The best restaurants in Miami’s Design District
The best restaurants in Miami’s Design District
The Design District is already famous for its luxury retail and blue-chip art installations but it is also known as the neighbourhood with the most Michelin stars in Miami. With a total of four Michelin Stars and three Bib Gourmand awards, the accolades of the gastronome Bible solidify the neighborhood as the ultimate leader in Miami dining. But fine dining is not the only kind of restaurant to find in the Design District, plenty of chef-driven restaurants and even an eclectic food hall round out the options in this walkable enclave.
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
It came as no surprise that this French-inspired restaurant scored Florida’s only two-star rating two years in a row. This incarnation of the late chef Joël Robuchon’s concept features a glossy dining counter (with a coveted 34 seats) facing directly into the open kitchen and is clad in dark lacquered wood with pops of cherry red. Executive Chef James Friedberg tackles Robuchon’s complex dishes executing everything from the famous phyllo-breaded sous-vide egg topped with caviar – ‘L’oeuf’ – to ‘Le burger,’ two petite beef and foie gras burgers. The menu allows for an à la carte selection or the multi-course ‘Evolution Menu’ which can include dishes like scallop served in coriander broth and coconut emulsion, and calamari and black cod with miso and tamarind.
Photo: Ricardo Mejia
The French word for ‘gardener,’ Le Jardinier's cuisine and setting evoke a modern greenhouse in the heart of Miami’s Design District. Earning one star for a second consecutive year, the menu by Culinary Director of the Bastion Collection Alain Verzeroli is focused on utilising the highest quality vegetables, seasonal ingredients and fresh herbs, fitting seamlessly into the modern, light-filled interiors designed by award-winning architect Pierre-Yves Rochon. The menu, which changes seasonally, impresses with dishes like citrus-cured hiramasa with mango and passionfruit or the classy bavette au jus with royal trumpet mushrooms and crispy potatoes.
Photo: Gary He
This Korean steakhouse was barely 18 months old when it earned its first star in 2022 and has already established itself as a world-class destination for an energetic and stellar culinary experience. Helmed by owner Simon Kim and Executive Chef David Shim, the team choreographs a beef-centric experience with balletic precision. High rollers can opt for the elevated steak omakase experience, but newbies should try the ’Butcher’s Feast,‘ with the chef's four selected cuts of meat served with an assortment of Korean accompaniments, a fluffy egg souffle and a soft-serve dessert topped with soy caramel.
The neighbourhood pioneer, ever since it opened 15 years ago, features James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz’s take on locavore cuisine, and a unique wine and cocktail list. It’s the kind of place where you can get a glass of local beer and a bowl of freshly-made potato chips and onion dip – or you can splurge with a bottle of Champagne, caviar and oysters, and a massive ribeye made in the wood burning oven. The restaurant earned a Bib Gourmand award two years in a row and continues to impress with its commitment to hearty-yet-complex cooking with dishes of housemade pasta, crudo and pan-roasted chicken keeping well-heeled shoppers satiated.
Tablé by Antonio Bachour
Pastry guru Antonio Bachour’s multi-faceted space was barely six months old when it earned a Bib Gourmand in the 2023 Michelin Guide. The cafe-and-pastry-studio hybrid is the perfect showcase for Bachour’s sophisticated desserts and French-inspired brasserie menu. A panoply of baked goods including bread, croissants and pastries are beautifully arrayed behind glass display cases while a grab & go market features jamon serrano sliced to order. The sophisticated dine-in menu includes salt cod fritters and fried artichokes, beef tartare and cacio e pepe buccatini.
Feel like being transported to the tavernas along Aegean coastal towns where the Greek Islands meet the Turkish coast? A taverna with whitewashed walls, Mykonos-blue accents and blooming bougainvillea, this popular Bib Gourmand winner from husband-and-wife duo Anastasia Koutsioukis and Ahmet Erkaya serves all the greatest hits of Turkish-Greek cuisine with grilled seafood and meat, mezze dips and herb-filled salads. The beverage program is curated by Erkaya and features rare boutique wines sourced from Greece and the Aegean coast. Pop in for a leisurely lunch and take in the chic crowd – fashion editors, art collectors and socialites all call this place home.
This two-story Japanese restaurant and membership club, helmed by critically acclaimed global restaurant company, Major Food Group, is the hottest sushi spot in the DD. At the heart of the first-floor dining area lies a 14-seat marble sushi counter, presided over by two of New York City's most revered and beloved sushi chefs, Masa Ito and Kevin Kim. Upstairs, a second level of uninhibited decadence boasts exclusive amenities with an outdoor cigar lounge, backgammon terrace and subterranean cocktail bar. The modern Japanese menu includes wagyu katsu sandwiches as well as dishes developed just for Miami like lobster dumplings, crispy snapper, and stone crab cucumber salad.
Baccarat B Bar & Lounge
If the ideal lunch setting includes being surrounded by twinkling chandeliers and sipping Kir Royales from the finest crystal then this lavish spot checks all the boxes. Bubbling coupes of Champagne set the tone for the lavish experience which can include anything from dainty towers of tea sandwiches to full caviar service complimented by $150 half-ounce pours of Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac. Light bites like avocado toast with truffle sauce, a smoked salmon club, and cheese and charcuterie plates pair well with the cocktails and Champagne offerings. Cappucinos are festooned with exquisite latte art and delicate French macarons or lavender tiramasu round out the sweet endings.
The frilly pink umbrellas in Palm Court will beckon you to stay a while at this Italian stunner where the Prosecco flows and the fritto misto will transport you to the Amalfi Coast. The truffle pizza is a must – the perfectly-chewy crust gets topped with maitake mushroom, bufala mozzarella, potato crema, truffle pecorino, chives and shaved black truffle. Save room for the rigatoni alla vodka spiked with calabrian chilli, tomato, cream, and 36-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano, a spicy and umami-flecked powerhouse that urges you on with each unctuous bite.
This chef-driven food hall features a thoughtfully curated mix of local food and beverage talent in a setting that is inviting and encourages communal dining. The indoor/outdoor space includes ample patio seating with fun swinging chairs overlooking the district’s Palm Court. Inside there’s a full bar offering craft cocktails along with wine and beer. Standout vendors include Jaffa, an Israeli kitchen with Mediterranean cuisine influenced by Miami culinary darling Yaniv Cohen. There’s also fresh pasta from Dal Plin, top-notch sushi and nigiri from Sushi Yasu Tanaka and fried chicken at Coop.
If you're looking for the best spot for people watching over an Aperol spritz and spicy lobster capellini, look no further. The famed northern Italian-inspired concept, Contessa Miami, is a classic yet thoroughly contemporary dining destination by Major Food Group. There’s an elegantly lush outdoor ambience and a menu of antipasti, signature pizzas and an extensive in-house gelato program. Pizzas come topped with salumi, little neck clams and of course, truffle while mains like a veal Milanese and ribeye tagliata are big enough to share. The gelato program here is strong, with dishes of the pistachio and olive oil flavours providing an unctuous end to the feast.