The 17 Best New Restaurants In Miami 2022

In terms of culture, architecture, art, and seaside splendor, Miami has long been a veritable Oz for tourists and fun in the sun. Lately, the city's food scene has grown in prominence to become one of the mightiest in the US, evolving from one of the best in Florida to one of the best in the nation. The evidence is everywhere, from the fact that Michelin added the state to its US guide in 2022 to the data that shows the town's bars and restaurants are nearing pre-pandemic success. This year, too, Miami took the crown as having the highest-grossing independent restaurant in the country, a testament to how its restaurant scene grew over the pandemic as residents and restaurateurs flocked here to relocate or expand (via The New York Times). Incoming restaurants are expanding rapidly, originally from cities like New York City (via Robb Report). However, local chefs, owners, and mixologists are doing the same within their hometowns, resulting in a spree of exciting new openings this year unseen most anywhere else in the country.

The Miami restaurant class of 2022 is a dynamic roster of innovation and ingenuity — of out-of-state expansion, decadent decor, and degustations sure to entice some of those coveted Michelin stars. From celebrity chef hot spots and ritzy London imports to neighborhood entries in places like Little River and Little Haiti, these are the 17 best new restaurants in Miami in 2022.

1. Tambourine Room by Tristan Brandt

On an otherwise nondescript stretch of Miami Beach, hidden away inside the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, lies one of the most dazzling tasting menu restaurants in town, courtesy of a seasoned chef with a globe-trotting pedigree. Tambourine Room by Tristan Brandt – the namesake stunner from the Michelin star chef (via Miami Herald) — is an extravagant rebirth of the original Tambourine Room, a bygone Miami classic reimagined as a sleek 18-seat spot offering three- and six-course menus that marry classic French techniques with Asian influences and Floridian seasonality.

With just two seatings per night, a meal at Tambourine Room 2.0 feels more like an intimate, interactive dinner theater, with friendly servers swiveling through tables with magnums of Champagne and trays of caviar. From amuse bouche to petits fours and every decadent plate and pour in between, meals are a culinary tour de force of technique, presentation, and artistry. Dishes run the gamut from roasted sesame-marinated tuna tartare with miso foam to meltingly tender Wagyu beef with truffles and leek. Desserts, courtesy of pastry chef Logan Seibert, punctuate the meal with sweet stunners like chocolate mousse with banana-lime sorbet and cashew panna cotta, presented with as much whimsy and magic as a Dr. Seuss tome.

2. Walrus Rodeo

When the perpetually buzzy — and newly Michelin-starred — mainstay Boia De expands next door with a whole new concept, it's bound to be met with the same immediate fanfare and success as a Taylor Swift album drop. As intimate, cooly casual, and effortlessly hip as its older sister restaurant, brand-new Walrus Rodeo is sure to join the pantheon of Miami's culinary elite.

Located just steps away from Boia De in Little Haiti, Walrus Rodeo is a wood-fired affair that's just as cozy and unassuming, with 32 seats and a menu anchored in live fire. The menu, courtesy of Jeff Maxfield, skews Italian with influence from local and seasonal Floridian farms (via Miami New Times). Eschewing large plates for smaller, shareable options, dishes include wood oven quail with fermented pineapple, mustard green lasagna, turnip salad, and schmaltz-roasted maitake mushrooms with Tuscan kale and heirloom beans.

3. Avra Estiatorio

This has been a big year for out-of-state restaurants expanding to Miami for their Florida debuts. Among the newcomers is Avra Estiatorio, a glam Greek restaurant with locations in New York City and Los Angeles. For its Miami arrival, the chic entry set up shop with a Mediterranean seaside-inspired location at The Estates at Acqualina on Sunny Isles Beach.

From the white-washed, island-influenced motif to the seafood-centric menu, a meal at Avra Estiatorio is designed to transport and immerse. It's evident in its fresh, vibrant Greek and Israeli salads, classic caviar presentations, sea salt-crusted whole fish, and sashimi and raw bar. Along with Greek and Mediterranean fixtures like saganaki, halloumi, and grilled lamb chops, the expansive menu pulls plenty of originals, like Chilean sea bass souvlaki and mussels saganaki. The cocktails, like the cucumber-kissed Santorini Martini, are just as crisp and fresh.

