Diner Most-Loved

Why We Love the Miami 'Secret Menu' Restaurants

These are some of the restaurants that make Miami great.

18 min read
4/3/2023
SecretMenuMiami Timpano bucatinialpesto feature

Eternal summer, gorgeous beaches, and nonstop nightlife are just some of the things to love about Miami. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll discover that the Magic City is also a melting pot of cultures, especially on the food scene.

We’ve noticed too, which is why Miami is getting the spotlight in DoorDash’s new magazine, Secret Menu. Sharing stories about and insight into Miami’s food scene, the latest issue reveals some of the restaurants that give the city so much culinary cred. From authentic Cuban to Cajun-Vietnamese fusion to vegan Caribbean street food, there’s not a single flavor in the world you can’t find in this special place.

Boia De

Michelin-starred Boia De is one of the toughest reservations to snag in the city. Serving beautifully plated takes on modern Italian food, it perfected the art of the sandwich during the pandemic and now offers Sandwich Sunday specials on DoorDash and Caviar. Ordering in means choosing from a lineup of Italian-style sandos that all feature high-quality ingredients and freshly baked bread. True Miamians know that the Boia De Buffalo Chicken Tender Pubsub, a take on the classic Publix supermarket chicken tender sub, is a must-order.

SecretMenuMiami BoiaDe buffalochickentenderpubsub article

Maiz Project

Ground by hand and shaped into perfect pockets filled with a variety of cheeses and proteins (like steak, chicken, and chistorra), the arepas at this Time Out Market and Smorgasburg Miami gem are done the old-school way: using the best corn flour to create a high-quality version of the popular Venezuelan street food.

El Bagel

Once upon a time, the thought of having El Bagel delivered was just a dream. When this bagel shop opened, not only was delivery not an option but you actually had to place your order online at least two hours in advance before you could pick it up. (If you’ve tasted the food here, you get the hype.) The freshly made bagels can be ordered individually, by the dozen, or as a sandwich. The BEC and King Guava with guava marmalade, cream cheese, papitas, and a fried egg are bestsellers. We also  love that one of the toast-intensity options for the bagels is “burnt.”

SecretMenuMiami ElBagel bagelsandwich article

Brickell Kosher Deli

Just like its name implies, this is a kosher deli in the heart of Brickell that serves a variety of wraps, burgers, and popular Middle Eastern sides like baba ghanoush, Israeli salad, and hummus. Zoom in on the Chef Special section for standouts like pulled brisket on ciabatta with horseradish dressing and grilled onions. And why not grab some rugelach?

Mo’s Bagel and Deli

Egyptian-born Hussin Mohamed dreamed so much of opening a restaurant, he sold all of his belongings to raise the capital — and it’s a risk that paid off. Mo’s Bagel and Deli has been thriving in Aventura since 1995, and Mohamed opened a second location in Hallandale in 2020. Mo’s serves all the greats: bagel sandwiches, blintzes and knishes, pastrami sandwiches, all the deli salads, and more. Do not sleep on the tuna salad.

Lokal

Part of the Kush Hospitality group, Lokal’s menu is most well known for its burgers: local grass-fed-beef beauties ground daily and cooked to juicy perfection. The Lokal burger has honey mustard, melted jack cheese, and avocado; the Miami Heat packs a punch with spicy mayo, sriracha, and jalapeños. And any night you order in from Lokal is a good one for your four-legged friends too: Treat your pup to Chichi Get the Meatloaf or Yeyo’s Chicken & Rice from the Doggy Menu.

The Bagel Cove

Home of the Best Bagel in Miami 2021 according to Miami New Times, the Bagel Cove has been serving deli classics to its cultlike following for more than 30 years. The bagel sandwiches are piled high with toppings like whitefish salad, lox, and egg salad, while the chocolate-chip pancakes are the perfect combination of gooey and fluffy. The menu is giant and no doubt has whatever you’re craving, including omelets, burgers, franks, and schnitzel.

Kush by Stephens

In 2019, Kush Hospitality Group reopened what was once Florida’s oldest deli, Stephen’s Delicatessen in Hialeah, serving its original deli-diner menu from the 1950s. The pandemic called for a bit of a rebrand, so the Kush team fused the menu with its others. Now Stephens serves the iconic hearty Reuben and Rachel sandwiches but also items like the DJ Laz spicy chicken sandwich, named for the celebrated radio DJ, which is served with jack cheese, LTO, and spicy mayo on a challah bun.

La Boulangerie Boul’Mich

For over 20 years, La Boulangerie Boul’Mich’s all-day breakfast has kept Miami happily full at locations all over South Florida, with dishes including traditional eggs Benedict, croque madame “Our Style” (Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese), New York bagels, and Greek avocado toast. Boul’Mich also has fresh-baked goods, including loaves of bread, quiches, croissants, and Latin pastries including tequeños, alfajores, and pan de bono.

SecretMenuMiami LaBoulangerieBoulMich croque article

Vegetarian by Hakin

Part health store, part vegan Caribbean-inspired restaurant, Vegetarian by Hakin serves daily specials that come with a choice of steamed vegetables or salad, rice, and freshly prepared sides. There’s also an expansive menu of burgers, pizzas, and wraps. Determined to change the way people perceive vegan food, these dishes are exploding with flavor in every bite. The gluten-free Sunflower Plate — which comes with a choice of kale-cashew patty or an adzuki bean variety — is a godsend for wheat-averse veggie eaters.

