Miami offers enough off-the-grid authentic culinary and cultural gems to make a vacationer never want to leave. Since there might be too much to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to six local gems to visit in Miami.
There’s no doubt that this arty gastronomical hub – that sets the dining experience to a soundtrack of classic funk and hip hop – is 100% ‘Miami.’ Meaning, Kyu is where tourists attend for an authentic culinary experience.
KYU is known for its shichimi-rubbed wagyu brisket, roasted cauliflower with shishito herb vinaigrette and goat cheese, and Mom’s Coconut Cake. However, it’s just as much known for eclectically fashionable patronage and friendly staff.
While the popularity of the location means it’s better to call and make a reservation for a table, diners can also squeeze in at the bar or at a communal spot.
As a signature Miami bar, the Broken Shaker is one of the primary reasons for the city’s synonymousness with cocktails and good vibrations.
Living up to its reputation as a buzzing hotspot, the Shaker’s home is in a Hostel – called The Freeland – that’s conducive to a house party atmosphere.
While cocktails (such as their Pimm’s Cup and Old Fashioned) are its signature, the Shaker also serves some tantalizing globally inspired dishes. For instance, there’s a taco consisting of a daily catch, octopus, pickled slaw, and cilantro crema—it’s a can’t-miss gastronomical delight.
El Rey De Las Fritas
Okay, El Rey De Las Fritas won’t necessarily win anybody over with state-of-the-art architecture and design. Nor would someone visit if they were looking for elevated gourmet dishes with a four-star presentation.
However, the reason diners do regularly visit this legendary Miami greasy spoon is for its iconic La Original Frita Cubana. Otherwise known as a Cuban hamburger, this spicy delicacy is a result of ‘La Formula,’ which is the secret recipe accounting for the lip-smacking spicy beef patty.
The ludicrously tasty burger is topped with sautéed onions and shoestring fries. Honestly, a meal at El Rey De Las Fritas is worth the trip to Miami all on its own.
Art Deco Walking Tour
As evidenced by the Art Deco Walking Tour, the Miami Preservation League’s efforts to maintain the city’s unique architectural character haven’t gone to waste.
The daily 90-minute walking tour takes visitors around Miami’s Art Deco District—a unique, legendary neighborhood boasting colorful buildings with intricate geometric details and chrome accents.
It’s somewhat of an understatement to call the tour guides passionate. Their dedication and knowledge are both engaging enough to fill these tours up fast. As such, it’s a smart move to book tickets online in advance.
A healthy abundance of flowers, tropical plants, and rare species of trees (e.g., the petticoat palm) span across the 84 magnificent acres of the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden. Furthermore, it’s the only place to see the one-of-a-kind flora that can only survive in South Florida.
It’s worth noting that the Wings of Tropics exhibition is particularly awe-inspiring. With 40 species of exotic butterflies partaking in illuminating athletic displays from all angles, every visitor feels like they’ve walked into a dreamlike fantasy world.
Nobody quite knows how – in between 1923 and 1951 – Edward Leedskalnin transformed over 1,000 tons of coral rock into a sculpture garden with walls, furniture, carvings, and a castle tower. Many have posed theories, such as reverse magnetism—while some have gone so far as to cite superhuman powers.
The mystery of the Miami landmark known as the Coral Castle is part of what makes it such an attraction.
No matter his methods, the Latvian Immigrant sculpted a truly magnificent piece of architecture that entices the viewing masses to this day.