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miami city guide {UPDATE}

by Grace Bonney

(all photos by Eric Lauer)

Today’s Miami City Guide update comes from Sarah Lederman, author of the lifestyle blog Chevrons & Stripes and co-owner of the jewelry line Aroc Urtu. A born and bred New Yorker, Sarah spent several winters in Miami before moving to Miami Beach, and she has amassed a collection of great local restaurants, shops and activities. Today she shares some of the best Miami has to offer. Thanks for this wonderful guide update, Sarah! — Stephanie

Read the full guide after the jump . . .

When people think of Miami, they think of the glitzy hotels on Collins, expansive clubs with bottle service and celebrity playground, Star Island. In the past few years, Miami has seen an influx of low-key, quality restaurants, carefully curated design shops and a burgeoning independent art scene — but you have to go searching! If you’re visiting for the first time, travel outside the more touristy boundaries of South Beach to check out the Design District, Wynwood and Brickell, where the majority of Miami’s off-the-beaten-path gems can be found.

See all of the below listings on this Google Map.


A first visit to South Beach would be incomplete without a stroll down Collins to take in the historic art deco district and glitzy hotels, its namesake beach and a meal outside on the pedestrian-only Lincoln Road. The island is dotted with upscale restaurants and clubs where you can dance the night away, but even if that’s not your scene, there’s something for everyone here. Take a trip to the bayside for a quieter, less touristy taste of the island.


The Standard is located on a quiet island on the Miami Beach side of the Venetian Causeway. With its laid-back atmosphere and bay-facing views, it’s a far cry from the more sceney hotels on Collins or Ocean Drive. It boasts a well-recognized spa, a fire pit, indoor and outdoor ping pong tables and cabana-style accommodations. Their dockside Lido restaurant is also known for having delicious healthy options (in addition to the “award winning” tater tots — amazing) and sits right on Biscayne Bay with charming twinkle lights overhead.

The Shelborne — Stay at this recently revamped 1930s art deco spot if you’re looking for a lower-key hotel on the beach. The rooms are all situated around the pool motel-style, and there’s a new beachside taco and tequila bar.

Lords — Branded as a gay hotel, anyone who stays here can appreciate the whimsical artwork, bright pops of color and generous use of chevrons and stripes. This cheery bohemian hotel also features giant pop-art-style paintings of cultural icons like Liz Taylor and Debbie Harry. Eat outside on the porch to people watch on Collins or a grab a drink inside at the glittery gold hotel bar. The beach-ball-toting polar bear in the lobby will put a smile on your face.


Yardbird Southern Table & Bar — Having only opened this past summer, Yardbird is one of the newer restaurants in South Beach. The fact that it’s always packed should tell you something. The combination of barn wood and chalkboards gives this Southern restaurant an indie twist. The menu is meat-heavy, and many flock here for the fried chicken and biscuits.

A La Folie Café Francais — Though this place has two locations, I prefer the one on the quiet end of Espanola Way. This quaint café feels like a little taste of Paris in South Beach. Stop in for a meal or just a cappuccino and a crepe; it’s all delicious but depending on the time of day, be prepared to wait!

The Dutch — Andrew Carmellini’s NYC hot spot recently moved into the W on South Beach, and it’s been a hit from the get-go. I love eating here to get a taste of New York life. In a sea of glitzy restaurants playing house music, The Dutch is a welcome escape, serving great food in a location lined with driftwood, vintage pictures and white brick. Carmellini has given the menu at this location a little Latin flair.

Café at Books & Books — One of the more reasonably priced and reliable outdoor eateries on Lincoln Road, it’s great for people watching and those looking for healthier/vegetarian fare. Be sure to stop by the bookstore in the back as it’s one of the nicest independent bookstores in the area.

Joe’s Takeaway — When people think of Joe’s Stone Crab, they often think of long waits and pricey seafood, but if you’re looking for another option, try the next-door takeaway section. This isn’t just a takeaway window but an entire market with tons of seating and a wide selection of salads, stone crabs and most of the regular menu available to order. Favorites include the crab cakes, lobster roll and key lime pie! We often call ahead and pick it up for the ultimate convenient and delicious dinner.

