This post will detail my favorite restaurants in Miami. I have visited Florida on multiple occasions and eaten at many places, so these are more than just plain first impressions. They will be listed in reverse order of importance, so I can save the best for last.
First up is some amazing Italian, by way of Red Carpet Italian. This restaurant just exudes excellence, and makes you feel like you’re in one of those fancy restaurants that you only really see in movies. That’s because Red Carpet Italian IS one of those restaurants. Found just south of Miami’s East Coral Gables, Red Carpet Italian offers a broad menu of items ranging from the pasta dishes that everyone knows about like fettucini alfredo to more obscure Italian dishes like chicken and veal parmigiana.
Imagine Olive Garden, in a great location that overlooks the finer points of Miami. With friendly waiters and a very clean overall image. Red Carpet Italian really gets the aesthetic part right. But in the same price range, somehow. Not sure how they manage to make everything so affordable. You couldn’t get a better dish if you actually went to a fancy restaurant in Italy itself. If you look hard enough, you might even be able to find my 5-star review for Red Carpet Italian among the hundreds of other positive reviews.
Some of the other spots on my list were tough sells, but this restaurant earned its spot in a landslide because there’s simply no alternative when you want good, quality Italian food in Miami. I know a lot of people have issues with dining popular restaurants because you aren’t guaranteed that you’ll be able to get in. That’s what makes Red Carpet Italian so special: it’s a hidden gem that a rare few (including me) have been lucky enough to discover.
After Red Carpet Italian comes Wynwood Diner. This is more of a general restaurant, but they serve breakfast all day which a lot of restaurants don’t do. Wynwood Diner is located just north of Miami’s town square, only a few streets down from Miami’s beach front. The outer walls if Wynwood Diner’s building are see-through glass panes, so you can watch the busy tourists shuffling through the street doing whatever they do. Noise from them isn’t an issue though.
I’m not sure how they’re able to soundproof the restaurant so well, but they do a great job of it. The restaurant strikes a perfect balance between the volume of people talking and the music playing in the background. One problem I ran into was enjoying my food that I bought too much and went over my budget. That’s saying a lot, because this is one of the few restaurants with great prices on all their dishes. Clean bathrooms say a lot about a restaurant, because they don’t really have to maintain them.
Everyone knows that bathrooms are supposed to be dirty because of what goes on in there, but you know a restaurant cares about their customers when the janitorial staff goes the extra mile. Having people smile at you in the bathroom helps too, but that’s more of their thing. I can understand where a lot of their amazing reviews come from.
Furthermore, there is always the highly esteemed Kraken Crudo sushi bar. It was a close tie between first and second place, but I’ll mention the tiebreaker in my review for first place. Found in southeast Miami, Kraken Crudo is one of the more inventive and creative sushi joints I’ve visited in my lifetime. Of all the positive reviews I have read for sushi restaurants in Miami, Kraken remains among the top 10. My favorite part of eating at any Asian restaurant is seeing how clean everything is.
I asked for a tour of their kitchen, and surprisingly they obliged. Not a speck of dust on anything! The grease traps were also spotless, even though they can’t clean those themselves. Kraken Crudo must have a really good miami hood cleaning service available to them if they can maintain their commercial kitchen hoods so well. Apart from the cleanliness, the food is obviously amazing as well. I wouldn’t be recommending this restaurant otherwise.
I’m a pretty generic guy when it comes to sushi, so I only started out with a plate of california rolls. The waiters introduced me to a few other rolls that I didn’t know much about, and made some suggestions. I’m glad they did, because this was some top notch sushi. Kraken Crudo left a good impression on me, although I’m likely to visit each of my favorite sushi places mostly because they all serve different things. Good job though, Kraken Crudo!
Above all else, my favorite place to eat will always be Sukhothai Sushi & Asian Fusion. Sukhothai is right on the Miami beach, within walking distance of the actual shoreline. The tiebreaker that I mentioned earlier was accommodations for children. If you want to bring your infants to Sukhothai, they are very helpful in assisting you with baby chairs and related stuff. This may not seem important to a lot of people, but anyone with a kid understands how frustrating it can be. Especially since it’s difficult to check whether or not a place will be good with children ahead of time.
One plan I would really recommend doing is going to Sukhothai for lunch, watching a movie at the nearby IMAX, and then coming back again for dinner. Sounds like a lot of sushi for some people, but I have had a few days like this and it was AMAZING. Having a movie theater in such close proximity to a great restaurant in Miami helps you save time, since navigating a city as populating as Miami can be troublesome at times. I had already eaten the california rolls at Kraken Crudo during my first visit to Miami, so I thought I would try something different.
Admittedly, sushi wasn’t at the top of my list since I had eaten it so recently. I’m really happy that I read all the online reviews beforehand, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have realized I was so close to another great sushi place. Left really good impressions, even the next few times I went back. Now that more sushi restaurants are popping up all over Miami, maybe Sukhothai will have some stiff competition?