These six Miami Design District restaurants are among the hottest in the country

These six Miami Design District restaurants are among the hottest in the country
Courtesy of Le Jardinier

Now is the time to eat at a restaurant that is one of the most exciting places in town.

There's more to Miami's hot new dining neighborhood than just the beach. It's the ritzy Design District that has become one of the hottest restaurant neighborhoods in the city, and perhaps the nation.

In the midst of the pandemic, this strollable space has only become more desirable as a luxury destination offering a complete package, just as the developer Craig Robins has envisioned it.

The author mentions upcoming openings in the Design District, including the Bachour Bakery in Miami, Sofia in Toronto, Tacombi in New York, and Biltoki in France. The fact that Robins has recently signed contracts for flagships from Chanel and Maison Margiela in an area where there are already Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga and so many other top-notch stores, indicates how hard it is for him to keep up with the influx of customers he is experiencing.

In the Design District, Robins has the right to build two million square feet of new space. However, there are already plans for office buildings, a “high-end club with hotel rooms” and a boutique hotel. Additionally, Robins is seriously considering building residential units.

In the meantime, new dining establishments of the Design District are attracting well-heeled crowds to the neighborhood, including the ZZ's Sushi Bar membership club and the Korean steakhouse Cote, as well as the long-standing mainstay Michael's Genuine Food + Drink.

We've rounded up six places in the Design District where you can get a good sense of how the dining scene is doing.

ZZ’s Sushi Bar

Courtesy of Miami Design District

There is a 14-seat Omakase counter at ZZ’s Sushi Bar that is overseen by two renowned chefs from New York’s Sushi Zo, Masa Ito and Kevin Kim. The best fish is imported from Japan to Miami through rerouting planes, Zalaznick says. Additionally, ZZ’s offers a modern Japanese restaurant that is both indoors and outdoors, along with a sushi counter made of three layers of marble. A wide range of Japanese beef is on offer on the menu, including olive-fed wagyu, snow-aged wagyu, and true Kobe steaks.

The restaurant also boasts a wide selection of Thomas Waugh cocktails, Japanese whiskey (with shots of rare selections that are priced from $50 to $1,000 each), a speakeasy-like cocktail bar upstairs, a backgammon terrace and a cigar lounge with cutters, ashtrays and lighters curated by Mario Carbone, who personally selected them for the restaurant. There is an antique humidor on-site where guests can store their own cigars as well as coveted Padrón 50th anniversary cigars. Wine storage is also available, of course. ZZ's will soon be opening a boutique bottle-service lounge that will offer a full range of beverages.


Courtesy of Cote NYC

His Korean steakhouse from New York was moved to the Design District in a pre-pandemic deal when Simon Kim signed the deal. He then decided to take a chance and open during the pandemic, and his decision paid off in great detail. With its aged wagyu (cooked on tabletop grills), steak omakase, caviar tastings and seafood towers, Cote is constantly buzzing with customers. While in-the-know locals and tourists fill out the sleek dining room, there is a place that serves both fashion royalty and food world elites banchon, galbi and kimchi jjigae. Korean barbecue has never been this good, and the excellent service combined with expertly calibrated cocktails take the experience to the next level. It is almost as if it were a futuristic fantasy, but if you are lucky enough to reserve a table, you can enjoy it every evening in the Design District.

Le Jardinier

Courtesy of Le Jardinier

This restaurant has been brought to town from New York in the mid-90s, and its lush, garden-like patio offers a relaxing spot for leisurely prix-fixe lunches that feature a rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables before the main course of grilled lamb or lobster paired with a delicious risotto. At the evening, you will have the option to have grilled lamb or a whole Maine lobster at the restaurant. Or you can dine at the sister restaurant L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon upstairs for crispy langoustines and Dover sole.

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

Courtesy of Miami Design District

It has been more than a decade since Michael Schwartz opened his pioneering restaurant, which has helped define modern American cuisine. You'll find comforting pastas, roast chicken, steak frites, crudo, falafel, crispy pig ears, kimchi and many other all-over-the-map delights at Michael's Genuine. Besides shakshuka and bacon hash, French toast, banana cream pie, and more on Sunday brunch here.


Courtesy of Miami Design District

Ceviches and tiraditos bursting with spice and acid are wowing the Design District at Valerie, Nando and Fernando Chang's Peruvian Nikkei restaurant. Additionally, the Changs have started a series of Itamae dinners with prominent Miami chefs like Timon Balloo, which feature crispy quinoa or sweet plantains.


Courtesy of Swan

In a dazzling indoor-outdoor restaurant, Dave Grutman (one of Miami's most influential nightlife figures) and Pharrell Williams serve caviar pasta, king crab tempura, bottle-service sparklers, and a party atmosphere powered by DJs.

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