The best restaurants for date night in Miami

An updated list of where to go on a date right now

Oct
14
2022

You’ve been assigned the nerve-racking task of picking a restaurant for date night in Miami. It could be the first, second, third, or maybe you’re in a serious relationship where you’ve lost count.

This guide will prove itself worthy of your time if you are ready to share 10 to 15 small plates with someone. Just kidding about the small plates, but you get what we mean. This one is for those that are committed to sharing a 2-hour meal. Choose your partner wisely because we’ve got the best restaurants for a date night in Miami.

THE GIBSON ROOM


Neighborhood: Coral Way
Address: 2224 SW 22nd St
Cuisine: New American Pub

Chef Michael Beltran and Ariete Hospitality group have transformed The Mighty on Coral Way into The Gibson Room. It’s dark, mysterious, and great for some subtle PDA. We recommend sitting at the bar to take off the pressure, especially if its an early date.

This neighborhood tavern host vinyl nights, live music programming with elevated cocktails, and pub-style dishes. You almost don’t feel like you’re in Miami until of course, you see the huge marlin (maybe it’s another fish) hanging on the wall or when you read croqueta on the menu. 

But it’s also really great that you can go somewhere in Miami, and have a tasty Chicken Schnitzel. This one can be shared and it comes with heirloom tomato, salsa verde, fried egg, and boquerones.

Other favorites included the grilled oysters with garlic butter, parmesan, parsley, and the strozzapreti, which made us feel like a fancy kid. It’s served with Benton’s country ham, bacon, tomato, and crushed red chili flakes. And of course, we washed it down with a House Gibson martini with gin vermouth, sherry, and onions. We’ll be coming back for the double smash burger, B&B pickles, special sauce, American cheese, and shaved lettuce.

AMAL


Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Address: 3480 Main Hwy
Cuisine: Modern Lebanese

The team behind Eastern Mediterranean restaurant Byblos recently opened a new restaurant concept in Coconut Grove. Stop by Amal, when you’re in the mood to dress up, but don’t want to go to the Beach. This a great spot for those that have been on a few dates already. You’re not sure if you’ll grab drinks after, however, conveniently Amal has a rooftop bar called Level6. 

The menu focuses on modern Lebanese dishes created by Chef Wissman Baki. Expect a sharing-style menu that includes dips, cold and hot mezze, plus skewers.

The space is so freaking gorgeous. We honestly wouldn’t mind our house looking like this. Imagine, sandy interiors with earth tones like rose and terracotta. They’ve also incorporated small palm trees throughout the restaurant to give it a touch of Miami. Anyways, we could live here because it’s so pretty but also because the food is fresh and tasty.

Our favorite dishes so far (but for sure we’ll be back for more) include Amal’s hummus served warm with beef tenderloin, pomegranate, and roasted pine nuts; beef kibbeh on a bed of cucumber yogurt; the refreshing and sweet monk salad with roasted eggplant, capsicum peppers, parsley, and a pomegranate garlic emulsion. 

 

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LION & THE RAMBLER


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address: 804 Ponce de Leon
Cuisine: New American

For the experimental eaters, those that love to cook, and those that get excited about sourdough and butter, go to Lion & the Rambler. We feel like this is a great spot for a cozy date with someone you feel totally comfortable with. 

This modern American restaurant offers an inventive a la carte menu focused on South Florida flavors, and homemade Koji – a Japanese fermentation starter used to make fresh miso and produce from the best local farms in town.

The menu will change frequently. Must-orders include the yecora rojo focaccia with house-cultured butter; the steak tartare with green blueberry capers, Shelburne farms two-year aged cheddar; and grilled tiger prawn with Calabrian chile butter and lime. And of course, our favorite, the maitake mushrooms with escargot butter. 

BOIA DE


Neighborhood: Little Haiti
Address: 5205 NE 2nd Ave
Cuisine: New American

Since 2019, Boia De has consistently delivered some of the best food in Miami, if not the best food. So naturally, it’s challenging to score a table at Boia De. However, if being flexible and/or spontaneous is your thing, keep this restaurant in mind. 

