Miami Date Ideas
© Courtesy of goodluz - Fotolia.com

Miami has long been known as one of the United States' top nightlife destinations, home to world-famous fine dining restaurants and cutting-edge clubs and bars for decades. Recently, its food scene has diversified significantly, with trendy new offerings infusing more affordable and casual options among its more refined and expensive establishments. Ethnic fare abounds, from traditional Spanish and Latin American restaurants to homestyle Mediterranean restaurants offering tapas and family-style table service. These restaurants, bars, and nightclubs offer perfect date night experiences on any budget, immersing visitors and local residents in the true Miami nightlife experience at any time of the day or night.

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1.Mina's Mediterraneo

Mina's Mediterraneo
© Mina's Mediterraneo

Mina's Mediterraneo is an Upper East Side joint serving up a variety of Middle Eastern-style dishes, ranging from North African favorites to traditional Greek and Mediterranean dishes. It is best known for its Middle Eastern-inspired weekend brunch, which has been named as the city's Best Brunch by the Miami New Times. Unique Mediterranean fare is available at brunch, including shashukas, mergez Benedicts, and mascarpone pancakes. Small plates and entrees, including pizzas and soups, are available at lunch and dinner, including a variety of house-made Mediterranean dips. Happy hour specials offer discounts on imported beers, fine wines, and a variety of craft cocktails.

749 NE 79th St, Miami, FL 33138, Phone: 786-391-0300

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2.Baoli

Baoli
© Bâoli

Bâoli is one of Miami's hottest nightlife spots, transporting nightly visitors to a tropical party paradise offering Asian fusion dishes by executive chef Gustavo Vertone. The club is a hotspot for celebrities and international jetsetters alike, bringing European-style nightlife to the Miami Beach region. Dishes highlight locally-sourced ingredients across appetizer, entree, and dessert selections, with world-class wines and champagnes available by the glass or by the bottle for meal pairing. Signature cocktails are also served, along with a variety of draft and bottled beer options. Nightly sets by top international DJs such as David Guetta, Tito, and A$AP Rocky and are presented, transforming the club into a high-energy dance party after dark.

1906 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-674-8822

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3.NaiYaRa

NaiYaRa
© NaiYaRa

NaiYaRa is an Asian-inspired dining spot operated by famed chef Piyarat Arreeratn, best known throughout the city as Chef Bee. The hip restaurant serves a variety of Thai street food options with global influences, blending familiar and exotic flavors to craft a truly unique dining experience. A variety of hot and raw appetizers are served alongside a full sushi and sashimi menu, which highlights one-of-a-kind omasake and nigiri selections. Familiar Thai favorite entrees are available, including Massaman curry, pad Thai, and drunken udon platters. Asian twists on contemporary American favorites are also available, such as the restaurant's 10-ounce skirt steak, which is prepared with bok choy and nahm jim jao sauce. Sake and imported Asian beers are available, alongside an extensive selection of Asian cocktails and international wines available by the glass.

1854 Bay Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 786-275-6005

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4.Sweat Records Miami

Sweat Records Miami
© Sweat Records Miami

Sweat Records Miami is one of the city's hippest independent music stores, located adjacent to legendary punk rock music venue Churchill's Pub. The store was opened in 2005 by concert promoter Lauren Reskin and WVUM DJ Sara Yousuf and has hosted appearances by music luminaries such as Iggy Pop, Fugazi's Ian MacKaye, Will Oldham of Bonnie "Prince" Billy, and Kimya Dawson. It has been a recipient of multiple Knight Arts Challenge grants awarded by the Knight Foundation and serves as one of the city's top music event venues, hosting a variety of in-store performances and celebrations for events such as Record Store Day. A coffee shop at the store also serves a variety of handmade drinks, voted as the Best Coffeehouse in Miami in 2014 by the Miami New Times.

5505 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137, Phone: 786-693-9309

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5.El Tucan

El Tucan
© El Tucan

El Tucán is managed by Mathieu Massa and Michael Ridard of the Mr. Hospitality restaurant group, which also operates top nightlife spot Bâoli. The trendy modern cabaret is located within Miami's eclectic Brickell neighborhood, striving to create a sophisticated, high-energy nightlife atmosphere for partygoers. It features theatrically-inspired decor envisioned by renowned designer Robert McKinley, centered around a stage that presents the city's only dinner variety show. Burlesque performers, live musicians, aerialists, and dancers take to the stage nightly, with world-renowned DJs presenting globally-influenced sets late into the night after shows finish. Bottle service is available for private parties, highlighting top shelf liquors.

