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The most romantic restaurants in Miami to elevate date night

Looking to impress bae? Up the ante on date night with a reservation at one of the most romantic restaurants in Miami.

Café Roval
Photograph: Courtesy Café Roval
By Virginia Gil and Falyn Freyman |
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June 2019: If there’s one thing we know about relationships, it’s that you’ve gotta keep things fresh. That’s why we’re circling back to our list of the most romantic restaurants in Miami to make sure your next date night is on point. We’ve cut loose the Forge, which is currently closed for renovations and said goodbye to Marion and Three to make room for a few new cuties. For a contemporary Italian dinner date with a Michelin-backed pedigree, head over to Fiola in Coral Gables, helmed by a chef-owner power couple. Or up the charm factor with shared plates and cocktails at Sherwoods in Little River, where gorgeous vintage touches like tiles salvaged from the French embassy in Portugal help set the mood.

Today’s dating culture is ruled by Postmates dinners, Netflix binges and the occasional happy hour outing, which puts staying in on date night high on the list of lame and expected romantic gestures—especially when the most romantic restaurants in Miami have so much to offer. Show your significant other you’ve still got the right stuff with a hot night out at one of Miami’s best restaurants—and a drink at one of best bars in Miami before or after—and ensure a perfect date night or Valentine’s dinner, from Coral Gables to South Beach. Our complete guide to the most romantic restaurants is below.

RECOMMENDED: Find more romantic things to do in Miami

Most romantic restaurants in Miami

1
NIU Kitchen
Restaurants, Spanish

NIU Kitchen

icon-location-pin Downtown

What is it? This sexy, Catalonian hot spot remains one of Downtown’s best-kept secrets. Narrow, dim and tucked away along a quiet side street, it’s equally great for a surreptitious affair or a romantic anniversary dinner. We don’t judge.

Why go? Dig your fork into perfectly cooked egg dishes (the runny kind you’ll want to sop up with crusty sliced baguette), delicious seafood tapas and organic wines from Spain, Argentina and beyond. Reservations are a must at this tiny restaurant.  

2
Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Photograph: Courtesy Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Restaurants, Greek

Mandolin Aegean Bistro

icon-location-pin Buena Vista

What is it? A Greek/Turkish restaurant that feels like a pseudo trip to the Greek Isles. The spacious outdoor area’s rustic blue-and-white design helps to keep up the illusion, while dishes such as the whole fried fish and the authentic Greek salad (without lettuce!) dupe your taste buds almost instantly.

Why go? Any table in the restaurant’s courtyard is sure to impress, but on nights when it’s too hot, take a seat inside by the window. Nothing ruins a date like sweating through a meal. 

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3
Ariete short rib
Photograph: Courtesy Ariete
Restaurants, Contemporary American

Ariete

icon-location-pin West Coconut Grove

What is it? Dark, rustic and with low-slung ceilings to help keep things intimate, the charming Coconut Grove restaurant exudes romance from every corner. 

Why go? With a menu built on sharing, plus the option to splurge on a private dining experience in its private room downstairs known as La Cava, date night at Ariete is a no-brainer.

4
BarMeli
Photograph: Courtesy BarMeli/James Woodley Photography
Bars, Wine bars

BarMeli

icon-location-pin Miami

What is it? This adorable wine bar in Miami’s MiMo neighborhood caters to oenophiles thanks to a menu packed with lesser-known varietals and rare vintages. Grab a bottle from the wall or peruse the extensive list for more options.  

Why go? Whether it’s to show off your extensive knowledge of vino or to learn together at one of BarMeli’s frequent tastings, you’ll bond over your shared love of wine at this low-key spot. 

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5
Fiola
Photograph: Courtesy Fiola
Restaurants, Italian

Fiola

icon-location-pin Coral Gables

What is it? There’s a sweet love story behind this Coral Gables eatery that also has popular locations in D.C. and Italy. Created by husband and wife restaurateurs Fabio and Maria Trabocchi, the power duo has made food their way of life since meeting in Washington in the ’90s.

Why go? This lauded Michelin-starred restaurant’s Miami edition has become known for its impeccable service paired with big bowls of luscious, contemporary Italian signatures such as lobster ravioli and bucatini with red prawns.

6
Amara at Paraiso by Michael Schwartz
Photograph: Courtesy Amara at Paraiso
Restaurants, Fusion

Amara at Paraiso

icon-location-pin Design District

What is it? A staple in the Miami food scene since before there was one, Michael Schwartz follows up his Design District go-to Michael’s Genuine with a boho-chic waterfront gem featuring a menu of elevated, Latin-inspired fare.

Why go? Miami’s got plenty of options when it comes to waterfront dining, but for this quintessential romantic experience, you don’t have to travel off the mainland. Minutes from Wynwood, downtown and the historic MiMo district, Amara is in a sweet spot for any occasion.

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7
La Mar
Photograph: La Mar/George Apostolidis
Restaurants, Peruvian

La Mar

icon-location-pin Brickell Key

What is it? One of the few places in Miami where the scenery isn’t at the expense of the food—the views and chef Diego Oka’s Peruvian cuisines are equally unparalleled.