Oliver’s — A laid-back spot with outdoor seating filled with mostly locals on West Ave., closer to the bay. There’s something on the menu for everyone, but their brunch is particularly well thought of. Reservations are rarely necessary.


Babalu Miami — A kiosk-style concept shop tucked away within the famous Herzog & de Meuron designed garage at 1111 Lincoln Road, they have everything from Mentos and soda to Missoni bathrobes and Paul Smith cufflinks. Great for gifts or stocking up on South Beach necessities like flip-flops, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Koto — A whimsical design boutique on Lincoln Road filled with a fun and random assortment of items, from umbrellas and headphones to lomographic cameras and coasters. A great place for unique gifts and cards!

Nest — Perhaps my favorite store on all of Lincoln Road, this two-story interior design boutique showcases some of the best of the best. Browse their beautifully merchandised assortment of Missoni pillows & poufs, Waylande Gregory pottery and a revolving selection of photography prints adorning the walls.

Base — If it’s cool limited-edition menswear you’re looking for, Base is the destination. A live DJ spins while shoppers peruse toys, men’s jewelry, sneakers, coffee table books and a tightly edited selection of clothing.

Consign Of The Times — A must-stop for designer vintage lovers, this cozy little resale boutique is one of the first of its kind in Miami and stocks all the big brands at a fraction of the original price.

Fly Boutique — Vintage addicts come here to dig through clothes and accessories of all price points and time periods at this popular retro consignment shop.

Etc. — Stop by this lofty boutique for luxury home goods and gifts with an Argentinean flair. Owner Monica Kalpakian culls the merchandise from around the world. Whether it’s a set of wood and horn trays from Patagonia or an agate sculpture from Portugal, you’re sure to find something that strikes your fancy.

The Webster — A glamorous three-level boutique situated in the heart of the Art Deco district, the Webster is one part boutique, one part bar/restaurant and one part gallery. They stock both men’s and women’s clothing from contemporary brands like Alexander Wang to Chanel and Tom Ford. Even if it doesn’t fit into your budget, the store practically functions like a museum of beautiful clothes and accessories and is worth a visit just for the eye candy!

Boheme — THE go-to destination for beachwear on South Beach, Boheme is stocked with bikinis, flip-flops, straw hats and a ton of cover-ups from the simplest to the printed and bejeweled. Eat next door at Oliver’s pre- or post-shop.


Art Fairs — Early December is a great time to be in South Beach. Come during Art Baselto take in one of the largest art fairs in the world. Not only are there parties, installations and events all over town, but there are also satellite fairs. Design MiamiVerge and Nada have sprouted up and made a name for themselves on the indie circuit.

Lincoln Road Farmers’ Market/Antique Fair — Stroll around Lincoln Road between Washington Ave. and Meridien Ave. on Sundays between 9 am and 6:30 pm to pick through fresh fruit, veggies, teas, smoothies and more at the weekly Farmers’ Market. Every two weeks, an Antique & Collectibles Market joins forces with the Farmers’ Market.

Espanola Way — While walking down Collins, take a quick detour to Espanola Way, the Historic Spanish District. It’s lined with restaurants and at night is lit from above with twinkle lights. It may be touristy, but it’s worth walking the few blocks. Be sure to check out A La Folie at the end.

Water Sports — One of my favorite parts of living on Miami Beach is how easy it is to jump in the water, either by boat, jet ski or paddleboard. Head to the Miami Beach Marina to rent a jet ski on the pier (typically around $100 for an hour) or to charter a boat from Prime Time Boat Rentals. They rent everything from small power boats to mega-yachts, and it’s one of the best ways to see everything from the famed homes on Star Island to the high rises on the river. You can even charter a boat to the Keys or the Bahamas.


Though I live in (and love) South Beach, I find myself escaping the tourists and crowds on the weekends by heading to either the Design District or Wynwood. If it’s bigger box stores you’re looking for, the Design District is the place to go. Here you’ll find stores like The Rug Company, Jonathan Adler, Janus et Cie and Fendi Casa. Big designer names like Marni and Yohji Yamamoto have also made their way over. Sprinkled in are some truly great restaurants, interesting avant-garde clothing stores and several more independent design shops. Make your way to Wynwood for an amazing ever-changing art scene. The area is filled with galleries, artist studios and street art from world-renowned artists covering nearly every inch of wall space. The second Saturday of each month, when everyone in Miami makes their way over for what feels like a giant party in the streets, is not to be missed.


