11 Miami Restaurants With Big Round Tables  guide image


11 Miami Restaurants With Big Round Tables

Where to go when everyone really wants to make eye contact.

There are a few advantages to eating at a big round table. No one in your group will complain about getting stuck in the dreaded corner seat, for example, and it also makes it easier to share things. Plus, you can pretend that you’re part of a secret society, maintain eye contact with everyone without straining your neck, and it’s just an objectively better way to eat with a group of friends. From dim sum to steak and martinis, you’ll find all sorts of good options below.


Tropical Chinese Restaurant

You can usually find big round tables at dim sum spots, and Tropical Chinese supports this hypothesis. The classic Bird Road Chinese restaurant has lots of round tables in their always-busy dining room. Our favorite time to come here is when the dim sum carts roll through the dining room in a delicious traffic jam. That happens Monday through Saturday from 11:30am-3:30pm and Sunday from 10:30am-3:30pm. Expect a wait on the weekends, though things generally move fast here.

Inside, this North Miami wine bar and bakery is tiny. But outside, you’ll find a spacious patio with a handful of round cement tables, which can squeeze about six people, as long as you’re cool with a little bit of thigh contact with your neighbor. Paradis’ selection of natural wine should help you feel better about that. And this is exactly the place you want to bring three to five friends. It’s quiet enough for a conversation, and the pizza and tinned fish are perfect for splitting.

We like coming to Phuc Yea with friends—both because their pho is the size of a swimming pool and they have a few big round tables that make for a fun group meal. Big portions aside, Phuc Yea has the kind of atmosphere good for a dinner with friends and cocktails. The entire restaurant has a pleasant intimacy to it, with thick concrete walls and separate dining rooms that are laid out like a house. The space feels nice and secluded, like the exclusive part of a restaurant only famous rappers are allowed into.

The Surf Club in Surfside is one of the city’s fanciest and most expensive restaurants. But it’s also very good. Another obvious reason they’re on this guide: there are lots of round tables, which fit in with the old school fine dining vibe. The menu reads like a greatest hits of dishes your grandparents probably loved. But the Surf Club makes them feel (and taste) exciting. The tableside caesar is perfectly salty, and the $150 beef wellington is—yes—so freaking expensive, but also one of the best pieces of beef you’ll ever try.

Sang’s isn’t very lively inside, but if you and your friends are just looking to fill the table with an obnoxious amount of delicious dim sum, it’s a great choice. They serve that dim sum every day till 4pm. But, whenever you come here, make sure to get their phenomenal version of General Tso’s chicken, which they call General Cheng’s on the menu.

Not every table at River Oyster is round, but they have enough of them in the dining room to qualify for this guide. So maybe make a note on your reservation (it’s a good idea to make one here) or politely ask your host upon arrival. But even if you get stuck at a boring old square table, dinner here is still going to be great. The seafood spot is one of the most reliably delicious places in Brickell (a neighborhood we do not associate with the words “reliably delicious”) and make great versions of many things that used to swim in the ocean.

Osaka is an upscale Nikkei restaurant in Brickell with a fair amount of round tables for bigger groups. It’s tough to leave here without spending a lot of money—but the food is good. Ceviche, tiradito, and sushi are what you want to focus on. The Peru tiradito is a small but delicious portion of white fish, avocado mousse, and crunchy sweet potato. The nigiri is great as well, and if you don’t want to order a la carte, they have a couple omakase options ranging from around $145 and $240. The sleek restaurant itself is impressive enough for special occasions or business meals—and the round table will make it easier for everyone to argue over who gets stuck with the bill.

Le Jardinier is a great option when you want a fancy dinner full of elegant French dishes, most of which involve vegetables (so also keep it in mind for dinner with non-meat-eating folks). Le Jardinier has a lovely outdoor patio, but sit inside if you want a round table. They have a row of them that are perfect for groups of four, and the sleek dining room kind of feels like you’re eating inside the Star Trek Enterprise. The food and cocktails here are really impressive, but this is a pinkies up fine dining spot in the Design District, so expect to drop some money.

Brickell's LPM is another fancy spot where you'll find no shortage of white tablecloths and round tables. It's not a very energetic restaurant, so don't expect a DJ booth next to the bar. The servers here wear suits and the dining room feels palatial. The food includes dishes like escargot, fried zucchini flowers (beignets de fleurs de courgette), and risotto. Both LPM's price point and personality mean there’s a good chance you are celebrating something if you're coming here. Or, maybe you just found a couple hundred dollars on the ground and suddenly got a craving for upscale French food.

King Palace is a low-key spot in North Miami, and you're coming here for a feast of Chinese-style barbecue like char siu and Peking duck. Order a lot of that—plus the sliced lotus root with preserved meats, walnut shrimp, and jellyfish salad. Then have fun passing it all back and forth via the lazy susan on the center of each round table. This place has a very minimal atmosphere, so come with friends who appreciate the food and/or won’t stop complaining about the lack of great Chinese restaurants in Miami.

We wouldn’t necessarily call The Citadel’s tables big, but they do very easily earn the title of round. Just about every table on their lovely rooftop space (which they accept reservations for) is round, and can seat about four or five people. There are a couple round tables in the dining room downstairs too. The Little River spot is a safe bet if you’re eating with friends who can’t agree on anything. There are lots of great vendors to pick from here. Options include one of Miami’s best burgers from United States Burger Service, great Lao food from Lil’ Laos, some outstanding seafood from The Shores, and Frice, one of our favorite ice cream shops in Miami.

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photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

11 Miami Restaurants With Big Round Tables  guide image