Far west of South Beach, Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood is redefining the weekend trip to Miami. Where you’d expect only beaches, clubbing and bad music, you’ll end up browsing innovative art. In between the multitude of creative museums, stick around town to refresh sipping pinot noir at a Wine and Reggae Festival, triangling your vitamin D-deprived limbs on a yoga mat next to a Korean food truck, taking photos of chili peppers in an organic garden, or guzzling very sour beers at a craft beer market.
1. The Wynwood Yard
This multifaceted new addition to Wynwood, located right across from the Rubell Family Collection museum, is jam-packed with activities that can satisfy anyone. The Yard (pictured at top) is essentially a parking lot that serves as a bar, a food truck court, an outdoor yoga studio, an edible garden, a concert venue, and a workshop center.
By day, the Yard is fairly calm, with yogis saluting the sun and freelancers popping into the tent to write or sample a coconut curry cashew bowl from the Della Test Kitchen food truck. By night, concerts and events rock the Yard, like the wildly popular Wine and Reggae Festival. Founder Della Heiman has dreamed up the kind of space you could spend all day in and never get tired of, with sunset yoga, tamale cooking classes, Critical Mass meetups, drunken crafting events and silent discos.
2. Dr. Smood
Recently opened, this large, lovely, sun-lit cafe may be a designer juice emporium, but with ample seating, appealing snacks, and a selection that beats that of its fellow Wynwood juice shops Jucy Lu and Jugo Fresh, it’s a pleasure to visit. Trendy items like nut milks, goji berries, the Yemeni spice blend hawaj, and coconut meat are on offer and every other item seems to be labeled “Super Power,” but simple old-fashioned green juices and black tea will keep you down-to-earth.
If you had a little bit too much of the other kind of juice last night, try the H2O No. 2, a potent combination of ginger, lemon, lime, raw honey, Echinacea, cayenne, oregano and turmeric. Running a marathon, or a marathon of art museums, later? Go for the energy shot that is the Organic Booster No. 2, made with Jerusalem artichoke syrup, orange, lime, acai, maca, yerba mate and guarana extract. Vegan sandwiches, flaxseed-banana-cinnamon pancakes and walnut-cashew cheesecake are perfect for breaking your juice fast.
On Saturday nights, after the Wynwood Brewing Company Tap Room closes up shop at midnight, mosey over to BoxElder, the craft beer market and bar on the north end of Second Avenue, which stays open until 2 a.m. There, you’ll find a food truck parked on the relaxed backyard patio and a long, industrial-chic bar at which to sip your rare brews, be it a .5 percent Non Prophet kombucha dry-hopped with Citra or the wild 13 percent BOMB!, an imperial stout aged with coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans and chili peppers. The space also hosts fun events like ice cream and beer pairings, limited-edition growler releases, art openings and speakers.
About to turn two, this beer centric burger spot from the Miami Brew Bus founders still creates buzz. The restaurant’s brick wall proclaims, “Good beer ain’t cheap. Cheap beer ain’t good,” and the focus here is certainly on good beer, whether it comes conveniently from local Wynwood Brewing or they have to source it from Bavaria’s Ayinger. Even the food contains beer—like the Proper Sausages that are infused with Wynwood Pop’s Porter. Go for the scene and the beer, but don’t neglect locally-sourced meat dishes, from crispy, Old Bay-seasoned Cypress Creeks alligator bites served with aioli, to the Cowart Ranch Kush and Hash, a burger topped with hash, a fried egg, bacon and cheese, drizzled with maple syrup, and nestled in a waffle bun.
5. Beaker & Gray
Start your evening with a cocktail at this warm, convivial restaurant and cocktail bar, where drinks reach New York prices, but fun experiments in mixology merit the bill. Try the Re-Pete, a righteous, foamy glass of cachaça and Campari shaken with pineapple juice and topped with cinnamon, or the Blast Furnace, which throws a light-bodied bourbon and a hefeweizen together with apricot preserves and somehow succeeds. What’s fun here is the unusual, exploratory ingredient list that includes everything from Thai chili to thyme-infused Dolin Blanc. The bar has thoughtfully rounded out its menu with a wide selection of beer and wines, and even a few mocktails.
Dakota Kim is a food writer, gardener, mushroom hunter and burlesque producer living in Brooklyn. She likes to brew strange Korean medicinal teas and bake vegan desserts. She is currently working on a cookbook featuring burlesque performers called Bombshell Bakers.