¡Viva Miami! Sitting at the heart of it all, between the still bustling nightlife of South Beach and the nuance of transformation at the Edgewater side, The Standard Spa, Miami Beach is the oasis of serenity in this thriving and dynamic city. Aside from the powder beaches and endless sunshine, there are boundless possibilities and culture to experience right here in the different neighborhoods throughout Miami.
Over the course of all the openings, closings, and re-openings during the pandemic, we’ve seen our local businesses express their true grit and creativity, pivoting and re-working themselves to meet the new norms and culture. From makeshift dining patios to contactless ordering, there are still so many ways to enjoy all the personality of Miami, while feeling safe and at ease. Luckily, the endless al fresco dining options and outdoor delights are a great way to see the silver linings on a sunny, golden day.
Newly minted and extremely buzzy, Over Under is the newest bar to grace the downtown area with a high dosage of nostalgia and hearty helping of kitsch. Bright, campy plastic cups and indulgent bites like cookies and vegan-loaded fries partner well with their cozy interior and approachable al fresco space- complete with wood tables, folding chairs, and colorful umbrellas. Familiar bites abound include a truly hit-the-spot burger, salty oysters, and frozen drinks to quench any thirst. Think bar bites greatest hits given new life. Dive-y yet quaint, Over Under is just a damn good time without any pretension.
As one of the cult favorite coffee bars in Miami, All Day has become a café institution since opening some years ago. With a cooler-than-thou staff and clientele, All Day is laid back, casual, and airy (outdoor) dining with an artistic flair. Creative and comforting takes on brunch favorites include decadent breakfast sandwiches (served all day, naturally) Tres Leches French Toast, and heaping avocado toast – a perennial favorite. Fresh, homemade empanadas and croquetas also serve as the ideal accompaniment to your coffee drink of choice, pulled to perfection by their baristas.
Andrew Downtown + Lot 11
Named after the hurricane that swept South Florida in the early’90s, Andrew Downtown has taken Miami by storm. Carrying a wide range of well-known skate brands, Andrew even has its own custom collection of everything from totes to tchotchkes. If you’re tired of stealing your boyfriend’s oversized tee, be sure to shop their shirt selection to add to your own closet. After you picked up your new board or sneakers, slide on over to Lot 11 Skate Park, the 45,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility under the I-95 overpass which is the brainchild of Andrew founder, Nick Katz. If you don’t quite know how to skate, you can always gawk the day away pretending you’re in a socially distant Harmony Korine film.
Miami’s location of immersive at space Artechouse has found its audience nestled amongst the bright lights of South Beach. With recurring digital and multimedia exhibitions by emerging and established artists, visitors enter trippy new worlds via hypnotic, often light-based visuals. Their latest exhibition running through April 14th, Aqueous, celebrates Pantone’s color of the year, Classic Blue. Aqueous invites users to “chill out” and experience “trippy ocean vistas,” so, go ahead, grab your mask and dive in!
Luckily, we don’t have to trek all the way to Brooklyn to get our fix for rustic, brick oven pizza. Just across the bridge from yours truly sits one of Miami’s favorite Italian joints, Lucali. Homestyle freshness and a cozy rough-edged atmosphere combine for a winning choice for lunch or dinner. Since the pandemic, Lucali has added additional and distanced seating, but it still maintains the intimate, candle-lit attitude that it’s known (and loved) for.
Sana Skin Studio
A newcomer to the Wynwood area this year and making a splash with its highly anticipated launch, Sana Skin Studio is in a league all its own. Miami’s very first shop dedicated entirely to 100% clean beauty, non-toxic wellness, and natural skincare products & services, Sana offers a highly curated aesthetic experience throughout their inventive and dreamy Wynwood flagship. Skincare and wellness buffs can find products from the buzziest of clean brands such as Pai Skincare, Naturopathica, Ursa Major, Lesse, Supernal, Fur, Jose Rosebrook, Bathing Culture, Moon Juice and more- many of which aren’t available anywhere else in Miami. If you make a trip to Sana, we promise you (and your skin) will be all the glowier for it.
Do you miss the packed bars of yore? Us too, kind of. Well, thankfully, there’s our favorite craft beer market and hangout, Boxelder to give us our fix, 2020 style. Boxelder has got the new pandemic bar culture down to a science. Allowing only 20 patrons in at any given time and with no more than 4 people in any section, Boxelder is ensuring beer and natural wine lovers can enjoy their potables as safely as possible. Using unique contract tracing (collecting patron’s information to ensure safety) and entirely contactless ordering, we’re ready to pull up a seat and sip a cold one ASAP.
For all fans of plant-based cuisine or those of us that just like a good meal (sans the beef) Thatch wholeheartedly delivers. Trendy, romantic, and artistic, Thatch has become entrenched as a go-to haunt in Midtown for decadent vegan delights for lunch or dinner. Their fare tastes delicious and just so happens to be vegan, as opposed to the other way around. Favorites include Crispy Cauliflower, alllll of the pizzas, and the Crispy “Chicken” Sandwich, (which uses mushrooms as the protein) just to name a few.
