It’s not all low-carb and cocktails in Miami: Before rushing to the beach, detour inland between the high rises and urban streets to culture-rich Wynwood Arts District and beyond. You’ll find inspired food with traces of Latin flavor and craft-beer culture making a graffiti-covered home.
By Maria Murriel
In the past decade, the Wynwood Arts District went from warehouse farm to hipster haven, complete with a pulsing nightlife. Wood was the area’s first bar, a light-strung, spray-paint-slathered beer garden that takes advantage of its proximity to Wynwood Brewing—17 taps always include the neighbor’s brews, plus pours you wouldn’t expect from Founders, Blue Point and Shipyard.
Miami’s newest brewery wisely embraces its Arts District address: Its tap handles mimic spray-paint cans, and its warehouse digs are just one of dozens in the neighborhood dressed in tall murals (look for the building with a Darwin-ish beer drinker on the façade). The tiny taproom pours pints and growlers of La Rubia blonde and occasionals like Lupulado pale.
Miami’s cocktail country, but even the lounges are growing their beer lists: In the heart of downtown, quaff at this rustic, 20-tap joint till 5 or 8 a.m., depending on the day. It’s cramped on weekends, so sit outside and order from the bar window. Choose from more than 100 beers spanning Stillwater to St. Bernardus, or let the bartender freestyle you a whiskey-based lowball.
The Design District’s best dinner reservation taps Duvel, Chimay and more for matching with consciously sourced and ever-changing cuisine (think regional produce and frog legs from the Everglades). The house Home Brew—on tap at the restaurant, and bottled to go—is made with the same ethos: Its primary fermentable is brown rice grown in a Palm Beach paddy.
Lost and Found Saloon
Somehow, the Western décor doesn’t clash with the graffiti and murals surrounding this late-night, vegan-friendly dive. Drafts might include a Belgian, a Floridian and a West Coast craft, but you’ll have to order a bacon-Jack burrito, piñon-crusted tofu or other pub grub to score a drink (so says the law allowing the place to serve till 5 a.m.). Order a Ft. Lauderdale-brewed Native Thunderhead Red, and remember to tape your Lost-and-Found-themed notebook sketch on the wall with the others.
LoKal Burgers and Beer
Aspiring pros put their best homebrew on tap at this graffitied corner haunt just southwest of downtown Miami; the small-batch releases are like family gatherings for the craft-beer community, ’cause even when the keg kicks you can get Funky Buddha’s Floridian hefe and Due South Caramel Cream Ale on tap. Burger-wise, order The Frita by Kush, a gourmet version of a Cuban classic topped with guava jelly, bacon and potato sticks.