1111 SW 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33130, Phone: 305-535-0065

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6.Kush

Kush
© Kush


Kush is a hip gastropub in Miami's eclectic Wynwood neighborhood, owned and operated by Matthew Kuscher, the proprietor behind Coconut Grove's trendy LoKal restaurant. The beer-focused hangout has been ranked as Florida's most green restaurant by the Nature Conservancy, emphasizing principles of environmental conservation in its daily operations. 18 rotating taps highlight the best craft beer the South Florida region has to offer, with nitro taps, cask ales, and a reserve bottle list also available for purchase. The restaurant frequently collaborates with regional craft breweries to offer up exclusive releases and collaborations, creating a craft beer experience unlike any other Miami bar. A limited food menu prioritizes quality over quantity, featuring clever dishes such as gator tacos, fried conch sandwiches, and vegan jambalaya.

2003 North Miami Avenue, Wynwood, FL 33127, Phone: 305-576-4500

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7.Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Mandolin Aegean Bistro
© Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Mandolin Aegean Bistro recreates traditional Greek and Turkish cuisine favorites in a restored 1930s home in Miami's up-and-coming Design District, offering indoor and outdoor seating alongside the restaurant's private edible harvest garden. Classic Mediterranean hospitality takes center stage at the intimate restaurant, which was opened in 2009 and is inspired by traditional Aegean coastal tavernas. Simple, unpretentious dishes highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients in entrees such as manti dumplings, pork souvlaki, and moussaka. A wide selection of mezze small plates are also available, including traditional Turkish and Greek dip and spread samplers. Private dining party packages are available for groups of eight or more with advance reservations.

4312 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137, Phone: 305-749-9140

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8.Soya and Pomodoro

Soya and Pomodoro
© Soya and Pomodoro

Soya and Pomodoro was opened by a pair of Italian immigrants who desired to bring traditional Italian cuisine to the Miami region. It is located within a restored former bank building in the city's downtown region and blends bohemian decor with family-style cooking and service, offering full menus at lunch and dinner seven days a week. Creative lunch entrees include clever panini sandwiches served on cibatta bread or baguettes, along with a variety of traditional antipasti and insalate options. At dinner, pasta fresca options take center stage, with dishes such as pistachio-sauce pappardelle and pear-and-cheese-stuffed ravioli offered alongside traditional land and sea entrees such as braised lamb shanks and filet mignon medallions.

120 NE 1st St, Miami, FL 33132, Phone: 305-381-9511

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9.La Mar Restaurant by Gaston Acurio

La Mar Restaurant by Gaston Acurio
© La Mar Restaurant by Gastón Acurio

La Mar Restaurant by Gastón Acurio features the elevated cuisine of acclaimed executive chef Gastón Acurio, named as one of the most influential South American entrepreneurs in America by America Economía magazine. Acurio headlines more than 40 restaurants across 12 countries internationally and has been the recipient of the prestigious Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as a chef and culinary author. The upscale restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating overlooking beautiful Biscayne Bay and the skyline of the city, with three bars serving up novo-Andean and Peruvian fusion fare at lunch and dinner. Two-hour brunches are served on Sundays, complemented by unlimited cocktails and signature desserts.

500 Brickell Key Dr, Miami, FL 33131, Phone: 305-913-8358

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10.Oporto Cafe Restaurant

Oporto Cafe Restaurant
© Oporto Cafe Restaurant

Oporto Cafe Restaurant has been a top Miami spot for fine Brazilian and Portuguese fare for more than a decade, preparing authentic South American dishes prepared as close as possible to homestyle cooking traditions. The restaurant cultivates a casual upscale dining environment that is beloved by locals and tourists alike, serving dishes emphasizing fresh seasonal flavors and traditional preparation elements. Unique appetizer fare includes chouriço assado, mexilhões a chefe, and ameijoas a bulhão pato, with dinner entrees emphasizing land and sea fare such as codfish, mussels, and lamb chops. Traditional skewer entrees are available, along with a selection of South American desserts. Fine wines from top South and Central American producers are available by the glass or by the bottle to complement meals.

2257 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145, Phone: 305-859-2228

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11.Tuyo

Tuyo
© Tuyo

Tuyo is a modern American restaurant perched high atop the Miami Culinary Institute, which is located within the Miami-Dade College's Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami. The restaurant has been consistently rated as one of the city's best fine dining experiences by OpenTable and offers stunning panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. Award-winning contemporary American dishes prepared by executive chef Victor Santos emphasize fresh seasonal ingredients, with selections such as peanut-crusted sea scallops, Caribbean-rubbed tuna steak, and New York strip steak a la plancha available at lunch and dinner. Tasting menus are offered for Miami Spice restaurant week, along with a full selection of fine international wines available daily.

