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Kathryn Lydia Lewis & Neil Jaspaul Gulshan Singh — Minted

Kathryn Lydia Lewis


Neil Jaspaul Gulshan Singh

Our Guide to Miami

Miami is a city of several distinct neighborhoods...

... that we suggest exploring one at a time. The suggestions below are presented in ascending order of distance from Coral Gables (closest to farthest). Given how competitive the Miami restaurant scene is, a good indicator of quality is how long a place has been in operation!

Coral Gables

All of the wedding celebrations will be held in Coral Gables, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Miami along with neighboring Coconut Grove. Coral Gables is essentially a suburb of Miami that was developed in the 1920s under the City Beautiful philosophy of architectural reform (a precursor to what we call master planned communities today). Unlike the rest of Miami, you won't find tall, modern apartment buildings here. The Mediterranean Revival style prevalent in the neighborhood was mandated in its original plan and continues on today.

Here's how we would walk through the Gables:

  • Start with a "cafecito" (sweet Cuban espresso, also called a "colada") at Chef Sucre Café, then walk east along the historical Miracle Mile (Coral Way). A few other options for food on the Miracle Mile include Pura Vida (healthy / trendy option for breakfast or lunch) and Motek (Israeli / Mediterranean).
  • One street up (Aragon Ave.), Books & Books is wonderful local bookshop and café option for lunch (since this is Miami, there is a bar at the café too). When you finish up, the charming Coral Gables Museum is just next door.
  • Yet another street up is Giralda Plaza. [Brief aside for history nerds: La Giralda is the gothic-style bell tower of the grand cathedral in Seville, Spain, which inspired the Biltmore's prominent central tower.] Options here include Talavera Cocina (Mexican) and Calista (Greek seafood). Luca Osteria has amazing pasta (dinner only).
  • As you keep walking north you will end up close to several of our favorite places, including: (1) The Globe, a local bistro with live jazz and cocktails; (2) Zitz Sum, an inventive Japanese-Italian (we know...) dinner experience; and (3) Bachour, which offers pastries / brunch.
  • Off of Miracle Mile (but still in the Gables), we recommend Bulla Gastrobar (Spanish tapas and amazing drinks) and House of Per'La (great coffee). Finally, the Shops at Merrick Park is a nice outdoor shopping center (~5 min drive from Miracle Mile).

Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove ("the Grove") is like the big sister to Coral Gables. It's equally charming and historic but offers gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay. In recent years, the center of the Grove (CocoWalk) has morphed into a yuppie millennial playground, and gateway city institutions like Salt & Straw (ice cream) and Sadelle's (a luxury deli experience) have joined in on the fun. Fear not... plenty of more authentic culinary experiences persist, including:

  • Outdoor farmer's market on Saturday mornings (3300 Grand Ave, Miami, FL 33133)
  • Sapore di Mare (incredible Italian seafood)
  • B Bistro Bakery (first-rate brunch / pastries)
  • Jaguar Restaurant (pan-Latin cuisine)
  • Amal (Lebanese with a great rooftop lounge)
  • PLANTA Queen (inventive vegan food that all eaters should enjoy)
  • Bombay Darbar
  • Aida Mexican Seafood


  • The rooftop of the Mayfair House Hotel has great drinks and views
  • Botanico Gin (gin bar, also offers tapas)
  • The Commodore (gorgeous cocktail bar inside the Ritz-Carlton)
  • The bar at Bayshore Club (waterfront bistro open for lunch and dinner)

Little Havana

Little Havana is one of our favorite places in Miami. The vibrant colors, the wild chickens running around, the homemade food and drinks... what's not to love? The center of the neighborhood is 8th Street ("Calle Ocho"... yes, like the Pitbull song) and we recommend staying near there if you're on foot.

  • If you've never had Cuban food before, we highly recommend Cafe La Trova, which also has one of the best cocktail bars in the city. The live music at night is a must-see. Make reservations in advance if possible (if nothing is available on Resy, give them a call).
  • A few streets over is Terras, a little-known rooftop bar in a boutique hotel that offers tapas and some of the best views of the Downtown Miami / Brickell skyline. Opens at 4pm.
  • Further west down Calle Ocho is the center of the action, Domino Park, where you can test your dominoes and chess skills against the locals (busiest on Sundays). Right next door is Old's Havana Cuban Bar & Cocina, which makes some of the best mojitos you'll find in Miami. You're also not far from Bar Nancy, a good option for cocktails and Latino bar food.
  • If you keep going west, you'll be rewarded with what we believe is the best and most authentic Cuban food on Calle Ocho. Three great options: Versailles, La Carreta, and La Casita (we couldn't possibly tell you which one is best). What should you order? Another cafecito, croquetas, Cuban sandwiches, ropa vieja (shredded beef), pernil (pork shoulder), empanadas (every type is worth trying and there are vegetarian-friendly options), and sweet pastries (especially anything with guayaba, or guava, inside).

