Hipster Miami Itinerary

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By Matthew Meltzer

Defining what, exactly, constitutes a “hipster” can be tough, especially since that blend of retro-cool and ironically chic has morphed into part of mainstream culture. But if it means vintage shops, record stores and creative restaurants, then Greater Miami & Miami Beach is your hipster place. From the painted walls of Wynwood to the restored motels in the MiMo District, this destination does throwback and funky as well as anyplace. If you’re coming to town for just a few days, here’s how to dive headfirst into Miami’s hipster world.

Friends at Wynwood Walls angry baby mural
Exploring Wynwood Walls always includes taking pictures

Day 1

Kick off your first day in Miami in the heart of the hipster scene: Wynwood. First, grab breakfast at Miami’s pre-eminent bread maker, Zak the Baker. You’ll find his bread in restaurants all over the area, but it’s never fresher than it is at the Wynwood mothership. From there, stroll over to the Wynwood Walls, where yoga classes and other art demonstrations are commonplace.

Bakehouse Art Complex
The Bakehouse Art Complex enables artists to create, discover, learn, and share their work

There’s plenty more murals to see in the neighborhood, too, so take a self-guided tour and definitely be sure your phone has battery for some great pics. If you’re curious where the people behind those murals get their inspiration, head to the Bakehouse Art Complex, where you can visit with artists and see their work on display.

Wynwood Brewing Company tam room
Be sure to try La Rubia or Pops Porter at Wynwood Brewing Co.

If all that walking makes you hot and hungry, Gramps has you covered. The sign outside promises “Air Conditioning, Cold Beer, Cocktails,” but you’ll also find delicious slices inside at Pizza Tropical. Enjoy the cold air and good food, then walk a few blocks east to Wynwood Brewing Company. Miami’s first full-production brewery is best known for its La Rubia blonde ale, as well as the award-winning Pops Porter.

Taiyaki Ice Cream at 800-Lucky
1-800-Lucky's Taiyaki Ice Cream is served in a fish-shaped cone
 

Grab dinner at 1-800 Lucky, Wynwood’s Asian food hall. You’ll find everything from poke bowls to sushi and taiyaki ice cream, all served next to a bar with some of the best drinks in the city.  Finish up your first night on the balmy patio at Wood Tavern, where musicians, hipsters, and after-work corporate types drink side-by-side.

Citadel Chefs Sampler
The Citadel is Little Haiti's Food Hall

Day 2

Start Day 2 by discovering Little Haiti and Little River, an area anchored by the Citadel food hall. The space is filled with some of Miami’s favorite local restaurants, including Vice City Bean and their locally roasted coffee creations.  Peruse the wares of local fashion designers and artisans at the Pivot Market, where small businesses showcase novel stuff you won’t find elsewhere.

A few blocks south sits Ebb and Flow, a colorful shopping and dining destination in the heart of Little River. Stop in at Lucio Wine Shop and learn more about wine than you expected, then indulge in one of Miami’s best Vietnamese restaurants at Tran An, or hot noodles from Hachidori Ramen Bar. Add some color to your afternoon with a post-lunch trip to Rose Coloured Florals, an innovative flower shop with remarkable bouquets.

Little Haiti Cultural Center
Find Caribbean food and crafts at the Little Haiti Cultural Center

Discover the culture that made this area so diverse at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, where a marketplace sells Caribbean food and crafts. Inside, check out the center’s art gallery where permanent exhibits showcase local artists.

Get some fresh air and environmental education at the Center for Subtropical Affairs, a garden center aimed at sustainability education, with the occasional live jazz. Afterward, eat dinner al fresco at HeartLand Miami. This wood-fired grill will have you enjoying steaks and seafood under a sea of draped lights. Cap off the night with a few drinks at Churchill’s Pub, a longtime local favorite for live music and cold beer.

Vagabond Hotel pool
The Vagabond hotel is nationally designated as a Historic Landmark

Day 3

Day 3 kicks off amid the classic hotels and neon landscape of the MiMo district, beginning with breakfast at Jimmy’s Eastside Diner. This unassuming landmark made an appearance at the end of Best Academy Award Picture winner “Moonlight,” and is a local breakfast institution. Once you’re filled up, shop for your new wardrobe at the Fly Boutique vintage store, or one the other funky shops in the MiMo District.

Look for the giant landmark Coppertone Girl towering over Biscayne Blvd. Head to the Vagabond Motel, an old roadside stop on U.S. 1 that’s been restored into a modern boutique hotel. Enjoy poolside lunch from Mr. Mandolin, with kebas and mezzes considered among Miami’s best. Then get your camera ready again when you go for dessert at Cream Parlor. Their confections and ice cream creations are as colorful as they are over-the-top.

Phuc Yea dish
Phuc Yea serves vietnamese cuisine fused with spicy, bold Cajun richness

Spend the afternoon perusing rare vinyl and hard-to-find 45s at Technique Records, where you can also pre-order stuff if you know you’re going to be in town. From there, you can try Miami’s most celebrated grilled cheese sandwiches on the playful back patio or at Ms. Cheezious. Or, delve into the world of Cajun-Vietnamese fusion at Phuc Yea. Your journey ends with an immersion in 80s nostalgia at The Anderson, a cocktail bar where drinks with names like “Hey You Guys!” and “Ticket to Paradise” transport you to Miami’s bygone gritty heyday. Which might not have been quite so “hipster,” but which was still pretty hip.

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