Everybody knows about Miami’s Latin flair, but the Magic City has a superlative selection of authentic Chinese food in nearly all its neighborhoods too. Plan an upscale night along Miami Beach’s row of swanky hotels on Collins Avenue with celebrity chefs like Michael Chow, or take a jaunt to the western edge of the city for a more down-home experience. Miami is the surprise place to be for everything from dim sum to contemporary Chinese cuisine.
Hakkasan is one of the crown jewels in the Miami dining scene. Its menu of authentic Chinese food has earned Michelin stars every year since opening in 2003. Sprawled within the gorgeous Fontainebleau Hotel, this elegant eatery is perfect for celebrating everything or nothing. Admire the muted ecru frieze panels depicting Cantonese scenes, while sharing Peking duck with caviar or jasmine-tea smoked ribs. Private dining is available for special occasions too.
Known to locals simply as Midtown Chinese, this contemporary take on Chinese food is the brainchild of the owner of Sakaya, another wildly popular Miami restaurant. An open kitchen full of fire and flaming red decor looks traditional, but cuisine is haute here. Lamb spiced with cumin is the perfect complement for chewy, tasty wontons.
Ever been to Westchester? It’s a tiny neighborhood to the west of Coral Gables, just far enough from the action of Miami Beach or Midtown to feel like a fun adventure, but still easy to get to. It’s also the home of Tropical Chinese, or as Miamians claim, “the best dim sum in the city.” People here get truly riled up over Tropical. It’s a modest, ultra-tasty place that’s been around for over 30 years and still packs the tables.
Mr. Chow: Miami Beach
At the other end of the spectrum, Mr. Chow delivers an immaculately staged culinary experience. Celebrity restaurateur Michael Chow leads his servers in rousing rounds of shouting positivity and claims that “Chinese cuisine is like a symphony.” Dishes are served family style, although the Beijing duck is considered some of the best in the world. Come for the food, but stay for the decor—the restaurant features a 123-foot gold-leaf and Swarovski crystal chandelier designed by Michael Chow himself.
Tony Chan’s Water Club
Back on the city side in Edgewater, the district along Biscayne Bay that runs parallel to Midtown, Tony Chan’s Water Club serves authentic Chinese food alongside experimental dishes for the ultimate foodie. Try quail eggs in bamboo cups or braised abalone and sea cucumbers, and select from an extensive wine list. Located inside the Grand Doubletree Hotel, the restaurant features sweeping views of the shimmering bay while you eat.