If you love warm weather, Miami is one of the best places in the world to enjoy the magic of Christmas. With the sun shining and average temperatures in the upper 70s, the Magic City in winter turns into a playground of special parties, retail sales, and cultural events.
To make time for all of those activities, avoid the hard work of preparing a holiday feast. Instead, kick back with loved ones at one of Miami's restaurants open on Christmas, Wednesday, December 25, so you can fully enjoy the day.
Whether you want a festive buffet, a holiday-inspired à la carte meal, or anything in between, check the following lineup for the top options in town. Prices listed do not include tax and tap, and reservations are strongly suggested.
Ariete3540 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove
Christmas Day, chef Michael Beltran will offer a specially curated family-style menu of Chinese favorites with a twist. The feast will include egg drop soup; honey chicken with Native Guy honey sauce; General Tso’s chicken with Thai chili and broccoli; and fried rice with carrot and cabbage kimchee, served with Duke’s spicy mayo. For dessert, enjoy Thai doughnuts and Cuban fortune cookies. Ariete's signature dishes — short rib, wood-grilled chicken, seasonal fish, and flan — will be available à la carte. Cost is $55 per person. Served from 4 to 10 p.m.
AQ by Il Mulino17875 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach
AQ by Il Mulino in the Aqualina Resort will offer an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet Christmas Day. Enjoy a jolly spread of carved meats and fish, sushi and seafood, a homemade pasta station, made-to-order omelets, and a dessert station. Guests can sip unlimited mimosas, bloody marys, mojitos, and prosecco. Cost is $100 per person and $45 for children under 12. Served from noon to 4 p.m.
Cecconi's4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
In the courtyard of Soho Beach House, this Italian eatery will help you get into the holiday spirit with a brunch buffet and live music. Start your meal with a complimentary bellini, mimosa, or glass of prosecco or white wine before moving on to breakfast favorites and pizza, pasta, and seafood and raw bar options. Special cuts of meat and salmon will be served at the carving station, and a table of sweets will hold cakes, cookies, and favorites such as tres leches and holiday pies. Cost is $75 per person. Served from noon to 3 p.m.
Cvltura Kitchen & Lounge1100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Head to Cvltura Kitchen & Lounge on Christmas for a three-course menu of Latin-Mediterranean dishes. The special holiday meal will include some of the eatery's signature items, such as hamachi ceviche, Christmas ham with pork belly, and carved turkey. The downtown Miami restaurant will also treat guests to gingerbread key lime pie and the traditional French holiday dessert chocolate bûche de noël caramel. Cost is $55 per person. Menu served from 3 to 9 p.m.
Donna Mare3925 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Celebrate Christmas Day in the Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club with a menu of Italian holiday favorites. For starters, there will jumbo lump crab cakes and panzanella Toscana, followed by a main course of cannelloni or dorade. For a sweet ending, enjoy Neapolitan baba, Southern Italy's most popular cake, made with a buttery, yeast-based dough and soaked with liquor. Cost is $49 for adults and $19 for children. Dinner served from 6:30 to 11 p.m.
Essensia at the Palms Hotel & Spa3025 Collins Ave., Miami
At the Palms Hotel & Spa, Essensia's Christmas Day buffet dinner will reflect the hotel's farm-to-table philosophy with a focus on premium local and sustainable ingredients. Take a seat on the patio and enjoy highlights of winter harvest salad; mango-glazed ham; rosemary- and lavender-scented leg of lamb; green bean casserole; roasted roots; and an assortment of seasonal mini desserts and pies. Cost is $55 per adult and $22 per child aged 12 or younger. Dinner served from 4 to 9 p.m.
Icebox Cafe1855 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach
In Sunset Harbour, Icebox will celebrate Christmas Day with a three-course prix fixe. Begin your holiday dinner with a creamy polenta and wild mushroom ragout; then continue with an entrée of either filet mignon with creamed spinach gratin and crisp potato wedges, or oven-roasted branzino stuffed with grilled fennel, lemon, and herbs and served on a bed of sautéed Swiss chard and balsamic roasted carrots. For dessert, select a slice of one of Icebox’s famous cake or pies. Cost is $42 per person. Dinner served from 5 to 10 p.m.
Katsuya Brickell8 SE Eighth St., Miami
Head to Katsuya Brickell for a Japanese-inspired prix fixe including robata Christmas ham with pumpkin purée; cedar-grilled salmon with caper brown butter cream sauce and cauliflower purée; and mushroom gyoza with ponzu espuma and black winter truffle. For dessert, enjoy pudding over salted caramel sauce topped with vanilla ice cream. Cost is $45 per person. Dinner served from 6 to 11 p.m.
Leynia1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Head to Leynia inside the Delano South Beach, where chef Jose Icardi will host a festive brunch buffet. Dine on made-to-order omelets, red velvet waffles, imported cheeses and charcuterie, fresh fish, and whole-roasted meats. Little ones can stay entertained by decorating holiday cookies. Cost is $105 per adult and $35 per child. Brunch served from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Market at Edition2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Keep Christmas festivities going at the Market, offering an all-day buffet-style meal of salads, soups, raw bar items, carving meats, sides, and dessert. Additional à la carte items include a seafood platter containing fresh oysters, poached shrimp, and snapper ceviche ($79); a seafood tower piled with fresh oysters, poached shrimp, tuna tartare, and stone crab ($185), and prime-aged bone-in rib-eye ($124). Cost is $75 per adult and $35 per child. Served from noon to 10 p.m.
Meraki will serve a Greek-inspired holiday meal at its downtown Miami and Coconut Grove outposts. Enjoy starters such as winter chicken soup ($8) and rolls with turkey and mixed Greek cheese filling ($12), followed by entrées of oven-roasted turkey stuffed with ground beef, nuts, and raisins and served with roasted vegetables and baby potatoes ($22); roast pork leg marinated with Greek herbs and spices ($22); and filet mignon with pomegranate glaze served with grilled asparagus and Mediterranean pilaf ($30). Chef Giannis Kotsos will offer an assortment of desserts, including kourabie, Greek wedding cookies with almonds and powdered sugar; Christmas cookies baked with Greek honey and nuts; and kormos, a Greek chocolate biscotti cake ($10 each). Dinner served from noon to 9 p.m.
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Seawell Fish n’ Oyster660 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
South Beach newcomer Seawell Fish n’ Oyster will offer a Christmas Day seafood tasting menu including seven dishes and dessert. The lineup includes crudo with hamachi and serrano leche de tigre; butter lettuce salad with Key West pink shrimp, avocado, tomato, bacon, egg, and crisp shallots; lobster bisque; baked oysters bingo with tasso ham; and bucatini with manilla clams and pancetta. Croissant bread pudding will be served for dessert. Cost is $75 per person. Served from 6 to 10 p.m.
The Strand6801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Enjoy Christmas Day with loved ones at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. A brunch buffet at the Strand, the resort's contemporary eatery, will offer an array of breakfast favorites, cheese and charcuterie, a carving station, salads, and raw and juice bars. Cost is $80 per adult and $35 per child aged 5 to 12. A bottomless drink option is available for $35 extra. Brunch served from noon to 4 p.m.