Casa Tua
Photograph: Casa Tua by Shawn O’Connor

The best Italian restaurants in Miami right now

Get ready for a nap, or a full-on scene. This one was tough, but we hunted down the 21 best Italian restaurants in Miami.

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Miami’s representation of Italian restaurants is not what it used to be—and that’s a very good thing. Just a few years back, going out for a plate of pasta meant venturing to a dimly lit strip mall where you might find yourself seated next to friends of your grandma. In a short span of time, though, some of Miami’s finest chefs and name-brand restaurant groups from around the globe opened Italian joints that have quickly risen to rank among the city’s best restaurants. They range from incredible pizza places and chef-driven concepts to some of the best classic Italian on this side of the Atlantic. Where can you possibly find these gems (along with great wine and quintessential spritz aperitifs)? Read on to discover our up-to-the-moment picks for the best Italian restaurants in Miami. 

RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in South Beach

Best Italian restaurants in Miami

  • Italian
  • Buena Vista
  • price 2 of 4

Perhaps you’re wondering why we’d put a place that doesn’t even claim to be Italian on a list of the best Italian restaurants in Miami. Just go there, order Luci’s chopped salad, the baked clams with nduja and lemon, saffron tagliatelle and pappardelle with rabbit, and finish with crispy tiramisu. No, these aren’t dishes transported from the Old World—they are better, creative and delicious. Trust us: This is stellar, Italian-inspired cooking.

Time Out tip: Though it’s nearly impossible to book Boia De reservations online, you actually have a decent chance of scoring walk-in seats if you arrive early, right around opening time.

  • South Beach
  • price 3 of 4

Rustic, dark, cozy—Michael Pirolo’s Macchialina is a laid-back, family-style trattoria serving homey Italian food. It’s in the heart of touristy South Beach but regularly packs in the locals—even the body-conscious ones. Some might say Pirolo’s handmade pasta and fresh seasonal specials are transcendental. First time at the restaurant? The ultra-creamy wild mushroom polenta and the cavatelli with baby meatballs are required for initiation.

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  • Italian
  • Coral Gables
  • price 3 of 4

The folks from Michelin tossed around stars in Miami for the first time in 2022, and somehow they overlooked this gem of an outpost of a D.C. power crowd favorite. Miami’s Fiola is a restaurant that seems almost faultless: a staff that knows the ideal level of attentive but not obtrusive service, a wine program as good as any and cocktails made with serious care. All that is good and fine but then there’s also the creative and often expertly executed dishes put out by chef Danny Ganem, a Miami native who likes to reinvent and rethink dishes, like his served-upright lasagna with short rib and, if you can believe it, eel. All this greatness will cost you—a hundred bucks a head, easy—so just remember Fiola next time dad or the boss offers to pick up the bill.

  • Italian
  • Coral Gables
  • price 3 of 4

Miami native and among the 305’s favorite local chefs, Giorgio Rapicavoli tapped into his Italian roots when he opened Luca in 2021. We’ve yet to stumble on anything on this menu that’s not great, but the thing not to miss is the patate fritte, balls of fried potato dotting a custardy cream fonduta with a shaving of black truffle. Where to go from there? Try the tuna caprese with preserved tomato, panzanella salad, grilled monkfish with fennel or the memorable cacio e pepe. 

Time Out tip: If the weather’s nice, try grabbing a sidewalk spot on the charming, pedestrian-only Giralda Plaza, which feels a whole lot like Rapicavoli has taken you with him to Italy.

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  • Italian
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

Take a seat outside, smack in the center of Sunset Harbour, which has quietly turned into a popping locals’ favorite neighborhood in Miami Beach. Here, the menu is a mix of semi-authentic Italian and Italian-American classics, dreamed up as a collaboration of Pubbelly Sushi’s José Mendín and former Lucali chef Santo Agnello. Start with the beef carpaccio that’s a combination of textures and an umami explosion with truffles shaved over top; a branzino well grilled and served on a brothy bowl of clams; an eggplant parm bubbling in a cauldron of gooey cheese.

