It’s not hard to fall in love in and with Miami. The city is rich in romance, with cool ocean breezes, soft sands, and incandescent sunsets that at some point or other reflect every color of the rainbow. It also has gorgeous skylines, enchanting rooftops, and of course, several restaurants that exude magic from form to flavor.
Some of Miami’s most romantic dining options feature a more relaxed ambiance, with bright decor and often brilliant views of sea and sky.
Take for example Juvia, the classy but certainly not stuffy rooftop restaurant on South Beach. It’s the sort of place that remains affordable while still feeling a touch luxurious, and offers the added benefit of additional date activities within walking distance (like a movie or people watching along Lincoln Road).
Or for more elegant nights, some places go the whole nine yards for you and your date. Places like the Rusty Pelican, feature phenomenal cuisine and views that will surely impress even the most doubting of dates.
Whatever the case, you’ll find our list of restaurants will keep you and your lover enamored all night long.
Located in Kimpton’s Epic Hotel, this restaurant’s setting affords skyline views of both Miami (to the north and west) and Biscayne Bay (to the east and south) that guests find truly breathtaking–that is, if they aren’t too focused on the incredible cuisine. Executive Chef Wolfgang Birk gleans most of his seafare–items such as jumbo lump crab salad with spicy seared watermelon, heirloom tomato, avocado, mint and basil or yellowfin tuna with mixed grains, smoked black beans, shrimp guacamole and ginger juice–either locally or from the region of the ocean for which the restaurant is named, Area 31, one of the only self-sustaining spots that is said to be left in the ocean. Meat and pasta dishes are just as delicious and contain sustainable items from nearby farms and other trusted sources. So not only should you leave you leave your diet at home, but drop your guilt behind, too.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Crazy About You is perfect for date nights because it hits all the right buttons: on the water, delicious and varied cuisine, and inexpensive wine.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Visit on Fridays for their “Chase The Clock” happy hour, when all drinks and snacks are priced according to the hour from 5 p.m. to close ($5 at 5 p.m., $6 at 6 p.m., etc.).
Nestled inside the exclusive Soho Beach House’s courtyard, Cecconi’s is a posh noshery serving delectable Italian fare. Wooden and marble-top tables are surrounded by cozy seating on the inside, and on the outside, twinkle lights wrap around trees and hang from jars while lush greenery fills every available space. In other words, you and your guests will be enchanted by the fairytale-like ambiance. As for the food, Cecconi’s serves breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner, and even provide a vegan and vegetarian menu for those so inclined. Start mornings here with goat cheese and asparagus frittatas and cold-pressed green juice, go for the grouper, baked gnocchi, or Maine lobster spaghetti the rest of the day. And don’t forget to order off the incredible dessert menu.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Cecconi’s garden courtyard, with mesmerizing twinkle lights, billowing greenery, and the possibility of celebrity sightings, will certainly impress any date.
Priscilla’s expert tip: As this is a particularly popular spot, feel free to make reservations days if not weeks in advance.
Miami has no shortage of Latin American cuisine, but few compare in quality and class to mid-beach’s OLA. Formerly in the Sanctuary Hotel, OLA’s new home at the Gates Hotel features four different dining areas, including a chic and modern dining room and lounge, as well as a rooftop terrace with plenty of ambianceâ”perfect for special occasions. Available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, OLA’s Chef Carlos Castro has put together menus that celebrate flavors from countries like Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Cuba. From Smoked Marlin Tacos to Lobster Empanadas (accompanied with avocado sauce and salsa rosa), to Roast Cuban Pork to a veg-friendly Pionono (a sweet plantain roulade stuffed with zucchini, spinach, piquillo peppers, and parmesan cheese), there’s something here to delight every palate.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Spend an unforgettable evening noshing on Latin delicacies and sipping wine at OLA with your beau, then retreat for a romantic walk on the beach.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Leave room for dessert! The chocolate cigar (made with almond chocolate cake and semisweet chocolate mousse) accompanied by coffee ice cream “smoke” and a candy “matchbook” wins the best presentation of a Cuban culture-inspired treat, hands down.
Those seeking a refreshing change to the usual SoBe restaurants should look up…way, way up, at the rooftop gem known as Juvia. Flaunting French, Japanese, and Peruvian inspired dishes, this eclectic eatery boasts nothing but the freshest ingredients and boldest flavors. Located at the top of the 1111 Garage on Lincoln Road, Juvia is a popular spot for lunch for the South Beach business crowd (with a $23 prix-fixe menu, why wouldn’t it be). Guests will not only enjoy delicious gourmet cuisine but also sweeping views of Miami Beach and Downtown Miami. Don’t forget to indulge in one of Juvia’s signature cocktails, like the Pacha Mama Spritz and the Jalisco Flower–powerfully refreshing.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Juvia’s sublime views of South Beach, refined French-Japanese-Peruvian fare, and world-class decor make for a magical combination you’ll both love.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Since meals can get pricey, and reservations hard to come by, consider simply stopping in for drinks and appetizers.
