Miami’s culinary scene has seen a recent resurgence in notable openings. Reservations at these hotspots, both old and new, are highly coveted by locals and travelers alike.
Spanish restaurants abound in the Magic City, yet few offer exclusively Basque cuisine. The onsite indoor-outdoor restaurant at Rubell Museum amidst a lush garden is posh yet delightfully whimsical. Miami’s elite occupies the suede armchairs and emerald banquettes that line the dining room against the backdrop of a brightly-colored mural by Allison Zuckerman. Be sure to order one of the various prime cuts of meat, as Leku is the only restaurant in Miami with a double wood-fired Josper grill.
You’ve likely tried New American fare, but not quite like this avant-garde South Beach site by Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford. The seasonal dishes are intentionally and artfully executed. Opt for the eight-course chef’s tasting menu to enjoy an array of curated classics; regardless, the cacio e pepe cheesy puffs are not to be missed.
Doubling as a swim club by day and restaurant and lounge by night, Strawberry Moon is the onsite watering hole at The Goodtime Hotel, the lively boutique South Beach hotel by Pharrell and Dave Grutman of Groot Hospitality. Craft cocktails and Mediterranean dishes such as Turkish pizzas, kebabs, mezzes, and more, are served among a pastel oasis of pink wicker furniture, pinstriped cushioned dining booths, and marble-tiled floors that draw inspiration from mid-century Caribbean and Central American resort towns during their hey-days.
Jaya at The Setai is possibly Miami Beach’s sleekest high-end restaurant. Set in a Balinese-style courtyard sporting an idyllic centerpiece water feature freckled with palm trees, expect dinner with a show of house music, disco lights, and dancers. Serving Asian fusion cuisine, we recommend ordering the Truffle Dumplings, comprising scallops, shrimp, and black truffle emulsion to start, alongside a hot pink-colored Prickly Pear Margarita, stirred with Jaja Tequila Blanco, Cointreau, prickly pear, agave, and citrus.
Puerto Rican musician Bad Bunny and restaurateur David Grutman joined forces to create an alluring Japanese steakhouse in Miami’s upscale Brickell neighborhood. Gekkō’s design features an eight-foot-long gold dragon mural over the bar, moody lighting in a dark red glow, and jewel-toned, velvet motifs that set the tone for this restaurant as a place to see and be seen. If there’s one thing to order, it’s the Wagyu Crispy Rice, which Bad Bunny himself declared a fan-favorite.
This little slice of Greece in Miami’s Design District is the perfect place to dine al fresco under the Florida sun. The Aegean-inspired fare serves farm-fresh vegetables alongside traditional Greek dishes with a twist. Transport to the Aegean coastline where the Greek Islands meet the Turkish coast with a bite from the Greek Sampler comprising Tzatziki, Olive Tapenade, and Tirokafteri.
Boasting a nostalgic world of inimitable magnificence, Queen Miami Beach breathes new life into the iconic Paris Theater, built by famed Art Deco architect Henry Hohauser in 1945. Restored to its original opulent glory, Queen is the place to see and be seen––begin your evening at The Salon Lounge, a gorgeous Calacatta Viola marble bar illuminated by exquisite Lobemeyr chandeliers. In the main dining room, watch the kitchen team through custom glass window walls, or stare into the LED-paneled Dome ceiling overhead. The sights are captivating, but the extensive culinary and cocktail programs will truly leave you speechless: world-renowned Chief Culinary Officer Chef Julien Jouhannaud and proud local Executive Chef Mitchell Hesse curated an exceptional menu that marries French techniques with Japanese ingredients.
Located within Casa Faena, Gitano Miami evokes the sights, sounds, and flavors of Tulum. The dining room is adorned with lush greenery and bohemian touches. The staff is free to express themselves, as long as there are some notes of cheetah print in their outfits, which perfectly match the motif of Casa Faena’s main lobby. Pair refreshing tropical cocktails with Gitano Miami’s fresh, flavorful bites while listening to hypnotic gypsy disco tracks.
Pairing the very best of Peruvian and Japanese flavors, Chotto Matte brings authentic and innovative Nikkei cuisine to Miami Beach, off of Lincoln Road. In the middle of the dining room, a skylight shines upon a striking bar reminiscent of Machu Picchu; here, the bar team serves inventive and exotic cocktails. From the entirely open-concept kitchen comes elevated menu offerings, along with the new Steak & Sushi Sunday program: the robata grill and itamae counter collide to create an exclusive, indulgent set menu filled with edamame, eight different sashimi and sushi rolls, and American wagyu alcatra served with red anticucho butter, green beans tempura, and smoked purple mash.
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