415 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132, Phone: 305-237-3200

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12.Il Gabbiano

Il Gabbiano
© Il Gabbiano

Il Gabbiano is one of Miami's top fine dining destinations, offering elegant Northern Italian cuisine served up by brothers and owners Gino and Fernando Masci and business partner Luigi Tullio, who bring experience from Greenwich Village's famed Il Mulino restaurant to the venture. The restaurant offers a wide variety of classic Italian dishes prepared to order in house, ranging from traditional pastas such as bucatini alla matriciana to land and sea favorites such as veal scaloppine and shrimp scampi. Large shareable antipasti and insalate dishes are also offered, including traditional favorites such as burrata and bruschetta. Waterfront terrace seating is available, along with private banquet dining by reservation.

335 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33131, Phone: 305-373-0063

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13.Otentic Fresh Food Restaurant

Otentic Fresh Food Restaurant
© Otentic Fresh Food Restaurant

Otentic Fresh Food Restaurant is a casual French dining restaurant that has become one of Miami's top-ranked restaurants on TripAdvisor, housed within an Art Deco building that was originally constructed as the city's first Greyhound bus station in the 1930s. The intimate restaurant offers a 40-seat main dining room and a 20-seat outdoor patio overlooking the beautiful Fashion Boutique Hotel, designed by renowned architect Henry Hohauser. Its clever lunch and dinner menus highlight new twists on French bistro favorites such as tuna tartare, filet mignon, and linguine with bolognese sauce. Cheese and charcuterie platters are also available, along with garden platters highlighting locally-sourced produce.

538 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-531-1464

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14.Soyka

Soyka
© Soyka

Soyka is located within the former warehouse building housing owner Mark Soyka's vintage automobile collection, converted into a hip Mimo District restaurant in 1999. The fine family dining restaurant offers an eclectic selection of globally-influenced comfort fare at brunch, lunch, and dinner, including a variety of burgers topped with unique ingredients such as avocado salsa, dijon syrup, and roasted red pepper coulis. Entrees range from southern favorites such as chicken and waffles to Asian-influenced fare such as sesame salmon with jasmine rice, while appetizers include hummus platters, charcuterie trays, and Thai-style chicken lettuce wraps. Wine and cocktail service is presented alongside meals and live jazz performances, which are offered on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings.

5556 NE 4th Ct, Miami, FL 33137, Phone: 305-759-3117

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15.The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille
© The Capital Grille


The Capital Grille is an upscale chain of American steakhouses that was originally founded in 1990 by Ned Grace, opening its first location in Providence, Rhode Island. Today, the restaurant offers more than 50 locations throughout the United States in top American cities such as Boston and Washington, D.C. Its downtown Miami location offers fine dining in a country club-inspired atmosphere, serving classic American steakhouse fare such as dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood entrees, and daily specials infused with seasonal ingredients. An award-winning wine list serves up more than 350 options from around the world, including a specialty Captain's List section highlighting rare and highly sought-after wines.

444 Brickell Ave, Miami, FL 33131, Phone: 305-374-4500

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16.Area 31

Area 31
© Area 31


Area 31 is an upscale rooftop bar and grille located on the 16th floor of the Kimpton EPIC Hotel, offering unparalleled views of the beautiful Miami River and Biscayne Bay. The restaurant's name is derived from the United Nations-designated sustainable international fishery zone, emphasizing the restaurant's commitment to environmentally-friendly practices and locally-sourced ingredients. Seafood-centric menus infuse global flavors into lunch and dinner entrees, spiced with ingredients from the restaurant's personal herb garden. International wines and craft beers are available at the restaurant and its outdoor terrace lounge, which serves as one of the city's hippest cocktail lounge hangouts.

270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami, FL 33131, Phone: 305-424-5234

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17.Christy's Restaurant

Christy's Restaurant
© Christy's Restaurant


Christy's Restaurant has been a Coral Gables staple since 1978, becoming a favorite with locals and tourists alike for its clublike ambiance and steak and seafood-forward entrees. The elegant wood-paneled restaurant offers complimentary plates of its famous caesar salad with all meals, including classic Continental American entrees such as New York strip steak, prime rib, and filet mignon. Its famous baked Alaska dessert is flambeed tableside, offered alongside traditional desserts such as dense, moist blackout cake. Fine wines and liquors are served from the restaurant's full piano bar, including classic American cocktails. Reservations are recommended at the restaurant, which requires business casual attire for all diners.

3101 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Miami, FL 33134, Phone: 305-446-1400

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18.Red the Steakhouse

Red the Steakhouse
© Red the Steakhouse


Red the Steakhouse is a contemporary American steakhouse chain that offers several locations throughout the United States, originally opening in Cleveland in 2005. Two Florida locations are offered, including a South Beach location that opened in 2009. The steakhouse has been named as one of America's top 10 steak restaurants by top publications such as Esquire, Playboy, and Food and Wine, renowned for its Certified Angus prime-aged beef entrees, Kansas City strip steaks, and Miyazaki Japanese kobe beef dishes. An extensive wine list of more than 500 selections is available to complement meals by the bottle or by the glass, along with housemade craft cocktail selections.

