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Top Picks for Miami Spice 2017

miami spice

It’s that time of year again, when Miami’s finest restaurants feel kind enough to allow the young, broke and fabulous to grab a seat at the table to try their pricey fare at a lower price — hello Miami Spice! With more than 200 participating restaurants this year, you can get a taste of Miami’s finest every day til Spice ends on Sept. 30. Deals include a three-course lunch or brunch for $23 and dinner at $39 per person. While just one drink (which, who has just one?!) can sometimes run you up to $25 at some of these hotspots, we think Miami Spice (aka, Restaurant Month) is well worth it, and the perfect time to hit up your foodie bucket list.

We’ve scanned the list of restaurants and selected our top picks, spanning a mix of different cuisines in Miami’s coolest neighborhoods. So whether you’re looking to take lunch up a notch, check out a new dinner spot or step-up your Sunday brunch game, here are our top picks for Miami Spice 2017.

LUNCH

Milo’s

Because everyone’s Instagram feed is flooded with pics of friends in Greece this summer (does nobody have a real job anymore?!) we are offering you the next best thing — an authentic and delicious Mediterranean meal at Estiatorio Milo’s. Located in the heart of South of Fifth, Milo’s is considered to be one of the best restaurants in town, and the bill usually reflects that. Known for its incredible seafood and swanky atmosphere, this is one fancy lunch you should definitely hit up during Spice season.

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Neighborhood: SoFi
Availability: Every day!

Fi’Lia

Since we have a love affair with all things Italian, it’s no surprise that Fi’Lia won our pick for best new Italian in Brickell. James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz does it again with this gem, offering homemade artisanal breads and pastas, rustic pizzas from a wood oven, and a Caesar salad with generous amounts of parmigiano reggiano and garlic croutons tossed tableside. Expect to be using the #foodporn hashtag on repeat and pencil in a nap afterward.

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Neighborhood: Brickell
Availability: Every day!

KYU

Among a sea of hipster-esque concepts in Wynwood lies a gorgeous upscale Asian-fusion restaurant that always has us coming back for more. Led by chef Michael Lewis, KYU takes it next level with wood-fired Asian grilled delicacies and Korean fried chicken bao buns (our fav). The vibe is ultra-cool, so you’ll want to drink their cocktail made with fish sauce – we promise it’s not as weird as it sounds.

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Neighborhood: Wynwood
Availability: Monday-Friday

Zucca

When we think of the Gables, we remember those times we hit up Houston’s or Tarpon Bend and got Sauvignon Blanc-out. Now, you can enjoy a delicious Italian lunch at the gorgeous ZUCCA restaurant before hitting up happy hour later in the day. Located at the iconic Hotel St. Michel, Zucca is a ristorante and bar that delivers authentic, artisanal Italian cuisine from a diverse range of the country’s regions, within a super modern space. It’s fancy yet approachable, just like us.

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Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Availability: Monday-Saturday

Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill

Hailing all the way from South Africa to our very own Brickell City Centre, Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill is one of our personal Miami Spice favorites. Inspired by the lifestyle and spirit of South Africa’s most recognized export, golf icon Ernie Els (Big Easy), this grill room has a laidback atmosphere with a twist of sophistication.  Salivate over their bison ribeye because this is one piece of meat that won’t disappoint.

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Neighborhood: Brickell
Availability: Monday-Friday

DINNER

Quality Meats

There’s nothing better than a good ol’ American steakhouse. Coming all the way from the Big Apple, Quality Meats was a much needed addition to South Beach. Their Spice menu offers options like a seafood charcuterie plate, house-cured slab bacon with peanut butter and jalapeno jelly (#omg), Wagu brisket pastrami, bone-in short rib steak and more. One thing not on the Spice menu, but we promise not to judge if you order it anyway, is the Chicken Parm Pizza, because, trust us, it’s life.  

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Neighborhood: South Beach
Availability: Every day!

