10 Miami Spice Restaurants That Are Worth The Drive From Fort Lauderdale
Update: Miami Spice has been extended through Oct. 31.
Foodies, get ready. One of South Florida's best annual restaurant events—Miami Spice—is right around the corner.
Begining Aug. 1 and continuing until Sept. 30, Miami Spice is a restaurant promotion that showcases Miami cuisine. Participating restaurants offer three-course meals featuring signature dishes with reduced prices.
Don't rule out Miami Spice just because you live in Broward County. We have the top ten participating restaurants that are worth the drive from Fort Lauderdale, offering truly unique restaurant experiences, from interactive dinners to being seated at tables overlooking the best views in town. (Pro tip: Use Lyft codes MIAMISPICE17 for new Lyft app users and MIAMITEMPTATIONS for veteran Lyft users for discounted rides during Miami Spice.)
Gili's Beach Club
Every Friday and Saturday night, Gili’s Beach Club will be taking Miami Spice excitement to the next level as it serves more than just a three-course meal but an interactive Lava Stone Grill Experience. After pulling up to valet, diners will be whisked by golf cart directly to the sand, where the aptly named Gili’s Beach Club lies. For $39, guests can start off their beachside dinner with either chickpea hummus with feta, pistachio and veggie chips or grilled vegetable burrata with tomato confit and pine nuts; then, they’ll be able to prepare their entree—skirt steak, chicken breast or jumbo shrimp—on a hot lava stone at a temperature of 700 degrees. They can also choose from sides including Spanish chorizo potato salad, paella-style rice and steak fries, and opt for either Key lime pie with almond crust and meringue or Snickers cake with dulce de leche and Oreo crumbs for dessert. We suggest you top it all off with a frozen coconut mojito—the love child of a piña colada and a mojito, and the perfect tropical cocktail complement to your scenic ocean view.
18001 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles; 305.692.5777; trumpmiami.com/experience/dining/gillis-beach-club
Tuyo sits atop Miami Dade College’s Miami Culinary Institute, offering views of the Miami skyline and Biscayne Bay. The rooftop restaurant is operated by the institute’s culinary students and will serve lunch Monday through Friday, and dinner Tuesday through Saturday during Miami Spice. The menu will change every two weeks, which is your perfect excuse to go back to Tuyo for round two (or three). The first of the four different menus features preserved lemon risotto, agedashi tofu and chocolate terrine.
415 NE Second Ave., Top floor, Miami; 305.237.3200; tuyomiami.com
Dinner and a show await at El Tucan, the Tropicana Club-style cabaret theater in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood. As you step back into 1940s Havana and feel immersed in the retro tropical glamour of the venue, prepare to enjoy a three-course meal accompanied by a Latin music performance of talented singers and dancers backed by an 11-piece band. (Fun fact: “Cuban Adele” Yoli Mayor made her residency here before embarking on this season of “America’s Got Talent.”) El Tucan is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and offers two seatings Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., with the second seating followed by a live DJ and dancing into the wee hours of the morning. Guests can choose from tostones with wahoo ceviche or ahi tuna taquitos, skewers of miso seabass or prime ribeye, and matcha green tea molten lava cake, the day’s selection of sorbet and ice cream. Given El Tucan’s regularly priced prix fixe dinner is $85, $39 for reserved seats to the show and a three-course meal is a steal.
1111 SW 1st Ave., Miami; 305.535.0065; eltucanmiami.com
Combine your love of brunch and Japanese food at Dragonfly Izakaya, located in downtown Doral. A true catch-to-consumption experience, Dragonfly is inspired by the Japanese Tsukiji Fish Market. Guests enter through a working fish market to arrive at the traditional Japanese restaurant. Brunch entrees for Miami Spice include chicken and rice omelets, seafood okonomiyaki and Snake River Farms kurobuta benedict. Brunch will be served only on Sundays, lunch will be served every day except Saturday and dinner will be served every day of the week.
5241 NW 87th Ave., Ste. D101, Doral; 305.222.7447; dragonflyrestaurants.com/doral-florida/
Enjoy lunch or dinner in a truly unique spot: the rooftop of Lincoln Road’s architectural gem, the 1111 Parking Garage. The open-air Juvia restaurant offers panoramic views of South Beach and an eclectic menu of French, Peruvian and Japanese cuisine. For dinner, guests can enjoy starters like a rock shrimp ceviche with leche de tigre (our personal favorite), or perilla leave wraps – which have a minty, herbal flavor–filled with salmon, sushi rice and pickled onion. As for entrees, go for the broiled branzino with a fresh watercress, tomato and avocado salad or arroz can pato—leg of duck with a side of cilantro rice and pickled veggies. Dessert options include a rich chocolate tart, poached apricots and meringue atop a pistachio almond cake, or a simple strawberry-basil salsa, which surprisingly satisfied our sweet tooth the most. Weekend lunch is also a win, with lighter salads to start, including kale and farro, watercress and heart of palm or charred romaine, as well as entrees of grilled Scottish salmon with edamame puree, chicken lomo with a sunny side up egg and jasmine rice, or creamy beef linguine with mushrooms and tenderloin tips.