4. MaryGold's

Further confirmation that Wynwood is the hottest neighborhood in Miami can be attested to the recent arrival of the hip new boutique hotel, Arlo Wynwood, and its on-site restaurant from some of the most acclaimed food and cocktail pros in town. MaryGold's, billed as a Florida brasserie, hails from lauded Chef Brad Kilgore and Bar Lab, the award-winning group behind local hits like Broken Shaker (via Miami Culinary Tours), with a melting pot of a menu that pulls from throughout the state and across the country.

Served up in a casually elegant, plant-filled space, the menu includes the likes of layered brioche with honeycomb-shaped sourdough butter and salted local honey; line-caught sashimi with naranja agria, scotch bonnet kosho, and mustard seed oil; hand-cut tagliatelle with sweet crab and pomodoro, and sweet potato waffles topped with caviar and Parmesan crème fraîche. Under Christine Wiseman's tutelage, the cocktails are just as stunning and innovative, like the delicate apricot and soursop Appleton.

5. Sofia Design District

This year, restaurant groups from across the country — and beyond — made their marks on Miami, cashing in on the city's rapidly accelerating food scene. In the Miami Design District, a ritzy neighborhood that's become as known for high-end dining as it is for high-end fashion, Sofia Design District is an offshoot of a Toronto-based Italian concept from Canada's Ink Entertainment Group (via Ocean Drive).

From its pretty-in-pink perch, complete with a rosé-hued patio, the restaurant orchestrates a menu of Italian dishes as beautiful as its fashionable neighbors. Small plates include crudo like scallops with honeydew melon and puffed farro; antipasti like Wagyu carpaccio with figs, pine nuts, truffle pecorino, and beef fat croutons, and pasta like mafaldine with wild boar bolognese and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Larger plates, meanwhile, offer lardo-enriched shrimp with Calabrian chili butter and roasted chicken with peperonata jam. The enormous wine list offers many pours and bottles from Italy and elsewhere, while cocktails emphasize martinis and Italian classics like Negronis and Boulevardiers.

6. Aba

After expanding to Austin, Chicago-based Aba made its Florida debut this year with a lush locale at Bal Harbour Shops. Courtesy of celebrity chef and "Top Chef" alum CJ Jacobson, the Mediterranean-minded menu draws influence from Israel, Greece, Turkey, and Lebanon — all splashed with a bit of Californian influence.

The restaurant channels the Mediterranean atmosphere with a breezy, sun-soaked dining room that has verdant trees blooming in the middle of it, along with a menu of light, shareable snacks and dishes. Even the simplest items, like smoky garlic hummus or charred eggplant with yogurt and lemon, are vibrant and soulful, while neoteric takes like spinach labneh with blueberry and dill exhibit the restaurant's innovative side. For something heartier, tamarind-braised short ribs and shawarma-spiced skirt steak meet meaty muster, while green falafel with avocado tzatziki and broccoli with date tahina keep an emphasis on plant-based plates.

7. Contessa

One of the country's more successful and respected restaurant groups made big moves in Miami this year, as New York City's Major Food Group opened a few splashy offshoots throughout the Magic City (via Ocean Drive). After opening a location of its coveted Carbone, the group followed up with a posh Italian entry in the Miami Design District called Contessa.

With another location in Boston, the restaurant's Miami spin-off is an aptly extravagant entry brimming with chandeliers, soft-pink lamps and booths, and mirror-backed bars in a two-story, patio-clad space. The menu follows suit with elevated Italian fare like meatballs in whole-grain mustard sauce, squash carpaccio, shrimp mezzaluna pasta, and blistered pizzas topped with the likes of Calabrian cream and littleneck clams. In addition to brunch and lunch, the restaurant also offers a wide portfolio of after-dinner amari, a curated roster of Italian wines, and classic-inspired cocktails, like a blood orange-infused Aperol spritz and a Campari-splashed Jungle Bird.

8. Crusoe

Any party-centric bar with a nautical theme inspired by a shipwrecked novel is bound to be an original. Indeed, Crusoe offers a meal to remember, courtesy of the White Feather Management Group, which is behind other spots like Bar La Real and La Ponderosa (via Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau). The name is a nod to the novel "Robinson Crusoe," a seafaring romp about a shipwrecked mariner; the bright, beachy, and palm-filled bar offers a tropical dining and drinking experience as adventurous as the book.

The food and drink menus are as vibrant and nautical as the decor, offering over-the-top lobster dishes, grilled octopus with chimichurri, crispy fish and waffles, and decadent seafood platters — all of which are apt pre-gamers before hitting the on-site dance floor. Cocktails are just as fun and tropical, and Choppy Hour is Crusoe's version of happy hour, served Thursday through Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m.

