No visit to Miami is complete without a day on South Beach. The Art Deco vibes, palm trees, and miles of beaches are what everyone dreams of as they arrive in Miami. A day spent on the sand is bound to work up quite an appetite, but luckily South Beach is full of plenty of incredible restaurants that can help with exactly that. From steakhouses to award-winning celebrity chefs, and classic hotel restaurants — there’s something delicious being made around every corner.
A Miami native with an Arab and Basque background, Chef Danny Ganem has been wowing us with his South Beach creations for several years. He’s worked for notable names like Norman Van Aken, Michael Mina, and Laurent Tourondel. He’s been at South Beach’s The Betsy Hotel since 2014 where he took a job at Tourondel’s BLT Steak as chef de cuisine. These days he’s executive chef of the entire property meaning he oversees BLT Steak & Seafood, The Alley Pizzeria, Ventanita, Panther Coffee at The Betsy, and all 20,000 square feet of events and catering spaces.
Why we love him: The Alley. While all of The Betsy Hotel’s concepts are wonderful, The Alley is one of those spots that stays on the mind for months after each experience. Aptly named due to its location in the alley that connects Ocean Drive with Washington Avenue, this cute little Italian spot is low key responsible for some of the best pizza and pasta in Miami. It’s the perfect spot to pop into after finishing Miami Culinary Tours’ South Beach tour.
Jeremy Ford is a Florida native with a penchant for incredible food. Never having attended culinary school, Ford found himself in some of the country’s most impressive kitchens before settling into renowned chef Jean-Georges’ Matador Room on South Beach. While executive chef at Matador Room, Ford won Season 13 of Bravo’s Top Chef and went on to open his first solo concept, Stubborn Seed. With a seriously good chef’s tasting menu, Stubborn Seed brought a caliber of food to South Beach that everyone was looking for.
Why we love him: His dishes are bold and plated to perfection from the bread service to the often two dishes of foie gras per tasting menu. Every bite of food down to the specks of herbs are gracefully placed on each plate with intention to create a magical bite with each raise of the diner’s fork.
Peter Vauthy may not be a Miami native, but shortly after moving to Miami to open Red, he fully embraced South Beach as his home. Chef Vauthy’s restaurant is home to some of the best steaks in Miami and every possible fixin’ one can dream of. Lobster mac n cheese is a specialty and a no meal is complete without one of his over the top desserts.
Why we love him: He’s one of the most generous and easy going chefs you’ll find on South Beach. Mention you’d like to take the bones from your meal’s steak home for a pet and watch his eyes light up with excitement. Protip: bring your own catch of the day from a fishing trip and chef will prepare it however you’d like.
By Food Writer Amber Love