Miami Spice: Five Reasons Why It's Worth The Drive to Miami

Categories: Food Festivals

Courtesy Raleigh Hotel
Restaurant Michael Schwatz at the Raleigh Hotel: Spicy Romance.
Miami Spice is under way! The two-month long promotion, organized by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors' Bureau, allows food lovers to enjoy three-course menus at some of Miami's best restaurants at incredible value pricing.

This is the second year that Miami Spice is implementing a two-tier pricing system, where restaurants are classified in fine dining (lunch $19; dinner $33) or luxury dining categories (lunch $23; dinner $39). Also, some restaurants only serve "Spice" on weekdays, or only for dinner, so be sure to check the user-friendly website before you make reservations.

Even so, Spice, which runs now through September 30, 2013, is a great value - with some restaurants providing exceptional experiences at prices that won't wring your wallet dry. Still not convinced it's worth a drive south to Miami? Here are five reasons to get you hopping in your car right now!

Laine Doss
Florida Cookery.
5. Staycation!
It's summer vacation and you haven't been anywhere more exotic than your backyard? Well, what if we told you there was an International playground so close to home you don't even need a plane ticket to get there? That's right, homie. We're talking about Miami and Miami Beach. Why are you letting all the tourists have all the fun? Get your friends together and plan a staycation on Miami Beach.

We suggest starting with lunch on Florida Cookery's gorgeous outdoor terrace (Spice lunch, $23, is served daily -- including weekends), before enjoying a bit of beach time. Then, it's on to dinner.

If you're after romance, Restaurant Michael Schwartz at the Raleigh Hotel is filled with twinkling lights, cozy corners, and gorgeous food. The Spice dinner ($39, served Sunday - Thursday), is local and luscious, with local fish, Florida shrimp, and grilled figs. And, if the date gets hotter than the are in a hotel (hint, hint)...

Courtesy Tongue & Cheek
4. Get adventurous!
Who's up for an adventure? No, we're not talking skydiving...we're talking tasting new dishes, made with exotic ingredients.

How about Florida grouper "cheeks 'n chips" with a cracker jack milkshake for dessert? It's on the Spice menu at Tongue & Cheek in South Beach (Spice dinner $33, served daily).

Laine Doss
Tacos get special treatment at The Bazaar.

3. Celebrity chefs!

You've seen them on Top've read about them in Food & eat their food! Scott Conant's Scarpetta (Spice dinner $39, served Sunday - Friday); The Bazaar by Jose Andres (Spice dinner, $39, served Sunday - Thursday); and Michelle Bernstein's Michy's (Spice dinner, $39, served Tuesday-Friday & Sunday) are just some celebrity chefs offering Miami Spice specials.

Lesley Elliott
Red The Steakhouse serves up the steak at Spice.
2. Steak!

You love a good steak. We all do. If you've a hankering for a great steak, Spice is your best bet. Red The Steakhouse includes a petite filet in their Spice menu (dinner, $39, daily), with cost-conscious upgrades if you want a prime NY Strip or a ribeye; while Meat Market gives you a choice of three steaks for Spice (dinner, $39, Sunday - Thursday): a six ounce Meat Market filet, a six ounce Wagyu skirt steak, or a 10 ounce rib eye.

Bill Wisser

1. You're cheap (or broke)!

Can't afford to spend $200 or more on a fine dinner? We understand. But we bet you can rummage through your pants pockets and couch cushions and come up with $39! And that, dear friends, is enough to get you dinner at one of the ritziest places in Miami, Zuma at the Epic Hotel. (Spice dinner, $39, served Sunday - Tuesday). Still too expensive? Try their Spice lunch, served Monday - Friday and a steal at $23!

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