As chef and owner of New York City’s Little Owl, Joey Campanaro doesn’t get much chance to take a break. When he does, he likes to slip down to Miami for the salty air, relaxed ambience, and diverse food scene. After his latest vacation there, he shared his favorite spots with AFAR.

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
“I went for a late lunch, and the restaurant was booming with locals and visitors enjoying the best food in Florida,” says Campanaro. Standout dinner options include wreckfish ceviche with mango and lychee, and slow-roasted Fudge Farms pork shoulder with house-smoked bacon and spicy chickpea stew. $$$, 130 NE 40th St., (305) 573-5550

Campanaro sampled the upscale Chinese menu and the exceptional cocktails. “The Peking duck was the best I could ever imagine. They also serve a fantastic ginger ale–sake cocktail that I’m going to interpret for my restaurant list: It’s called the Long Dragon.” $$$, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, (305) 538-2000

David’s Cafe
“David’s is a Miami standby with a taste of the past,” says Campanaro of this 24-hour hangout. Since 1977, the restaurant has served home-style Cuban and American dishes, including an ever popular churrasco skirt steak and multiple versions of grilled and roasted chicken. “It’s a fun joint for a late lunch.” $$, 1058 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, (305) 534-8736

PRICING: $ (entrees $10 and less) to $$$$ (entrees $30 and up)

Illustration by Alex Fine. This story appeared in the November/December 2011 issue.