Jackie Gutierrez-Jones is a freelance editor and writer based out of Miami, FL who covers food, drink, travel and parenting. When she’s not putting digital ink to paper, you can find her picking up absurdly heavy weights in a CrossFit box or giggling with her toddler. Follow her on Twitter at @jaxiscool.
The best waterfront bars in Miami to check out right now
It’s a Miami-specific conundrum: so much water surrounding us, yet so few spots to actually enjoy it. But thankfully there are many places that have been taking advantage of their waterfront locations for years and a few newer ones that have popped up recently to maximize that al fresco potential. And we understand that when you’ve found a favorite watering hole—like one of the best bars in Miami—it’s tough to stray. But if a killer Miami happy hour deal won’t sway you to try something new, perhaps a round of drinks while you watch the sun setting over South Beach will. We indulged in the views and the chilled beverages to do the lord’s work and bring you this list of the best waterfront bars in Miami.
The best diners in Miami to satisfy your greasy-spoon cravings
Whether you’re calling it a greasy spoon or a hash house, one thing’s for certain—a Miami diner by any other name would still smell as gloriously delicious. Chalk it up to the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee wafting through the air and the unmistakable sizzle of eggs and bacon frying to perfection. Getting hungry, yet? You’re in luck, especially if you’re reeling from a long night of drinking at a South Beach club. The best diners in Miami are hotbeds for Miami’s best breakfasts, stellar drunk food in Miami and topnotch deli fare. Don’t forget to order your cup of mud.
Five best tiki bars in Miami for tasty umbrella drinks
Tiki culture is having a moment. The Polynesia-inspired style, which peaked in the 1950s, is back, and nowhere is its resurgence more blatant than at the best tiki bars in Miami. Local watering holes have caught the wave and are stocking their Miami bars with the tiki movement’s hallmarks: tiny cocktail parasols, funky ceramic cups and plenty of rum. Though it’s not just cocktail bars in Miami getting in on the South Pacific trend; some of Miami’s best restaurants are riding the tropical wave, too. In the mood for something fruity and breezy? These are the spots ready to transport you to the Pacific islands.
12 kid-friendly restaurants in Miami that your family will love
It’s Saturday night and your sitter bailed. Don’t fret: While your plans to hit up a South Beach club are effectively canceled, you can still find lots of things to do with kids in Miami that won’t make your weekend feel like a wash. In fact, there are probably more kid-friendly restaurants in Miami than you even knew existed. With more family-friendly dining than ever before, you can opt to get gussied up for a night of grilled seafood or go for a low-key lunch of foosball and burgers. The best part: grown-ups are sure to have a good time, too.
The Miami neighborhoods we love
When it comes to Miami, South Beach and Wynwood get the lion’s share of the world’s love and affection. And though both have rightly earned their time in the spotlight, a new class of neighborhood is stepping up to give them a run for their money. Case in point: These five on-the-verge areas are making waves with an influx of compelling art, creative wares, great restaurants and lip-smacking cocktails. Admittedly, Miami neighborhoods can be a bit tough to define, but make no mistake, these districts are distinctive, diverse and deserving of your attention.
The 15 must-see galleries at Art Basel Miami 2016
The highlight of Miami Beach’s year-end celebrations is no doubt Art Basel 2016. Now in its 15th year, the prominent North American art fair will showcase 269 exhibitors inside the 500,000 square-foot Miami Beach Convention Center. Between December 1 and 4, amid a flurry of Miami Art Week satellite fairs, parties and events, Basel attendees will have the opportunity to browse works exhibited by big-name artists and influential galleries across sections that include Nova (younger galleries), Survey (historical works) and Positions (made up of emerging artists). The list of participants is extensive, to say the least, but we’ve singled out the following outfits as the year’s must-see.
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Rose Bar at Delano
An oldie but a goody, Delano’s sexy lobby bar is situated in a narrow alcove away from its busy entrance. Perfect for intimate nightcaps, the rose-hued space nails the classics (think martinis and a nice Tom Collins) and also makes a great perch for some interesting people-watching.
Donut Gallery Diner
Tucked away in an unassuming strip mall in Key Biscayne, Donut Gallery has been quietly serving up generous portions of classic American diner fare for over 40 years. Sidle up to the counter at this no-frills joint and order up a glass of fresh-pressed orange juice to go with the Ted’s Special—that’s bacon, ham, cheese, tomato and egg on an open-faced English muffin. But be sure to bring some bills—this is a cash-only establishment.
Perched on the waters of Biscayne Bay right off the Rickenbacker Causeway is a massive tiki hut that beckons thirsty locals with hurricane glasses filled with frosty rum runners, margaritas and Mai Tais. A deck festooned with faux parrots, brightly painted wood and the odd carved coconut or two provides a breezy perch for enjoying the tipples while the bay ripples beyond. Looking for a nosh to soak up some of the boozy concoctions? The menu is replete with bar favorites—nachos, wings, quesadillas—with items like gator bites and fried avocado offering a twist to the usual fare.
