see more
  • Share
By: Shayne Benowitz

Postcard-worthy beaches. Art deco architecture. Vibrant nightlife. And, of course, unforgettable dining experiences. These are just some of the exciting elements of Miami Beach’s legendary South Beach neighborhood. From upscale food halls to historic seafood spots and restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs, the dining scene in South Beach is something you must experience on a visit to Greater Miami & Miami Beach.

Time Out Market

To get a comprehensive taste of Miami all under one roof, head to Time Out Market near Lincoln Road, a popular mile-long pedestrian thoroughfare. A concept by the eponymous taste-making magazine, the 17,500-square-foot food hall boasts more than 20 stalls that encapsulate the best of the best of Miami’s culinary scene. Try Kush’s signature burger, sample vegan delights at Love Life Café, savor an inventive pink shrimp and parmesan pizza by Norman Van Aken at Peace Pie, and indulge in dishes from some of Miami’s most exciting young chefs such as Jeremy Ford and Giorgio Rapicavoli. The market is anchored by a popular main bar that features some of the best sips from Greater Miami’s cocktail culture, including libations from Broken Shaker and Sweet Liberty. Time Out Market also includes a secondary cocktail bar and a wine bar. Save room for a sweet treat to end your culinary adventure, such as a scoop of Azucar ice cream straight from Little Havana.

Joe's Stone Crab
Joe's Stone Crab

Joe's Stone Crab

Looking for an iconic Miami dining experience? Look no further. Established in 1913, Joe’s Stone Crab is an iconic Miami Beach dining destination that started as a simple lunch counter. Generations of locals and visitors love its Old World charm, white tablecloth style and, of course, its succulent stone crabs, which are in season from mid-October to mid-May. Order the chilled, cracked crab claws and a buffet of shareable sides such as creamed spinach, fried green tomatoes and cinnamon-dusted sweet potatoes. Whatever you do, be sure to save room for the famous Key lime pie for dessert. Joe’s doesn’t take reservations; waiting for a table is part of the experience. Another option is to head to the adjacent Joe’s Take Away for deli-style service offering most of the restaurant’s menu, and then take your picnic to the beach.

Byblos Miami interior
Byblos Miami

Byblos Miami

This Toronto transplant dishes up fresh and fragrant Eastern Mediterranean fare, highlighting both traditional and local ingredients. Housed in a historic art deco building, Byblos’ opulent and colorful dining room is the perfect setting for enjoying mezzes such as duck kibbeh or Turkish manti dumplings with eggplant and yogurt sauce. Wood-fired pide bread with black truffle, buffalo mozzarella and haloumi is a heavenly indulgence. For entrees, you can’t go wrong with items such as the short rib kebab or yogurt baked Atlantic salmon with harissa hot chili pepper paste.

Katsuya South Beach Sushi Bar
Katsuya South Beach offers a new take on Japanese cuisine

Katsuya South Beach

Come to Katsuya at the SLS South Beach hotel for impeccable cuisine from master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi and an equally impressive ambiance created by design impresario Philippe Starck. Chef Uechi works with traditional Japanese flavors and expertly adjusts them to match American tastes, to present a new take on Japanese cuisine. Check out the chef’s signature sushi roll – spicy tuna crispy rice studded with serrano pepper – or try a bit of all the menu highlights with the omakase menu. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and its upstairs Dragon Lounge is a popular happy hour spot.

Bazaar By José Andrés
Bazaar By José Andrés

The Bazaar By José Andrés

Chef José Andres has become a global icon thanks to his humanitarian work and his impressive portfolio of restaurants around the country. The Bazaar by José Andrés, also located in the SLS South Beach, is an indoor/outdoor restaurant featuring the acclaimed chef’s signature dishes with Latin American and Caribbean touches. Diners will find that the flavors are familiar, but the presentation and textures are unique. Foodies won’t want to miss the bao con lechón, the caviar cones and the dragon fruit ceviche. Set in a classic 1939 art deco building, the décor by Philippe Starck is nearly as intriguing as the food.

Lucali

Located inside an airy warehouse with the feel of an Italian grandma’s dining room in South Beach’s hip Sunset Harbour area, Lucali is a Brooklyn import with a cult following. The restaurant specializes in a straightforward menu of brick-oven pizzas, indulgent calzones and sophisticated salads. No detail is overlooked here in creating the perfect pie, from the chewy crust to the fresh mozzarella, the salty Parmigiano-Reggiano and the well-balanced tomato sauce. Lucali doesn't take reservations and it draws a crowd, so get there early. If you have to wait, put your name on the list and grab a cocktail at the adjacent Bay Club bar, which also serves a limited menu and personal-sized pizzas. For dessert, you won’t regret saving room for the Nutella and ricotta pie.

Stiltsville Fish Bar Scallop
Stiltsville Fish Bar serves classic seafood buoyed by modern techniques 

Stiltsville Fish Bar

Also in Sunset Harbour, Stiltsville Fish Bar is the brainchild of culinary power couple Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis of “Top Chef” and James Beard Award fame. This seafood spot with down-home Southern comfort food is popular with both locals and visitors. Delight in everything from local snapper ceviche to decadent sweet corn spoon bread topped with butter-poached lobster. Located across from Biscayne Bay, with shabby-chic maritime décor, Stiltsville is a prime spot for a breezy brunch of shrimp ‘n grits, wild mushroom omelets or citrus-and-bay leaf-crusted fried chicken.

Pubbelly Sushi table
Pubbelly Sushi

Pubbelly Sushi

The scene inside Pubbelly Sushi’s brick-walled dining room in Sunset Harbour is hip and casual, and there's outdoor sidewalk seating as well. Here, the perfect order might include the bigeye tuna roll on a crispy, sticky rice cake with truffle oil; the snow crab roll with clarified butter; the Wagyu beef tartare roll; rock shrimp tempura; and Shishito peppers. Keep an open mind, too, because these “deconstructed” sushi rolls don't resemble anything you’ve seen before. Order a bottle of sake and settle in for a delicious and unique dining experience.

La Sandwicherie

Sometimes you want an elegant meal – and other times, only an enormous, delicious sandwich will do. If the latter is your current frame of mind, choose La Sandwicherie, a classic South Beach sandwich counter that’s been serving crowds since 1988. Open from 7 a.m. to 5 a.m. every day (yes, you read that correctly), this French-owned restaurant functions both as an unrivalled hangover helper and a place for a quick, filling meal before a day at the beach. Portions are large enough for most people to share. It’s the tangy, homemade French vinaigrette dressing that makes the sandwich complete (tip: if you dine at the counter, bottles of it are set out so you can add some extra).

Planta South Beach pizza
Planta South Beach serves inventive plant-based fare

Planta

South Beach is a stylish place – and Planta is a stylish destination in its own right in the stylish South of Fifth area. This restaurant from nightlife impresario David Grutman serves an inventive menu of plant-based fare. The architecturally clean lines of the dining room are perfectly suited to a menu that lets vegetables shine in globally inspired dishes such as a rainbow sushi roll of “ahi” watermelon, slaw, avocado, gochujang and peanuts; pizza topped with mushroom “bacon” and cashew-based mozzarella; and lettuce wraps packed with crispy Korean cauliflower and tofu. Planta also serves brunch with items such as a breakfast burger with Just Egg plant-based scramble and French toast with strawberries, raspberries and coconut cream.