Celebrate your special occasions at these top 14 Miami restaurants

Sexy Fish - Miami in Brickell is known for stunning seafood and cocktails. | Credit: Sexy Fish - Miami

The Magic City definitely lives up to its name when it comes to special nights out. Dial up the glam factor by snagging a reservation at a sprawling, pan-Asian stunner in Brickell with surrealist decor. For more understated elegance, head to a farm-inspired, MICHELIN-starred restaurant on the southern tip of Miami Beach. If you’re looking for a family-friendly fete, celebrate over truffle pasta, served in a festive cheese wheel at a Tuscan gem in SoFi.

One thing’s clear: Miami has no shortage of spots for revelers, no matter what your palate or budget craves. These 14 top restaurants are ready to host your next special occasion.

Phuc Yea (MiMo)

Vietnamese Cajun plates Phuc Yea. | Credit: Phuc Yea

Located in Miami’s up-and-coming MiMo neighborhood, Phuc Yea has been a source of exciting Vietnamese Cajun comfort food since 2016 (it first debuted as a pop-up in 2011). The cultural balancing act is expertly executed by owners Ani Meinhold and chef Cesar Zapata, who use their heritage and kitchen experience as inspiration. As ’90s hip-hop plays in the background, diners feast on green papaya salad with crispy shallots, dried shrimp, carrots, peanuts, herbs, and nuoc cham (Vietnamese fish sauce) dressing; and massive bowls of pho. The restaurant’s signature dish is PY noodles, made with oyster sauce, parmesan, and garlic butter, and quickly cooked in a wok. Dine in Phuc Yea’s artful, multi-level interiors or grab a spot on the spacious patio, adorned with paper lanterns and murals. The restaurant is ideal for date night, birthday celebrations, and brunch with a large group. Check out the special oysters experience available via OpenTable

Red Rooster Overtown (Overtown)

A New York transplant by famed chef Marcus Samuelsson, this Overtown restaurant is filled with warmth. The menu takes cues from Samuelsson’s Ethiopian roots, the Caribbean, and America’s Deep South, too. Start with the cornbread served in a cast iron skillet with spiced rum butter or the deviled eggs topped with chicharron, caviar, and mustard. Move on to entrees such as shrimp and grits or fried chicken. Save room for dessert—there’s a sibling concept next door called The Creamery featuring a selection of locally made ice creams. Live music is played daily with a different theme each day of the week, including a gospel choir during Sunday brunch, making that a particularly fun time to celebrate.

Scarpetta – Fontainebleau Miami Beach (Miami Beach)

Scallops at Scarpetta – Fontainebleau Miami Beach. | Credit: Scarpetta – Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Celebrity chef Scott Conant’s Italian restaurant (set in the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel) has all the trappings of a spectacular meal, from sweeping ocean views to  melt-in-your-mouth spaghetti and an expansive wine list. The tasting menu, available for $95 per person, features all of the restaurant’s greatest hits, including the spaghetti, duck and foie gras ravioli, and Conant’s famous creamy polenta. Scarpetta’s large dining room offers bar seating and multiple areas with varying decor. Depending on the weather and time of year, the generous patio windows may be opened for an al fresco dining feel while enjoying the ocean breeze.

Ironside Pizza – Miami (MiMo)

This beloved BYOB pizza spot is nestled in a charming neighborhood courtyard, lending it a warm and cozy feel. It’s best suited for those special occasions when getting dolled up isn’t required because the night is all about the delicious food and company. On the menu, expect Neapolitan pizzas, calzones, salads, pastas, and more, all fresh out of a wood-fired oven. Come for a casual celebration (Ironside is especially good for groups) and enjoy a relaxed evening without feeling rushed.

Toro Toro (Downtown)

Tomahawk steak at Toro Toro. | Credit: Toro Toro

If your special occasion calls for steak, then chef/restaurateur Richard Sandoval’s pan-Latin steakhouse inside the Intercontinental Hotel is the way to go. The restaurant is known for its expansive selection of tableside carved meats served rodizio, or all-you-can-eat style. Small plates include short rib and bone marrow arepas and grilled octopus. Sunday brunch features bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys. If you’re celebrating with a group, reserve Toro Toro’s wine room, named El Matador, which seats up to 14. For ultimate exclusivity, opt for the chef’s table, located in the center of the bustling kitchen.

Swan (Design District)

Those looking to dine in style—and maybe spot a fashionable celebrity or two—should book a table at Swan in Miami’s Design District. Owned by nightlife mogul David Grutman and musical sensation Pharrell Williams, this glitzy restaurant is worth booking for a special night out on the town. Popular plates include corn prepared three ways and caviar pasta made with spaghetti, white wine, butter, and lemon, topped with a heap of caviar. Dishes are small, but meant to be ordered in abundance and shared. The Instagram-worthy spot is decked with a spacious indoor bar and cozy, pink velvet booth seats, plus outdoor dining in a lush garden setting.