Order this: Casa Isola’s rigatoni with vodka sauce might be the best version of it on the beach—or at least the most reasonably priced (hear that, Carbone?).

  • Pizza
  • Brickell
  • price 2 of 4

This tiny Brickell storefront in the shadow of so many neighboring towers is definitely one of the city’s best pizza spots. And pizza is Italian, so we say on that fact alone it qualifies for this list. But even those who hate on pizza (do they exist?) could build one fine Italian feast from Stanzione’s starters. For instance, we tried the eggplant parm, kale caesar and salumi board with a burrata and prosciutto hero thrown in for good measure. Now that's a fine way to spend an evening. 

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  • Italian
  • Design District
  • price 3 of 4

The Major Food Group restaurant chain brought its Contessa concept to town in 2022 and added a spot as fashionable as the Design District around it. The place is a nostalgic interior designer’s dream, full of peaches and teals and antique-looking furniture. Immediately busy with pretty people, Contessa also delivers with the food, a collection of northern Italian favorites and also new inventions, like a squash carpaccio of thin-sliced butternut in a sweet-sour sauce.

Order this: One of the well-aged steaks, the tomatoey-buttery lobster pasta and the ice creams, made in-house and served in a silver dish as evocative of another era as the space around it.

Considering how hard it is to get a table, how the bill will likely be more than your next car payment, and all the people who won’t stop talking about it, you might head into Carbone with the intention of not liking it. But then you start off at the lavishly decorated bar with a martini that’s exactly what it should be, you’re led to your table by a waitstaff who perfects formality, and you realize this place really is something special. The food is no less so: big plates of ribs and peppers, linguine and clams, and the dish they’re known for, a spicy vodka sauce clung to al dente rigatoni. Yes, this place is a scene, but you’ll suddenly want to be part of it.

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  • South Beach
  • price 4 of 4

One of the city’s finest and fanciest restaurants, Casa Tua is a sleek and chic, Italian country-inspired spot housed in a refurbished, 1925 Mediterranean-style home. There are many reasons to dine at Casa Tua, the least of which is the food, which is excellent. Go to brag to your friends, to burn a hole in your wallet (lamb chops are $52, really), to say you did, to charm the pants off your date. See? We just came up with four sound arguments for trying this place at least once.

  • Italian
  • Coral Gables
  • price 3 of 4

Latin America’s Da Silva Hospitality Group landed in the U.S. with Zucca, putting down solid Sicilian-style roots. For the menu, think shared starters continuing on to steaks served like in Florence, dictionary-thick and sliced before arriving at your table. Miami’s Cocktail Cartel handles mixology at Zucca’s bar, or try something from the wine list, which goes deep with over 1,000 bottles to choose from. 

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  • Italian
  • Midtown
  • price 3 of 4

Chef Marco Giugliano began working at his family's Napoli restaurant at 15 years old, but don't expect that these days he serves family-style red sauce dishes most Americans associate with Southern Italy. Instead, Giugliano seems on a mission to tear down and reinvent, tweezer-plating his way to a yellowfin tartare with sunchoke chips that looks gallery ready, a soft egg with black truffle that’s oozy and rich and an octopus tentacle dolled up with sauces and veg. It’s not all unfamiliar: the near-perfect tagliolini comes surprisingly simple, with French butter and black truffle.

  • Italian
  • Miami Beach
  • price 3 of 4

The ground-floor restaurant of the members-only Soho House is the only area that’s open to the public. But you’re not there for the clout, you’re there to eat well. Dining with friends? Split the black truffle pizza. On a date? The large buttonwood trees and string lights make for an idyllic, romantic setting.

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  • Italian
  • Aventura

Sorrento-born Angelo Elia inched his way south, opening restaurants in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale before landing in Aventura. It’s a splashy, modern space with crystal chandeliers, leather banquettes and folks dressed to the nines. Yet despite all the glitz and glam, Angelo’s menu skews traditional with classic Italian dishes like the kind chef’s grandmother taught him how to make when he was a young boy. Try the chicken parm and pasta a la vodka or lighten things up with an order of the octopus and the branzino. Whether you’re saving your calories or ready to splurge, Angelo’s won’t send you home hungry.

