Move over, South Beach. Miami has a new tourist destination, and it's not yet universally despised by locals.
Just five years ago, Wynwood was the kind of place you wanted to be too long after dark. Then artists began moving in, opening galleries, and putting up murals. Soon the relatively small area became a much desired locale for real-estate developer Tony Goldman, the same man who helped turn South Beach and New York City's SoHo into hoppin', shoppin' centers of cultural interest.
Wynwood Walls went up, Panther Coffee was brewed, and no one has looked back since. Has gentrification stripped the neighborhood of some of its charm? Absolutely. But there have been positive results to Wynwood's exponential growth too. How many of these cool things have you ticked off your list?
1. Stay up way past your bedtime at Coyo Taco’s Murk Mondays
Monday isn't the week's most favored late-night engagement. It's usually relegated to prime-time television and a whole lot of sitting on the couch — but that's only because you haven't met the right party. Every Monday, the backroom at Coyo Taco becomes a sweat box of music, movement, and rapture as Oscar G, Lazaro Casanova, and Ralph Falcon - three of Miami's funkiest house masters - bring their Latin-influenced vibes to the 200-capacity dance floor. Live drummers deliver the heat and take the rhythm up a serious notch, the cocktails are delicious, and there's never a cover charge.
2. Take a mural bike tour and learn the ins and outs of the street art
Wynwood isn't the little-known gem it used to be. Traffic is almost always a nightmare for anyone trying to navigate NW Second Avenue by car. If you want to see the art, the best way to go is by bike and with a tour guide who knows which artist painted what mural and maybe a bit about what the artist was trying to convey. It's a total upgrade from your random wandering selfie-spot search, and there are quite a few tour options. Try Miami's Best Graffiti Guide for groups of all sizes.
3. Catch a flick at O Cinema
Did you know Wynwood is hiding its own adorable movie theater? It's a one-screen scene, so you have to like what's on the menu. But with a range as broad as O Cinema's, there's something for everyone in the lineup: arthouse and independent films, major motion pictures, family films, and foreign flicks too. The theater hosts four showings every day — morning, noon, evening, and night.
4. Run three miles for beer with Concrete Beach
Experts have been known to suggest a glass of beer after a good, hard run. Beer actually contains a lot of things your muscles crave in recovery, as long as you don't overdo it. Concrete Beach Brewery wants to help you help yourself, and once a month, it collaborates with Team Footwork on a nice, long run of anywhere from three to four miles. You can hang back with the walkers or go for your best time, and everyone who participates gets one free beverage upon return. You gon' run this town.
5. Eat the best pizza in town at Gramps’ Pizza Tropical
Gramps is one of the best watering holes, not only in Wynwood but in all of Miami. If you're looking for a craft beer or well-crafted cocktail but you're not in the mood for cover charges or any pretenses, Gramps is the perfect place, with a big backyard to boot. It hosts drag bingo and comedy shows, even movie screenings in the backroom, plus tons of concert events featuring live bands and DJs in the yard. But did you know Gramps also offers some of the best sloppy, delicious giant pizza slices in all of the 305? Served fresh from a permanent food truck, Pizza Tropical is exactly what you need when you've got the drunk munchies. Buy a whole pie or a slice with sides. Yup, Gramps has it all.
6. Browse the Rubell Family Collection
One of world's largest privately owned contemporary art collections resides right down the street from Wood Tavern at the Rubell Family Collection. In the 40,000-square-foot shell of an old DEA confiscated-narcotics holding facility, dad Don, mom Mera, and son Jason Rubell house their outstanding works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Cady Noland, and Cindy Sherman, to name just a few. Time is running out for you to visit the Wynwood space before the collection moves to Allapattah in 2018. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students; anyone younger than 18 and U.S. military veterans get in free.
7. Eat your weight in food-truck noms and walk it off at Art Walk
Only a true Miami novice has never been to one of Wynwood's Second Saturday Art Walks. The main drag comes alive with music, people, vendors, break dancers, and, most important, more delicious food-truck fare than your gastrointestinal tract has room for. There are burgers, frozen yogurt, grilled cheese, gyros, fried Oreos, empanadas, curly fries, ceviche — everything you can imagine representing the myriad cultures that make up our the Magic City. And you don't have to feel guilty about eating it all, because you're gonna walk up and down the street checking out art and buying handmade jewelry, right? Right.
8. Vibe out at the Wynwood Yard for Reggae Sundays (or some yoga or whatever)
There aren't a lot of places in town like the Wynwood Yard. It's a communal gathering place decked out with comfy seating areas and a beautiful bar. You can kick back a couple of cold locally brewed beers while munching on organically grown green food straight from the Yard's garden. There are a variety of food trucks, in fact, but the real clincher is the variety of events the Yard hosts every week, from yoga classes to concerts, craft workshops, and others. Every last Sunday of the month is Reggae Sunday, hosted by Kulcha Shok Muzik and offering free fun for the whole family.
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9. Brunch it up at Morgans (but be prepared to wait)
This little two-story house turned fabulously quaint restaurant is the perfect place for a well-planned Sunday bestie brunch. We say “well-planned” because the line is always way out the door. You could easily wait an hour, so come prepared. Morgans doesn't take reservations unless your party is larger than 7, so your best plan might be to just squad up and do it that way. Raspberry flat cakes, mascarpone-and-raspberry-stuffed French toast, chicken 'n' waffle sandwiches, house-cured salmon plates, blueberry semihard goat toasties, and custom omelets are on the menu. We'll excuse you for drooling.
10. Get some work done at Panther Coffee
Maybe you're looking for a chill weekday workspace. Maybe you're putting in extra time over the weekend. Either way, don't sit in the house all cooped up; go to Panther coffee. It's a bustling environment with great Wi-Fi and delicious cold-brews designed to get you moving and grooving on that last leg of your project. There are always colorful characters hanging around the front outdoor seating area, playing games or acoustic guitars. Don't want to be distracted? Put on some headphones and dissolve into that to-do list. You'll probably run into a friend or two while you're there, and you just might meet some new interesting acquaintances. The roaming workplace is a beautiful thing.