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Seared scallop from L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon/Facebook

12 Special Occasion Restaurants Worth the Visit

Worth breaking the bank for

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Seared scallop from L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
| L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon/Facebook

Miami loves to be wined and dined, but in a sea of restaurants throughout the city, finding the ones worth the hefty bill can be a challenge. Just because a restaurant is expensive, doesn’t mean it’s worth a visit on a special occasion — but on the other end, just because it’s in Wynwood and doesn’t have white tablecloths, doesn’t mean it’s not worth the visits. Not all restaurants are created equally, and sometimes a night out calls for some serious spoiling at one of the city’s finest establishments. Miami may not have a Michelin guide, but if it did, chances are these would be some of the contenders.

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Editor’s Note: A number of South Florida restaurants have resumed indoor and outdoor dining services. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for onsite dining, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Florida Health Department’s website. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines. For those wanting to find the best takeout and dining options throughout Miami, please visit here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Surf Club Restaurant

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9011 Collins Ave
Surfside, FL 33154
(305) 768-9440
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Thomas Keller’s The Surf Club features a menu of classic continental cuisine, reinterpreted for contemporary diners. Located inside the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, the ambiance transports diners to a romantic setting that feels as straight out of the 50s with dark blue and wood tones. Guests can dine on popular dishes include an avocado Louie, NT strip steak, and a table-side prepared Caesar salad, with every detail perfectly calculated right down to the interactive butter service. 

2. L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon

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151 NE 41st St suite 235
Miami, FL 33137
(305) 402-9070
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One of the best known fine-dining experiences in the world, the Miami Design District outpost of chef Joël Robuchon is led by several longtime protégés of the famed chef. Guests dine at counter seating akin to sushi counters, dining on a meal filled with plenty of tapas-style dishes. There are tasting menus, along with plenty of a la carte dishes like the La Caille made with caramelized quail, foie gras, potato purée and the Le Boeuf created with with prime ribeye, butternut squash tartlet with caramelized onion.

3. The Bazaar by José Andrés

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1701 Collins Ave suite 100
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 455-2999
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Located inside of SLS South Beach, this high-end eatery features an elevated menu that blends James Beach award-winning chef Jose Andrés’ Spanish heritage and with influences from the local Latin culinary community. Guests can dine on dishes designed for sharing like empanadillas de bacalao, bone marrow and jamon de toro, while sipping on uniquely crafted cocktails and high-end wines.

4. MILA Restaurant

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1636 Meridian Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(786) 706-0744
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The swanky and massive 13,000-square-foot space boasts a serenely stylish indoor dining area, an outdoor terrace complete with an intimate omakase-style bar, and bites like shawarma-spiced wagyu dumplings, Alaskan king crab tempura, and an assortment of nigiri and sashimis.

5. Forte dei Marmi

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150 Ocean Dr
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(786) 276-3095
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In the swanky South of Fifth neighborhood, diners craving high-end Italian food will find Michelin star chef Antonio Mellino’s Forte dei Marni. Candles light the dimly lit space that’s somehow both inviting and full of privacy. The menu includes sharing options like the Florentine-style T-bone steaks; tagliolini with red prawns; whole Mediterranean fish; and fettuccine with mushrooms and black truffle.

6. Zuma Miami

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270 Biscayne Blvd Way
Miami, FL 33131
(305) 577-0277
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This mainstay in Miami’s food scene, features modern Japanese food, inspired by traditional izakaya-style dining, boasting a non-stop crowd of sleek, chic, celebrities, scene-chasers and food lovers.

7. Stubborn Seed

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101 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(786) 322-5211
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Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford is executing high-end meals at South of Fifth’s Stubborn Seed with dishes like a seared foie gras with pumpkin, crispy duck with creamy grits, and poached Maine lobster. The menu rotates constantly with plenty of seasonal a la carte options as well as eight-course tasting menus.

8. Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis

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730 1st St
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 604-6800
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A swanky establishment in the heart of South Beach, Milos doles out Mediterranean food with a whole lot of ambiance. Sharing menu space with other notable plates from the region, Greek dishes earn their keep with grilled vegetables, yogurt, octopus, and fried potatoes. 

9. Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant

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11 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 673-0365
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This 100-year old restaurant is an institution and thought to have started the stone crab craze that captures Miami to this day — and still exudes a classic elegance not found in many restaurants nowadays. Ordering the namesake stone crabs is a must, which are served with a mustard sauce that is a legend in its own right, but stone crabs aren’t the only notable item on the menu. From an assortment of seafood dishes to steaks, to its popular fried chicken, there is something for all tastes.

10. La Mar by Gaston Acurio

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500 Brickell Key Dr
Miami, FL 33131
(305) 913-8358
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Located in Brickell at Mandarin Oriental, La Mar by Gaston Acurio offers a combo of well-executed upscale novo-Andean fare and Asian-Peruvian fusion dishes. Think classics like lomo saltado, local offerings like yellowtail snapper, and several ceviche options.

11. LPM Restaurant and Bar

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1300 Brickell Bay Dr
Miami, FL 33131
(305) 403-9133
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LPM Restaurant and Bar is Brickell’s answer to fancy French Mediterranean cuisine. Seasonal Mediterranean produce shines through in dishes using artichokes, courgettes, lemons, olives and tomatoes, paired with pristine seafood, meat and pasta. Menu highlights include a whole roast baby chicken, gnocchi with tomatoes, and branzino, all complemented by a substantial French wine list that includes an extensive selection from Provence.