Michael’s Genuine — Locals and tourists alike flock to this Design District joint to dine on good, honest American food. Ask anyone where to eat in Miami, and they’ll point you here. It’s that popular for a reason — it’s worth it! We love sitting outside in the plaza and ordering lots of small plates and good wine.

Gigi — Great atmosphere and creative dishes can be found at this Asian Fusion restaurant where you can taste a little of everything (their small dishes are meant for sharing). If you’re jonesing for a late-night snack after Art Walk, be sure to stop here, as they have an extensive late-night menu.

Sakaya Kitchen — Sakaya was recently named by Bon Appetit as one of the top six places to try “new Asian fusion.” Come here for a taste of gourmet-style Asian street food and don’t leave without trying the Korean fried chicken and ginger Brussels sprouts! Of note: They also have a food truck called Dim Ssäm à gogo which is equally delicious and worth tracking down or finding in the field at Art Walk.

Harry’s Pizzeria — The third restaurant from Chef Michael Schwartz (of Michael’s Genuine fame). Come here for seasonal creative brick oven pizzas, polenta fries, panther coffee, craft beers and a warm, unpretentious atmosphere.

Maitardi — One of the easier spots to get into in the Design District (often without a reservation), I love the lounge-like vibe of this place. Sit outside and enjoy an Italian tapas-style menu while listening to live music.

Crumb On Parchment — Visit this quaint little bakery/café from Chef Michelle Bernstein of Michy’s fame to kick back and plug in (they have free WiFi) while enjoying a sandwich, banana bread and self-serve coffee.

Lester’s — If you’re looking for a hip coffee spot in nearby Wynwood, check out Lester’s. Sit at communal tables and enjoy an eclectic mix — coffee, snacks, bar fare and a magazine shop filled with hard-to-find publications.

Panther Coffee — Coffee connoisseurs flock to this indie spot for specialty fair trade roasts from a husband-and-wife team with a coffee background based in Portland, Oregon. Enjoy your coffee roasted onsite in an artsy/industrial-style space.

Egg & Dart — This rustic Greek restaurant is one of the Design District’s go-to destinations. Come for delicious traditional Greek specialties like tzatziki, hummus and saganaki.

Joey’s — Located in the heart of Wynwood, sitting outside at Joey’s on the night of Art Walk is a great place to see and be seen. Their thin-crust pizza is a definite fan favorite.

Wynwood Kitchen & Bar is probably one of the cooler dining experiences for street-art lovers. Sit on the outdoor patio, and you’ll be immersed in the Wynwood Walls’ works of amazing artists like Shepard Fairey, Os Gêmeos, Kenny Scharf and more (the inside also features an amazing original Shepard Fairey mural!).


Genius Jones — A design-focused store for “cool” kids. Here you’ll find Dwell Studio bedding, Jonathan Adler bookends and mini Panton chairs for tots. Even design lovers without kids will get a kick out of this place!

Jalan Jalan — Find chic beachy furniture/home accessories at this eclectic showroom in the Design District.

Tomas Maier — There are so many swoon-worthy items at this beachy, whitewashed shop from the creative director of Bottega Veneta. From the gorgeous black and white photography books in the back to the diptyque candles in the front, it’s hard to leave this shop without making a purchase.

En Avance — Check out the latest and greatest in emerging designers (alongside established ones) at this chic boutique in the Design District (one of the first to flock here a few years ago).

Niba — Specializing in home accessories, furniture and lighting, there’s always something colorful, fun and whimsical to be found at Niba.

Sebastien James — Shop here while you wait for your table at Michael’s Genuine just across the plaza in the heart of the Design District. Both men and women will find a nice assortment of contemporary clothing brands.

Christian Louboutin — Now I know this is an obvious choice, BUT this isn’t your average Louboutin store. This particular one is more like a shoe museum, dotted with fresh orchids and lined with cubbies for each shoe. Even if these high-priced kicks don’t fit into your budget, stop in just to admire the jewel box-style store and the ever-changing artistic installations in front.

Plant the Future is the mecca of all terrarium shops. More like living works of art than house plants, these terrariums are designed in giant glass orbs, toys, chairs and other interesting stark white sculptures. Each is completely one of a kind, so the display is ever changing.

