Miami has grown into quite the foodie destination, but during Miami Spice restaurant months, the culinary arts really come to life. Top chefs from local restaurants show off their talents with exclusive mouthwatering menus and superb dining experiences. For the 12th annual event, there are nearly 200 participating restaurants, the largest roster yet. Here’s your guide to navigating Miami Spice.
What to Know
From August 1 to September 30, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau organizes Miami Spice, where world-renowned chefs at participating venues offer decadent three-course meals. The two-month spectacle kicks off during the Iron Fork chef competition and grand tasting hosted by the Miami New Times inside the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown. As two local toques (Jamie DeRosa from Tongue & Cheek and Giorgio Rapicavoli from Eating House Miami) battle for the Iron Fork Award by creating savory dishes for judges (including past champions and Sean Brasel of Meat Market), scour the space and try small plates from some of the best restaurants in town.
This year, you have the more convenient option of making reservations directly on the Miami Spice website. Plus, when booking through the website, you can enter several contests, including the chance to win free Miami Spice meals and a trip on the new Norwegian Getaway cruise line.
Where to Dine
You’ll only have two months to dine among the 200 participating restaurants — including Four-Stars Hakkasan Miami and Palme d’Or — so choose wisely. We recommend indulging at some new spots along with the old standbys. Some of the noteworthy newbies to hit the Miami Spice scene this year include Bulla Gastrobar, Khong River House, PB Steak and Restaurant Michael Schwartz inside The Raleigh Hotel. For reliably great meals, don’t miss grouper tempura at Makoto, the Jackman Ranch Wagyu culotte steak at BLT Steak, beef short rib agnolotti from Four-Star Scarpetta Miami Beach and a rotating weekly menu (expect certified angus beef prime filets) from Red, The Steakhouse.
Where to Stay
Of course, after exquisite meal, you’ll want to rest afterward. Luckily for Miami Spice diners, the Magic City has plenty of luxury hotels providing packages in conjunction with the event. As a special offer to celebrate the year-long commemoration of Juan Ponce de León’s landing on Florida’s shores, Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel Turnberry Isle Miami’s Viva Florida 500 deal includes a room upgrade, a welcome cocktail for two at Cascata Grill or Lobby Lounge, and dinner for two as Cascata Grill. Or book The Setai Renewal package at Four-Star The Setai, Miami Beach, which includes a daily breakfast buffet for two, complimentary valet parking and a $250 hotel credit that’s perfect for ordering up a Miami Spice dinner at The Setai Grill.
Photos courtesy of Makoto Restaurant