Here, Whitewaller is sharing our favorite spots in Miami so you can get a taste for the cuisine and cocktails in the city’s fine dining and late-night scene.
The Surf Club Restaurant
For Michelin-starred chef Thomas Keller’s first Florida venture, he welcomes visitors to The Surf Club Restaurant, which shines with elegance. Guests are first greeted to a calm setting awash in coral, blue, and dark wood finishes. With at-ease opulence and a bon vivant spirit, the atmosphere celebrates hot spots from the 1950s and ’60s, with a jet-set twist. The space is further complemented with an outstanding menu filled with meticulous cuisine standards.
∙Explore the post-Prohibition cocktail list, featuring classics like the Vesper and the Aviation.
∙Thumb through the establishment’s expansive global wine list.
∙Share favorite house dishes, such as the Maine Lobster Thermidor and the Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake.
Whitewaller recommends: Indulging in the New York Strip Steak and Classic Caesar Salad.
Nobu Miami Mid-Beach
Nobu Miami, with a dining room seating 193 guests, is a global destination. Like its sister locations, the restaurant serves fresh Japanese-Peruvian dishes by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. With David Rockwell at its architectural helm, the restaurant is a stunning offering for Miami Beach’s
lively, elegant clientele.
Whitewaller recommends: Starting with the acclaimed Black Cod with Miso.
Spearheaded by James Beard Foundation Award–winning Chef Paul Qui for the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Pao features a culinary concept full of unique, globally inspired Asian dishes. The international styles of influence include Filipino, Spanish, Japanese, and French—all with varying cooking techniques that electrify the palate.
Whitewaller recommends: Ordering the Chef’s Choice Tasting Menu.
Villa Azur South Beach
Villa Azur is first an epicurean experience. Its menu is designed to be a delicate intermingling of avant-garde Mediterranean fare and traditional authenticity. The setting at Villa Azur has something for everyone, from an intimate, romantic environment to the ideal venue to keep guests dancing into the night.
Whitewaller recommends: Ordering the Tuna Tartare or the Dover Sole.
Chotto Matte South Beach
Chotto Matte is a 219-seat restaurant designed by Andy Martin Architects that brings the artistic, underground scene of Tokyo to Miami. Under the direction of Executive Chef Jordan Sclare, Nikkei cuisine—a blend of Japanese and Peruvian—is exemplified with naturally sourced meats and fresh seafood. Guests can enjoy bites at a Robata grill counter, at a sushi bar with a mirroring cocktail bar, or in the immersive space in booths or at tables.
Whitewaller recommends: Attending one of the weekly events, like a Jungle-themed brunch.
Stubborn Seed South Beach
Stubborn Seed, led by Top Chef–winner Jeremy Ford and designed by New York–based Celano Design Studio, opened last year with a nod to Miami Beach’s Art Deco architecture. The restaurant plays with textures and flavors for a rotating menu of specialties with natural, seasonal ingredients. Guests are more than encouraged to share plates and order dessert.
Whitewaller recommends: Stopping by for “Bad Ass” brunch on Sunday.
Stiltsville Fish Bar South Beach
Culinary duo Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth’s Stiltsville Fish Bar opened in Sunset Harbour as an ode to McInnis’s childhood in the Panhandle. With their enthusiasm for water activities like fishing and boating, the pair’s love of seafood—now prepared with modern techniques and presented alongside Key West–style drinks—triumphed.
Whitewaller recommends: Enjoying the Smoked Fish Dip.
Joe’s Stone Crab South Beach
In 1913, Joe Weiss opened Joe’s Stone Crab to serve Miami Beach before the seaside location was established as a city in 1915. Now, more than a century later, the restaurant continues its dedication to food, family, and friends—and its favored Stone Crab dish.
Whitewaller recommends: Stopping in to Joe’s Take Away for the bistro tables and wine bar.
Cecconi’s serves dishes from Italy using the finest ingredients and has dining destinations in London, Berlin, Barcelona, West Hollywood, New York, and Istanbul, too. Its modern Italian food is simply prepared and critically acclaimed. Its menu offers handmade pastas, fresh seafood, and delectable desserts. Enjoy a beautiful garden setting, snugly set on the ground floor of Soho Beach House.
Whitewaller recommends: Sipping the Salted Melon cocktail.
Beaker & Gray Wynwood
Beaker & Gray opened to offer an inventive and globally inspired menu of cuisine and cocktails. Conceptualized by co-owner and chef Brian Nasajon and co-owner and bar director Ben Potts, the restaurant is a 120-seat spot named after two elemental culinary tools—the beaker and the Gray Kunz spoon.
Whitewaller recommends: Trusting the bartender to make you something not on the menu.
Gianni’s South Beach
Located at The Villa Casa Casuarina, the former Versace Mansion, Gianni’s offers delicious Mediterranean food and wine. In its historic setting, guests can enjoy a memorable experience heightened by world-class personal service and modern dishes by Le Cordon Bleu graduate Chef Thomas Stewart.
Whitewaller recommends: Sharing caviar by Petrossian.
ElCielo Miami, sister restaurant to the two famed Elcielo locations in Colombia, offers modern cuisine curated by Chef Juan Manuel Barrientos and presented in an elegant riverfront space. The restaurant gains inspiration its Latin American roots, with Chef Juanma employing molecular and innovative techniques in his three tasting menus—The Visit, The Journey, and The Experience.
Whitewaller recommends: Ordering the Tree of Life.
MR CHOW South Beach
Inside the W South Beach, MR CHOW features indoor seating, an interior bar, a lounge, and an outside dining patio. The restaurant, serving Beijing cuisine, is centered around a unique 123-foot gold Swarovski crystal chandelier designed by Mr. Michael Chow himself.
Whitewaller recommends: Ordering the Semi Prix Fixe.
Papi Steak South of Fifth
Opened in September, Papi Steak pays homage to old world Miami and Hollywood glamour in a concept by David Grutman and David “Papi” Einhorn. Interiors feature an edgy and eclectic vibe complete with red velvet seating and an eight-seat bar. Menu options add an elevated twist to classic fare, including dishes like kosher-style steaks, Maine lobster, and mac-and-cheese, accompanied by a list of specialty cocktails and 150 different wines.
Whitewaller recommends: Ordering the Papi Steak.
Esotico Miami Arts & Entertainment District
Esotico Miami is a tiki-inspired spot by mixologist Daniele Dalla Pola and Graspa Group owner Graziano Sbroggio. Offering more than 200 rums and a delicious menu of signature drinks and shareable cocktails, the playfully chic spot also features a full menu of tropical-inspired dishes, including seafood, meat-centric dishes, and vegetarian fare.
Whitewaller recommends: Choosing a drink with a take-home tiki mug.
Sushi By Bou South Beach
Hidden within Gianni Versace’s former suite in The Villa Casa Casuarina, Sushi By Bou is an exclusive sushi bar specializing in experiential omakase. Home to two four-seat sushi bars, the spot includes options for a 30- or 60-minute dining experience. The restaurant also offers access to the private G-Lounge, which is serviced by a personal bartender.
Whitewaller recommends: Ordering from the self-service sake vending machine.