Brickell / Downtown

Brickell and Downtown Miami are the urban core of the city and offer beautiful views of Biscayne Bay, the cruise terminal, and Miami Beach and the Atlantic in the distance.

  • Pérez Art Museum (modern / contemporary art)
  • Boat tours (they usually leave from Bayside Marketplace)
  • The Wharf (food trucks, live music, and drinks on the Miami River)
  • Jaguar Sun (amazing cocktails, small plates, and pasta)
  • Sagrado Cafe (Brazilian specialties)
  • Stanzione 87 (Neapolitan-style pizza)
  • Osaka Miami (Nikkei-style cuisine, which is basically Japanese-Peruvian fusion)
  • Mama Tried (cocktail bar)
  • Lost Boy Dry Goods (old-school bar in the historic duPont building)

Wynwood and the Design District

Once home to Miami's artistic community, Wynwood has become another yuppie outpost. But it's still a ton of fun and a great place to hang out at any time of day. The Design District is the closest thing Miami has to high-street shopping, and there are some excellent food options there as well.


  • The #1 daytime activity in Wynwood is to check out the street art and colorful murals. We suggest starting at the corner of 2nd Ave and 26th Street.
  • Our favorite bar / lounge is Dante's HiFi, which is a high-fidelity audio vinyl listening lounge with great drinks and an amazing vibe. Get there early or buy tickets in advance on Tock, the online reservation platform.
  • Wynwood Brewing Company
  • Gramps (fun spot for live music and drinks)
  • The Dirty Rabbit (bar and club, it gets rowdy!)
  • Smorgasburg (outdoor food truck festival on Saturdays)
  • Doya (Greek / Turkish restaurant with incredible drinks and atmosphere. One of our all-time favorites).
  • Uchi (Sushi)
  • Pastis (French food, Miami outpost of a New York staple)
  • 1-800-Lucky (industrial-chic food hall with several Asian food options)
  • Joe's Pizza (yes, the Greenwich Village icon has opened a Miami location!)
  • Dasher & Crank / Matcha Café (ice cream)

Design District (including Midtown):

  • The Sylvester (one of our favorite cocktail bars)
  • Lagniappe (wine bar with live jazz, make your own charcuterie board, nice dinner options, get here early!)
  • Mandolin Aegean Bistro (incredible Mediterranean)
  • Michael's Genuine (New American, nice outdoor courtyard)
  • Casadonna (Italian)
  • COTE (Korean steakhouse, yet another NYC original now in Miami)
  • Mia Market (high-quality options at this indoor food court. Great for a big groups or families. If you like sushi, try Sushi Yasu Tanaka!)

Miami Beach

If you're escaping winter weather, we'd definitely recommend spending some time on the beach. We wouldn't be surprised if some of Kate's Canadian family even jumped in the ocean! There are several neighborhoods on the beach, but here are a few of our favorites:

South of 5th (southernmost part of the beach)

  • Walk through South Pointe Park and enjoy beautiful views of the water and boats passing by
  • Walk along Ocean Drive (during the day only, it gets crazy at night)
  • Call Me Gaby (Italian)
  • Prime Fish and Joe's Stone Crab (two Miami Beach institutions)
  • Abbale Televivian Kitchen
  • Orilla Bar and Grill (one of our favorite Argentine spots, lovely drinks and atmosphere)
  • The ScapeGoat (fun bar)

South and Mid Beach

  • Macchialina (next-level amazing pasta)
  • Tropezón (Spanish tapas)
  • Jaya at The Setai (Indian / Southeast Asian fusion)
  • Salon du Café (gorgeous café)
  • Gitano (Mexican)
  • NaiYaRa Thai & Sushi Miami
  • Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company
  • Rooftop of Esmé Hotel (excellent cocktails)
  • Living Room Bar at the W Hotel
  • Watr at the 1 Hotel Rooftop
  • Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami (outdoor cocktails)