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Uchi Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Uchi Miami

The best sushi in Miami for super fresh rolls

Load up on sashimi, specialty maki rolls and all the fresh fish you’re craving at the best spots for sushi in Miami

Virginia Gil
Written by
Virginia Gil
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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 omakase experiences give adventurous eaters a chance to surprise their palates. There’s never been a better time to enjoy sushi in Miami and these spots prove the Magic City is on par with cities like New York in L.A. when it comes to super-fresh sashimi, nigiri and more.

Best sushi restaurants in Miami

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Bal Harbour
  • price 4 of 4

Stephen Starr made us rethink mall food with this upscale Japanese restaurant inside the Bal Harbour Shops. Even if you’re not fresh off a shopping expedition, this place is worth a stop. Makoto put crispy rice on the map in Miami and theirs still tops the others with the perfect rice-to-fish ratio. The sushi is supremely fresh here and best enjoyed as a combo platter, which includes a chef’s choice variety of the day’s top picks. It’s the instant-gratification version of omakase dining.  

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Miami

Located in the charming Shorecrest neighborhood, Wabi Sabi serves some of the best sushi in town. The restaurant’s easygoing style works in partnership with its sleek menu, a blend of fresh sushi bowls that are big on flavor, craft and authenticity. Its namesake, chef Shuji, creates arresting arrangements out of each chirashi donburi (sushi bowl), artfully organizing lovely combinations of fresh tuna, salmon, crab, rice, seaweed and more. Maki rolls are available for diners who aren’t into deconstructed sushi, and they’re just as fresh.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • South of Fifth
  • price 4 of 4

Azabu is for the discerning diner. The one who prefers their fish be flown straight from Japan and likes rice cooked in specialty equipment calibrated to the Miami heat and humidity. Its NYC counterpart boasts a Michelin star and while Miami doesn’t participate in the rating system, food and service is parallel. The main dining room serves an expansive selection of sushi and sashimi, as well as a full Japanese menu of meat, vegetable and composed fish dishes. The tempura corn and miso cod are a must if you’re ditching the raw stuff. But if you’re not, turn your attention to the Den, Azabu’s secret omakase hideaway. It’s a large space so couples and small groups can section off to enjoy a little privacy while participating in the communal dining experience.

  • Restaurants
  • Ludlam / Tropical Park
  • price 1 of 4

For more than 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. Quality doesn’t come at a premium here: 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). Go on and splurge.

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James Beard Award-winner Tyson Cole’s smash-hit Austin restaurant has expanded to Wynwood—and good luck getting in. Uchi’s reputation for superior sushi and innovative preparations precedes it by the looks of folks lining up for a table. The menu is a little challenging to navigate but trust the wonderful service staff (many of whom are also from Texas) to steer you in the right direction. Or you can skip all of that and go right for the omakase, which we highly encourage. It’s a chef tasting of hot and cold dishes that provides a solid introduction to the Uchi experience. Two things to note when dining here: nigiri is meant to be flipped upside down so the top of the fish hits your tongue first (it’s a Cole thing) and happy hour is an incredible value and available daily from 5 to 6:30pm.

Major Food Group’s two-story Japanese restaurant and membership club brings a new kind of dining experience to the city—though it’s not just about velvet ropes. ZZ’s employs some of the best sushi chefs in the country and serves up a combo of NYC classics (where it earned a Michelin star) and Miami-inspired dishes specially for the locals, like stone crab sunomono and lobster dumplings. MFG’s longtime pastry chef, Stephanie Prida, makes these incredible Japanese ice cream sandwiches that are worth saving room for.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • South Beach
  • price 3 of 4

Sushi Garage’s gastronomic merits aren’t threatened by its cool, SoHo-meets-South-Beach vibe. In fact, the packs of models, tourists and other too-cool-types you’ll find here on any given night only add to its appeal. It’s not your traditional sushi restaurant, with its industrial design and exposed ceilings, but neither is the food. Expect a brazen menu of specialty rolls like the tuna chicharron (think crunchy tuna), the rosemary eel roll with crispy herbs and a truffle nigiri that’s outstanding.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • South Beach
  • price 3 of 4

One of the original New York imports to find a home in South Beach (there are many now), Blue Ribbon is a solid choice in the neighborhood. It’s small but offers outdoor seating by the pool (it’s inside the Plymouth Hotel) and a comfortable sushi counter where you can watch the pros go to work on your rolls. Omakase is served platter-style here, which is a great choice for first-timers. Ordering á la carte? You’ll want to double-down on orders of the toro (the silkiest tuna you’ll ever eat) and signature Blue Ribbon roll.  

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

In a town where everything is constantly changing and shuttering, South Beach’s first sushi restaurant remains successfully in business since 1987. Toni’s wood design is more retro than dated and its cozy sunken booths are a nice throwback to when people welcomed sitting on the floor. Bonus: these won’t make your legs cramp after the appetizer course. Throw in some hand rolls, uni and assorted nigiri and you’ve got a budget sushi option that’s fresh and could easily pass for something more expensive.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Miami Beach
  • price 4 of 4

This flashy spot attracts celebrities with its famed miso black cod, yellowtail jalapeno, rock shrimp tempura and other Nobu signatures. But just because it glitters doesn’t mean Nobu isn’t worth its weight in sushi gold. It’s fantastic and become less of a scene since it moved to the Eden Roc Miami. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Downtown
  • price 4 of 4

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. Diners looking for a value will want to book brunch, which brings endless pours of premium champagne, rosé and sake (and are priced accordingly). Post lockdown, the buffet selection is now available to enjoy at your seat. Choose from an array of sushi, sashimi and small plates, plus an entrée, and a server will see to your steady flow of Japanese dishes.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Eastern Shores / Oleta
  • price 2 of 4

Another great strip mall find, Yakko-san a chef-y spot with a devoted following of industry folks who make the drive to North Miami for sushi late at night. 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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Miami
  • price 3 of 4

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 a constant neighborhood favorite no matter where it pops up. The daily happy hour is a steal, featuring $1 oysters, $5 appetizers and cocktails 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. 

  • Restaurants
  • South Beach
  • price 3 of 4

Katsuya is Philippe Starck’s chic sushi restaurant where South Beach’s well-heeled crowds go for just-caught sashimi that’s so fresh it’s served alongside the actual fin and head. Whether you dine here or at the Brickell location, the resounding “Irashaimase!” greeting from the enthusiastic sushi chefs lets you know you’re home for the next few hours. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • South Beach
  • price 3 of 4

Pubbelly Group’s runaway sushi hit—with locations in South Beach, Brickell, Dadeland and Aventura—takes the gastropub concept into Japanese territory. Expect bold Latin flavors and surprise ingredient combinations. Take a chance on truffle corn with cotija cheese, big-eye tuna with basil vinegar and sushi pizza. 

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