Elemental — I always make a pit stop here during Art Walk to see what new cool design items they’re stocking. Whether it’s wall hooks, picture frames or candlesticks, there’s never a shortage of quirky, interesting stuff to look at in here.


Bardot — Big-name DJs frequent this loungey speakeasy-style hot spot to play an intimate set. Come for live music from local musicians or just drinks and a great atmosphere.

Art Walk/Food Trucks — The second Saturday of every month, nearly every Wynwood gallery (and many Design District locales) stay open extra late, serve beer & wine and throw something of a party in the streets. It’s hard to see everything, so if you’re looking for something particular, it’s best to map out which galleries are at the top of your list. And even if you’re not into the art scene, check out the gourmet food trucks that line the street and fill the field on NW 2nd Ave. We try not to miss it and make a night out of it by heading over for dinner, perusing the art and then grabbing a late-night drink perhaps somewhere quieter in the Design District.

Wynwood Walls — If you’re making your way over to Wynwood, the Wynwood Walls & Doors are not to be missed. Murals here have been commissioned from the likes of famous street artists like Shepard Fairey, Os Gêmeos, Ryan McGinness, Invader and Kenny Scharf.

Housed in a former DEA facility, the Rubell Family Collection is one of the largest privately owned contemporary art collections and prominently features some of the most well-known artists from Andy Warhol to Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. Toward the back of the gallery is a public research library and a great bookstore filled to the brim with contemporary art books. It’s worth checking out one of their themed exhibitions before it tours other museums around the country.

de la Cruz Collection is another privately funded contemporary art space featuring both established artists as well as locals. The space is airy and bright, and there are typically groups moving in and out at all times. Bonus: free admission!


Brickell isn’t exactly known for its indie destinations, but they’re sprinkled in here and there. Mixed in with the towering high rises are upscale hotels and restaurants including Zuma (the latest and greatest contemporary Japanese restaurant in town) and Rosa Mexicano. In the past year or two, several great new, low-key spots have opened in this neighborhood, and it’s definitely one to watch.


Tobacco Road — Their claim to fame is being Miami’s oldest dive bar, but locals stop in for cheap beers, burgers and the no-frills atmosphere.

River Oyster Bar — This intimate low-key Brickell restaurant serves up organic and sustainable food, and locals love their daily happy hour specials (1/2 price oysters).

Democratic Republic of Beer — A laid-back spot serving over 500 different types of beer from around the world and a global menu to match.

The Corner — Stop by this brand new candlelit bar and enjoy a “Death in the Afternoon,” one of Hemingway’s favorite cocktails, with a bar bite from one of the chefs that used to work at Zuma.

Kork Wine & Cheese — Perfect for a romantic date night, stop into their cozy underground cellar to enjoy some wine and cheese. They often have live jazz, too!

Cvi.che 105 — Munch on Peruvian-style toasted corn kernels and sip sangria while you wait for your fresh off-the-boat ceviche at this modern Peruvian restaurant.

Casablanca Fish Market — Sitting right on the Miami River, the views here can’t be beat. Not only do they serve up fresh-caught fish, but the restaurant is owned in conjunction with an attached fish market where you can purchase the catch of the day to take home and cook up yourself! Stone crab lovers flock here for decent prices on this typically pricey dish.


Mary Brickell Village is a popular destination for shopping and eating in the area. Stop into Balans for brunch or Burger & Beer Joint for a casual bite. There’s also an outpost of the Miami Beach shop Boheme here.


Spend the day at Vizcaya for a lovely afternoon of strolling through the lush outdoor gardens and accompanying Italian Renaissance-style villas. It’s a little farther than Brickell but worth the trip for a European-style escape in Miami.


Chef Michelle Bernstein — Iron Chef winner, guest judge on Top Chef, and most well-known for her Miami restaurants Michy’s, Sra. Martinez and Crumb on Parchment. She has also won the James Beard Award.

Jeff McInnis – Another Top Chef contestant who now owns the popular restaurant Yardbird. Has also designed part of the menu at Gigi.

Michael Schwartz — Owner of popular restaurants Michael’s Genuine and Harry’s Pizzeria.

Tony Goldman — Developer of the Wynwood Walls and surrounding neighborhood sites. He also produced a documentary about Wynwood.

