Wednesday, December 1, 2021
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If you’re a fan of seafood, you’re in the right city. Miami boasts some of the best seafood restaurants in the country — no wonder, given our status as a major port city and our proximity to prime fishing waters. In addition to that, Miami is home to a great number of incredible chefs from around the world, so you can always count on variety when it comes to choosing where to go eat. To make the decision process easier for you, here are six suggestions on great Miami restaurants to try right now if you’re craving something delicious from the sea. 

BLT Prime Doral

It’s the start of a new decade, and BLT Prime Doral knows how to kick it off right. The famed restaurant has launched an oyster and martini pairing that includes a half dozen oysters paired with a martini (you can choose between Grey Goose vodka or Hendrick’s gin as the base), all for $20.20. Rejoice, oyster lovers, and get in on this special while it lasts — you likely won’t find a deal as good as this in Miami for another ten years.

4400 NW 87th Avenue, Miami

A Fish Called Avalon

This Ocean Drive spot has been around for three decades — a feat that’s incredibly hard to pull off in Miami Beach, so you know the food is good. There’s live music every night on the front porch and great happy hour specials every day from 6-8 p.m., but the real draw here is the menu. Order the crab-crusted grouper in a Chenin blanc butter sauce, or share the orzo seafood paella with someone special — it’s big enough for two and comes with Maine lobster, shrimp, sea scallops, mussels and more.

700 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach.

Seaspice

Gorgeous views of the Miami River and downtown skyline. The sound of the water lapping gently just steps away from your table. The scent of herbs and smoking wood wafting toward you from the kitchen. Welcome to Seaspice. Frequented by celebrities and locals alike, Seaspice serves a globally inspired menu brimming with all kinds of tasty creations, but seafood lovers should definitely try one of the restaurant’s famous platters. There are three options, the most extravagant of which includes two pounds of lobster, eight jumbo prawns, 24 oysters, Alaskan king crab, two ounces of Osetra caviar, sashimi, hamachi, and ceviche. 

422 NW N River Drive, Miami

Seawell Fish N’ Oyster

Come to Seawell for a taste of classic Americana with a twist, all expertly curated by Chef Julian Garriga. You’ll find all the staples here, from creamy clam chowder and lobster rolls, to beer-battered fish n’ chips and a rotating daily catch sourced from day boats — all served in a casual, nautical setting. Pair your seafood pick with one of the restaurant’s amazing cocktails (the Tavern Spritz is our current favorite).

660 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

Lobster Bar Sea Grille

A go-to for happy hour, brunch and date night, Lobster Bar Sea Grille checks all the boxes for a great seafood restaurant experience: a buzzing atmosphere, upscale design, and a great menu featuring both freshly caught and imported seafood. There’s plenty of fantastic options to choose from here, including a full raw bar menu that ranges from stone crab claws from Key West, to a magnificent shellfish tower. And if you’re a fan of caviar, you’ll find lots of delicious picks — we’re partial to the Siberian Baerii.

404 Washington Ave, Miami Beach

Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market

When Garcia’s opened in 1966, it was initially a fish market and wholesaler. Today, this local institution is repeatedly rated as one of the best places to eat seafood in Miami. Still family-owned, Garcia’s serves fish caught fresh off Florida’s coast every day by its own team. Start with Garcia’s famous fish dip and order some cracked conch fried or grilled. And if you’re having a tough time deciding on an entree, just ask your server for suggestions — everything here is delicious and fresh.

398 NW N River Drive, Miami

Not always so easy to find… but worth it when you do.

Seaspice on the Miami River

It’s a Miami-specific conundrum: so much water surrounding us, yet so few spots to actually enjoy it. But thankfully, there are many places that have been taking advantage of their waterfront locations for years and a few newer ones that have popped up recently to maximize that alfresco potential. We indulged in the views and all the fresh seafood to bring you this list of our favorite waterfront dining in the city.

Upscale Asian dishes complement a dock crowded with million-dollar yachts. If you’re looking to indulge, reserve a spot during their weekend brunch where the restaurant rolls out almost the entire menu: buffets of endless fresh sushi, skewers of marinated beef and vegetables from the robata grill, and prepared salads. Then there’s a bottomless glass of Louis Roederer Champagne in addition to Bloody Marys made with robata-grilled tomatoes. And it all goes perfectly with the waterfront views of downtown. 

La Mar {500 Brickell Key Drive, Downtown; 305.913.8358}

Peruvian Chef Gaston Acurio’s downtown Miami outpost occupies a gorgeous waterfront spot at Brickell Key’s Mandarin Oriental. The main dining room is awash in shades of watery greens, sandy grays, creamy beiges, and polished wood, but it’s the enticing outdoor terrace that offers glittering views of downtown. It provides the perfect backdrop to Chef Diego Oka’s contemporary Peruvian dishes with colorful tweaks.

Mondrian South Beach {1100 West Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.514.1910}

On Sundays, the place feels a bit like a Jay-Z video with bikini-clad pool lovers waving at the massive yachts that cruise the hotel’s enviable bayfront location. But during the week, the scene is more sedate with downtown skyscrapers twinkling in the distance and Mondrian Caffe’s menu of crowd-pleasing dishes like Kale Caesar and grilled skirt steak to keep you satisfied.

Garcia’s Seafood Grille and Fish {398 Northwest North River Drive, Downtown; 305.375.0765}

This Miami institution has been doing it right for years. Fresh seafood, reliable service, and a steady stream of locals tucking into platters of stone crabs and poached shrimp. Putter up to the back of the restaurant where waiters provide service directly onto the boats.

Seaspice {422 Northwest North River Drive, Downtown; 305.440.4200}

This two-building complex on the Miami River has already proven a hit with downtown’s well-heeled crowd. The restaurant’s large warehouse-like windows roll up giving the dining room a pleasant indoor-outdoor feel. The history of the spot dates back to Howard Huges, apparently it was his seaplane hangar and still has the rusted rigging intact to prove it. A dock that spans 250 feet with an additional dock across the river has hosted its share of mega-yachts that (sometimes) block the river views.

Kiki On The River {450 Northwest North River Drive, Miami; 786.502.3243}

And right next door is this boho-chic modern Greek taverna with those same Miami River views, this time framed by whitewashed nautical seating, lush greenery, and trees festooned with glass orbs. Chef Steven Rhee whips up food of the gods with mezzes, grilled seafood, lamb chops, and luscious feta-topped salads. 

Artisan Beach House {10295 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour; 305.455.5400}

The restaurant at Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour’s classy spot is the stuff of postcards.  The gorgeous sprawling dining room features floor-to-ceiling views of the ocean and the busy Haulover inlet, where speedboats regularly putter by. Whitewashed walls and comfortable leather booths balance the grandeur of the setting, but the best spot to dine is still the outdoor patio where ocean breezes mingle with views of Haulover marina and the bar’s loungey soundtrack. The seafood-centric menu features quinoa tuna poke and charred octopus with Vadouvan carrots.

Duffy’s Sports Grill {3969 Northeast 163rd Street, North Miami Beach; 305.760.2124}

This massive restaurant-lounge has a whopping 200 flatscreens, an outdoor pool, and a 500-foot dock. Located on the west side of the intra-coastal waterway, Duffy’s is known as a sports-watching haven and a popular happy hour spot. Extensive covered patio seating makes it an ideal spot to take in the salty breezes.

By Sara Liss, contributing writer