New Restaurants: Handheld

Tacos & Tequila

One of South Florida’s top taco spots has come to Miracle Mile, providing a laid-back neighborhood bar atmosphere that serves fast-casual Mexican street food. Bodega Taqueria y Tequila’s eighth location gives us our latest go-to locale for all-day quick bites. Walking inside, you’re met with a masculine, industrial ambiance established by its brick walls and long, dark-wood bar. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Bodega without its iconic airstream trailer-turned- taco-truck and the clever, constantly changing signage — “Walk the Mile in our shoes, you will end up drunk,” on the day we visited.

From classic taco options like carne asada ($5.50) and pollo asado ($4.50) to fan favorites like barbacoa ($5.75) and birria ($6.50), the wide selection of authentic cuisine mixed with unconventional interpretations solidifies Bodega as a true taqueria. We went classic with al pastor ($5), biting into the juicy roasted pork complemented excellently with charred pineapple, red onion, cilantro, and salsa rosada. We washed the tacos down with a spicy passion fruit margarita ($17), made with Ocho Plata tequila, spicy vanilla agave, lime, chinola, and finished with a Tajín rim.

To adjust to the Gables’ sophisticated feel, Bodega ditched its late-night speakeasy lounge/club for an intimate back room mezcaleria, which features dimly-lit ambient lighting, leather seating, and (most importantly) a wide selection of specialty tequilas and mezcals. The 506-square-foot space seats only 25 patrons, so make sure to secure reservations before visiting. Tequila lovers can expect a full agave experience. — Natalia Clement

Bodega Taqueria
317 Miracle Mile

Smile Empanadas

Do you like pizza? Burgers? Brownies? Do you also like empanadas? The answer to all of these questions is, of course, “Who doesn’t?” Which is why Smile Empanadas, at the forefront of edible pocket innovation, has brought all of the above to the Gables.

The unobtrusive storefront on Red Road hides an inner world of invention, where the humble Hot Pocket meets a brownie and embarks on a love affair called the Brownie Fudge Empanada. There’s something ridiculous about an empanada with chunks of chocolate brownie and caramel inside it, but it’s something we like. We are less certain about the Sweet Beef pocket, which includes raisins, but enthusiastic about the Cheeseburger Empanada, which is baked with cheddar-infused ground beef and bacon.

Smile Empanadas doesn’t stop there. You’ve heard of the breakfast burrito? Now try breakfast inside an empanada — bacon, eggs, and cheese. Or go vegan with the Beyond Empanada, featuring vegan cheese, onions, and plant-based “beef.” Or lean into Miami’s Cuban heritage with the Guava Cheese Empanada, a “SoFlo classic.”

Each gooey pocket of goodness will run you $4, but combos are available, which come with soda and an adorable packet of Pringles chips for $10 or $13.50, depending on your empanada intake. It feels like the meals your summer camp counselor would hand out, but no less delicious for all of that. And if the idea of brownies in empanadas doesn’t float your boat, there are also churros and alfajores for sale. It’s enough to make you smile. — Kylie Wang


Smile Empanadas
6907 S Red Rd.

Looking for more places to dine? Check out our Bites section for your culinary guide in the Gables.