Japanese BBQ By kennejima – Wikimedia Commons

Best Japanese Restaurants in Miami


 

With Miami’s proximity to the water, there’s no question that Miami has access to some of the freshest fish in town. This very reason is why they make some of the best freshest sushi around.

There is no wonder why so many visitors and locals have dived into Asian cuisine. Here are the ten best spots to get that sushi fix, traditional izakaya-style experience and delve into Japanese food.

1. Naoe

Sushi chef Kevin Cory relocated his acclaimed Naoe restaurant to Brickell Key. The tiny, eight-seat Naoe offers one of the best sushi experiences in Miami. While not an inexpensive menu, Naoe offers amazing selections of Japanese food at its best.

The meticulous meal rotates daily (no substitutions permitted) with dishes like stone crab nigiri, fresh uni marinated in salt water, unagi two ways, and a mystery ice cream served at the end of the meal.  Moreover, their drink selections include sake from Cory’s family brewery in their Japanese hometown.

2. Uchi

Located in the heart of Wynwood, Uchi features creative sushi and sashimi made with fish flown in daily from the Tsukiji market.  It also has makimono, yakimono, mono, and other Japanese dishes in a chic and serene atmosphere.

For the adventurous folk who want to give the entire menu a try can opt for the 10-course chef’s tasting. Furthermore, there is also a six-course signature tasting, and a six-course vegetarian tasting.

3. Sushi Erika

Sushi restaurant By Mikel L – Wikimedia Commons

Operated by the daughter of Sushi Deli’s owner Michio Kushi, Erika Kushi, it features a warm setting. Those missing their Sushi Deli and Japanese Market fix can  get a taste of both at Sushi Erika.  It offers a similar feel and menu as its predecessor housing just four tables and a small no-frills sushi bar.

Some of the favorites from Sushi Deli are like the sweet shrimp, macadamia, and love rolls. Their well-priced sashimi options are a hit with customers while newcomers like octopus salad also are found.

4. Akashi Japanese Restaurant (Multiple locations)

Established in 1993, this restaurant was started by Larry Chi and wife Barbara which at the time they started were the youngest sushi bar in town. This classic Japanese spot offers rolls, sushi, and sides that have kept the crowds coming back for more than 20 years.

With their well-priced menu, they have something for everyone. From the classics like a Dragon Roll and fried pork gyoza to rolls like the Mermaid Roll filled with spicy tuna, avocado, and cucumber. Their diverse menu makes it a popular spot for people of all ages.

5. Zuma

A Japanese meal including tempura, sashimi, and miso soup By cyclonebill from Copenhagen – Wikimedia Commons

A chic, minimalist hotspot overlooking the Miami River, Zuma offers internationally acclaimed modern Japanese cuisine in the heart of Downtown. Internationally acclaimed for its style of modern Japanese izakaya dining from the robata grill and kitchen.

This decade-old restaurant was the first U.S. location from this Japanese chain but it’s still going strong. Whether diners are looking to dine at the lounge, hang out at the always buzzy bar, or indulge in a massive sushi spread, there’s something for everyone. In addition to its amazing food, its over-the-top weekend brunch gives guests an unlimited sampling of all of its best dishes at one price.

6. Nossa Omakase

Hidden behind Koa Restaurant on South Beach, guests are escorted through a dark corridor that opens up into a theater-like den dining room. Here one gets to dine on a 16- to 18-course dinner created by executive chef Sebastian Labno.

They serve Japanese Omakase infused with Latin Flavors and Miami Style. The menu rotates often with show-stopping dishes highlighting Kamakura’s Brazilian roots and Japanese training like lobster sashimi. A point to note is reservations are required, and once booked, guests will receive special instructions on how to access the restaurant.

7.  Hiden

Japanese Cuisine By mypicture – Wikimedia Commons

This omakase restaurant is literally “hidden” behind a taco shop in Wynwood. Guests  require a numeric code (provided when the reservation is made) to enter. Once inside, they encounter an intimate, eight-seat restaurant serving up an elaborate extensive menu.

They serve small Japanese appetizers featuring sashimi, and nigiri, all made with seasonal ingredients brought in from Japan. The meal is paired with sake, shochu, beer, and wine to wash it down. Due to its popularity,  seats are booked out months in advance thus make sure to reserve early.

8. Itamae

Owned a brother, sister, and father team lovingly referred to as the “Chang Gang,” Itamae has combined their Peruvian heritage with Japanese classics. Itamae has grown significantly since its food hall beginnings.

Now a full-fledged restaurant offers a menu of Nikkei-influenced dishes filled with pristine fish like creative cebiches. Moreover, they serve delicate nigiri, and sophisticated plates like the daily catch topped with charred parmesan or uni tiradito. 

9. Makoto

Assorted Japanese food including sushi and sashimi By jwalsh – Wikimedia Commons

This longtime Stephen Starr restaurant in Bal Harbour Shops, which just moved into a brand new location on the top floor of the mall, continues to be a go-to destination for the Gucci-clad set hanks to chef Makoto Okuwa’s pristine sushi menu.

In addition to the raw stuff, Makoto’s modern Japanese dishes, bingo charcoal robata, and surprisingly affordable lunch bento boxes have hungry shoppers making this a staple in their rotation.

10. Nossa Omakase

Located behind Koa Restaurant on South Beach, guests are escorted through a dark corridor that opens up into a theater-like den dining room. Here guests get to dine on a 16- to 18-course dinner created by executive chef Sebastian Labno.

Their menu rotates with show-stopping dishes highlighting Kamakura’s Brazilian roots and Japanese training. It features dishe like lobster sashimi, uni with black truffle on crispy rice, and otoro uni truffle temaki. Reservations are required, and once booked, guests will receive special instructions on how to access the restaurant.

Next time you’re in Miami be sure to tick some of the restaurants off this list! I can bet you won’t be disappointed