Guide to Miami Beach: What to Eat, Drink and Do in the Art Deco District

Located in South Beach, a neighborhood at the southern tip of Miami Beach, lies the nation’s largest concentration of Art Deco architecture, -and the revitalized Art Deco District.

Miami Beach has over 800 historic pastel-colored Art Deco buildings with stunning geometric-ornamented facades. The cultural district runs between 5th Street and 23rd Street, along Washington Avenue, Collins Avenue, and Ocean Drive – an oceanfront street once famous for car cruising, now a pedestrian-only esplanade.  

Adding to the area’s reinvigoration is the newly-built Moxy South Beach, and, also, the first resort for Marriott’s millennial-focused Moxy hotel brand. Moxy South Beach offers unique guest experiences that are new to the famously playful and dog-friendly chain, such as a beach club, two rooftop pools, six diverse dining and drinking venues operated by the Miami-based Coyo Taco restaurant group.

Keep on reading to learn more about Moxy South Beach and other restaurant and bar recommendations as well as day party destinations and exceptionally unique things to do in the Art Deco/South Beach area.

EAT & DRINK

SERENA ROOFTOP

Serena offers a modern interpretation of traditional Mexican cuisine that is essentially meatless, and primarily agave spirit based cocktails.  This popular open-air restaurant and outdoor/indoor bar is located on the second floor rooftop at Moxy South Beach. Its lushly planted setting and laid back vibe is perfect for sunset cocktails and smashed-at-the table guac, leisurely dinners or buzzy brunches accompanied by live music and cocktails, such as:

Sangre De Hombres

Refreshing and full of flavors; Dos Hombres Mezcal, Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur, Watermelon and Lime.

Serena Margarita

Tasty and slightly botanical;  Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila, Cointreau and Damiana Liqueur (Mexican liqueur made from the flowering Damiana shrub).

Pina Colada

Luscious and boozy; Brugal 1888 Dark Rum, Pineapple, Ginger, Lime, and topped with Coconut Foam.  Also available as frozen.

Pair any with the too-good-to-share Serena Oysters – oysters on the half shell baked with creamed spinach, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro butter and topped with crushed tortilla chips; Aquachiles Negro – a Pacific coast style of Mexican ceviche made with marinated mushrooms, purple shiso and negro yuzu; or blue corn Quesadillas filled with your choice of squash blossom or grilled chicken.

915 Collins Court (2nd floor rooftop at Moxy South Beach), Miami Beach, FL;  serenamiami.com ; @serenarooftop

TIP: The interior side of the bar has fun swing chairs, commonly found at Mexican resorts, instead of traditional bar stools.

PLANTA South Beach

This innovative vegan restaurant and bar is located in the nearby South of Fifth neighborhood, and within walking distance of the Art Deco District. While Planta offers 100% plant-based sushi as well as main dishes, it’s their selection of cashew mozzarella-based pizzas that are most popular on the menu. 

Their cocktails are equally enjoyed, such as the deliciously spicy Herb Your Enthusiasm –mixed with Thai chili-infused tequila, orange liqueur, lime, pineapple and herb syrup.

Alongside their cocktail selection, Planta offers cold-pressed juices and non-alcoholic, anti-intoxicant tonics such as the tasty Matcha Mojito – mixed with Seedlip Garden 108 ( a slightly herbaceous, non-alcoholic spirit), lime, agave syrup and mint.

Choose either drink, and kick off your meal with the delish Torched And Pressed  – maki made with avocado and miso truffle glaze.

850 Commerce Street (South of Fifth), Miami Beach, FL;  plantarestaurants.com/planta-miami ; @planta

BREAKFAST & BRUNCH

PURA VIDA Miami

The sustainability conscious Pura Vida serves an all-day breakfast menu, made fresh with locally-sourced and organic ingredients. Sit outside on their umbrella-shaded patio or inside the serene, white-washed cafe. This neighborhood brunch hotspot is also known for their superfood smoothies and cold-press juices as well as their coffee and tea drinks. 

Pair a vegan carrot muffin with refreshing Iced Matcha Latte with choice of milk, or their signature acai bowl or Perfect Egg sandwich with The Glow – a zesty fresh juice made with carrot, orange, apple, lemon, ginger and turmeric.

