Beyond the Art Deco buildings along Ocean Drive, Cuban sandwiches at Versailles, Wynwood Walls murals, and sunset cocktails at the The Broken Shaker, Miami has plenty of appeal—much of which isn’t on the “obligatory” list. While visiting the famous (and oftentimes delightfully cliche) spots in Miami is worthwhile, taking a deeper dive is always satisfying. From beautiful popsicles to an unassuming corner bar, contemporary art museum and more, here are some of our favorite (many new) places in Miami.
A new cafe in the Design District, OTL focuses on fresh ingredients and healthy fare. With a small but carefully created menu, customers can grab a coffee and homemade pastry to go or post up at one of the tables, pull out their laptop and settle in the sun-drenched space. Try the cauliflower hummus and pita for a snack, and browse the various lemonades which are tasty and not too sweet (we especially like the match iteration). If you’re still hungry, make sure to walk to the nearby Mad Lab Creamery (which opened earlier this year) for a soft serve or fluffy Japanese cheesecake.
The Confidante Miami Beach
With plenty of mid-century details saved from its 1940s origin, the Confidante Miami Beach has a laid-back but classic vibe. From the 363 guest rooms and suites to the restaurant Bird & Bone to the pool side cabanas and beachside set-ups, there are plenty of colors, patterns and textures that all clash in a delightful manner. Overlooking Mid-Beach (which is slightly more chilled out than South Beach) the hotel offers up a buzzy atmosphere without being overwhelming. With impeccable service from the bar staff and beyond, it’s easy to waste away an entire day by the pool or beach—snacking on shrimp tacos and tropical cocktails. The rooms are inviting and breezy, with plenty of attention to detail from the fully stocked bars (complete with Plum wine machines), colorful art, mid-century decor and wildly comfortable beds.
When visiting Wynwood, many will suggest a pastry and coffee at Zak The Baker (and we do too), but if you’re feeling like something to quench your thirst on a hot day, you can’t walk past Cielito. The artisan pop company (founded last year) has a strong focus on getting back-to-basics and they use only non-GMO ingredients, hormone-free dairy products, as well as seasonal fruits. The striped warehouse location is inviting and a reflection of its surroundings, but you can also find the sweet treats at the Confidante. It’s also safe to say that the pops themselves (ice, cream and cake iterations) are works of art.
Located in an industrial space that’s decidedly casual, Alter‘s food is anything but. Helmed by chef Bradley Kilgore and Antoine Lecas, the restaurant serves up seasonal fare that’s impeccably plated and photogenic. More importantly, of course, the dishes—made mostly with local ingredients—are experimental but delicious. The flavor combinations and cuisine mash-ups will surprise and impress diners, and we suggest taking a seat at the Chef’s Table for the full experience.
Art Center South Florida
Lesser known than the Pérez Art Museum (which is also worth visiting), the Art Center South Florida was founded in 1984 with the mission to foster local talent. Still supporting contemporary artists, the museum offers outreach programs and art classes for the community. Along with temporary exhibitions, there are visiting artists and artists in residence, all adding to the diverse and remarkable talent on show. Open seven days a week, be sure to check hours before visiting.
With almost a locals-only vibe, The Corner (open until 8AM) is full of residents from the neighborhood, yet is welcoming of visitors. The relaxed environment, fantastic cocktails from a signature menu, and jazz played on the weekends all add up to a charming experience you’ll want to repeat. While there’s plenty of snack options available, we recommend the grilled cheese—no matter the time of day or night.
Confidante, OTL and lead images by Cool Hunting; all others courtesy of respective venues