5 Places for Singles to Dine in Miami
Without a doubt, Miami has some of the best restaurants in the United States. With so many to choose from, a solo diner may feel a little overwhelmed. You could be worried about sticking out in a sea of tables full of friends sporadically bursting out in fits of laughter or worse, couples looking at each other with enamored eyes. My advice - don’t sweat it! If you want to eat out at restaurants in Miami and don’t have a date or a tribe - here are five places you definitely want to check out!!
OLA - Miami Beach
Situated in the Sanctuary South Beach Hotel, OLA Restaurant is upscale Latin dining at its finest. There is no bar here for you to blend into the scenery; you’ll be at a table for one and trust me - you’ll love it. Make sure to ask for a table on the terrace and prepare to be transported to somewhere in Latin America; think a large lattice covered seating area overlooking one of South Florida's innumerable, peaceful canals.
To start, order the Mango Mojito and the Lobster Empanada appetizer. The outside looks like a lump of coal from an infusion of squid ink, but inside is pure heaven; huge chunks of lobster and butter! Then try the Panela Salmon. It’s pan seared and served atop a bed of red quinoa, Brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. Some other items on the menu include Roast Cuban Pork served with mashed garlic yucca, black bean broth, creole style pepper salad, and mustard mojo. Another popular item is the Filet Mignon Churrasco served with grilled asparagus, chipotle crabmeat dressing, and chimichurri. My next visit, however, will include the Pescado A La Macho 'fish of the day' which is served over sautéed baby spinach, grilled red onion with aji Amarillo sauce, clams, calamari, shrimp, and black mussels.
There's absolutely nothing for which a solo diner should be concerned. There were families sitting around me, but mainly couples enjoying the setting sun and cool breeze. No need to rely on your phone or bury your face in a book; just sit back, relax, enjoy the ambiance. The darker it became, the more the terrace glowed from the soft candles atop the dining tables. It is indeed a romantic spot; but it is also a slice of paradise for the solo diner to enjoy delicious Latin American food in an inviting, tropical atmosphere.
GK Bistronomie - Wynwood
Wynwood is definitely a hot spot in Miami when it comes to food. A solo diner will find dozens of options in the trendy neighborhood. GK Bistronomie is perfect for the solo diner who may want a more lively atmosphere. The music pumps and the crowds builds as the day progresses. It’s hip, trendy, and definitely innovative when it comes to the menu. Solo diners who prefer to eat at a bar will have no problem finding a spot at the inside bar; the outside bar is considerably smaller with only a few seats for the lucky few who get there early.
The crowd was a good mix of younger and older patrons, but all were beautifully melded into one pot that makes Miami, and particularly Wynwood, a perfect spot to soak up the South Florida vibes. The open kitchen is a favorite of mine; I love to witness the beehive of activity that takes place behind the scenes. Even though I was alone at my table, I made friends with a nearby group who were celebrating someone's new job. They raised their glasses to toast the new thrilled new-hire, and so did I. This was apparently enough for them to welcome me into their very rowdy group for the rest of my time at GK Bistronomie! What a blast!
I ordered the Peruvian Classic Ceviche - Black Grouper, lime, garlic, onion, cilantro, white corn, and corn nut. Also, order the Pork Taquitos; they are a huge sell and for good reason! Try the Pan Seared Sea Bass with cauliflower puree.
GK Bistronomie is a fun, friendly, and vibrant restaurant where you won’t have to hide behind your iPhone screen to be entertained! There's so much to love about GK Bistronomie that can't think of one negative for the solo diner here. GK Bistronomie has a lot to offer every type of diner, and every type of palate. It's a fun, friendly, and vibrant restaurant in the middle of the continuously evolving neighborhood of Wynwood.
Stiltsville - Miami Beach
From the moment I walked through the door, I honestly felt like I had been transported to small tropical hideaway in the Caribbean. I was warmly greeted and promptly seated at one of the high-tops near the bar. Stiltsville is a casual dining spot. Lots of shorts and flip-flops, a few Hawaiian shirts and jeans, nothing over the top as is typical on Miami Beach. There are exposed beams and air conditioning vents running along the ceiling. Softly lit low hanging lights, high top tables, and comfortable sofa seating are the audience to the well-stocked bar, which thrilled me with a few well-crafted cocktails. The music perfectly added to the laid-back vibes; reggae and oldies played softly overhead, and views of Biscayne Bay glistened from the sizeable clear garage doors that opened up to the outside dining patio. There's a good size bar which had a few solo diners sitting enjoying meals and drinks. Two large screen TVs on either side of the bar with surfing videos playing on a loop I sat alone at my high-top table and soaked in my surroundings; just perfect. I just happened to be there during "Crawfish Eddie's Happy Hour" and took full advantage of the whole "drinks for two" thing. I was ready to begin another evening enjoying food prepared by "Top Chef" alumni; this time Chef Jeff McInnes and Chef Janine Booth.