Kiki on the River
A newcomer to the Miami scene, this Greek dream recently opened up along the Miami River in a 100-year-old converted fish market. A partially covered deck with tied-back white curtains and ivy-wrapped columns sets the scene for the simple, yet rustic Mediterranean fare that’ll accompany date night rounds of ouzo tinged with fresh-pressed juices. And while the main bar is tucked inside the charming rustic environs of the restaurant, the view from outside bar makes the decision to take a cocktail al fresco a no-brainer.
The WetLab has been one of the best-kept secrets in Miami—and for good reason. It takes a bit of maneuvering to find (it’s located behind the University of Miami’s RSMAS campus on Key Biscayne), but the views and prices are more than worth it. A wide-open terrace looks out over the turquoise waters of the bay, with string lights gently illuminating the view after the sun sets. Wine is a mere $4 and beer—including an exceptional craft selection—will put you out anywhere between $2.50 to $4, max. It’s a bargain beer drinker’s paradise.
Little Havana’s Tower Hotel transforms into a giant stage for a new theater series
You can study the rapidly changing skyline for clues of Miami’s evolution, but what do the interior of the buildings themselves reveal about a city? That’s the focus of Miami Motel Stories, a real-time immersive theater experience taking place inside hotels and motels in developing neighborhoods. The three-part series launches on October 27 at Little Havana’s Tower Hotel (1450 SW 7th St), former stomping grounds of Billie Holiday and other jazz legends. The collaborative project is the brainchild of Juggerknot Theatre Company (and made possible by a Knight Foundation grant). It brings together writers and real estate developers of Barlington Group—which has been fiercely committed to revitalizing Little Havana since 2004—to tell the story of Miami’s past, present and future. The result: an actor-led walk through rooms in which stories of migration, segregation, love and family unfold. Penning the first production is local playwright Juan C. Sanchez, who was born and raised in the area. “I’m fascinated by Little Havana’s history, especially what it’s been to people of different cultures through time,” he says. Sanchez, as well as playwrights of future untitled productions, is working with HistoryMiami Museum to conduct interviews and sift through archives to better understand the spaces he will explore through his play. “We often hear that there is a lack of artistic space in Miami; I want to disrupt this belief with Miami Motel Stories,” says Tanya Bravo, founder and artistic
POD 22 is the indoor playground your unmanicured hands have been waiting for
Multitasking moms are in for some serious pampering. POD 22 is Florida’s first indoor playground and nail spa. The brains behind the glossy new operation is Virginia Aguirrebeitia, a busy Miami Shores Village mom whose digits and viable day-care options were in distress. “During the week, I traveled extensively for my corporate job, and on weekends I attended birthday parties for my kids’ friends. I had no time to relax without constantly feeling guilty about having to leave my children,” says Aguirrebeitia, who channeled her anxiety into creating a place where kids and parents could go together but also spend time apart—so Mommy can get a manicure while her kiddo climbs rocks nearby. POD 22 has ball pits, swings, nets and structures for children to scale under staff supervision. Parents can rest assured that their little ones are safely engaged in active play while they treat themselves to a luxurious mani at the spa in the back or a cup of tea in the lounge. Pinkies up! To get a BOGO deal on supervised playtime POD 22 click here. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Five Miami museum nights you need to check out
During the day, Miami’s museums are mild-mannered treasure troves of art, photography and sculptures. But after hours, the city’s cultural institutions come alive with evenings full of music, cocktails and dancing. (And, yes, even some art.) Here is where to head for a cultured night out. PAMM Third Thursdays: Poplife Social Pérez Art Museum Miami is home to 200,000 square feet of galleries and idyllic public spaces perfect for whiling away the day. Things change on the third Thursday of the month, when it teams up with event promoter Poplife to host a roster of indie acts. The exhibits stay open late (including Julio Le Parc’s showstopping “Form into Action”), but this is also your shot to soak up live entertainment and dance on the terrace. Mar 16, Apr 20, May 18 6–10pm; with $16 admission free. Coral Gables Museum’s Gallery Night Live! Housed in the City Beautiful’s old fire station, the Coral Gables Museum pays homage to the city’s past with guided architecture tours and photography displays. On the first Friday of the month, the Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables Gallery Night Live! takes over the plaza for live music and artist meet and greets. Mar 3, Apr 2, May 5 6–10pm; free. Jazz at MOCA The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami offers something for everyone on the last Friday of the month. Free admission (7 to 10pm) and more than 600 pieces by artists from around the world—including Jean Claude Legagneur’s exhibit “Faces of Freedom”—draw the crowds inside. Outside, live