3 Neighborhoods in Miami That Aren’t South Beach
Contrary to popular belief, Miami is not just South Beach and it’s so much more than a party city. Don’t get me wrong, you can party plenty, but there is so much more to appreciate here such as the art, culture, shopping and cuisine.
I put together a guide for you to eat well, enjoy the beach, see some beautiful art and experience a little bit of culture too, all while avoiding South Beach!
The Fontainebleau Hotel is a beautiful resort located in Miami Beach. If you have no interest in leaving the resort and want to just chill out for the weekend, then this is the place for you! Boasting 3+ restaurants, 5+ pools, easy beach access, a club and boutiques on the premises you seriously never have to leave this resort. The rooms offer 2 balconies and beautiful amenities like a full kitchen and 2 bathrooms! We had a little party in our room before hitting the town with a gorgeous view of the ocean and pool.
The pool is where you’ll want to soak up some sun, have a few cocktails, and even grab a delicious al fresco lunch at La Côte. You’ll want to head to the pool by 10 a.m to get a chair because it fills up quickly. Once you’ve claimed your spot, order a mojito (savor it because they go for $20 a pop, but you don’t need many to get a buzz!), and head straight to one of the 5 pools.
La Côte, a french mediterranean bistro serving appetizers, sandwiches, and fresh ceviches. I had the seared ahi tuna sandwich and it was perfection.
Check out Hakkasan for a fantastic cocktail menu and dim sum brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Also if you just want a snack, stop by chez bon bon for amazing gelato and pastries. Warning: everything looks amazingly decadent and you won’t be able to choose!
A Gastronomical Experience
Don’t miss out on Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann in the Faena hotel. Ever since Phillip and I started watchingChef’s table on Netflixwe’ve been addicted and made a goal to hit up the restaurants we see on the show! Mallmann is special in that he only uses open fire to cook. No gas or electric, just fire!
A quote from the menu: “You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: How could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?”~ Friedrich Nietzsche
As you walk into the Faena hotel you are greeted by gorgeous art deco paintings. What a welcome!
As for the restaurant, they have indoor seating or an outdoor deck. The bar is set high with the bread basket- authentic Argentine rolls (you can’t just eat one!) and the creamiest butter you’ve ever tasted. Appetizers not to be missed include the octopus and filet mignon empanadas. For wine, order the Malbec- smooth and medium bodied, the perfect complement to the appetizer course. I had the Mediterranean Branzino served with charred brussel sprouts, quinoa salad, and a charred eggplant yogurt for the main course. My mouth is watering thinking about it. Perfectly cooked. I cleaned my plate!
After dinner hop over to the bar for live music. You can hang at the bar or reserve a table. I’d suggest reserving a table so you can sit down and enjoy the music.
The Epic- A Kimpton Hotel- is in a great central location with beautiful views of the Biscayne Bay. The hotel has two pools,an Exhale spa and yoga studio, and two restaurants on site. The room is stocked with exhale spa products and a jacuzzi bath perfect for relaxing before or after a night out on the town.
This neighborhood has a completely different vibe than Miami Beach. Visit for great street art and a fun foodie scene.
Check out the Wynwood Walls for instagram worthy graffiti and street art. It’s like a small outdoor gallery similar to the walls I wrote about inConey Island last summer. Jeffrey Deitch calls it “a museum of the streets”. It will only take a few minutes to walk through the exhibition and snap a few photos, but there are some little boutiques and art stores around the area you can peruse afterwards. Doors open at 11 a.m so if you get to the area early, grab brunch first.
Brunch atMorgan’s restaurant. The chicken and waffles and maple bacon are 100. The fresh squeezed juices are on point too. Sit outside on their nautical themed porch to enjoy the beautiful breeze Florida offers this time of year.
Just a 5 minute drive from ourhotel in Downtown Miami, our uber driver, a Miami native, gave us some tips on where to go in the heart of little Havana. With a few hours to spare before heading to the airport, we spent our afternoon hanging in Havana oh na na…
Check out Domino Park where all the Cuban men play dominos as they drink their shots of espresso. There are a bunch of cigar bars where you can roll your own cigars (if you’re into that). I love the smell, but can’t smoke them! Stroll around and snap some cool photos.
Stop at La Isla, a local shop that sells art, accessories, and other goods made by local artisans in Miami. I purchased a handmade necklace and earrings made out of orange peels. The store is so bright and fun, you’ll surely find something you love!
Eat and Drink
Ball and Chain offers a great cocktail menu with live music. The cuban sandwich was arguably the best cuban sandwich I’ve ever had. A perfect balance of cheese, meat, pickles and sauce on perfectly toasted cuban bread. Enjoy drinks on their back patio where there’s a big pineapple stage for live entertainment.
North Miami Beach/Bal Harbour
At the northernmost tip of Miami beach, you’ll find an upscale neighborhood and shops in Bal Harbour. Surrounded by colorful flowers, palm trees, and a live koi pond, you will feel luxurious just strolling around the vicinity of the shops.
Enjoy an amazing Italian lunch at Carpaccio. Many of their ingredients are shipped in daily from Italy and their fish is caught in the Mediterranean a few days before it is served to you. Sip a Bellini on their patio while you people watch and admire all the fancy cars. Order the special Burrata and prosciutto plate. You’ll thank me later.
Grab a coffee at Santa Fe News and Espresso on the second floor and take away a few macarons from the Ladurée Bal Harbour Carriage. Eat under the palm trees as you admire the beauty around you.
Treat yourself to something extra special from one of the many high-end shops. A watch from Audemars Piguet for a mere 65K. Who says money can’t buy happiness? Perhaps a classic investment piece from Goyard or a spring splurge with this amazing box bag! Seriously, come prepared to drool over some of these windows and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere.
Well, there you have it. Turns out you can still enjoy Miami without ever stepping foot in South Beach. Explore off the beaten path and discover something new.
Did I leave anything out? Do you have any insider tips on Miami? Let me know by leaving a comment below or on the instagram page.Thanks for stopping by the blog!