Where to Go for Art and Food
With an emerging art scene it is essential to take advantage of Miami’s aesthetic appeal. Wynwood Walls (2520 NW 2nd Ave) Wynwood’s street art stretches for miles with each building in the area bursting with different colors, patterns, and designs. The modern artwork that covers every wall provides unique murals by artists from around the globe. After spending the day walking around, the streets are flooded with delicious food trucks that alone bring fame to the neighborhood. Whether in the mood for something cheesy at The World Famous House of Mac or a cold Mr. Bing shaved ice cream one can find a delicious treat next to any of their favorite art pieces. Brickell City Center (701 S Miami Ave) Located in the heart of the downtown area, this shopping center is flooded with high-end stores and some of Miami’s finest restaurants. The metallic walls, complimented by titanium columns protruding from the sides, that ultimately merge into a brightly lit glass ceiling is a prestigious work of modern design and beauty. Right on the fourth floor is the local chain Pubbelly Sushi where one can find some of Miami’s freshest sashimi or a tender Peruvian ceviche that melts in the mouth. Design District (3481 NE 2nd Ave) The premier shopping area is covered in beautiful landscape, modern architecture, and colorful structures that make it fitting to its name. As bright orange columns shift to delicate palm trees and vines around the corner, the area offers a variety of swing sets and benches to rest in between shopping and dinning. With some of Miami’s most famous restaurants, outdoor Greek cuisine Mandolin Aegean Bistro is the perfect spot to take a break in their white and blue décor under their shaded patio.
The Foodies Paradise
Latin influences are deeply interwoven into local cuisine, setting the stage for unique plates of mixed cultural foods only to be found in the streets of Miami. Salty Donut (50 NW 23rd St. #112) The recently opened Wynwood shop understandably deserves the hype garnered around their sensational brioche donuts. Experience the sensation of Miami’s Latin inspired food with their Guava and Cheese donut that overflows with soft cream cheese and sweet guava at every bite. Havana Harry’s (4612 S Le Jeune Rd) With a prominent Cuban restaurant scene brewing in Miami, Havana Harry’s serves as the local gem of savory Latin cuisine. Indulge on their one-of-a-kind dish, the “Tostones Especiales” for crispy tostones topped with garlicky beef, melted cheese, and avocado to be transported to Havana in the middle of Coral Gables. Blue Collar (6730 Biscayne Blvd) A small restaurant nestled in an old motel off of Biscayne, Blue Collar’s menu can satisfy any food craving with their wide array of cuisine. With dishes ranging from a gooey four cheese Mac to their unique Cuban sandwich spring rolls- this restaurant truly offers any of Miami’s most delectable foods.
Places to Stay
Biltmore (1200 Anastasia Ave Coral Gables, FL)
Located away from the hustle of the downtown and beach areas, The Biltmore is a classic hotel wedged in the middle of Coral Gables. As a National Historic Landmark that was once a hospital in World War II, its Floridian beauty cannot be missed. Coral Gables also offers the delightful simplicity of more local restaurants with bigger portions and delicious food.
Fountain Bleu (441 Collins Ave Miami Beach, FL)
For those looking to engage in the nightlife that trademarks Miami as a US party city- then the Fountain Bleu in South Beach is ideal. Housing the notorious LIV nightclub, along with three large pools beside the beach, the hotel offers all the necessary amenities to enjoy the city’s vibrant party scene.
SLS Brickell (1300 S Miami Ave)
The eclectic style of the SLS Hotel in the heart of Brickell is a close walk to its prominent restaurants, bars, and the Brickell City Center. Its colorful outside décor and large rooftop pools that offers a 360-degree view of the city creates a sanctuary in the midst of the downtown chaos.
Delano (1635 Collins Ave Miami Beach)
The boutique hotel, walking distance from the major attractions of Miami Beach, propels its guests into a fantastical world with their subtle Alice and Wonderland theme. Large white curtains drape through a large lobby that leads outside to a long, clean- cut, rectangular pool surrounded by plush white chairs.
Just an hour south of Miami is the relaxed island paradise of Key Largo. The Florida style architecture complimented by the nautical décor of the area can only be experienced in this small town of beaches, local shops, and fresh seafood dinning. The island gives tourists and Miamians alike a break from the chaos of the city to truly enjoy the Florida sun and warmth. Originating just a little ways south in Key West, the key lime pie of Key Largo offers a sensational flavor unprecedented to any food lover. Driving down to reach Hobo’s Café, a quaint restaurant blending into the Key Largo atmosphere, is worth the trip merely to try their creamy key lime pie complimented by their homemade whip cream- a best in Florida.
Cultural Gems of Miami
Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Blvd) Offering ballets, operas, and Broadway plays the Adrienne Arsht Center is a cultural haven for lovers of the performing arts. For all visiting the area around the Christmas season, their rendition of the Nutcracker is a classic portrayal of an all time favorite. Key Biscayne The Island located east of Miami is a short 10-minute bridge away and guarantees a more secluded experience to the hectic Miami Beach beaches. Luscious palm trees and mangroves surround an area untainted by large infrastructure or chains. Housing a large residential community one can often find the locals strolling the island in golf carts and flip-flops to run their daily errands. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens (10901 Old Cutler Rd Coral Gables) Deep in South Miami one can enter into the lush world of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. A wide variety of vegetation and lily ponds surround the property offering a first hand look at rare tropical plants, flowering trees, and vines. Tours are offered daily in English and Spanish from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., and can be accessed upon arrival.
Hidden Food Treasure of Miami
Miami loves Cuban food and some of its best restaurants can be found on Calle Ocho right in Little Havana. The Cuban flare of the city comes to life in the streets of this little corner of Miami, where one can find men wearing their guayaberas and smoking cigars as they play dominos alongside the corner of La Carreta restaurant. Murals of Cuban pride paint the town along with the vibrancy of salsa music playing through the windows of its bars and restaurants. Exploring the different restaurants gives a taste of the different traditional Cuban recipes dating back to secret family recipes. In need of recommendations for classic Cuban cuisine? Vaca frita, ropa vieja, media noche, or a mojito pork sandwhich are a guaranteed success at any Cuban restaurant. Be sure to end at Gilbert’s Bakery to pickup a guava pastelito, croquet, and café con leche for a midday snack.
Q&A- Nerry Ynclan
Nerry Ynclan, former journalist for the Miami Herald, producer on NBC, and current head of Nerry Ynclan Production has lived in Miami her entire life. As an expert of the Miami scene she opened up about her thoughts of the city.
Where is the best area to stay in while visiting? Miami Beach is the most notorious but honestly Brickell will give you a more genuine feel for the city and it’s the easiest to walk around in.
Does Brickell, in your opinion, offer the best restaurants? They have the biggest variety and different types of food, and undoubtedly some of the highest quality ingredients.
How would you recommend one maneuver around Miami? Rent a car- Miami is a large city spread very widely a part and it is most easily accessible through a car.