There is a walk-in counter, specifically held for those without a reservation. You can also use the “notify” feature on the Resy app to be alerted when a table is available. Or if you’re a planner and know you’ll be with your significant other for at least another month, then you can plan your dine 30 days out. Either way, this will be one of the best meals of your Miami life, so maybe make sure your date is worth it. 

Order the potato skins with Stracciatella, hard egg, and caviar, or Luci’s chopped salad to start. Work yourself down to the pasta section and try out the bufala ricotta gnocchi pomodoro and the tagliolini nero (served cold) with king crab, vin juane, truffle, and herbs. End the meal with a crispy tiramisu or the carrot cake. They’re constantly adding new dishes to the menu, so make sure to ask what’s new. 

 

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KRÜS KITCHEN


Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Address: 3413 Main Hwy
Cuisine: Globally-inspired, seasonal kitchen

If you haven’t been to Krus Kitchen in Coconut Grove for dinner, NOW is the time. Chef Sebas Vargas and the incredible Krus team have created a menu from the heart. Everything has been carefully thought out and made from scratch (even the bread and butter). 

This is the food of fine dining except it’s in a chill, market setting located on a second floor. It’s a great first-date spot to drink some amazing wine or great for recurring dates. You can dress nice but also wear sneakers. 

Enter through sister restaurant Los Felix, and head upstairs to Krus Kitchen. The space is vibrant, with so much natural light and a cornered open kitchen. It is decorated with biodynamic wines and other products on display, which is always nice to look at while waiting for your dishes to arrive. 

And speaking of, this evolving menu will change with the seasons but for now, after trying the entire menu with maybe two exceptions, our favorites include the agnolotti stuffed with taleggio cheese, smoked corn, porcini broth, and hazelnut oil; Krus bread with an anchovy brown butter, black garlic, and sea salt; oyster mushrooms with a red miso potato foam, quinoa, and green onions; chitarra with mussel emulsion, caviar, and Meyer lemon; the Day’s catch crudo with wasabi radish, finger lime ponzu, bonito, and avocado. 

 

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NIU WINE


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 134 NE 2nd Ave
Cuisine: Wine bar, Mediterranean

Go to NIU Wine with someone you’re really into. Someone you really want to get to know, where the conversation flows, and it’s actually a dialogue. 

It’s a true wine bar where you can try beautiful wines by the glass and talk about your travel dreams with this promising partner. 

The food is spectacular and the playlist is weirdly perfect. 

Chef July Salazar has created a small menu of dishes that change often and are presented on a chalkboard. Dishes we love include the tomato salad with anchovies, and the aesida ras el hanout, an almond and garlic-based dip with grapes, as rich in history as it is in flavor. 

 

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JAGUAR SUN


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 230 NE 4th St
Cuisine: American, pasta

Jaguar Sun is probably our favorite place in Miami. Some may say it’s a cocktail bar, others, a restaurant with an awesome pasta selection. We’d like to think of it as a combination of both, where we can always count on fun, original and balanced cocktails. And where the food is delicious and consistent. Not an easy find in our city, especially in the obscure lobby of a residential building.

It’s always a good time at Jaguar Sun, so make a reservation here for a first date or for any date that follows. Our favorite dishes include the Hokkaido Scallop, the Wagyu Beef TartareAgnolotti with blue crab, and the Spicy Rigatoni. Leave room for a Wolf Whistle, their version of a tequila espresso martini paired with dessert. Oh and also, if you stop by on Tuesday, they have $1 oysters available all night. 

 

LEKU


Neighborhood: Allapattah
Address: 1100 NW 23rd St
Cuisine: Basque

Leku is a modern, Basque-inspired restaurant serving beautiful Northern Spanish dishes. The open-aired spot located inside the Rubell Museum has a beautiful garden view that will make you forget you’re in the industrial Allapattah neighborhood.