With panoramic views of beautiful Biscayne Bay and the Downtown Miami skyline, the outdoor seating at Rusty Pelican is some of the most sought-after in town. In fact, it’s the sort of place you’ll definitely want to get a reservation for. Get into the spirit of the nautically-themed dining room and order one of the seafood specialties. Shrimp scampi, soft-shelled crab, red snapper and simple seafood pasta aren’t fancy, but they are fresh and delicious and perfectly prepared here. The fun atmosphere and spacious dining room make this a great place for a large crowd or a family, and unsurprisingly, they play host for numerous weddings every year.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Take your beloved out to Key Biscayne for an amorous evening of seafood and skyline views at this well-beloved local fixture.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Make it a day date by starting off with their top-notch brunch and then taking a boat out onto the bay afterward.
This restaurant is known for having the area’s best breakfast (two kinds of bacon, endless frittata and omelet combinations, plenty of fresh fruit, straight from the oven pastries, Belgian waffles, and four different types of pancakes are just some of the selections), but its vast champagne brunch buffet on Sundays (10 am-2 pm) presents some tough decisions. Everything is presented so elegantly, you’ll want a little bit of it all. How about an omelet made any way you like? Pasta? Sushi? Or even caviar? Afterward, there’s a chocolate fountain and no shortage of sinful dessert offerings. Indeed, no one walks away hungry! Live music complements the meal perfectly, and alfresco seating is available in the tropical courtyard.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: It’s a hard choice between Fontana and Palme d’Or, both fantastic and equally romantic restaurants located inside the Biltmore. Fontana wins thanks to outdoor seating.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Opt to seat outdoors around the fountain during the cooler, less-humid months, and inside the rest of the year.
Matador Room made its debut on the Miami Beach food scene toward the end of 2014, just shortly after the Edition Hotel opened. Run by Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, you’ll find a Latin-inspired menu, with flavors mainly hailing from the Caribbean, Spain, and South America. Open daily for lunch and dinner (with a killer weekend brunch), you’ll find a spinach and manchego pizza, a roasted turkey, ham, and gruyere Cuban sandwich, and a gourmet arroz con pollo that will change your life. As for the restaurant’s look, it’s all glamour, with warm beige and deep browns plus plenty of mood lighting from golden candlelight and chandeliers setting the ambiance. Opt to sit inside or out, where beautiful hanging gardens and breath-taking ocean views await.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Any date will be thoroughly impressed from the moment they walk into the Edition Hotel, and then floored once they eat at Matador.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Consider starting your date here and then moving it down to the Basement, Edition’s impressive nightclub complete with skating rink and bowling alley.
For American cuisine with a creative French twist, try the elegant Forge. Renovated in 2009 in honor of its 40th anniversary, the space is chock-full of eye-catching antiques and an eclectic mix of upholstered and metal furniture. The farm-to-table menu draws you in, offering tantalizing dishes such as herb-infused steamed local snapper “In a Bag” and grilled wild salmon with basil mashed hearts of palm. Beef is a favorite, and the 16-ounce aged oak-grilled “Super Steak” has been named the nation’s number one steak by “Wine Spectator.” Speaking of wines, the cellar houses an enormous collection �” more than 80,000 bottles of various vintages. Also, the Enomatic wine serving system, that serves wine by the glass, is great for sampling different wines by the ounce.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: If you (or your date) enjoy a lavish, luxurious ambiance, and absolutely love wine, The Forge is the perfect spot for your romantic night out.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Take advantage of the Enomatic wine machines, allowing you to sample various wines by the glass. However, be aware that price range per glass can cost anywhere from $7.20 up to $102, so make sure you know how much you’re willing to spend before the pour.
This hidden gem situated next to the Coconut Grove Library is easy to miss if you don’t know where to look–”but trust us when we say it’s worth a bit of mystery. A simple sign is all you see, but once you walk in, you’ll find yourself in a magical “secret garden” filled with palms and orchids and other lush greenery, plus tall tree canopies to keep you cool on those extra-warm Miami days. The ambiance can’t be beat if you’re seeking a bit of romance (especially at night), or simply a charming vibe for lunch with mom, dad, or anyone else. The food, fortunately, is just as impressive, and features a wide variety from crispy brie to ceviche, cowboy steak to cacio e pepe.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Classically romantic with a secret garden atmosphere and superb dishes, it’s just the place to sweep someone off their feet.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Don’t miss out on their Monday wine club where you can get half off select bottles of wine.
If you’re seeking to eat out somewhere a bit out of the ordinary, consider a trip to the illustrious Villa Azur. This Mid-beach restaurant offers French Mediterranean fare with obvious, within the confines of an elegant dining room and lounge area. Among its physical attributes are white walls with high ceilings lined with bronze crown moldings, cozy tables with comfortable beige seats, and a small, intimate library with plush couches and superb mood lighting. Outside, you’ll find ample seating on chairs and love seats, surrounded by verdant foliage, underneath a white linen canopy. As for their menu, oysters, tiger prawns, caviar, and Maine lobster precede truffle ravioli, Iberico pork tenderloin, and prime porterhouse. It all goes down smoothly with any selection from the in-house wine cellar, La Cave d’Azur.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Villa Azur is ideal for a refined date night, with its posh ambiance and unforgettable cuisine. Even a simple nightcap at the bar does wonders.
Priscilla’s expert tip: Get in early and enjoy a pre-dinner drink in their cozy library bar.