So lately, we’ve been having our fair share of Mediterranean food. We’ve noticed that when we go to a Greek or a Turkish restaurant with a group of friends, there’s always something for everyone. The menus satisfy those sticking to all kinds of diets. And you avoid stressful conversations that start with, “I can’t eat anything there.” We also just love the refreshing flavors, herbs, and usage of olive oil. Here’s a list of our top Mediterranean restaurants in Miami: some classics and some exciting newcomers.
Neighborhood: Miami Beach
Address: 1436 Drexel Ave
The Drexel is a new addition to the recently revamped Espanola Way, at the Esme Hotel. The airy, elegant restaurant has a large indoor area with doors that open up to Espanola Way, with additional seating outside. The team from Mandolin opened the Drexel a couple of months ago to serve homemade pasta and pizza with an emphasis on locally sourced seafood and an extensive selection of vegetable dishes. They also have an impressive selection of boutique wines and specialty cocktails. We enjoyed the Heirloom Tomato Salad with avocado, hearts of palm, and Nicoise olives, and also recommend the Spaghetti cacio e pepe with limone.
Neighborhood: Upper Buen Vista
Address: 184 NE 50th Terrace Upper
This cozy café serves traditional Turkish breakfast plus Aegean and Anatolian cuisine. All dishes are made to be healthy, using high-quality ingredients with an emphasis on olive oil. Their menu features all-day breakfast, Simit (the Turkish version of a bagel), soups, traditional main dishes, salads, mezes, bakery, and desserts. Try the El Turco Salad with steak tomatoes, Persian cucumber, white onion, and extra virgin olive oil. We also recommend the Simit Avocado Toast, a Turkish twist on a classic favorite with mashed hass avocado and fried egg. If you’re stopping by for dinner, don’t skip the Manti, homemade beef stuffed dumplings with brown butter, garlic yogurt; and the Roasted Eggplant Salad with charred eggplants, peppers and finished off with olive oil and parsley.
Address: 347 NW 24th St
Doya is a modern Aegean restaurant and bar in Wynwood. The space itself is impressive, featuring a large beautiful bar and a wood and coal fireplace behind an open kitchen. Doya specializes in Meze, which is based on the principle that food tastes better when shared. The menu is organized into three sections: Cold Meze, Hot Meze, and Desserts. For Cold Meze, we recommend the Octopus grilled over charcoal. The Hot Meze section has a lot to choose from, but some of our favorites are the Lamb Chops marinated in paprika and olive oil and the Kofte (grilled Turkish meatballs). The Adana Kebab with chopped spiced lamb served with homemade lavash bread needs to be paired with the Haydari, garlic yogurt dip with burnt butter, and mint. If you’ve saved room for dessert, don’t miss the homemade Pistachio Baklava.
Neighborhood: Miami Beach
Address: 1545 Collins Ave
Cuisine: Eastern Mediterranean
Located at the Royal Palm Hotel on South Beach, Byblos has been a longtime Miami favorite. The interior is sensual and Mediterranean, with blue and gold accents. The outdoor patio is fantastic for dining al fresco and people watching on Collins Avenue. Byblos also delivers on the food front with delicious Eastern Mediterranean cuisine. We love the Turkish Kale Salad, the Hummus Royale, and the Short Rib Kebab with truffle tzatziki, chemen, pine nut dukkah, and oregano.
Neighborhood: Design District
Address: 4312 NE 2nd Ave
Mandolin is a classic Mediterranean restaurant founded by a husband and wife team back in 2009. The restaurant is in a 1940’s home that was restored and transformed into the Mandolin that we love today, with gardens and a quaint outdoor patio space. The dishes are inspired by Greek and Turkish coastal food, using local ingredients and Aegean techniques. The menu includes Mezes, Salads, Sandwiches, Mains, and Sides. Start your meal with the Greek Sampler: a trio of tzatziki, olive tapenade, and tirokafteri. We also love the Mussels with white wine, garlic, lemon, and oregano; and the Baked Feta with tomatoes, smoked greek chili flakes, and spicy pickled Turkish peppers.
Address: 36 NE 1st St Suite 132
Motek is a family-owned, kosher-style Israeli Mediterranean restaurant offering all-day brunch, dinner, and baked goods. Motek aims to elevate “fast-casual food culture” by focusing on freshness and thoughtful, delicious Israeli food. The original location is downtown but they recently opened a new outpost in Aventura, with another opening in Miami Beach soon! We love their selection of bowls, served with your choice of majadra rice, nana rice, or cauliflower couscous, and all bowls are topped with Israeli salad, hummus, and sumac onions. Try the Faroe Island Salmon Bowl with harissa honey and shawarma spiced or grilled salmon. If you’re looking for an entrée, check out the Plates section of the menu, which includes hummus, pita, and mixed greens. We recommend the Arayes Burger, kosher grass-feed beef stuffed in grilled pita with tahini for dipping.
ABBALÉ TELAVIVIAN KITCHEN
Neighborhood: Miami Beach
Address: 864 Commerce St
Abbale is a family-run restaurant showcasing a healthier style of cooking highlighting the flavors of Israel, Turkey, Greece, and Colombia. The two co-founders have a wealth of experience from creating Pura Vida, My Ceviche, and Zuuk. They source from local farmers and everything is made fresh daily. In addition to lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, they celebrate Shabbat dinner Friday evenings. Featured dishes include the Charred Baby Carrots, Fire Roasted Prawn, and the American Wagyu Steak. Have the Shakshuka for lunch or the Moroccan Spiced Local Fish with a spicy tomato braise, roasted cipollini, grilled Jerusalem bagel, and lemon aioli for dinner.
Neighborhood: Buena Vista
Address: 4600 NE 2nd Ave #8
Lemoni Café has been a Miami gem since 2008. The cozy, European-style café serves healthy, filling, and vegan dishes. The cuisine can be described as Mediterranean, but it has multicultural influences, including Moroccan, French, Italian, and Argentinian seasoning. The menu showcases meats, curry, hummus, salads, wraps, paninis, and more, with something for everyone. Some of our favorite dishes include the Black Bean Hummus with Pita served with tzatziki and roasted red peppers and the Chicken Avocado Panini with garlic mayo, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onions.