A spectacular selection of contemporary and modern art awaits at the Rubell Museum, newly minted in its Allapattah locale. Founded by Don and Mera Rubell, the couple began collecting art 54 years ago and since then they have amassed pieces from such names as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cecily Brown, Keith Haring, Rashid Johnson, Hayv Kahraman, Jeff Koons, William Kentridge, Yoshitomo Nara, Cindy Sherman, and Mickalene Thomas, among others. From the beginning the couple sought to collect art from emerging contemporary artists and support artists that have been largely overlooked. The new Museum location (a repurposed DEA warehouse, no less!) now features inviting gardens and a new restaurant featuring cuisine from the Basque region. The Rubell Museum is a must see and a true gift to Miami’s art community.
Amidst luxury and high-end favorites (Gucci, Loewe, Valentino etc.) and more accessible it-girl brands such as Reformation, COS, and Ganni, Simonett is a dose of local flavor in the Design District. Simonett is culty, fashion-girl favorite around town known for its eclectic pieces and artful perspective. Their boutique Design District outpost features a RTW fashion selection from the e-brand and curated pieces from creative partner brands as well as accessories and art objects.
Café La Trova
Café La Trova is the cozy and quintessential Little Havana hotspot. With a retro flair and a Cuban soul that will have you feeling like you’ve been transported to Havana in it’s heyday. The establishment takes their craft cocktail reputation seriously and has received the accolades to prove it, appearing on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. James Beard award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein ensures classics like Arroz Con Pollo, Ropa Vieja, and empanadas stand out. With nightly live music to boot, you’ll be saying Viva [Little] Havana!
There’s no doubt, Versailles is a Miami institution and no list would be complete without at least a mention of this Cuban cuisine mecca. Versailles is notoriously packed at all times, however they’ve implemented safety without dampening the experience with an outdoor, covered dining option and socially distanced ordering. Doling out Cuban favorites for nearly 40 years now, a trip to Versailles should be on your Miami bucket list.
Josh's Deli & Chowdown Grill
Josh’s Deli feels like one of those locals-only hidden gems that never disappoints. Chef/Owner Josh Marcus is the heart and soul of this place and makes everything, and we mean everything, from scratch. Breakfast and brunch on homemade challah French Toast to smoked Tuna Latkes to a pastrami sandwich that would rival that of any NYC deli institution. Josh’s Deli is full of adapted Jewish classics with infusions of true culinary creativity. Amidst the pandemic, Marcus introduced Chowdown Grill, an exclusively Friday night dinner experience where he experiments with Chinese and fusion- think lobster knish egg rolls. He posts a menu on Instagram every Friday for ordering takeout or dine in. Tables are at a premium as the location has the square footage of an NYC eatery, but trust us, a trip to Josh’s Deli leaves nothing to be desired.
Tran An is the fast casual bahn mi shop and noodle bar Little River has been waiting for! Warm, inviting, and intimate, this little spot is a true treasure. The interior is nothing short of stunning with warm reds, oranges, pinks and romantic lighting – Tran An is high design meets high quality eats. The space is tight, but they are fastidious about following all health guidelines have have implemented contactless ordering for safe dining within. Also available are casual outdoor picnic tables to eat alfresco, if desired.
Lucio Wine Shop
Vino lovers, we’ve got the hookup of where to get your natural wine fix. Family owned, Lucio Wine Shop has everything your wino heart could desire and all labels therein are exclusively natural and organic.Only allowing one customer in at a time, to ensure social distancing in the small space, the experience almost feels like a curated conversation about meeting your needs, likes, and wine preferences with their large selection. We recommend grabbing a bottle (or 3?) and heading to the beach!
Jaguar Sun at Lot 6
Who knew there was a way to make socially distant dining feel intimate and epic? Clearly, the team behind Jaguar Sun took the restrictions of the pandemic and as a full-on challenge, shifting their entire operation to Lot 6 in Little River. The result is an incredibly fun, twinkly, magical outdoor dining experience that feels casual and relaxed but with upscale fare. Signature martinis (of which there are nearly a dozen varieties) pair beautifully with fresh gems like seared skirt steak, oysters with mignonette, and a Caesar salad that is unforgettable. Only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 5 – 10P, be sure to reserve your spot ahead of time.
For history buffs, garden lovers, or those who might want a dose of what feels like Europe in Miami – the historic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is for you. Built in the early 20th century by businessman and magnate John Deering, the estate house features and Italian Renaissance style and extensive expertly manicured gardens that are perfect for strolling on a sunny afternoon. Masks are required and tickets must be purchased online prior to visiting.
Flour and Weirdoughs
Fairly new on the scene, Flour and Weirdoughs is the stuff bakery-lovers dreams are made of. As if all-time favorites such as Danishes, pastelitos, and cinnamon rolls baked fresh daily weren’t enough, enter stage right, their specialty weekend breads which includes a Cacio E Pepe Loaf (this is not a drill!) and an unbelievable pork belly Chicharron Loaf among many others. Nestled on Key Biscayne, any croissant lover would be remiss to miss out on their “It’s Brisket B*tch” croissant, which features slices of high-quality brisket amidst those buttery croissant layers. Snack on your baked goods and coffee while walking the scenic key or set up your picnic on the nearby beaches for a full adventure on Key Biscayne.