12 stellar special-occasion restaurants in Miami

Delicate sashimi slices wreath a bowl of creamy broth at Stubborn Seed in Miami
The festive dishes at Stubborn Seed, a MICHELIN-starred restaurant in South of Fifth, are made from the freshest finds from local farms. | Credit: Stubborn Seed

The Magic City was made for special nights out, whether they call for putting on flip-flops, espadrilles, or stilettos. It’s not just about over-the-top clubstaurants in this tropical party town. Find the city’s subtler side, too, in its MICHELIN-starred icons and hundred-year-old seafood spots.

One thing is clear: There’s no shortage of celebration spots here, no matter what your wardrobe or palate craves. Read on for a guide to 12 top Miami restaurants ready to host your next special occasion.

Phuc Yea (MiMo)

A spread of Vietnamese Cajun dishes on the patio at Phuc Yea in Miami
At Vietnamese Cajun Phuc Yea, expect cultural mashups with unexpected flavor combos like oyster sauce and Parmesan. | Credit: Phuc Yea

The paper lantern-decked patio at Phuc Yea screams birthday party, and so do the ’90s hip-hop tunes. But this artsy Vietnamese Cajun spot is just as ready for casual date night or a group brunch. Owners Ani Meinhold and chef Cesar Zapata use their heritages as a launching pad for unexpected cultural mashups like wok-fried noodles with oyster sauce, Parmesan, and garlic butter. To level up your big night, get the special oysters experience available via OpenTable.

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Ironside Pizza (MiMo)

This beloved BYOB pizza spot is set in a cozy neighborhood courtyard and best for special occasions that don’t require dolling up. That’s because a night here is all about killer Neapolitan food and company (Ironside is especially great for large groups). A casual celebration features wood-fired pizzas, calzones, pastas—including vegan and gluten-free options—and the kind of easygoing party vibes you won’t find anywhere else in this fast and furious town. 

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Swan (Design District)

A horseshoe-shaped bar is topped with an extra-large floral arrangement at Swan in Miami.
Swan’s Insta-worthy interiors include a stunning horseshoe bar. | Credit: Swan

Those looking to celebrate in style—and maybe spot a celeb or two—should head straight to Swan. The glamorous Design District spot is owned by nightlife mogul David Grutman and artist Pharrell Williams, for starters. Swan is also as Insta-worthy as it gets with soft pink velvet seats, a stunning horseshoe bar, and leafy garden accents. The Euro-style share plates don’t hold back on high-roller touches like caviar and lobster. Stretch your big night with a nightcap at Bar Bevy, Swan’s sultrier sibling upstairs.

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Jaya at the Setai (South Beach)

A round black plate with tuna sashimi with shiso and radishes at Jaya at the Setai in Miami
Jaya at the Setai is an Asian-inspired oasis known for dishes like tuna sashimi with shiso and radishes. | Credit: Jaya at the Setai

Impress out-of-towners (or anyone, really) with a fancy celebration at this sleek oasis. Jaya lives in the Setai Miami Beach, and the hotel’s glam vibe extends to its signature restaurant. Jaya’s tandoor-roasted, wok-fried menu is a trip through India, Thailand, and China. Book a table around the water-filled courtyard, and saddle up for a nightly entertainment lineup that includes fire dancers and acrobats—this is dinner-and-a-show, Miami style.

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Stubborn Seed (South of Fifth)

A peanut butter candy bar and a scoop of ice cream at Stubborn Seed in Miami
Stubborn Seed’s MICHELIN star-winning menu changes often, but might include desserts like this peanut butter candy bar. | Credit: Stubborn Seed

Stubborn Seed’s MICHELIN star is one major reason to celebrate just about anything here. The elegant American restaurant is led by Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford and known for a blockbuster tasting menu with the freshest finds from local farms. Lucky for you, that means a new meal every time you celebrate here. A Stubborn Seed spread almost always features freshly baked bread, wagyu, and sensational local fish, depending on what’s in season. Outdoor tables promise a breezy al fresco celebration, but dine indoors and you’ll spot all the action in the glass-walled kitchen.

