MIAMI — The Super Bowl is back in Miami for the first time in 10 years, as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs take on Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers. Whether you’re a fan of those two teams or a media member covering the game, folks from all over the globe are making their way to sunny South Florida to get away from the winter and catch all of the festivities. You already know about the beaches and some of the ultra-popular spots like Joe’s Stone Crab and Prime. As the local resident on our staff, I’d like to narrow down some other places to visit while you’re in town. Consider this your guide.
Croqueta and Cuban coffee
This town runs on Cuban coffee, and it’s important to know which kind of coffee you want to order, especially if you’re ordering at a walk-up window. But don’t let that intimidate you: the Miami Herald has a great guide on the different types of Cuban coffee to order when in Miami. A Colada (which comes in a Styrofoam cup and is served in smaller plastic shot cups) is the most popular option for a small group and the strongest of the Cuban coffees. Always remember that the Styrofoam cup is meant for sharing. Do not consume the entire thing or else you’ll be bouncing off walls.
Nothing goes better with a morning coffee than a few ham croquetas (pictured below). Below you’ll find three solid locations for great croquetas. The fourth is Publix, a local super market with a delicious bakery and an underrated option for croquetas, which you can’t go wrong with if you’re in a hurry and not near any of the top three locations.
- Islas Canarias (Kendall)
- La Carretta (Miami)
- Sergio’s Restaurant (Miami)
- Publix (South Florida)
Calle Ocho experience
Speaking of coffee, there’s a walk-up window just about everywhere you turn in Miami, especially in Little Havana. Head down to Calle Ocho and start your day at Versailles, a historic venue visited by various celebrities and politicians. You can go to the ventanita for a cafecito, sandwiches and pastries, or just walk inside the actual restaurant for arroz con pollo. Once you’re done, work your way east on Calle Ocho and visit Ball and Chain for live music and drinks, Union Beer Store (if you’re into a wrestling-themed craft beer market), Azucar for some awesome ice cream/paletas and enjoy the popular Domino Park across the street.
- Ball and chain
- Azucar Ice Cream
- Union Beer Store
- Domino Park
Wynwood is arguably the current pulse of the city. What started as a warehouse district with a few art galleries has exploded into a popular neighborhood with colorful murals, tasty food and bars and lounges with good vibes. You can’t visit Miami without spending at least a day/night there. That’s why you’ll see plenty of other Wynwood spots further down this list. Check out Salty Donut for some of the best donuts on the planet. Visit Wynwood Walls for the murals and nearby galleries for more cool work from emerging artists all over the world. Go to Coyo Taco for some of the best Mexican street food you’ll find in South Florida (just ask Barack Obama). And if you’re there at night, walk to the back hall and you’ll find a secret speakeasy bar where you can cap your night off with some tequila.
- Wynwood Walls
- Salty Donut
- Coyo Taco
- Perez Art Museum Miami (Miami): The PAMM is a contemporary art museum in downtown Miami, right next to American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat. Be sure to visit the back of the museum for an immaculate waterfront view of the Port of Miami.
- Vizcaya Museum & Gardens (Miami): Built in 1916, this historic 10-acre landmark is jam-packed with incredible European architecture and amazing gardens and fountains overlooking Biscayne Bay.
- Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (South Miami): Enjoy 83 acres of rare tropical plants and garden exhibits. You can take a tour via tram or simply walk for a breathtaking experience. Make sure to try the key lime pie at the cafe.
Beer and cocktails
- Veza Sur (Wynwood): Latin-themed craft-beer bar with an outdoor patio and live music at nights. Enjoy some tasty cerveza, including an ice-cold foamy chopp like the locals would in Brazil.
- Funky Buddha (Fort Lauderdale): Arguably one of the best breweries in the state of Florida, with unique flavors like Maple Bacon Coffee Porter or No Crusts fruit ale (peanut butter and jelly). Make sure to order the yucca tots in the tap room to go along with your beer.
- Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami (Miami Beach): Located in a low-key backyard of a boutique hostel, this cocktail bar is home to some of the most innovative mixologists. The atmosphere is great but the fancy drinks are a bit expensive, though that’s always the case if you’re in Miami Beach.
- Sugar (Brickell): Located on the 40th floor of the East hotel, this is arguably the best rooftop bar you’ll find with stunning views of the Miami skyline. Perfect spot for tasty, tropical hand-crafted cocktails while watching the Miami sunset.
