Since moving to Miami part-time, Matt and I have discovered that the food and drink scene here is unmatched. We knew it was good based off of previous weekend trips, but now that we’ve had more time to try new spots, we can confidently say that the restaurant options here are top notch.
In fact, I’d even go out on a limb and say that the restaurants and bars are honestly just as good as they are in New York, which is certainly not a light statement.
Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch place or a spot for a fancy night out with your girlfriends, the spots below are sure to impress. Below, you’ll find my list of the trendiest restaurants in Miami, as well as some lower-key casual spots as well.
Trendiest Restaurants in Miami for a Night Out
I get multiple messages a day from people asking about Miami restaurants, and the most common request is for trendy places that are good for groups of girlfriends, bachelorette parties, or a couple who wants a night out away from their kids (lol).
The nice thing about Miami is that there are SO. MANY. PLACES. for that kind of thing. All of the spots below are restaurants that will make you feel like you’re having a *night out* without having to go to a full-blown club.
You can get decked, wear your highest heels, listen to great music, and (most importantly) be treated to phenomenal people-watching.
* denotes places that have some element of dancing (either at the table or after dinner)
This iconic New York institution recently opened a location in Miami and it does not disappoint. They have a gorgeous outdoor space, amazing martinis, and it’s a good place to go if you’re dining with a larger group.
This is my go-to spot for dinner with girlfriends but you should be warned that it’s difficult to get a reservation last minute. To ensure you get it, try to make a rez as far in advance as possible. I typically just book through OpenTable (and I believe they open reservations about a month out.)
This Eastern Mediterranean/Turkish spot has a cool vibe and is always playing great music. It’s a good place for groups or a date night. Be sure to order the Turkish Manti Dumplings — soooo good.
Swan is one of my favorite spots for a date night or for going out with a group. There is always a great/fun crowd and the food is consistently good. The cocktail lounge upstairs, Bar Bevy, is also a major vibe for after dinner drinks.
Kiki on the River*
This spot has tasty, sharable Greek food and has a major a party atmosphere (especially on Sunday nights). They have DJs, sparklers, dancing, etc., and I think it would be ideal for a girls getaway or bachelorette party.
If you’re looking for a well-liked steakhouse during your time in Miami, this is it. It’s located in South Beach, adjacent to the Prime Hotel. They also serve seafood and Italian dishes if that’s more your thing.
This is a buzzy Mediterranean restaurant that’s set inside The Goodtime Hotel. In addition to dinner, they also serve brunch and have an extensive cocktail list. Try the spicy marg, which you can also order poolside if you prefer.
Jaya at The Setai
If you’re craving Thai food, go here for a fancy take on it. There is very much a “see-and-be-seen” vibe here and there’s always a lot of great people watching. Depending on the night you go, you might see fire dancers or a DJ while you dine.
This is a sceney restaurant that has good music and is fun to go to with a big group. They serve high-end Southeast Asian cuisine and sushi.
A popular spot for Peruvian/Japanese tapas (which is great for sharing & groups). The dining room feels like quintessential Miami with an open-air concept, palm trees, dim lighting, and a DJ booth.
Cecconi’s at Soho House
There are several Cecconi’s locations around the world but the one Miami is honestly one of my favorites. The ambiance is so luxe and the food and drinks are always good.
This is a Miami outpost of the eternally popular London hotspot. Matt and I went during the opening and came to the conclusion that it’s hands-down the most over-the-top restaurant in Miami — it almost has Vegas vibes.
Also, it apparently it has a 3 month wait for rezzies. The food was really good (and $$$) and I feel like it’s a good place to go if you really want an *experience* rather than just a meal.
The vibe here is glamorous and five-star. It’s certainly a spot that fulfills more than a standard dinner experience as it turns into a nightclub as the evening progresses. This is another place that’s ideal for groups or celebratory occasions.
A relatively new Israeli resto from Major Food Group. I haven’t been yet but I’ve heard it’s more about the scene/dancing than the food. Good for big groups.
Similar as the above; I know a lot of people who love going to Villa Azur and have been multiple times. If you’re hoping for a “night out” vibe, this is a good place to head.
Another high glam spot that gives off a Great Gatsby feel. I’d highly recommend Marion as a place to spot during a girls weekend. They serve unique cocktails, have a large selection of wines, and offer a variety of desserts (to accommodate any late night cravings).
Best Upscale Restaurants for Dinner in Miami
These are nicer restaurants that I would recommend for amazing food and a nice ambiance without a “party” style atmosphere.
Located in the Buena Vista neighborhood of Miami, Walrus Rodeo is a Michelin-star restaurant that’s actually sneakily set inside a strip mall. They’re known for contemporary wood-fired cuisine, old world wine, and relaxed hospitality. The wood fired oysters are delicious so be sure to order them while you’re there.
Go here for incredible authentic Italian food in a cute and very Instagrammable setting. Just be aware that they only serve wine and beer, not cocktails.
Joe’s Stone Crab
This is arguably Miami Beach’s most iconic restaurant — it’s a must if you’re visiting. Make reservations on Resy, or if you do a walk-in, make sure you go early, when they open for dinner service. Order a martini at the bar while you wait!
