The city of Miami is alive with an eclectic quilt of cultures from all over the world, making for plenty of unique hotspots that locals understandably try to keep to themselves. But if you’re in the know, you can find your way into an all-night speakeasy or an authentic eatery where the local flavor is baked right into every bite.
Just because you’re visiting Miami in the winter alongside thousands of snowbirds and aspiring who’s-whos, that doesn’t mean you have to get swindled like the rest of the tourists. Rest assured that you won’t have to wait in line at an overcrowded bar to guzzle down an artificially flavored daiquiri alongside celebrity impersonators to have a good time in the world’s coolest beach city.
Insider knowledge from our Miami personal injury lawyers and office can instead steer you to the absolute best places that show what makes Miami a unique place to live — you just have to promise to keep it a secret! You can take advantage of the following 7 ‘locals only’ places to visit in Miami this winter to see why so many people want to be seen here during the season.
2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140
If we want to knock off several Miami locals only hotspots off our list at once, we may as well start with the Freehand. This self-dubbed hostel offers affordable rooms inside a breathtaking restoration of the historic Indian Creek Hotel. Every crevice of the building oozes classic Miami Beach art deco energy, and you’ll love the secluded oasis in the courtyard overlooking the waters of Lake Pancoast.
Take a few steps away from the pool, and you’ll find yourself standing on an antique brick patio lined with sunchairs and adjacent to the locally lauded Broken Shaker bar. This tiny market stand-looking establishment may not look like much, but its hand crafted cocktails were captivating enough to push the bar to the James Beard Award semi-finals. The secret? It’s not just creative crafstmanship, but also ingredients sourced as locally as you can get — just a few feet away in the Freehand’s greenhouse garden.
2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140
Sharing space with Freehand in the former Indian Creek Hotel building is a restaurant known as just “27”. The disarming ambience creates a family-style atmosphere, bolstered by the intoxicating smells from all over the world that come swirling from the kitchen. Just don’t underestimate the quality of the unassuming dishes. The menu abounds with deceptively complex versions of international down-home dishes, such as arepas — crispy Venezualan cornmeal cakes — and shakshuka — eggs poached in a well-spiced tomato sauce.
March upstairs for signature cocktails that, like the Broken Shaker, source their ingredients from the Freehand’s globetrotting garden.
1220 16th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Miami’s legendary street food can’t be beat, and there’s a place you can find it at all hours. That would be Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, a hip yet humble Mexican eatery that’s also the permanent home of an Airstream taco truck. Enjoy mouth watering short ribs and chorizo, or try something healthy from the chef’s ambitious plant-based menu, like a faux-pastrami reuben that could fool even the most dyed-in-the-wool Brooklynite.
Of course, the star of the show is the tacos, which are appropriately cheap and oh-so-tempting to eat in one bite.
Also, you didn’t hear it from us, but that blue Porta Potti door built into the wall is more than just decor. It may or may not happen to hide a swanky speakeasy with a legendary happy hour that’s occasionally attended by visiting celebrities.
7310 Collins Ave, Miami, FL 33141
At Moises Bakery, you’ll find the exact same heartwarming flavors crafted in the kitchens and business s of Venezuela for generations. Pop in for a cheap ham and cheese arepa, or indulge in a decadent bombas de crema that could make any French eclair jealous. You could also just order a café con leche and sit on the sidewalk to soak in the peaceful local atmosphere for an afternoon.
644 6th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
If you’ve come to Miami looking for classic Cuban comfort food, Las Olas Café in South Beach is the real deal. You’ll sidle up next to locals to order from the window, but prepare to be blown away by the affordable prices and authentic flavors. Black beans oozing in perfectly balanced sofrito, fluffy white rice, crispy maduros (sweet plantains), and all-day breakfast options will greet your eager palate.
1424 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139
The saying goes “never judge a book by its cover,” and the Drunken Dragon has perhaps the ultimate cover. This Korean BBQ gastropub hides behind a strip mall facade that screams cookie cutter development, but within lies one of the most stunningly unique and beautifully realized restaurant concepts in the city.
Walking through the empty deli, you’ll quickly be gob smacked by the bold yet elegant decor. Order cocktails from the bar bearing its handsome Douglas fir bar top, or have a seat to enjoy fusion-style small plates that are all about attention to detail. Be warned that the prices aren’t exactly cheap — especially if you manage to grab a spot at the grill-your-own-food tables — but they do have a happy hour, er, Dragon Hour.
8328 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141
Want to take a seaside stroll in Miami Beach without pushing your way through tourists? Come to this well-kept secret space known only as the North Shore Open Space Park to find ample parking, easy beach access, and possibly even some blissful solitude should you arrive at the right time. Bring a beach chair, or explore the miles of trails with your four legged friends in tow.
Just be sure to be respectful and not do anything to irk locals, such as leaving litter or taking something with you other than fond memories.
We hope everyone enjoys a much-deserved vacation during their winter stay in Miami, hopefully with a cosmopolitan vibe thanks to our insider tips.
Know, too, that if something happens like a car accident, you can rely on the same Miami personal injury lawyers that locals turn to when they want to pursue a fair settlement. We treat every personal injury claimant like a member of our own community. Contact us if you want a free consultation regarding your potential case, and have a great winter!