12. Fiola Miami

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1500 San Ignacio Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33146
(305) 912-2639
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A D.C. transplant by a Michelin-starred chef, Fiola is a updated take on traditional Italian cuisine in an elegant setting. Guests can select from la carte menus featuring contemporary twists on Italian classics during from lunch into happy hour and dinner. Signature dishes like the lobster ravioli with ginger and chives; cacio e pepe; charred octopus; and grilled Australian lamb are favorites among those who often frequent the restaurant.

1. The Surf Club Restaurant

9011 Collins Ave, Surfside, FL 33154

Thomas Keller’s The Surf Club features a menu of classic continental cuisine, reinterpreted for contemporary diners. Located inside the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, the ambiance transports diners to a romantic setting that feels as straight out of the 50s with dark blue and wood tones. Guests can dine on popular dishes include an avocado Louie, NT strip steak, and a table-side prepared Caesar salad, with every detail perfectly calculated right down to the interactive butter service. 

9011 Collins Ave
Surfside, FL 33154

2. L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon

151 NE 41st St suite 235, Miami, FL 33137

One of the best known fine-dining experiences in the world, the Miami Design District outpost of chef Joël Robuchon is led by several longtime protégés of the famed chef. Guests dine at counter seating akin to sushi counters, dining on a meal filled with plenty of tapas-style dishes. There are tasting menus, along with plenty of a la carte dishes like the La Caille made with caramelized quail, foie gras, potato purée and the Le Boeuf created with with prime ribeye, butternut squash tartlet with caramelized onion.

151 NE 41st St suite 235
Miami, FL 33137

3. The Bazaar by José Andrés

1701 Collins Ave suite 100, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Located inside of SLS South Beach, this high-end eatery features an elevated menu that blends James Beach award-winning chef Jose Andrés’ Spanish heritage and with influences from the local Latin culinary community. Guests can dine on dishes designed for sharing like empanadillas de bacalao, bone marrow and jamon de toro, while sipping on uniquely crafted cocktails and high-end wines.

1701 Collins Ave suite 100
Miami Beach, FL 33139

4. MILA Restaurant

1636 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

The swanky and massive 13,000-square-foot space boasts a serenely stylish indoor dining area, an outdoor terrace complete with an intimate omakase-style bar, and bites like shawarma-spiced wagyu dumplings, Alaskan king crab tempura, and an assortment of nigiri and sashimis.

1636 Meridian Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

5. Forte dei Marmi

150 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

In the swanky South of Fifth neighborhood, diners craving high-end Italian food will find Michelin star chef Antonio Mellino’s Forte dei Marni. Candles light the dimly lit space that’s somehow both inviting and full of privacy. The menu includes sharing options like the Florentine-style T-bone steaks; tagliolini with red prawns; whole Mediterranean fish; and fettuccine with mushrooms and black truffle.

150 Ocean Dr
Miami Beach, FL 33139

6. Zuma Miami

270 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131

This mainstay in Miami’s food scene, features modern Japanese food, inspired by traditional izakaya-style dining, boasting a non-stop crowd of sleek, chic, celebrities, scene-chasers and food lovers.

270 Biscayne Blvd Way
Miami, FL 33131

7. Stubborn Seed

101 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford is executing high-end meals at South of Fifth’s Stubborn Seed with dishes like a seared foie gras with pumpkin, crispy duck with creamy grits, and poached Maine lobster. The menu rotates constantly with plenty of seasonal a la carte options as well as eight-course tasting menus.

101 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

8. Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis

730 1st St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

A swanky establishment in the heart of South Beach, Milos doles out Mediterranean food with a whole lot of ambiance. Sharing menu space with other notable plates from the region, Greek dishes earn their keep with grilled vegetables, yogurt, octopus, and fried potatoes. 

730 1st St
Miami Beach, FL 33139

9. Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant

11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

This 100-year old restaurant is an institution and thought to have started the stone crab craze that captures Miami to this day — and still exudes a classic elegance not found in many restaurants nowadays. Ordering the namesake stone crabs is a must, which are served with a mustard sauce that is a legend in its own right, but stone crabs aren’t the only notable item on the menu. From an assortment of seafood dishes to steaks, to its popular fried chicken, there is something for all tastes.

11 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

10. La Mar by Gaston Acurio

500 Brickell Key Dr, Miami, FL 33131

Located in Brickell at Mandarin Oriental, La Mar by Gaston Acurio offers a combo of well-executed upscale novo-Andean fare and Asian-Peruvian fusion dishes. Think classics like lomo saltado, local offerings like yellowtail snapper, and several ceviche options.

500 Brickell Key Dr
Miami, FL 33131

11. LPM Restaurant and Bar

1300 Brickell Bay Dr, Miami, FL 33131

LPM Restaurant and Bar is Brickell’s answer to fancy French Mediterranean cuisine. Seasonal Mediterranean produce shines through in dishes using artichokes, courgettes, lemons, olives and tomatoes, paired with pristine seafood, meat and pasta. Menu highlights include a whole roast baby chicken, gnocchi with tomatoes, and branzino, all complemented by a substantial French wine list that includes an extensive selection from Provence.

1300 Brickell Bay Dr
Miami, FL 33131

12. Fiola Miami

1500 San Ignacio Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33146

A D.C. transplant by a Michelin-starred chef, Fiola is a updated take on traditional Italian cuisine in an elegant setting. Guests can select from la carte menus featuring contemporary twists on Italian classics during from lunch into happy hour and dinner. Signature dishes like the lobster ravioli with ginger and chives; cacio e pepe; charred octopus; and grilled Australian lamb are favorites among those who often frequent the restaurant.

1500 San Ignacio Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33146

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