and Saturday), Michael’s Genuine is the jam for upscale casual eats, so make sure to make reservations, and consider it a nice bonus that you may have to wait at the bar, sipping a drink or two before you are seated. Their generous Happy Hour runs from 4:30-7:30 Monday through Friday, where you can get a dozen raw oysters for $19, small plates for $4, and half off select cocktails. 

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink
Hot Spot
Miami Design, Miami
$$$, Happy Hour, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Modern, Full Bar, American, Breakfast
13 Recommendations

Alter

The Story: Experts/Chefs and spouses Bradley and Sonya Kilgore run this intimate spot, located in a former warehouse in the Wynwood neighborhood. The two have been repeatedly recognized by critics, fans, and colleagues for their creative and experimental culinary techniques.  Bradley helms the dinner line, while Sonya is the master of the dessert station. Together they produce artful, seasonal dishes with just enough molecular gastronomic sorcery to “alter your perception” without distracting from the integrity of their ingredients. Their service staff also gets shout-outs from our Experts for their ninja-like attentiveness: they anticipate your needs without being intrusive. 

What to Eat: Bradley’s experimental cuisine shines through in the Chef's tasting menu. Choose the five or seven course menu with added ‘enhancements.' If you're looking for the full experience, request the Chef's counter where you can observe the gastro-magic firsthand. 

What to Drink: Craft cocktails meant to complement the dining menu. 

The Vibe: An industrial chic atmosphere with abstract mood lighting that makes Alter perfect for a special date or schmoozing clients. 

When to Go: Open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., reservations are highly recommended.

Alter
Hot Spot
Wynwood, Miami
$$, Reservations, Modern, Full Bar, Restaurant
16 Recommendations

Zuma

The Story: A high-end, modern Japanese Izakaya located inside the Kimpton Epic hotel, Zuma Miami is the first American branch of Chef/Expert Rainer Becker's popular London original. 

What to Eat: Expert/Chef Todd Erickson gives high praise to the Lobster No Oven Yaki: "This dish is absolutely irresistible. Drawn butter is a total yawn after experiencing the refined punch of Shiso, garlic, Serrano Chilis, and Ponzu puréed into European butter and slathered over a whole roasted Maine lobster." The Gindara No Saikyo Miso Yaki gets high marks from Expert/Chef Anthony Bachour “This miso-marinated black cod literally melts in your mouth the second it touches your tongue. This is probably the best fish I've ever had in my life."  Chef/Expert Joel Huff says of the Buta-Bara Yuzu Miso: “I am a huge fan of pork belly, and these skewers served with yuzu mustard miso are one of my favorite versions. They are fabulous, warm, fatty, and delicious." Zuma’s desserts, which are artfully presented and meant to be a refreshing finish to your experience are not to be missed.

What to Drink: Explore the intricacies of Japan's wine and Sake from Zuma's impressive collection, or go for a craft cocktail. The non-alcoholic Zuma Iced Tea with Matcha, Passion Fruit, and Lemon is a perfect way to hydrate and energize yourself in the Miami heat. 

The Vibe: A baller’s paradise, with modern Japanese wood and cement motifs, and a Robata counter and Sushi bar that add to the action. Come here expecting to drop big bucks, knowing that the memory of your experience her will stick with you longer than the receipt of the bill. 

When to Go: Open daily with a short lunch service and a more generous window for dinner, reservations are the wisest way to go. 

Zuma
Hot Spot
Downtown Miami, Miami
$$$$, Sushi, Outdoor Seating, Japanese, Full Bar
9 Recommendations
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