Samantha Schnur, also known as Instagram sensation @thenaughtyfork, was one of the first pioneers of the term "food porn," creating indulgent, mouth-watering content from the comfort of her college dorm room. After gaining a large following, Schnur expanded the brand and took the account on as a full-time job. She's now considered one of Miami's most well-known and trusted food sources. Her feed is often filled with some of the most eye-catching and over-the-top dishes in all of the city, but it's unequivocally proven to always be in 'the know' of what spots are serving up the best dishes in Miami—including some "off-menu" items.
A list of the best Italian restaurants in Miami is tough to narrow down as we're blessed with so many incredible options, but Schnur has provided us with a list that showcases some of her favorite, most inviting Italian cuisines throughout different neighborhoods in the city, ranging from South Miami to South Beach and beyond.
Get the full rundown here:
820 Alton Rd., Miami Beach, / @macchialina
"They have one of the best wine selections in Miami and you can even buy their wine bottles there! They also have a wine subscription where you can have a selection of their best wines delivered each month with first access to limited-run dishes and a monthly treat from their kitchen. When dining there, the chef's tasting menu is delicious and comes with a wine pairing," says Schnur.
Insider's tip: Must try the polenta!
116 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables / @lucaosteria
Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli is bringing his family’s heritage and love for Italian delicacies to Coral Gables. Inviting guests to experience and indulge in timeless Italian dishes, the menu offers known classics such as pasta al pesto and scallops to unpredictable dishes.
213 SE First St., Downtown / @ristorantefratellimilano
Twin chefs, Roberto and Emanuele Bearzi are letting the public into their mother's classic Italian dishes. Both Bearzis are inspired by their roots in Northern Italy, which influenced the family-owned and operated restaurant. Emanuele’s handcrafted pastries, pasta and artisanal bread bring an element of freshness and authenticity to Fratelli Milano. The dessert menu is also noteworthy, catching diners' attention with options such as Nutella or cream-filled Italian donuts.
1500 San Ignacio Ave., Coral Gables / @fiolamiami
Bringing the classics from Michelin-starred restaurant Fiola DC, Fiola Miami offers the same classic Italian cuisine with a modern flare. Fiola’s main concept is a full-service restaurant approach, but also offers extensively prepared dinners, housemade pasta kits, fresh fish, meat and cheeses to go. A crowd favorite is the Lobster Ravioli with ginger, chives and roe.
Casa Tua & Casa Tua Cucina
70 SW Seventh St., Brickell / @casatuacucina
Located on the ground floor of Miami’s Brickell City Centre, Casa Tua Cucina is the full experience. With 10 different highly-curated food stations, the Cucina offers all aspects of an Italian meal. The stations include panini and charcuterie; pasta, crudo and grill; pizza; il wine bar; dolci; cafe and tea; frutta and verdura; and mercato and fiori.
35 NE 26th St., Wynwood / @domamiami
Dōma presents a unique approach, featuring Mediterranean-inspired, Southern Italian cuisine. Chef Marco Giugliano's Neapolitan roots are seen throughout his dishes, emphasizing the freshest ingredients in both traditional and new recipes.
Insider's tip: Order the Tagliolini with black truffle
Sapore di Mare
3111 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove / @saporedimarecoconutgrove
Furnished as if the restaurant were a boat, the colors and decor of Sapore di Mare will truly give you the Amalfi Coast feel. The menu continues this notion, with a strong emphasis on high and authentic quality ingredients imported from Italy.
Insider's tip: "The off-menu truffle Cacio e Pepe dish is a must-try, which comes served in a pecorino cheese wheel. They also have gluten-free pasta available upon request," says Schnur.
111 NE 41st St., Miami / @contessaristorante
Drawing inspiration from northern Italy’s old-world refinement and iconic villas, this new Major Food Group restaurant features a wide assortment of Italian signature dishes made from the finest artisanal products. From melt-in-your-mouth pastas to signature pizzas and a wide selection of poultry, meat and fish dishes, you cannot go wrong with Contessa’s cuisine.
335 S Biscayne Blvd., Biscayne Bay / @ilgabbianorestaurant
Brothers Gino and Fernando Masci have mastered the traditional Italian vibe. A Miami classic, Il Gabbiano’s finest dishes have amazing flavor and an unbeatable atmosphere. Some even call it the most romantic restaurant in Miami, looking over the waters of Biscayne Bay and the beautiful cityscape.
Pane e Vino
1450 Washington Ave., Miami Beach / @paneevino_mia
Pane e Vino is a cultural experience where you can experience the taste and feel of Italy in the heart of Miami. With a casual ambiance, Pane e Vino provides a classy and intimate feel. With an open pasta kitchen concept, customers can watch the process of their homemade pasta from start to finish.
Insider's tip: Order the tiramisu and watch it made tableside!
49 Collins Ave., Miami Beach / @majorfoodgroup
Opening originally in New York City’s Greenwich Village, this Major Food Group staple serves elevated versions of classic Italian-American dishes since expanding to Miami in 2021. The menu features countless standout dishes such as the famous spicy rigatoni in a vodka sauce and the Caesar salad,pSpaghetti puttanesca and chicken Massimo.
Photography by: Samantha Schnur (@thenaughtyfork)