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Love Local Time Out
Photograph: Time Out

Love Local: Time Out Miami celebrates local shops, food and culture

We’re shining a light on independent makers and small businesses that make our city a great place to live

Written by
Time Out Miami editors
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Hi Miami!

It’s a whole new world out there. We’ve seemingly made it through the worst of it and are seeing our city continue to open back up and thrive. As shops and restaurants regain their footing, it’s important to double-down on our efforts to support Miami’s businesses like never before.

That’s why this year, we’re putting our effort into supporting local.

Whether it’s dining at one of the best restaurants in Miami or buying flowers from your favorite florist, every day is an opportunity to show up for local businesses.

And we’ll be there to guide you through. Our editors have been seeking out the best of city life since 1968. We know that our cities are nothing without their restaurants, cafés, bars, theatres, music venues, nightclubs, cinemas, art galleries—and all the other local, independently run places where people come together to eat, drink, laugh, think, create, cut loose and fall in love.

You can now vote for your favorite spots for the awards here! We want to hear from you! We need your help to decide Miami's favorite restaurant, bar, independent store and more. Vote now and vote often. 

Our ongoing Love Local campaign shines a light on the people, places and establishments doing their best to survive during these difficult times. We’re using our platform to share their stories and all of the ways you can support them.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about the incredible things that Miami local businesses are doing. Below, check out our Love Local campaign in action.  

Virginia Gil
Time Out Miami
editor

Love Local: How you can support local businesses in Miami

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

With bars in South Beach, Downtown, Miami Beach—not to mention New York, Chicago and L.A.—it was only a matter of time before Bar Lab made its mark in Wynwood. Higher Ground, from the talented team behind Broken Shaker (and Margot and 27 Restaurant), is now officially open at Arlo Wynwood, following a successful soft launch during Art Basel 2022. The third-floor rooftop bar and cocktail lounge draw from the outdoor setups in Sao Paolo, Brazil, filled with pockets of greenery and a large seagrape tree as its central seating area. Not unlike the Shaker with its menagerie of lawn sofas, Adirondack chairs and various loungers, Higher Ground invites folks to kick back at its hand-painted benches, swings and chaises spread out across the outdoor space’s more than 3,000 square feet. An eight-person bar, billiard room and additional seating are available inside. Photograph: Richard Alvarez Known for innovation, Bar Lab Hospitality tapped its global beverage director Christine Wiseman to craft a cocktail program that complements Higher Ground’s South American vibes. “I wanted Higher Ground to evoke the spirituality, sights, colors and sense of wonder you find in the jungles of Latin America,” says Wiseman. “We drew inspiration from the drinks and ingredients spanning across countries such as Colombia, Peru and Mexico.” Expect to find cocktails mixed with herbal elixirs, exotic infusions and freshly pressed juices. Chef Brad Kilgore oversees downstairs restaurant MaryGold's Florida B

  • Things to do
  • City Life

It’s no secret we’re prone to a casual flex in this town, so let’s not dance around it: Miami is popular. Like, objectively very cool. So cool, in fact, that one of our favorite neighborhoods in the city has just ranked number 29 on Time Out’s list of the 51 coolest neighborhoods in the world in 2022. Coconut Grove is the only Florida neighborhood to make this year’s list, which is compiled annually by canvasing thousands of city-dwellers around the world in our Time Out Index survey. As usual, we asked (among other things) about the coolest spots in their city right now. And for the fifth year running, we combined their views with expert input from Time Out’s global network of local editors and writers to publish our definitive ranking of the world’s coolest neighborhoods. Photograph: Courtesy Coconut Grove Arts FestivalCoconut Grove Arts Festival So, how did Coconut Grove crack the top 30 this year? In case you haven’t noticed, after more than a decade in flux, the Bahamian-influenced hippy enclave has once again become Miami’s most exciting neighborhood. This is thanks, in part, to a spate of recently opened bars and restaurants, including new waterfront options and a Michelin star recipient. CocoWalk, its central open-air shopping mall, has also been entirely overhauled, complete with a new movie theatre and popular shops. Still, what we love most about Coconut Grove is its homegrown charm. You’ll find local art, an excellent farmers’ market, Miami-bred chefs, historic

