Miami Spice 2018: How to Do it Right

July 30, 2018admin

The time has come, fellow foodies. Miami Spice starts this Wednesday, August 1st which means you’ll have a full two months to try the city’s yummiest eats. Here’s the thing, it’s easy to be disappointed or feel like you’ve missed something when the program is so overwhelming. Sometimes we get lured into a high-end restaurant only to be given far few choices. Or sometimes we overlook an eatery without knowing just how well-rounded their offerings are.

Miami Spice isn’t just about trying new things or hitting up big-name spots in town. It’s for discovering all-around good and flavorful menus so you have a broad idea of Miami’s culinary landscape. It’s also perfect for hitting up restaurants you probably could never afford on a regular budget. And even further still, it’s best for trying out a new restaurant that’s been catching your eye. Check out our round up of can’t-miss eats:

New Spots

Alma – The nu-Spanish spot just opened this year and we love their intimate digs off the beaten Coconut Grove path.
Not to miss: Ajo gazpacho, oxtail, and chocolate dessert.
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The Alley – The new trattoria-style Italian spot located in The Betsy hotel is getting a lot of buzz in just a few short months.
Not to miss: Any of the pizzas, the summer vegetable lasagna, and the housemade canoli.
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Novikov – Although the world-renown Asian-fusion spot is only participating in lunch, their menu boasts large servings and tons of flavor bombs.
Not to miss: Shrimp & cilantro dumplings, Salmon avocado roll and crispy Peking duck.
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Mira Five Stars – Located near the famed Joe’s Stone Crab, this Mediterranean spot will awe with flavor and classic eats.
Not to miss: Tuna tartar, Angus beef, and the grilled branzino.
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Best Menus

Planta – This new Dave Grutman place has such insane reviews that you’ll forget every dish is vegan-friendly.
Not to miss: Steamed dumplings, planta burger, and chef’s soft serve.
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Stiltsville Fish Bar – We hit up this Sunset Harbor spot when it opened and are happy to say that their fresh seafood forward menu hasn’t missed a beat. They also have brunch, lunch, and dinner featured this year.
Not to miss: Smoked fish dip, shrimp & grits, and eggs Benedict (brunch).
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Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard – This Kendall spot is a serious local gem. What we love is how they haven’t skimped on the dessert choices for Miami Spice. Insane.
Not to miss: Pork belly, filet mignon tips, and seriously any of the desserts.
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Byblos – The interior of this Eastern Mediterranean South Beach spot is as vibrant and welcoming as their flavorful menu.
Not to miss: Lamb ribs, duck kibbeh, fried chicken, and pizzelle.
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NaiYaRa – Another great Sunset Harbor spot, this time featuring authentic Thai street food in an elevated atmosphere with truly delicious bites.
Not to miss: Crispy pad thai, drunken udon, red curry, and milk chocolate pots de creme.
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Feel Bougie

Upland – The breathtaking South Beach spot designed by famed restaurateur Stephen Starr creates California-inspired dishes that make you want to travel West instantly.
Not to miss: Roasted chicken, short rib, ricotta gnudi.
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Photo by Miami New Times


Azabu – This high end South Beach Japanese outpost is famed for its expert level technique and bursts of flavor.
Not to miss: Wagyu tataki, branzino with umami butter, and chocolate cake.
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Stubborn Seed – Top Chef winner, Jeremy Ford’s Miami Beach restaurant is gastronomic heaven, rooted in all the natural flavors you love like you’ve never tasted them before.
Not to miss: Organic chicken, celery root, and snicker doodles cookies.
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Pao by Paul Qui – Top Chef and James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Qui has made a high-end home for himself at the illustrious Faena Hotel so this is definitely the time to try it out.
Not to miss: Aged beef tartare, duck adobo rice, and the almond namelaka.
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Palme d’Or – The Biltmore mainstay has been a Miami Spice staple almost since the very beginning of the campaign. It’s your classic French dine, upscale and family approved.
Not to miss: King crab, hangar steak, and the chariot of cheese (trust us).
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Prime Italian – One of the most classic names on Miami Beach’s restaurant list, we think Prime’s Italian outpost is a steal during Miami Spice.
Not to miss: Tuna tartare, kobe beef lasagna, and the short rib + truffle risotto.
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Photo by Haute Living


Estiatorio Milos – Costas Spiliadis is one of the most revered chefs of the Mediterranean persuasion and his Miami Beach eatery is highly considered to be of the best in town.
Not to miss: Grilled octopus, lamb chops, and the baklava.
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Scarpetta – Anything in the Fountainbleu is going to be out-of-the-water amazing. It might be a tourist trap most of the year, but getting the James Beard-winning experience during Miami Spice is really what it’s about.
Not to miss: Creamy polenta, braised short ribs, roasted branzino and the espresso tartufo.
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Alter – Easily one of the most recognizable local names, Chef Brad Kilgore has made a timeless culinary mecca in the heart of Wynwood.
Not to miss: Oyster mushroom, short rib, and the whipped caramel.
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