By: Galena Mosovich
Miami’s breed of hipster radiates a different vibe than its haughty counterparts across the country. Here, the perpetually shining sun stops today’s counterculture from hiding amid a secret society of like-minded people who refuse to share their password with you. Hipsters are generally warm and welcoming in Miami for many reasons. You see, the Miami hipster is not necessarily a starving artist, a brooding biker or a plaid-clad poet. Hipsters in the Magic City truly come in all shapes and sizes (unfortunately, their skinny jeans do not!).
The city’s booming arts community offers infinite opportunities and support for local “creatives,” who are most often successful entrepreneurs, to flourish. These small business owners, professionals, artists and innovators want their patrons to experience the fruits of their labor, whether it’s a bar, specialty boutique, coffee shop, restaurant, art gallery, live music venue or salon. Though the definition of hipster is hotly debated, their ethos should be part of the allure for visitors to Miami interested in intimate, off-the-beaten-path places and hot spots with a distinctive blend of edge and charm.
Fuel up for a fun day in Wynwood at Panther Coffee, courtesy of the husband-and-wife team’s cold-brewed coffee. It’s a highly concentrated concoction, typically served hot, with an addictive smoothness. Panther’s flagship location has indoor seating where you can watch sustainable green coffee beans roast from your comfortable seat. See Miami hipsters hanging in their natural habitat while sitting on the street-side outdoor patio.
Wander through the walls of Wynwood, a labyrinth of cutting edge street art that’s constantly changing. Every visit to the arts district bestows new larger-than-life murals with vibrant colors and oftentimes satirical messages. It’s where international graffiti artists converge to leave their mark alongside the work of a robust group of local talent. In the center of it all, there’s the Wynwood Walls, an aptly named outdoor gallery featuring creations by some of the genre’s most famous artists. Be sure to visit the indoor galleries that dot the streets in the area as well as the famous collections (e.g. the Rubell Family Collection and the Marguiles Family Collection at the Warehouse. Confirm hours of operation in advance as times vary and some locations require appointments.
Noon - Time for Lunch
As the neighborhood continues to grow, options for delicious food are popping up at a similar pace. A few to choose from:
JugoFresh’s Wynwood location is perfect for organic cold-pressed juices, superfood smoothies, and raw/vegan foods.
Joey’s Italian Cafe focuses on authentic Northern Italian and Mediterranean cuisine with an emphasis on local and sustainable ingredients in an elegant yet casual environment.
Pride & Joy serves up barbecue, beer, and bourbon with zero fuss.
Kush Wynwood’s burgers are beloved for their freshness and flavor (beef is sourced from grass-fed cattle in Central Florida). Wash it all down with their impressive selection of craft beers.
2 p.m. Shop & Do.
If you’re in the market for original art, one of the myriad galleries (there are more than 70) in Wynwood will have you covered. Spinello Projects, Bakehouse Art Complex, Emerson Dorsch and Robert Fontaine Gallery are good places to start.
Plant the Future is your go-to for whimsical terrariums (because why not?), desert gardens, orchid arrangements, air plants, and a wide variety of cacti.
Del Toro Shoes is the mecca for so-called sneaker heads who keep up with sartorial icons like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat. Expect customizable velvet slippers, chukkas, wingtips, drivers and even espadrilles in a variety of wild colors and patterns. Some of the stylish designs are a result of an exclusive collaboration with local artists such as Typoe. Remember: hipsters in Miami are different. They wear handmade Italian shoes.
Handcrafted Miami is an uber-hip tattoo parlor owned by famed tattoo artist and Miami Ink co-founder, Chris Nunez. Nothing says hipster like an edgy or ironic tattoo!
Return to your hostel on Miami Beach for sunset cocktails. The Freehand Miami is a high-end hostel offering affordable lodging in a bohemian setting one block from the beach. Its backyard is home to one of the best cocktail bars in the country, The Broken Shaker. Take a seat under the trees next to the plot of herbs to people-watch while sipping on a garden-fresh cocktail. #shakerlife
Embark on an evening adventure filled with music and mustaches. Lagniappe is a fantastic starting point. This New Orleans-style wine house in Midtown is known for its charming al fresco atmosphere where jazzy musicians perform nightly. Claim a table and kick back with a bottle of wine or a beer (there are more than 150 bottles to choose from).
When the jazz band calls it a night around 11:30 p.m., you know it’s time to “turn up.” Bardot is just a few blocks away and this intimate lounge regularly boasts a killer lineup of local and national touring acts. Another late-night option, The Electric Pickle, is also nearby. This DJ-friendly boutique club in Wynwood is where you can dance like no one is watching to the closest thing to underground house music in town.
Wake up and rent a customized Republic Bike from your hostel. The Freehand offers them to guests for $15 per day. You’ll want to cruise to the beach and make your way south to 1st Street near the jetty where the surfer crowd lingers waiting for the waves to pick up. The conditions are fairly flat here, in which case a stand-up paddleboard is appropriate. However, waves do appear at times. Either way, you can rent boards for any occasion from F1RST Surf Shop.
Ride through the Art Deco district and visit The Wolfsonian-Florida International University museum, where a stunning collection of more than 120,000 objects (1885 – 1945) awaits your arrival. Each piece is part of the renowned museum’s overall illustration of the power of art and design in modernity. And frankly, you know how much hipsters love vintage novelties.
Lunch is a must in The Wolfsonian’s gift shop. Miami-native Chef Jeremiah’s Subatomic Sandwiches only serves meats, sauces, condiments, and accompaniments that are housemade. Even the bread is made locally. Check out the duck Cuban sandwich with duck ham (brined, lightly smoked, thinly sliced duck breast), mustard caviar, and pickles.
Trek back to the mainland to experience the current exhibition at Primary Projects, an avant-garde contemporary art gallery in downtown Miami, before you catch the latest film festival winner at the indie theater O Cinema in Wynwood.
Close out your visit with a night at The Corner in downtown Miami. Its saloon vibe and dimly-lit nooks attract swarms of Miami hipsters who all just want to have a good time with craft beers, classic cocktails, and satisfying grilled cheeses (to go) until 8 a.m.