Miami's Top Five Gastropubs

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Salad at The Local
The first gastropub is generally considered to have been The Eagle, in London. Michael Belben and David Eyre launched it in 1991, and it was simply a pub with unexpectedly good food and a catchy label. The label, of course, went on...and on and on. April Bloomfield is credited for opening America's first gastropub, New York City's Spotted Pig. This, too, served pub fare, but like at The Eagle it was ambitious pub fare. And that's sort of what a gastropub is: A place with quality informal foods -- dare we say "chef-driven"? --and distinctive and varied beers and wines. And it is usually, but not always, situated in a comfy neighborhood space that attempts to capture the spirit of a traditional pub.

Except sometimes the line between a gastropub and not-a-gastropub can be thin and near invisible.

A place like Clarke's, for example, serves good fare with viable beverages, but it's really just a pub with good food. Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant serves decent fare and distinctive beer, but it's a brewery & restaurant. Elwood's Gastro Pub has the name pat, but the menu is not much different than at T.G.I.F. Sra. Martinez proffers small plates of chef-driven fare with select beers and wines, but it's a tapas joint -- which is sort of like a Spanish-style gastropub but it still doesn't count. Primo Pizza makes pizza, which has nothing at all to do with this except I'm feeling hungry and gastropubs, it might be noted, do not as a rule deliver.

So now that I've cleared things up, let's take a gander at Miami's five finest gastropubs:

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Rock shrimp tempura at Pubbelly Sushi
5. Pubbelly Sushi
We'll be honest: Our inclination was to leave this number five slot blank, because while Pubbelly Sushi, as well as the same team's Barceloneta, satisfy gastropub requirements, the latter's Spanish roots steer it towards the tapas category and the former serves sushi and is too similar to Pubbelly -- which is already on this list. So let's just say Pubbelly Sushi carries 14 brews, half of which are Asian imports, has a quirky wine list with about a dozen choices for $40 or less, proffers twelve select sakes, and serves cool food in a casual environment. And we'll add that we like it a lot and that this town that evidently doesn't have nearly enough gastropubs.

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Good brew and chew on tap at The Local
4. The Local Craft Food & Drink
The chef/partner at this chef-driven cafe, Alberto Cabrera, left at the end of January in order to pursue his own frita shop. Luckily he left the beer list behind, which was recently named one of the 10 Best Beer Menus In America by Esquire magazine. The twenty or so draft pours include Brooklyn Brown Ale, Cigar City Maduro (from Tampa), and Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale, which is extremely challenging to pronounce after you've had a few. Great bottles on hand as well, and food at this 50-seater is ambitious for sure. Diners can start with artisanal American cheeses before moving on to items such as duck rillette with red wine jam, and dark wedges of grass-fed flank steak jerky.


Location Info

Venue

Map

Haven

1237 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL

Category: Music

Pubbelly

1418 20th St., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

The Federal Food Drink & Provisions

5132 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

The Local Craft Food & Drink

150 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables, FL

Category: Restaurant

Pubbelly Sushi

1424 20th St., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

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8 comments
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Momo
Momo

Pubbelly is good, don't hate, it never ever dissapoints.  Haven is a ripoff and they think its a nightclub with that idiot standing behind the velvet rope.

Ferran Adria
Ferran Adria

Im Convinced that Lee Klein is Chef Mendin's Biological father , only explanation for the pedestal they have Pubbelly on.  Its a rip off of many succesful gastropubs.  Their famous " MCbelly" was done 3 years ago at Animal which is were they got it from.  Place is a real joke and Miami is the perfect place for it. #OVERRATTED!!!!

a Sanchez
a Sanchez

Please explain your correlation between TGIFs' menu and El Woods.

Tequesta Medicine Man
Tequesta Medicine Man

Haven sucks.  Pubbelly is a rip off.  The local used to be great before the head chef left recently.   Look forward to trying The Federal.    

Test
Test

if someone is saying that the local USED to be great before Alberto Cabrera left then its probably him posting this. I am a regular at the local and in all honesty the place has gotten better. I would see the dude sitting at the bar. One of the unfriendliest people Ive ever seen. 

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