As self-championed supporters of culture, we like to make sure that Miami is being represented in as well-rounded a way as possible. That means, spotlighting the amazing people and places that make this city so special. And we’re talking about the real city, even in the neighborhoods that might be designated in Miami’s “grey area” where many of us pass on our daily commutes without knowing just how rich their culture is. Like Allapattah. Snuggled comfortably next to Wynwood, Little Havana, and the Miami River, this neighborhood is as up-and-coming as it gets.
While Wynwood’s creative boom is encroaching on Allapattah’s quiet streets, the neighborhood has been come home to more creative communities than you think. It’s a blend of industrial warehouses, marinas, Little Santo Domingo, and a surprisingly strong coffee scene. The name is derived from the Seminole Indian language meaning “alligator” and its settlement dates as far back as 1856 and has always been a refuge for the locally displaced in this city. From the black Americans relocated after the construction of I-95, to the Central and South Americans, and Haitians searching for a home in this crowded town. Which is why there’s no surprise in its current role as a safe haven for artists priced out of other areas across the city, making its future less clear but a lot more colorful. Here are the spots to hit as you make your way around Miami’s newest trend-setting neighborhood in our latest map made in partnership with Ocean Drive Magazine, where you can find it in print:
Deco Coffee Co – The light-filled cafe and roastery by the same team behind Threefold Cafe, it’s a great place to start the day.
Las Rosas – Home to cheap drinks, live music, late-night dance parties, and grungy outdoor hangs, Las Rosas is one of Miami’s best dives.
Smart Bites To Go – Focusing on healthy eating, Smart Bites has a farm on-site and works with local purveyors for the freshest bites. They even have a meal delivery service too.
Chimi El Primo – One of those hole-in-the-wall Dominican treasures you’ll find around the area, but this one’s among the best and most consistent.
Portofino Bakery – Miami might have its fair share of Latin-style bakeries, packed with sandwiches, pastries, and cakes, but this one’s top of the list for the area.
Paraiso Cafe – When the spot doesn’t have a website, you know you’re in for a treat. Check out this Cuban joint the next time you’re hungry.
Mora Pizza – If you’re looking for crazy, creative pizza toppings and that kind of slice that reminds you of Fridays in the school cafeteria, this is it.
Lemon Peppers – Crispy wings might be their specialty, but this Caribbean spot also boasts a mean lunch special that rotates daily.
Papo Llega Y Pon – Voted the best pan con lechon in Miami, this Cuban restaurant is a master purveyor of all things Cuban sandwich.
Hometown BBQ – The second barbecue restaurant from Brooklyn restauranteur Billy Durney, and the newest staple in the neighborhood.
Jacky’s Cafe – We mentioned that Allapattah represents pretty much all Central American culture, right? Because if you want Honduran food, this one should be high on that list.
Curayted Coffee – Coming soon to the area, it’s a stylish specialty coffee lounge churning out dry goods as well as unique experiences.
Wynwood Parlor – While they might be known as the food truck that chucks out some of the best ice cream sandwiches you’ve ever had, this is their headquarters.
Jacqueline’s Chicken & Beer – If the name itself didn’t draw you in, Just follow the smell of season, friend chicken as you walk up to Jacqueline’s and you’re hooked.
Miami Bakery – Another solid Cuban bakery to add to your catalogue, this one specializes in fresh-baked bread and an all-around cheery atmosphere.
I AM LATIN CAFE – And proud, am I right? There’s pretty much every kind of Latin food at this joint, with a heavy emphasis on Cuban cuisine.
El Encuentro Restaurant – As we mentioned, Allapattah is nicknamed “Little Santo Domingo” so here’s another Dominican spot to put on your radar when you need comfort food.
El Cortijo – You’ll want to be in and out of this place, but the large portions and flavorful Latin food will keep you here longer than expected.
Subs on the Run – If there’s one thing you need to know about Miami, it knows its subs. Subs on the Run is easily one of the best counter-serve sandwich shops and a serious local secret.
Plaza Fish & Seafood – A great place to buy fresh fish daily, but also a hidden gem for some of the tastiest seafood dishes around.
Rubell Collection Museum – After spending decades in Wynwood, the world-renown Rubell Family has moved their museum to a huge sanctuary in Allapattah slated to open during Art Basel this year.
El Espacio 23 – The man behind the Perez Art Museum, Jorge Perez is funding a new art space in the neighborhood very soon.
CIC – The Cambridge Innovation center was at the forefront of the cow-working movement, and after successfully launching in Massachusetts, they created a boom in Miami’s start-up and entrepreneurial spheres.
Moore Park – A bustling recreational hang, many drivers might recognize it as the giant football and baseball field seen when crossing onto the I-395.
Sewell Park – Easily one of Miami’s most breathtaking and little-known parks. The 10+ acre plot is right on the river and features colonnades of royal palms, grassy knolls, and shaded gazebos.
Lotus House Thrift Boutique – The Lotus House provides homeless women with security and opportunity, and their thrift store not only accepts and sells used goods, but employs these women as well.
Allapattah metro stop – Use it.
Camillus House – A safe haven for those in need of shelter, Camillus House opened its doors over 50 years ago and still lives by its dedication today.
Flamingos Vintage Pound – Many local thrifters will hate us for sharing their secret, but Flamingos is easily one of the best stores in town for re-used clothing and chic finds.
Mills Vintage – Another cool find, Mills Vintage specializes in retro sports jerseys and band Ts, mostly for men in a sleek atmosphere.
Rosa Negra Tattoo – This one’s one of Miami top-rated tattoo parlors and though it might not be big, it certainly is home to some serious talents.
The Collective – In a series of muraled buildings sits The Collective, where art gallery meets gathering space, photo studio, radio station and beyond.
Jolt Radio – The independent radio station inside The Collective that has been sharing music, interviews, and stories ad-free for years.
Soundscape Studios – Right next door is this full-service recording studio, complete with private recording space, rehearsal rooms, and more perfect for emerging local acts.
Spinello Projects – We’re big fans of this contemporary art gallery. They bring some of the world’s most experimental emerging arts to Miami complete with lectures and exhibitions all year around.
Berkeley Florist Supply Co – South Florida’s oldest and largest wholesale florist supply company. This is an arts & crafts gem with all your decor needs.
Little River Cooperative
Little River Cooperative Edible Plant Nursery – Not only have they brought urban gardens to popular outdoor spaces, but their nursery is a wonderful escape for educational programs, plant sales, and more.
The Bridge – One of Miami’s most creative, non-profit organization spaces home to recording and artist studios, and a great venue for special occasions.
Les Ailes Du Dèsir – Don’t let the term “contemporary circus school” fool you, this space also offers aerial silk classes, dance, gymnastics, and all sorts of fitness classes.
Club Tipico Dominicano – Yes, while this listing might of course be a Dominican restaurant, people flock her for the dance parties and sweaty reggaeton getdowns.