Thirsty Guide to Miami: What to Eat, Drink + Do in the Design District

Located north of Downtown Miami, and next door to Midtown which comprises the Wynwood and Edgewater neighborhoods, is the stunning, contemporary designed Miami Design District (MDD). 

For many years, it was an exclusive destination that served the design trade with upscale interior design stores, showrooms and art galleries. However, it was James Beard Award-winning local chef Michael Schwartz’ farm-to-table restaurant, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, that initially drew public attention to the neighborhood.

Today, the Miami Design District is a creative neighborhood to experience contemporary art and design, from public art installations, designer-branded murals to the ICA Miami, as well as flagship luxury stores and chef-driven restaurants.

The Miami Design District delivers the ultimate in luxury retail therapy and ‘extra’ self-care, especially when you combine your visit with a stay at the ultra chic Hyde Midtown Miami. This modern hybrid hotel offers a luxurious spa and salon as well as a rooftop that houses an infinity pool, tennis court, and outdoor/indoor restaurant. 

Keep on reading to learn more about Hyde Midtown Miami and other restaurant and bar recommendations as well as designer cafes and the best luxury shopping destinations in the Miami Design District.

EAT & DRINK

SALVAJE

This Japanese Fusion rooftop restaurant and bar boasts an eclectic ‘wild’ decor, which includes golden rhinos, and is located on the seventh floor of the Hyde Midtown hotel.  Helmed by executive chef Fermin Azkue, this Midtown Miami hotspot is the first US outpost of an internationally famous import, with restaurants in Spain, Panama and Colombia. 

Expect to experience intense flavors and over the top presentations at Salvaje.  This extends to their duo cocktail selections, ‘Signature’ – curated drinks named after “steamy and provocative sex scenes that impact the storyline of the film”, and ‘Classics’ – and every cocktail is presented in especially unique glassware or vessel.

We recommend ordering a sushi roll -prepared at the bar, such as the delectable Rainbow, while you consider your cocktail options, such as:

Do The Right Thing

Deliciously tropical and exotic; made with Abelha Organic Cachaca, Kiwi, Basil, Peach Liqueur and Kale.

La Mano De Dios

Floral, yet tangy; mixed with Roku Gin, St Germain, Martini Ambrato, Oze Sake and Orange Bitter.

Or, this very spirit-forward classic from New Orleans, Vieux Carre – stirred with 1938 Hennessy VSOP Cognac, Woodinville Bourbon, Martini Rubino Vermouth, Dom Benedictine and Bitters.

Along with an extensive sushi menu, Salvaje offers heartier dishes like the scrumptious Wagyu Fried Rice – a rice bowl dish topped with perfectly seared (American) Wagyū steak, poached egg and citrus-y Ponzu sauce. Also available prepared with Japanese Wagyu A5 (the highest possible quality meat yielded by Japan’s coddled beef cattle) for a surcharge.

101 NE 34th Street (Hyde Midtown), Miami, FL

miami.salvaje.world ; @salvajemiami

 

LE JARDINER

Located in the Miami Design District’s Paradise Plaza, Le Jardinier is a casually chic, vegetable-forward restaurant with a peaceful and spacious outdoor dining patio.  Rooted in classic French technique, Michelin-starred Chef Alain Verzeroli has created a scrumptious menu using local, seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, and greens —some of which will be harvested from an on-site garden—complemented by wild and sustainable fish, meat and poultry. 

The restaurant also features an innovative cocktail program in harmony with Chef Verzeroli’s menu.  Signature cocktails include the feisty Fresita -made with Tequila Blanco and Mezcal infused with Espelette Peppers, Strawberry Shrub, Lime and Agave. Or, try their tasty zero proof cocktails: the refreshing and slightly sweet Le Jardin -made with Cucumber, Mint, Lime and Soda, or the rich and delish Cardi Brew -made with layers of Cold Brew, Cardamom, Cinnamon and Oat Milk, until you stir it all up with an eco-friendly straw. 

Before hitting the designer shops, we recommend stopping here for their three-course prix fixe lunch that kicks off with an Amuse Juice – a daily-prepared fresh juice pressed from organic fruits and vegetables.   Make this a “two Martini lunch” by pairing your meal with ‘A Tale of Two Tinis’. This cocktail duo consists of the Tini d’Or -made with Plymouth Gin, Sauternes (a French sweet wine), French Gentian Aperitif and Champagne Vinegar, and the Tomate -made with Vodka, Tomato Water, White Balsamic Vinegar, Salt and Pepper.  