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Byblos Miami (South Beach)

Thanks to its dark and velvety interiors, Byblos is where you go to dial up the romance. Most of its Eastern Mediterranean dishes are served family-style, confirming that sharing is definitely caring here. Toast to each other with the vodka and pomegranate Gulab cocktail—it’s garnished with fresh rose petals and tastes as good as it looks. Then choose from feasts-for-two that include lamb shoulder with sumac, pickles, and house lavash. A DJ spins on weekends, making Byblos especially celebration friendly.

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Mignonette Downtown (Downtown)

As its name suggests, Mignonette is where you go for oysters, flown in from both US coasts on a daily basis. Its retro-cool digs call for low-key celebrations (read: flip-flops and tanks are welcome), complete with lobster rolls and clams casino. Snap a photo by the charming marquee showing off the bivalve selection of the day, and add a bottle of bubbles—or a slice of key lime pie—to make things extra festive. 

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Komodo (Brickell)

Nest-like seats above the ground floor at Komodo in Miami
Komodo is a sprawling Southeast Asian lounge in Brickell known for extravagant plates featuring gold leaf and truffled honey. | Credit: Groot Hospitality

Komodo is another Grutman-owned restaurant that’s fluent in all things flashy. The massive three-story spot is known for attracting celebs and can do celebration drinks with just as much swag as an intimate dinner (request one of its bird’s nest-like seats if you’re here for a romantic occasion). Easy-to-share food like wagyu beef dumplings, rock shrimp, and lettuce wraps dominates the pan-Asian menu. But you’re really here for the OTT atmosphere, accomplished by 40-foot ceilings and sexy treehouse-chic decor.

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Lido Restaurant and Champagne Bar at the Surf Club (Surfside)

Lido is far from your average hotel lobby restaurant. Instead, it’s a transportive special occasion spot that shuttles you to the Italian coast. Start with a glass of bubbles from Miami’s largest Champagne collection, then dive into a sophisticated surf-and-turf dinner. If you’re here for Sunday Funday, there’s a prix fixe brunch with family-style apps, Italian-accented mains, and a stunning dessert buffet.

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LPM Restaurant & Bar (Brickell)

Snails with garlic butter and parsley at LPM in Miami
LPM is known for French Riviera-inspired delicacies like escargots with garlic butter and parsley. | Credit: LPM

Make-or-break client dinners call for LPM’s Cote d’Azur-inspired flavors. The glossy Brickell Bay Drive spot serves gorgeous French and Mediterranean food, but its claim to fame is the dessert menu, stacked with hits like lemon sorbet with vodka and a cloud-like cheesecake. Bonus points for the impressive French wine list with lots of shoutouts to Provence.

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Joe’s Stone Crab (South of Fifth) 

Meet one of Miami’s most iconic and oldest celebration spots. Joe’s Stone Crab has ruled the city’s crustacean scene for over a century and stands out for its crisp white tablecloths and servers with decades of experience. Stone crab claws are a must (duh) but other occasion-worthy dishes include a fried half-chicken—at $8.95, it might be one of the city’s biggest steals—and an award-winning key lime pie. Another perk is free parking, rare for this part of town. 

The Surf Club (Surfside)

There are celebration spots, and then there’s Thomas Keller’s Surf Club. It could be the throwback 1950s atmosphere, the classic Continental food (steak tartare, tableside Caesar salad, ribeye), or the never-miss-a-beat service, but dining here is a masterclass in opulence. If you’re drinking, consider a glass from the enormous wine list—Keller is well-known for his Napa connections. The Surf Club is easily one of the splurgiest restaurants in the city and the kind of place you reserve for a very-special someone.

Tried them all? Check out other options here.

Amber Love Bond is a Miami-based food + beverage writer who can typically be found somewhere delicious with her laptop in tow and a cocktail in hand. See what she’s sipping and follow her adventures on Instagram.

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