Making the Case for Inland Miami: Why You Should Skip the Beach and Hang in the City Instead
By Jennifer Conrad for Vogue
Miami Beach has the glitz, and the sea, but across the bay in the city of Miami, talented young chefs, bartenders, bakers, and coffee roasters are planting their flags. Many spent time working at the big restaurants on the beach or returned to Miami after working in larger markets, finding a more affordable environment, with warm weather, a diverse population with ties to Latin America and the Caribbean, and access to produce from tropical fruit like star fruit and mangoes to greens from local Little River Cooperative—even bread from the oven of Zak the Baker, made by the bearded Zak Stern in Wynwood. “There’s a new sense of local pride in Miami,” says Jourdan Binder, one of the partners behind The Anderson in the Upper Eastside neighborhood. Uber to one of these three areas to see for yourself.
As the business center of Miami, Brickell and neighboring Downtown in the past felt a bit, well, stuffy, but newer offerings bring in a hipper clientele. Drawing raves since the first feathered dancer shimmied across its stage last fall, El Tucán is a new-wave supper club evoking Cuba in the 1940s with Afro-Cuban music, late-night DJs, and murals by Happy Menocal.
Also in the area, Fooq’s Mediterranean cuisine incorporates local produce, and a new branch of popular Wynwood spot Coyo Taco makes tacos to go with more than 50 types of tequila. The boutique hotel The Langford just opened in a downtown Beaux Arts bank tower dating to 1925, with the rooftop Pawn Broker serving cocktails like the lavender-and-mezcal Lady Lindy and a ground-floor new American restaurant called PB Station, both from the team behind Miami Beach’s Pubbelly.
These spots join bigger projects like the just-opened East Miami hotel (the first U.S. outpost from the company behind Beijing’s Opposite House), with Quinto la Huella, the sister restaurant to Uruguay’s renowned Parador La Huella, serving South American parrilla seared over an open flame and arroz negro (squid ink and shrimp rice). Spanish celebrity chef José Andrés will open the seafood-centric Bazaar Mar in forthcoming SLS Brickell hotel. And with the first trains from Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach scheduled to begin arriving to new station MiamiCentral in mid-2017, it will be that much easier to take it all in.