Restaurant listings for the BT Dining Guide are written Pamela Robin Brandt (
). Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, but please call ahead to confirm information. Icons ($$$) represent estimates for a typical meal without wine, tax, or tip. Hyphenated icons ($-$$$) indicate a significant range in prices between lunch and dinner menus, or among individual items on those menus.
$= $10 and under
$$$$$= $50 and over
1880 79th St. Causeway
Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette services big appetites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, there’s bandeja paisa, Colombia’s sampler platter of grilled steak, sausage, chicharron, fried egg, avocado, plantains, rice, and beans. Don’t miss marginally daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if this rich shortrib bowl is among the daily homemade soups. Arepas include our favorite corn cake: the hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, carne desmechada (shredded flank steak), plantains, rice, beans, and cheese. $-$$
Japanese Market and Sushi Deli
1412 79th St. Causeway; 305-861-0143
Inside a small market that is widely considered Miami’s premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the “Sushi Deli” restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi – layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. While raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entrées. $
Oggi’s Ristorante Italiano
1666 79th St. Causeway
This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$
1624 NE 79th St.
This exotically decorated restaurant, serving Mediterranean cuisine from North Africa and the Middle East, has several unusual features, including Friday-night belly dancing and a hookah lounge. Food menus also feature appealing, unusual choices (za’atar-spiced seared lamb loin carpaccio with chickpea purée; stuffed boureka puff pastries; mussels in creamy saffron sauce) along with familiar hummus, kabobs, more. Lunchtime sandwich standout: merguez (intensely spiced lamb sausage) with tzatziki, hummus, salad, and fiery harissa sauce, on fresh pita. $$-$$$
Sabor Latin Restaurant & Cafe
1880 79th St. Cswy.
This family-run restaurant serves big portions of homey traditional food from several Latin American countries, including Cuba (pan con bistec, ropa vieja), Mexico (nachos, tacos, quesadillas), and Peru (lomo saltado). But the specialty is Colombian classics, from snacks like empanadas to a bandeja paisa combo (grilled steak, chorizo, a gargantuan crispy chicharron strip, fried egg, arepa, plantains, beans, rice). Particularly recommended: daily specials including two meal-in-a-bowl chicken soups, ajiaco, and sancocho. If you’ve wondered about the much-debated difference, here’s where to test the taste. $-$$
1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638
(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)