No matter the meal you come for at Le Jardinier, do include their incredible, seasonally dressed Burrata Salad. And for dessert, do visit their adjacent ice cream shop, Frohzen, for their unique creations including macaron ice cream sandwiches and  “cakesicles” or a scoop of richly flavored ice cream with sprinkles.

151 NE 41 Street, Suite 135 (Paradise Plaza), Miami, FL

lejardinier-miami.com ;  @lejardiniermiami / @frohzenmiami

ITAMAE

This family-owned Nikkei-inspired outdoor restaurant, with indoor sushi bar, overlooks the magnificent Fly’s Eye Dome, an ultra modern public art installation on the Palm Court plaza. Chefs Valerie, Nando and Fernando Chang create dishes rooted in Peruvian-Japanese flavors and traditions while also celebrating local and seasonal ingredients.

The menu features  a few beverages from Peru, such as Cusquena, a slightly sweet, all-malt beer as well as an intense white skin contact, or ‘orange’ wine, Albita de Ihuanco, produced by Peru’s oldest winery in the province Cañete. A non-alcoholic option is Chica Morada, a mildly sweet cider made from fermented Incan Purple Corn.

Whatever your beverage choice, do order the Torrejitas de Choclo -delish pancake-like corn fritters served with a yummy acevichado aioli, and as a main, or Fondo, the absolutely scrumptious Jerk Grouper Collar -served along with a bowl of rice and sarza criolla – a Peruvian pepper and lime salsa.

140 NE 39th Street, Suite 136 (Palm Court Plaza), Miami, FL

itamaemiami.com ; @itamaemiami

RUDY DEE’S AT MIA MARKET

If you are hungry, but don’t have restaurant reservations, then head to Mia Market located on the second level of the Palm Court, past an interactive art installation consisting of 24 hammock-like swinging chairs.  This chef-driven food hall is dominated by a central bar.  Among its thoughtfully-curated mix of local food and beverage talent is Rudy Dee’s, which features seasonal and vegetable focused plates by the amazing Chef Daniel Roy.

Must-trys include the Kusshi Oysters with cucumber-mint mignonette and paprika oil and the Salt Roasted Beet Salad with warm goat cheese. For your main dish, consider the Roasted Romanesco, or the off menu Smashed Burger.

140 NE 39th Street, Suite 241 (Palm Court), Miami, FL

miamarket.com/ruby-dees ; @rubydeesmia

DESIGNER BARS & CAFES

BACCARAT BOUTIQUE B BAR & LOUNGE

Head to the second level of the Palm Court plaza to enjoy a cappuccino or bubbling coupe of champagne surrounded by Baccarat’s beautiful and colorful crystal. Take a seat out on the bistro patio lounge or inside the shop at the bar. Try a signature cocktail served in Baccarat, such as the Midnight In Paris – made with Rum, Lemon, Raspberry, Cointreau and Perrier-Jouet Champagne.

140 NE 39th Street, Suite 210 (Palm Court), Miami, FL

For necessary online reservations, visit: us.baccarat.com/baccarat-bbar-boutique-lounge

DIOR POP-UP CAFE

Dior’s pop-up café is located on the boutique’s third-floor outdoor garden terrace, and is open throughout the summer. Along with Dior’s re-introduced red-and-white or blue-and-white pastoral design motif, Toile de Jouy, on decorative pillows and porcelain china, the terrace desk has a display of white 3D sculptures of wild animals -tigers, elephants and bears. The whimsical decor marks the café as the ultimate selfie destination of many in the stylishly street art-covered Miami Design District.

The pop-up café offers a limited menu of small plates and desserts as well as hot or cold coffee drinks, such as the Dior Almond Latte or Frappuccino.

162 NE 39th Street (DIOR), Miami, FL

TIP: Reservations are necessary, and made only in-person; so plan, in advance, to give your name and cell number to the cafe’s hostess at the boutique’s front entrance. Bon chance!

FENDI POP-UP CAFFÈ AT OTL

Also for the summer season, the FENDI CAFFÈ has taken over the ground level of the two-story OTL, breakfast and lunch hotspot at Miami Design District’s palm-dotted Palm Court plaza.

The yellow FF Vertigo-adorned café includes a fusion of local and Italian favorite breakfast and lunch items, as well as beverages including a signature FF Logo Cappuccino served in porcelain cups decorated with FENDI’s signature Pequin striped motif.  An evening Aperitivo menu will also be offered that includes a classic Italian Summer Spritz, and the Peekaboo Puccini -made with Mandarin Juice and Prosecco garnished with a Mandarin wedge.  

