The Insider’s Guide on Where to Eat During Art Basel Miami

Miami Art Basel has become synonymous with satellite art fairs, industry parties, and dining in style. When you’re not sitting in an Uber at 4x surcharge, you’re admiring art, strolling the streets of Wynwood, visiting the hotel pop-ups, and hopefully, taking advantage of the outstanding Miami dining scene.

 

It’s fair to say that the art of dining has become just as important as the art itself. So, we enlisted the help of The Mediocre Chef to compile a list of the best restaurants—from high, low, to everything in between—to help you navigate the Miami Basel food scene like an expert.

 

 

MIAMI BEACH

 

Forte Dei Marmi, $$$

 

Why we love it: Two Michelin starred chef, Antonio Mellino and his son Raffaele opened up Forte Dei Marmi in late 2016 as a tribute to the Amalfi Coast. The restaurant is located in a 1930’s Mediterranean style building at the tip of South Beach and provides a sharp contrast from the rest of the Miami dining scene offering simplicity in both its atmosphere and expression of Italian cuisine. The menu highlights local ingredients with a focus on seafood and fresh pastas. The wait staff provides an elegant service, typical of a white tablecloth restaurant. This is the perfect dining destination for an indulgent bottle of wine and shaved truffle pasta. photos // @fdmmiami

150 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

 

 

27 Restaurant & Bar, $$

 

Why we love it: It’s nearly impossible to beat the energy and atmosphere of Miami Beach’s best (and only) hostel, Freehand Miami. The hostel itself is a destination for creatives, gallerists, and off-duty tastemakers. The 27 Restaurant is the essence of these vibes with its eclectic menu, onsite produce garden, boozy craft cocktails, and indoor-outdoor seating. The make-your-own arepa platter is not to be missed and post-dinner cocktails at the Broken Shaker are mandatory. photos // @27restaurant and @brokenshaker

2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140

 

 

Pubbelly Noodle Bar, $$

 

Why we love it: Chef José Mendín knows how to run a restaurant. Beyond being a five-time James Beard Award nominee, he is the man behind Pubbelly Restaurant Group, responsible for eight outstanding restaurants in the Miami area. Pubbelly Noodle Bar is a casual gastropub perfect for brunch or dinner. The menu is pork-centric and offers heavenly bao, ramens, small plates, and a new brunch addition, CinnaBaos. The restaurant is typically packed with locals which makes it is the perfect escape from the Basel crowds. photos // @foodcommahg

1418 20th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

 

 

Pubbelly Sushi, $$

 

Why we love it: You haven’t lived until you’ve dined at Pubbelly Sushi. That may read as dramatic, but the quality, innovation, and flavors achieved at this locals-favorite are second to none. There is something so uniquely delicious about this Miami staple, from its butter crab roll, tuna pizza, or Buffalo rock shrimp tempura, the menu at this casual sushi bar is packed with winners and is a true reflection of Chef Mendín’s culinary brilliance. photos // @pubbellysushi

1424 20th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

 

 

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, $$

 

Why we love it: Good southern food is hard to come by, but we found it in Miami Beach thanks to Anthony Bourdain and Questlove aka musician, DJ, and mega-foodie Ahmir Khalib Thompson. Beyond their seal of approval, what makes Yardbird’s food unique is their overwhelming attention to detail. The famous fried chicken is prepared over a 27-hour period, the deviled eggs are topped with smoked trout roe, and the buttermilk biscuits come out hot and flaky. This restaurant is good for the soul and the extensive craft bourbon bar keeps the crowds happy and lively! photos // @ybsouthern

1600 Lenox Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

 

 

Puerto Sagua, $

 

Why we love it: Puerto Sagua is an old-school Cuban cafe that serves outstanding, healing comfort food perfect after a long night out on the Basel circuit. This restaurant is always busy, fast, affordable, and no frills. Order any of their Cuban specialties with a glass of sangria and we guarantee, by the time your done, that you’ll be ready to hit the fairs with a vengeance. photos // @themediocrechef, @wdurney

700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

 

 

Verde, $$

 

Why we love it: Minutes from South Beach, on Biscayne, sits the world famous Perez Art Museum. This modern-contemporary museum is dedicated to collecting and showcasing 20th and 21st-century works and happens to be home to one of the best brunch spots in all of Miami. Verde boasts outdoor seating, bay views, and contemporary American cuisine including sweet potato pancakes, eggs benedict, and squash blossom pizza. We highly suggest you escape Miami Beach for a tour of this outstanding institution and a waterside brunch. photos // @verdemiami

1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

 

COLLINS AVE AKA HOTEL ROW

 

Le Sirenuse Miami, $$$

 

Why we love it: A divine taste of the Amalfi Coast can be found in the Miami landmark The Surf Club now home to The Four Seasons Hotel. Le Sirenuse was created by the owners of Michelin starred restaurant La Sponda located in Le Sirenuse’s namesake hotel in Positano, Italy. The restaurant offers fresh, authentic Italian cuisine in a 1930’s clubhouse revitalized by French architect and interior designer Joseph Dirand. The warmth and elegance of this restaurant are enhanced by its adjoining champagne bar. Its vibrancy is reflected in it’s who’s who clientele. photos // @lesirenusemiami

