Published On: Tue, Oct 3rd, 2023

The South Beach Seafood Festival Returns!  OCT 18 – 21, 2023

By Kenny Spahn

Get ready, fellow Foodies (especially you Seafoodies) — The South Beach Seafood Festival is almost here!  Now celebrating its 11th  consecutive year (except for the pandemic break), the South Beach Seafood Festival has rapidly become one of the area’s favorite culinary festivals. Now considered the official kickoff of south Florida’s famed Stone Crab Season, the famed festival features four days of food, fun, culinary competitions, creative cocktails, South Beach scenery, live entertainment, and general party-going for all.  The culinary extravaganza has also garnered impressive national recognition, including the “Top Food Festival in the US” by U.S. News, Travel Channel’s “Best Seafood Festival,” Top 5 Chef Competitions” by Food Network, “Top Foodie Event in the FALL” by Forbes Travel, and “Best Chef Beach Bash” by Ocean Drive. Even better, it all goes to benefit CI Foundation’s EAT SMART program.  This year’s bash  kicks off Wednesday, October 18, and culminates in the signature South Beach Seafood Festival along South Beach’s scenic Lummus Park on Saturday, October 21.

Grand Tasting on The Beach (Saturday, Oct 21):

The Festival’s signature event, spanning four blocks on the Beach features ‘pop-up cafés’ featuring seafood sensations of all kinds from the area’s finest restaurants, along with live music stages, interactive sponsor experiences, beach games, and general frivolity amongst fellow partygoers. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to sample dozens of south Florida’s hottest restaurants and top chefs amidst this beachside party venue. This year’s featured eateries include Aida Mexican Seafood, A Fish Called Avalon, Billy G Catering, Café Avanti, Café Bernie, Cielito Artisan Pops,  Cilantro 27, CJ’s Crabs Shack, Crepemaker, Ella’s Oyster Bar, Latin House, Mouthgasm Sweet Shop, Pubbelly Sushi, RED The Steakhouse, Sala’o Cuban, Sim Sushi & Tapas, The Baked Bear, The Lobster Shack,  The Social Club, Tacos & Tattoos, The Wagyu Bar by Meat N’ Bone, Wynwood Parlor, and more. In addition, the GOYA VIP Culinary Pavilion offers unlimited free  samplings from American SocialArea 31, Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, Billy G Catering, Goya Foods, Doral International Foods, Estiatorio Milos, Le Chick, MAU Miami, Old Lisbon, Osaka Nikkei, Playa, Rum Room, Seaborn, Smashburger,  Tartufo D’Istria, The Lazy Oyster, The Wagyu Bar by Meat N’ Bone, Viva La Pasta, and more!  VIP guests can also enjoy specialty wine tastings, live college football games on the jumbo screens, specialty sponsor booths; plus jam to the loud tunes of the featured onsite DJ and socialize with fellow VIP partygoers.   ALL tickets include unlimited Open Bar samplings at any of the 30+ bar stations located throughout the entire event!

But wait, there’s more!  Before Saturday’s signature Grand Tasting, the Festival kicks off with 3 days of preliminary activities:

AN EVENING AT JOE’S STONE CRAB (Wed, Oct 18):  The legendary Joe’s Stone Crab hosts this exclusive five-course meal showcasing Executive Chef Andre Bienvenu’s cuisine, paired with fine wines curated by master sommeliers, plus special tastings of Jack Daniels’ Single Barrel.  NOTE: Tickets usually sell out quickly!  Where: Joe’s Stone Crab; 11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL

CRABS, SLABS, & CABS  (Thurs, Oct 19):  This one-of-a-kind fine dining experience features an exquisite 5-course formal dinner in a tropical oasis setting. Several of Miami’s finest chefs will join GOYA’s Executive Chef Fernando Desa, each creating their own unique international take on the traditional ‘surf n’ turf’ dish. Limited to 150 guests, attendees will explore flavors from around the world as each chef presents a different course showcasing their own delicious interpretation of the delicious surf n turf pairing.

Where: The  High Tide Beach Club at Miami’s Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel.

Chef Showdown  (Fri, Oct 20): “Llllet’s get ready to rumble” as  20 of the area’s  top Chefs battle knife-to-knife in ten competitive seafood rounds during the ultimate live culinary battle and beach bash. All 10 of last year’s winning chefs will be returning to defend their title against fierce competitors, reliving old rivalries and creating new legends. The Chef Showdown competitions include:

  • Battle Salmon: Returning champ Chef Nicole Fey of Deerfield Beach’s Ocean 234  vs American Social’s Chef Ryan Leonard
  • Battle Shrimp: Latin House Grill’s Chef Sergio Mazuelos vs Golden Rule’s Chef Generric Kyles
  • Battle Oyster: Two-Time Champion (2021 & 2022), UCHI Miami’s Chef Cristian Canencio vs Joliet’s Danielle Veit
  • Battle Fusion: Two-Time Champion (2021 & 2022) Tanuki’s Chef Gustavo Montes vs SIMS Sushi & Tapas Bar’s Chef Carlos Flores Torre
  • Battle CevicheAida Mexican Seafood’s Chef Mauricio Hernandez vs Cilantro 27’s Chef Nilton Castillo
  • Battle Tuna:  Chef Raymond Fiorelloof Seawell Fish n’ Oyster’s vs Billy G Catering’s Chef Andres Garcia
  • Battle SushiPaperfish Sushi’s Michael Asalie vs Sushi | Bar Miami Beach’s Chef Francis Arguilla
  • Battle Surf n’ Turf: Two-Time Champion  Rusty Pelican’s Chef Fiorela Cornejo vs Rum Room’s Chef Samantha Cruz
  • Battle TacoTacos & Tattoos’ vs La Santa Taqueria’s Chef Omar Montero vs Call Me Cuban’s Chef Michael Calvo (3-way battle)
  • Battle Caviar presented by Sterling Caviar: Perl by Chef Ip’s Chef Isaac Perlman vs NOMA Beach at Redfish’s Chef Donatella Arpaia
  • Battle Crab: 3-Time Champion Beaker & Gray’s Brian Nasajon vs Fox’s Lounge Chef Roxana Garcia

“The South Beach Seafood Festival has become an integral part of Miami’s cultural calendar, drawing locals and visitors from around the world to celebrate the city’s unique culinary landscape and laid-back beach culture,” notes Valerie Roy, Director of Marketing and Client Strategy at CI Management, the Festival’s creator. “This year’s event promises to be the most memorable edition yet, offering an unparalleled seafood experience that will tantalize taste buds, ignite the senses, and create lasting memories.”

This Foodie Festival also supports CI Foundation’s EAT SMART program, a 501 ©(3) nonprofit program that provides healthy meals and nutritional guidance to the local community and Florida’s youth through programs in Miami-Dade County public schools.

The South Beach Seafood Festival takes place Saturday, Oct 21 at Lummus Park (14th & Ocean Drive) along the beach in Miami Beach from 12:00 noon – 7:00 pm.  Ticket prices for Saturday’s grand event are only $60 for General Admission, $160 for VIP.  ALL tickets include complimentary all-day open bar (21+)  Also check out the package deals and Weekend Pass. For more information and to purchase tickets to any of the events, visit Follow along on Instagram at @sobeseafoodfest and Facebook @SOBESeafoodFest.   Note: These events often sell out early – so order your tickets now!

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