The Best Restaurants near Little River

Covering our favorite steakhouse, a unique Japanese experience and the best food hall in Miami

Jun
03
2024

Keep this guide handy when you’re in the area and are looking for the best restaurants near Little River.

If you have ever found yourself roaming the historic neighborhoods of Little River, Little Haiti, MiMo, and Buena Vista, you will find that in-between small strip malls, old motels, and a deeply cultured community, a world of food awaits. We have found all the little gems that will make your next adventure a food-driven one. So sit back and relax as we give you our round-up guide of go-to’s to check out in Little River, MiMo, and Buena Vista.

WABI SABI


Address: 851 NE 79th St
Cuisine: Japanese, sushi

Like a kid in a candy store, this is how we feel when dining at Wabi Sabi. It’s a sushi wonderland where you can pick, choose, mix, and match all the Japanese flavors and textures.

This light wooden space with an origami wall is your friendly (yet elevated) neighborhood spot offering elegant and simple pieces of sushi made with seasonal fish and hard-to-find ingredients. The menu is pretty straightforward, featuring sushi platters, makis, sashimi, nigiri, temaki, and donburi bowls. But the FRESH sushi and hand rolls are what make us so so so happy (and yet, a little torn at the same time as it can get hard to decide because everything is so good).

From the moment you step in you’ll feel a sense of coziness. This place is special. Embrace this warm-hearted feeling, let the team take care of you, and prepare for a well-deserved sushi feast.

This is your game plan at Wabi Sabi. Start with the Nigiri Omakase which includes 12 pieces and 1 maki for $100. Share it with one other person (ask them to give you the six best pieces of the day). From the maki section, you’re getting the Negihama with hamachi, scallions, and wasabi, the Eel Cucumber and Avocado maki, or the California maki made with wild blue crab (a simple game changer). Finally, end the meal with a couple of hand rolls. A little pro tip, you can elevate your hand rolls by adding “fun ingredients”, just ask Bruno for help and get as creative as you want! We love the Sake hand roll (torched) with added Ikura, the smoky and warm Atlantic salmon is balanced with the cool and salty salmon roe. The runner-ups are the Botan Ebi (sweet shrimp) hand roll and the Hamachi hand roll (add mushrooms to this one, trust us).

Oh and if you’re really hungry and craving algo bien caserito, order the Soba noodles with Ikura and nori. It’s a silent menu dish, they’ll be shocked you even know about this (IYKYK).

OGAWA


Address: 7223 NW 2nd Ave
Cuisine: Japanese, sushi, omakase

Tucked away in Little River, Alvaro Perez has opened his fourth and newest Japanese restaurant that just earned a well-deserved Michelin Star.

Right next to a railroad crossing, you’ll arrive at an unpretentious and minimalistic house. Immediately when entering you’ll feel as if you’ve landed in Japan.

As you turn the corner of the dining room, you will be met with the most impeccably set Omakase bar. Feel free to enjoy a pre-dinner drink in their peaceful Japanese garden in the back or take a seat, and get ready for Chef Masayuki and Chef Royce’s thoughtful Omakase journey.

At Ogawa intimacy and ‘kikubari’ (the Japanese art of caring for others) are valued at the highest level. This very personal dinner experience for 11 guests at a time focuses on seasonal and unique Japanese ingredients flown in daily. The first part consists of crudos with cooked dishes from the kitchen between each course. Next, you’ll move on to the most incredible sushi flight, followed by a miso soup, and finish off with desserts (that’s not a typo, there’s more than one).

Our favorite dishes when we went included the best Hotate Nigiri we’ve seriously ever had, balanced with a touch of Key lime and salt (we literally won’t shut up about it); the Ensui Hokkaido Uni Gunkanmaki which is preserved in salt water so you can taste the Uni right from its natural habitat; the Uni and Ikura Hand Roll; and a special shout out to the Matcha Mochi Cookie Anko with Satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potato) Ice Cream by Chef Jamie, picture your childhood Whoopie Pie but soooooo much better.

Going to Ogawa is for a special occasion and for those who love and appreciate Japanese culture. It’s pricey but SO worth it.

 

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SUNNY’S STEAKHOUSE AT LOT 6 (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)


Address: 7357 NW Miami Ct
Cuisine: American/Steakhouse

Sunny’s Steakhouse at Lot 6 in Little River went from a summer 2020 pop-up favorite to finding its way back to Lot 6 once again, after popular demand. Redefining the idea of what a conventional steakhouse is like, owners Will Thompson, Chef Carey Hynes, and the Jaguar Sun team deliver exceptional hospitality and an impeccable bar program under a magical Banyan tree in Little River. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to dine under the stars and enjoy that cool Miami breeze, we want to make sure you get the full experience when it comes to what you’ll be eating.

Start yourself off with a cold, crisp Sunny’s Martini, and while you are sipping on that get a round of Kusshi Oysters with a selection of mignonettes for the table. Treat yourself to the famous Parker House Rolls that are served with a light and creamy honey butter and the Wagyu Beef Tartare with leek ash aioli. All we can say is chefs kiss*. And if you are looking for something just a little more filling the Rohan Duck Breast and Australian Wagyu Strip are the grand slammers to have. But really you can’t go wrong with here. We’ve tried it all and everything is good.

