Introduction to Miami’s Culinary Scene

By Kara Franker | Jun 5, 2017

There are so many Miami restaurants to satisfy any palate.

Miami is quickly becoming a foodie destination. From casual and fine-dining restaurants in some of Miami’s hottest hotels, to celebrity-led restaurant concepts on the beach and the mainland, dining in the Magic City is an adventure for the senses. You'll find almost any type of cuisine you're in the mood for, within Miami's diverse culinary landscape.

Where to Dine Al Fresco

With our year-round warm sunshine, calming ocean breezes and towering palm trees, Miami is a great destination for dining outdoors. From rooftops with sweeping vistas and intimate courtyards, to indoor-outdoor cafes that spill out onto the bustling sidewalks, Miami is a haven for outdoor dining spots. Here, the ambiance is just as magical as the food.

In Miami Beach, the ultimate place for al fresco dining is on Lincoln Road. There, you’ll find Meat Market, an upscale steakhouse with chef-driven fare, and Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, a haute Italian restaurant inspired by the regions of northern Italy.

Floating above it all, Juvia sits on top of the 1111 Lincoln Road building, which was designed by Pritzker Prize winning architects Herzog and de Meuron, and has a vertical garden, breathtaking 280-degree views of Miami, and a menu featuring Asian-meets-Latin cuisine.

Jaya at The Setai gives you the option to dine in the tranquil Zen courtyard, where you can savor delicious Asian cuisine underneath swaying palm trees next to a reflection pool.

In the South of Fifth (SoFi) neighborhood, Cibo Wine Bar South Beach has a picturesque rooftop, complete with hanging lights and views of the Atlantic Ocean—making it the perfect place to wine and dine with friends and family on a beautiful Miami night.

In the trendy Design District, you’ll find other great al fresco dining options. Michael's Genuine Food & Drink is Chef Michael Schwartz’ claim to fame in Miami. Now in its 10th year, this cozy courtyard restaurant is known for its flavorful fare made with local ingredients, like house-cured heritage meats, homemade seasonal fruit jams, wood-fired whole local fish and colorful salads.

Head south to torch-lit Red Fish Grill, in Coral Gables, which is located right on the sand at Matheson Hammock Park. With its romantic vibes and unbeatable views, this seafood-centric restaurant is the perfect place to go for a date night, to celebrate a special occasion, or just to take in how beautiful Miami really is.

See and Be Scene at These Hotel Hotspots

Some of Miami’s best restaurants are inside the city’s best hotels. Founded by restaurateur Michael Chow, the famed MR CHOW, which only has locations in some of the world’s most raved-about destinations, can be found at the W South Beach. This see-and-be-seen restaurant is known for its celebrity patrons, award-winning cuisine inspired by Beijing, nightly “noodle shows” and stunning interior decor.

At the extravagant Faena Miami Beach, head to Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann, which specializes in South American live-fire cooking, bringing an Argentine gaucho’s touch to the Miami Beach dining scene. Even boutique hotels on Miami Beach have some standout restaurants, like Dolce Italian at Gale South Beach or LT Steak & Seafood at The Betsy South Beach.

On Miami’s mainland, you’ll find a bevy of hotel restaurants in Brickell and Downtown Miami. DB Bistro Moderne at JW Marriott Marquis, the brainchild of Michelin-star Chef Daniel Boulud, serves an upscale twist on French American cuisine.

At The Four Seasons Hotel Miami, Chef Aaron Brooks touts a farm-to-table menu with a Latin flair at Edge Steak & Bar.

If you’re in the mood for Japanese izakaya cuisine, then you must experience Zuma at the Kimpton EPIC Hotel, an award-winning restaurant with locations in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Dubai and Bangkok.

Brought to Downtown Miami by Chef Richard Sandoval, Toro Toro, at the Intercontinental Miami, is a contemporary steakhouse concept influenced by Pan Latin flavors.

In Coral Gables, head to The Biltmore Hotel, which is home to the Italian-inspired Fontana at The Biltmore.

Hot Celebrity Chef Restaurants

The culinary scene in Miami is thriving now more than ever, and celebrity chefs have taken note. All over the city, you’ll find every type of eatery, from casual lunch spots to elegant steakhouses, helmed by notable chefs and restaurateurs from across the globe.

Andrew Carmellini, a New York based chef and winner of multiple James Beard Awards, opened The Dutch Miami—an American restaurant, bar and oyster room—at the W Hotel South Beach.

Restaurateur, TV personality and chef Tom Colicchio, who’s won five James Beard Awards and is the head chef on Top Chef and Best New Restaurant, has opened notable restaurants all over the world. Here in Miami, he has Beachcraft at 1 Hotel South Beach, an eco-inspired restaurant that focuses on tasty food made with fresh, sustainable and local ingredients.

In Aventura, head to Turnberry Isle Miami and you’ll find a hotspot by famed chef Michael Mina, who has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation. If you opt for a haute night on the town, Bourbon Steak is where you’ll find premier cuts of prime beef finished over a wood-burning grill.

Take Advantage of Miami Spice this Summer

From August 1 to September 30, restaurants in Miami will offer three-course meals featuring signature dishes created by world-renowned chefs at reduced prices. During this annual promotion, lunch is $23 per person and dinner is $39 per person, at participating restaurants. For more information about Miami Spice, or to find out which restaurants are participating, go to iLoveMiamiSpice.com.

Miami’s diverse and eclectic culinary scene entices you with a multitude of options for every palate and discriminating taste. Check out our comprehensive listing.

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