There was a time, and not long ago, when Miami was all about the debauchery and pastel-hued visuals of Miami Beach’s southernmost stretch. But the most seductive city in the Southeast—and the country’s definitive base for contemporary and historical Latin American and Caribbean culture—has grown into a global hub for art, creativity, and design that stretches far beyond South Beach’s sandy confines.
“Miami has finally become a city where the ideas can mature in their own neighborhoods and not everything has to gravitate to South Beach,” says Mike del Marmol of independent Miami creative studio, Sun&Sons. “People are finding their neighborhood pride and developing their own neighborhoods.” He adds that social media has helped pop-up events flourish in neighborhoods like West Kendall and Little River. “There’s the realization that something doesn’t have to be happening in Wynwood or on the beach to make it worth doing.”
For the city’s latest art- and culture-centric enclave with a refreshing lack of pretension and an open, welcoming vibe, try Little River, a former warehouse district just north of Wynwood and Little Haiti.
Head first to Dale Zine, which champions inclusivity and accessibility in the art world with a selection of zines and print art across genres, and contributions from people from all walks of life. Look for the independent printer’s mobile bookshop, which is housed inside a converted 1996 Honda Acty minitruck stocked with titles. The zine vendor is “the opposite of Taschen,” del Marmol says. “They’re authentic scene creators without trying to be scene creators,” adds Alex Burnard, his partner at Sun&Sons.
Continue the shopping at éliou, a ready-to-wear brand founded by childhood friends with a production and design studio in the neighborhood. Harry Styles is among the celebrities to don their jewelry. And if you’re in town on the third Saturday of the month, food and fashion market Walter’s Mercado pops up with a spread of curated vintage fashion finds, tropical plants, food trucks, and more.
Fuel a day of exploring with a variety of eats. Try La Natural, with its pretty garden, natural wines, and wood-fired sourdough pizzas, or Japanese 12-seater Ogawa, which just opened in December 2023 and has “probably the best sushi in Miami,” says Burnard.
End the day at The New Schnitzel House, where German comfort-food stars on the late-night menu include a traditional schnitzel, pounded thin and breaded and served with a lemon wedge and fries. “The food and drink are incredible,” Burnard says. “Plus it’s small, so you always feel like you are really being taken care of.” Thursday’s jazz nights at Understory, meanwhile, draw crowds to an urban garden packed with date palms, flowering vines, and tiki torches.