MIAGuide

The Miami Spice Menus We Actually Think Are Worth It

Not all Miami Spice menus are worth it. But these ones sound good.
Rémy Martin

photo credit: Karli Evans

It's that time of year when dozens of Miami restaurants try to lure locals out of the comfort of their air conditioning, and into the comfort of their air conditioning. Miami Spice is here. If you do not know what those words mean, it’s essentially where participating restaurants offer three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner deals for $30 to $60 from August through September 30. The issue is, not all Miami Spice menus are created equally. Some really do the absolute least, with low value menu items that feel like an afterthought. But we've combed through this year’s menus and settled on some choices we’re pretty confident will be worth it. We’ll continue to update this guide as we find more ones we like.  

THE DEALS

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

Peruvian

Midtown

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsSpecial Occasions
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The Deal: $60 dinner Wed-Sun

Maty's $60 Miami Spice menu isn't a great financial deal (the savings are marginal). But this is one of our favorite new restaurants to open this year—so maybe this is the excuse you finally need to check it out. Their Miami Spice menu has two of our favorites: ceviche and the chicken milanese that comes with a spinach parmesan pesto you'll want to fill a shampoo bottle with.

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

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The Deal: $45 dinner Mon-Sat

Under normal circumstances, dinner at this fine dining spot in the Gables can get expensive quickly. Pascal’s does classic French food. It's meticulous and rich (we still think about their cheese souffle at least twice a week). And while that souffle isn’t on the Miami Spice menu, you can’t go wrong with anything here. We’d start with the steamed mussels, order the braised short rib for our main dish, and finish with the fromage blanc “panna cotta.” The whole thing will cost about the same as two movie tickets. Plus, Pascal’s is also offering Miami Spice wine deals: a California pinot for $14 a glass ($55 a bottle), and a white Burgundy for $12 a glass ($45 per bottle).

The Deal: $30 lunch Mon-Fri

This deal is almost worth it for the dessert section alone—we’ve never had a pastry, flan, or slice of pie at Chug’s that didn't make us forget that we're adults for about seven seconds. But it’s also one of our favorite lunch spots in Miami. And their Miami Spice menu reads like a food coma, in the best way possible. Duck croquetas are an option to start. For your entree, you can go with their crispy pollo a la milanese, or the burger (and Chug's is so good at burgers). For dessert, good luck making a decision. It's all great.

The Deals: $35 lunch Mon-Fri, $45 dinner daily

Too many Miami Spice menus are like, “For an appetizer you can choose between three ice cubes or a single bean and for your entree we’re just going to give you a firm handshake.But Blue Collar does Miami Spice the way we wish more places would. There is no puny separate menu: you get your pick of any appetizer, entree, and dessert from the regular menu. Which means the excellent latkes, cheeseburger, and crispy snapper are all up for grabs. 

The Deal: $60 dinner daily

About everything we just said about Blue Collar applies to its sister restaurant, Mignonette. Except it doesn’t offer lunch, some of the more expensive raw bar items are off-limits, and the dinner menu is $60. Other than that, you get to pick from the whole menu. But this place is every bit as delicious as Blue Collar, and this still feels like a great deal. At Mignonette, it’s all about seafood (we like the lobster roll, popcorn conch, and redfish) but there are some nice steak options too, so you can make this a surf and turf thing.

The Deals: $35 lunch Tue-Fri, $60 dinner Tue-Thu 

We already love Le Jardinier’s non-Miami Spice prix fixe lunch menu, which will usually run around $50 per person. But Miami Spice’s $35 lunch is a steal, especially if you’re ordering their juicy duck confit pavé. The dinner menu has fancy (everything here is very fancy) entrees like European sea bass and wagyu bavette au jus. This French restaurant is one of our favorite places to eat in the Design District, and coming here for Miami Spice is a lot like test driving your dream car—if your dream car also happened to look like the inside of an intergalactic spaceship.

The Deal: $60 dinner Sun-Thu

We love Klaw, but its mere mention also makes our wallet flinch. So getting to experience this very luxurious steakhouse and seafood spot for under $100 is something you should do this summer. The menu does, thankfully, include a steak (a 10-ounce NY strip to be specific). But honestly, everything we've had here has been really good. So it's worth dressing up and trying their Miami Spice dinner whether or not you're a steak person.

The Deal: $35 omakase lunch Tue-Sun

Miss Crispy Rice’s omakase is good, even if you’re not too enthusiastic about crispy rice. This place comes from the same team behind Mr. Omakase, one of our favorite sushi omakase meals in town. So you can expect a similar quality of fish, and their 10-course lunch omakase includes things other than crispy rice, like a seasonal starter, sashimi, nigiri, miso soup, and churros and ice cream for dessert. There's also a $60 12-course omakase option for dinner, but a $35 omakase in this economy? Simply too good to resist. Just know that you do need to make a reservation in advance for this deal.

