The Ten Best Sushi Restaurants in Miami

The Ten Best Sushi Restaurants in Miami (2)
Courtesy of Doraku

Raw fish. Vinegared rice. Two simple ingredients that revolutionized the worldwide food industry. Nowadays, it’s a bit more complex than just a means of preserving fish in fermented rice. It’s become a fine art form in which master itamaes (sushi chefs) spend decades perfecting the craft of sushi-making.

You’ll see them at a number of sushi bars that dot the city’s landscape, from Bal Harbour’s supersleek izakaya-style restolounge led by chef Makoto Okuwa to North Bay Village’s gem of a Japanese market run by Japanese-trained veteran sushi chef Michio Kushi. But with so many fish-focused eateries, which ones are a cut above the rest?

Here are Miami’s ten best sushi-centric joints featuring out-of-this-world omakase (chef’s choice) menus, wildly creative sushi rolls, plump hand rolls, and freshly sliced sashimi for every kind of palate and budget, all available without a passport.

The Ten Best Sushi Restaurants in Miami (3)
Photo by Carla Torres

10. SuViche
This Japanese/Peruvian chain boasts neighborhood fixtures in Brickell, Wynwood, and Miami Beach and has even crossed the Broward County line with a home in Las Olas. Locals drop in for inventive sushi rolls and vibrant ceviches (hence the name "SuViche") at prices that won’t break the bank. If you’re in Wynwood, sit at the bar and dine alfresco as you enjoy highlights such as the SuViche roll (eight pieces for $11.50) — made with crisp fried shrimp, cream cheese, and avocado, topped with ruby-red tuna, and drizzled with signature SuViche sauce — and the baked TNT roll (eight pieces for $14.50), featuring a roll packed with a salad of avocado, cucumber, and real crab that’s topped with a mixture of salmon, tuna, and masago. Torched spicy mayo and eel sauce complete the dish.

The Ten Best Sushi Restaurants in Miami (4)
Courtesy of Yakko-San

9. Yakko-San
The days of Hiro’s Yakko-San’s original, unassuming 65-seater on West Dixie Highway are long gone, but since opening its much larger, more refined location on 163rd, it’s become a go-to spot for late-night dining in North Miami Beach. Chef Hiroshi Shigetomi translates the same creativity and deliciousness to an upgraded menu, adding a full-fledged liquor list and sushi component to the mix. The crispy bok choy ($6.50), which is deep-fried and served with garlic-soy dressing, is a must-eat appetizer. If you don’t know whether to try the hamachi tataki jalapeño roll ($9.50), made with eel, avocado, cucumber, and tempura flakes, or the rainbow roll ($12), a trifecta of tuna, salmon and shrimp, get both and take your time. After all, Yakko-San doesn't close till 3 a.m.

The Ten Best Sushi Restaurants in Miami (2)
Courtesy of Doraku

8. Doraku
Dim lighting, hanging lanterns, wood seating let you know you’re at a classic Japanese teahouse where quality sushi and sake reign supreme. The best advice: Go during happy hour. And if you can’t make it to this one, you’re in luck, because the always-buzzing Lincoln Road outpost has two happy hours — one for lunch, which goes from noon to 3 p.m., and another for dinner, from 5 to 7 p.m. — every single day. But the latter is where it’s at. Start with some wok-seared edamame for $3; then work up an appetite and order the crunchy crab roll ($4) and tuna tataki ($6). Of course, happy hour wouldn’t be complete without a little booze, so wash it all down with a lychee martini for only $6.

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Photo by Lesley Elliott

7. Toni’s Sushi Bar
Long lauded as the first Japanese restaurant in South Beach, Toni’s Sushi Bar boasts an encyclopedic menu listing rolls upon rolls of sushi. The Washington Avenue mainstay has other dishes too, such as noodles, rice, meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables, but as the name states, you’re here for the sushi bar. Unlike most joints on the Beach, Toni’s maintains that neighborhood feel while still serving the freshest, topnotch sushi in the area. From supple cuts of vibrant sashimi to tender teriyaki-covered eel, the sushi, along with its friendly service, shines at Toni’s.

The Ten Best Sushi Restaurants in Miami (6)
Photo by Carla Torres

6. Matsuri
The Bird Road institution offers a complete Japanese dining experience, from the rustic vibe and menu written in Japanese to its authentic offerings at bargain prices. But just because you’re getting more bang for your buck doesn’t mean quality is sacrificed. Find cuts of fresh madai snapper, bluefin toro, kanpachi, and other eclectic sushi and sashimi selections. Matsuri’s signature sushi rolls are worth mentioning, especially for spicy food lovers, because these folks don’t skimp on the spicy sauce. Spice it up with the Caribbean roll ($10), made with pan-fried snapper, crabmeat, masago and spicy red sauce, or the Masa roll ($9), which holds salmon skin, masago, cucumber, avocado, lettuce, crab meat and a special spicy sauce.

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