Rachel Goodrich — Indie songstress

Joel Pollock and Leticia Ramos Pollock — Husband-and-wife

Sara Colombo — Owner of design showroom/store NEST.

Suggested For You


  • Thanks for featuring my hometown, although technically Miami Beach is not Miami. If you want a taste of Miami proper may I suggest the Grove/South Miami area, which is also experiencing a revitalization. Take a long drive down Old Cutler, stop at Fairchild Tropical Gardens, circle Coco Plum and stop for a bit in Coconut Grove or Monty’s in the Yacht Harbor. Also, old South Miami still has a bit of its old school charm (before all the big designer shops went in), great spots for frozen yogurt, local boutiques and walking around. Miracle Mile is also a lovely shopping/eating area. Viscaya is a great place to visit as well as the new design district off of US1 and Bird Road. The selections by the writer are lovely, but this is the “Miami “of CSI, movies and movie stars — Key Biscayne, South Miami, the Grove and even more south towards the Falls have their own special vibe!

  • I am so glad that North Miami was mentioned. After moving to Miami from a city that had a great number of independently owned vintage and art shops, I was disappointed in the “canned glamour” that I found in some areas of the city. North Miami has a creative, independent feel, which is bolstered by the shops mentioned in this article. I think much of this is due to Museum of Contemporary Art, which encourages local, new and emerging artists and offers many free art-related events. (www.mocanomi.org) When in North Miami, be sure to try Casa Mia for delicious Italian food in a quaint resturant off the beaten path, and Cheen-Huaye for the best Mexican food I have had since leaving Texas. The Big Squeeze (mentioned above) also has pretty amazing falafels.

  • Thank you so much for this lovely feature on my hometown! If there is ever a second Miami feature, places like South Miami and Little Havana have tons to offer for the design fan as well. The downtown area’s “Miami Design District” is also home to Art Basel and lots of design firms and art galleries.

  • Perfect timing! I will be in Miami later this month and was afraid of being bored while my BF worked all day. This will def help get me stared. Thx D*S! and Kendra!

    I’m so happy to see Miami featured. You’ve not only help demystify the city, but reminded me I don’t get over to the other coast enough! I’ll be taking your guide with me next time *~)

  • This makes me miss Miami more than ever, especially being in Minnesota’s winter right now! I can’t wait for my next trip there to explore some of these gems, thank you!

  • I have to agree with the first commenter, South Beach is a great place, but its filled with mostly tourist and it doesn’t really represent true Miami.

    I also have to add that the Books and Books in Coral Gables is 100x better than the one in south beach, and if you go during a gallery walk you might even catch a guest artist talking about their new work and signing books.

    True Miami is Southwest of Miami Beach.

  • I just moved away from Miami (sad! it’s cold here in Baltimore!) but I am so thrilled to see Lorenzo’s Market on this post… My hubby and I bought all the ingredients for an amazing gnocchi meal (complete with the pasta and sausage made on the premises, homemade sauce , a bottle of wine and dessert) for $50 and had the best Italian dinner we ever had — cooked at home with the help of sage advice from the really friendly staff there. It looks like a bit of a dump from the outside, but don’t be fooled!

    Another favorite, just north of Miami — La Barraca in Hollywood, for amazing tapas and a flamenco show. It’s the sexiest dinner experience I’ve ever had!

    Great post – I’ve forwarded to all my friends back in SFL! Thanks so much!

  • Thank you for featuring Miami. I live in Midtown right on the border of the Design District. There are plenty of AMAZING design stores up and down Biscayne that lead to North Miami as well as vintage clothing stores and antique furniture stores. Also the cafe’s are crazy cool as well. I had breakfast this morning at Out of the Blue Cafe & Gallery in Midtown and it was great.Your first commenter Lauren mentioned the Grove and Coral Gables. I agree with all the places she mentioned. Miracle Mile (where my studio is) has beautiful shops and restaurants like Izacaya -a Japanese restaurant, Cacao -a steakhouse, Red Koi -a Thai restaurant (Which I wrote a feature about and took some photos of the dishes for a local magazine), my favorite “hole-in-the-wall chinese food place is Gourmet Gourmet, and Maroosh -a great Mediterranean restaurant which is delectable. If you want to have fun in Coral Gables, go shopping on Miracle Mile (there is also a Books and Books in Coral Gables too- it’s behind my studio) or party at ‘The Bar’. The Grove has great restaurants and bars also. It’s very lively and fun at night. On 57th Ave on the border of Coral Gables there is a fun tapas place called ‘El Carajo” (if you know Spanish you are most definitely laughing right now). Also Downtown is growing and features Bayside -an outdoor shopping mall with great shops and restaurants. Brickell has a great city feel with even more restaurants to enjoy. I just moved to Midtown in Dec. from Northwest Miami and the difference from suburbia to the city is literally like a whole new world. Please do a part two because there is more to this great city than the beaches (amazingly enough). Thanks again for the feature.

