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Sushi Yasu Tanaka By Masumura
Photograph: Courtesy MIA Market Sushi Yasu Tanaka By Masumura

The best omakase in Miami for an excellent dining experience

Let someone else do the thinking and the prepping—at the best Miami omakase experiences, all you have to do is eat.

By Virginia Gil
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Omakase in Miami seemingly exploded overnight. In the last year alone, our city has gone from maybe a handful of spots to a variety of Miami sushi restaurants offering the Japanese dining style, in which guests leave themselves in the hands of a trained chef and experience an elegant meal sans menu. The nature of omakase renders it pricey as ingredients are mostly seasonal and fish is caught fresh, but that doesn’t mean it all has to be expensive. We’re blessed with options that, while not quite one of Miami’s best cheap eats, are still affordable for a casual dinner. Though if you’re looking for a fine-dining experience, Miami’s got those too. Below we’ve rounded up our favorite Miami omakase, where the fish is just-caught, the rice rolled tight and leaving it up to the chef is the best decision you’ll make all night.

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Best omakase in Miami

The Den at Azabu Wagyu Series
Photograph: Courtesy The Den at Azabu Miami Beach

1. The Den at Azabu Miami Beach

Restaurants Japanese South of Fifth

Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant Azabu is home to one of Miami’s best omakase experiences offered in its secret room aptly called The Den. It’s spacious by speakeasy standards and boasts a large, three-sided counter that allows for a little privacy in a communal setting. Tokyo-trained chefs helm the decadent tasting menu comprising a variety of fresh sashimi and a rotating selection of grilled items for $150. Guests have the option to add uni and toro toro courses, and everyone absolutely should—the Den’s fish is about the freshest around.

NAOE
Photograph: Courtesy NAOE/Jeffery Salter

2. NAOE

Restaurants Brickell Key

You can thank Kevin Cory for bringing omakase to Miami. For more than five years, the chef/owner has been skilfully at work in his Brickell Key restaurant, NAOE, and is among the few to receive a rare Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star. His authentic approach and meticulous attention to detail are unparalleled: Cory flies in fish from Japan and even goes as far as to make his own soy sauce. Seatings are limited to eight people and reservations are tough.

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Mr. Omakase
Photograph: Courtesy Mr. Omakase

3. Mr. Omakase

A welcomed alternative to the stuffier omakase spots in Miami, Mr. Omakase is a laid-back counter-style restaurant in the heart of Downtown. Here, sushi chef Ryo Nato (formerly of Myumi) rolls his maki to an old-school hip-hop soundtrack while folks look on from the eight-seat bar. Dinner is available in three price tiers: 10 courses for $69; 14 courses for $89 or 18 courses for $119, which includes lots of premium sushi such as uni and chu-toro. It all depends on how hungry you are and your penchant for fancy proteins, but we found the middle option to be perfectly satisfying. Drinks are available á la carte and you get to pick your own ochoko from a selection of adorable glassware when you order sake, which is pretty fun.

Hiden
Photograph: Courtesy Hiden

4. Hiden

Restaurants Japanese Wynwood

One of the first hidden omakase restaurants on the scene, Hidden is tucked behind Wynwood’s Taco Stand, past an unmarked door that guests need a passcode to enter. You’ll punch in the numbers sent with your reservation confirmation and make your way to the eight-seat counter, where you’ll be greeted by two chefs ready to make your sushi dreams come true. It’s an upscale, intimate experience so you’ll get to know both the chefs, who make everything a mere few feet away, and your fellow diners. Expect lots of whispering in the quiet space but also engaging conversations as you’re guided through hot and cold dishes, featuring ingredients flown in from Japan. Dinner runs about $200 per person before drinks (which are pricey) and reservations are very tough so best to plan ahead.

