The South Beach Wine & Food Festival rolls into town February 24-28 celebrating its 15th anniversary. With so many great events and restaurants found inside South Beach hotels, we’ve created this guide to the best foodie hotels in Miami during the annual bash. Enjoy and eat up!
Loews Miami Beach Hotel
The Hotel: As the official HQ of South Beach Wine & Food Festival, you can’t go wrong with a stay at the Loews where many of the festival’s top events will take place. This family-friendly resort has plenty of diversions for adult travelers. At 790 rooms, it’s one of the largest hotels on the beach boasting Exhale Spa for fabulous treatments and Core Fusion classes, plus an inviting lagoon-style pool.
The Dining Scene: It’s also home to one of the best seafood restaurants in town, Lure Fishbar by award-winning chef Josh Capon in a chic nautical setting. Don’t skip the crispy tuna ricecakes, the bucatini with butter poached crab or the yellowtail carpaccio. For a more casual diversion with expertly mixed cocktails by Robert Ferrara, The Rum Line has become a hip, low-key spot for tastemakers in the know.
Official SOBEWFF Events: Tribute Dinner honoring Jonathan Waxman, Rob Sands and Richard Sands; Southern Kitchen Brunch hosted by Trisha Yearwood; Mexico City Presents Tacos After Dark hosted by Aarón Sánchez.
The Ritz-Carlton South Beach
The Hotel: You can’t go wrong with the high level of service at the Ritz-Carlton, just steps from the tents on the beach housing South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s most sought after events.
The Dining Scene: The DiLido Beach Club has the unique distinction as one of the only beachfront restaurants in South Beach. It’s a great casual spot to soak in the ambiance, share a few small plates and listen to live music.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
The Hotel: It doesn’t get much more iconic than the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Once the hangout for the Rat Pack, this Morris Lapidus-designed Miami Modern stunner, is always a good idea.
The Dining Scene: It’s also home to four—yes, four—of the city’s best restaurants. Take your pick between haute Cantonese at the London import Hakkasan or sumptuous Italian by celebrity chef Scott Conant at Scarpetta. You also have your choice between two Michael Mina restaurants: Stripsteak for upscale steakhouse fare and and Michael Mina 74 for a casual, lounge vibe.
Official SOBEWFF Events: Best of the Best.
Redbury Hotel South Beach
The Hotel: The hip little bro of the SLS South Beach, The Redbury comes with a lower price point and an edgier rock-n-roll vibe with record players and vintage vinyl in each of the guest rooms.
The Dining Scene: Serving up fresh and delicious Mediterranean fare, the buzzy Cleo hails from the original Redbury in LA and has found its place as one of the tastiest new restaurants on South Beach. Don’t miss their revelatory labneh yogurt, lamb tagine or Brussels sprouts.
Official SOBEWFF Events: Miami.com Experiences Rooftop Dinner at Cleo on February 23 to kick off SOBEWFF. Okay, this one’s technically an “unofficial event,” but we’re hosting it, so you should def join in the celebration! Tickets can be purchased here.
Faena Hotel Miami Beach
The Hotel: Opening right before New Year’s, Faena Hotel Miami Beach is an over-the-top fantasia conceived by hotelier Alan Faena, filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and his Academy Award-winning designer wife Catherine Martin. No detail or luxury has been overlooked in this theatrical, art-forward opus.
The Dining Scene: It’s also home to two of the hottest new restaurants in town. Argentinian enigma and asado grillmaster Chef Francis Mallmann (featured in Netflix’s evocative Chef’s Table documentary series) brings his talents to North America for the first time with Los Fuegos, featuring the best slab of ribeye this hotel reviewer has ever tasted. Just as impressively James Beard Award-winning, Austin-based chef Paul Qui helms the pan-Asian Pao, which borrows a Damien Hirst sculpture as its centerpiece.
Official SOBEWFF Events: Dinner hosted by Francis Mallmann and Paul Qui, Crash the Fire Kitchen – Carnivores Only! “unofficial” encore dinner hosted by Francis Mallmann, Gabriel Ask and Paul Qui on February 24 (for reservations call 786-655-5600).
Seminole Hard Rock Casino & Hotel
The Hotel: For the first time SOBEWFF has extended its reach to Fort Lauderdale and the Hard Rock is getting in on the action. With a casino, music venue and countless nightlife attractions, you can’t go wrong setting up shop here to explore the festival’s Taste Fort Lauderdale events.
The Dining Scene: With more restaurants than we can count, the Hard Rock’s marquee eateries are the high-flying, interactive pan-Asian stunner Kuro and fine steaks and seafood at Council Oak.
Official SOBEWFF Events: New Style Remix Dinner hosted by Justin Warner and Alex Becker at Kuro followed by Kuro Late Night featuring DJ Felix Da Housecat.
This Kimpton hotel (pictured at top) on the beach is a playful and colorful escape into a nostalgic Art Deco world with a pool that’s become legendary for its WMC parties.
The Dining Scene: One of the beach’s best kept secrets is The Surfcomber’s Social Club. This stylish, yet relaxed dining room just off the hotel lobby has a top-notch bar program and menu featuring an array of locally inspired small bites, with everything from Cuban sliders to alligator nuggets. They also boast a great happy hour.
Official SOBEWFF Events: The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown hosted by Guy Fieri.
W South Beach
The Hotel: A perennial celebrity hot spot, the W South Beach remains one of the sexier spots on the beach to mix and mingle at its Living Room lounge, catch rays by its oversized pool or rest your head at night in one of its stylish and modern guest rooms.
The Dining Scene: Home to Andew Carmellini’s The Dutch and the interminably hip Mr. Chow, foodies have two solid options when hunger strikes. The Dutch, with its down-to-earth, yet upscale vibe, is favored by Miami locals, while Mr. Chow doesn’t seem to have a problem keeping its tables filled with out-of-towners.
Official SOBEWFF Events: Chicken Coupe hosted by Andrew Carmellini.
The Miami Beach EDITION
The Hotel: Just over a year old The Miami Beach EDITION burst onto the scene as an instant hot spot with its nightlife venue Basement, which includes a disco, ice skating rink and bowling alley.
The Dining Scene: It’s also home to a pair of restaurants by acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. One, the upscale and eclectic Matador Room, the other a casual venue inspired by Spanish markets, fittlingly called Market.
Official SOBEWFF Events: Rosé brunch hosted by Martha Stewart and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Soho Beach House
The Hotel: An official haven for the celebrity set, the exclusive members only Soho Beach House is a great place to perch for a little celebrity chef stalking during SOBEWFF.
The Dining Scene: Home to the open-to-the-public Cecconi’s and a handful of members-/guests-only eateries, it’s always a scene at Soho House for those who get their kicks from the see-and-be-seen scene.
Official SOBEWFF Events: Dinner hosted by Nigella Lawson.