May 2019: Supremely fresh, delicious raw fish is just what Miami’s scorching-hot temps call for. Luckily, this month brings with it several new options for delicious sushi in Miami. There are showstopping chirashi bowls at Wabi Sabi inside Time Out Market Miami, a 60-minute designer omakase experience at the Versace Mansion and a secret sushi den that’s impossible to get into but so worth the effort to enjoy the sumptuous meal that awaits inside Hiden.
Remember when finding the best sushi in Miami meant driving far distances or waiting for hours at one of the few local options? Now the Japanese favorite is as ubiquitous as Cuban restaurants in Miami. You can go no-frills fish in South Beach or haute cuisine in Downtown Miami and Brickell, where tasting menus give adventurous eaters a chance to surprise their palates. If you’re somewhere in-between and find yourself with a craving for sashimi and maki, our guide to the best sushi in Miami has you covered.
Best sushi restaurants in Miami
What is it? Chef Shuji Hiyakawa’s Japanese bowl eatery, serving up elegant chirashi creations over rice, soba noodles and greens at Time Out Market.
Why go? If you try one thing, make it the namesake Wabi Sabi bowl—a vibrant, colorful work of art that combines fresh salmon, tuna, crab, cucumber, seaweed, avocado and shiitake mushroom. We like ours with a generous helping of steamed Tamaki Gold sticky rice, and we think you will too.
What is it? The best New York export to find a home in Miami Beach since Shake Shack. Blue Ribbon is tiny, scene-y and expensive—but we wouldn’t change a thing.
Why go? Sidle up to the cozy sushi counter and watch the pros go to work. You’ll want to double-down on orders of the toro (the silkiest tuna you’ll ever eat) and signature Blue Ribbon roll.
What is it? For 30 years, this wood-paneled gem in one of the many nondescript strip malls along Bird Road has lured in-the-know Miamians with fresh, reasonably priced sushi. Just be prepared to wait for a table, even if you make reservations.
Why go? Beautifully arranged platters of bluefin toro and other specialty fish are actually affordable here (approximately $5 compared to its usual going rate of $20 an order).
What is it? Scout this top-secret sushi spot in Wynwood (hint: it’s behind an unmarked door at the Taco Stand) for an unforgettable omakase experience.
Why go? Prepare for 15 courses of the freshest fish you’ve ever tasted. From toro and king salmon to handrolls and Wagyu rib-eye, Japan’s most delectable seafood and cuisines are served up made to order.
What is it? Here’s where you take your intransigent aunt for fancy sushi. She deserves fish flown straight from Japan and rice cooked in specialty equipment and you deserve a night off from her unyielding criticism. The beachfront property also boasts a stellar cocktail program, featuring 40 imported whiskeys.
Why go? Not into the hard stuff? Let your server guide you through the comprehensive, and admittedly overwhelming, selection of sake. Ask for samples until you find the right one to pair with the tempura corn and the delicate miso cod—which you can’t leave without sampling.
What is it? Kevin Cory’s eight-seat restaurant flies under the radar but the omakase experience, which is offered twice nightly and lasts an average of two hours, is like none other in the city.
Why go? Cory is meticulous in his technique—importing his family-made soy sauce, flying in fish from Japan and poring over every delicate presentation. His attention to detail will cost you, but you won’t regret a dime.
What is it? A delicious (and filling!) 60-minute, 17-course tasting menu for seatings of up to four people inside the intimate Gianni’s Suite.
Why go? Two words: Versace mansion. You’ll eat on designer china, roam the premises unhampered and spend an evening you’d need to drop major cash on a hotel room to experience otherwise.
What is it? Stephen Starr made us rethink mall food with this upscale Japanese restaurant inside the Bal Harbour Shops. Whether or not you’re fresh off a shopping expedition, this place is worth a stop.
Why go? Two words: crispy rice. It’s on nearly every sushi menu across town, but no place has perfected the rice-to-fish ratio quite like Makoto. The toro tartare with caviar is also a treat.
What is it? The posh London transplant does Japanese izakaya in a roomy, ultramodern space. Arriving at the waterfront restaurant by yacht? Someone on staff will bring the sushi to you.
Why go? Brunch brings ceaseless pours of premium champagne, Bloody Marys and the occasional Japanese whiskey tasting, plus an endless buffet of sashimi, Japanese bites and several other menu favorites for $95, reasonable by Zuma standards.
What is it? Another great strip mall find, only this one is north and considerably more well-known thanks to a devoted chef following, who make the trek after service. The Japanese tapas restaurant opens till 3am nightly.
Why go? The food is authentic and affordable, including a superb sashimi selection and daily nigiri specials sold by the piece. For the sake-phobic, Yakko-San carries a smattering of artisanal Japanese beers.
What is it? In a town where everything is constantly changing and shuttering, South Beach’s first sushi restaurant remains successfully in business since 1987.
Why go? Cozy sunken booths that give the impression you’re sitting on the ground but won’t make your legs cramp, hand rolls wrapped in crunchy seaweed (yep, that’s a thing) and budget sushi that’s actually fresh.
What is it? From its humble beginnings as a small college town restaurant in Gainesville, Florida, to a lofty, Japanese hotspot anchoring a major downtown Doral development, Dragonfly is steadily a neighborhood favorite no matter where it pops up.
Why go? The daily happy hour is a steal, featuring $1 oysters, appetizers for less than $5 and sushi rolls clocking in under $10. Plus, there’s a full fish market carrying fresh seafood and artisanal Japanese products in case you’re tempted to duplicate the experience at home.
What is it? This flashy spot attracts celebrities with its famed miso black cod, yellowtail jalapeno, rock shrimp tempura and other Nobu signatures.
Why go? Since moving to its new digs inside the Eden Roc Miami, Nobu is larger and less of a scene. Give it a shot on your next date night.
What is it? Philippe Starck’s chic sushi restaurant where South Beach’s well-heeled crowds go for just-caught sashimi—so fresh it’s served alongside the actual fin and head.
Why go? The resounding “Irashaimase!” greeting from the enthusiastic sushi chefs lets you know you’re home for the next few hours. After dinner, head upstairs for cocktails at Katsuya’s exclusive Dragon Lounge.
What is it? Pubbelly Group's runaway sushi hit—with locations in South Beach, Brickell, Dadeland and Aventura—takes the gastropub concept into Japanese territory.
Why go? Bold Latin flavors and unexpected ingredients. Take a chance on truffle corn with cotija cheese, big-eye tuna with basil vinegar and sushi pizza.