Where to Eat and Drink During Miami Art Week
Fuel up for Art Basel and satellite shows in Miami Beach and Wynwood
Miami Art Week is here — that time of the year when you get invitations to events that sound like SNL’s Stefan turned into a PR agent: “Step into a fantasy land of models painted as zoo animals as the artist performs a Bach concerto on the viola while spray painting a protest sign decrying man’s inhumanity to dandelions. Also, there will be cocktails provided by the only tequila brand willing to sponsor us.”
Seriously, there’s always a connection between art and food. Take, for example, the banana taped to a wall in 2019. Or last year’s $1,000 cup of coffee. And, of course, what would Art Basel be without purchasing a plastic flute of champagne for $35? After all that art, you gotta have a nosh.
Though Miami Art Week now encompasses most of Miami, with shows spilling over into Coconut Grove, the MiMo District, and other areas, most of the action is concentrated in Miami Beach and Wynwood. Here are five insider recommendations for each of the neighborhoods.
Miami Beach is the home to the official heart of Miami Art Week - Art Basel, which runs from December 1 to 3 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
This charming restaurant, located in South Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood, is a delightful restaurant with a patio covered in flowering bougainvillea. Chef Sam Gorenstein serves a menu of Israeli delights that are perfect for sharing tableside. Don’t forget to save room for dessert — made by chef Hedy Goldsmith.
The venerable establishment is Miami Beach’s most famous restaurant. December is the height of stone crab season, but Miamians in the know don’t miss out on Joe’s fried chicken — golden pieces of chicken, fried to perfection. If you’re in a rush, skip the wait for a table at Joe’s and head to Joe’s Takeaway next door. This casual version of Joe’s offers fresh seafood, desserts, and a full bar.
Stubborn Seed chef Jeremy Ford’s tasting menus are intricate, flavorful, and inventive. Stubborn Seed is the edible version of Art Basel — beautiful, contemplative, and inspiring. The restaurant earned a Michelin star for its creative dining experience.
This little wine bar, tucked away inside the Sagamore Hotel, offers a concise-yet-interesting list of wines, oysters, and bites. The room is sparse yet sexy and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. There’s something in the water (lion) because this bar has been the site of dozens of wedding proposals — so if you find yourself flying to Vegas after a few glasses, you’ve been forewarned.
Wynwood is the site of many of the Miami Art Week satellite shows. It’s also the heart of Miami’s art scene and home to Wynwood Walls. Wynwood comes alive during Miami Art Week, with artists creating pieces on walls and hundreds of gallery openings and parties.
If you’re bored with the “same old, same old” Bakan’s “Los Insectos” menu is where you’ll find delicacies like tostadas de chapulines (grasshoppers), escamoles (ant eggs), guzanos de maguey (agave worms), and salsa de hormigas chicatanas (ant salsa) and chips. Bakan also has a full menu of standard Mexican dishes and a large tequila and mezcal selection.
MaryGold’s opened just last week, but already is hyped up — thanks to the dream team behind this new restaurant at the Arlo Wynwood hotel: Bar Lab’s Gabe Orta and Elad Zvi (Broken Shaker) and chef Brad Kilgore (Alter, Ember) have collaborated on the food and drink for this eatery that’s a love letter to Florida.
If you’re looking for something lively, check out R House’s drag shows. This restaurant, which offers Latin-focused fare and craft cocktails during the week, turns up the heat on weekends with Friday and Saturday evening drag shows and a Saturday and Sunday weekend drag brunch. Name a famous person — Gloria Estefan, Billy Porter, Ana Navarro — and they’re been to an R House drag brunch — don’t you want to be a cool kid, too?
Walking around Wynwood got you all hot and bothered? Grab a pint of J. Wakefield’s famous Florida Weisse beers — light, refreshing beers made with local Florida fruits. The brewery, itself, is a Star Wars-themed masterpiece, featuring murals by famous street artists on the walls both inside and out.
Zach Stern’s no-frills bakery is the perfect place to start your Miami Art Week adventure. This Wynwood bakery offers sandwiches, pastries, bread, and coffee drinks that are simply divine. Zak the Baker opens early (at 7 a.m.), so you can caffeinate yourself before setting out to the shows and galleries but take note: ZTB is closed on Saturdays.