110 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL, or  959 West Avenue #110, Miami Beach, FL

Both locations are within walking distance of the Art Deco District. For other Florida locations, check the website: puravidamiami.com ; @puravidamiami

BACON BITCH – Miami

Grab a table on the outdoor terrace or alongside the pool at Bacon Bitch, where you can order a healthy breakfast such as the Fit – cage-free egg white omelet, stuffed with tomato, organic spinach, grilled peppers, and onions. However, this brunch hotspot is known for serving breakfast-lovers fresh-baked croissants, crafted cocktails, and loads of bacon.

Wash down the Boujee -bacon, cage-free fried egg, smashed organic avocado, sliced tomato, bitch sauce on a freshly baked croissant, with one of their specialty drinks such as the Sangria Bitch by the glass or pitcher, or the Bloody Bitch -made with vodka, Bloody Bitch mix, topped with a hash brown stuffed with melted cheddar cheese, fried egg, bacon, olive, and lemon.

1001 Collins Avenue (at Essex House), Miami Beach, FL; baconbitch.com ; @baconbitch

POOL PARTY

THE UPSIDE 

Catch spectacular sunset-into-night sky views on the top floor of the Moxy South Beach at its rooftop pool and outdoor bar lounge, The Upside. The colorfully tiled, open air venue has an insta-worthy, circular dipping pool surrounded by daybeds as well as comfy-soft sofas and an outdoor movie screen. It’s the ultimate setting for extra special events, such as their ‘Rose, Por Favor’ Happy Hour.

Come sip on rosé – Moulin de Gassac Guilhem, and a sparkling Zonin 1821 DOC Prosecco Rosé, while taking in panoramic vistas of the ocean and city.

‘Rose, Por Favor’ Happy Hour: Fridays through Sundays, from 6pm to 8pm; ($40 per person).

915 Washington Avenue (on the 8th floor rooftop of Moxy South Beach), Miami Beach, FL; @@moxysouthbeach;  marriott.com/hotels/restaurant/moxy-miami-south-beach

 POOL AT STRAWBERRY MOON

Created by David Grutman and Pharrell Williams, Strawberry Moon is a spacious Mediterranean restaurant, bar, and pool lounge concept that covers the third floor of the newly opened Goodtime Hotel. Dappled in Art Deco pinks, lagoon blues and palm greens, Strawberry Moon takes its name from the last full lunar evening of Spring—on which the moon takes on a rose-colored hue.

The twin white-and-pink tiled pools are divided by a palm frond-lined runway. Multiple seating areas, including sun loungers, daybeds, shaded bungalows and VIP cabanas, ring the pool’s jungle oasis. Beyond the pool-scape is a loggia lounge, where patrons will find a DJ-booth, additional seating and another open-air bar. 

601 Washington Avenue (af The Goodtime Hotel), Miami Beach, FL; strawberrymoonmiami.com ;  @strawberrymoon

Pool Bar Hours: Daily from 11:00AM until Sundown

BEACH CLUBS

Nikki Beach Miami Beach

Nikki Beach Miami Beach, the first and original luxury beach club concept from this global luxury lifestyle and hospitality brand, is your destination for Saint Tropez-style dartying. Mix in with jetsetters, celebrities and Miami locals that flock to Nikki Beach for it’s joie de vivre vibe. The restaurant and beach club is open daily for carefree dancing in the sand while the live DJ spins happy house music, and to soak up the sun on luxurious day beds while enjoying fresh seafood for lunch and creative cocktails.  

Don’t miss Rosé Saturdays, from Noon to 6pm, for all day specials on frosé by the glass, or rosé by the bottle or glass.

1 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL; nikkibeach.com; @nikkibeachworld

Moxy Beach Club at South Beach

Guests of Moxy South Beach have their own section of the sandy beach, complete with umbrella covered beach chairs, within a short walking distance from the hotel.  A perfect place to unplug and tan, while listening to the crashing surf, or jump in the ocean for some body surfing under the watchful eye of a lifeguard.  Early risers can head to the 10-block long beach to practice morning yoga or jog along the winding Beach Walk. 

@moxysouthbeach;  marriott.com/hotels/moxy-miami-south-beach

DO & SEE

Surfrider Foundation – Miami Chapter

Honor the Ocean by volunteering for a beach clean-up day with the Miami chapter for the largest network of coastal defenders in the world – the Surfrider Foundation. Then, enjoy your good work by catching a wave.

miami.surfrider.org ; @surfridermiami

Art Deco Museum

On your way to the beach, stop at the Art Deco Museum. Discover Miami Beach’s rich architectural and cultural heritage which lies beneath it’s sparkling surface of fun and glamour. Guided walking tours led by the Miami Design Preservation League as well as self-guided audio tours and private tours are available. Welcome Center and Gift Shop are also on premises.

