Forget the notion that hotel restaurants are subpar joints, meant to be enjoyed solely by hotel guests who don’t have the time or energy to explore more exciting eateries around the city. In fact, many of Miami's hottest restaurants are located inside hotels.
From Michael Schwartz’s all-new Italian eatery Fi’lia at the SLS Brickell to comfort-food king Daniel Serfer’s Blue Collar at Biscayne Inn, hotels are partnering with some of the best epicureans in the culinary game in hopes of offering guests more food-centric reasons to visit. Thanks to these award-winning chefs and innovative restaurateurs who are revitalizing hotel dining like never before, Miami locals and visitors get a taste of top-tier techniques, farm-fresh locavore food, global palates, and dynamic settings — making hotels not only world-class places to stay but also phenomenal places to eat.
So check in and then check out the best hotel restaurants in the Magic City.
1. Beachcraft at 1 Hotel South Beach
The breezy, eco-conscious charm of Beachcraft matches its farm-fresh, sustainable fare that shapes the menu of Top Chef head judge and James Beard Award winner Tom Colicchio. Good for any time of the day, Beachcraft offers everything from breakfast buffets featuring locally smoked salmon, bagels, and chicken-apple or maple-sage sausage to lunch items such as short-rib flatbread ($23) and dinner plates like Maine scallops with bacon ($41). Florida-citrus-glazed doughnuts with dulce de leche and almond crumble ($10); dark chocolate cremeux with passionfruit, hazelnut sponge cake, and caramel ($13); and a myriad of delicious gelato flavors — blueberry cheesecake, rum raisin, and mocha — make dessert too hard to pass up.
2. Fi'lia at SLS Hotel Brickell
The newest eatery to join the Italian eats scene already has nods of approval from Miami foodies and critics. Located inside the stylish SLS Brickell (1300 S. Miami Ave.), this airy spot, decked out in warm wooden tables and hanging plants, comes from James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz, who showcases his take on modern Italian cuisine. Rustic pizzas that vary in seasonal ingredients are served fresh and crisp from wood-burning ovens and range from $15 to $18. Savory main dishes include chicken parm ($23), wood-grilled leg of lamb ($28), and pan-roasted snapper ($30).
3. Edge Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons
Chef Aaron Brooks of Edge Steak & Bar knows how to switch things up in Miami’s standard swanky steakhouse scene. First off, one of his many accolades includes being named the Miami “Lambassador” by the council Meat & Livestock Australia, so you know his lamb chops ($29), served with chickpeas, fire-roasted peppers, red chimichurri, and coriander crema, are made to perfection. Second, the other eclectic cuts of meat — all from Creekstone Farms — are charbroiled at 1,800 degrees and portioned to please, while a selection of delectable seafood is sourced fresh from local waters. Enjoy the approachable menu full of contemporary American fare that you can’t experience elsewhere, all at Miami's tony Four Seasons.
4. La Mar at Mandarin Oriental
A leader in the Peruvian restaurant scene, La Mar by Gaston Acurio at the Mandarin Oriental boasts breathtaking waterfront views of Biscayne Bay, vibrant ceviche offerings, flavorful starters, Peruvian specialties with a Japanese twist, and classics such as lomo saltado ($33) and arroz chaufa dubbed the “aeropuerto” ($26). If you have the money, spend it on Sunday brunch at La Mar. For as little as $85, you can indulge in stations overflowing with fresh seafood and savory grilled delights, chaufa aeropuerto for the table, unlimited brunch cocktails, select wines and champagne, and a choice of specialty dishes including jalea frita (fried calamari, octopus, fish, shrimp) and pescado chorrillana (the catch of the day smothered in tamarind chorrillana sauce and served with mashed yuca and smoked bacon).
