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Guidebook for Miami

Melissa

Guidebook for Miami

Food Scene
Michael's is an iconic Miami restaurant that serves simple, delicious food with fresh ingredients. The oysters here always are amazing, the ceviche always fresh, and their duck confit is outstanding. Michael's always is bustling, particularly during the season and Art Basel. You very well could run into a Heat player or celebrity, but the place totally is unpretentious and has a very cool, relaxed Miami vibe. Michael's is located in the heart of the Design District, so you can stroll among the designer shops before or after your meal.
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Michael's Genuine Food & Drink - MIAMI
130 Northeast 40th Street
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Michael's is an iconic Miami restaurant that serves simple, delicious food with fresh ingredients. The oysters here always are amazing, the ceviche always fresh, and their duck confit is outstanding. Michael's always is bustling, particularly during the season and Art Basel. You very well could run into a Heat player or celebrity, but the place totally is unpretentious and has a very cool, relaxed Miami vibe. Michael's is located in the heart of the Design District, so you can stroll among the designer shops before or after your meal.
Ghee recently was opened by the former chef du cuisine from Michael's Genuine Food & Drink. Ghee is a charming spot in the Design District that serves high-end Indian delights. Try out their tasting menu. You will get to taste nearly everything on the menu and they do not skimp, so you will leave feeling very satisfied. The ingredients used at Ghee are very fresh and the flavors tend to be a little simpler than your standard Indian fare, so it is great for people who typically steer away from Indian food as being too hot or spicy.
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Ghee Miami Design District
3620 NE 2nd Ave
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Ghee recently was opened by the former chef du cuisine from Michael's Genuine Food & Drink. Ghee is a charming spot in the Design District that serves high-end Indian delights. Try out their tasting menu. You will get to taste nearly everything on the menu and they do not skimp, so you will leave feeling very satisfied. The ingredients used at Ghee are very fresh and the flavors tend to be a little simpler than your standard Indian fare, so it is great for people who typically steer away from Indian food as being too hot or spicy.
Josh's Deli is a "jewish" deli in Surfside, very close to the beach. I say "jewish" because Josh's is nothing like the New York delis that we think of when we classify something as a jewish deli. Josh's place is a little more . . . how do I say this . . . friendly and modern. That said, Josh makes pastrami and corned beef like the best of them. His menu offers modern takes on some classic deli staples and is a great place for brunch/lunch after a night on South Beach. My favorite thing to do after eating at Josh's is to stroll over to the beach and let the food coma take over.
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Josh's Deli
9517 Harding Avenue
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Josh's Deli is a "jewish" deli in Surfside, very close to the beach. I say "jewish" because Josh's is nothing like the New York delis that we think of when we classify something as a jewish deli. Josh's place is a little more . . . how do I say this . . . friendly and modern. That said, Josh makes pastrami and corned beef like the best of them. His menu offers modern takes on some classic deli staples and is a great place for brunch/lunch after a night on South Beach. My favorite thing to do after eating at Josh's is to stroll over to the beach and let the food coma take over.
Zak the Baker, located in Wynwood, is a great stop for delicious pastries and bread. I believe Zak soon will be offering up breakfast as well (they currently are in the process of combining their old deli with the bakery). Zak the Baker always is bustling with activity, so be sure to get there early to have all options available to you. I particularly am fond of their apricot danish. Zak is 100% kosher.
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Zak the Baker
295 NW 26th St
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Zak the Baker, located in Wynwood, is a great stop for delicious pastries and bread. I believe Zak soon will be offering up breakfast as well (they currently are in the process of combining their old deli with the bakery). Zak the Baker always is bustling with activity, so be sure to get there early to have all options available to you. I particularly am fond of their apricot danish. Zak is 100% kosher.
Pinch is downright delicious. The food at Pinch is exactly what you would want to make for yourself if you were cooking at home. The atmosphere is very relaxing and the staff is so welcoming. It is a great place to go for a chill, relaxing meal. They are open for brunch on the weekends and lunch and dinner everyday. Just go.
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PINCH KITCHEN
8601 Biscayne Blvd
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Pinch is downright delicious. The food at Pinch is exactly what you would want to make for yourself if you were cooking at home. The atmosphere is very relaxing and the staff is so welcoming. It is a great place to go for a chill, relaxing meal. They are open for brunch on the weekends and lunch and dinner everyday. Just go.