1001 Ocean Drive (near Lummus Park), Miami Beach, FL

For current hours, call: 305-672-2014 or check website:  mdpl.org/art-deco-museum

ARTECHOUSE Miami

Artechouse is a first-of-its-kind art space that connects art and audience by showcasing experiential and technology-driven works by artists who are forerunners of the new age in the arts and technology. 

The newest exhibit – Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies, runs from May 17 until November 7, 2021.  Employing unique applications of audio-visual, interactive technologies and boundary-pushing techniques, this installation celebrates the historical, social, and cultural aspects of the Black experience through the perspective of artist Vince Fraser.

Sessions are every 30 minutes and last for 60 minutes, but you must arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled visit. This experience is suggested for those 6 years of age and older. 

736 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL; @artechouse

Visit the website for most current hours, the latest information on exhibitions, and to purchase tickets: artechouse.com/miami

O Cinema South Beach

Housed in the historic city hall, O Cinema South Beach’s single auditorium screens the best and latest American independent and foreign films as well as feature length docs. The non-profit arthouse cinema, founded by cinemaphiles Vivian Marthell and award-winning filmmaker Kareem Tabsch, was the former home of Miami Beach Cinematheque.  O Cinema’s mission includes film programming that reflects Miami’s diverse community with ticket prices that are accessible to the broadest possible audience.  Stop by the European-inspired bookstore and café while you’re there.

1130 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL; @ocinema

Visit the website for film screening information, showtimes, and to purchase tickets: o-cinema.org

SHOWFIELDS Miami

A visit to the most interesting store in the world, SHOWFIELDS, on South Beach’s famed shopping street Lincoln Road, is a must. The new, two-story, 14,300-square-foot retail/gallery/event space features over 40 pop-up shops and art installations with an indoor signature immersive slide. 

Shop for fabulous sustainable, eco-friendly merch for home, fur baby, or yourself from innovative entrepreneurs as well as recycled or upcycled designer fashions and accessories by cutting-edge designers. Refresh afterwards at the Jibby Coffee bar for a CBD Cold Brew Coffee To Go, or locally-produced, cold-pressed juices from YesJuice.

530 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL ;  @showfields

Check the website for current hours and special events:  showfields.com

STAY

MOXY SOUTH BEACH RESORT

Located in Miami Beach’s pastel-colored Art Deco district, the newly-built Moxy South Beach is the brand’s first resort, and is just two blocks from the beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

Moxy South Beach’s main address is on Washington Street, but use the resort’s driveway entrance – 915 Collins Court, for your rideshare or GPS directions.  At the check-in counters, you will receive a casino-style chip to redeem at Bar Moxy, the lobby bar, for a welcome drink of your choice. 

We recommend the delish and playfully garnished Peligroso Parrot – shaken with Dano’s Dangerous Reposado Tequila, Aperol, Agave, Lime and topped off with Spicy Bitters and a colorful Parrot decoration on the rim.

Along with the hotel brand’s signature 24/7 living room-style lobby hangout and private co-working space, Moxy South Beach’s lobby also has Los Buenos, an all-day taco stand and bodega stocked with Mexican sodas and beers.

Every guestroom at Moxy is designed to be uber space functional.  An example of a room’s sleek and simple minimalist style is the open storage concept, featuring the brand’s signature peg wall where guests can hang their clothes in lieu of having a traditional closet. Also, expect at this smoke-free hotel, free fast WiFi, a comfy bed facing a large, wall-mounted LCD TV, -from which you can access your private Netflix account, and a walk-in rain shower that you will never want to get out of.

Other amenities include the main outdoor pool with sun loungers and cabanas, 24/7 fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, including a Technogym bike, as well as  complimentary fitness classes and private training sessions.

Guests also have private access to a nearby private beach area with umbrella-covered beach chairs, and The Upside rooftop lounge and its dipping pool.

In addition to the Los Buenos taqueria and Serena Rooftop restaurant and bar, two additional venues are the recently opened Como Como, an indoor/outdoor marisquería (seafood) restaurant with a wood-burning fire pit for grilling fresh fish; and the soon-to-open Mezcalista, an intimate mezcal lounge with an extensive agave spirit selection.

915 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL – Art Deco District ; @moxysouthbeach

marriott.com/hotels/moxy-miami-south-beach

TIP: Ask a second floor room overlooking the main pool area for its convenient location to Serena Rooftop, pool and gym as well as great views from your floor-to-ceiling window.

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