1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 305.763.8272; juviamiami.com
Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann-Faena Miami Beach
Argentine grillmaster Francis Mallmann took his love for the ancient art of South American live-fire cooking and created a contemporary asado experience at Los Fuegos. The restaurant located inside the Faena hotel boasts an open-fire kitchen, local ingredients and traditional recipes turned into sophisticated dishes. Its Miami Spice dinner features local red snapper, potato gnocchi a la plancha, slow-cooked carrillera and grilled pineapple. Los Fuegos will serve lunch every day except Sundays and dinner Sunday through Thursday.
3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786.655.5600; faena.com/miami-beach/restaurants/los-fuegos-by-francis-mallmann/
Hoping to spot a celebrity during your outing in Miami? Komodo, a three-story indoor/outdoor eatery in Brickell, might be your best shot. The Asian restaurant is owned by nightlife king David Grutman—famous for opening LIV and Story nightclubs—and the Brickell venue has its own lounge as well. During dinner, be sure to order the ginger-lime curried shrimp and wagyu beef dumplings to start, or consider the refreshing salmon truffle honey rolls (they’re worth the upgrade). The lime chicken with chili-lime sauce is served atop wilted garlic spinach and tastes as tender as can be, and the tuna & toro roll is a Komodo favorite. For steak lovers, the sliced wagyu skirt steak with a bed of crispy onions is also worthwhile ($9 upcharge). If you opt for lunch, try unique fare like soft shell crab bao buns or a miso salmon bowl and lemongrass panna cotta with prickly pear Italian ice. Komodo is offering lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Sunday through Thursday.
801 Brickell Ave., Miami; 305.534.2211; komodomiami.com
RedLander Restaurant at Schnebly Winery
Located on a farm and winery in Homestead, RedLander is the perfect location for a day trip, paired with a visit to Schnebly Winery. Executive chef Rolando Roman focuses on local ingredients and farm-to-table cuisine. The restaurant is located within the winery’s primary tasting room, giving you access to not only great meals, but crafted wine pairings as well. RedLander’s Miami Spice menu offers shrimp white truffle avocado risotta, basel butter filet mignon search with duck fat potato hash and mango flan brulee. Brunch will be served on Sunday only and lunch and dinner are served Wednesday through Sunday.
30205 SW 217th Ave., Homestead; 305.242.1224; schneblywinery.com
Nothing beats Miami Spice at a tapas restaurant like Bazaar Mar, where instead of enjoying three courses, guests can dine on a sampling of five (and with so many options on the Spice menu, that number multiplies with each additional dining partner). Now is the perfect time to try one of Miami’s most celebrated new restaurants, from renowned chef and restaurateur Jose Andres—given it opened at the end of last year, this is the restaurant’s first Spice season since its debut. Whimsical sea-themed tapas range from Maine lobster croquetas with saffron aioli to Bazaar Mar’s famous California “Funnel Cake” made with a seaweed funnel cake base, avocado and blue crab and Neptune’s Pillow, a combination of tuna sashimi and spicy tuna with air breads, spicy mayo and sea lettuce powder. Each guest can choose one starter; three tapas from any combination of the oysters and raw bar “Sea What Else” section, vegetables, meat and other “Seductive Little Snacks;” and then still conclude with one dessert, such as the “Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea?” — a pineapple shaved ice dessert with condensed milk, green chartreuse liqueur and fennel fronds. With a two-sided menu of options, we warn you: it’ll be hard to choose unless you bring enough friends (maximum of eight per table) to try it all. Some of our favorites include the Ceviche Oysters with leche de tigre and corn nuts (tequila lovers can also try the Margarita Oysters) and the Po Boy José with flavorful fried baby squid and aioli on a steamed brioche bun.
1300 S. Miami Ave., Miami; 305.615.5859; sbe.com/restaurants/locations/bazaar-mar/
Palme d’Or at The Biltmore Hotel
Experience artful fine dining at the historic Biltmore Hotel. The menu comprises fresh seafood, vegetarian-friendly items, select meats and house specialties. More than 20 tasting plates are offered, as well as a three-course tasting menu, including your choice of le poulpe, la cabillaud d'Alaska, la canette de barbarie and la pavlova. The cheese selection for dessert is a must-have addition to the meal. Servers will come to you with an incredible cheese chart with aged, international cheese selections. For Miami Spice, the dinner menu is offered Tuesday through Saturday.
1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 305.445.1926; biltmorehotel.com/dining/palme_dor.php