They are closed for the summer of 2022 with plans of re-opening as a year-round restaurant! In the meantime, you can always stop by Jaguar Sun in downtown for pastas and cocktails.

THE CITADEL


Address: 8300 NE 2nd Ave
Cuisine: Food hall

If you are looking for a place that lets you eat good, drink good, and do a little bit of retail therapy then look no further. Supporting local is the motto here, with maker-driven retails and local artisanal vendors. Inspired by all the great public gathering spaces that you can find around the world, the Citadel brings that concept to life in the Little River neighborhood. Cuisines from a variety of different backgrounds come to life in this food hall. Whether you are in the mood for Italian pasta, some Caribbean flair, or even rustic Thai food you will find that all your cravings can be satisfied.

We recommend checking out Lil’ Laos for some Crispy Chicken Wings and a Pork Rib plate. If you are in the mood for a classic, then check out USBS Burgers and fries and order yourself a Smoke Signal Burger with a side of fries. We recently tried Poke-San and loved it. Probably one of the best poke bowls we’ve had in recent time! Make sure to build your own and as for protein pick yellowtail. They also have delicious Kani rolls made with crab stick salad, masago dressing sushi rice, wrapped in pink soy paper, and served with warm sesame soy vinaigrette. Oh and for a sweet finish,  stop at Frice Cream for some delicious ice cream.

 

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OFF SITE


Address: 8250 NE 2nd Ave
Cuisine: American

Located in Little River, this nano-brewery packs a big punch in great beer and incredible food. Offsite opened back in November of 2021 and though they have only been open for a couple of months, it’s no secret that what they are pushing out is badass beer and bites. Though the menu remains small, you will find that every dish is a perfect example of how good a classic can be. Get yourself the Country Cuban Sandwich with roasted Berkshire pork, 12 month aged Benton’s country ham, Laubscher swiss, house mustard, pickles, and an emulsified lechon jus. And if that didn’t already have you drooling try their House Made All Beef Hot Dog with sauerkraut, curry mustard, and everything bagel seasoning. Seriously, get it. So, grab your friends and come sit back with some beers and room to eat.

TRAN AN


Address: 215 NE 82nd St
Cuisine: Vietnamese

Giving you a taste of home, Chef Jon Ngyuen takes influence from his family’s hometown in Hanoi to curate a menu of classics ranging from pho, Bánh mìi, and salads that are intoxicatingly addicting. From market stall to brick and mortar, Tran An will have you becoming a regular after just one visit. Situated in a little strip between El Portal and Little River, Tran An welcomes you in with a warm family environment and soul-touching dishes. So, if you are looking for a place that will instantly satisfy those cozy hometown feels, then make your way over. Some of our favorites include the Vietnamese Chicken Slaw with shredded white cabbage, red onion, herbs, and crispy garlic. The Green Papaya Salad with red onion, pickled slaw, and herbs dressed in Grandma Sauce topped with crushed peanuts, and the Chicken Pho with red onion, pickled bean sprouts, and herbs.

BOIA DE


Address: 5205 NE 2nd Ave
Cuisine: Modern Italian

Since opening back in 2019, the flame for Chef Alex Meyer and Chef Luciana Giangrandi has not gone out. If you have driven past a small strip mall and have seen a glowing pink exclamation point, then you have found your destination. Boia De offers some culinary love to Chef Giangrandi’s Italian background roots, so think freshly made pasta, brodo, polenta, and of course one of the best tiramisu’s we’ve ever had. Did we also mention an insane natural wine list selection?! Whether you’re here for date night or a solo outing, the trip here will always be worth it. We recommend ordering a little bit of everything, but we know that can seem overwhelming so here are our favorites. Order yourself the Potato Skins with Stracciatella, hard egg, and caviar or the Luci’s Chopped Salad to start. Work yourself down to the pasta section and try out the Bufala Ricotta Gnocchi ala Norcina with black truffle and Romagna sausage or the Tortellini in Brodo with foie gras, duck confit, duck prosciutto, and a duck brodo. And as we mentioned earlier, end the meal with a Crispy Tiramisu.

PHUC YEA


Address: 7100 Biscayne Blvd
Cuisine: Vietnamese/Cajun

Considered one of the first pop-up concepts to grace Miami, Phuc Yea has been delivering great food since 2016 and is still thriving. Half Vietnamese and Half Cajun you are getting a culinary melding from the wonderful chefs helming the kitchen front. With Aniece Meinhold’s Vietnamese heritage and Chef Cesar Zapata’s Colombian roots, they come together to provide soulful, family-rooted plates that make you feel like you’ve been transported into their family’s home. If you find yourself here with a large group or even a hot date, we recommend getting yourself a nice little spread to share. We would say fill your table with the pan-fried Sesame Chicken Dumpling with Szechuan nuoc cham, black vinegar, scallion, and cilantro. Or the PY Noodles with garlic butter, oyster sauce, and parmesan cheese. And if you are ready for a finger-lickin’ good plate then order the Vietnamese Seafood Jalea with crispy fried local jumbo shrimp, soft shell crab, cod, calamari, yuca, herbage, lemongrass, chill sate, sriracha aioli.

 

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BY NATALIE ORTIZ, DANIELA DIOGUARDI & ANDREA BECERRA
THE HUNGRY POST
The best restaurants near Little River
PHOTO CREDIT FUJI FILM GIRL