160 NE 40th Street (OTL), Miami, FL ; otlmia.com/menu

LUXURY DESIGNER SHOPPING

If you’re looking to buy less, but better, luxury fashions and goods are long-wearing as well as timeless. Many luxury brands, such as Gucci, engage in responsible manufacturing -through the production of natural materials to employment of traditional craftsmanship.

Stroll the streets of the Miami Design District and you’ll see fashion boutiques featuring the biggest luxury fashion names such as Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, Dior, Prada, Burberry, Cartier, Fendi, Givenchy, Rolex, Saint Laurent, Tory Burch, Lanvin, Tom Ford, Lanvin, Christian Louboutin, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton.

HERMES

From fine silk to leather goods, Hermès brings enduring craftsmanship, and timeless Parisian style to the boutique at Miami Design District. Come to this renowned French fashion house for your luxury investment piece, whether it’s the classic Hermès carré (silk scarf) or the iconic Birkin and Kelly handbags. The House has a range of 14 product categories, and each object is made by hand, employing the same technique and knowledge practiced nearly two centuries ago.

163 NE 39th Street, Miami, FL / @hermes

FENDI PEEKABOO BAR

Visit the Fendi Store to build your own custom Peekaboo bag – body, handles and straps, at this in-store shop concept. At the Fendi Peekaboo Bar, you can mix and match over 90 different components in eye-catching new materials and metallic tones such as denim, leather, and patent leather as well as diverse color combinations and materials available for handles. Your own one-of-a-kind Peekaboo will be ready the same day as your visit.

150 NE 40th Street, Miami, FL / @fendi

THE KINGDOM

The Kingdom is the epitome of luxury shopping and fine customer service, and offers the most renowned luxury fashion houses including Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Fendi, Christian Louboutin, Givenchy, Valentino, Manolo Blahnik, and more. As you enter the doors, you can expect plush surroundings in a relaxed atmosphere. Breathe in the store’s signature sensory experience created with a light, rose-based Fornasetti aroma and fresh cut flowers, then commence shopping. 

140 NE 39th Street, Suite 105, Miami, FL

shopthekingdom.com ; @shopthekingdom

STAY

HYDE MIDTOWN MIAMI

Located in the heart of Miami’s urban-hip Midtown neighborhood, Hyde Midtown Miami, Hotel & Residences is managed by sbe, a Los Angeles-based leading lifestyle hospitality company, and developed in collaboration with the renowned developer, The Related Group.

The 32-story, Arquitectonica designed hotel hybrid features a dramatic double-height, brightly colored lobby inspired by the art galleries found throughout the surrounding Design District. This  brightly colored lobby also features a lounge-style seating area with an oversized, burnt-orange modular leather sofa and steel-framed chairs that sits across from a white grand piano with custom artwork.

Contemporary artwork from the private collection of Jorge Perez -CEO of The Related Group and founder of PAMM, Miami’s modern and contemporary art museum, is showcased throughout the building. 

The majority of the hotel’s 60 rooms  are designer suites with features that have split room layouts, and both areas have a wall-mounted HD TV and suite-length balcony.  You enter into a dine-in kitchenette -with mini-fridge, microwave and Allessi china and flatware, Nespresso coffee machine and minibar, that leads into the living room area. Behind a dividing wall, is the bedroom -with sbe Signature King Bed, bathrobes and safe; and bathroom with a double sink, walk-in rain shower and Ciel Reserve bath amenities. 

A facility fee of $20 per day includes WiFi, access to the fitness center and house car drop-off within a 10 block radius.

Hyde Spa & Salon

This boutique spa is operated by Ciel, and perfect for booking a massage after a long flight, or just for general self care. If you’re ready to hit the ground running, consider getting a blow out that starts with a relaxing scalp scrub and ends with beautifully styled hair.

Other amenities, also found on the seventh-floor garden rooftop, are a sweeping infinity pool with cabanas and sun loungers, tennis courts, a putting green, a glass-walled business center and the Japanese fusion outdoor/indoor restaurant, Salvaje.

101 NE 34th Street, Miami, FL

sbe.com/hotels/hyde/midtown-miami ; @hydemidtown_miami / @sbecollection

TIP: For guests who need Covid testing prior to returning home, the hotel has a medical professional at their nearby sister property, SLS Brickell, that offers complimentary testing to those with health insurance, and standard fees to those who do not.

Our Best Stories Delivered Daily



Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search