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

The votes have been tallied and Miami’s Café La Trova now ranks number 21 on the list of The World’s 50 Best Bars. Like an Oscars for the booze business, the list was compiled by an Academy of more than 650 drinks experts, renowned bartenders and consultants, drinks writers and cocktail specialists who honored the best in the world last night. Photograph: 52 ChefsCantineros at Café La Trova   Moving up from its number 28 spot in 2021, Café La Trova continues to rack up accolades as the pitch-perfect homage to Cuba’s cantinero style of bartending. Back in 2020, the Little Havana darling debuted on the World’s 50 Best’s extended list, ranking at number 70—an incredible feat in a year when the industry endured the height of Covid, and an even higher achievement considering no other bar in Miami was included. That same year, they also took home a Spirited Award for Best American Bar Team. “This one is dedicated to all the Latinos and immigrants fighting to make their dreams come true,” says La Trova co-owner and legendary Master Cantinero Julio Cabrera, who attended the big reveal in Barcelona with partner David Martinez. “We especially want to recognize and thank all our staff and also our guests for their continuous support. We are proud to be on Calle Ocho and represent Little Havana.” Photograph: Anthony Nader - 52 ChefsJulio Cabrera at Café La Trova The latest Best Bars list features entries from 26 cities, including a whopping six New York drinkeries (Double Chicken P

  • Art
  • Art

Adeze Wilford has been busy since her appointment as curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA) this past February. An alum of several New York cultural institutions including Harlem’s Studio Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and, most recently, Hudson Yards’ nontraditional art center the Shed, Wilford jumped right into the vibrant Miami scene, spearheading a handful of temporary public art projects focusing on local artists. “A large part of my interest in this role was wanting to return to the museum field,” says the New York native, who filled MOCA’s curator role four years after its executive director, Chana Sheldon, came on board. “I think the field and the art world, in general, are in a space where real forward-thinking and change can take root, and I was ready to take on that challenge in a new city.” Providing a platform for local talent has long been a priority of the North Miami museum, so it tracks that Wilford’s first order of business was plugging into the community and drawing on her experience to expand the different ways MOCA achieves that goal. Photograph: Rachell Morillo Earlier this year, Wilford held an open call for MOCA’s Art on the Plaza series and featured Onajide Shabaka and Autumn Casey. She’ll make another call for new proposals for the plaza this fall, and is also currently organizing the South Florida Cultural Consortium exhibition, which will feature 12 artists selected from the Miami-Dade County program in 2023. “So much of t

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  • Art
  • Art

For artists, the road to success is paved by benefactors. Nearly every single artist we know today has benefited from the support of a collector(s). And while the tradition of patronage still exists, the relationship has changed. Platforms like Instagram have made creatives more accessible to collectors while crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter have altered the business landscape altogether. One major difference is the way in which institutions have rallied around artists, forging symbiotic relationships between artists and their respective communities. Miami arts organization Fountainhead has been developing intimate relationships with artists and art appreciators for the last four years now. Through its membership program established in 2018, the nonprofit has given folks behind-the-scenes access to studios and art fairs, created immersive experiences for “people who want to see the world differently” and helped artists engage with the public in new, meaningful ways. Memberships are split into two tiers, Benefactor ($500/year for individuals or $850/year for couples) and Visionary ($1250/year for individuals or $2250/year for couples). The biggest difference between the two is that Visionaries get to preview and buy artworks made by artists in residence; receive access to travel tours (past trips have included Mexico City, Paris and Havana); score passes to fairs during Miami Art Week, and are recognized on Fountainhead’s website. In both cases, opting into the member

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Few restaurateurs can pivot with the ease of Matt Kuscher. The man who brought us a Don-themed bar, a botanica speakeasy and a Jewish deli with a secret Hialeah-inspired watering hole is now turning his quirky, nostalgic milkshake bar into something entirely different this fall: Coconut Grove’s Vicky's House Milkshake Bar & Beer Store is set to become Victoria’s Vinos & Vermouth this December. “Every few years I like to rebrand my concepts to keep my creative juices flowing and bring new energy to our employees and guests. It’s bittersweet to see Vicky’s go,” says Kuscher, who’s excited about bringing something new and fresh to the neighborhood that gave him his start. There was nothing like Vicky’s back when it opened in 2017. A nearly identical recreation of Kuscher’s childhood home—down to the linoleum floor and handwritten notes plastered on the fridge—the 12-seat milkshake bar and tasting room served over-the-top milkshakes inspired by ‘80s movies and sitcoms, including The Golden Girls. The shop was also an homage to Kuscher’s mother, Vicky, whose own interests will be reflected in this new evolution. “My mom and I both share the same passion for Spanish ciders, vermouths and natural wines,” he adds. Victoria’s, inspired by a recent family trip to Europe, will be a laidback ode to Spain’s vino culture. Of-the-moment natural wine (low-intervention, free of sulfites and additives) will make up most of the menu, which will also include house-made vermouth called La Mila. E

