12 Must-Book Reservations for Miami Spice 2021

From bargain-priced steaks to see-and-be-seen spots on the cheap.

Osteria Morini
Photo courtesy of Osteria Morini

Fret not, Miamians! Just because rents have skyrocketed and restaurant reservations are impossible to snag even two months into hurricane season, the regrettable #MoveToMiami campaign hasn't managed to spoil Miami Spice. The restaurant fest returns this weekend and runs through the end of September, and though the price is up a whopping $2.05 to $42, the added two-spot has also brought with it a slew of far-more-generous offerings than in years past. Sure, there’s still some places who save all the good stuff for their “supplements,” and others whose Spice menus look like a creative way of repurposing leftovers. But that’s why we weeded through all 141 participating restaurants to determine the very best bangs for buck during Miami Spice 2021.

RED South Beach
RED South Beach

SoFi
Peter Vauthy’s new digs on the bay side of SoFi have added a stellar outdoor space to the acclaimed chef’s local repertoire. Red’s Spice menu is yet again one of the best in the city, starting off with bigeye tuna crudo with avocado and ginger soy, or steak tartare with Certified Angus prime beef. Keep the CAB train rolling with a filet mignon for your main course, or try the shrimp alfredo, then finish with a white chocolate walnut blondie.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Buya Izakaya + Yakitori
Photo courtesy of Buya Izakaya + Yakitori

Wynwood
Buya cements itself as Miami’s best all-around 2021 debut with a Miami Spice menu that proudly verges on over-the-top. The tasting-style experience brings a whopping TEN courses, ranging from addictive tempura beech mushrooms to wagyu beef skewers with chimichurri. Want to try the grilled chicken meatball with fresno chili sauce? That’ll be coming out too, along with a duck gyoza hot pot. Did we mention there’s drink pairing included? Because there’s a drink pairing included—a rarity in regular times and almost unheard of during Miami Spice.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Byblos Miami
Byblos Miami

South Beach
Based on the pure volume of food served, Miami Spice menus rarely top the one at Byblos. This year is no exception, as you’ll get two appetizers like lamb ribs or duck kibbeh before choosing one regular-sized entrée—while the skirt steak is an easy choice if you’re hungry, the Turkish manti dumplings are the most interesting. Side dishes include rock shrimp rice and crispy brussels sprouts, and because you needed to buy new pants anyway, get the stuffed baklava for dessert.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable

Boulud Sud
Photo courtesy of Boulud Sud

Downtown
Daniel Boulud’s downtown Miami outpost is opening back up right in time for Spice, and this is your chance to check it out without dropping a ton of cash. Don’t be turned off by the limited offerings either—there’s no weak spot on this menu. Kick things off with the lemon fusilli with shrimp and calamari, then move on to either the osso bucco or chicken kebab before closing it out with the best damn Key lime tart you’ll ever try.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable

26 SUSHI & TAPAS
26 SUSHI & TAPAS

Surfside
There are all kinds of ways you can help Surfside right now. And while spending money there during Miami Spice may not be the most altruistic, it’s certainly the most delicious. Surfside’s lone Spice participant is no charity case though, as locals will tell you the sushi here stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best of them. This year’s menu includes a salmon-truffle dumping or aji Amarillo ceviche for starters, followed by mains like miso bass and bourbon salmon noodles, and white chocolate mousse and blueberry bread pudding to finish on a sweet note.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Bourbon Steak
Photo courtesy of Bourbon Steak

Aventura
Michael Mina’s Aventura meat emporium is once again putting out one of the top steakhouse menus for Miami Spice, starting off with the spicy beef lettuce cups with thai chili and basil, sweet chili sauce, and crunchy rice. Sink your teeth into a 6-ounce filet mignon for the main course, then pick a side like garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and mac and cheese. Finally, you’re looking at an extensive dessert menu highlighted by rich enticements like Nutella cheesecake and chocolate lava cake.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Komodo Miami
Komodo Miami

Komodo   

Brickell
Dinner at Komodo is usually the province of black card-carrying tourists and the hangers-on who love them (the cards, not the people). But Miami Spice offers the one time of year locals can and should absolutely get in on the action—because when you’re not dropping ungodly sums of money and fighting a rented Lambo for valet space, you’re quick to realize Komodo’s miso Chilean sea bass skewers and Thai beef jerky are actually pretty tasty. Once you’ve crushed the appetizers, indulge in the wagyu skirt steak or the Korean fried chicken, then finish off with a five spice lava cake. Then think for a brief minute, “I should come here more often,” and promptly text your out-of-town friend with a black card about the great new restaurant they need to try when they come back for Basel.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Osteria Morini
Photo courtesy of Osteria Morini

South Beach
The Michelin-starred New York import plates its first Miami Spice menu this year. Kick your meal off with tuna tartare with avocado and lime or grilled artichokes with mint and Calabrian chili. The kale pesto gnocchetti might be the highlight of the menu any time of year, and are a definite must-order around Spice time. Finish up with what we won’t even hesitate to call the most creative tiramisu in Miami, with soaked ladyfingers and vanilla mascarpone mousse.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms.

Rooster Overtown
Rooster Overtown

Overtown
Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster has already made a huge splash on the Miami dining scene, introducing folks the city over to Overtown’s dining prowess. It’s also making its grand debut at Miami Spice, putting some of the restaurant's top sellers on prix-fixe special. Your meal begins with a deviled egg amuse bouche, followed by either chicken-fried green tomatoes or amberjack tiradito. The choice for mains is a tough one, teetering between fried yard bird with sour orange honey and Yassa ribeye with green garlic sofrito and sunchoke tostones. But at just $42 a pop, there’s no reason you can just go twice.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Hakkasan
Photo courtesy of Hakkasan

South Beach
Tucked away on an upper floor of the Fontainebleau, sometimes we forget about Hakkasan, the upscale Chinese restaurant that routinely ranks among the city's best. Their Spice menu spans more food than most, starting off with a full dim sum basket before urging you to tear into black pepper beef tenderloin or snapper with sanpei sauce. Afterwards, move on to a starch course with traditional hakka noodles or chicken fried rice. Dessert brings a chocolate praline crunch bar, and there’s an optional wine pairing for an extra $25. 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Mignonette
Mignonette

Edgewater
Arguably Miami’s best seafood restaurant—and definitely the best for the money—is offering way more than it needs to during Miami Spice. Take advantage of Danny Serfer’s generosity and stroll in for a half dozen oysters, foie gras frisee, or a fresh shrimp cocktail to start. Mignonette’s entrees are some of the strongest around, with choices like NY Strip au poivre and andouille-crusted red fish shrimp with bomba rice. Dessert is worth the trip alone, with both Serfer’s famous bread pudding and cream cheese carrot cake topping the list.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Strawberry Moon
Strawberry Moon

South Beach
Been waiting to get in on the Strawberry Moon scene, but terrified of covering the tab at a place with a $68 kebab? For the next two months, you too can be one of the cool kids when the Goodtime Hotel’s onsite restaurant offers one of Miami Spice’s most robust menus. Choose between the kefta meatballs or pepperoni and honey pide for your appetizer, then delve into the roasted chicken with orzo or swordfish shawarma for your main, before finishing with a delectable baklava ice cream sandwich.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

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Matt Meltzer is a Miami-based contributor for Thrillist.