Jaya at the Setai (South Beach)

Bluefin tuna at Jaya at the Setai. | Credit Jaya at the Setai

Located in the exclusive Setai Miami Beach hotel, Jaya’s menu is an impressive mix of pan-Asian cuisines. The flavors of Thailand, China, Korea, India, and Japan are all available, surfacing in dishes such as Peking duck, pad Thai, and Indian-style prawn curry. Feast in the sophisticated dining room, or opt for the courtyard with soothing water features and a retractable roof. While the restaurant is a great place for dinner, the Sunday jazz brunch features a grand buffet and bottomless Champagne for $95 per person, fit for extra-special celebrations.

Stubborn Seed (South of Fifth)

Oysters at Stubborn Seed. | Credit: Grove Bay Hospitality Group

Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford’s first restaurant, which recently received its first MICHELIN star, is known for Ford’s tasting menu. Featuring seasonal dishes and ingredients from local farms, the offerings change based on what Ford finds freshest. But it’s always sectioned out the same: snacks/rooted/raw, where diners find vegetable-forward dishes and some form of freshly baked bread; land/sea with a handful of options ranging including wagyu, local fish, and poultry. The shifting menu means a unique experience every time, making each visit feel more celebratory. There are a few tables available outside, but those who dine indoors will be mesmerized by the goings on in the glass-walled kitchen.

Sexy Fish – Miami (Brickell)

Sexy Fish – Miami’s main dining room. | Credit: Ken Hayden

When your special night out calls for velvet rope entrances, Sexy Fish is the spot to book. This high-end, Japanese-influenced spot is known for its sushi, and stunning cocktails. Cover all your bases by opting for the omakase menu where you’re served 10 signature dishes. It’s nearly impossible to be too dressed up at this Brickell stunner— you’re competing with the one of the most glamorous restaurants in the Magic City. Diners enjoy their meals in booths or tables surrounded by 30 million dollars in artwork and design.

Byblos Miami (South Beach)

Dark and cozy in the heart of South Beach, Byblos, dressed in velvet, is a delightful date spot. Most of its Eastern Mediterranean plates are served family-style, making it easy to share. Can’t-miss dishes include the whole-grilled branzino served with chermoula, saffron toum (a creamy Lebanese sauce), and watercress. Don’t sleep on the roasted lamb shoulder with sumac, pickles, and house lavash. A DJ spins on the weekends, making it especially celebration friendly.

Klaw Restaurant (Edgewater)

Biscayne Bay views from Klaw’s rooftop | Credit: Klaw

Klaw, which opened in July 2022, has quickly proven itself as one of the most splurge-worthy restaurants in Miami. Take the elevator to the sixth-floor rooftop bar for check-in and a cocktail before being escorted down to the two-story dining room located on the fourth floor where the dark, moody decor sets the tone for a celebration. The menu leans surf and turf with carefully-sourced seafood and meats dominating. The King crab claw is undeniably the star of the show: Diners are greeted by a massive tank of live crab before it’s prepared tableside—cracked, plated, and covered in garlicky butter.

Cote Miami (Design District)

This MICHELIN-starred restaurant is a New York City transplant that’s undeniably worth stopping by for a special meal. Step into the dimly lit restaurant—even if you’re not celebrating anything, you’re going to wish you were. The chic Korean steakhouse serves an array of dishes that are cooked at your table as you’re nibbling on appetizers and sides (banchan). Order the Butcher’s Feast for a taste of four cuts of meat and vegetable accompaniments. Be sure to check out the wine list—one of Miami’s best.

Mignonette Downtown (Downtown)

As the name Mignonette suggests, this spot is known for its array of oysters that are flown in from both U.S. coasts daily. The cozy, indoor dining-only spot is reminiscent of an old-school diner: The day’s oyster selection is displayed on a sign just above the area where they’re shucked. The casual setting is great for a low-key celebration. Diners can down dozens of oysters and a bottle of bubbles before moving on to dishes such as lobster rolls and clams casino. 

Forte dei Marmi (South of Fifth)

Tucked in Miami’s ritzy South of Fifth neighborhood, Forte dei Marmi, a Tuscan-inspired spot, prides itself on high-quality, organic produce and responsibly sourced meats and seafood. Ring in a special occasion with the truffle cacio e pepe—it’s served tableside in a massive cheese wheel. The outdoor patio, filled with greenery, makes for a prime spot to tuck into copious amounts of pasta. But save room for the decadent pistachio ice cream; the scoop is large enough to fuel the entire table.

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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