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Noteworthy

10 Miami Spice Restaurants You Need To Try—From The Best Spots Near Fort Lauderdale To The Places Worth The Drive

10 Miami Spice Restaurants You Need To Try—From The Best Spots Near Fort Lauderdale To The Places Worth The Drive

Foodies, our favorite time of year is almost here.

Before Dine Out Lauderdale launches on Aug. 15, take the opportunity to try some of Miami's best restaurants during Miami Spice. The restaurant promotion, which runs from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, lets locals and visitors enjoy prix fixe lunches ($23) and dinners ($39) at the hottest restaurants in the area.

With an overwhelming (but also all-too-exciting) 244 restaurants to choose from this year, we've picked the 10 restaurants Broward residents need to try—from the most expensive to the award-winning.

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While half of our picks are in North Dade, including Aventura down to Bal Harbour, we threw in five additional Miami staples that are worth the drive. (Take it from a born-and-bred Miamian, now living and working in Fort Lauderdale, who plans on driving down for Spice way too many times next month.)

 

5 Best North Miami-Dade Restaurants

Bourbon Steak by Michael Mina, Aventura

Try a steakhouse favorite from celebrity chef Michael Mina that'll give you the best bang for your buck.

Available for: Dinner 

Why it's a must: A regular New York Strip alone at Bourbon Steak goes for $52, and you can't go wrong with any of the three dessert options, which include the Pastelito y Cafe (with cream cheese mouse, guava gel and Bustelo coffee granita) and Spiced Chocolate Cremeux (topped with roasted banana toffee, passion fruit coulis and a side of mango sorbet).

What to order: Charred Octopus Ceviche, Angus New York Strip (it's a steakhouse, after all), Tropical Sorbet Pop Trio (Hemingway daquiri, coconut calamansi, papaya pineapple)

Turnberry Isle Miami; 19999 W. Country Club Drive, Aventura 

 

Il Mulino NY, Sunny Isles Beach

Dine in luxury at the Sunny Isles outpost of a top New York trattoria, located inside the five-star Acqualina Resort. 

Available for: Lunch, Dinner

Why it's a must: With only a few entree additions at dinner, lunch is a steal. Choose from six entrees including pastas, snapper, veal picatta and more, as well as hearty starter plates, such as ricotta meatballs and mussels in white wine or red spicy marinara sauce. 

What to order: Ricotta Meatballs, Rigatoni con Salsiccia e Rapini (sausage and broccoli rabe), Tiramisu

Acqualina Resort & Spa; 17875 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach

 

Chef Rolf's TUNAS Seafood Restaurant, North Miami Beach

Seafood lovers should check out lesser-known TUNAS Seafood, a hidden gem that also offers live music and entertainment.

Available for: Dinner

Why it's a must: Simply put: There's more fresh fish than you can even imagine. Homemade lobster bisque, oysters, whole fish of the day, fresh seared ahi tuna... we can go on and on.

What to order: Oysters Rockefeller, Seared Ahi Tuna Steak, Homemade Apple Strudel

17850 W. Dixie Highway, North Miami Beach

 

Makoto, Bal Harbour

It's a Japanese fine dining restaurant from Stephen Starr (the same chef behind Fort Lauderdale's STEAK 954), so you know it has to be good.

Available for: Dinner

Why it's a must: The menu includes Makoto's specialty appetizer spicy tuna crispy rice; entree items from the robata grill, sushi and seafood; and tempting Asian desserts, such as mochi, a chocolate yuzu bar, and mango pudding.

What to order: Hamachi Ponzu, Miso Sea Bass (but please bring a friend for the wagyu short rib robata), Mochi

Bal Harbour Shops; 9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour

 

Le Zoo, Bal Harbour

Here's a French Brasserie, also from Stephen Starr, that offers an adorably quaint setting, from its verdant palm tree-covered patio to its Parisian cafe-style interior.

Available for: Lunch or Dinner

Why it's a must: 1) This is Starr's latest restaurant in South Florida, so now's the time to try it. 2) Any time you find a weekend lunch, you take advantage of it. But for those who opt for dinner, you also have the option of craftier desserts—creme brulee with warm madeleines and Meyer lemon tart—and a hearty steak frites entree.

What to order: Escargot, Moules Frites, Ice Cream/Sorbet (Lunch)

Bal Harbour Shops; 9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour

 

Greater Miami Staples

If you're willing to travel beyond North Dade, we promise dining on a discount at these signature Miami restaurants will be worth it.

 

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Design District

You can't visit Miami without a stop at chef and restaurateur Michael Schwartz's flagship eatery, the spot that some say launched Miami's farm-to-table restaurant revolution to the point that it's no longer a trend but the norm.

Available for: Dinner

Why it's a must: Michael's Genuine hasn't participated in Miami Spice in five years, but this time around, the restaurant is offering some of its priciest plates, such as the "extra large"-sized wood-oven roasted snapper, and favorites like the peaches and stracciatella.

What to order: Grilled Peaches, Slow-Roasted Short Rib, Vanilla Kulfi

130 NE 40th St., Miami

 

Zuma, Downtown Miami

Dine with a view of the Miami River at this modern Japanese hot spot, and lap up the life of luxury.

Available for: Lunch, Dinner

Why it's a must: In addition to the traditional appetizer, entree and dessert setup, you get an extra sushi course with the chef's selection of maki.

What to order: Tuna Sashimi, Chilean Seabass, Matcha Tres Leches

EPIC Hotel; 270 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

 

Hakkasan, Miami Beach

For those who are terrible at making decisions, at high-end Chinese restaurant Hakkasan, you don't have to choose. What you see on the menu is what you get. Yes, all of it.

Available for: Lunch, Dinner

Why it's a must: The dim sum lunch (which makes for a serious brunch) is always one of the greatest—and most delectable—Miami Spice deals out there.

What to order: Dim Sum Basket, Jasmine Tea-Smoked Chicken, Stir-Fried Baby Pak Choi, Beef Fried Rice with Ginger, Mango Custard

Fontainebleau Resort​; 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

 

The Bazaar by Jose Andres, South Beach

This world-renowned tapas restaurant with eclectic Spanish and island influences is one of South Beach's top hotel lounge eateries.

Available for: Dinner

Why it's a must: You can choose three tapas per person to make up your entree course. By the time you and a friend are done working through all of the tapas (and these aren't tiny portions, by any means), you won't know what to do with yourself.

What to order: Bao Con Lechon, Patatas Bravas, Yuca Churros, Cuban Coffee-Rubbed Churrasco, Key Lime Pie

SLS Hotel; 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

 

Red, The Steakhouse, South Beach

A chic steakhouse and celebrity hot spot that will please everyone in your party, Red will also be offering Italian favorites, specialty seafood items and more during Miami Spice.

Available for: Dinner

Why it's a must: You can keep coming back each week for an entirely different menu theme: Red's Greatest Hits, Italian, Seafood, and Classic Steakhouse. There are also plenty of menu upgrade options and wine or cocktail pairings, but even if you stick to the basic $39 menu, you definitely won't leave unsatisfied.

What to order: Classic Steakhouse: Steak Tartare, Petit Filet Mignon, Chocolate Silk Pie

119 Washington Ave., Miami Beach

 

Check our Best Restaurant Guide for more restaurants list.