Miami Culinary Tours Offers Art Between Bites at New Wynwood Run

Wynwood may be known best for its unique artistic atmosphere -- from the dozens of galleries to the murals and graffiti pieces that cover facades on every block -- but it's also got some incredible spots to eat.

As Wywnwood develops into one of Miami's hippest neighborhoods, it continues to attract chefs and investors bringing new havens for foodies and fine diners to the once bedraggled area. Though the art may be the prime attraction, the array of new restaurants gives Miamians more reasons to make their way for something aside from Artwalk or Wood Tavern.

That's why local group Miami Culinary Tours started offering a walking showcasing Wynwood's best places to eat. Miami Culinary Tours, founded by Grace Della in 2010, has taken locals and tourists alike from restaurant to restaurant in areas including Little Havana and South Beach for years. The new Wynwood route is likely to be a big hit as the buzz grows with every new eatery that opens shop.

The tour begins at the corner of 26th St. and NW Second Ave., where Della meets her weekly crop of tour-goers outside the Wynwood Walls. She gives a brief overview of the afternoon ahead, then it's off to Walls at Wynwood Kitchen and Bar. Tourist are greeted with a fresh set of plates carrying savory Cuban favorites to please any palette. The tour doesn't linger too long, and within a few minutes, you finish this first course and are on your way.

Della's culinary tours aren't exclusively culinary. The founder and tour guide goes out of her way to introduce out-of-towners to what she calls 'the world's largest outdoor art museum.' In guiding a group through the Wynwood Walls, Della tells the names of most of the artists featured around the courtyard and the garden of the Wynwood Doors.

Without being an expert, her tidbits are admirably thorough, if not at times overzealous. She identifies the notable characteristics within a particular artist's mural and declares that any piece of street art with said characteristic can be recognized as a work by the same artist. In some cases, such as her attribution of the mixed Arabic, Hebrew, Blackletter, and Egyptian Hieroglyphic scripts that she connects to the internationally renowned artist, RETNA, she's right on the mark. Perhaps some of her other assertions, like that dripping streaks of paint or a mural consisting of marine animals are surefire ways to identify one artist or another, are a bit too general.

That being said, Della is not marketing her tours with a promise of graffiti education, and we're just happy she fits in a bit of art in between bites. As far as the intended focal point of the tour is concerned, Della's new Wynwood Tour is more than successful at highlighting some of the area's best culinary gems.

From Walls, the tour hits local favorite haunts from The Butcher Shop to Jimmy'z Kitchen for some mofongo with chicken. All in all, Della's newest branch of her Miami Culinary Tours has come along nicely and certainly hits just about all the right notes in the Wynwood food scene. If you've got an urge to find some new places to spend your time and satisfy your hunger for something other than art and alcohol and you've got $69 to spend, it's worth checking out.

For more info about Miami Culinary Tours, visit miamiculinarytours.com.

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