Miami is often known solely as a city for bachelor and bachelorette parties, or as “Cuba in the USA.” While both hold true—it is also a city teeming with art, culture, and cuisine—both Latino and otherwise. Having been raised in South America and Florida, I’m naturally attracted to the vibrant Hispanic culture, sunshine, and warm beaches of this southern city. The bustling city has so much more to offer beyond South Beach, with a variety of different neighborhoods with different personas, restaurants, shops, and culture. Most visitors visit South Beach and Brickell, the high-end, downtown area of posh skyscrapers and young professionals. Personally, I adore Wynwood, the hipster ‘hood known for its famous graffiti walls, pop-up shops, and food trucks. The Design District is also a great spot for high-end shopping, dinners, and cute cafés. Little Havana has some great restaurants, young families, and cool vibes in addition to the already enticing Cuban culture of little cafés and lively salsa spots.
This South Beach French patisserie is located the cutest neighborhood, South of Fifth, and has a glamorous interior and great patio. We loved the juices and pastries, as well as heartier fare like avocado toast and steak frites. Read the review here. Bakehouse Brasserie, 808 First Street, Miami Beach, FL
Bazaar at SLS South Beach
This posh, pristine and playful restaurant with a patio that overlooks the SLS pool party can’t be beat as far as Miami brunch vibes go. We loved the Cuban fare, and the caviar buffet. This hotel is a must-visit for brunch, pool, cocktails or otherwise. Read the review here. The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS South Beach, 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL
Miami is all about glamorous vibes, good views, and a see-and-be-seen culture. As such, Juvia, a posh rooftop right on Lincoln Road in South Beach, is the quintessential Miami spot. The rooftop views were spectacular, the rosé was flowing, and the beautiful people were everywhere. Plus, the service was top notch and the food quite lovely. Read the review here. Juvia, 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139
This retro, glam little cottage in Wynwood boasts palm print wallpaper, greenery walls, and a sun-drenched outdoor patio filled with locals and their pups at brunch. From Benedict burgers to stuffed French toast, the menu was American comfort food heaven. Read the review here. Morgan’s Restaurant, 28 Northeast 29th Street, Miami, FL
This pastel, sun-lit café in the Design District is perfect for coffee, breakfast, or an all-day work session. We did all three, loving the overnight oats, matcha lattes, and cappuccinos. Read the review here. OTL Miami, 160 NE 40th St, Miami, FL 33137
Lobster Bar & Grille
Lobster Bar & Grille, 404 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL.
This Coral Gables café is a staple for locals, with great coffee from local roastery Panther and breakfast daily. We loved the avo toasts, French toasts, and the coffee, of course. Read the review here. Threefold Café, 141 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables, FL
27 Restaurant at the Freehand Hotel
Tucked away into this artist retreat-type hostel is a bomb brunch spot. The decor will make you feel right at home, but the global cuisine will transport you anywhere but. Be sure to come back from drinks as well. Read our review here. 2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140
Spend all your money at the club and still need to eat? We’ve got you covered. Coyo Taco is a popular local spot with locations in Brickell and Wynwood. It’s fast casual—you order at the bar and take your seat—and affordable. The tacos and elote (street corn) hit the spot. We recommend the al pastor pork tacos, the short rib, or the fried grouper, as you are in Florida. More info here.
Bazaar Mar at SLS Hotel
We had the dining experience of our lives at Bazaar Mar, a seafood-centric, molecular gastronomy experience at the new SLS Hotel in Brickell. From the stunning space to the impeccable service, every moment of Bazaar Mar was incredible—we’ve never tasted anything like it. Read our dinner review here. Bazaar Mar, 1300 South Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33130
Beaker & Grey
After an evening of exploring the Wynwood Walls, you’ll want a relaxing meal at this rustic former factory space. We loved the global cuisine that is perfect for sharing over a double date. The short rib gnocchi and the cookie dough doughnuts are must-orders with a great cocktail or a bottle of wine. Beaker & Grey, 2637 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33127
This sexy Asian street fare spot is popular for both familiar sushi and more inventive Thai dishes. We like to live luxe, so we’d recommend the “14 Karats” signature dish, with taraba kani, truffle oil, uni, caviar and gold flakes. NaiYaRa, 1854 Bay Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
I had the best burger of my life at Michael’s Genuine, the namesake restaurant for popular Miami restauranteur. There’s outdoor seating, great food, and a fun setting at this popular Miami spot in the Design District. Be sure to make a reservation. Michael’s Genuine, 130 NE 40th St., Miami, FL 33137 (Design District)
Vicky’s House Milkshake Bar & Tasting Room
We made an emergency milkshake run on a Sunday night to Vicky’s—a 80s retro milkshake shop. (Yes, you heard that correctly.) With its 80s tunes, bright vintage wallpaper and retro appliances, Vicky’s takes you back in time. You wait quite awhile for some $15 milkshakes that are works of art in themselves, but you can enjoy the Stranger Things vibes along the way. Naturally, we had to order the Breakfast Club-inspired milkshake, a vanilla and espresso base topped with Captain Crunch, bacon, maple syrup, and an entire doughnut from the Salty Donut. It was worth the drive, price, wait, and stomach ache—if just for the experience.
