The Best Restaurants in Miami for Large Groups
Bring the whole crew together this holiday season.
Group dining in Miami is always a fascinating exercise in people-watching. Like other cities, we have our groups of locals celebrating a special occasion or family reunion. And like any vacation hotspot, we’ve always got the big groups of bachelor and bachelorette parties gathering around big steaks and delicate sushi. But look closely, and you’ll also see we’re intensely popular with older gentlemen entertaining a large collection of their nieces, or slicked-back club promoters hosting tables of people who seem to be drinking their dinners while making frequent trips to the bathroom. Whatever the motley crew, they have some fantastic options all over the city. Here’s our picks for Miami’s best restaurants for group dining.
Steakhouses are always a surefire hit for a big group dinner, but Michelin-starred Cote combines sexy neon fixtures and low lights with premium cuts of steak for a truly Miami experience. What’s more, most of Cote’s offerings are served tasting menu style, where your waiter arrives with small pieces of Wagyu, prime ribeye, and other top meats and grills them in front of you. Each person at the table gets their own few bites, meaning everyone is pretty much trying the same stuff. What’s more, the signature Butcher's Feast is a reasonable $65 per person, and includes an impressive array of Korean sides.
Niven Patel’s wood fired masterpieces never disappoint, even if you’re posting up to Orno’s brass and marble bar solo. Eating with your group in the lush, tropical dining room is always fun, but opting for dinner in the Library is a special experience. You’ll enjoy the four-time James Beard nominee’s dishes like Australian lamb chops with medjool date and Sun Ray clam bucatini among floor-to-ceiling books and velvet drapes. It gives the impression of eating in an old mansion, even though you’re still on the ground floor of the THesis Hotel.
Santorini by Georgios
Big, festive Greek restaurants are always a good move for groups, because where else are you going to watch people smash plates on the ground for sheer enjoyment? But Santorini legitimately feels like eating on a generous family’s back terrace somewhere in the Greek islands, where the owners circulate from table to table ensuring every group feels welcome. The portions are so enormous, finishing one by yourself is nearly impossible, and it’s not a case of quantity over quality, either. The grilled meats, lobster, and mezzes are as good as anywhere in Miami, and it’s rare you don’t leave with enough for lunch the next day.
Nikkei cuisine—the flavorful fusion of Peruvian ingredients and Japanese technique—is made for group dining, full of robata grilled meats, sashimi, sushi rolls, and tempura platters. Miami has no shortage of such spots, but Chotto Matte is best set up for groups as its tropical foliage and retractable roof make the experience akin to eating inside a cenote. The restaurant also offers a number of tasting menus so you and your crew can go on a grand adventure, opting for eight to ten course menus where everyone gets a little taste of Otoro, black cod aji miso, Australian Wagyu sirloin, and other delicacies.
How to book: Reserve via the website.
Cajun-Vietnamese fusion isn’t a cuisine you find much outside maybe the Gulf Coast, which is why exploring the massive menu of Cesar Zapata’s shareable plates is one of the most intriguing dining experiences in Miami. It’s best done with a large group, where you can pick and choose among Wagyu Churrasco with lemongrass ponzu, Caramel Chicken Wings, and Millionaire Fried Rice with quail egg and black truffle. The vibe is pure Xennianl funk, with ‘90s hip-hop on the stereo and street art on the walls. And the cocktails are all original creations, so your group can have fun sampling those too.
Tucking away from the colorful concrete maze of Wynwood is tough these days, as Miami’s hottest destination neighborhood seems to always be packed with people. But if you’re looking for a delicious group dinner that feels a bit removed, head behind the hedges at Doya, where stunning design and a wall of tropical plants seems a world away from busy NW 24th Street. The food is absolutely fantastic, the product of a former Mandolin chef who has created Miami’s best Muhammara. It makes for a stellar shareable starter, before your group dives into Turkish Pastrami Hummus, grilled Sucuk sausage, and paprika and olive oil marinated lamb chops.
Eating with your toes in the sand is surprisingly hard to do in Miami, unless you’re content to grab a couple of Pub subs and head to the beach. For something a little more upscale, hit this chic lounge at Jungle Island, where tropical breezes and tiki huts frame a perfect view of Biscayne Bay and the Miami Skyline. It’s the place to kick back with a glass of rose and savor a grilled branzino or Maine Lobster. While the warm weather doesn’t typically call for anything heavy, if you are feeling meaty you’ll find plenty of prime NY strips and ribeyes on the menu too.
