They don'y even call themselves a "restaurant".
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Only three Florida spots made Bon Appétit's 50 Best New Restaurants In America for 2022 and they are all in Miami. One of which, Paradis Books & Bread, opened in July 2021. I've been to it before, and I'm shocked that it made the list.
The publication based the winners on those companies that are "challenging industry norms" from hard-to-find foods to those that are focusing on a staff-first environment in a post-pandemic era.
Bon Appétit rates this restaurant as a "worth it" place to be, but based on their findings and the customer experience I encountered, this establishment, didn't give off enough of a "restaurant vibe" for me. In fact, the place's website establishes it as a cafe in the URL: pbb.cafe.
The venue seemed way more like a wine and book shop than a focused eatery. Though it's an adorable hidden gem, if you don't look for it on the side of the road, you just might miss it.
Inside, there's an intimate area with extremely limited space that has bottles of wine lining the walls for purchase only. If you don't want a bottle, it seems you're out of luck.
When you walk in, there are skinny walkways as large tables full of books that take up most of the main floor.
"You could sit on the patio at the mosaic-adorned tables and sample their bread-centric evening menu, which features tinned fish served alongside their homemade sourdough and seaweed butter, as well as pizzas by the square slice," Bon Appétit wrote.
The outside furniture mentioned didn't include makeshift wooden benches, as well. It was a relaxed hipster vibe, but it felt like we were squeezed into the parking lot.
To me, the menu items don't "challenge" a typical restaurant. You can find bread, tapas and pizza at nearly every corner in the Miami area. For a so-called restaurant like this one, it's limited to small plates — which reminds me of a wine bar.
I tasted their cheese and sourdough for an appetizer and their pepperoni pizza square for an entrée. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary from other spots...and if you're getting ranked in the Magic City, there's a spectacular criterion you're up against.
All in all, the food was good, and affordable, too, but if you're not into a hole-in-the-wall type of setting that's trendy, radical (as they say) and unconventional, then this spot isn't for you.
I did enjoy my time spent there, however, it definitely relates to a niche audience.
Paradis Books & Bread
Cuisine: Baked goods and dips
Address: 12831 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami, FL
Why You Need To Go: If you love books and wine, this place is definitely a good time. It's a unique cozy wine bar that also serves up baked goods and pizza slices.
Accessibility: Wheelchair/stroller accessible