The other milkshake was dubbed the “ET Goes to the Movies to See the Goonies” and was salted caramel ice cream, whipped cream, caramel popcorn, Reese’s Pieces, Coca Cola gummies and an entire Babe Ruth bar—in the milkshake. Talk about food porn. Vicky’s House Milkshake Bar & Tasting Room. 3190 Commodore Place, Miami, FL 33133 (Coconut Grove)
Yung Lai Thai Tapas
This Thai spot in Little Havana knocked our socks off—from the fried rice to the spicy beef to basically everything. Be warned, there’s quite the wait and no reservations, but it’s worth it. Yung Lai Thai Tapas, 1731 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135
The Salty Donut
Enormous, craft, small-batch doughnuts can be found at Salty Donut, with flavors like cookies and cream, sweet potato and marshmallow, and Maple bacon. These 24-hour brioche doughnuts are absolute heaven—and worth getting up early to get them before they’re gone! The Salty Donut, 50 NW 23rd St. #112 Miami, FL
This popular bar in downtown Miami in Brickell is a bit edgy, but pours a great cocktail and is packed with young professionals come midnight—Miami is a late city, after all. The cocktails are great and the back patio is stellar. Blackbird Ordinary, 729 SW 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33130
The Broken Shaker at the Freehand
The Freehand is a high-end hostel from the Sydell Group located on Miami Beach—filled with beautiful locals and international travelers, it has an awesome restaurant, 27 Restaurant, a lively pool scene that’s not a trashy party, and an incredible cocktail bar: the Broken Shaker. While the vibe is that of a laid back tiki bar, the cocktails are serious—it’s some of the most impressive mixology I’ve ever seen. Broken Shaker, 2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140
This kitshy, playful outdoor bar in Wynwood can’t be beat, with its good vibes, palm trees, live tunes, and tons of space. We visited for Cinco de Mayo, enjoying delicious, cheap margaritas amid the brightly painted walls, mismatched wooden tables, and kitschy signs. Gramps, 176 N.W. 24th St, Miami, FL 33127
Hoy Como Ayer
As I’m not one for night clubs and I’m quite the salsa dancer, I’d prefer an authentic salsa spot to a fancy pants South Beach club any day. The music is better and the drinks are cheaper. I found just the authenticity I was looking for at Hoy Como Ayer, a live music club with Cuban music, dancing and great mojitos. Just brush up on your Spanish before you head over. Hoy Como Ayer, 2212 SW 8th St., Miami, FL
Sweet Liberty is one of the cooler bars I’ve visited—it’s part Southern, shabby chic, part edgy speakeasy, full-on cocktail bar, with a menu of creative libations with something to suit anyone. The cocktails are served in an assortment of playful glasses: from ceramic sharks to imposing tiki glasses. Naturally, we loved the Basic Bitch cocktail, a cocktail made with strawberry, lemon, Prosecco and St. Germain, and the Piña Colada can’t be beat. There’s Southern fare like fried green tomatoes and crab toast with craft cocktails—and you can’t beat that. Sweet Liberty, 237-B 20th Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139
If you’re looking for luxury, head over to North Miami Beach to Bal Harbour , where you’ll find Tory Burch, Chanel, Dolce & Gabana, Phillip Lim, Akris, Celine, Dior, and many more. Even if you don’t have a big budget to blow, it’s a beautiful space to walk around and window shop amid the well-placed palm trees and bubbling fountains. Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbor, FL
The Design District
Miami’s Design District is home to more luxury boutiques, like Maison Margiela, Tory Burch, Harry Winston, Rolex and more. But, it’s also home to dozens of designer home boutiques, with housewares and home furnishings like you’ve never seen. These are no doubt where the rich and fabulous of Miami furnish their second and third homes—but a Bitch can dream. It’s also home to Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and OTL Café. Find more information here. 3841 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL
Known for its namesake colorful graffiti walls, Wynwood is our favorite neighborhood to spend the afternoon and evening—it’s the Brooklyn of Miami. It’s packed with great brunch spots, coffee shops, taco joints, food trucks, and great boutiques. There’s a Marine Layer, Warby Parker and Scotch & Soda, as well as our preferred independent boutiques: Nomad Tribe, Boho Hunter, and the oh-so-cute Frangipani, which is the perfect place to get anyone in your life a thoughtful gift.