  • Thank you for mentioning North Miami… my home and business is in North Miami and I am really excited that people are starting to notice our city. Especially all the great little shops on 125th st. between NE 8th ave. and 10th ave. With rent increases in Miami Beach, Wynwood and Design District it is no wonder why lots of new business are finally joining us over on the block. MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) is always hosting great events and workshops for kids and adults to learn more and more about art gallery openings, Art “bootcamps,” book clubs, etc. etc. etc… With economic hardships, this is a budget friendly resource.

  • I’m excited to see a feature on South Florida, but I must agree with a couple of the comments on here. South Beach is in the city of Miami Beach, and not proper Miami. It isn’t a reflection of Miami at all. I hope you can include areas like Coconut Grove, Little Havana, Design District, and other neighborhoods (Miami Twice and the thrift stores strip on NW 27th Avenue northwest of Liberty City). Why not even include southeastern Broward like downtown Hollywood, which has a good mix of independent and charming vintage mom and pops stores and restaurants? Nonetheless, I am thrilled to see my home county on here! Yay!

  • Thanks, Lauren, and everyone else who mentioned places in the “real” Miami! I grew up there but have been gone for years and it really bugs me when people think South Beach is representative of the city. It’s basically Disney World for grownups, and has none of the culture that makes the authentic Miami so special.

  • Thanks for writing about South Beach in all its fantastically ridiculous glory. I’m a South Florida girl who has found a way to love both the “real” Miami and South Beach. You just have to embrace it all. I actually just came across a Miami tote bag http://www.maptote.com/miami.html that has the Miami neighborhoods you mentioned. I gifted my brother the beach tote version last week so he could have a little Miami on the west coast with him in L.A.

  • i no its not much to do with design but me and my 2 girlfriends are planning moving to south beach miami in september,
    we now live in liverpool england and are planning a 3-6 month vacation and hoping to find a bit of bar or waiter work to help towards our stay,
    i would be very gratefull for some advice thankyou very much xx

  • Great post! Sadly, our area of Coral Gables wasn’t mentioned. We, Alhambra Antiques, have been in Coral Gables area for 20 years and specialize in wide range French and European furnishings and lighting. Unfortunately during the boom of the last few years, higher rents forced many furniture showrooms out of the Gables and into areas your post mentions such as the Design District and North Miami. I would love it if you would consider us in any updated guide to South Florida design shopping. I just found you on Twitter, so I’m excited to follow you there.


  • I got to your site all the time but NEVER saw this post. As a born and raised Miami girl this post is great! I have been reading the comments too: Some other fabulous restaurants in the area are:

    * Cheen-Huaye (mentioned above and amazing!!!)

    * UVA on 69th and Biscayne. Great food, vibe, and sangria. Eat inside or out

    * Andiamo Pizza (amazing!!!) and in an old car dealership

    * Graffiti in the Miami Design District

    * Islas Canarias a true Cuban restaurant where you will hear little English and the food is amazing!!!

    We have so many little spots they are just fun to pop/bump into!

  • I’m here in Miami shooting a TV series and your guide is the only thing that saved me. Thank you!

    • jerri

      so happy to hear that! hope you’re having fun. check out the raleigh hotel pool- it’s GORGEOUS. :)

      and dinner at michael’s genuine food in the design district- yum!


  • Those of you from Miami or who have visited..are any of you familiar with/could reccomend Little Haiti??

