Miami Beach has evolved since its first Art Basel in 2002. The annual fair has blossomed into Miami Art Week, when tens of thousands of visitors and locals enjoy gallery exhibits, art shows, and other diversions
Miami Art Week has also expanded well past its original South Beach borders. Events are planned in Wynwood, Little Haiti, downtown Miami, and beyond. Whether you plan to take in highbrow art at the convention center or spend time in one of the many tents that pepper the city, you’ll need to fuel up for the adventure. From coffee shops to late-night cocktail bars, here are the best places to eat and drink in each neighborhood participating in Miami Art Week.
South Beach. If you’re headed to the Art Basel proper, start your day at Joe’s Take Away (11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-4611; joesstonecrab.com). This low-key sibling of the iconic Joe’s Stone Crab opens daily at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast, when you can order everything from steel-cut oatmeal ($6.95) to avocado toast. If the mood strikes, stone crabs and champagne are also available. The cozy 70-seat dining room at Macchialina (820 Alton Rd., Miami Beach; 305-534-2124; macchialina.com) is a good wind-down from the colorful sensory overload of Basel. James Beard Award semifinalist Michael Pirolo’s rustic Italian fare is fresh and soulful. Sip a Negroni while you peruse the menu, filled with favorites such as spaghetti con vongole ($27) and veal parmigiana ($40). End the evening with a nightcap at Repour (1650 James Ave., Miami Beach; 305-913-1000; repourbar.com), a dark cocktail lounge hidden behind the lobby of the Albion Hotel. There, Isaac Grillo offers a rotating selection of garden-to-glass drinks using fresh herbs and Colorado river rocks instead of ice to chill drinks without diluting them.
Mid-Beach. If you’re checking out the Faena District’s activations, you don’t even need to leave the premises to get a meal. Los Fuegos by Frances Mallmann (3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-655-5600; faena.com), named for the Argentine chef who uses fire as his main cooking utensil, specializes in meats grilled on oak-and-charcoal-fueled grills built in Texas and served with simple sides in an opulent dining room. Quench your thirst at Broken Shaker (2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach; 305-531-2727; freehandhotels.com), the award-winning cocktail bar at the Freehand that offers an ever-changing selection of drinks and a daily punch bowl. Inside the newly opened Generator Miami (3120 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-496-5730; generatorhostels.com), find Jim & Neesie, a laid-back lounge fashioned as the chic beach home of a fictional European couple that loves to entertain. The lounge offers cocktails that are bottled and refrigerated before being poured at your table. Try the Negroni Supreme ($12), made with raspberry-and-pistachio-infused gin, red bell pepper Campari, vermouth, and a spritz of lavender mist.
Wynwood. In Miami’s most bohemian neighborhood, choices range from doughnuts and beer to five-star dining and bespoke cocktails. Start the day like a local with a treat from the Salty Donut (50 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-925-8126; saltydonut.com). The menu changes often, but staples include brown butter and salt as well as maple bacon. The shop also offers gluten-free and vegan options. If you’re looking for a bite, hit up 1-800-Lucky (143 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-768-9826; 1800lucky.com), a food hall fashioned after an Asian night market, for everything from soup dumplings to Peking duck to Taiyaki’s Instagram-worthy unicorn ice-cream cone. Chef Brad Kilgore’s Alter (223 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-5996; altermiami.com) remains the standard-bearer for creative dining in the neighborhood. The sparse concrete floors and walls are designed to draw your eye to the open kitchen and its creations. After dinner, head to J. Wakefield Brewing (120 NW 24th St., Miami; 786-254-7779; jwakefieldbrewing.com) and knock back a few of Jonathan Wakefield’s tart beers made with local fruits in a taproom filled with Star Wars-themed murals. If you’re still in the market for art, R House (2727 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-576-0201; rhousewynwood.com) is both a restaurant and an art gallery that presents a spirited drag brunch Saturdays and Sundays.
Little Haiti/Little River/MiMo District. With more and more galleries moving here, it’s worth exploring this area that’s a mix of industrial warehouses, rich Caribbean culture, and midcentury design. Vagabond Sushi (7301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-699-2426; vagabondsushi.com), housed inside a perfectly restored ’60s-era motel, recently opened under Amir Ben-Zion, who’s also responsible for the property’s chill poolside bar and intimate lounge filled with art from the restaurateur’s personal collection. The Anderson (709 NE 79th St., Miami; 305-757-3368; theandersonmiami.com) is a bar that boasts two distinct vibes: Inside, look for takes on kitschy ’80s-era drinks such as the cosmopolitan. Outside, make your way to the hut for Hemingway daiquiris and Red Stripe beer. If you’re seeking late-night pho and contemporary takes on tiki drinks, head to Madame Phuong Cocktail + Den at Phuc Yea (7100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-602-3710; phucyea.com). This weekly pop-up is open Thursday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
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Design District. This year’s Design District draws have to be Swan and Bar Bevy (90 NE 39th St., Miami; 305-576-6595; swanbevy.com). The collaboration between nightlife guru David Grutman and musician Pharrell Williams boasts multiple personalities. Downstairs, Swan is a rose-hued confection of a restaurant serving whimsical yet substantial dishes by winner of Europe’s Top Chef Season 3, Jean Imbert. A caesar salad shaped like a tower ($16); Pharrell’s favorite dish, Corn, Corn, Corn ($15); and a perfectly roasted chicken ($29) are menu highlights. Upstairs, Bar Bevy oozes Mick Jagger-meets-Arabian Nights swagger with gemstone hues accented by black-and-white nudes. If you need a quick fix, St. Roch Market (140 NE 39th St., Miami; 786-542-8977; miami.strochmarket.com) slings everything from vegan desserts to grilled oysters swimming in butter to a tower of hummus.
Downtown Miami. Between Mana Contemporary and Pérez Art Museum Miami, downtown will be a major hub for Basel-goers. Deme Lomas’ Arson (104 NE Second Ave., Miami; 786-717-6711; arsonmiami.com) offers a 5-to-7:30 p.m. weekday happy hour with specials on beer ($3.50), wine ($5 to $6), oysters ($1), charbroiled sardines ($2.50), eggplant purée ($3.50), and baby calamari ($8). At Mama Tried (207 NE First St., Miami; 786-803-8087; mamatriedmia.com), a daily happy hour features classic cocktails such as the rum-based Dark ‘n’ Stormy, a French 75, and a traditional daiquiri for $7 each.