The Deal: $60 dinner Sun-Thu

We can’t think of a better time to check out LPM—for a few reasons. Brickell is a lot more tolerable this time of year. You don’t have to arrive an hour early to find parking, the restaurant is less crowded with snowbirds whose homes have service entrances, and (thanks to Miami Spice) dinner here won’t cost you $300. But because we have paid full price for dinner at LPM twice, here’s what we’d order: for appetizers, you’re getting the sweet corn salad (we want to dive into its golden kernels like Scrooge McDuck jumping into a pile of coins). As for entrees, we really like the risotto with seasonal mushrooms. And for dessert, you’re finishing with a light vanilla cheesecake.

The Deal: $50 dinner Tue-Sat

Taking someone—particularly a date—to a Miami Spice dinner has the potential to raise some yellow flags. But no one will be upset you took them here to take advantage of a deal. This place is just that cool. And their Miami Spice is solid too. We like the oyster mushrooms, daily catch, and kimchi fried rice. The jerk smoked short rib and panna cotta are solid choices too. But the best thing about taking a date here during Miami Spice is how intimate the restaurant is—you’ll actually be able to hear every word your date says. And you can always walk next door to Broken Shaker if you want to prove you’re not afraid of an $18 cocktail.

The Deals: $30 lunch Tue-Fri, $60 dinner Tue-Sun

Vinya is one of our favorite restaurants in Coral Gables, and it's the kind of versatile spot that works for a Friday night date as well as dinner with the parents. Their lunch menu features a couple of our favorite things here, the morcilla spring rolls and gnocchi. And for dinner, the entree options include a huge bone-in short rib you can make tacos out of as well as a lobster thermidor—both great options. If only the Miami Spice deal extended to Vinya’s excellent in-house liquor store in the back of the restaurant.

The Deals: $35 lunch Tue-Fri, $60 dinner Sun-Thu 

Miami Spice was made for places like Fiola. This Italian restaurant in the Gables is usually going to cost you a lot. But the $35 lunch menu is filled with refreshing appetizers like peach gazpacho, zucchini carpaccio, cobia ceviche, and watermelon salad. Plus, six different entree choices like pan roasted branzino, radiatore cacio e pepe, and osteria steak. The dinner menu is more robust than we expected too. Appetizer options include oysters, ora king salmon crudo, and marinated eggplant cicchetti. For entrees, you can choose between swordfish milanese, duroc pork chop, octopus, or prime bavette steak—premium proteins for so much less than you’re normally paying here.

The Deal: $45 dinner Sun-Thu

Three courses for less than $50 at one of the best (and most fun) Cuban restaurants in Miami is a good deal. And the entrees include lechon, a catch of the day, and skirt steak ropa vieja. Of course, you’ll probably be drinking here, so you can count on that tab to go up. It’s kind of a bummer that the Miami Spice menu isn’t available Friday or Saturday (when most people end up here) but it’s a good excuse to check back in on the Calle Ocho favorite, especially if you have a special occasion coming up that’s worth celebrating with a big, loud, delicious dinner.

The Deal: $45 dinner Tue-Fri

Bunbury was not going on this guide unless their Miami Spice menu included a steak option, because this Argentinian spot near Downtown is very good at steak. Luckily the grilled vacio is, in fact, on the menu. And we really enjoyed that exact steak last time we were here. Bunbury is also a great date spot. The space has a fun secret lair vibe—the dining room is located behind a sliding bookshelf—and there’s occasional live music, too.

The Deal: $60 dinner Tue-Sun

Kaori is that rare restaurant that makes us excited about venturing into Brickell. And if you’re looking for an option in that dreaded neighborhood, keep them in mind. Unlike most places, Kaori pulls off the broadly modern Asian menu—and their Miami Spice has menu highlights: wagyu and foie gyozas, bluefin sashimi, spicy udon noodles, and dry-aged NY strip. These are not low value dishes. Just please get the ube flan (also on the Miami Spice menu) for dessert. It's so good. Kaori's $35 lunch deal also isn't bad, but they usually have good lunch specials outside of Miami Spice, so it's not necessarily worth going out of your way for.

The Deal: $35 lunch Mon-Fri

Fiorito is already a super cute reasonably priced restaurant to catch up with a few friends—and one of our favorite Argentinian spots in town. But their $35 Miami Spice lunch menu is a bargain. To get the most out of it, order the pulpo a la plancha and the steak medallion. We’re not sure what kind of noise octopuses make, but you really can’t go wrong with anything that used to moo here.

The Deals: $35 lunch Mon-Sat, $45 dinner daily

Michael’s Genuine is always good. Michael’s Genuine is also always a bit expensive. And for these reasons, we’re declaring it a Miami Spice to prioritize. The Design District classic has really never let us down, and it’s the kind of reliable place that works well for clients, parents, or someone you don’t know very well (but still want to impress). There are some tasty-sounding dishes on both their lunch and dinner menus: braised lamb neck paratha or baked cobia for lunch, and fisherman’s stew or crispy lechon for dinner.

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