Your Trusty Guide to Miami Spice

By: Dana Rozansky

With brutally hot temperatures and sporadic afternoon thunderstorms, it’s no secret that Miami in the summer can be a bit of a drag. That’s why many locals jet off to other, more bearable climates and leave the 305 in the dust. However, for those of us who stick around to beat the heat, we get rewarded each and every year for our loyalty. What’s the reward, you ask? Spoiler alert: it’s SPICY.

Just when we were about to throw in our beach towels and find the first flight to ANYWHERE, Miami Spice crept up on us to entice us to stay put. For those of you not familiar with Miami Spice, it’s a mouth-watering restaurant promotion that showcases the very best of Miami cuisine…without the astronomical price tags.

Each and every summer, tons of restaurants across the city offer a special menu for us “Summer Soldiers” as I’ve fondly nicknamed us. These menus vary from restaurant to restaurant, but typically include a three-course lunch for $23 or a three-course dinner for $39. We’re talking the upper echelon of Miami cuisine here, so this is a serious steal.

There’s just one downside to Miami Spice and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a serious #FirstWorldProblem. Deciding where to Spice it up amongst the vast sea of salivating options is a serious challenge.

So today I’ve made it my mission to be your trusty Miami Spice tour guide, offering up my insight on my Top 5 Spice Selections, broken down by cuisine & cravings.

CRAVING STEAK?

RED, THE STEAKHOUSE

Miami Spice Menu: http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/restaurant/red-the-steakhouse/36519

If you’ve got a hankering for red meat, there’s no better place to turn than Red, The Steakhouse. This is the Miami Spice option for those with a hearty appetite, because you’re going to get a full-blown feast. Check your diets at the door because this meal is the epitome of indulgence. Ever ordered a 44-ounce Tomahawk Ribeye? Here’s your chance. Grab four friends and that big ole hunk of meat will be yours…along with other light and healthy options such as house-made meatballs, bacon wrapped tater tots, crisp chili calamari and so much more. The best part is that Red is doing rotating Spice menus so you can come each and every week and always find something new (Check Red's Facebook page for the deets). Like I said, check your diet at the door…

CRAVING SUSHI?

NAIYARA

Miami Spice Menu: http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/special-offers/monthly-deals/miami-spice-month/miami-spice-menu?Program=Spice&Id=118933&Type=Dinner

This new kid on the block has quickly become a favorite amongst locals looking for some of the best sushi and Thai food on South Beach with an ambiance to boot. Tucked away in Sunset Harbour, Naiyara has been delighting Miami locals with innovative takes on Thai classics for several months now. Chef and Owner, Chef Bee, has created somewhat of a cult following – with good reason! In addition to killer sushi, Chef Bee has crafted a Spice menu that will tantalize your taste buds including Thai and Japanese specialties like his famous beef jerky, popcorn shrimp and kimchee fried rice…for starters. If you’ve still got room for dessert, don’t miss out on the milk chocolate pots de crème. Believe me when I say this is one of the most coveted reservations in town, so you better jump on it! Lastly, Chef Bee, you had me at jerky.

CRAVING MEXICAN?

CANTINA LA VEINTE        

Spice menu: http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/special-offers/monthly-deals/miami-spice-month/miami-spice-menu?Program=Spice&Id=117222&Type=Dinner

If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying an authentic, upscale feast & fiesta at Cantina, get your booty over there – ahora mismo! What’s so special about Cantina, you ask? Well, for starters their ginormous (yes, that’s a word) margaritas and live music to get the party started…but of course, the show stopper is really the Mexican munchies. Cantina’s Spice menu features a seafood tasting platter, short rib, duck confit and a decadent dessert platter so come hungry. Cant(ina) wait!

CRAVING AMERICAN?

BEAKER & GRAY

Miami Spice Menu: http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/special-offers/monthly-deals/miami-spice-month/miami-spice-menu?Program=Spice&Id=118914&Type=Dinner

This relatively new Wynwood hotspot is a must try this Miami Spice. Why?  There’s a wide variety of American eats for everyone’s palate. Whether you’re in the mood for pasta or fish or pork, Beaker & Gray has covered it on their Spice menu…not to mention some light, refreshing dessert items such as a Coconut Bar with passion fruit, jalapeno and mango or the Goat Cheese Cheesecake. Wash it all down with one of Beaker & Gray’s famous cocktails and voila – Spice success!

CRAVING ITALIAN?

CECCONI’S

Spice menu: http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/special-offers/monthly-deals/miami-spice-month/miami-spice-menu?Program=Spice&Id=108195&Type=Dinner

Located in the chic and serene courtyard at Soho Beach House, Cecconi’s is your go-to for some authentic Italian eats. If you’ve ever been to Cecconi’s for their epic Sunday brunch, you’ll know that this place is the real deal. To entice you with some Spice highlights, you can feast on Bufalo Mozzarella Pizzetta, Branzino, Ricotto gnocchi, and other Italian delicacies. So as they say in Italy, Mangia!

So Spice it up this year! You won’t regret it.