Situated just north of Bal Harbour and Haulover Park, Sunny Isles Beach is a laid-back seaside community also known as Florida’s Rivera.
Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway to the west, the tranquil community is home to Samson Oceanfront Park, Newport Fishing Pier, and some of Miami-Dade County’s most high-end modern residences.
Just north of that is Aventura, a planned city with more of an urban feel that makes for one of the best places to live and work in South Florida.
Both residential areas offer dynamic culinary scenes, a diversity of good restaurants that have made them dining destinations in their own right. Below, a map of the 13 best restaurants to visit.
1. Casa D’Angelo
Italian-born chef Angelo Elia is one of South Florida’s most celebrated chefs, and the menu at the Aventura outpost of his fine-dining restaurant Casa D’Angelo is filled with his traditional Italian family recipes. Lunch and dinner here can start with anything from crispy zucchini flowers with ricotta and prosciutto filling topped to beef carpaccio, followed by veal and ricotta ravioli or chicken Milanese. From Monday through Friday, the indoor/outdoor restaurant also offers a special $29 three-course business lunch.
2. 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen
This Aventura favorite from the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem serves up a wide-variety of American classics prepared on the wood-fired grill. The restaurant is a popular spot for happy hour and brunch, but diners will see that the two legendary basketball players put their own spin on the menu namesake dishes like the UD chicken wings and the DWade burger.
3. Bourbon Steak Miami by Michael Mina
Celebrity chef Michael Mina’s classic American steakhouse in the is a standout for dishes like hand-cut steak tartare, Maine lobster pot pie, truffle mac and cheese, and wood-burning grill dishes like veal chop and dry-aged bone-in ribeye. Situated in the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa, the restaurant features more than 800 wines in its Wine Spectator Award-winning cellar, or order a classic cocktail and relax in our chic lounge before or after dinner.
4. Estiatorio Ornos a Michael Mina Restaurant Miami
Decked out in a neutral palette with blue accents, white wall planks, and hanging modern lights filled with greenery, Michael Mina’s Greek restaurant inside Aventura Mall is a favorite pit stop for busy shoppers. Guests can dine on offerings such as moussaka with wild mushroom ragout, phyllo-crusted sole with caviar sauce, and tiger prawns, or select a whole fish of the day with guidance by the restaurant’s on-site fish sommelier who sources high-end product daily from the Aegean Sea and local vendors.
5. Pubbelly Sushi Aventura
Pubbelly Sushi is known for its creative fusion of Japanese and Latin fare, offering a mix of snacks to share, sashimi, rolls, items from the grill, and bao. A meal here should begin with the much photographer butter krab roll with warm clarified butter for dipping, followed by shareable tuna pizza with garlic aioli and truffle oil, before the main course of salmon robata.
6. Motek Aventura – Mediterranean Cafe & Restaurant
Like its original location in Downtown Miami, family-owned Motek Cafe’s second outpost serves eye-catching kosher-style Israeli Mediterranean dishes like Jerusalem grilled cheese and Malawach Yemenite pancake. There are six hummus iterations to choose from, customized majadra rice bowls, and the tempting Arayes burger on pita bread, stuffed with Lebanese grilled beef that was just awarded the winner of Burger Bash 2021. Glasses of refreshing limonama and challah bread pudding are the perfect final touches. The spacious indoor/outdoor restaurant is open on the Sabbath and on most Jewish holidays.
7. CVI.CHE 105
This popular restaurant by chef Juan Chipoclo offers some of the most sought-after Peruvian cuisine in town and favorites like lomo saltado (beef stir fry), aji de gallina (Peruvian curry), and the sopa parihuela (spicy seafood soup), Lambayeque’s chicha de jora (corn beer) with a powerful touch of leche de tigre. Don’t skip ordering a pisco sour, the quintessiental Peruvian cocktail, offered in many renditions like the Inferno mixed with Ancho verde, mango, cilantro, lime juice, and smoky spray.
Quick counter service Jamaican cuisine found its place in Aventura when Jrk! debuted inside Aventura Mall’s Treats Food Hall. Build-your-own bowls are the star of the menu with bases like like rice and peas or jerk fried rice that are piled high with toppings like jerk chicken, pepper steak, cabbage slaw, and pineapple mango salsa. There are six varieties of sauces to choose from, along with beverages such as DG Pineapple Kola and Mexican Coca-Cola. The 305 Rum Cake, offered in chocolate or pineapple iterations, is not to be missed.
9. Novecento18831 Biscayne Blvd #220
Novecento’s Aventura location is a heaven of Argentine cuisine specialities. Diners can choose from items like provoleta (grilled thick cut of provolone cheese), choripan, filet mignon risotto with demi glaze and Parmesan cheese, in addition to various classic cuts of meat. The restaurant also offers an extensive list of vintages and cocktails, including a Mate-infused vodka libation enhanced with lime, ginger beer, and rosemary.
10. Reunion Ktchn Bar
At Reunion Ktch, its friendly neighborhood atmosphere is complemented by warm service and a diverse menu. Guests can find duck prosciutto croquetas with fig jam on the list, as well as a section of seafood offerings, sushi, and entrees like filet mignon stroganoff and escargot. Vegetarian diners can choose from options that range from miso Japanese yam to falafel tandoori taco.
11. Saka Mori Japanese Fusion
Housed in the lobby of the Trump International Beach Resort, family-owned Saka Mori serves Japanese cuisine prepared in creatively appealing ways. Ramen is offered in miso broth with chashu and egg or mixed with shrimp, calamari, fish cake, and vegetables, or the angel hair pasta tossed with uni, ikura, and mentaiko. There’s plenty of sushi and sashimi options to choose from and a $65 omakase is also on the list, along with a land to sea maki rolled with shrimp tempura, avocado, wagyu, and truffle oil. For dessert, go for the fried cheesecake or key lime cake.
12. Il Mulino New York
Nestled in the Acqualina Resort & Spa Hotel, this upscale restaurant is the Sunny Isles destination for classic Italian offerings like meatballs, eggplant marinara, piccata di vitello al limone, and seafood linguine bathed in spicy sauce. A sweet ending of ricotta cake or chocolate cake is the prefect way to round up the meal. Pro tip: Reserve a spot at the outdoor patio overlooking the hotel’s pool and beachfront area and pair the dishes with one of the many options from the restaurant’s wine menu.
13. Timo Restaurant
Timo has been a Sunny Isles favorite for Italian and Mediterranean cuisine since its opening in 2013. Chef Tim Andriola serves a rotating menu of pasta, fish, and brick-oven pizzas. Highlights include the bucatini pasta with Maine lobster ravioli carbonara and pancetta; porcini fettuccini with mushroom ragu; and steamed mussels and clams with roasted red peppers and sweet Italian sausage;. The restaurant also offers a daily vegetarian tasting menu during dinner service ($65).