Miami City Guide
Local expertise and information for the business traveller.
You may find the following information useful if you’re travelling on business in Canada. We asked the country’s top food writers to provide their most current recommendations for restaurants, hotels and other essential data.
By Lesley Chesterman (Montreal), Anne DesBrisay (Ottawa), James Chatto (Toronto), Christine Hanlon (Winnipeg), John Gilchrist (Calgary), Gail Hall (Edmonton), Andrew Morrison (Vancouver) and Steve Dolinsky (Chicago).
Catch the culture
One of the biggest criticisms about the Magic City 20 years ago was that it was devoid of culture. With the ADRIENNE ARSHT CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY located in a César Pelli-designed building that emulates a cruise ship, and world-class museums such as the PÉREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI, that charge can no longer be levied. Wynwood’s gallery scene, which hosts annual Art Basel festivities, is also quite engaging. The street murals here, an international “Museum of the Streets” commissioned and encouraged by visionary and enjoy a Cubano-rolled cigar. End with ham-and-pork Cuban sandwiches, vaca frita (fried steak) and Moros y Cristianos (white rice mixed with black beans) at rambunctious VERSAILLES RESTAURANT where the political conversations are always fascinating – and, like everything else in Miami – infectious.
ADRIENNE ARSHT CENTER
1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305 949 6722
PÉREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI
1103 Biscayne Blvd., 305 375 3000
3555 SW 8th St., 305 444 0240
Restaurants to dine for
Miami has always been a place to savour a variety of genuine Latin cuisines, particularly Cuban, Argentine and Brazilian. Recently, an upscale Peruvian trend has emerged, resulting in venues such as LA MAR BY GASTÓN ACURIO in the Mandarin Oriental Miami and COYA MIAMI, American outpost of the famed London establishment. You won’t find better examples of freshly made ceviche and tiradito – raw fish lightly “cooked” with citrus and other flavours. Chefs are also demonstrating a renewed passion for fusing Asian flavours with South Florida ingredients, and the results are deliciously evident at South Beach restaurants TALDE (at the aforementioned Thompson Miami Beach); chef Michael Pirolo’s BÁZÍ MIAMI in the Marlin Hotel and NAIYARA, the spot for authentic Thai street food helmed by Piyarat Potha Arreeratn, a.k.a. “Chef Bee”. For truly impressive regional fare from chefs who have no ethnic allegiance but are loyal to excellent, sustainable product and their own imaginations, check out chef Bradley Kilgore’s ALTER in a renovated Wynwood warehouse and the longrunning yet still revolutionary MICHAEL’S GENUINE FOOD & DRINK in the high-end Design District, owned by chef Michael Schwartz. He also operates the classy CYPRESS TAVERN nearby.
LA MAR BY GASTÓN ACURIO
500 Brickell Key Dr., 305 913 8288
999 Brickell Ave., 305 415 9990
1200 Collins Ave., 305 695 0101
1854 Bay Rd., Sunset Harbour Shops
223 NW 23rd St., 305 573 5996
MICHAEL’S GENUINE FOOD & DRINK
130 NE 40th St., 305 573 5550
3620 NE 2nd Ave., 305 520 5197
The Downtown district bustles during the day with people doing business and others who are at leisure. For deal-making, upscale Mexican restaurant CANTINA LA VEINTE RESTAURANT, DELI & CAFÉ located behind the Viceroy Hotel, is a terrific spot for both lunch and happy hour. Order a horchata, a traditional Mexican drink, for an addictive, refreshing pick-me-up during the former, and tequila from an impressive range of bottlings during the latter. If you’re shopping the luxe boutiques in Midtown, Mary Brickell Village or the Design District, Mediterranean café APEIRO KITCHEN & BAR, BLUE COLLAR and THE FEDERAL FOOD, DRINK & PROVISIONS are all prime spots for a more laid-back, midday meal that makes the most of Miami’s gorgeous weather. Consider them buenas recommendations for brunch as well.
CANTINA LA VEINTE RESTAURANT, DELI & CAFÉ
495 Brickell Ave., 786 623 6135
APEIRO KITCHEN & BAR
3252 NE 1st Ave., The Shops at Midtown, 786 800 5389
6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305 756 0366
THE FEDERAL FOOD, DRINK & PROVISIONS
5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305 758 9559
Sip and salsa like a local
Two things Miamians know how to do: knock back drinks and swivel their hips. If you want to hang with the locals, you’ll need to practise doing them simultaneously at places that offer both Latin music and innovative libations. We’re fond of MO BAR + LOUNGE (in the aforementioned Mandarin Oriental) and LILT BAR & LOUNGE in the Epic Hotel. For groundbreaking mixology, don’t miss THE BROKEN SHAKER in the Freehand Miami. For speakeasy elegance that channels Prohibition (along with a lot of antiques), LIBERTINE is a no-sign, late-night haunt for aficionados with a sense of direction. But if all you crave is simplicity – say, really good tacos and tequila shots in a hidden, back-room bar – head over to Wynwood’s COYO TACO. Or stop by THE BUTCHER SHOP BEER GARDEN & GRILL for a choice steak, sausages and a beer tower.
LILT BAR & LOUNGE
270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305 351 7403
THE BROKEN SHAKER
2727 Indian Creek Dr., 305 531 2727
34 NE 11th St., 305 363 2120
2300 NW 2nd Ave., 305 573 8228
THE BUTCHER SHOP BEER GARDEN & GRILL
165 NW 23rd St., 305 846 9120
Beachfront hotels of the future
In keeping with the times, 1 HOTEL & HOMES located on the beachfront at the northern tip of the South Beach Art Deco District, is completely eco-friendly, made with organic materials, using natural light and serving sustainable food – most notably in Tom Colicchio’s seafood-based restaurant, Beachcraft. Away from the madding South Beach crowds, Mid-Beach hotels attract with renovated art deco architecture, exclusive ocean access, terrific food and mixology, and entertainment that ranges from bowling alleys to ice-skating rinks. They include the boutique THOMPSON MIAMI BEACH where hometown chef Michelle Bernstein and her husband, David Martinez, manage Seagrape (as well as the renowned CENA by Michy on the Upper East Side); the long-awaited FAENA HOTEL MIAMI BEACH, the artsy complex that stretches four blocks; and the MIAMI BEACH EDITION, where Jean-Georges Vongerichten curates the fare.
1 HOTEL & HOMES
2341 Collins Ave., 305 604 1000
THOMPSON MIAMI BEACH
4041 Collins Ave., 786 605 4041
FAENA HOTEL MIAMI BEACH
3201 Collins Ave., 305 535 4597
MIAMI BEACH EDITION
2901 Collins Ave., 786 257 4500