For my first course, I chose the cob tiradito...great choice number one; it was delicious! Imagine avocado, crispy hominy and popped corn aji Amarillo chili, cilantro, and lime. The corn was actually popped! It may have very well been one of the best appetizers I've ever had...fresh with just the right amount of heat. My main course was one of my favorite dishes; shrimp and grits. As I was watching the sunset, a huge bowl of what turned out to be the best shrimp and grits I've had outside of New Orleans was brought to my table. The stone ground grits, creole sausage, melted tomatoes, sweet peas, and shrimp butter was breathtakingly delicious! I did my best, but it was impossible to finish. I waited a while before ordering my dessert; my stomach was begging me to stop, but I couldn't. I had one more course to go, and I'm no quitter. It was another no-brainer...key lime pie. Yum!
Stiltsville Fish Bar is perfect in every way for a solo diner. This is the kind of place where you can be as quiet and self-absorbed or as social as you wish. It doesn't matter because your experience will be the same. The diners are all a part of what you would expect at a place called Stiltsville; a simple, relaxing, and calm escape from the norm. It's hard not to fall in love with the amazing food and vibes just feet away from boats bobbing on the waves of Biscayne Bay. Come for the food ... and stay for the sunset. I did.
Planta - Miami Beach
Vegan or not, Planta is a must-go for the solo diner. Not only is the food deliciously innovative and fresh, but the atmosphere is also warm, inviting, and relaxing. The dining area truly embodies Planta's earthy homage. The dining area is open and airy; very much what a restaurant in Crate and Barrel might look like. Huge windows tower over cozy sofas, high-tops, and indoor palms. There are even skylights allowing even more sunlight to bathe the dining area. Pendant light fixtures hang over the bars, and open-air ducts line the ceiling. The soft music was upbeat and a nice mix of oldies and modern hits. There are three bar seating areas, as well as high-tops for the solo diners who may not want to be seated in the main dining area.
Eating vegan in Miami Beach can be expensive, so I was pleased to see that they offered a Miami Spice menu on the night of my visit. There were four choices of appetizer and main course, and three choices for dessert. I began my vegan adventure with the Queso Dip. It was by far the best queso dip I've ever had. I know what you're thinking ... how can a meatless queso dip possibly taste as good as one loaded with seasoned meat? I have no idea!!! But I know Planta succeeded in doing it! It consists of black beans, queso, guacamole, pickled vegetables, and crunchy tortilla chips. The 'queso' was a combination of carrots, sweet potatoes, and nutritional yeast.WOW!! It was insanely fresh and flavor-filled. My first taste of vegan food was off to a great start. The second-course options included Kelp Caesar Salad, Lettuce Wraps, Heart of Palm 'Crab' Cakes, and Meat Lovers Pizza. Having heard about the cauliflower tots, I decided to go with the lettuce wraps; another excellent choice on my part. The lettuce came out with crispy Korean cauliflower, tofu, kimchi, pickled cucumber, nori, and sesame. Absolutely mind-blowing.
There's nothing about Planta of which a solo diner should be wary. The food, service, and atmosphere are all on the high end of Miami Beach dining. The solo diner can sit quietly at a table and read, surf the internet, or simply watch the world float by through the enormous daydream-worthy windows.
Alter - Wynwood
Alter would have made my top five list for solo diners without me even tasting the food. It was only the second time in my ten month journey into dining out solo that my place setting was indeed set for one. There was no awkward, “Will you be dining alone with us this evening?” or “Are you expecting another guest?” Nope. I had made reservations for one, and they immediately sat me at my table prepared for one. Alter, one of many exceptionally innovative restaurants in Wynwood was a pleasure from beginning to end. The staff can best be described as a well-oiled culinary machine; the open kitchen is giving diners a front seat to the magic that is James Beard nominated Chef Brad Kilgore’s “Philharmagic.”
Alter is pretty small, and as such, there are no long tables with big groups. Instead, the dining area has a definite intimate feel; lots of tables for between two and four guests. The industrial-chic eatery pulses background music that is classic and old school; think Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and B.B. King.
Once again Miami Spice made it easy to taste of few of Atler’s most popular items. Having been forewarned that I would suck as a human being if I did not have the Soft Egg, I went with the Soft Egg. A curious combination of sea scallop espuma, truffle pearls, chive, and Siberian caviar. HOLY SH*T!!! It was one of the … if not the … most unique and insanely delicious dishes I’ve ever tasted!
My dinner continued with a magnificent Glazed Short Ribs for my main course, Mexican Chocolate for dessert, and a cheese course. All were served with perfect wine pairings.
Just when I thought the evening couldn't possibly get any better, a saw Chef Seth buzzing around the “pass”. I had to meet Chef de Cuisine Seth Blumenthal. You’d think that the man on Forbes “Miami’s Best Kept Secrets” list would be too busy to chat with a foodie … but he wasn’t! I asked him a few questions about the meal and he generously gave me a few minutes of his time. The cherry on top … Chef Seth let me take a selfie with him!
On this same night I would be seated next to another top-tier Miami chef … a lovely pastry chef from the Fountainblue and her husband celebrating an anniversary. She noticed my note-taking and the conversation grew from there. I was alone, but again, I was not lonely. It was a perfect solo dining experience in every possible way.
Written by Griddi B
Finding the Best Spots for Solo Dinning 🍽
🏝South Florida Restaurant Blogger 🍤🦀🐟🍷