The Magic City is full of variety and culture, everywhere. We know that picking the right spots to visit can be a little stressful, especially when you’re tanning on the beach! So, to make it easier, here’s a list of local must-do’s around town. We’ve included all the spots that even the most native of Miamians would recommend.
The Best Coffee: Tinta y Café
(268 SW 8th Street, Brickell — Closed on Sundays)
Often described as a “Hipster Cuban Café”, Tinta treats its customers to great music, a lively atmosphere and some killer coffee. Some of their signature drinks include “El Pecado” (The Sin) which has two shots of espresso layered with three versions of milk: whole milk, condensed, and evaporated. The little café also has numerous house sandwiches, pastries and deserts. But if you’re in a hurry, don’t fret! There’s a convenient walk-up window located near the entrance, where customers can get their fix and head out (though it’s highly recommended you stick around and enjoy the comfy couches inside).
The Best Shopping: Lincoln Road Mall
(Running east-west between 16th and 17th Street in Miami Beach)
When we say there’s a something here for everyone, we mean it! Endless restaurants, clubs and stores stretch along Lincoln’s entire length. Local artists and entertainers can be found on the daily, displaying and selling their art. And if you (or your wallet!) feel like taking a break from all the commotion, the Road offers art galleries such as ArtCenter/South Florida, or The Colony Theatre––two artistic staples that showcase local creations and acts.
The Best Pizza: Frankie’s Pizza
(9118 SW 40th Street)
Right in the heart of Bird Road, Frankie’s has dominated the local pizza game for 55 years. This mom-and-pop shop serves their signature square sliced pizza with whatever toppings you desire. Garlic rolls, fountain drinks, and other deserts are also tasty options to add to your meal. And the best part? How outrageously affordable it all is—all under a price range of $10 or less! Frankie’s even sells its own merchandise and (get this) half-baked pizzas, with personal cooking instructions for later.
The Best Historic Landmark: Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
(3251 South Miami Ave, Coral Gables)
Vizcayais simply beautiful. This Italian-Renaissance style villa is adorned with European antiques and arts, dating all the way back from the 16th and 19th centuries. The furnishings are just the same as they were when it was first built in 1914. Just a little south are the rustic gardens of the museum, complete with fountains, pools and a maze! Aside from being a cultural experience, Vizcaya can be a very relaxing escape for any afternoon. There is also a café that offers fantastic food and, every Sunday, tea for two from 1:00 PM—4:00 PM.
The Best Hangout: Lagniappe
(3425 NE 2nd Ave)
If there’s one place we recommend to lay back, chill out and unwind, it’s Lagniappe. The setup is simple. You choose your bottle of wine, pick from one of the many tapas they have to offer, and then find a seat in their backyard (which is furnished with a bunch of different hand-me-down chairs, stools, tables and the like). The atmosphere is very homey, and there’s always a live band kicking out great music nightly. Also, if you happen to get really hungry, Lagniappe offers a great selection of grilled entrees as well (all under $15!). It certainly is one of the coolest venues in Wynwood, and shouldn’t be missed. Just make sure to get there early, as it is a local spot, and it does get packed!
The Best Quirky Hotel: Pelican Hotel
(826 Ocean Drive)
The Pelican hits all the marks for us: full of outrageous style, laid-back personality, and a simply cool vibe where we just want to spend some time. It’s run by Diesel (of Diesel jeans fame), all decorated with flea market and thrift shop-style finds from Florida itself with the same irreverent flair that we love so much. At only 29 rooms, you can’t beat the personal service! Don’t forget to stop by the Restcafe downstairs; they offer a great happy hour for guests only (and a stellar seafood menu to boot!). Oh, and did we mention the complimentary beach towel and chair?