5. Blue Collar at Biscayne Inn
A small, cozy, sunlit space in the MiMo District with chef/owner Daniel Serfer at the helm, Blue Collar is simple and relaxed — the perfect backdrop to an incredible meal filled with all of your comfort-food favorites, meant to be shared among family and friends. Situated at the storefront of the Biscayne Inn, Blue Collar exudes a warmth that transcends the wooden tabletops and decor, and it finds its way into comforting plates of your youth. Copious rib selections (served as baby backs, short ribs, spare rib, or prime rib), mac 'n' cheese ($14), shrimp 'n' grits ($15), and braised brisket ($15) are culinary hugs.
6. Zuma at Epic Hotel
Right inside the lavish Epic Hotel, a fun and modern Japanese izakaya resides. Following outposts in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Dubai, Bangkok, New York and Las Vegas, Zuma brings its take on authentic Japanese cuisine with a nontraditional approach — using bold flavors and quality ingredients — to Miami. It’s garnered a loyal weekend brunch following (despite steep prices that range from $95 to $395) with its infinite servings of sushi, sashimi, oysters, ceviches, robata dishes, and other items, plus signature entrées and a cocktail of choice. Stop in for dinner and enjoy show-stoppers such as spicy beef tenderloin, sautéed in sesame, red chili, and sweet soy, and roasted lobster with shizo-ponzu butter for an epic culinary experience that’s worth every cent.
7. Stripsteak at Fontainebleau
If there’s any indication about what to expect at Stripsteak, simply take a look at where it’s housed. The fact that this Michael Mina establishment is located inside the Fontainebleau should give you a clue that exceptional dining awaits. Much like Mina’s Bourbon Steak, a local favorite in Aventura, Stripsteak resurrects classic American steakhouse vibes with a polished setting, fresh seafood selections, delectable mains, extensive wines, and the highest-quality cuts of steak, including a dry-aged prime bone-in rib eye ($79), Australian tomahawk ($150), and A5 Miyazaki strip loin, priced at $32 per ounce, which complement signature sides such as truffle mac 'n' cheese ($14), sautéed mushrooms and onions ($14), and jewel yam purée ($10).
8. Jaya at the Setai
Relatively new to the hotel dining landscape, Jaya, which means "victory" in Sanskrit, has the Magic City buzzing with its thoughtfully eclectic dishes from India, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, and China. Led by Chopped champion and executive chef Mathias Gervais and executive sous-chef Vijayudu Veena, the year-old restaurant serves standouts such as roasted Peking duck ($39), served with steamed pancakes, scallions, cucumber, and bean sauce, and the Thali platter ($42), the chef’s daily selection of assorted small pots of Indian delights. Pair your eats with Asian-focused cocktails, beers, and sakes for a complete taste of Asia’s tantalizing cuisine, all within the lavish Setai.
9. The Bazaar by José Andrés at SLS Hotel South Beach
Although the newly opened Bazaar Mar — the second Miami restaurant by James Beard Award-winning restaurateur, author, and chef José Andrés — is already making waves with its fashionable seafood-centric menu at the SLS Brickell, there’s nothing quite like the first. Step inside the Philippe Starck-designed eatery at the SLS South Beach and you’ll encounter dishes as whimsical and creative as your surroundings. Find fanciful global flavors from Spain, Japan, and Latin America in dishes such as Japanese tacos ($12), made with grilled eel, shiso, wasabi and cucumber, topped with crisp pork chicharrón. Then prepare to have some fun with a liquid nitrogen caipirinha served tableside ($10).
10. DB Bistro Moderne at JW Marriott Marquis
Housed in the JW Marriott Marquis in downtown Miami, DB Bistro Moderne, by celebrated chef Daniel Boulud, highlights his contemporary interpretation of the classic Parisian bistro. Nobody needs a reason to eat a burger, but the original DB burger ($35) — featuring a sirloin beef patty packed with braised short rib, foie gras, and black truffle served on a Parmesan bun — gives you enough reason to do just that. Dishes including steak tartare ($18); roasted beet salad with pears, walnuts, and blue cheese ($16); pumpkin agnolotti ($16); and duck confit ($32) round out the seasonal menu.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.