Miami’s thriving art district continues to offer something for everyone.
WYNWOOD Once a neglected neighborhood overrun by dowdy warehouses, the Wynwood Art District is now a mecca for Miami’s cultural movement. Known for its graffiti-clad streetscape and multicolored murals, the neighborhood stretches from 36st Street to 20th Street, and Interstate 95 to NE First Avenue, making it one of the largest open-air street art installations in the world. Part of the allure, aside from the numerous art galleries, is its hip, growing culinary scene and its burgeoning array of community-driven events. Though plagued earlier in the year by the Zika virus, Wynwood has been deemed safe again by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• Sweet Spots: Arts and culture aside, the former warehouse district is one of Miami’s sweetest regions. Zak the Baker (405 NW 26st St.), a kosher bakery and café, is known for its signature sourdough loaves, baked fresh daily. Next door, Serendipity Ice Cream (421 NW 26st St.) whips up unique batches by infusing beer and flowers into distinct recipes, forming flavors such as “Drunken Chocolate” with a J. Wakefield Stout and pink rose petals. For hearty pies, Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop (2818 N. Miami Ave.) supplies a blend of sweet and savory, including a rich, chocolate pie smothered in candied pecans for dessert, or a spinach and feta concoction for lunch. The Salty Donut (50 NW 24th St.), which operates its flagship location here, makes handcrafted doughnuts in-house, often generating long lines.
• After Hours: When local galleries close, Wynwood’s bustling nightlife is far from over. The district features a medley of after-hours activities. Wood Tavern (2531 NW Second Ave.), Wynwood’s oldest bar, remains one of the area’s most popular go-to spots. The indoor-outdoor space attracts a mixed crowd of young and mid-aged professionals as well as out-of-towners for a relaxed evening over beer and craft cocktails. The Butcher Shop (165 NW 23rd St.), a German-style outdoor biergarten, is known for brews paired with house-made sausages and fries. For something more lively, bar and music spot Gramps (176 NW 24th St.) features nightly performances of rock, throwback and techno jams.
• All-Day Hang: The Wynwood Yard (56, 64 and 70 NW 29th St.) is the neighborhood’s ultimate all-in-one locale. Only a year old, the Yard has become a hub for food, culture and community, featuring everything from floral workshops and cooking classes to live music and guest lectures. Dining concepts, in the form of food trucks inside the venue, range from healthy, plant-based bowls at Della Test Kitchen to omakase sushi at Myumi to English comfort food at the British Garden. Charcoal Garden Bar + Grill, the Yard’s first full-service restaurant, will make use of a Josper Grill to cook locally sourced meats. There’s an event nearly every day of the week, including pop-up chef concepts, happy hour, silent discos, and Pilates and yoga, as well as all-day events like craft fairs, and food and drink festivals.
• Art Walks: One of Wynwood’s most notable events is its monthly art walk. On the second Saturday of each month, the neighborhood’s streets flood with art stands, retail pop-ups, food trucks and live performances. During the event, galleries stay open late, parking lots transform into food truck festivals and streets become open-air art and music exhibitions. The happening, which draws thousands, is free and open to the public, meant to showcase all Wynwood has to offer in one knock-out soiree.
• Eclectic Bites: As Miami grows into a national culinary destination, Wynwood is at the forefront of the city’s tasty revolution. Snag a chef-driven meal at Bradley Kilgore’s Alter (223 NW 23rd St.). Named best new chef by Food & Wine magazine in 2016, Kilgore curates a seasonal, rotating menu packed with locally sourced ingredients. A few streets away, Italian restaurant Joey’s (2506 NW Second Ave.) also is drawing quite the crowd. Jay-Z and Beyonce were spotted dining there recently. For a wagyu beef burger drizzled with caramelized onion aioli, try Beaker & Gray (2637 N. Miami Ave.), a casual restaurant and bar fusion on the outskirts of Wynwood. If you’re new to the neighborhood, dine alfresco surrounded by color-smeared walls at Wynwood Kitchen and Bar (2550 NW Second Ave.). It’s the quintessential neighborhood establishment, located inside the Wynwood Walls, an enclosed outdoor setting featuring a rotating selection of street murals designed by world-renowned artists.
• Galleries: There’s an artist-run space for every sensibility among Wynwood’s 70-plus galleries. As exhibitions frequently change, consider landscape and design pieces at Plant the Future (2511 NW Second Ave.); photography at Dina Mitrani Gallery (2620 NW Second Ave.); a fusion of North and South American works at Pan American Art Projects (6300 NW Second Ave.); and a potpourri of art and style at Locust Projects (3852 North Miami Ave.).