HAPPY HALLOWEEN, my friends!! This week, I am gearing up to photograph a whole slew of opera singers’ portrait sessions (Squeeee!!!) and am prepping for some Thanksgiving cheese ideas. It really is soon!!!
To calm myself down, I’m thinking back to our time in Miami, Florida. I hadn’t been since I was about 5 years old, and was excited to visit! The food! The nightlife! The beach! The warm weather!
We flew into Miami after our eventful stay in Puerto Rico, where an island-wide power outage cut short our trip. It was a bit chaotic to rebook and check in to our flight, but we powered on through. I was searching for a Miami hotel as M. Cheesemonger waited for our luggage.
In Puerto Rico, not only had we lost power, but also running water (and the running water had never been hot), so we were in really sweaty, smelly shape when we pulled up to the hotel, the COMO Metropolitan in Miami Beach. But lo and behold, our front desk person was French, and that perked M. Cheesemonger up immediately. We got up to our art deco room lavishly decorated in black, white, and mint green, and jumped for our first real shower in about 3 days.
After semi-roughing it without power on my birthday, we decided that Miami would erase all trace of our troubles! We went to the pool and ordered food and drink poolside (I don’t know about you, but for me this is soooo fancy! ^_^). We did sunrise yoga on the beach. Our friends showed us their favorite nightclubs. They also showed us some really delicious food!
Check out our favorite spots!
Where We Ate:
Versailles Restaurant: An enormous, iconic Cuban restaurant. It is pretty much the size of the palace of Versailles, with significant portions to match. When we ordered our dishes, we asked the waitress, “Is that enough food?” She gave us a look that said, “You guys are idiots.” What she actually said, “Yes.” We ate well that evening. 3555 SW 8th St. Miami, FL 33135, West Flagler. (305) 444-0240. Mon-Thurs: 8am-1am. Fri: 8am-2:30am. Sat: 8am-3:30am. Sun: 9am-1am.
Morenos Cuba: Our first meal in Miami Beach! Tucked away behind a hotel, it’s a little oasis of food and drink. We sat on a patio nestled amongst string lights and palm trees, and feasted on tostones and killer sandwiches. 318 20th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139. (305) 538-7444. Sunday-Thurs: 8am-12am. Fri, Sat: 8am-1am.
SuViche: a favorite of our local friends. Fresh, raw fish. What more can you ask for? 1119 16th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139. (305) 777-3555. Mon-Sat: 11:30am-11pm. Sun: 1pm-11pm.
Ella: A little café in the Miami Design District, where we spent an afternoon pretending we could afford a new Harry Winston diamond ring or a Jonathan Adler chandelier. This place makes a mean grilled cheese and avocado toast! Perfect for a midday shopping pick-me-up. 140 NE 39th St #136, Miami, FL 33137. (786) 534-8177. Mon-Sat: 9am-7pm. Sun: 12pm-5pm.
Coyo Taco: There’s a “hidden” bar in the back, but we were there for the tacos and Mexican style corn on the cob! I just love the combo of corn, mayonnaise, and cotija cheese. Ahhhhh!!! The tacos were tasty and light. I had the pescado ones, and loved them. Someone, please tell me your favorites there! 2300 Nw 2nd Ave. Ste 3. Miami, FL 33127 (786) 475-6458. Mon & Thurs: 11am-2:30am. Tues & Wed: 11am-2am. Fri & Sat: 11am-3am. Sun: 11am-11pm.
David’s Café: Our friends took us here for brunch, and both M. Cheesemonger and I fell in love with everything about the place. There, our friends introduced us to café con leche (with Cuban toast to dip!) and cortadito, like a Cuban espresso. I had the “Cuban breakfast” with rice, fried egg, and sweet plantains. We ordered some extra tostones—fried plantains—and everyone’s order came with buttered Cuban toast. Come hungry. 919 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139. (305) 534-8736. Open 7 days a week: 6am-10pm.
The Broken Shaker: This remarkably charming hotel bar and terrace (on the ground floor of the Freehand Hotel) stole my heart. Our friends took me here as a break from the midday heat and humidity. It felt like we were in a friend’s backyard—there was a pool for the hotel guests, cozy seating areas arranged in the shade, dogs, and string lights. Beautiful cocktails. My kind of style. Freehand Miami, 2727 Indian Creek Drive,, Miami Beach, FL 33140. Mon–Fri: 6pm – 2am. Weekends: 1pm–2am. Poolside lunch & cocktails (beer, wine, punch) Mon–Fri: 12pm – 5pm.
La Durée: Oooohhh, macarons in Miami! My lovely friend Jocelle and I both have a soft spot for these soft treats, so we had tea and macarons together at their Lincoln Road Mall location. Our server was so sweet, and the teas were as delicate as we could ever hope for. Longtime readers know I prefer Pierre Hermé macarons, but I won’t say no to La Durée. Lincoln Road Mall, 1118 B Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139. (786) 275-6621. Sun-Thurs: 11am-10pm. Fri & Sat: 11am-11pm.
Mango’s Tropical Café: Our friends told us we HAD to come here because it embodies so much of South Beach’s reputation of being the over-the-top. Well, it did not disappoint. This place features talented servers/dancers/singers putting on mini-shows throughout the evening, pricey but respectable drinks, and lots of people-watching fodder. I think once was enough for me, though. 900 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Mon-Fri: 11:45am-5am. Sat & Sun: 11am-5am.
Places We Visited:
Pérez Art Museum: When we visited, there was a striking Basquiat exhibit, showcasing the notebook writings of the renowned New York-based artist, amongst others! I would highly recommend visiting! 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132. Thurs-Tues: 10am-6pm.
Faena Hotel: My friends wanted to show me the gilded woolly mammoth in the courtyard of this lavish hotel for residents and visitors, so we went to visit it. It is worth a gander! I would love the visit the neighboring Faena Forum one day, a venue devoted to art, thought, culture, and collaboration. What an interesting mission Faena seems to have. Their website says they are building a utopia for visionaries and artists (at a sizeable price tag, I’m guessing, based on the seaside location and luxurious amenities). I’m a little wary of utopias, but will be keeping an eye on this development! 3201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140.
Wynwood Walls: An area dedicated to murals by street artists from around the world. Colorful, lively, and changing. It’s like San Francisco’s Clarion Alley, but much broader and cleaner! 2520 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127. Mon-Thurs: 10:30am-11:30pm. Fri-Sat: 10:30am-12am. Sun: 10:30am-8pm.
The Standard, Miami Beach: My friends in Miami clearly enjoy doing the rounds at the area’s many beautiful hotels, and happily showed us the Standard, which features an almost labyrinthine garden full of gathering areas, sculptures, plants, and hidden corners. If you are a guest, you can take advantage of soaking tubs, yoga classes, saunas, and multiple pools. Maybe next time, I’ll have to stay here. 40 Island Avenue, Miami Beach, FL, 33139. (305) 673-1717.
Miami Beach Boardwalk: My local friends and I love walking around, so we strolled along the boardwalk, tucked between the beach and the hotel strip. It was so pretty to see all of the hotel terraces, blue sea and skies, and colorful lifeguard stations.
Phew. We got a lot done in just a few short days! Here’s to our next vacation!
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