If you’ve always wanted to go to the original location but cant get in, the Miami offshoot is way easier. The only bummer is that they don’t take reservations, but if you go early, there’s not typically a wait.
If you’re in the mood for really good sushi in a really sexy dining room setting…this is the spot. It’s located in the Brickell neighborhood of Miami which is a fun place to wander around and explore rooftop bars.
Mandolin Miami serves amazing Mediterranean food in a gorgeous outdoor setting. It’s truly reminiscent of something you’d find in Greece.
This is Jean-Georges restaurant at The Edition. It has a gorgeous dining room and outdoor space. Order the avocado and jalepeño pizza and have a drink at the Matadoor Room before or after your dinner.
Probably in my top three Miami restaurants recommendations. They have an asian-fusion menu that is to-die-for. Make reservations well in advance and order the Korean fried chicken and hot pot. Later in the evening it can get a little loud, so if you’re with older people who complain about loud restaurants, go early. Finish the night off by getting ice cream at Salt & Straw next door.
No trip to Miami would be complete without good views. Juvia is a rooftop bar and restaurant off of Lincoln Road that has some of the best city views.
Ocean Social is a beachfront resto that’s really pretty for sunset drinks and oysters. It’s located at the Nobu Hotel which is a total vibe itself.
A buzzy high-end restaurant in the Design District. They serve seafood and American cuisine and it’s consistently good.
Abbalé Telavivian Kitchen
This is the place to head for delicious Israeli cuisine. I recommend sitting outside on the patio for the best atmosphere. They only serve beer and wine.
Amara at Paraiso
Latin cuisine overlooking Biscayne Bay; also a great spot for sunset/happy hour bites and drinks.
In my opinion, Carbone is always a good idea and I know a lot of people love to visit the restaurants different locations. This one has the same exact quality of food as in NY but feels much larger/bigger scale. Everything is always delicious.
This is one of our date night go-to’s. It’s located in the Bal Harbour shops and the crowd is a mix of families and couples. It’s definitely less sceney than some of the other places which is nice depending on what type of experience you’re looking for.
The most insanely delicious hidden Omakase spot located in the back of a taco shop. When you make a reservation, you receive a “password” via email a few hours before. They only have two seatings per night and (if I remember correctly?) there are only like 12 people dining at a time. Everyone eats at the sushi bar and watches the chef prepare each course — definitely a special experience especially for foodies.
High-end Mexican seafood restaurant at the Moxy Hotel. A good place for groups/parties. Go to the attached Mezcalista lounge for drinks and music after dinner.
Lido Champagne Bar at the Four Seasons Surfside
Another one of our go-to date night spots. They don’t take reservations but it’s one of my favorite places to eat at the bar (or one of the nearby bar tables). It has a chic Miami scene and there’s usually an older/more tame crowd.
Located at the Faena; grilled meats and fish prepared in Argentinian asado style; go to The Living Room or Saxony Bar for drinks after dinner.
Call Me Gaby
Dine in a cozy garden setting at Call Me Gaby. They have Italian fare, pizzas, and a good assortment of wine.
Best Casual Restaurants for Lunch, Brunch, and Take-Out in Miami
There are several locations of Sadelle’s around the country, and it’s a good go-to for brunch. The Miami restaurant can sometimes be a good place to celebrity spot.
A good place to find healthy eats and refreshing menu items. There are multiple locations and it’s great for take-out/delivery as well.
A market that won’t disappoint if you are craving Italian dishes. They make really tasty paninis, pizza, and cheese boards.
MIA Market is an elevated food hall located in the Design District. It’s a great place to stop for a quick and casual bite while shopping or walking around town.
This place has a similar vibe to Pura Vida, multiple locations, and is a good place to order take-out or delivery.
This is the place you go for diner food at 4 am or when you’re attempting to nurse a hangover. If you end up here, you know you had a good night.
Under the Mango Tree
A vegan restaurant that serves acai bowls, smoothies, juices, and a variety of coffees and teas. Even if you aren’t vegan, this spot is a good option for a quick bite to eat.
Best Casual Miami Restaurants for Dinner
Time Out Market
An indoor marketplace with stalls from tons of local restaurants. This is a fun place to go with a group since you can find pretty much every type of cuisines/can satisfy a variety of cravings.
Head to Taquiza for delicious tacos and really good margaritas; various locations (counter service).
Rickey’s Thai Bistro
This is the hole-in-the-wall Thai place that Matt and I are obsessed with. They don’t take reservations but you can usually get a seat right away.
A sit-down place for delicious Mexican food (tacos, margaritas, tostadas etc.) in Wynwood.
I haven’t been here yet, but this was one of the casual/authentic Thai places that came most recommended by my followers. It’s on my list!
This place has absolutely incredible vegetarian Indian food. Even if you don’t typically like this cuisine, I’d give it a try.
Planta has an entirely plant-based menu that even non-vegetarians and vegans love. TRUST ME — your mind will be blown. Be sure to order the watermelon sushi.
A New Orleans/French Quarter-inspired jazz bar & restaurant with live music and reasonably priced wine & cheese plates. It’s very causal but has a huge outdoor patio area and cozy living room.