Tom Aviv, Masterchef Israel Champion, Brings His American Venture to Miami

The Israeli sensation’s restaurant offers an innovative menu and retro vibe that transports guests to Tel Aviv in the 70s.

Tom Aviv, an acclaimed chef and restaurateur, is introducing his unique culinary style and innovative recipes to South Florida with the launch of his new concept, Branja. Located in Miami’s Upper Buena Vista, the restaurant offers an elevated dining experience that reflects Aviv’s Israeli heritage. Widely recognized for his flavorful and imaginative cuisine, the restaurant’s atmosphere involves a cultural journey offering carefully curated details that include warm pastel colors, a retro design, and a towering outdoor mural by Tel Aviv-based artist Paul Curran that depicts the city’s vibrant neighborhoods and bustling markets. The interior and exterior design of Branja is a fusion of Tel Aviv’s iconic indoor-outdoor train station structure, a cathedral and ancient synagogue seating.

Aviv was born and raised in Tel Aviv and won MasterChef Israel in 2016. Even though Aviv didn’t have any formal culinary training, he quickly became famous for his imaginative use of flavors and sensational persona. He has opened several unique restaurant concepts in Israel and Morocco over the past six years, all of which have become popular dining spots. Aviv started with Coco Bambino, an energetic eatery in Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market that served Israeli dishes with an Italian twist, was an instant hit. After the success of his first venture, Aviv launched Fat Cow, named TimeOut’s “Best Hamburger in Tel Aviv,” for three years in a row.

“Miami’s melting pot of cultures and cuisines is much like my own culinary inspirations, which combine the vibrant flavors of my upbringing in Israel with my travels across the globe,” Aviv says. “With Branja being my first restaurant in the United States, I am excited to introduce this unique taste and create a memorable dining experience. The name Branja is Hebrew slang, originating from the word for tree branch, that translates to ’a circle of friends.’ Branja’s small outdoor terrace and 12-seat Chef’s Table experience offer an exclusive setting to share plates and explore new flavors.”

Branja is situated in the Upper Buena Vista retail sanctuary. Its 3,000-square-foot space provides guests a unique experience at the 12-seat Chef’s Table, where they can watch Aviv and his team create culinary art in the open-concept kitchen. The indoor portion of the space features copper accents and a retro Miami vibe. One of the highlights of the space is the iconic bar from the Delano Hotel’s Florida Room, which has been repurposed as the Chef’s Table.

The restaurant space is large enough to seat 150 guests comfortably and features a charming, covered outdoor design that adds to the idyllic atmosphere. Curran’s stunning 45-foot-tall mural greets visitors with its retro patterns and vibrant colors, which are inspired by the bustling city of Tel Aviv. The decor also features unique fixtures, from hand-crafted terrazzo-top tables to upcycled 1970s cutlery and pastel ceramic plates, all adding to the one-of-a-kind dining experience. And for a touch of history, guests can sit on reclaimed synagogue benches, adding to the charm and character of the space.

Branja is located at 5010 NE 2nd Ave. in Miami and is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, please call 786-765-5555 or visit Branjamiami.com.

(Photo Credit: Branja)

You May Also Like

Major Food Group Does It Again, in a Transporting Setting, With Dirty French Steakhouse

Anyone who doesn’t believe that dining has become synonymous with entertainment hasn’t been to Dirty French Steakhouse. With this fanciful Brickell bistro, a Ken Falk-designed hallucinatory throwback to the 1970s and ’80s (complete with Blondie on the playlist), Major Food Group continues its culinary domination of Miami. After scoring hits with Sadelle’s, Hasalon, ZZ’s Club,

More Design District Dining 

A leading North American lifestyle hospitality group, Ink Entertainment, just debuted its beloved Toronto-born Italian gem, Sofia, in the Miami Design District. Overseen by the entrepreneur trio of Charles Khabouth, Danny Soberano and Ricardo Tabet, Sofia appears in Miami as part of the hospitality powerhouse’s rapid expansion plans throughout the United States. Offering a fresh perspective

Historic Pelican Hotel Reopens in South Beach

After two years of undergoing significant renovations, the historic Pelican Hotel in South Beach reopened its doors with a VIP celebration during Art Basel Miami Beach last weekend. The penthouse party was hosted by Renzo Rosso, owner of Pelican Hotel, who is also OTB Group’s president and DIESEL’s founder. VIP guests experienced an intimate preview of the

Mediterranean Mix in Bal Harbour

A notable and toothsome debut in Bal Harbour is Aba, part of the Chicago-based restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You. Aba, which has two other locations, in Austin and Chicago, brings a fusion of flavors from Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece with a menu curated by Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson and a mixology program designed by Liz Pearce featuring

Other Posts

Ownership of Hilton-Branded Hotel Changes Hands in Deerfield Beach

Berkadia Hotels and Hospitality has arranged the sale and financing of the 221-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Deerfield Beach-Boca Raton. Berkadia’s managing directors, Michael Weinberg and Preston Reid and senior director Wyatt Krapf represented the seller, Vista Hospitality, which has invested more than $7 million since 2018 in capital improvements to the property. Berkadia secured

Master Brewer Academy in Miami Launches New Curriculum

As the craft brew industry has grown sustainably over the last decade, so has people’s interest in learning how to brew their own concoctions at home. To help novices learn the finer details of crafting beer at home, Master Brewer Academy (MBA) will offer a new program next year. The 11-month program will be held on nights

The Elser Hotel & Residences in Downtown Miami Readies for Opening

A new luxury property will be coming to Downtown Miami when The Elser Hotel & Residences opens later this fall. The 49-story hotel features 646 rooms, ranging from studios to three-bedroom suites. “We are thrilled to announce the addition of The Elser Hotel to Downtown Miami,” Yaniv Packin says, Vice President of Operations of The Elser Hotel.

Chef Yaniv Cohen, aka The Spice Detective, Opens Jaffa in Hallandale Beach

“My love of food began at early age, helping my mother cook and set the table,” says Yaniv Cohen, aka the Spice Detective. “I grew up in a Sephardic Jewish family, with NorthAfrican and Middle Eastern roots, and food was and is a passion, a way of life.” Cohen has been on a hot streak the past