The Ultimate Sunset Harbour Dining Guide (2018)November 3, 2018
It’s no secret, Sunset Harbour is one of the most popular neighborhoods in all of Miami. Located within South Beach and walking distance to the Venetian Islands, stunning ocean views and trendy, walkable shopping aren’t the only things that make this area an “it” spot. One of Sunset Harbour’s most prized accolades is its thriving culinary scene, fulfilling foodie dreams on every block. Here’s how to dine and drink like a local at these Sunset Harbour staples.
Lutum, a newly-opened Sunset Harbour locale, has added new hype to the already buzzing Bay Road. Executive chef Michael Matya, a Miami-raised culinary star who got his start at Michy’s, is serving up seasonal ingredients and locally-inspired dishes with a flavorful menu. In Latin, lutum translates to “dirt and soil,” fitting into the farm-to-table fare. Chow down on the falafel scotch egg while sipping a sweet house G&T.
New to Sunset Harbour, Soul Tavern strives to be the place where “sophisticated food connoisseurs and health-focused individuals can both enjoy a meal together.” The vegetarian gastropub was inspired by the elements of nature—earth, wind, fire, water and metal. (Cue “Boogie Wonderland.”) Executive chef Kristof Czartoryski described the concept as a way to “bring health back to dining.” Aside from plant-based grub, guests can try one of the 37 available herbal elixirs on the menu. Owner Jason Gordon, who earned his doctorate in Chinese medicine, has concocted the feel-good drinks to help customers do everything from soothe their muscles to catch Zs. If you’re looking for balance, Soul Tavern could be your place.
As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another’s treasure. The creators of Juvia opened up shop in Sunset Harbour—and by shop, we mean a former body shop-turned-sushi haven. It’s safe to say that Sushi Garage, which opened in February 2017, no longer provides Miami residents with oil changes. Enjoy fresh tuna chicharron and truffle shitake nigari while staring up at the ceiling adorned with an aerial sea of metal koi fish sculpted by artist Alberto Cavallieri.
Pubbelly Noodle Bar
In 2010, Pubbelly Noodle Bar marked just the bright beginning of The Pubbelly Group’s savory sovereignty of the Miami culinary scene. As the group’s culinary director and a James Beard Award semifinalist, Chef Jose Mendín artfully fuses his Puerto Rican heritage into the Asian-inspired menu. Hearty servings of pork belly bao, short ribs gyoza and kimchee fried rice are just a few flavorful reasons to make a trip to the popular noodle bar.
Pubbelly Group founding partners Andreas Schreiner, Sergio Navarro and José Mendín have earned the title Miami’s three foodie musketeers. Just a stone’s throw away from the group’s noodle bar, Pubbelly Sushi nurtures a cult-like following of adventurous sushi lovers. If you can’t snag a seat inside, don’t get discouraged. Pubbelly Sushi has an outdoor seating area where you can enjoy the same delicious wagyu tartaré, buttered crab rolls and the unsurprisingly popular Screaming Orgasm, the restaurant’s notable seared bigeye tuna dish. Get your mind out of the gutter and reserve a table!
Skip the expensive airfare and enjoy Brooklyn pizza in your own backyard. Lucali, Miami’s slice of the New York pie, serves up Italian-style pizzas and calzones alongside a vast assortment of craft beer and wine. Should you want to a change of pace from the pizzeria’s list of vinos, pop next-door to Bay Club to enjoy a specialty cocktail and Lucali’s personal pizzas over live music and comedy acts on any given night.
Icebox Cafe is a longstanding go-to for delish meals in Sunset Harbour. The restaurant’s sophisticated, Instagram-worthy aesthetic is almost as refreshing as its menu. Indulge in guava-filled French toast or opt for a breakfast classic like The Eggbox. You’ll also want to save plenty of room for the pièce de résistance: dessert. The award-winning dessert lineup of cakes and pies have even received The Oprah Show’s coveted stamp of approval.
Would Sunset Harbour be complete without late-night tapas? Named after a quaint town in Puerto Rico, Barceloneta fuses culture and cosmopolitan class. With a treasure trove of spices in her arsenal, chef Juliana Gonzalez is responsible for the mouthwatering Spanish Mediterranean-inspired menu. Split a plate of Ibérico ham-stuffed croquetas or boldly bite into rabo de toro, a Tempranillo-braised oxtail dish. Cap off the night with Barceloneta’s noteworthy cocktails for the full experience.
Chef Piyarat Arreeratn, better known as Chef Bee, planted a piece of his Southeast Asian roots in Miami with the opening of NaiYaRa in 2016. Chef Bee’s business partner and mother instilled a fervent admiration for the art of food in him at a young age. After watching his grandma hustle in Thailand’s street food scene, he decided to bring the gift of chiang rai ribs, dumplings and loads of Sriracha to our shores. The Bangkok-inspired restaurant features everything from casual bites to grandiose plates like the 14 Carats, a sushi dish garnished with truffle oil, caviar and gold flakes—you read correctly.
If you’re looking for a lively date night hang, La Moderna certainly fits the bill. The Italian trattoria is a must-visit for classic Italian favorites like Neapolitan-style pizza and pasta. La Moderna, the sister restaurant of Fratelli La Bufala, owns bragging rights for having a huge collection of Italian liquors and skillful mixologists. Come for the pasta, but be sure to stay for the Negronis.
When the launch of Jugofresh hit Miami several years ago, the city went bananas for fruity juices and natural elixirs. With as much hype as a “Game of Thrones” finale or a boy band reunion tour, Miamians counted down the days until they could fill Miami’s empty reservoir of healthy options with the coveted cold-pressed juice. Once bound to liquid, Jugofresh has since broadened its horizons to probiotic-packed parfaits and nutritious açai bowls.
The doctor is in, and he’s not exactly wearing a white coat. Dr Smood locations have been popping up all over the 305, including Sunset Harbour. René Sindlev— co-founder of the jewelry company, Pandora—took a break from charm bracelets to team up with wife, Patrizia, for the health-driven shop. The creation of Dr Smood came in response to her lack of enthusiasm for Danish food chains. Get a dose of organic matcha latte or raw pancakes topped with “super berry” spread to refuel your system after your next Flywheel class.
Leticia and Joel Pollock hit a sweet spot when they moved across the country to open their first Wynwood café, Panther Coffee. After leaving Portland, Oregon, the two brought their talents and their vintage 1927 Probat roaster to the Sunshine State and have since been giving Starbucks a run for its money. Coffee aficionados can get caffeinated, enjoy fresh baked goods and take in the sweet aroma of java on the daily. The shop’s natural light and spacious communal table both make Panther Coffee a perfect office get-away.