Miami might not be known as the most romantic city in the United States, but it definitely knows how to pull off pretending. There are so many options for date night in Miami, from quaint Italian trattorias, to tiny hidden bars inspired by Japanese tachinomi and beach clubs that will make you and your bae feel like you’re on holiday somewhere along the French Riviera. Ballin’ on a budget? No problem. We’ve rounded up a healthy mix of wallet-friendly haunts and splurge-worthy stops.
Quinto la Huella
With its gorgeous views of the glittering Brickell skyline, its expansive list of global wines and bespoke cocktails, and dishes by Chef Nano Crespo that range from artisan pizzas to just-caught seafood, Quinto la Huella is one of the best spots for date night in Miami if you’re a foodie couple. If you’re a lady, visit on a Monday and enjoy bottomless rose.
Details: 788 Brickell Plaza #2810, Miami; 786-805-4646
Want to show your date how you get down on the dance floor? Rumbar at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne hosts salsa lessons and music every Saturday from 7-10 p.m. There are domino tables, too, if you’re up for a little friendly competition. If you’re meeting your special someone after work, aim for a Monday or Tuesday, when cocktails are two-for-one from 5-10 p.m.
Details: 455 Grand Bay Dr., Key Biscayne; 305-365-4500
Tea Room at EAST Miami
High above Brickell on the uppermost floor of the EAST Miami Hotel, Tea Room used to be invitation-only. Word about the spot has gotten out lately, but we promise you’ll still feel like you’ve stumbled into the city’s best kept secret. For starters, the door is hidden, and only a coded knock and an invisible ink stamp from the bouncer will grant you entry. The best way to get in? Make a reservation for Tea Room’s Asian Night Brunch, offered Wednesday to Sunday from 7 to 10 pm. Featuring five courses and multiple drink pairing options, it’s a great way to do date night in Miami — especially if you want to keep the party going late into the night.
Details: 788 Brickell Plz., #2810, Miami; 786-805-4646
Kiki on the River
Don’t have enough vacation days (or money) to take off to the Greek isles with your special someone? It happens. Pencil in dinner at Kiki on the River instead. A go-to spot for special occasions and proposals in Miami, this riverside favorite checks all the boxes for an evening filled with romance: gorgeous waterfront views, delicious food and a head-spinning wine list, softly-glowing string lights and lots (and lots) of candles — need we go on?
Details: 450 NW North River Dr., Miami; kikiontheriver.com
Via Emilia Garden
Located in Miami’s Midtown neighborhood, the latest outpost of this beloved South Beach Italian eatery has a charming outdoor patio where you can enjoy your pasta by candlelight al fresco, Lady and the Tramp-style. The menu spotlights traditional Italian comfort food like homemade sausages, eggplant parmigiana, braised pork belly meatballs, and — of course — a slew of incredible homemade pastas. Thirsty? The wine lists covers reds, whites and sparkling wines from all over Italy.
Details: 3500 N Miami Ave., Miami; 786-359-4990
In the mood for Indian? You’ll find some of the best in the city at Maska, also in Midtown. The dinner menu here has a good blend of shareable small plates and larger entrees that two can pick at. And with its ceiling of hanging vines and soft gold- and violet-lighting, the atmosphere inside is as sultry as the flavors that come out of the kitchen.
Details: 3252 NE 1st Ave. Suite 109, Miami; maskamiami.com
It’s a bit of a drive if you live in Miami, but Monkitail at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood is worth going the extra mile. Helmed by celebrity chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson, this dimly-lit, ultra-sexy spot serves up modern Japanese fare in the form of shareable small plates and fresh-rolled sushi. All of the cocktails are Instagram-worthy, and there’s even a “secret” lounge with private karaoke rooms you can rent if you want to keep the fun going after dinner. The best part? You can book a room at the newly-renovated property and turn your date night into a staycation. Cabana by the pool, anyone?
Details: 3555 S. Ocean Dr., Hollywood; 954-602-8755