Upper Buena Vista Is Miami's Newest Dining Neighborhood

Vista's owners, Fiorella Blanco and Roberto Bearzi.
Courtesy of Vista
Vista's owners, Fiorella Blanco and Roberto Bearzi.
North of Wynwood and the Design District, a charming acre of land is home to a crop of new restaurants.

Find them inside the recently developed Upper Buena Vista, a small mixed-use retail, dining, and entertainment district. The eccentric group of quirky eateries includes a 500-square-foot French café and a massive two-story modern Italian restaurant and rooftop bar.

The 60,000-square-foot enclave is new, but Buena Vista as a neighborhood is one of Miami-Dade’s earliest settlements, founded in the late 1800s. The complex, located on the border of Little Haiti on NE Second Avenue between 50th Street and 50th Terrace, is a short walk from popular Buena Vista neighborhood hangouts such as Buena Vista Deli and Palat, an Italian restaurant that opened in early 2018.

In addition to the food and drink spots, the artisanal-focused village includes a stylish nail salon, clothing stores, and a tattoo parlor. Three of the complex's restaurants are open, and a fourth is expected to debut in July. Here's a look at those concepts:

Vista. Roberto Bearzi and Fiorella Blanco, the husband-and-wife duo behind downtown Miami's Fratelli Milano, are responsible for a two-story Italian restaurant at the center of Upper Buena Vista. Aptly named after the complex, Vista will offer an expansive all-day menu, with highlights such as pesto gnocchi and swordfish a la plancha. The restaurant's name, which means “view” in Spanish and Italian, reflects the owners' goal to introduce Miami to a new kind of Italian cuisine with Latin flavor. In addition to large indoor and outdoor dining areas, Vista will include the neighborhood's first rooftop bar, serving a robust selection of cocktails. 5020 NE Second Ave., Miami; Opens in July 2018.

Café Crème. Claude Postel and Corentin Finot, who opened Buena Vista Deli in 2010, have returned to the neighborhood with Café Crème. Similar to the flagship in North Miami, the 500-square-foot grab-and-go spot is stocked with Nutella beignets, chocolate croissants, small cakes, and sandwiches ($2 and up). Items are prepared in North Miami and delivered fresh to the café, which faces NE Second Avenue near the front of Upper Buena Vista. Outside, find numerous wooden picnic tables with shade. 5010 NE Second Ave., Miami; 786-452-7433;
click to enlarge Amazonica's guava cholado, made with fruit and condensed milk. - COURTESY OF AMAZONICA
Amazonica's guava cholado, made with fruit and condensed milk.
Courtesy of Amazonica
Kraken Lab. The edgier, younger sibling of midtown's Kraken Crudo is the small raw bar Kraken Lab. The bright-red space, with seating along a wraparound bar, offers a menu of vegetable-focused bowls brimming with ingredients such as watermelon, Japanese pear, bonito flakes, and cauliflower rice ($7.50 and up). In addition to bowls filled with fish, including tuna, octopus, and salmon, Kraken Lab serves hummus with Japanese furikake, as well as the Buddha and Chill bowl, containing hummus, falafel, avocado, tomato, and watermelon. 5026 NE Second Ave., Miami; 786-577-0167;

Amazonica. Inspired by Colombian street food, Amazonica serves refreshing tropical treats, from exotic fruits and fresh-squeezed juices to shaved ice. The storefront, outfitted with a colorful palm tree and floral wallpaper, offers an extensive lineup of cholados, icy Colombian drinks made with fruit and condensed milk. Flavors include mango and passionfruit ice garnished with mango squares, pineapple tamarind, and tajin; coconut lemonade ice with chocolate, granola, shredded coconut, green apple, and pineapple; and a guava variety topped with a Maria cookie ($5 and up). 5030 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-336-6198;