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Dating couple
Photograph: Unsplash/marqquin

The best bars and restaurants in Miami, based on your relationship status

Single? Taken? On the prowl? We found a meeting place that’s right for you.

Dana Rozansky
Written by
Dana Rozansky

Dating in Miami can be daunting—especially in a culture where sliding in someone’s DMs is considered a grand gesture, and in a city where catcalling from your car is deemed socially acceptable. But fear not, despite these lazy attempts at scoring a new boo, there are plenty of suitors out there hustling to get that bread! And I’m here to report that there’s no better city to do so than right here in the 305.

No matter the current status of your love life (or lack thereof), Miami offers a little something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a fancy date night to woo a new prospect, or simply want to hit the dance floor and turn heads at your local dive bar, here’s where you should be based on your relationship status. Trust us, veering from this list will only lead to a bad date.

Mama Tried
Photograph: Courtesy Mama Tried

Single AF and on the prowl

Grab your girls and hit the town, starting with a few of my personal faves: Sweet Liberty if you’re looking for a fun South Beach bar with solid drinks, dancing and debauchery (oh, and cauliflower nachos to soak up those cocktails); Bodega for Mexican speakeasy vibes featuring tacos and tequila; Socialista for a sexy lounge atmosphere where you can scout out the best-looking suitors; Mama Tried for the ultimate dance party in Downtown Miami (just look for the neon sign); or Baby Jane in Brickell for a nightcap and some ramen for when the munchies set in. Or perhaps all of the above? After all, you’re looking for a good time, not a long time, right?

Sussing someone out

First date on the horizon and praying you don’t get catfished? Best to go with a chill spot where you can quickly assess said prospect. Also, make it one with an easy exit plan because, hey—we’ve all been there. Head to Lagniappe for live music and vino in a charming outdoor setting, or Margot if natural wine is more your speed. For drinks with a view, check out Sugar at the EAST, Miami for a swanky scene or Terras rooftop at Life House Little Havana for a locals’ hangout. If the thought of sitting across from a stranger and filling the silence gives you the heebie-jeebies, opt for Lost Boy in Downtown, where a game of darts or pool will keep things interesting.

Photograph: Courtesy Swire Hotels

Showing off your arm candy

So your flavor or the week is lookin’ reallll good, and you want to take them out on the town so you can see and be seen. I mean, you earned it—go ahead with your bad self! Why not post up at the newly opened Sexy Fish in Brickell for sushi with a side of sensory overload, grab a table outdoors at MILA on Lincoln Road for trendy MediterrAsian (yes, it’s a thing) cuisine, or escape to Greece for the night as you strut into Kiki on the River on a Sunday. Flex away, friends…

Trying to seal the deal

You’re more than a few dates in at this point, and it’s time to bring out the big guns and show ‘em you mean business. This date is pivotal: it’s the adult equivalent of passing someone a note in middle school and asking them to be your girlfriend or boyfriend, so we must not take this lightly.

Show them your cultured and classy side with an early date night at the Rubell Museum, followed by dinner at Leku for Spanish food al fresco directly next door. If the Basque cheesecake doesn’t make things official, I don’t know what will.

If you’re dating a foodie, take them to omakase at The Den at Azabu because nothing screams ‘DATE ME’ like melt-in-your-mouth toro. Or if you’re tangled up with a bougie babe and need to convey that their parents will adore you, a swanky dinner at The Surf Club Restaurant should help the cause. I mean…Thomas Keller, need we say more?

Photograph: Courtesy Leku

Boo’ed up

The words ‘date night’ haven’t escaped your lips since the dark ages, and you’re totally comfortable (happy, in fact) with UberEats and a good reality TV binge in your baggiest sleepwear. WE’RE HERE TO SAVE YOU. And don’t worry, we’ll still get you home before bedtime…

How about a day date exploring Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens? Or grab tickets to an immersive art experience at Superblue Miami, followed by a delicious spread at Hometown BBQ…because nothing says ‘We’ve hit the comfortable stage’ like sharing a rack of ribs. If you haven’t given up on romance quite yet, swing by Joe’s Take Away, pick up some stone crabs, set up a little picnic at South Pointe Park and watch the sunset together…swoon.

On the rocks

Stay the hell home! We have enough drama after hours in Miami, so please leave yours within the confines of your own four walls. Thanks, boo.

I give up… dating myself

This calls for a solo martini sesh at the bar of Miami’s most fab French restaurant, LPM Restaurant & Bar, where self-love is served straight up in the form of their signature Tomatini. Maybe throw in some escargot because this is one date you certainly don’t want to cheap out on. By martini number three, you’ll be swapping your best dating stories with the bartenders and relishing in the fact that this is truly all you need.

LPM Restaurant & Bar
Photograph: Courtesy LPM Restaurant & Bar

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