Selecting the top five Mediterranean restaurants in Miami was challenging simply because there are so many restaurants that fall under the category of “Mediterranean.” With more than 20 countries actually bordering the Mediterranean Sea, you can see where it gets a little tricky. In general, Mediterranean cuisine in the United States combines influences from several of these cultures (including Spanish, French, Italian, Greek and Middle Eastern), providing a unique and flavorful array of dishes that will satisfy most people’s taste buds.
1 Por Fin
Located just one block south of Miracle Mile in the Gables, Por Fin has succeeded in living up to the standards required to feed the locals who frequent the famed bridal shopping destination. Por Fin has quickly become a staple in the neighborhood, known for its delicious blend of Spanish-Mediterranean cuisine with some French and Italian flare mixed in.
2500 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, 305.441.0107; www.porfinrestaurant.com
Maroosh is about as authentic Mediterranean as they come – casual, outdoor dining, live music, and cigar-friendly. For 20 years, they have served the Coral Gables community with the best hummus, kabobs and falafel, not to mention weekly belly dancing performances.
223 Valencia Ave., Coral Gables, 305.476.9800; www.maroosh.com
3 Eos at Viceroy Miami
Eos was the goddess of the dawn in Greek mythology, which is quite fitting for the name of the chic restaurant on the 15th floor of the Viceroy Hotel, which has shed new light on the Miami dining scene. The award-winning Chef Michael Psilakis blends aspects from western European cuisine into his native Greek roots to create a one-of-a-kind Mediterranean-style menu.
Viceroy Hotel, 485 Brickell Ave., Miami, 305.503.4400; www.viceroymiami.com/cuisine/restaurant
The brainchild of the famed restaurateur Claudio Giordano, the newly revamped AltaMare (formerly known as AltaMar) has recently relocated (just down the block) to a bigger, better and hauter space. It has also welcomed Chef Simon Stojanic, who has morphed the restaurant’s Mediterranean/American cuisine from good into great.
1233 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305.532.3061; www.altamarerestaurant.com
Inside the newly renovated Mandarin Oriental is the masterful Mediterranean restaurant Azul. No surprise to us, in 2009 Zagat rated Azul the No. 1 Mediterranean cuisine in all of South Florida. Sticking to the hotel’s Asian theme, Chef Clay Conley (who previously worked with the famed Chef Todd English) has created a unique identity for the restaurant by notoriously blending Asian influences into his sophisticated dishes.
Mandarin Oriental, 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami, 305.913.8288; www.mandarinoriental.com/miami/dining/azul