Looking for the best Italian restaurants Miami has to offer? We’ve got you covered with a bevy of delightful, rustic cucinas serving up all the Italian classics, from Miami’s best pizza and pasta to fantastic risotto and veal chops. From popular Miami Beach restaurants to hip Wynwood restaurants, Miami’s chefs are doing Italian right. Use this guide to make sure you hit up the best—and only the best—Italian restaurants in Miami.
Best Italian restaurants in Miami
If you’re hoping for a star sighting, your chances will be greatly improved by taking in a meal—and the gorgeous decor—at Cecconi’s, the open-to-the-public Italian restaurant on the ground floor of the members-only Soho Beach House. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Miami outpost of the Venetian original serves up the same inspired dishes, from braised lamb ravioli with peas and pecorino to veal saltimbocca with sautéed spinach.
Rustic and homey, this off-the-beaten-path Italian (from the same folks behind the Pubbelly family of restaurants) is full of locals looking to escape the madness of South Beach. Luckily, they’ve found a place to do it where the laid-back vibe is totally authentic and the food is damn good, too. Antipasti includes a creamy burrata cheese (locally made) served with pickled aubergine. A small pasta menu ticks all the right flavor notes (the short rib lasagna is a customer favorite). Pizza, too, is dependably delicious and well thought out, with fried eggs, meatballs and mushroom fricassée as toppings.
For a genuine, totally immersive Italian experience head to Riviera Focacceria Italian, where the stracchino cheese is imported weekly, the pasta is fresh and the pesto and focaccia are made much the same way they are in Genoa where they originated. The industrial decor feels deliberately understated so as to not detract from the delicious, Ligurian-inspired menu that includes dishes like Mandilli di Seta al Pesto with Riviera’s homemade sweet basil peso, and the Pansoti al Sugo di Noci, little cheese-filled pockets covered in a delicate walnut sauce. Lunchtime and weekends are busy given its location in the bustling Shops at Midtown Miami, though Riviera’s enclosed patio and selection of namesake focaccias are idyllic for a quick respite from the crowds.
Award-winning chef Scott Conant’s wildly popular Italian restaurant remains a solid choice for classic, home-cooked dishes like his grandmother used to make. You’ll be tempted to dive in to the bread basket filled with stuffed rolls and pillowy focaccia, but save room for starters like the creamy polenta with fricassee of truffled mushrooms. Though if you order just one thing, let it be the tomato-basil spaghetti the restaurant has become known for. It’s served perfectly al dente in a neat, slurpable mound. Oh, and that bread you have left over? Use it to sop up every last drop of tomato sauce.
One of the city’s finest and fussiest big-bucks restaurants, Casa Tua is a sleek and chic country Italian-style establishment set in a refurbished 1925 Mediterranean-style two-story house. It has several dining areas, including an outdoor garden, comfy Ralph Lauren-esque living room and a communal eat-in kitchen. The lamb chops are stratospheric in price ($40), but orgasmic in taste. After dinner, head upstairs to the lounge (if staff let you—the place is technically a members-only club), where the beautiful people commune over $15 cocktails.
One of the few restaurants in Miami with an actual view of the water, this pricey pasta joint is ideal for fans of garlic, truffles and homemade pasta that’s a far cry from Ragu. Spaghetti alla carbonara will set you back $27, while risotto with porcini mushrooms is a divine culinary creation with an ungodly price tag of $37. If you really want to splurge, there’s a filet of beef with sautéed foie gras for $55. Service is old school, verging on stuffy, but what you’re paying for here is the view. Considering Miami’s volatile real estate market, it makes sense.
This charming Italian restaurant has a woody, rustic setting—the building is actually an 18th-century barn relocated from Vermont to Downtown Miami. Attractions include excellent wines, pastas and salads, child-friendly facilities such as bibs and high chairs, and a sumptuous Sunday brunch. For gourmet grub on the go, there’s a fantastic Italian marketplace.
For a Sunday supper-quality meal more suitable for your Saturday night dinner plans head to Bianca, the swanky Italian restaurant inside the Delano South Beach. Reserve a seat in the door terrace overlooking the hotel’s pool, both to take in the scenery and to remind yourself you may want to rethink that bikini tomorrow. Temptations like the meatballs served with 12-hour gravy, steak tartare and duck confit ravioli are worth the indulgence.
This Wynwood pioneer introduced authentic Italian to the neighborhood way before it was even safe to walk the streets past sunset. Now it’s bustling round the clock, with everyone from artists to young professionals to tourists clamoring for a seat. Its oversized windows and outdoor terrace make it the perfect place to people watch over thin and crispy pies (the dolce e piccante with figs, gorgonzola, honey and hot peppers has been a favorite since day one), pasta and a variety of grilled Italian entrees, such as the traditional salmon with lentils.
Dining at Proof Pizza and Pasta brings up a tough predicament: double up on pasta or save room for dessert? You’ll want seconds of dishes like the angel hair with crab, Calabrian chili and lemon breadcrumbs and bucatini with spicy pork sausage, broccoli rage and pecorino, which are balanced and sufficient in size. The shaved brussels sprouts salad with apple cider, gorgonzola, pecans and dried cranberries is great as an in-between course—before moving on to an oversized macaron ice-cream sandwich in a range of changing flavors that have included blueberry cheesecake and dark chocolate.