9. QP

A true hidden gem in Coral Gables, QP is a transportive Spanish-inspired "restaurant in residence" that operates after hours at MKT Kitchen. By day, the modest corner spot is a homey market filled with epicurean sundries and breakfast and lunch fare. By night on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, though, the dining room transforms into a spirited tapas party filled with aïoli-splashed plates, fresh fruity cocktails, and a dynamic lineup of New and Old World wines.

The name, QP, is an abbreviated nod to kewpie, a Japanese mayonnaise that also goes by "aïoli" in Spain. It's a requisite condiment that applies to many dishes on the menu, from hot and cold to small and large. These include Spanish staples like boquerones (aka anchovies), steak tartare, stuffed piquillo peppers, and pan con tomate, along with thrilling originals like risotto with uni fondue, Cool Ranch shishitos, burrata with oyster mushroom escabeche, and — instead of traditional potatoes — a yuccas bravas dish with smoked tomato, chorizo, cotija cheese, and of course, aïoli.

10. Gekkō

Bad Bunny has had a banner year: The Puerto Rican rapper was Spotify's most streamed artist in the world, amassed a slew of Grammy nominations, and was named the no. 1 pop star of 2022. Oh, and he opened a huge restaurant in Brickell with one of Miami's most prolific restaurateurs. Gekkō is a Japanese-inspired steakhouse that's as stylish and see-and-be-seen as you'd expect of a restaurant from one of the buzziest musicians on Earth joining forces with the restaurateur behind the most successful independent restaurant in the country (via Miami New Times).

Expectedly lavish, the huge downtown restaurant is draped in velvet, jewel tones, and regal hues of crimson and blue splashed throughout the lounge, sushi bar, and main dining rooms. The menu is just as majestic. Small plates come packed with big flavors, like oysters with watermelon granita and Fresno chili, Japanese milk bread with miso butter, bacon with peach kimchi, and maki rolls with avocado and plantain chips. Other sushi stars include king salmon nigiri with black truffle and otoro tuna nigiri draped with edible gold leaf. Of the main plates, the steaks — including a selection of richly marbled Japanese cuts — take top billing.

11. Low Key

Although many of Miami's splashier openings this year have skewed extravagant and opulent, many of the new hot spots have taken root in more unassuming neighborhoods — with atmospheres that are decidedly chiller than buzzy Brickell or showy South Beach. Still, it has food and drinks that are no less destination-worthy. Low Key is a breath of fresh, breezy air in Little River, offering a casual menu with a laid-back patio and live music.

Inspired by the casual and relaxed vibe of the Florida Keys, Low Key feels more like a friendly patio party than your typical bar or restaurant. The space consists of several picnic tables and benches under a canopy of trees lit up with lights, with a counter for customers to order seafood snacks, icy beers, and tropical drinks. The concise menu offers a hit list of nautical comfort foods, from smoked fish dip and fish sandwiches to fish and chips and crispy clam frites with Calabrian chili butter sauce and a heap of crinkle-cut fries. Look for some unexpected novelties, too, like BBQ Japanese sweet potatoes with jerk sauce and cashew cream, and grilled fish in green coconut curry.

12. Lion & The Rambler

Seasonality and local sourcing is king at Lion & The Rambler, a handsomely appointed restaurant that takes ingredients so seriously that flour is milled in-house, bread is baked from scratch, and even salt is made on-site. It's all the vision of Chef Michael Bolen, who brought his love letter to fresh Florida cuisine to Coral Gables this year, offering an ever-changing menu of dishes inspired by the land and sea.

Open for both brunch and dinner, the homey restaurant sports concise menus designed to spotlight nothing but the freshest and the best. For brunch, this might include sourdough pancakes, chili butter-poached shrimp with Anson Mills polenta, and an avocado toast riff with ricotta salata and pistachio za'atar. Come dinner, look for elegant stunners like tomatoes with preserved cherries and anise hyssop; braised duck pelmeni (a type of Russian dumpling) with sour orange sauce and garlic butter; dry-aged black grouper with pomegranate sauce and sunflower seed salsa matcha, and koji-aged NY strip steak with glazed radicchio and dashi-poached cherries.

13. Dirty French Steakhouse

After expanding into Miami with restaurants like Carbone and Contessa (via Time Out), New York City's Major Food Group doubled down on the glam factor for its indulgent, over-the-top steakhouse in Brickell. Dirty French is a glitzy, French-accented steakhouse where the animal-print decor, neon-pink accents, and sexy dining rooms offer all the same pomp and circumstance as the food and drinks.

