After spending a couple years living with family in Miami, I have come to the conclusion that I am qualified enough to give detailed responses on what the best restaurants in Miami are. Here goes.
First up comes the best Sushi in Miami, conveniently located within the walls of NAOE. NAOE is in Brickell, just east of downtown Miami. There are three main boxes I have in my head that I like to check off whenever I visit a new restaurant in Miami. I always begin with the service. Luckily for me, all of the staff was smiling and ready to help anyone. They worked in a timely manner and even assisted me with using my chopsticks, because I somehow still haven’t learned how to properly use them.
While waiting for my food, I read the online reviews for NAOE at Yelp. From what I had experienced so far during my first visit, I agreed with the man positive reviews I read. After reading through a few good reviews, the food arrived. Quicker than most restaurants, but that’s just how NAOE rolls. That should be their tagline, because of sushi rolls. Check off the second box, which was the quality of the food they provided me with. NAOE’s menu has greater variety than most sushi restaurants, even in Miami with so many high-end restaurants around. Subsequently after eating, I made my way to NAOE’s bathrooms.
Not because of how my body was reacting to their food, but because my final box is sanitation. My aunt used to work as a health inspector, so I know what to look for. I even asked the management to let me take a peek behind their kitchen, to which they obliged. Most places are too suspicious as to why, but it’s always interesting. The kitchen was up to code, per usual, even their kitchen exhaust hoods. Those are one of the biggest risks of operating a commercial kitchen, because grease fires can destroy everything. Luckily for NAOE, this restaurant is covered by a top-notch Miami hood cleaning company. From what I could see, of course.
Next, we move onto a completely different genre of restaurant: barbecue. Bulldog Barbecue has been my favorite since first moving here, and they’re always surprising me with new and interesting dishes that still manage to surprise me in some way each time. Bulldog Barbecue is located near the FIU Biscayne Bay Campus in Miami . The interior may seem barebones, but the minimalist qualities prevent it from getting overcrowded with people and noise.
Nothing is worse than eating at a restaurant where the waiter needs you to repeat yourself because they can’t hear over everyone else’s voices. Again, the three boxes: service, quality, cleanliness. Any old barbecue joint can have waiters that smile and happily assist you. But not every barbecue restaurant in Miami can give you personal suggestions from the menu, knowing exactly what kind of cooked meat will fit your bill. I ordered brisket, my personal favorite, and the meat was so soft and tender that it practically melted in my mouth.
I couldn’t have asked for better brisket at the most expensive barbecue restaurants in Miami, and this was actually affordable! Upon inspecting the table and seating before I got settled, cleanliness was definitely a key factor in Bulldog Barbecues M.O.. If there was a fourth box for getting good reviews, Bulldog Barbecue would have to check that one off twice over. Six stars out of five, if that’s even possible. I’m just a huge barbecue guy.
For people with a more “delicate” palette, or anyone who isn’t into eating barbecued meat, there is the Alloy Bistro Gourmet. Alloy Bistro is another restaurant located in downtown Miami, meaning that you never have to go very far to find quality food. But I’ll save that discussion for later in the review. This one’s more of a Mediterranean-themed restaurant, which is always welcome. Miami restaurants can always use more variety.
Luckily, all the variety you need is found in Alloy Bistro’s menu. Now, I’m not huge on dessert, but one of the waiters cajoled me into getting the fried pineapple ice cream. Not my finest moment, but I can always jog it out tomorrow morning. Anybody looking to eat at another one of Miami’s hidden gems will not be disappointed by this restaurant. Upon further reflection, I should really add my own opinions to the many positive reviews this restaurant keeps getting.
The ambience created by Alloy Bistro’s perfect lighting and decor made it a real treat just to sit inside of, especially for someone like me who isn’t accustomed to eating at such finely decorated establishments. In addition, it’s located smack dab in the center of downtown Miami so you’re within close proximity of everything after getting a nice meal. Really recommend this place and its food.
Finally, the fourth place I would recommend is Jacalito Taqueria Mexicana. Jacalito Taqueria is found within the brightest spot in all of Miami, the East Coral Gables. Admittedly, I agree with a lot of the good and bad in the reviews. People are saying at first it appears to be a dive, but then it’s almost like you’re opened up to a whole new world upon entering. I’m not very immersed into Latin American culture, but the wait staff and other customers really make you feel like you’re part of this big family that’s always happy to see you whenever you eat there.
The food somehow managed to top the atmosphere a well, which I hadn’t previously thought possible. If it is a dive, then it’s the cleanest and friendliest one that I’ve ever been to. Pork tacos are my favorite because my friend’s mom used to make them for us as little kids, and Jacalito Taqueria took me back instantly.
Their food is on par with the greatest Latin restaurants in Miami, and all at an affordable price. If you’re looking to be included in the family, or just plain want some great tacos with the tastiest meat you’ve eatne, I would absolutely recommend eating at Jacalito Taqueria in Miami.