  • Hi Everyone..I’m hoping by posting this question that I will get honest answers.
    My Mom ( 76) wants to move back to Florida- My dad, her hubby was from Florida- he died a couple of years ago and I think this is her way of trying to reconnect. Currently we’re in Cleveland OH . I know it’ll be very different from when she was young. HOWEVER having said this, she is a woman of the world ( lived in Belgium, North Africa, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Holland, Singapore and England.
    My question: Is there an area near or around Miami that supports the Elderly more so than another?
    My husband and I plan to move too, and though we’re not rich by any means, not even remotely!!!! ..we can support ourselves almost anywhere as we’re self employed and have our own design business. and the internet provides us with almost 95% of our income. My hope is to see my mother fairly , ok- VERY happy. She is on a fixed income but her credit is PERFECT. She wants me to be content too; I want her to have a good last 20 years or so. ( I think me dad was horrid to her.. but that’s not what counts and is another story entirely). Our hope is to be in Florida so she can be too..but we need the support of other like minded , design oriented folks- How’s Port St. Lucie southward (by November 2011). I’m thinking we need Miami to have a hope in remaining solvent. Is this true? What about Palm beach area? We love city life, ( having lived in NYC for 7 years), but can handle suburbs too..as long as we have access to culture- artistic, design needy culture!

    Any insight is greatly appreciated. No kids to think about- just pets and of course my Mom!!!! Happy renting, can do beach bohemia or high rise, or back alley cats!

    My husband and I don’t need much, My mom is old school, she likes her comforts and to feel safe. but she also is very worldly..she’s the kind who’d find SoBe fun..just wouldn’t wan to live in the heart of it!! LOL


    email gr1ff1n08@aol.com or post to this :)
    Thank You KC

  • First, I am addicted to your blog.
    Second, I love your City Guides…and I have a recommendation. It would be awesome if you could have some sort of map feature so that all of these wonderful restaurants and shops could be viewed on a map (a la Trip Advisor) and you could choreograph your daily city walks and shopping trips. It would be just a little more specific then the listing my neighborhood. I am headed to Miami in a few weeks and I would love to use a feature like this to plan my trip.
    Thanks, Alys

    • hi alys!

      all guides starting last week now have maps. when we update guides like this one we’ll be sure to add maps :)


  • I have been living in Miami for the last 11 years, and before in London, Bangalore India, Trinidad, Caracas. I can say Miami is a great place to live because of the Weather, the people, the food, Beaches and very, very important for me the land scaping, the Sunrises and Sunsets, the parks because my hobby is photography, I have been taking photos of Miami for many years now and I always find new places to take new pics.
    Here in Miami there is always something to do every nights and weekends. you can see my photos on my facebook “I Love Miami”

  • I spend lots of time in Miami so I can’t wait to try some of these new suggestions. I have stayed at the Viceroy Miami which is awesome and also Acqualina is stunning in Sunny Isles (about 20 mins north). Another tip for stone crab lovers who want to avoid Joe’s prices and lines… Steve’s stone crab truck. Call them at 954-574-1689 and the recording will let you know where their trucks are parked. Also, the Prime 112, Prime Italian, etc restaurants are delicious and plenty of people watching fun!

  • Thanks for the Miami Update. I don’t get back there nearly as often as I’d like. I grew up there and have been gone 12 years. Miss it. Miss it! I’d love to see more on S. Miami, Grove, Old Cutler, Coral Gables – all fabulous areas with quaint places to eat/go/shop.

  • This is the best Miami city guide. I particularly enjoyed The Dutch the last time I was in town. I love it!

  • I lived there for 11 years, just moved to Turkey in 2009. ABSOLUTELY a great guide! Such an amazing city.

  • Miami, born and raised!!! Glad to see my beautiful city represented. Also very glad you reported this. So much to see here in this beautiful city, although I feel like I’ve been living under a rock since I don’t recognize a lot of the places mentioned. South Miami, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables are more of the family friendly areas to visit!!!!

  • Thanks for the guide, I visit Miami 4 times per year and there are too many places to visit, I will update the infomation provide: MaiTardi will be closing on Feb 7th and Genius Jones has moved the store from D.District to Midtown.