Long, plush azure couches beckon large groups to stay a while and enjoy the Middle Eastern favorites at this upstairs restaurant at the Royal Palm hotel. Epic dishes await in this chic space, where mountainous plates of duck kibbeh and lamb ribs warm your stomach up for the Middle Eastern Fried chicken served with za’atar and hot sauce. The Black Truffle Rice with foraged mushrooms and crème fraîche is a side that can pass for a meal. And if you feel like burning all this stuff off after, Byblos also has a downstairs lounge that goes off on the weekends.
There is absolutely nothing subtle about dinner at Dirty French Steakhouse, where the entire experience feels like eating inside a movie set. The neon-filled valet leads to a red foyer and a bar done up in palm trees and brass—a tribute to the 1980’s glam that made Miami a vicey cultural icon. The main dining rooms are abuzz with tuxedoed waiters and Art Deco design, where boisterous groups pose with magnums of wine and share titanic steaks like the 40-ounce porterhouse and 36-ounce Wagyu Tomahawk. The French-influenced menu is fantastic, though it’s almost secondary to the theatrical experience of eating at Dirty French. If you’re looking for an “it” restaurant for your group celebration, this is absolutely the one.
Pool parties aren’t necessarily known for their food, but if you’d like a meal that melds into a chlorine-soaked bacchanal—or a place to eat after—Strawberry Moon is always the move. The Mediterranean menu offers sharable pide pizzas with pepperoni and spicy honey, and a lengthy list of kebabs ranging from swordfish to Moroccan Lamb Merguez. Lest you write this spot inside the Goodtime Hotel as all scene and no substance, unlike its related restaurants the food here holds up to the hype. And passing plates poolside after a long day of partying is a perfect way to end a glorious Miami afternoon.
Nikki Beach Miami
Nikki Beach is Miami’s time-honored group brunch destination, where they’ve been doing leisurely, saxophone-filled daytime soirees long before they were as ubiquitous in South Florida as bad drivers. But Nikki Beach has kept up with the competition, offering the same laid back luxury and pitchers of mojitos with an updated menu of lighter fare. Check out the Sexy Salad made with lobster, shrimp, crab, mango, and field greens; or the sun-dried tomato and feta flatbread. No one’s ever rushing you out the door at Nikki Beach either, and if your group meal is meant for daytime hours you won’t find a better all-around experience.
Red the Steakhouse
If you’re going to go big on steaks, you may as well go to the best steakhouse in Miami. But the cool thing about Red is that if your group has that ONE person who doesn’t eat steak, they're not stuck awkwardly nursing a mediocre iceberg salad. The menu here is also long on Italian favorites, made with Peter Vauthy’s signature "Red Lead" sauce. The new location on South Pointe Drive maintains the showpiece private dining room too, so you can be the envy of everyone stuck at the hostess stand.
Pisco y Nazca
The team behind Bulla has group dining pedigree, and instead of trying to open their Peruvian concept in a trendy, sexy, expensive area east of 95, they instead decided to make money. So they opted for Kendall, and then moved on to Doral. The energy coming out of both locations—even on a random Tuesday night—shows it’s been a roaring success. The shared-plate ceviches and giant fish here are perfect for big groups looking for an alternative to the suburbs’ glut of chain restaurants, and that’s why you’ll find the long tables packed from about 7 - 11 pm every night of the week.
When, literally, entire tour buses can stroll in, have a gut-busting Cuban lunch, and be back on the bus in time to make their 2 pm boat tour at Bayside, you know this place is doing something right. But even beyond having a private dining room in back set up perfectly for huge groups, this iconic bucket list restaurant seems to always be hosting some family of 28 who get their food quickly and seamlessly. It’s the rare place that's perfect for both visitors and locals, and a quintessentially Miami group dining experience.
How to book: Call 305-444-0240.
When owners Klime and Anita Kovaceski invite you in for what they describe as “an orgy of food and wine,” they’re not lying. Because the restaurant is so reasonably priced, your whole crew can go to town on the epic menu of house-made pastas, specialty pizzas, meatballs, and risottos without thinking too much about how much cash you’re dropping. And you can wash it down with a selection of wines that features some stuff you won’t find elsewhere, all priced so that you won’t have to think twice about ordering a fifth bottle.
Tropical Chinese Restaurant
Chinese restaurants ostensibly invented group dining in America, and even though Miami is more lacking in Chinese restaurants than it is in honest politicians, you’ll still never go wrong at Tropical. A dim sum brunch here is like eating on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, with trays and plates of chicken feet being tossed around in a cacophony of delicious chaos. But even for a casual weeknight dinner, nowhere serves up traditional Chinese food better, and if that’s what your group is in the mood for, it’s more than worth the trip down Bird Road.
How to book: Call 305-262-7576.