Beyond escaping the brutal weather making headlines in most of the country, there are so many reasons to celebrate living in (or visiting) Miami these next few months. Of course, exploring the dynamic food scene is an obvious draw. Apart from the extraordinary selection of worthy eateries, South Florida is home to fantastic food and beverage events that enhance its appeal. We’ve rounded up some top contenders below.
For the food-obsessed
Miami’s culinary calendar is bustling with exciting events this spring. The Seed Food & Wine Week, spanning January 18 to January 31, is the first all-vegan festival in the U.S., showcasing plant-based dishes from chefs like Mario Laufer of Carrot Express and Bruny Rosada of Planta. The festival, with a variety of cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and wellness activities, offers tickets ranging from $50 to $175. The Brickell Food and Wine Festival, a highlight of the Miami Brickell Art Festival, takes place on January 27 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. This downtown celebration features over 100 beer brands, cocktails, food, and live music, with tickets available from $69 to $150 for VIP experiences.
Celebrating its 60th year, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival will run from February 16 to February 18. Located along McFarlane Road and South Bayshore Drive, the event will display the works of over 280 artists and offer culinary demonstrations and local treats. The Calle Ocho Music Festival, set for March 8 in Little Havana, is a free street festival covering 15 blocks and attracting nearly one million attendees. It features an array of Latin music, food specialties like empanadas and arepas, and unique contests, including the World Championship Croqueta Eating Contest.
Concluding the culinary festivities is the granddaddy of them all — the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, returning to the sand from February 22 to February 25. More than 500 chefs will participate in events such as Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives LIVE, the Burger Bash, and the Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village. Bobby Flay’s Triple Threat and a Bubbles Brunch featuring Food Network personalities are new to the festival. The event, honoring Massimo Bottura and Luca Garavoglia, will be hosted by “The Pasta Queen,” Nadia Caterina Munno, with proceeds benefiting the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University.
For the high-life local
In a city where dreams are as grand as the skyline, from scoring a record deal to snagging a multimillion-dollar waterfront mansion, Miamians aim high. For oenphiles, the Great Wines of the World Miami 2024 event will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, from February 29 to March 1. Featuring over 400 wineries and more than 900 wines from globally renowned producers wine aficionados can explore this vast selection with ticket prices set at $115 for a single day or $180 for a two-day pass.
Tennis, once the exclusive “Sport of Kings,” continues to draw an elite crowd. The Miami Open at the Hard Rock Stadium from March 17 to March 31 invites spectators to experience top-tier tennis in stylish attire. Complementing the Miami Open, Kiki on the River, a renowned waterfront restaurant, will offer a pop-up dining experience. Diner can feast on Mediterranean dishes such as lamb chops, tuna tartare, tomato salad, Greek meatballs, and dips, including tzatziki, fava, and tipi. These dishes pair perfectly with tennis-themed cocktails like the Top Spin Mule, Backhand Margarita, and Match Point Mojito.
Adding to the sporting excitement, the Taste of Tennis on March 18 at the JW Marriott Miami combines culinary finesse with tennis glamour. Headlined by chefs Antonio Bachour of Tablé and Carolina Molea from L’Artisane Bakery & Bistro, the event, priced at $250, allows attendees to mingle with tennis stars and food enthusiasts.
For the philanthropic-minded
South Floridians are uniting for gastronomy and philanthropy, starting with the Coral Gables Community Foundation’s Tour of Kitchens on February 10. This event, now in its 15th year, attracts food enthusiasts and home design lovers, offering a glimpse into newly remodeled kitchens in the area and tastings from top restaurants and caterers. The tour features food by chefs like Niven Patel and Michelle Bernstein, with general admission at $130. It begins with a 9 a.m. breakfast at the Shops at Merrick Park, followed by self-guided home tours from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and culminates in a closing party at Merrick Park. Proceeds aid culinary school scholarships for high school students.
Wine connoisseurs can revel at VeritageMiami, spanning two events. Starting March 6 at The Hangar at Regatta Harbour, guests can sample and select their favorite wines. The celebration continues on April 19 with an exclusive InterContinental Miami dinner featuring Miami chefs like Giorgio Rapicavoli and curated wine selections. This event supports United Way Miami.
Lastly, the Las Olas Wine and Food Festival transforms Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard on April 19 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Spanning four blocks, this festival showcases top restaurants in the 954, including Burlock Coast and Lona Cocina Tequileria. Tickets range from $160 to $250, benefiting the American Lung Association of South Florida.
For the car enthusiast
Love cars and food? Those living in Miami are in luck. Several events celebrate this magical pairing, so car aficionados and foodies get their fill. The Motorcar Cavalcade on February 4 at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa will showcase hard-to-find cars in a garden party setting, including culinary pavilions, rare wines, specialty cocktails, champagne, and more. The Miami Design District Concours, on February 18, features a curated car showcase that combines luxury cars with upscale shopping and some of the top restaurants in town. ModaMiami, from February 29 to March 3 at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, will highlight over 100 supercars, a special multicourse dinner by chef Mario Carbone, and offerings from Casa Tua. The culinary scene shifts into high gear at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix, from May 3 to May 5 at the Hard Rock Stadium, where attendees can enjoy a variety of foods from Miami-area restaurants and food trucks and look forward to exclusive pop-up dining experiences (last year, legendary chef Massimo Bottura headlined a $6,000-per-seat event).