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Hiyakawa
Photograph: Courtesy Hiyakawa/Michael Pisarri

5. Hiyakawa

Restaurants Japanese Midtown

The edgy Japanese restaurant draws from the eateries of Ginza, Tokyo’s posh entertainment district filled with upscale dining and shopping. It’s upmarket but not stuffy, and so is the omakase experience. Priced at $175, it includes three kitchen appetizers, 12 pieces of nigiri, one maki, a miso soup and a dessert. It’s quite a lot of food and a great way to sample the restaurant’s heavy hitters. Omakase is served at the counter while a-la-carte dining is available at the table.

Nossa Omakase
Photograph: Eduardo Hernandez Mendoza

6. Nossa Omakase

You’ll want to buckle in for this experience because it is most certainly a dining event. Your journey begins at Koa Poke and Burrito, where you’ll receive instructions on how to find the omakase speakeasy. Once you do (we won’t spoil the surprise), you’ll be ushered into a secret bar for a welcome cocktail and then guided to your final destination, an expansive omakase counter with spotlights hovering over each seat. This meal was designed for Instagram and the lighting isn’t the only hint: Each course is painstakingly prepared by executive chef Max Kamakura, who’s Japanese-Brazilian, and stars top-notch ingredients, like the smoking lobster sashimi, uni with black truffle on crispy rice and A5 wagyu nigiri. Dinner runs $225 to $250 and includes about 16 to 18 courses that highlight both Portuguese and Japanese cuisines.

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Wabi Sabi
Photograph: Virginia Gil

7. Wabi Sabi by Shuji

Restaurants Japanese Miami

This inviting, unassuming restaurant in Shorecrest is known for its exquisite chirashi bowls—big, delicious plates of artfully assembled fish and rice. But what few know is that it also offers an intimate omakase experience. Book a seat at the counter and for $100, you’ll get 14 courses (plus a maki) of the same fresh nigiri (plus a few extras) prepared right before you. There’s also the option for chirashi (over rice) and nigiri (just fish) tastings available at different price points. Hand rolls, maki and other sushi restaurant staples can be ordered a la carte as well.

Uchi Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Uchi Miami

8. Uchi Miami

Chef Tyson Cole’s legendary sushi restaurant in Austin took too long to find its way to Miami if you ask us. But now that it’s here, everyone should beeline to it for the chef’s tasting. Hand-selected by chef de cuisine Dina Butterfield, the frequently changing selection of cold and hot plates, as well as sashimi, is designed to showcase the best of Uchi and it’s coursed out so everyone can get a taste. Items are seasonal and fresh but some past favorites you might expect to see are the wagyu ringo (short rib with smoked apple kimchi) and the cauliflower, an above-average rendition of the ubiquitous veggie with curried raisins, gruyère and cashews.

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Sushi Yasu Tanaka By Masumura
Photograph: Courtesy MIA Market

9. Sushi Yasu Tanaka By Masumura

Restaurants Food court Design District

The Den’s chef Yasu Tanaka struck out on his own with Sushi Yasu Tanaka By Masumura at MIA Market. His spot inside the Design District food hall serves an affordable—and delicious—10-piece omakase that’s just $59 and includes fish options like akami, chu-toro and double-smoked salmon. The casual setting allows for a lower price point without sacrificing quality. Similar to a chef’s choice menu, the eatery offers a number of nigiri platters with assorted tuna, salmon and the day’s fresh catch.

Ahi Sushi
Photograph: Virginia Gil

10. Ahi Sushi

Chef Bas’ unassuming omakase restaurant is just up the street from his buzzy Thai spot, Lung Yai, and the two couldn’t be more different. Ahi is a six-seat counter serving sushi and poke bowls for lunch and a tasting menu at dinnertime. It’s a traditional omakase experience with nigiri and sashimi plates, plus the option to add á-la-carte dishes if you’re looking for a meal that’s more substantial (you know who you are). A sous chef will show you a picture of the fish you’re about to eat before the sushi chef puts it down—admittedly weird at first but amusing as the night wore on. One very important detail to note: Ahi is a BYOB restaurant and servers will gladly chill as much sake, champagne and wine (or whatever you pair your sushi with) to enjoy with your meal.

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