This restaurant is for a special date. Let’s say a work promotion or a birthday celebration.

You’ll want to start with one of their delicious gin and tonic cocktails. Our favorite dainty dishes for sharing include the croquetas de ibérico made with 5 jotas ham, the simple and tasty tomato basil cracker, and the grilled country bread with a trio of house-made butter. Off the menu, we’d go for the salt-baked gambas. Think of this dish as an A+ science project. Presented tableside, your server pours what looks like water on the uncooked shrimp. Wait a moment and you’ll start seeing a mountain of salt, forming and cooking the gambas. Your server will then remove the excess salt to the side of the plate. Chef Mikel Goikolea recommends sucking the shrimp head for maximum flavor and we couldn’t agree more. We’d also order the grilled wild mushroom rice with homemade aioli and the jamón Ibérico tartare.

 

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MANDOLIN AEGEAN BISTRO


Neighborhood: Design District
Address: 4312 NE 2nd Ave
Cuisine: Mediterranean

For those that love Rom-Coms, and all the gushy love stuff, Mandolin is calling your name. This Miami favorite serves Greek and Turkish dishes. It’s almost always fully booked, so we definitely suggest you plan ahead and take someone you’re really into. 

We recommend the mussels with white wine, garlic, lemon, and oregano; the grilled Halloumi with heirloom cherry tomatoes and fresh oregano; and grilled octopus to start.

From the sandwich section, we’d go for the spicy mandolin kebab, with a grilled house blend of ground beef and lamb, onion, parsley, sumac, and spicy greek yogurt. If you are trying to cut back on calories, then whole mediterranean sea bass grilled with extra virgin Aegean olive oil, lemon, and oregano is the way to go. But don’t forget to order a side of house cut fires with garlic greek yogurt to share.

SOYA E POMODORO


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 120 NE 1st St #2502
Cuisine: Italian

Soya e Pomodoro is a classic Downtown restaurant serving simple Italian dishes. If you love a good neighborhood gem and are all about nostalgia, bring your date here. 

It’s rustic with unmatched vintage furniture, family photos, and even a snowman providing a cozy and quirky experience for diners. During the day, we’d bring a client and during the night, we’d bring a date. Both will fall in love with Soya e Pomodoro’s authentic ways. Order the fusillo fresco affumicato with homemade fusilli w/ sauteed arugula, mushrooms & smoked mozzarella in fresh tomato sauce.

DOYA


Neighborhood: Wynwood
Address: 347 NW 24th St
Cuisine: Aegean

We love Doya for a first dinner date. The space has lively energy, plus the cocktails and food are spot on. Located in Wynwood, Doya is serving Aegean flavors from the coast of Turkey. We are talking dips, local produce, refreshing and light plates, plus an amazing octopus’ dish that keeps us coming back for more. When you come to Doya you are coming not only for the top-notch hospitality but the meze dining experience. 

One of our favorites on the menu is the Cretan feta dip with peppers, Kalamata olive oil, garlic, pistachios, and walnuts. As well as the manti beef dumplings, drenched in a garlic yogurt sauce.

 

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MACCHIALINA


Neighborhood: Miami Beach
Address: 820 Alton Road
Cuisine: Italian

If you’re looking for a neighborhood spot in Miami Beach with West Village vibes, stop by Macchialina. It’s dark, and romantic with a quaint bar inside. And it also has the cutest outdoor “Giardino” set up. Chef Mike Pirolo is a pasta expert, and Jacqueline Pirolo runs an award-winning wine program. The menu changes frequently, but some of their standouts include the Cavatelli Macchialina and the Spaghetti Pomodoro. Don’t skip on the most refreshing Tiramisu. It’s made with dulce de leche and an espresso granita giving it an additional texture that is not usual when eating tiramisu. Make sure you dive deep in with your spoon.

 

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PHOTO CREDIT AMAL
The best restaurants for date night in Miami