Miami is known for many things. It is without doubt one of America’s favorite vacation spots, due in part to exceptional weather and fabulous beaches. The the boardwalk offers incredible views of some of the most impressive art deco architecture in the world. It also has throbbing nightlife and great food for those who are willing to explore the offerings of the diverse cultures that call Miami home. And one of the most popular foods in this town is Italian, which may come as a surprise for those who are in love with Cuban sandwiches and the fresh seafood that graces restaurant tables.

However, it remains true that there are some great Italian dining options for both locals and visitors.

For those in search of an authentic or uniquely Floridian inspired Italian menu here are some of the best Italian restaurants Miami style.

1. Sapore di Mare Italian.

this great family owned restaurant combines two of the best things that Miami has to offer – seafood and pasta. However, there are some standout dishes which deserve a second (or third glance). One of these is the fried calamari (but the is also difficult to ignore). However do not miss the incredible cheese wheel. The Mediterranean ambiance is great as well.

2. Macchialina.

If there is a more laid back Italian experience in Miami then you are going to struggle to find it. But don’t let the relaxed ambiance fool you – the staff and chef are world class. The pasta is made in-house and you will struggle to find better even in Italy. The short rib lasagna is a taste explosion. And if you plan ahead you can enjoy Thursday nights when pasta dishes from the well thought out menu are priced at only $10 – great value in South Beach.

3. Casa Tua.

If you are in the mood for an extremely upmarket Italian experience then this spot is just what you need. The venue itself is enough to whet your appetite. Lodged in a two story Mediterranean style home it simply oozes charm. However, the classy interior and great food come at a hefty price. The lamb chops for instance will set you back $40. But as a setting for a romantic dinner for two it simply cannot be beaten anywhere outside of Tuscany.

4. Perricone’s Marketplace& Cafe

If you want to enjoy fine Italian food but want to avoid burning a hole in your pocket then Perricone’s Marketplace & Café is the place to pull up a chair. It’s another venue that offers great value on a Thursday night – when pasta dishes are $10. To make the experience even more special there is an Italian market on the premises where guests can pick up some excellent Italian fare to take home. A great wine list and salads take the whole experience of fantastic pasta to a new level.

So get yourself to Miami and learn why the best Italian restaurants Miami style (by the sea) reward with an experience that you will simply never forget.