With Miami’s close proximity to the water, there’s no question that Miami has access to some of the freshest fish in town — making the sushi some of the best around. Here are the top spots to get that sushi fix, from the traditional izakaya-style experience to over-the-top meals.Read More
Miami’s 19 Essential Sushi Restaurants
Where to find pristine nigiri, inventive rolls, and plentiful omakase menus
This longtime Stephen Starr restaurant in Bal Harbour Shops, which just moved into a brand new location on the top floor of the mall, continues to be a go-to destination for the Gucci-clad set hanks to chef Makoto Okuwa’s pristine sushi menu. In addition to the raw stuff, Makoto’s modern Japanese dishes, bincho charcoal robata, and surprisingly affordable lunch bento boxes have hungry shoppers making this a staple in their rotation.
Those missing their Sushi Deli and Japanese Market fix can now get a taste of both at Sushi Erika. Operated by the daughter of Sushi Deli’s owner Michio Kushi, Erika Kushi, it features a similar feel and menu as its predecessor housing just four tables and a small no-frills sushi bar. Favorites from Sushi Deli like the sweet shrimp, macadamia, and love rolls make an appearance on the menu, along with well-priced sashimi options while newcomers like octopus salad also be found.
While Wabi Sabi may be known for its pristine donburi bowls, sushi lovers can indulge in a la carte pieces of fish or opt for the Wabi Sabi Omakase with 12 pieces of nigiri and one maki of the chef’s choice.
Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market
Inspired by traditional izakayas, Dragonfly features a bevy of Japanese comfort food dishes like Japanese seafood pancakes with shrimp, octopus, and squid; garlic blue crab fried rice; neck-to-tail chicken tasting menu; and plenty of seafood and traditional sushi rolls.
Sushi Yasu Tanaka
Yes, one of Miami’s best omakase experiences can be found inside a food hall in the Miami Design District. Sushi Yasu Tanaka, from sushi chef Yasu Tanaka who formerly led The Den at Azabu, offers a pristine, nigiri-focused menu that can be purchased by the piece. But the real star is the $59 10-course omakase option, which is easily one of the best omakase deals in town.
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Led by a brother, sister, and father team lovingly referred to as the “Chang Gang,” Itamae is an ode to combining their Peruvian heritage with Japanese classics. Itamae has grown up significantly since its food hall beginnings, the now full fledged restaurant offers a menu of Nikkei influenced dishes filled with pristine fish like creative cebiches, delicate nigiri, and sophisticated plates like the daily catch topped with charred parmesan or uni tiradito. Its more casual sister sushi restaurant, B-Side by Itamae, located just a few blocks away in Wynwood is worth a visit too.
This stunning Wynwood restaurant is an ode to Japanese cuisine with a variety of a la carte fried dishes, soups, appetizers, and seasonal sushi, nigiri, and hand rolls offered by the piece in an architecturally stunning setting.
This aptly named omakase restaurant is literally “hidden” behind a taco shop in Wynwood. Once guests enter with a numeric code (provided when the reservation is made), they encounter an intimate, eight-seat restaurant serving up an elaborate menu featuring small Japanese appetizers, sashimi, and nigiri, all made with seasonal ingredients brought in from Japan. The meal is paired with sake, shochu, beer, and wine to wash it down with. Make sure to reserve early as seats book out months in advance.
This Austin import — which is described by Brett Anderson of the New York Times as “altering the city’s culinary identity” — has made its much anticipated debut in Miami. Located in the heart of Wynwood, it features creative sushi and sashimi made with fish flown in daily from the Tsukiji market, as well as makimono, yakimono, agemono, and other Japanese dishes in a chic and serene atmosphere. Those who want to give the entire menu a try, can opt for the 10-course chef’s tasting, a six-course signature tasting, and a six-course vegetarian tasting.
Omakai Sushi (Multiple locations)
Who says that well priced sushi can’t be found in Miami? Omakai Sushi offers a a proper omakase experience starting at just $26 a person, and running up to $50 for its deluxe, multi-course meal filled with seasonal fish. A variety of hand rolls, nigiri, and sashimi can also be ordered a la carte.
Pubbelly Sushi (Multiple locations)
This sushi comes from the award-winning Pubbelly boys, so guests can expect a menu of classic sushi dishes with their signature twist. Items like tuna pizza, bigeye tuna rolls, and miso bread pudding fill the menu, while the can’t-miss crab roll served with yuzu butter is as delicious as it is Instagram-worthy.
Hidden behind Koa Restaurant on South Beach, guests are escorted through a dark corridor that opens up into a theater-like den dining room where they’ll dine on a 16- to 18-course dinner created by executive chef Sebastian Labno. The menu rotates often with show-stopping dishes highlighting Kamakura’s Brazilian roots and Japanese training like lobster sashimi, uni with black truffle on crispy rice, A5 wagyu nigiri, and otoro uni truffle temaki. Reservations are required, and once booked, guests will receive special instructions on how to access the restaurant.
This tiny Downtown spot lacks all the bells and whistles of some of its ostentatious brethren — and that is just fine. The focus here is on the omakase experience that features a perfectly paced selection of nigiri include memorable surprises like Chawanmushi, a Japanese egg custard packed with flavor along with a nourishing miso soup to end things off. With an extremely limited seating capacity, reservations are a must.
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A chic, minimalist hotspot overlooking the Miami River, Zuma offers internationally acclaimed modern Japanese cuisine in the heart of Downtown. This decade-old restaurant, which just underwent a major refresh, was the first U.S. location from this Japanese chain but it’s still going strong. Whether diners are looking to scope out the celeb scene at the lounge, hang out at the always buzzy bar, or indulge in a massive sushi spread, there’s a vibe for everyone at this fan-favorite restaurant. Pro tip: its over-the-top weekend brunch gives guests an unlimited sampling of all of its best dishes at one price.
Azabu Miami Beach
This New York City import boasts a “hidden” sushi counter inside its main restaurant, which serves omakase using local and imported seafood from the top fish markets in Japan. Wash it back with one of the 40 imported whiskeys on hand. Keep an eye on its social media channels for announcements about a wide variety of interesting collaboration dinners with local chefs and purveyors.
After shutting down his spot on Sunny Isles, sushi chef Kevin Cory relocated his acclaimed Naoe to Brickell Key and he hasn’t missed a beat. While not an inexpensive meal by any means, the tiny, eight-seat Naoe offers one of the best sushi experiences in Miami. The meticulous meal rotates daily (no substitutions permitted) with dishes like stone crab nigiri, fresh uni marinated in salt water, unagi two ways, and a mystery ice cream served at the end of the meal. And to drink? Sake from the Cory’s family brewery in their Japanese hometown.
This South American Nikkei import has garnered a following for its raw items like nigiri sushi and creative rolls, alongside a vast array of ceviche, omakase platters, and larger dishes like bone-in ribeye, seafood rice skillets, served with an extensive cocktail menu and see-and-be-scene clientele.
Akashi Japanese Restaurant (Multiple locations)
This classic Japanese spot off U.S. 1 offers rolls, sushi, and Japanese sides that has kept the crowds coming back for more than 20 years. The well-priced menu has something for everyone, from the classics like a Dragon Roll and fried pork gyoza, to rolls like the Mermaid Roll filled with spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber, topped with masago, seaweed salad, and spicy mayo, making it a popular spot for people of all ages.
Shibui Japanese Restaurant
Those looking for their sushi fix in the ‘burbs will find the answer at Shibui. The Japanese restaurant serves a huge variety of fresh sushi, sashimi, and rolls that have been a hit for more than 40 years, complete with tatami seating on the floor just like it’s done in Japan.
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