Lure Fish Bar 

If you’re looking for delicious seafood in a nautical, yacht-inspired setting, LURE is our go-to. Choose from a wide selection of sushi, shucked oysters and fresh shellfish as well as Miami-inspired appetizers and entrees. The eclectic bar menu includes an assortment of cocktails with names such as “The Catch and Release,” “Masters At Arms” and the “Auxiliary Ship,” to name a few. Bonus: They switch up the menu offerings in September, so theoretically you can get two unique meals from here in the cheap. We’d call this place a true catch.

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Neighborhood: South Beach
Availability: Every day!

Bazaar Mar 

Chef José Andrés is the tapas king, which makes his newest addition, Bazaar Mar, of the popular Bazaar by José Andrés, a game-changer for Brickell as far as we’re concerned. The seafood-inspired, Spanish menu features everything from sea snacks like ceviche, seaweed and tiraditos, to whole fish prepared in a variety of ways and an extensive raw bar. With a wine list that will have you becoming besties with the somm, this is one dinner you will never forget.

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Neighborhood: Brickell
Availability: Every day!

Bar Alter 

Famous for its five- and seven-course tasting menus, Alter isn’t the place to hit up for a cheap bite, so chef Bradley Kilgore curated a special Spice menu available at its more casual outdoor space, Bar Alter. Items such as sweet corn dumplings, short rib lettuce wraps and the Iberico burger were our top picks from our tasting. Cool down with the El Diablito or Old Cuban cocktail, ‘cause remember, it’s summer in Miami and hot AF.

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Neighborhood: Wynwood
Availability: Tuesday-Sunday

Bulla Gastrobar

We love tapas because we get to try as many dishes as humanly possible and not feel terribly guilty, since their small plates…right? This Spanish gastrobar delivers a lineup of inventive dishes and cocktail creations for Miami Spice. Sip on a Spanish Marg — made by our fav Gables bartender Mikey Moss — and enjoy tantalizing tapas every night of the week!  

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Neighborhood Coral Gables
Availability: Every day!
Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market

If you happen to be out west, it’s critical that you make your way to Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market during Miami Spice. Their reputation rests on the creativity of every dish and drink, like their mouthwatering roast beef donburi with wasabi cream. Trust us, their savory and authentic dishes are worth Instagramming or Snapping about. Step out of your comfort zone and open your palate to new and exciting flavors at this spot.

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Neighborhood: Doral
Availability: Every day!

BRUNCH 

Fooq’s

Fooq’s is known for it’s “feel good” food, leaving you satiated, yet energized. This quaint little spot brings world-class cuisine to Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District. Order their crispy honey glazed Brussels sprouts “to nibble” or their homemade gelato “to wrap up.” IMHO, chef David Foulquier and chef Saul Ramos are the perfect combination to leave you feeling good!

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Neighborhood: Downtown Miami
Availability: Sunday

Bakehouse Brasserie

Ever dream of having a warm chocolate croissant with a delicious cafe au lait at a Parisian bistro (maybe while flirting with a hot Frenchman)? Well, you don’t need to go all the way to Paris to find it, as Bakehouse Brasserie offers just that. This cozy little café is the perfect spot to enjoy your Parisian-inspired brunch with your boo thang or friends.   

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Neighborhood: Sofi
Availability: Saturday and Sunday

Seaspice

If you’re looking for more of a festive type of brunch — you know, with people poppin’ bottles and rolling up on yachts — Seaspice is our pick for a #SundayFunday that will guarantee to make your Insta story extra. Enjoy an array of options from their Miami Spice menu, ‘cause you’ll need to fuel up on food if you’re going to booze. Indulge in the octopus salad, bacon-wrapped sweet plantains, Maine lobster benedicts or the Power Waffle. Yeah, we told you it would be extra.  

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Neighborhood: Little River
Availability: Saturday and Sunday

Son Cubano  

These Cuban-Asian inspired dishes spice things up a bit for the adventurous palates who crave a not-so-traditional experience. Our personal favs are the gyozas Cubanas, and if you’re looking for a sweet fix, go for the dulce de leche French toast. Enjoy your meal while vibing to live jazz with a hint of Latin #eyecandy.

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Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Availability: Saturday and Sunday

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