After a mostly quiet summer, the South Florida restaurant scene is picking up speed: At The Goodtime Hotel, hotel guests and visitors can now grab fresh, cold-pressed juices at Pure Green, while we also saw debuts from Velvet Taco (the popular, Texas-founded restaurant chain) and Tacombi (the popular, Playa del Carmen-founded taco chain). In Downtown Miami, The Roystone is betting on bringing big-name mixologists to its swanky cocktail bar, while up in West Palm Beach, Tropical BBQ Marketplace, led by a James Beard-nominated pitmaster, is bringing Rick Mace’s smoked meats downtown. These are the top restaurant openings across South Florida.
Downtown Fort Lauderdale
Velvet Taco made its debut in Florida this month, setting up shop in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk neighborhood. Known for its unique combinations — chicken and waffles taco, anyone? — the restaurant also serves up generous margaritas and a popular red velvet cake that’s made in-house. Other menu items include the Mediterranean mushroom taco made with tzatziki, chimichurri and queso fresco, and The Cuban, which is loaded with slow-roasted pork. The all-day breakfast taco, The Velvet Griddle, is a French toast tortilla stuffed with candied bacon and scrambled eggs, served with warm maple syrup for dipping. It’s pretty hard to run out of options, as the restaurant’s WTF (that’s “weekly taco feature”) introduces an innovative new taco every week.
305 S Andrews Ave. Suite 115, Fort Lauderdale (map)
Located on the ground floor of The Goodtime Hotel in the heart of Miami Beach, Pure Green is an ideal option for a quick breakfast or a pre- or post-workout meal. The superfood outlet has already established itself in South Florida with a location in Sunset Harbor, and guests can look forward to similar cold-pressed juices and wellness shots in a vibrant cafe setting. Mirroring the Art Deco vibe of The Goodtime Hotel, the cafe has teal couches and neon lights set against playful pink banana wallpaper. Serving both hotel guests and walk-ins, Pure Green offers hearty food options like organic grain toasts topped with avocado or nut butters, acai bowls and steel-cut oatmeal with fruit and nuts.
601 Washington Ave., Miami Beach (map)
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Tacombi has come a long way from its origins as a beachside food truck in Playa del Carmen — and it’s now just opened its third Florida location, in Wynwood. Like other Tacombi restaurants, the Wynwood location has a pared-down dining area designed to replicate a traditional Mexican taqueria, with white subway-tiled walls and no-frills folding tables and chairs. If it’s your first time, order the crowd-pleasing Baja crispy fish tacos or beef birria tacos. Open for lunch, happy hour and dinner, there’s a good selection of Mexican beer alongside classic cocktails like the Spiked Hibiscus, with a smoky mezcal, chile morita and fresh hibiscus flowers.
275 NW 26 St. (map)
West Palm Beach
Led by James Beard-nominated pitmaster and chef Rick Mace, Tropical BBQ Market is a spinoff of the original West Palm Beach Tropical Smokehouse on Dixie Highway. The menu is an amalgamation of Caribbean and Floridian flavors, like a smoked curry chicken that’s served with a side of rice or roti, slaw and plantain. For the morning crowd, the brisket, egg and cheese sando with a cold brew is a great way to start the day. You can also browse the deli market and leave with Tropical BBQ sauces, smoked meat or ready-made salads. Hungry after work? Pick up a whole smoked chicken dinner, available every day from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., which comes complete with the titular protein and two quarts of sides. Tropical BBQ Market currently offers counter service breakfast and lunch, along with the dinner takeout service.
206 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach (map)
The Roystone comes from King Goose Hospitality, the same team behind the new Julia & Henry’s in Downtown Miami. The cocktail bar is set to host some of the top mixologists in the world, with a monthly series that will feature guests from top bars like Puerto Rico’s famed La Factoria and Gucci Giardino 25, in Florence. Outside of the special events, the bar has a bevy of cocktails, like the Cafecita Martini and La Consentida, made with UNA, a local, floral-infused vodka. On the food front, small bites like the white sturgeon caviar and chips are perfect for between drinks. The bar will also have jazz band performances and cocktail-making classes. The Roystone is currently open on Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to midnight, and Friday through Sunday from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., with plans to extend hours in the future.
100 NE 1st Ave., 4th floor (map)
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