Asia in Miami: 8 Restaurants Doing Amazing Asian Food in the Magic City

When you think of food in Miami, Cuban is typically the first to come to mind. What should also be on your radar is Asian food; specifically Nikkei, Southeast Asian, and Pan-Asian cuisines, as well as classic Japanese sushi and sashimi.

All have taken the Magic City by storm in recent years.

Here's where to get the best Asian food in Miami.

 

KYU

Kyo Restaurant

Photo: KYU

This sexy industrial space that does wood-fired Asian food took Wynwood by storm when it opened last year. Inspired by a Japanese grilling technique known as Yakinku, Chef Micheal Lewis, the former executive chef at New York's three Michelin-starred Jean-Georges, turns out share plates that are simultaneously sophisticated and comforting. Among the best are Wagyu Beef Brisket with Black Shichimi Pepper, Crispy Spicy Snapper Tartare and a Coconut Cake handed down from his mom.

Kyo Food

Photo: Juan Fernando Ayora 

(The latter has nothing to do with Asian food, but anyone with a sweet tooth would be remiss not to try it.) Additional note: the service is Stellar, capital S.

 

BLUE RIBBON SUSHI BAR & GRILL

Blue Ribbon Restaurant

Photo: Plymouth Hotel

Located in the historic Plymouth Hotel in the heart of South Beach, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill serves exactly what its name proclaims: top-flight sushi prepared by seasoned chefs. Set in an intimate dining room with an open sushi bar, its intimate and relaxed vibe has made it a popular destination among locals and travelers.

Blue Ribbon Food

Photo: Steve Hill

In addition to fresh sushi and sashimi, signature dishes include Fried Chicken with Wasabi Honey and Oxtail Fried Rice.

 

TALDE 

Talde Restaurant

Another South Beach hot spot, this one in The Confidante, a mid-century styled oceanfront hotel on 40th and Collins, Talde combines market-driven ingredients and local products with a sense of fun. (There's a giant shipping container smack in the middle of the dining room!)

Talde Food

A sister restaurant to the popular Park Slope, Brooklyn outpost, Talde is the brainchild of Dale Talde, a Top Chef alumnus and the first-generation son of Fillipino immigrant parents. His culinary sensibility is a blend of Asian street fare and Americana, as can be seen in Talde's popular Pork Chive Pretzel Dumpling (pictured below).

 

NAIYARA

Naiyara Restaurant

Photo: c/o Naiyara

Anyone in Miami who calls himself a foodie is familiar with Chef Bee. His first restaurant, Oishi, is beloved by residents of North Miami. Now, at his recently opened Naiyara – named after his daughter – he brings sushi and Thai Street Food to Sunset Harbor in Miami Beach. The space, dotted with traditional fishing baskets, vintage soda crates and custom artwork by Daniel Fila (aka Krave), is kitsch meets cool.

Naiyara Food

Photo: c/o Naiyara

The food, inspired by the childhood summers Chef Bee spent with his grandma preparing and trading street food in Thailand, is authentic meets “more, please.” Signature dishes include Pad Thai (of course), Thai Street Dumplings with Spicy Garlic Soy Vinaigrette, and Green Curry Seabass and Bell Peppers over Jasmine Rice.

 

PHUCYEA 

PhucYea Restaurant

Photo: Amanda Cargill

Phuc means ‘blessing’ in Vietnamese, and a blessing this place is. The brainchild of Chef Cesar Zapata and Aniece Meinhold, the couple behind the much loved but now shuddered The Federal, PhucYea combines Zapata’s Third Coast culinary influences with Meinhold’s Vietnamese heritage and tops it with heavy doses of hip hop, street art and humor. Located in a former hotel in Mimo, the space is divided into three areas: hotel lobby lounge, indoor dining room with raw bar and outdoor lantern garden that’s perfect for unwinding at happy hour spot.

PhucYea Food

Photo: Amanda Cargill

As for food, there are no pho and noodles here – except at happy hour. Rather, the menu favors seafood, baos, munchies and whimsical cocktails. Beautiful, inviting and delicious, it’s a Vietnamese and Cajun mashup you’ve got to eat to believe.

 

LA MAR

La Mar Restaurant

Photo: La Mar

If you haven’t been to La Mar, go there now. Its combination of upscale Andean fare and Asian Peruvian fusion is both a beautiful homage to tradition and culture and a delicious journey for your taste buds.

La Mar Food

Photo: La Mar

Created by award-winning chef Gaston Acurio and helmed by executive chef Diego Oka, La Mar’s location overlooking Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline makes it an ideal spot for client dinners, romantic meals and ladies' nights. Its recently opened Yaku by La Mar, a waterfront lounge featuring local bands and DJs, is another reason to go.

 

PUBBELLY 

Pubbelly Restaurant

Photo: Juan Fernando Ayora

Recently reimagined as Pubbelly Noodle Bar, this casual tavern-style has been a longstanding SOBE staple. Helmed by Chef Jose Mendin, five time James Beard Award semifinalist in the Best Chef: South category, it’s beloved by locals, tourists and Yelp reviewers.

Pubbelly Food

Photo: Juan Fernando Ayora

If you go, don’t miss the Lechon Asado Bao and the Sunchoke Carpaccio (pictured above).

 

SUSHI SAMBA

Sushi Samba Restaurant

Photo: SUSHI SAMBA

While food snobs may say this playful spot is played out – you know the ones; they’re snapping Instagram videos at every new restaurant in town but don’t stick around to keep them open after year one – we say Sushi Samba is a classic. (And given its constantly full Lincoln Road patio, there are plenty who agree.)

Sushi Samba Food

What’s in store if you go? Fabulous people-watching, colorful furnishings, incredible art by Claudio Cardoso and a “Samba Happy Hour” notable for $5 beer and caipirinhas and $7 sushi, small plates and specialty cocktails. It’s fun. And what’s not to love about fun?