Where to Eat & Drink in Miami
In 2007, chef Michael Schwartz opened Michael’s Genuine in Miami’s Design District, bringing a locavore mentality and unpretentious, homemade food to a city too often known for shallow, trend-driven restaurants. Now, the James Beard award winning chef and restaurateur has a handful of Miami restaurants, including Harry’s Pizzeria and the Cypress Room, as well as an outpost of his flagship neighborhood bistro in Grand Cayman. Below, Schwartz shares a few of his top picks for Miami, including where to find the best coffee, chicharrones and classic cocktails.
Palacio de Los Jugos
A Miami staple. I go for the meaty chicharrones and batido de guanabana shake.
5721 W. Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33144; 305.262.0070; elpalaciodelosjugos.com
Zak The Baker
We source our rye for Michael’s Genuine from Zak the Baker, right in the heart of Wynwood. Go for lunch, get the beet toast, and pick up a sesame loaf to take home.
405 NW 26th St, Miami, FL, 33127; zakthebaker.com
The coffee kings of Miami; their brew is as excellent as the people watching.
2390 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127 & 1875 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139; 305.677.3952; panthercoffee.com
The Martini Bar at The Raleigh
Go to the Martini Bar for classic cocktails in a classic room. A genuine taste of South Beach as it should be.
1775 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139; 305.534.6300; raleighhotel.com
Mignonette is a small oyster bar a few minutes south of the Design District. Their wine list is very user-friendly, broken down by food, color and pairing.
210 NE 18th Street, Miami, FL 33132; 305.374.4635; mignonettemiami.com
Vagabond Restaurant & Bar
The Vagabond is a brand new spot, with an exciting cocktail program and great hospitality.
7301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138; 305.400.8420; thevagabondhotel.com
I go to Mandolin a lot with my family; we’ve worked our way through the entire menu.
4312 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137; 305.749.9140; mandolinmiami.com
About Michael Schwartz
Miami-based chef and restaurateur Michael Schwartz (50) shares his passion for where food comes from at The Genuine Hospitality Group. Since his flagship, Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink, first opened in Miami’s Design District in 2007, diners have come to embrace and crave its refreshing combination of laid-back atmosphere and seriously good food, a neighborhood bistro that is the ultimate showcase for the type of cuisine that Schwartz does best – homemade and straightforward, with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients.
Honored with the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South in 2010, Schwartz is recognized by his peers and the diners that flock to his restaurants for his commitment to community and responsible, seasonal food sourcing. According to the chef, the secret to good food is… good food. Menus change daily because they start with what’s in season and arriving on the doorstep from nearby farmers, fishermen, and ranchers. From there, it’s about letting the ingredients speak for themselves when they hit the table, from house-cured heritage meats and homemade seasonal fruit jams to wood-fired whole local fish and colorful salads.
The Genuine Hospitality Group operates restaurants including Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink (Miami Design District Est. 2006 and Grand Cayman Est. 2010), Harry’s Pizzeria® (Miami Design District Est. 2011 and Coconut Grove 2015), 150 Central Park by Chef Michael Schwartz aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class ships (Oasis of the Seas Est. 2011 and Allure of the Seas Est. 2013,) The Cypress Room (Est. 2013), and Michael’s Genuine® Pub on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class ships (Est. 2014, 2015, 2016) as well as food and beverage at South Beach’s iconic Raleigh Hotel including Restaurant Michael Schwartz (Est. 2013.) Michael’s Genuine® Home Brew is a classic American Ale craft-brewed in Gadsden, Alabama with Florida-grown brown rice and sugarcane, sold in the chef’s restaurants and with on- and off-premise retail distribution throughout the state of Florida.
Outside of the restaurant, Schwartz focuses his time and influence supporting the arts and causes such as Share our Strength, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, Slow Food (from which he received its Miami convivium’s first “Snail of Approval”) and the White House’s Chefs Move to Schools initiative, an effort to improve cafeteria food with more nutritious, kid-friendly menu items.
Schwartz began his career in Philadelphia, and earned his culinary chops in kitchens from Los Angeles to New York City, until settling in Miami in the early 1990s. He currently resides in Miami Beach, FL with his wife Tamara and three children, Ella, Lulu, and Harry. The chef’s cookbook, MICHAEL’S GENUINE FOOD: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat (Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2011) features beloved recipes from his flagship, an homage to approachable, sensible, and affordable food that everyone loves to make and eat. His recipes and restaurants have been covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, TODAY Show, and more.