A great sushi place can be hard to find, especially when you’re not based in West Coast cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles where options are authentic and abundant, thanks to California’s proximity to Japan. There are quite a few sushi spots in Miami that are good, but which are the best ones? We did that research for you so you never have to waste a meal at a mediocre place. Get your chopsticks ready because these 10 restaurants are so, so tasty and live up to all the hype.
With locations throughout Miami (as well as one outpost in Aventura), Pubbelly Sushi is a local favorite in the city since 2011. The restaurant uses fresh ingredients to craft inventive rolls, like the Araña and the Heat, as well as delectable Latin fusion items like tostones con ceviche and Korean bravas (a Spanish potato dish updated with kimchi, cilantro aioli and crispy garlic). Cocktails are strong here and the dessert menu is creative, though we won’t judge if you just go for the traditional mochi ice cream.
This omakase-style sushi spot in Wynwood is hidden inside Taco Stand, a Mexican restaurant, and isn’t cheap (but also isn’t incredibly pricey) at $170 a pop. Diners must make a reservation and are sent a code for entry to a secret door on the evening of their reservation. There are two seatings at Hiden Tuesday through Saturday (7 p.m. and 10 p.m.), and the restaurant fits eight people comfortably for an intimate evening. Prepare to be wowed here. The chef cultivates an authentic 15-course experience that features fresh fish flown in from Japan overnight. This is definitely not your typical sushi dinner in the Magic City, but it’s one you won’t soon forget.
Once a sushi chef at Nobu, Chef Bee worked his way up in the sushi world until he opened Oishi Thai in North Miami in 2005. The nearly 15-year-old restaurant merges Japanese and Thai flavors and has been rated one of the best in Miami consistently by a few different food critics. The menu is classic and simple here and includes a number of hot and cold appetizers, affordable sushi and sashimi and Japanese dishes like chicken katsu and ramen soup. Grab a bottle of cold sake, which is a little pricier than the food items on Chef Bee’s menu, but why not? Save in one area, splurge in the other!
Dining at this five-star, 10-year-old restaurant on Brickell Key is a treat. Specializing in natural Japanese cuisine, NAOE switches up the menu nightly and charges $220 plus a 20 percent gratuity per person and you can’t eat in a rush here. One meal takes two to three hours to complete and Chef Kevin Cory, who studied the art of Japanese food extensively in Kyoto and then Toyama, prepares it with care from start to finish (if you have dietary restrictions you must let the restaurant know 10 days in advance). With 17 seats and no menu, you never know what you’ll get here, but one thing’s for sure: it’ll always be a pleasant surprise and the kind of experience not found anywhere else in Miami or even Florida.
It’s always a party at this Midtown Miami sushi spot. Whether you end up here on accident or on purpose, you’ll probably have to wait a bit so if you are able to make a reservation ahead of time, do. Weekend brunch is the best here. Sushi is available, as well as well as specialty rolls, ceviche, a raw bar and traditional brunch items like waffles, pancakes and avocado toast. With strong craft cocktails, some available by the pitcher, you’ll be flying high all day long and ready for nap by the time you’re finished. Brunch at SUGARCANE is served Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. And if you like it so much you want to try it in another city, SUGARCANE has locations in Brooklyn and Las Vegas, too.
Tucked away in a Bird Road strip mall, Matsuri is always packed and has been compared to cozy and traditional sushi spots you might find when traveling to Tokyo. Lunch specials are especially wonderful here, with bento boxes that include miso soup, a salad, a California roll and an entry for just around $10. They say when dining on Japanese food, it’s a good sign if there are plenty of pleased Japanese patrons and at Matsuri, this rings true. Whether visiting Miami from Japan, New York or Colombia, diners find the food here to be consistent and authentic.
This is one of those sushi spots that’s open late and consistently good. And with multiple locations including South Beach and Brickell, you’re never too far from a Moshi Moshi restaurant when you need one. Get an order of shishito peppers and fried shrimp shumai to start. Then take your pick — there are so many delicious menu items from house specialties and traditional rolls to Japanese pasta and sushi a la carte.
This family-owned and operated restaurant in the Sunset suburbs is open for dinner seven days a week and cooks up traditional Japanese fare as well as fusion dishes with inspiration taken from other foodie countries like Peru. You have the option to take your shoes off and sit on the floor to eat, Japanese style, at Shibui. Katsu dinners, as well as stir-fried dinners are on the menu as are teriyaki dinners, tempura dinners and sushi/nigiri dinners. It’s a fun place to celebrate a birthday (or anything, really!) if you want to try something different.
You’d never guess this super authentic Japanese restaurant would be inside a hotel, but lo and behold, Azabu is located in the Marriott Stanton South Beach not too far from Ocean Drive. It feels worlds away, though. Dimly lit, quiet and beautifully understated, Azabu has a Michelin-starred sister location in Tribeca which inspired its Tokyo comfort food concept. Japanese fried chicken and a highball are the way to go, although anything you order here will be equally amazing and bursting with flavor. Within the restaurant is an 11-seat reservation-only bar that offers omakase-style dining with fresh fish flown in overnight from Japan.
This tiny, classic dining room in Pinecrest feels like you’re in actual Japan, and we don’t mean fast-paced and sophisticated Tokyo. If you were to get on a train from Kyoto to a remote village half an hour away and stumble upon a small restaurant amongst hills and green fields, this would absolutely remind you of Sakura. This shopping center restaurant is easy to miss, but you’ll be glad you found it. Choose from a selection of rolls, sushi and sashimi combos or a bento box as you sip on a hot green tea. Specials vary from day to day, but never disappoint.