Friends of Eater Share Their Top Restaurant Standbys of 2021

As we put a cap on 2021, Eater surveyed a group of friends, writers, and all-around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them ten questions: from top standbys to top newcomers, from best meals to restaurants they’ve broken up with. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of 2021. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Responses do not necessarily reflect the views of Eater and Eater Miami.

Gretchen Schmidt (Edible South Florida): Botta Street Food for sandwiches and panini. Motek Israeli Cafe’s small plates are fresh, flavorful, and beautiful, too.

Amber Love Bond (Eater Miami contributor): My go-to spots have been pretty consistent over the last couple of years and tend to boil down to places that have the whole package— food, drinks, vibes, and great hospitality. Jaguar Sun / Sunny’s at Lot 6 – wherever they are I know I can count on a solid martini and outstanding meal. Macchialina will always be a favorite and I love the outdoor space! Sweet Liberty if I want to dance between my eating and drinking, and Lido at Four Seasons Surf Club for those treat-yourself moments, and I’ve got a lot of those.

Matthew Meltzer (Thrillist Miami): If the Michelin Guide doesn’t give a star to Chicken Kitchen when it comes here, I think we really need to rethink its credibility. Society BBQ has a brisket that’s both delicious and reasonably priced enough to leave you with money for cholesterol medication. La Mar and Crust are always winners too.

Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): As I’m sure everyone already knows, I’m a staple at Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and it’s because she’s consistent and the food is always so good.

Virginia Gil (Time Out Miami): Both iterations of Jaguar Sun are perennial favorites, both the steakhouse in Little River and the cozy bar/restaurant downtown are top of the list for me.

Juliana Accioly (Eater Miami contributor): I like LPM in Brickell and Le Zoo in Bal Harbour, both for the atmosphere and consistently good service and food.

Alona Martinez (Eater Miami Contributor): Itamae, because, does life get any better than (safely) enjoying an extraordinary, creative meal whilst people gazing passersby in the chic courtyard?

Sara Liss (Author of Miami Cooks): My go-to this year was the Citadel rooftop for casual nights out with friends – love that they did waiter service and have a full bar up there – where else can you have a decent cocktail, food from Lil’ Laos and pizza by Ash and a beautiful rooftop setting?

Kelly Blanco (NBC 6): Osteria Morini, Le Zoo, and Mandolin Aegean Bistro were my regular go-to spots with family and friends. Caja Caliente, Poke OG, and Benh Mi were consistent for a quick and delicious bite. Macchialina and Oliver’s Bistro saw most of my money via Uber Eats orders.

Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): I’m fortunate to work near Leku so I was able to have a few incredible meals there this year. LPM is another favorite, alongside Jaguar Sun who finally brought its Downtown Miami location back this year and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
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