Burger Hive

Craving a burger but sticking to a vegan lifestyle? Burger Hive is here to fill the  void. Completely vegan burgers made using Beyond Meat patties and lots of Caribbean spices populate this menu, which features four styles of patties (original, double, Fakin Bacon, and Island Spice, which is topped with spicy Haitian coleslaw), alongside three vegan chicken sandwiches, vegan milkshakes, and french fries.

Chill and Grill Smokehouse

This is one of those places where you order a meal and it comes in a Styrofoam container that feels heavy enough to feed a family of four (but there is zero shame in not sharing). The menu changes regularly, with a few offerings each day. No matter what they are, you can be sure they’ll be stick-to-your-ribs good: From boneless saucy chicken to fried shrimp or seafood rice, it’s all a chef’s kiss.

Timpano

This modern Italian restaurant went through a complete revamp in 2021. Its new high-end menu features appetizers along the lines of truffle arancini and semolina-dusted calamari, and entrees include a selection of pasta (hello, bucatini al pesto) and fancy cuts of meat, like Australian Wagyu served marsala style with forged mushrooms.

SecretMenuMiami Timpano calamari article

Batch Gastropub

Think of Batch as an elevated sports bar that draws on global inspiration and uses local ingredients. Naturally, you’ll find all the greats like burgers and wings but also favorites made fancy, like the Mac Attack (macaroni and cheese made with gnocchi and aged Gruyère, and sprinkled with Dorito dust) and hoisin-glazed salmon served with sticky rice. The Greens section of the menu features lots of big-ass salads with protein add-ons if that’s your speed.

Talkin’ Tacos

This is a pandemic love story. Two 26-year-old best friends started this spot as a food truck while the world was shut down and quickly found themselves with four brick-and-mortar locations. Their menu includes Instagram-worthy entrees like birria tacos and birria ramen, sides like street corn, and desserts such as churros and dulce de leche cheesecake.

Joe’s Stone Crab

The oldest and perhaps most-talked-about restaurant in Miami, Joe’s Stone Crab is known for (surprise!) its iconic stone crabs. But there are a ton of other equally amazing options on this menu, including half a fried chicken — some of the best in Miami — for under $10. (That’s a nice balance to the stupendous lobster roll, which, at nearly 38 bucks is actually worth every cent.) Don’t forget to add a slice of Key lime pie to your cart.

IStronga Vegan Restaurant

Miami is a safe — and delicious — haven for vegans. This spot serves huge portions of traditional Jamaican food with a vegan twist and loads of flavor thanks to chef Avery Konata’s homestyle cooking. The mains change every day, but you can always count on their being served with a choice of quinoa or rice, two seasoned and stewed vegetables, and a fruit. Order a patty or a fresh-squeezed juice as a starter or a snack for later.

Dub N Grub

A pioneer in the Miami Gardens area, chef Kriss Kofi serves vegan street food with a heavy Caribbean influence. Using mushrooms as his main source of protein, his plates are massive, filling, and bursting with flavor. The menu changes regularly, but you can always expect something along the lines of noxtail (vegan oxtail), curry chickpeas, and mac and cheese. The Rasta Pasta Al’vegdo is a fun take on Alfredo featuring cashew-based cream sauce, tons of veggies, and your choice of a whopping 10 vegan proteins. 

B & M Market

This isn’t your typical market. Sure, B & M has standard bodega offerings, but the stars of the show are the roti and Jamaican food. Every dish — from shrimp roti to curried goat to brown stew chicken — is made with love and packed with flavor. The sizable entrees come with your choice of peas and rice, salad, or spicy pikliz cabbage. Extra score: beer to go!

Zak the Baker

There is simply nothing like the fresh bread and pastries at Wynwood’s award-winning bakery. It’s not uncommon for lines of baked-good seekers to wrap around the corner waiting to get their hands on the good stuff, which makes Zak’s the perfect place to order in from. Breakfast is served all day, along with several kinds of sourdough, croissants, and cookies. The double chocolate babka sells out fast, so if you can snag one, consider yourself a winner.

SecretMenuMiami ZakTheBaker group article

Society BBQ

A pitmaster’s dream, Society BBQ is Midtown’s go-to for delicious barbecue. Sliced brisket, saucy burnt ends, ribs, pulled pork … this spot has all the classics. Order a large sharable portion or get your meat sweats on with a massive sandwich — there’s no wrong answer here. The cornbread, pit-smoked beans, and smoked loaded potato sides round out the meal to perfection.

Versailles Restaurant Cuban Cuisine

A legendary Miami establishment, Versailles gives you the quintessential Cuban culinary experience. Serving hearty portions of comfort food, this menu features palomilla, arroz con pollo, vaca frita, and more served with sides of black beans, fluffy white rice, and, of course, plantains. Can’t decide? Opt for one of the combination platters, which feature a little bit of everything.

La Carreta

Has a Miami sports team won an important game? Is there something big happening in Cuban politics? If the answer to either question is yes, everyone immediately heads to La Carreta to party in the parking lot — those are the rules. The real attraction, though, is the tasty traditional Cuban food along with a slew of burritos, enchiladas, nachos, and other Mexican goodies. With locations all over the 305, you’re never far from La Carreta.

Las Olas Cafe

If you’re looking for low-key, no-frills, delicious Cuban food, Las Olas Cafe is your best bet. This menu has all the classics, from sweet plantains to Cuban sandwiches. What sets it apart from other Cuban joints is the addition of bowls to the menu. With nearly a dozen options, you’ll find a bowl tailored to the palate of any of several Latin countries. The Peruano is a take on a lomo saltado with steak, white rice, and fries; while the Venezolano has shredded beef, white rice, a fried egg, and fried plantains. Work your way through all of them.

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Amber Love Bond

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