  • French
  • South Beach
  • price 4 of 4

Technically this is an ex-pat from France, but Bagatelle has plenty of Mediterranean dishes that qualify as Italian, like the tartare served in little pie crusts and dusted with preserved egg, or the eggplant parm, rolled up into tiny cigars, grilled and sitting pretty on a red and white sauce. This is also the place on this list that wins a special award: best Italian restaurant to dance on the tables. The more sedate early reservations give way to a late-night vibe here that’s a downright scene, with a hard-pumping band and banquettes equipped with cushions made to withstand high heels.

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  • Italian
  • Coral Gables
  • price 2 of 4

Come once and they’ll ask you if you want the same seat over by the window, maybe bring over a welcome glass of something bubbly. Do you want to see the specials board yet or just enjoy the sunset? By the way, the chef is adding truffles to a few dishes. Oh, you just want the same thing you always get, the spaghetti with bottarga and porchetta for your date? It’s like this at either location, Coral Gables or Midtown, where you’ll feel like you’ve found a new neighborhood Italian place, even if this isn’t your neighborhood. It’s good, it’s affordable, the service is spot-on, and, yeah, let’s go again next week.

  • Italian
  • South Miami
  • price 2 of 4

Chefs Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis prove they know their way around an Italian menu with this spot that’s conveniently adjacent to the couple’s popular chicken spot, Root & Bone. From the pizza (get the sunflower topped with actual seeds) and the flatbreads (the mushroom is the move) to the crusty bread served alongside mama’s tender meatballs, the dough is the star at Mi’talia—flavorful, chewy and with just the right amount of pull.

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  • Italian
  • Design District
  • price 3 of 4

MC Kitchen was a pioneer in the then-quiet Design District when it opened its industrial-meets-cozy dining room in 2012. It's still putting out tasty pasta (the strozzapreti with sausage and mushrooms is a winner), creative pizzas (black truffle and brussels sprouts, seriously), and an arm’s length list of desserts (or just go for the fancy cheese plate, because we are in the Design District after all).

  • Seafood
  • Coconut Grove
  • price 2 of 4

This darling, family-owned ristorante doesn’t look like much from the outside. But inside, it’s abuzz with the sound of clinking glasses and fast-talking Italian servers taking orders and maneuvering large plates of fresh pasta about the cozy dining room. Sapore di Mare does the cheese-wheel preparation justice, tossing each dish in individually sized rounds of aged parmesan. Even if you think you don’t want them, get it with truffles. No one ever regrets ordering truffles.

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  • Italian
  • Midtown
  • price 2 of 4

There aren’t many Ligurian restaurants in Miami, but this one holds down the category serving all sorts of house-made focaccia and garlicky pesto signature of the Italian region. Riviera ships the stracchino cheese used in its popular stuffed focaccia straight from Italy every week. For food that’s more authentic, you’ll have to hop a flight to Europe.

  • Italian
  • Downtown
  • price 2 of 4

Fratelli’s regional Italian dishes lure people from all over to Downtown for its smiley servers and honest, homestyle cooking. The popular fiocchi de pera—tender pockets of fresh pasta filled with pear and taleggio cheese—is so good you’ll want to swim in the creamy butter and sage sauce and lick the plate once you’re done.

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  • Downtown
  • price 4 of 4

To sum it up, this Downtown stalwart is Italian fine dining, Miami-style. You go for the uninterrupted water views, $30-plus pasta dishes and servers who occasionally pretend you’re not even there. But wow, ain’t it pretty. Divine culinary creations at ungodly prices, like the salt-crusted branzino sold at market price (roughly upwards of $80). If you’re graduating, celebrating a milestone or your employer is footing the bill, this is the place to splurge.

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