- Mama Tried (Downtown Miami)
- Lost Boy (Downtown Miami)
- Gramps (Wynwood)
- Monty’s Raw Bar (Coconut Grove)
- Barracuda (Coconut Grove)
- The Wharf (Miami or Fort Lauderdale)
- The Bar (Coral Gables)
- The Seven Dials (Coral Gables)
- Grails Restaurant & Bar (Wynwood)
- Lincoln’s Beard Brewing Co. (Miami)
- 1-800-Lucky (Wynwood): A mini-Asian food hall that features a record store in the front entrance, a hidden karaoke room in the back and an outdoor area for live music and drinks. You can never go wrong with some dumplings and ramen.
- The Citadel (Little River): Whether you’re in the mood for Caribbean, Mexican, Israeli or Chinese, this food hall is a great tour of the rich and diverse culinary options this city has to offer. Make sure you check out the rooftop bar before or after your meal for a nice beverage.
- Time Out Market Miami (Miami Beach): Twenty-one different food or drink options at your disposal, including Salt & Brine (seafood), Norman Van Aken (Caribbean) and Giorgio Rapicavoli (Italian/Latin).
- Politan Row Miami (Miami Design District): Formerly known as St. Roch Market, this is another gourmet, chef-driven food hall with a little more of a laid-back atmosphere where you can enjoy an eclectic mix of food options ranging from Peruvian (Itamae) to Vietnamese (Tran An), to Southern Comfort (Coop).
- Luna Park (Brickell): Formerly known as La Centrale, this is one of two Italian food halls located inside of Brickell City Centre. You’ll find 14 different eateries, five bars, a cooking school, wine shop and coffee shop over three floors.
- Casa Tua Cucina (Brickell): This is the other Italian food hall inside of Brickell City Centre. It’s located on the first floor and connected to Saks Fifth Ave, but don’t let that fool or scare you away. There are 10 different stations ranging anywhere from pasta to pizza, meat and cheeses, seafood and steak. You can’t go wrong with the risotto.
- Mister 01 Extraordinary Pizza (Brickell, Wynwood, Miami Beach): Try the Star Luca (the star-shaped, ricotta filled pizza pictured below with spicy salami) or the Claudio (filled with burrata stracciatella cheese and white truffle oil).
- Harry’s Pizzeria (Design District, Coconut Grove): You can’t go wrong with a classic cheese and a side of Crispy Polenta Fries.
- Ironside (Little River): Bring your own wine and enjoy the homemade cured meats and cheese boards before ordering from one of four pies (Fresca, Funghi, Capricciosa, Quattro StagionI).
- Crust (Miami River): Order the Fried Calamari or the Grilled Octopus before you build your Custom Pizza Pie.
- Macchialina (Miami Beach): Arguably the best pasta in Miami (the hip hop music doesn’t hurt, either). Must have the Gnocco Fritto and the Cavatelli Macchialina.
- Jaguar Sun (Brickell): Small venue located inside of a luxury condominium. Cocktails are great, but the food is even better. Try the Parker House Rolls and the Bucatini.
- Boia De (Miami): Can’t go wrong with their signature Tortellini in Brodo or the Ricotta Gnocchi.
- Ariete (Coconut Grove): The Chur Burger with two patties and the special Ariete sauce is your go-to move.
- Lokal (Coconut Grove): Plenty of tasty options, but I’d lean on the Miami Heat Burger with with spicy mayonnaise, sliced jack cheese, grilled onion, sliced jalapenos, lettuce, tomato and sriracha.
- Kush (Wynwood): Pick the Frita Burger, which features melted wannabe Gruyere, guava jelly, potato six and crispy bacon.
- Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Hollywood): Florida has yet to legalize sports gambling, but that shouldn’t stop you from hitting up the casinos for some poker or slot-machine action. You might notice a huge guitar-shaped building on the highway near Hard Rock Stadium, home of Super Bowl LIV. That’s the new Guitar Hotel located inside Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, which puts on an incredible light show at night. The area is filled with bars, lounges, pools, cabanas if you’re not into the casino.
- Gulfstream Park (Hallandale Beach): Live thoroughbred racing Wednesday through Sunday, along with the slots and live poker games.
- Ms. Cheezious (Little River, Coral Gables): This place specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches. All of the melts on the menu are great, but if you forced me to pick one clear-cut option, I’d go with the Croqueta Monsieur.
- Books & Books (Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Miami, Miami Beach): Nice, laid-back place to read and enjoy a nice cup of coffee or glass of wine.
- Ichimi (Coral Gables): Best Tonkotsu spot in Miami. The Pork Tonkotsu is the go-to move here.
- Phuc Yea (Little River): Great Asian fusion/Vietnamese spot. Go for the Hu Tieu soup while you’re there.
- Matsuri (Miami): Located in a shopping plaza, this spot is a hidden gem for great sushi.