Miami brings to mind the perfect beaches, energetic nightlife and, of course, the food. Miami is a culinary melting pot that allows you to grab so many of the world’s cuisines, all within a few blocks of each other. I hope this list provides you with a good planning tool, or an on the ground reference.
Go for the View:
La Mar by Gaston Acurio
If you want outstanding Peruvian food, make La Mar a must visit for you. It's located in the Mandarin Oriental hotel, which is on a small island right next to downtown. The upscale establishment is waterfront and provides spectacular views of Biscayne Bay and the city's skyline. There's indoor/outdoor seating available, and 3 bars where you can grab a cocktail.
Area 31 is located on the 16th floor of Kimpton's EPIC hotel which has stunning views of Biscayne Bay and Miami River. The menu focuses on seafood and sustainability, and offers meals such as whole gulf coast snapper, fisherman stew, butternut risotto or swordfish.
Located on the 25th floor of the Conrad hotel, LV-25 is perfect for all those wanting to be high above the city street, where you can look out over the water and City. The restaurant has a globally inspired menu.
A more homey feel than a lot of the other Miami restaurants, 27 Restaurant is set in a two story house and is a communal experience. Here you can grab a ribeye, arepa platter, a wagyu burger or jerk chicken.
Byblos is a tapas style restaurant that serves Mediterranean fare in a 2 story building. The first floor offers a more laid back atmosphere while the top has a more dressed up environment. You can experience dishes such as black truffle flatbread, short rib kababs, turkish manti dumplings or middle eastern fried chicken.
Stop by to enjoy authentic tacos and street fare. It's a small but popular spot that is located about a block away from the beach.
Joe's Stone Crab
Joe's Stone Crabs is a staple in Miami. If you're in the mood for amazing crab legs, or fried chicken, this is a great option. While the restaurant is dressed up enough for a date night or special event, the atmosphere is casual enough to enjoy with the family.
Lido Bayside Grill
Outstanding location! This waterfront eatery is a great place to bring the family for a relaxed dining experience. The restaurant focuses on Mediterranean diet and is located at the Standard Hotel.
Pizza & Burger by Michael Mina
Pizza & burgers takes these foods to the next level and is a great place to enjoy with the family. It's located in the Fountainleau, so it is right next to the beach.
Shuckers, located in the Best Western, is a wonderful option for family waterfront dining. It has a lot of American classics in a laid back atmosphere
La Centrale Italian Food Hall
La Centrale Italian Food Hall is a huge food hall that offers different Italian dishes. It's 3 levels and a wonderful option to take the kids.
When I think about Miami, I think Cuban food (I actually feel bad that I haven’t listed more). This main stay is a must visit for some of the best Cuban food in the city. It’s south beach location is perfect for a stop before or after hitting the beach.
Makoto fits perfectly in the Bal Harbour Shops, as the elegance of this Japanese eatery matches with the luxury of its surroundings. You'll be treated to a wide variety of food. Anything from Oysters and ceviche, to tuna pizza and crispy chicken dumplings, to Miso Sea Bass and Wagyu beef cooked tableside on a hot river stone.
Il Gabbiano is a perfect place to take in the view of the Bay. It's located in a high end neighborhood and serves upscale northern Italian cuisine. The terrace offers a really special dining experience which would be perfect for a night out.
Scarpetta by Scott Conant
Scott Conant is one of my favorite TV personalities, offering his insights as a judge on Foodnetwork's Chopped. His restaurant Scarpetta, located in the Fontainbleau Resort, offers regional Italian fare in an airy dining room.
At Upland Miami, you'll be treated to foods that are influenced by both Italian and Californian food. The restaurant's menu showcases several wood-fired dishes within it upscale surroundings. Menu items range from margherita pizza to Tuscan style lamb chops to pappardelle ragu.
The rusty pelican is a great choice for seafood lovers. It's right across the bay from downtown Miami, so you'll have spectacular views of the city's skyline, and the sun setting behind the buildings. The seafood offered is vast. You can start with tuna tacos, enjoy the raw selections, move on to sushi, or just go with one of the main courses such as grilled swordfish, branzino en papillote or Chilean sea bass.
Seaspice is a chic dining option that has a global influence, and is located along Miami River. The dishes range from a variety of wood-fired dishes (like organic chicken tagine) to Alaskan king crab linguine.
The Bazaar is a restaurant by acclaimed chef, Jose Andres, which serves tapas. The restaurant serves a variety of Asian and Spanish items such as: Bao con Lechon (Chinese steamed buns), Japanese tacos (with grilled eels) and Mediterranean Mussels.