Blue Collar is one of those places that reminds you of good ol' home cooking. It very much is going for "I just worked a long hard day and want a big comforting meal." There are all kinds of options on Blue Collar's menu, but the way I like to do it is to get one of the "dailies" (ribs, parm, or braise) and a bunch of sides from the "veg chalkboard." The place is small and always packed, so best to make a reservation or go for an early dinner or early brunch (which really is more of breakfast than brunch, right?).
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Blue Collar
6730 Biscayne Boulevard
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Blue Collar is one of those places that reminds you of good ol' home cooking. It very much is going for "I just worked a long hard day and want a big comforting meal." There are all kinds of options on Blue Collar's menu, but the way I like to do it is to get one of the "dailies" (ribs, parm, or braise) and a bunch of sides from the "veg chalkboard." The place is small and always packed, so best to make a reservation or go for an early dinner or early brunch (which really is more of breakfast than brunch, right?).
I have to admit that I have fallen a bit out of love with Mandolin. It's just not what it used to be. But, that said, it remains a go-to spot in Miami. Mandolin truly is a beautiful and charming restaurant, and a really great spot for a romantic evening. The octopus at Mandolin probably is some of the best that I have had. The other mediterranean dishes are just standard. But, you go to Mandolin for the atmosphere and not so much for the food. It is located near the design district, so a great place to end a day of shopping (or window shopping, which is about all I can do in the Design District).
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Mandolin Aegean Bistro
4312 Northeast 2nd Avenue
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I have to admit that I have fallen a bit out of love with Mandolin. It's just not what it used to be. But, that said, it remains a go-to spot in Miami. Mandolin truly is a beautiful and charming restaurant, and a really great spot for a romantic evening. The octopus at Mandolin probably is some of the best that I have had. The other mediterranean dishes are just standard. But, you go to Mandolin for the atmosphere and not so much for the food. It is located near the design district, so a great place to end a day of shopping (or window shopping, which is about all I can do in the Design District).
I know tacos. It's just the Californian in me. Most places outside of California are not good at tacos. Miami is no exception. However, Taquiza knows its tacos. Taquiza takes the time to get all their meat options just right--you know this because they don't try to mask their meat with a bunch of ridiculous toppings that have no place being on a taco. I always love a good taco al pastor, which Taquiza does well, but I particularly am fond of their conchinita tacos. The spice and flavors are just right. Oh, and the tortillas are just perfect! Taquiza basically is a walk up stand with limited seating, but don't let this detract you--it only adds to the authenticity.
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Taquiza
1506 Collins Avenue
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I know tacos. It's just the Californian in me. Most places outside of California are not good at tacos. Miami is no exception. However, Taquiza knows its tacos. Taquiza takes the time to get all their meat options just right--you know this because they don't try to mask their meat with a bunch of ridiculous toppings that have no place being on a taco. I always love a good taco al pastor, which Taquiza does well, but I particularly am fond of their conchinita tacos. The spice and flavors are just right. Oh, and the tortillas are just perfect! Taquiza basically is a walk up stand with limited seating, but don't let this detract you--it only adds to the authenticity.
Andiamo! has a really special place in my heart. To some, it may just be a pizza joint, but to me it's so much more. The atmosphere at Andiamo! is great. It is big, open, and very relaxing despite being just off busy Biscayne Blvd. The staff at Andiamo! are very attentive and friendly, making it a great place to hang out and stay awhile. The pizza is great too. Traditional brick oven pizza with a thin, but chewy crust and great toppings. I am very partial to the New Yorker, which basically is an upgraded margherita pizza. What I particularly love about Andiamo!'s pizzas is that they use really great tomato sauce--its got the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness.
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Andiamo! Brick Oven Pizza
5600 Biscayne Boulevard
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Andiamo! has a really special place in my heart. To some, it may just be a pizza joint, but to me it's so much more. The atmosphere at Andiamo! is great. It is big, open, and very relaxing despite being just off busy Biscayne Blvd. The staff at Andiamo! are very attentive and friendly, making it a great place to hang out and stay awhile. The pizza is great too. Traditional brick oven pizza with a thin, but chewy crust and great toppings. I am very partial to the New Yorker, which basically is an upgraded margherita pizza. What I particularly love about Andiamo!'s pizzas is that they use really great tomato sauce--its got the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness.