With such a stunning facade, the menus have a lot to live up to — but this is one chic restaurant that can talk the talk and walk the walk. Open for lunch and dinner, dishes draw inspiration from classic French and American steakhouse traditions, like shrimp cocktail, Dover sole meunière, and duck à l'orange. Its steaks — like the 16-ounce ribeye, 40-ounce porterhouse for two, and prime rib — are the real show-stoppers, along with traditional caviar service, shellfish towers, and a masterful martini-centric cocktail list.

14. Smorgasburg

While 2022 saw a spate of restaurant expansions to Miami from across the country (and the globe), many of the big-ticket openings have been ritzier offerings driven by celebrity chefs and powerhouse restaurateurs. But one of the most exciting expansions this year was the arrival of a decidedly casual open-air food market from New York, as Smorgasburg set up shop with a colossal offshoot in Wynwood.

Similar to the Brooklyn original (there's another location in Los Angeles), the Miami branch is a spectacle of local food vendors and innovative street eats. Altogether, more than 60 vendors — along with abundant street art and a massive patio — are at the weekends-only Wynwood location. Vendors change regularly, but all are local Miami entities offering a unique taste of local cuisine. Examples include paella from Tio Paella, bulgogi hot dogs from Authentic Korean Kitchen, cinnamon rolls from Flour & Weirdoughs, and pastrami sandwiches from Krüs Kitchen.

15. Sexy Fish

Among the most lavish newcomers this year, Sexy Fish made quite a splash when it brought its singular decor and elaborate seafood dishes to Miami. After originating in London, the restaurant earned renown for its showy sushi dishes, late-night club vibe, and — more than anything else — an over-the-top design scheme that feels part Salvador Dalí and part "The Little Mermaid." The establishment has various kaleidoscopic dining rooms exuding an under-the-sea vibe through fish lamps, coral-colored leather seating, mermaid sculptures, and a huge fish tank that spans the entirety of the private dining room.

The food has a lot to live up to in a space like that, but Chef Björn Weissgerber does it justice with a sprawling menu of nautical delicacies and striking seafood dishes. The menu runs the gamut from king salmon bao buns and king crab with bone marrow to lobster with shiso butter and tempura tiger prawns with yuzu salt. Sushi comprises a large portion of the menu, too, with signature nigiri like prawns with burrata and caviar and signature maki like scallops with foie gras. Guests can also opt for an omakase tasting menu or get meaty with Japanese Wagyu steaks. The cocktails are as sexy as the fish, like a peanut butter-infused rum drink in a mermaid-clad tiki mug

16. Tropezón

Cuban cuisine on Miami Beach is a familiar cultural cornerstone, but Andalusian-style gin and tapas bars? Not so much. This is what makes Tropezón, a cozy and warm nook of a bar nestled on historic Española Way, such a unique addition to the South Beach dining scene. Inspired by olden Spanish saloons teeming with tapas and gin cocktails, the pint-sized parlor serves small plates for lunch and dinner, along with a menu of potent potables.

Shareable tapas toe the line between classic and contemporary, with expertly prepared requisites — like the Spanish tortilla and patatas bravas — sharing menu space with the likes of fennel seed-dotted empanadas and boquerones fried in charcoal tempura. There's also a smattering of Spanish meats and cheeses, burly plates (e.g., cowboy ribeye with brown butter piquillo and duck confit paella), and sweets like a crème brûlée-esque crema Catalana with strawberry jam. On the beverage side, the bar specializes in gin and tonics, gin infusions, sherry, and sangria.

17. Amal

Modern Lebanese cuisine is the bill of fare at Amal, a sunny and swanky Coconut Grove spot from the folks behind locally-adored Byblos. The restaurant is lofty and lush, brimming with huge planters, floor-to-ceiling windows, and soft, ambient earth tones — with a just as inviting and convivial menu.

Courtesy of Chef Wissam Baki, the menus at Amal are oriented around mezze and the tradition of sharing. The food is authentic and wholesome, sporting an artsy take on things like muhammara, grape leaves, fattoush, hummus, grilled shrimp, and kabab skewers. Open for dinner, lunch, and brunch, guests can also look for modern interpretations like kibbeh with beer tartare, mini spinach pies, and fried sea bream with parsley tahini. The wine list follows suit with Lebanese varietals and a cocktail list that employs ingredients like raspberry powder and rose water syrup.