9101 Collins Ave, Surfside, FL 33154

 

 

Cecconi’s, $$$

 

Why we love it: Our favorite clubhouse, Soho Beach House, is home to one of the most buzzing Italian restaurants in Miami Beach. The Venetian style food is exceptional, but the real highlight is their lush indoor-outdoor patio where you’ll dine under fairy lights while enjoying an unbeatable atmosphere only found at this members-only social club. photos // @cecconismiami

4385 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

 

 

PAO by Paul Qui, $$$

 

Why we love it: Under an oval-shaped golden dome in the ornate Faena Hotel, sits James Beard award-winning chef Paul Qui’s buzzing Asian fusion restaurant PAO by Paul Qui. What is most impressive about this restaurant is its minimal yet dream-like decor and audacious menu that blends technique and masterful flavor profiles. The restaurant offers the unique opportunity to sit tableside Damian Hurst’s outrageous unicorn sculpture entitled ‘Golden Myth,’ while enjoying impeccable service and ocean views. photos // @paofaena and @faena

3201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

 

 

The Bazaar by José Andrés, $$$

 

Why we love it: Award-winning chef and restaurateur José Andrés is consistently praised for his daring, whimsical, and complex approach to food. He is a master at executing his vision and The Bazaar at the SLS South Beach, a decadent 60-dish tapas restaurant, is a fantastic demonstration of his unique ability to curate culinary adventures that successfully blend the cuisines of the world. The restaurant’s bustling atmosphere draws a trendy crowd of adventurous eaters. photos // @bazaarbyjose

1701 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

 

 

Byblos, $$$

 

Why we love it: This Eastern Mediterranean restaurant housed in The Royal Palm South Beach offers a refreshing menu choked with flavorful dishes including shakshuka, duck kibbeh, and roasted lamb shoulder for two. The restaurant is a perfect combination of atmosphere and food with a lively crowd, a fresh and colorful interior, and outstanding share plates. Lastly, Drake dined here in July, enough said. photos // @byblosmiami

1545 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

 

WYNWOOD DESIGN DISTRICT

 

Alter, $$$

 

Why we love it: Chef Bradley Kilgore’s culinary laboratory is serving some of the most innovative and artistic food in Miami in an unassuming industrial warehouse in the Wynwood design district. Choose from a five, seven, or eight-course tasting menus showcasing local ingredients and make sure to try out any of their equally as creative craft cocktails. photos // @altermiami

223 NW 23rd St, Miami, FL 33127

 

 

The Wynwood Yard, $$

 

Why we love it: This culinary incubator and elevated food truck park is making a splash on the Wynwood dining scene. Choose from any of their twelve gourmet food trucks and enjoy an affordable, fast casual, experience with laid-back vibes, an outstanding lineup of performers and events, and free wifi. photos // @dellabowls, @wynwoodyard

56 NW 29th St, Miami, FL 33127

 

 

Zak the Baker Deli, $

 

Why we love it: Master baker Zak Stern had his finger on the pulse when he opened his cult famous kosher deli and bakery in Wynwood. Visit this unfathomably cool bakeshop and cafe and enjoy showstopping breads, Zak’s signature sourdough, and a menu of sandwiches, soups, and salads perfect for an afternoon snack or full-blown meal. photos // @zakthebaker

405 NW 26th St, Miami, FL 33127

 

 

The Salty Donut, $

 

Why we love it: The Salty Donut offers artisanal, small-batch, donuts that are guaranteed to blow your mind. The shop’s sheer innovation and unconventional combination of flavors have earned it the reputation of “best donuts in Miami.” Sure, there’s always a line, but these confections are worth it. Make sure to get there early because these bad boys often sell out. photos // @thesaltydonut

50 NW 23rd St #112, Miami, FL 33127

 

 

Federal Donuts, $

 

Why we love it: Coffee, fried chicken, and donuts, an unlikely marriage that elevated a fast-casual Philadelphia food chain into a legendary destination for foodies everywhere. The Miami outpost of Federal Donuts is no different from its PA counterparts, offering Korean style twice-fried chicken paired with their signature honey glazed donut. The adventurous eater can opt for one of their “fancy” donuts with outstanding flavors including churro and guava poppy. photos // @federaldonuts

250 NW 24th St, Miami, FL 33127

 

About The Mediocre Chef: With over five years in the food & lifestyle industry, and a lifelong obsession with finding the next best meal, Founder of The Mediocre Chef, Sophia Schneider, is an avid eater, traveler, and reporter. She created The Mediocre Chef in 2015 as an editorial site for the food-centric urbanite, and combines her lust for food & travel and love of writing & photography to pay homage to the worlds best restaurants, food markets, and food fairs.


top image // courtesy of Four Seasons Miami

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