This Is Where You Should Eat for Miami Spice
Miami's answer to Restaurant Week makes August and September the perfect time to eat through the city
Summer in Miami means 90-degree temperatures mixed with 90 percent humidity. Though that might not sound like a dream destination, it’s actually a great time to try out Miami’s most interesting restaurants.
Miami Spice, a two-month-long promotion, sponsored by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau runs from August 1 through September 30 and offers diners three-course prix-fixe meals at deeply discounted prices.
For 2022, lunch and brunch cost $28 for a three-course meal. Dinner works on a two-tier system with options for $45 and $60 for three-course menus for the evening meal. All prices exclude tax, tip, and (in most cases) beverages.
This is the 21st year for Miami Spice, which started as an answer to New York City’s Restaurant Week. For two decades, Miami Spice has been a way for restaurateurs to lure locals in to try their menus and to attract tourism to the Magic City during the summer.
Currently, over 200 restaurants, including establishments newly minted into the Florida Michelin Guide, have signed up to participate (the official 2022 Miami Spice website, miamiandbeaches.com, lists participating restaurants, along with menus).
That number is absolutely staggering and perusing the site for a deal is a chore. To simplify things, here are the restaurants I’ll be heading to first during Miami Spice.
Chef Sam Gorenstein heads up the savory and Hedy Goldsmith takes care of desserts and pastries at this South Beach gem that features Israeli cuisine in an adorable tiny house. Grab a seat on the porch, studded by bougainvillea. The Miami Spice dinner menu offers substantial value, with entrees that include fresh local catch, lamb, and chicken choices. Whatever you do, order the sticky date feta caramel cake for dessert.
This Michelin-recommended restaurant could be the most exciting restaurant in Miami: The bartenders — called Cantineros — “throw” daiquiris (a method where the drink is thrown from one shaker to the other, creating a perfect arch of liquid), dance, and still manage to make the best daiquiri you’ve ever had. Latin music plays while people dance. But behind all this color and sound, there’s a dream team: James Beard winner Michelle Bernstein is in charge of the food, while Julio Cabrera is behind the cocktail program.
Cote Miami just received a Michelin Star for good reason: This Design District restaurant is a stunner. Cote only offers Miami Spice for lunch Monday through Thursday, but for $28, you can experience this chic eatery. Start with the steak tartare before tucking into the Optimus Prime, an 8 oz. piece of USDA prime rib on a Sullivan Street baguette. If you want to splurge, the Butcher’s Feast of USDA prime hanger steak and dry-aged ribeye grilled tableside is a $12 upcharge. Make this a martini lunch: Cote serves the most perfect Vesper in Miami.
This Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant is a Miami staple. Chef Michael Schwartz’s secret is to source the best ingredients, let them shine, and never overwork anything. So simple, yet so satisfying. The restaurant just reopened after an extensive renovation that includes a gorgeous outdoor space that’s covered so you can enjoy your al fresco dinner without worrying about Miami’s infamous sudden storms.
This Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant is located in Historic Overtown, rich in Black culture and considered the Harlem of the South. The restaurant, itself, sits on the site of Clyde Killens Pool Hall where the likes of Roberta Flack and Sam Cooke played back in the day. Marcus Samuelsson brought his Red Rooster Harlem south, offering classic fare like chicken fried green tomatoes, fried yardbird, and local fish. After dinner, head upstairs to listen to live music — anything from open mic nights to R&B and funk bands.
Come on — you know you want to take a selfie with the Daniel Craig-as-007-taking-a-whiz wax figure in the men's room. Sexy Fish is what happens when you give the Little Mermaid Molly — it’s a circus of a restaurant, true, but it’s soooooo Miami it really needs to be experienced. (We wrote about it here.) Chef Bjoern Weissgerber does an admirable job overseeing the kitchen, making sure that the decor never overpowers the meal. Sexy Fish only offers Miami Spice during lunch, but the menu is filled with choices and the restaurant is always lively (if you can even snag a reservation).