Why you should care
Because who knows a city better than a local with an Instagram following?
This is the first article in a multipart travel series. OZY tasks the rising stars of Instagram to share their favorite, little-known spots to eat, drink, shop and sightsee.
Miami isn’t called “the capital of Latin America” for nothing. Around half of the city’s residents were born outside of the United States (and many of those in Cuba), and that diversity touches everything from Miami’s food trucks to its vibrant street fashion to its Instagram feeds. OZY talked to three of the city’s best-loved Instagrammers for the lowdown on where you should really go when visiting the 305.
Fashion blogger Ria Michelle has become one of Miami’s leading digital entrepreneurs. She blogs, she Instagrams, she YouTubes, she runs an online boutique and she works as a style consultant. When breaking from her busy schedule, she just does Miami (but she does it with style).
Where to eat: Lately I’ve been loving Komodo, which serves South Asian cuisine with a Florida twist. I have yet to have a bad meal there. My not-so-secret ultimate go-to is a hidden gem: Firito Taco, because I love tacos. I’m a regular. They know my order and I don’t even have to say anything.
Where to visit: I always enjoy a visit to the PAMM. It’s beautifully located, I love the exhibits and they have a great restaurant.
Giovanny Gutierrez is the executive producer behind beloved video podcast Chat Chow TV. He also oversees the show’s Instagram account, where he posts the best of the city’s food and bar scene, giving equal attention to holes in the wall and fine-dining icons.
Where to eat: This is a tough one for me to answer because I love so much food in this city. How about we start with a breakfast sammy at All Day, which has a strong coffee and egg menu, lunch at chef Justin Smillie’s Upland Miami (The New York Times called him a “pasta savant”), afternoon coffee and a croissant at True Loaf and dinner at José Andrés’ Bazaar Mar, followed by a cannoli from The Salty Donut for dessert.
Where to drink: Matador Bar’s cocktails are some of my favorite in the city. Great classic cocktails that are consistently on point and seasonal drinks that you don’t want to go away. I really enjoy their monthly Bar Takeover, where other legends in the industry from around the world take over the menu for the night.
Where to shop: The Brickell neighborhood has been redefined by the new City Centre and its hotel EAST. It is the ultimate urban mall with open architecture and plenty of exclusive stores not found anywhere else in Miami. Plus, Pubbelly Sushi is there!
Where to visit: Little Havana is a must when visiting Miami. It’s one of the only places in the country where you can truly find unique flavors like guarapo (fresh pressed sugarcane juice), fritas (Cuban burgers) and croquetas (a heavenly invention of fried roll made with food leftovers).
Annie Vazquez is the voice behind this popular Instagram account. She is also a blogger and storyteller who uses her eye for detail to uncover Miami’s subtle beauty. Her feed is a study in what makes Miami unique, from high fashion to everyday moments.
Where to eat: I really love brunches at neighborhood spot Lulu in Coconut Grove. Cuban food is big in Miami, so stopping at the legendary Versailles — which looks like a scene out of Scarface — is a must.
Where to drink: The Anderson Bar has a cool tropical vibe with a retro feel — think ’80s arcade games, boom boxes hanging on the wall, a giant piano, good music and an indoor-outdoor patio.
Where to shop: Sawgrass Mills is one of the largest malls in the country, and I love that it has luxury outlet stores such as Gucci, Carolina Herrera and Burberry mixed with more budget-friendly favorites like Forever 21.
Where to visit: If you love animals, then a trip to the EdSafari refuge is a must. You’ll find all sorts of animals, from wolves to kangaroos, that you can interact with. All proceeds go to the refuge and help the animals live safely.