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

There are a lot of great things about fall in Miami, including the beaches, which we’re still making use of this time of year. But spending autumn in the south leaves a lot to be desired if you’re into seasonal outdoor activities, though not for long. This October, LULU Glamping brings the cooler weather tradition to South Florida with Miami-Dade’s first-ever bougie camping experience in Homestead. Supposedly set to sharing space with Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery*, the sprawling new facility brings resort-style amenities and accommodations to the otherwise rugged grounds. Organizers, who are gearing up to open ahead of Miami’s busy tourist season, promise a slew of entertainment opportunities for guests. There will be biking, horseback riding and trekking, plus the Everglades and the Florida Keys are conveniently located just a short drive away. There will also be a large outdoor cinema with comfy seating and a fireplace zone, where campers can gather around on chilly nights and whip up some s’mores. Food and drinks will be made available thanks to LULU’s auspicious neighbors. Photograph: Courtesy LULU Glamping The planned glamping accommodations include 13 domed houses, each equipped with a toilet, a shower, a kitchen, a terrace, a private grill area, and—the best part—air conditioning. A larger dome will serve as the campground’s common area, which folks can use for events or gatherings as they get to know their fellow campers. The average price per night will be a

  • Theater
  • Theater & Performance

Since cofounding Zoetic Stage in 2010, working in theater has been somewhat of a balancing act for artistic director Stuart Meltzer. He’s spent the greater part of the company’s existence as a full-time educator (his day job) and a full-time director, leading the charge for the dozens of productions Zoetic has put on over the last 11 seasons—“give or take a pandemic,” he jokes. Besides the “balance of life and the balance of finances,” there’s the matter of curating the season. “We think about what’s going to excite the community but also what’s going to fit in our space and with our style of storytelling,” Meltzer explains. “Zoetic Stage is particularly good at redefining what was once a traditional way of telling a story.” It’s within this purview that Meltzer has selected Mlima’s Tale to open Zoetic Stage’s powerful 2022/23 theater season. Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage scripted the moving, highly theatrical piece inspired by the illegal ivory trade. The show first opened in New York City in the spring of April 2018 and makes its Florida premiere with Zoetic Stage, where it’ll mark the company’s 35th production. We talked with Meltzer ahead of this year’s season opener about the importance of regional theater, hiring locally and what audiences can expect from Zoetic’s rendition of Mlima’s Tale. Why is a company like Zoetic Stage so important to arts and culture in South Florida? We’re a small cog in a much larger ecosystem, bringing meaningful stor

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  • Movies
  • Movies

There’s a lot that’s out of reach these days—real estate, cars, Choco Tacos. Moviegoing is a pastime that’s also at risk, threatened by inflation and the dozens of streaming services available to us. Fortunately for motion pictures, Coral Gables Art Cinema is endeavoring to give everyone access to quality films, no matter the circumstances. The art-house cinema welcomes guests to pay what they can for first-run feature films all throughout the month of October. Coral Gables Art Cinema plans to offer at least one screening per week where patrons can set the ticket price—no strings attached and no minimum amount required. While the initiative isn’t new, having been around for years as part of its Family Day on Aragon screenings on the second weekend of every month, it is the first time the nonprofit institution extends the opportunity to include first-run flicks—from documentaries to regional premieres to independent films. "We aim to make the movie-going experience inclusive and attainable to all members of our community," says Brenda Moe, executive director for the Coral Gables Art Cinema. "'Pay-what-you-can tickets are an excellent way to extend the availability of the arts, reduce the barrier to entry, and introduce our cultural institution to a new audience in our fast-growing region." Not only will flexible pricing help the community, but it should also free up some cash for popcorn—our favorite excuse to hit the cinema.   

  • Sex and dating
  • Sex & Dating

Now that cuffing season is upon us, it’s time to leave your single summer days behind and find someone to spend the fall and winter months with. In 2022, the first order of business is deciding which dating app you’ll turn to for a potential suitor. Oh, you’ve tried them all? Well, let us introduce you to Shake, the new experience-driven, members-only dating app launching in Miami this fall. Inspired by the city’s buzzy social scene, Shake lets users swipe profiles as well as potential dates. You can land on someone you think is really hot and well, go for it, or be equally wooed by an activity. Members can post stuff like spontaneous boat days (find us a Miami girl who won’t swipe right on that), a night at a Miami Heat game, or an afternoon of goat yoga. They’ll then opt to label the date with “On Me,” "Take Me," or “50/50,” which indicates they’re looking to split the cost. (Something tells us the 50/50 option won’t have much success in Miami.) Every week, Shake will post sponsored dates of their own, like dinner dates at Carbone Miami, a 60-minute flying lesson, an exotic car experience, tickets to Faena Theater’s cabaret dinner and even a weekend getaway to Harbour Island in the Bahamas. Basically, if you’ve ever dreamed of being cast on The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, this might be the app for you. Photograph: Courtesy Shake "We’re going to continuously organize and implement new and exciting experiences for our members to meet new people and create lifelong memo

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