119 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-534-3688

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19.Ferraro's Kitchen

Ferraro's Kitchen
© Ferraro's Kitchen


Ferraro's Kitchen is an upscale Italian restaurant operated by executive chef Igor Ferraro, a Venice native whose father was known for his work within the wine-producing region of Bassano del Grappa. The Mimo District restaurant was opened in 2015, located just minutes from beautiful Miami Beach. Full lunch and dinner menus provide a gastronomic tour of Italy, including traditional Venetian favorites such as sarde in saor, seppie al nero, and crostone di baccala' mantecato. Two-course tasting menus are also available at lunch, along with an extensive menu of fine Italian wines. For culinary lovers looking for a more immersive experience, the restaurant also hosts a variety of cooking courses and wine tasting events.

1099 NE 79th St, Miami, FL 33138, Phone: 786-534-2136

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20.Vero Italian Restaurant

Vero Italian Restaurant
© Vero Italian Restaurant


Vero Italian Restaurant is a contemporary Italian restaurant that serves both casual and formal dining options out of its downtown Miami dining room, with all dishes crafted by hand by executive chef Paolo Gallotti. The rustic-chic restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating options at lunch and dinner, striving to recreate the atmosphere of casual Tuscan bistros. A full menu of classic and contemporary Italian fare is served, including scratch-made pastas, handcrafted traditional pizzas, and land and sea dishes. Gluten-free and vegan menu options are available, along with health-conscious menu options. An extensive Italian wine list is available to complement meals, along with traditional desserts such as panna cotta, tiramisu, and housemade Italian gelato.

90 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131, Phone: 305-533-1357

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21.Palme D'or

Palme D'or
© Courtesy of Tony Leone - Fotolia.com


Palme D'or is Miami's only AAA Five-Diamond restaurant, one of three restaurants throughout the entire state of Florida to receive the distinction. The restaurant is named for the top prize awarded at the annual Cannes Film Festival and is located within the National Historic Landmark-designated Biltmore Hotel, which has been a staple travel destination for world-class celebrities since the 1920s. It overlooks the hotel's beautiful poolside deck and offers an extensive menu of elite contemporary French fare served in appetizer portions as part of four-course and six-course prix-fixe menus. Notable menu options include king crab, seared foie gras, and black cod with lobster polenta. An extensive European wine menu is offered, along with traditional nightcaps served up from the hotel's Old World-style bar.

1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134, Phone: 305-913-3189

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22.Ristorante Fratelli Milano

Ristorante Fratelli Milano
© Ristorante Fratelli Milano


Ristorante Fratelli Milano is a family-owned restaurant opened in 2006 by twin brothers Emanuele and Roberto Bearzi, who immigrated to the United States from northern Italy during their childhood. The restaurant is a favorite of major industry food critics and travel diners alike, acclaimed by major publications and review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. Traditional Italian antipasti and insalate are offered at lunch and dinner, along with a wide variety of hand-tossed pizzas, pasta dishes, and land and sea entrees such as vitello Milanese and salmone al pomodorino. Classic Italian desserts are also served, along with an extensive European wine list.

213 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131, Phone: 305-373-2300

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23.Pied a Terre

Pied a Terre
© Pied a Terre

Pied a Terre is a South Beach favorite opened in 2011, located within the historic 1942 Cadet Hotel. The restaurant has been the recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence every year since 2013 and features a massive wine list of more than 300 offerings personally selected by guest Food and Wine consultant Marc Gruest. Its decor is designed to evoke the high couture of an intimate Parisian restaurant within the 5th and 6th arrondissements, focusing on providing diners with true sophisticated tasting experiences. It serves a variety of contemporary French fare infused with Mediterranean influences, focusing on dishes prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients. Full tasting menus are available at dinner, including a Miami Spice experience menu and a Discovery menu.

1701 James Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-531-4533

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24.Crazy About You

Crazy About You
© Crazy About You

Crazy About You is one of Miami's Brickell neighborhood's top upscale dining destinations, opened as the sister restaurant to the city's Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita restaurant. The eclectic restaurant is one of the city's top budget date night mainstays, offering an internationally-inspired menu with options as varied as traditional Mexican oxtail tacos, Italian plates such as firecracker rigatoni and burrata caprese, and all-American favorites like barbecue baby-back ribs. All entree selections include complimentary diner's choice appetizer, with inexpensive house wine pairings starting at $5 per glass or $15 per bottle. A clever weekend brunch menu also highlights a variety of inventive favorites for under $25 a plate, including Nutella French toast, sunny-side-up brunch pizza, and tuna poke bowls.

1155 Brickell Bay Dr #101, Miami, FL 33131, Phone: 305-377-4442

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