It’s that time of year, y’all — Miami Spice is back. From Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, locals and lucky visitors get to flock to the brightest and bougiest concepts on the restaurant scene and enjoy three-course meals by our city’s finest culinary masters – all at heavily discounted rates. (Here’s a list of all the participating restaurants in case you’re thinking of booking that summer staycay.)
To prepare, we ran through the new additions and returning faves we’re most excited for, breaking them down by neighborhood. Got any favorites of your own worth mentioning? Leave them as comments down below.
It’s true that Miami’s no stranger to Asian fusion menus, but we’re also not jaded enough to not not try Cuban egg rolls… After making waves in NYC and Jersey, the upscale fusion spot opened recently opened its doors in Coral Gables and is trying its Cuban and Asian-inspired dishes on seasoned aficionados: Miamians. Here they’re spicing up staples like lechon asado with bright and tangy flavors like with their spicy sour chili mojo. It’s a foodie fusion match made in heaven.
Tucked into an apartment building on Douglas, Seven Dials is dropping that slightly bougie, slightly hipstery, definitely British gastropub hotness. There is chi-chi charcuterie. There is bone marrow. There are truffled eggs. But there is also a damn fine burger and local brews on tap. Be sure to end your meal with some sticky toffee pudding.
An answer to Miami’s somewhat inauthentic and lacking Asian foodie scene, Dashi serves Japanese classics in an upscale, waterfront venue inside the River Yacht Club in Downtown. You won’t go wrong ordering any and all sashimi, but you’ll be remiss if you don’t order a bowl of udon noodles. Having grown up in his father’s noodle shop in Japan, the chef Shuji Hiyakawa is a somewhat of noodle veteran. You WILL make a fool of yourself and splash broth on yourself, but it WILL be worth it.
One of Downtown’s most successful fusion spots, Fooq’s serves up a contemporary French/Persian spin on comfort food. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, you’ll find perfectly seasoned veggies like their honey glazed brussel sprouts and what, in our opinion, has to be a runner-up for one of Miami’s best burgers – the patty is made of a blend of skirt steak, short rib, and brisket. Bless up.And nestled next to local faves like The Corner and ALL DAY, its locale easily has to be one of the hippest blocks in Downtown.
Influenced by Tsukiji Fish Market and pub culture in Japan, Dragonfly presents a contemporary take on izakaya-style foods like skewers and gyoza, in addition to the fresh sushi and sashimi we’re used to. It’s one of the newest additions to Doral’s rank of trendy foodie concepts, which is creating a formidable restaurant scene. And brunch goers may rejoice with a menu that features creative takes on omelets and (naturally) fried chicken and waffles.
Miami may have a million and one Peruvian joints in its ranks, but Doral’s Pisco y Nazca’s modern take on traditional Peruvian cuisine makes it a true standout. Like its namesake implies, you’ll find no shortage of variations on the classic Peruvian Pisco sour (why hello, happy hour), or other national dishes like ceviche and lomo saltado. Also, not sure how Peruvian this is, but they’ve got a chocolate DOME on their dessert menu that gets melted by MORE melted chocolate. Need we say more?
Phuc Yea takes your favorite, most utterly indulgent comfort foods and fuses them with Vietnamese and Cajun flavors. The former pop-up opened its doors last year in a modern and colorful permanent venue in the MiMo district, boasting local street art and traditional Asian accents. They serve up their decadent dishes family style. We recommend doing brunch for spicy Asian-inspired twists on Southern faves like their sweet ‘n sour wings ‘n waffles or their Cajun crab cake bennies.
Nestled into the side of a MiMo hotel reminiscent of Miami’s Art Deco days, Blue Collar dishes up elevated takes on classic Southern-style comfort foods like braised brisket and jambalaya. Meat not your thing? No worries – the restaurant’s known for taking care of their veggie-friendly patrons with a menu of insanely flavorful veggie sides including sweet potato plantain mash and curried cauliflower puree. Warning: seating and parking are very limited, so remember to make a reservation.
With a resurgence of nouveau takes on Southern-style Americana, Miami’s got its fair share of fried chicken joints, but Miami Beach addition Bird & Bone fills a void we’ve particularly been feeling: Nashville-style hot chicken. A seasoned vet on the Miami restaurant scene, Chef Richard Hale (of Sakaya Kitchen and Blackbrick Chinese) takes the heat from his other Asian-inspired concepts and packs it into Southern favorites like pork ribs, hot sweetbread, and of course, that juicy, crisp hot chicken.
The Northern Thai and Japanese styles at NaiYaRa are a happy addition to the growing culinary hub in Sunset Harbor. The pricing may be on the higher side, but it’s worth it. The papaya salad, sriracha wings, and beef jerky will prime your taste buds for the crab fried rice and drunken udon. Even though NaiYaRa is a Thai-first spot, Chef Bee did not forget his Nobu roots. Don’t sleep on the raw bar. The salmon taco and tuna garlic chip will keep you coming back. Call ahead or take your chances at the bar if you’re going on a weekend.