  • being a Miami native myself, I have to include a restaurant on your Brickell guide, Perricones Italian Restaurant. This place has an excellent ambiance and reasonably priced food. It also has a small gourmet market in the front and plenty of outdoor eating. I was also surprised to see Little Havana wasn’t on your tour especially seeing how this area has attracted so many tourists within the last five years. Go to Domino Park in Little Havana and stroll down Calle Ocho. Eat at Versailles (it’s super Scarface-decor inside but it’s a landmark so you can overlook that). I also like Islas Canarias and El Exquisito. For meat eaters, I recommend vaca frita, or ropa vieja. For fish lovers, I LOVE camarones enchilados. Then do yourself a favor and get a cafe con leche and some flan. :) Have fun everyone! Enjoy yourselves.

  • I absolutelylove the guide by sarah!!! It’s so cool and just what I’m looking for. BTW, it made me go to her website which is AMAZING!! Check out chevronsandstripes

  • Hi Lucrecia,

    Thanks for the update! It looks like Maitardi is closing due to construction work that would interfere with their outdoor seating but that it may reopen after construction is complete. It would a shame to lose such a great lounge-y spot!


  • I grew up in Miami and also recently moved back after a stint in NY. the design district and wynwood locales listed here are basically my Sunday/artwalk itinerary. also when friends visit and we go to Miami Beach I always take them to the Standard for lunch by the water. the whole outdoor area there is amazing. great update! (that also makes me realize how many restaurants I’ve been meaning to try and haven’t yet)

  • I love The Standard! The outdoor area is awesome… when I lived in Miami we had some great times there drinking mojitos by the water by day and lounging by a fire at night.

    Someone above mentioned the Acqualina as a great hotel in North Miami Beach. I second that too! And right across the street, hidden in a little strip mall, is an amazing restaurant called Timo. I have dreams about their truffle pizza and braised short ribs.

  • I agree with a lot of people… Miami Beach doesn’t represent the true Miami people. When you update it please include restaurants like Mercadito and Sugarcane in the Design District and Red Light in North Miami. Also, in North Beach there’s Lou’s Beer Garden which is great for a drink on an afternoon weekend. Finally, there are a ton of great Cuban restaurants in Miami like Versailles which is the best place to have true Cuban food and Xixon to have authentic spanish tapas…
    hope you’re having a great weekend!

  • Love your city guide! I have to agree Miami Beach although fun is not where Miami lives and shops. South Miami, Coral Gables and the Bird Rd Art District have amazing shops like Urban Loft ,Fabric Gallery and many others ..have a great weekend

  • I live in South Beach but found a small furniture store in Pembroke Pines (www.sobefurniture.com) that had some gorgeous designs. I absolutely fell in love with the designer. She helped me and my partner furnish our entire condo. I also like Jalan.

  • I’m not sure how Egg & Dart made it on this guide and not Mandolin Bistro. Also, the historic Raleigh Hotel was not mentioned. Best pool and award winning cocktail bar on South Beach. No mention of anything in Little Havana… I’m pretty sure this guide needs an update. This guide is missing everything that I love. Let’s go Design*Sponge!

  • Great post! However, I have to agree with Vero (above.) I think this guide needs an update. The Raleigh hotel and Mandolin Bistro are by far two places I would recommend to anyone visiting Miami. The beautifully modern yet classic design (and vibe) at The Raleigh make it one of the perfect places to have brunch or lounge by the pool with a glass of bubbly … and Mandolin Aegean Bistro, with its mouth watering mediterranean cuisine, is a hidden gem tucked away on NE 2nd Ave between the Design District and historical Buena Vista.

    Wynwood is now more than ever vibrantly growing into the ‘Brooklyn of the South’ and it may very well be in need of its own guide soon … especially with the grand opening of the Wynwood Block happening this month! Places like Zak the Baker and Wynwood Letterpress deserve to be mentioned on this blog!

  • I did not have enough time to try all your adresses ! But for my next trip, I ‘ll try some of them. Definetely !

  • Just what I needed! My friends and I live in Boca Raton and are always driving to Miami for weekends of relaxation. Only thing we were missing was a Peruvian restaurant. I’ll jump off the wall if it’s as good as Gaston’s La Mar. Which I recommend everyone to try out also.

  • This is the best overall guide that I have seen for our city. You’ve captured all of the best spots, especially on South Beach. When guests come into town for season, I’m going to refer them to this post. It covers everything that they will need. Great job Grace!

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