Cream Parlor is super cute. It totally feels like you walked into a homey cafe in a quiet oceanside town on the California coast, but it just happens to be in Miami and off of busy Biscayne Blvd. Cream Parlor serves simple, nourishing food and has really great coffee (I truly am always surprised by how good their coffee is). They also have ice cream of many unique flavors. Try the Purple Rain! Cream Parlor is a great place to hang out. The staff here are amazing--so, so, so friendly--and there are all kinds of nooks to relax. Be sure to check out the back patio--its such a nice retreat!
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Cream Parlor
8224 Biscayne Blvd
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Cream Parlor is super cute. It totally feels like you walked into a homey cafe in a quiet oceanside town on the California coast, but it just happens to be in Miami and off of busy Biscayne Blvd. Cream Parlor serves simple, nourishing food and has really great coffee (I truly am always surprised by how good their coffee is). They also have ice cream of many unique flavors. Try the Purple Rain! Cream Parlor is a great place to hang out. The staff here are amazing--so, so, so friendly--and there are all kinds of nooks to relax. Be sure to check out the back patio--its such a nice retreat!
So, I must admit that I never have been to Sugarcane. However, I need more than my two hands to count how many times it has been recommended to me--not just by your average Joe but also by people in the Miami restaurant/food industry. From what I hear, the food is great, the atmosphere is amazing, and it is just a fun place to be. The biggest draw, from what I hear, is the happy hour. I apparently is the best in Miami.
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SUGARCANE raw bar grill
3252 Northeast 1st Avenue
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So, I must admit that I never have been to Sugarcane. However, I need more than my two hands to count how many times it has been recommended to me--not just by your average Joe but also by people in the Miami restaurant/food industry. From what I hear, the food is great, the atmosphere is amazing, and it is just a fun place to be. The biggest draw, from what I hear, is the happy hour. I apparently is the best in Miami.
If you are into Italian, then Macchialina is the place to go. The food here really is delicious and reminds me of some of the great Italian joints in Philadelphia (which, in my opinion, is the best place to experience true, like cooked by your Italian grandmother, Italian cooking). The place is pretty small, so be sure to make a reservation.
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Macchialina Taverna Rustica
820 Alton Road
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If you are into Italian, then Macchialina is the place to go. The food here really is delicious and reminds me of some of the great Italian joints in Philadelphia (which, in my opinion, is the best place to experience true, like cooked by your Italian grandmother, Italian cooking). The place is pretty small, so be sure to make a reservation.
This is my favorite place to get a Cuban coffee outside of Little Havana.
Three Palms Cuban Cafe
11500 Biscayne Blvd
This is my favorite place to get a Cuban coffee outside of Little Havana.
Parks & Nature
Fairchild is hands-down the best botanical garden in the country. It truly is beautiful and a great place to see a variety of plants, trees, cacti, etc., that you won't get to see anywhere else in the USA. What I like to do when visiting Fairchild is bring a picnic! It's a great way to spend an afternoon (and a great "date" option as well).
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Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
10901 Old Cutler Rd
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Fairchild is hands-down the best botanical garden in the country. It truly is beautiful and a great place to see a variety of plants, trees, cacti, etc., that you won't get to see anywhere else in the USA. What I like to do when visiting Fairchild is bring a picnic! It's a great way to spend an afternoon (and a great "date" option as well).
Crandon Park and Beach is a very good alternative to South Beach. It is very large with plenty of parking, and tends to be a spot of family picnics and parties. What makes Crandon unique to Miami's many other beaches is that it is lined with palm trees, so you can always find a shady spot to relax.
Crandon Park Beach Key Biscayne, 33149, États-Unis
Crandon Park and Beach is a very good alternative to South Beach. It is very large with plenty of parking, and tends to be a spot of family picnics and parties. What makes Crandon unique to Miami's many other beaches is that it is lined with palm trees, so you can always find a shady spot to relax.
North Beach between 75th and 79th streets truly is a locals beach. It is a great, quiet spot to relax and take in the sun. Since it gets less traffic than South Beach, it also is much cleaner--so you have no fear as to where to drop your towel. North Beach is very close to the Casita, so it is a great spot if you want to take in the sunrise or sunset.
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North Beach
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North Beach between 75th and 79th streets truly is a locals beach. It is a great, quiet spot to relax and take in the sun. Since it gets less traffic than South Beach, it also is much cleaner--so you have no fear as to where to drop your towel. North Beach is very close to the Casita, so it is a great spot if you want to take in the sunrise or sunset.
Much like North Beach, Surfside Beach tends to get less traffic than South Beach and so is cleaner and a more relaxing way to visit the beach. Surfside Beach is my go-to spot after a large brunch at Josh's Deli.
