Can you feel it? The days are warming, the flowers are blooming, and before you know it, it will be time to head to your favorite summer hotspots. For many people, one of those spots is Florida. According to Forbes, over 137 million people visited the Sunshine State in 2022, the most visitors in the state’s history.
So, after a day on the beach or at Disney, where do you head for a delectable dinner? The good news is you’ll have no shortage with over 41,300 restaurants to choose from. From beautiful outdoor patios to indoor entertainment meccas serving food from around the world, your only challenge may be how to fit in all the great options.
We’re hoping to make it a little easier for you. Here, we’ll explore Florida’s newest restaurants, the leading outdoor brands, and those that made the Michelin Guide in 2023.
Florida’s Newest Hotspot
Miami is blessed with one of the most talked about new restaurants this summer—Casadonna. This powerhouse restaurant comes from the Tao Hospitality Group, Groot Hospitality (acquired by Live Nation in 2019), and designer Ken Fulk. It’s expected to open in June or July.
Half of the 20,000-square-foot restaurant is on a deck overlooking the waters of Biscayne Bay. Here, you’ll enjoy coastal Italian selections in a building built in the 1920s with elegant architecture, chandeliers, and floating lanterns.
Restaurants Designed for Outdoor Dining
If you’re looking for a seat outside that offers incredible views, you’ll find some of the best options in Florida. With beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Florida’s coastline spans 825 miles.
According to a survey by Holidu, Orlando came out with the most outdoor dining, with a whopping 672 possibilities. Miami was a close second, followed by Tampa, Jacksonville, and Fort Lauderdale. While hard to narrow down this extensive list, we’re covering a few for everyone, from fine dining to the casual Tiki bar.
As the name implies, Sunset Grille & Raw Bar is home to some of the best sunsets in the Florida Keys. You’ll also find a pool and beach party every Sunday. Yes, it has a pool.
Pierre’s Restaurant, the Rayburn Family’s fictional resort in Netflix’s Bloodline, looks like an old colonial-style two-story residence on a beautiful white sand beach that looks out over Florida Bay. Enjoy French fusion cuisine, tropical flowers, and stunning sunsets.
You can also dine on the water’s edge at La Mar by Gaston Acurio. Explore Asian-Peruvian fusion fare while overlooking Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline.
The Restaurants Receiving a Michelin Star
In June 2022, 15 Florida restaurants received Michelin stars for the first time, and 11 were in Miami. This year, in April 2023, 11 restaurants in Florida received the esteemed Michelin star, with eight in Orlando and three in Tampa. Diners seeking Michelin star approval may want to consider these latest contenders.
- Boia De
- The Den at Sushi Azabu
- Elcielo Miami
- Le Jardinier
- Los Felix
- Stubborn Seed
- The Surf Club Restaurant
- L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Miami
And the Food City of the Year Goes To…
Miami! In 2023, Bon Appétit magazine proclaimed Miami the “Food City of the Year.” According to editor-in-chief Dawn Davis, “The always-evolving city is buzzing with opportunity, and a wave of creative chefs and restaurateurs have picked up on that air of possibility.”
Some of the magazine’s top selections include Itamae—a Peruvian-Japanese restaurant; Suite Habana Café—a coffee shop; Rosie’s—highlighting their Southern brunch; Zak the Baker—nominated for the prestigious James Beard Foundation 2023 Outstanding Bakery; Broken Shaker—a cocktail bar at the Freehand Hotel with a backyard oasis; and Jaguar Sun—a restaurant also recognized by Yelp as one of the best in the country.
Miami, of course, isn’t just about food. The Magic City and, more notably, Miami Beach, is famous for its nightlife. In fact, in 2022, Time Out’s survey placed Miami as the runner-up for the world’s best nightlife scene. For those interested in a restaurant-club hybrid that offers fine dining and dancing, Sexy Fish may be your place. Seafood-centric, it offers Japanese-inspired cuisine and dancing mermaids.
Where do celebrities go for dinner in Miami?
According to Gayot, the top restaurants for spotting celebrities are in Miami Beach. These include Casa Tua, Cecconi’s, Joe’s Stone Crab, Juvia, and Prime One Twelve.
What is the oldest continuously running restaurant in Florida?
The Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City is the oldest restaurant in Florida. Surprisingly, it also claims the title of the largest Spanish restaurant in the world! Opened in 1905, it remains a family-owned restaurant through five generations. Today, it seats 1,700 diners throughout its 52,000-square-foot space.