Just when you think Miami has run out of trendy hubs for creatives, restauranteurs and salivating developers—in comes Little River. This tiny neighborhood that runs between Little Haiti and El Portal has a personality that feels familiar with its influences, yet unique as a whole. Yawning warehouses might remind you of Wynwood’s early days. A lush landscape screams Little Haiti and the bubbling food scene is comparable to Midtown and the Design District. But, rest assured, Little River is just getting started.
At the cozy Rail 71 Cafe (7255 NE Fourth Ave, #111; 786-375-6593), one thing is clear: just how far Little River has come. Rail 71 Cafe is housed within the sprawling Rail 71 building, which is home to a wide range of businesses that have chosen to invest in this growing area. For breakfast, it’s all about the café’s fresh bread, sourced from Zak the Baker and Sullivan Street Bakery. Go simple with the avocado toast or crazy with the Bulldog, a kosher hot dog covered in baked beans, cheese and scrambled eggs. Fueled up? Good. Burn extra calories at an underwater spin class at Element Aqua (6200 NE Fourth Ct; 305-570-5569), a chic new training facility in the neighborhood.
In certain ways, Little River resembles the early stages of Wynwood, with its spacious warehouses that continue to lure galleries to relocate in the area. The Mindy Solomon Gallery (8397 NE Second Ave; 786-953-6917) is one of them. Showcasing contemporary work from emerging and midcareer artists, the intimate space feels accessible and warm. Once you’ve ingested some culture, it’s time to binge on carbs at Ironside Kitchen Pizza & Coffee Co. (7580 NE Fourth Ct; 305-531-5055). Its Neapolitan wood-fired pies can be ordered topped with a variety of fresh ingredients. The best part? It’s BYOB and corkage is free.
Dinner comes courtesy of Sherwood’s Bistro (8291 NE Second Ave; 786-359-4030), with worn aesthetic that is intentional, down to the beautifully distressed Portuguese tile and the wooden bar with scrapes and scratches that evoke a deeper story. The American menu is crafted with equal precision: Trendy small plates and hefty entrées highlight Florida’s seafood (jumbo prawns, local snapper) and farms (T-bone, pork chop). If you’re lucky, dinner happens on the same night as a concert at the new Listening Den at Ace Prop House (398 NE 78th St; 305-756-0888). The intimate venue— brimming with random movie and photoshoot props—hosts local artists who command your attention (thanks in part to a no-cell-phone policy) If, tragically, there is no show at the Listening Den happening, grab a nightcap at Bousa Brewing Co., Little River's first brewery and taproom.
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