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Surfside Beach
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Much like North Beach, Surfside Beach tends to get less traffic than South Beach and so is cleaner and a more relaxing way to visit the beach. Surfside Beach is my go-to spot after a large brunch at Josh's Deli.
Bill Baggs is a great park to rent a bike and ride around. There are all kinds of things to do in the park, including taking a tour of the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse.
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Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
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Bill Baggs is a great park to rent a bike and ride around. There are all kinds of things to do in the park, including taking a tour of the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse.
Arts & Culture
The Wynwood District is where you want to be if you want to hop around various art galleries and murals. The Wynwood Walls, which feature rotating murals by various artists, including Shapard Fairey, are a great place to start the journey. Overall, Wynwood is a great place to spend the afternoon walking around touring galleries, shops, and hip eateries.
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Wynwood
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The Wynwood District is where you want to be if you want to hop around various art galleries and murals. The Wynwood Walls, which feature rotating murals by various artists, including Shapard Fairey, are a great place to start the journey. Overall, Wynwood is a great place to spend the afternoon walking around touring galleries, shops, and hip eateries.
The Marguilies has one of the most interesting collections of all the galleries in Wynwood. Many of the works here are huge installations pieces, so you really get to experience the art in a more tangible, bodily way. There is no set vision, meaning each piece will offer something unique and different. It is a great place to experience the diversity that art has to offer.
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The Margulies Collection at the WAREhOUSE
591 Northwest 27th Street
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The Marguilies has one of the most interesting collections of all the galleries in Wynwood. Many of the works here are huge installations pieces, so you really get to experience the art in a more tangible, bodily way. There is no set vision, meaning each piece will offer something unique and different. It is a great place to experience the diversity that art has to offer.
The Rubell Family Collection is another great gallery to visit while exploring Wynwood (though I do believe the collection will be moving sometime this year). The Rubell Family Collection has one of the largest modern art collections in the world, and many of the pieces offer a stark and biting commentary of modern culture. The Rubell also tends to have some of the most interesting and unique exhibitions of any art gallery in Miami.
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Rubell Museum
95 Northwest 29th Street
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The Rubell Family Collection is another great gallery to visit while exploring Wynwood (though I do believe the collection will be moving sometime this year). The Rubell Family Collection has one of the largest modern art collections in the world, and many of the pieces offer a stark and biting commentary of modern culture. The Rubell also tends to have some of the most interesting and unique exhibitions of any art gallery in Miami.
To me, the Perez is akin to any modern/contemporary art museum that you'd find in major city in the country. That said, it sets itself apart from the likes of MOMA or SFMOMA in that its collection is smaller and tends to be better curated. You won't find the type of jaw-dropping pieces at the Perez that you might find at the higher-end galleries in Wynwood, but you will find pieces that are palatable to a larger group of people and thus the Perez is a place any visitor can enjoy.
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Pérez Art Museum Miami
1103 Biscayne Boulevard
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To me, the Perez is akin to any modern/contemporary art museum that you'd find in major city in the country. That said, it sets itself apart from the likes of MOMA or SFMOMA in that its collection is smaller and tends to be better curated. You won't find the type of jaw-dropping pieces at the Perez that you might find at the higher-end galleries in Wynwood, but you will find pieces that are palatable to a larger group of people and thus the Perez is a place any visitor can enjoy.
If you are interested in the history of art and design, the Wolfsonian is a must visit. The collection here is great, but I tend to favor their rotating exhibitions. One of my favorites was an exhibition they had on tropics-inspired fabrics and decor. The museum is small, and so makes a good stop when you want to get away from the buzz of South Beach for a couple of hours.
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The Wolfsonian-Florida International University
1001 Washington Avenue
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If you are interested in the history of art and design, the Wolfsonian is a must visit. The collection here is great, but I tend to favor their rotating exhibitions. One of my favorites was an exhibition they had on tropics-inspired fabrics and decor. The museum is small, and so makes a good stop when you want to get away from the buzz of South Beach for a couple of hours.
Shopping
The Design District is a great place for window shopping (or shopping if you really want to throw-down and get yourself a $10K watch or $5K shoes). Its a great place to stroll during the afternoon and to browse the current avant garde and haute couture trends.
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Miami Design District
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The Design District is a great place for window shopping (or shopping if you really want to throw-down and get yourself a $10K watch or $5K shoes). Its a great place to stroll during the afternoon and to browse the current avant garde and haute couture trends.