Why go? For a breezy waterfront brunch or romantic dinner with a clear shot of Brickell’s twinkling skyline. You’ll want to order up one of chef Oka’s delicate ceviches and the arroz chaufa (Peruvian fried rice), served tableside. Cocktail options are aplenty, but if this is your first time at La Mar, or trying Peruvian food altogether, the classic pisco sour is a must.

8
Komodo
Photograph: Courtesy Komodo
Restaurants, Chinese

Komodo Miami

icon-location-pin Brickell

What is it? David Grutman’s upscale Asian restaurant is sprawling yet sexy, featuring dimmed corners and mood-setting lighting. It’s quite the scene. Rubbernecking dates—beware.

Why go? Cozy up at one of the bird’s nest tables suspended above the restaurant and order dim sum and the Peking duck to share.

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9
Café Roval
Photograph: Courtesy Café Roval
Restaurants, Contemporary American

Café Roval

icon-location-pin Little Haiti / Lemon City

What is it? Mark Soyka’s restaurant in Buena Vista restaurant is a total panty dropper. With nearly 100 artisanal wines on the menu, a romantic dinner in Miami could not be had at a better place. 

Why go? While the food is spectacular, it doesn’t matter what’s on your plate if you’re eating it at one of the tables nearest the small reservoir, under the moonlight. But if you’re asking, we recommend the Morrocan spiced organic half chicken and sticky date pudding, both shareable and exploding with flavor.

10
Sherwoods Bistro & Bar
Photograph: FujifilmGirl
Restaurants, American creative

Sherwoods Bistro & Bar

icon-location-pin Little River

What is it? Nestled in the trendy Little River neighborhood, Sherwoods is bursting with the kind of charm that’s only achieved through the closest attention to details. Vintage touches and throwback flair aren’t just for show—bathroom fixtures were repurposed from properties in Belgium, tiles were salvaged from the French embassy in Portugal and the building itself is historic.

Why go? The menu flings you back into the 21st century with its collection of burgers (meat, veggie and otherwise) and shareable plates. If the expansive Magnolia Bar in the back didn’t tip you off, Sherwoods’ cocktail game is strong. Grab one with your S.O. and enjoy it cuddled inside on a plush midcentury sofa or under the twinkling lights on the patio.

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11
Casa Tua
Photograph: Courtesy Casa Tua
Restaurants, Italian

Casa Tua

icon-location-pin South Beach

What is it? One of the city’s finest and fussiest big-bucks restaurants, Casa Tua is a sleek and chic country Italian-style establishment set in a refurbished 1925 Mediterranean-style two-story house.

Why go? With several living-room style nooks, Casa Tua offers the cozy familiarity of a night in—with much, much better food. If you’ve ever dreamed of hiring a notable chef to come over and cook you a fancy dinner, book a table at Casa Tua for an equally pricey experience with zero cleanup.

12
Matador Room
Photograph: Courtesy Matador Room
Restaurants, Latin American

Matador Room

icon-location-pin Miami Beach

What is it? This sleek throwback brims in midcentury glamour. For ladies, this translates to a reason to dress up, meanwhile gentlemen get a turnkey date out of their reservation. 

Why go? The menu, a modern take on traditional Latin cuisine, is composed of small and large plates packed with plenty of local flavors and Florida-sourced ingredients, all of which is meant for sharing. Take the Cuban homestyle arroz con pollo with crackling skin and lemon zest, or the chipotle chicken tacos, both down-home dishes done up to five-star standards.

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13
Cecconi's, Restaurants and cafes, Miami
Photograph: Gesi Schilling
Restaurants, Italian

Cecconi’s

icon-location-pin Miami Beach

What is it? Soho Beach House’s Italian restaurant (the club’s only area open to non-members) is a one-stop for good food and a good time—the menu of house-made pastas and an outdoor dining area practically set the mood for you.

Why go? Reserve a center table near one of the trees covered in bistro lights: The soft yellow glow is subtle and sexy, and it will keep you from accidentally knocking anything over—which happens after one too many Picantes, the club’s delish spicy margaritas.

14
Elcielo
Photograph: Courtesy elCielo
Restaurants, Colombian

Elcielo

icon-location-pin Brickell

What is it? This high-end Colombian restaurant specializes in molecular gastronomy and food you consume via all five senses. 

Why go? At Elcielo, you’ll have the opportunity to play with your food, lick your fingers and ooh and aah together as whimsical creations are brought to your table. Dinner here is coursed and meals can last anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours—but she likes it when you take your time.

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15
Il Gabbiano
Photograph: Courtesy Il Gabbiano
Restaurants, Italian

Il Gabbiano

icon-location-pin Downtown

What is it? A fancy-pants Italian restaurant overlooking Biscayne Bay, where the view and the toothsome fresh pasta don’t come cheap.

Why go? Special occasions call for a splurge, both fiscal and caloric. Blowing a wad and indulging with your S.O. over an extravagant dinner facing the water is what it’s all about at this pricey pasta joint, which is ideal for fans of garlic, truffles and homemade pasta that’s a far cry from Ragu.  

Looking for something to do after your date?

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