Things To Do

Art Basel Food Guide: Downtown Miami, Wynwood, and Design District (Updated)

Art Basel is about to

capture the minds and imagination of Miami. The self-billed "most

prestigious art show in the Americas" showcases work by more than 2,000

artists. Crazy stuff is literally everywhere -- on the sides of buildings, in

parks, in tents and galleries, and at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Though the Miami Beach remains the heart of Art Basel, its reach extends far beyond to Miami's Wynwood, Midtown, and the Design District for Red Dot Miami, Art Miami, as well as gallery exhibitions and other satellite art fairs.

We've compiled a list of restaurants in Miami for any Art Basel experience you may encounter, including a special section for cheap and quick food -- just in case you spend all your money on a diorama depicting the French Revolution made entirely from bacon bits and string cheese.

If you're heading to Miami Beach, check out our Art Basel restaurant picks here. If you're into food trucks, a schedule of where they're rolling is here.

Best Use Of Food As Art - Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink is blurring the line between food and

art. They're bringing in local

artist Jason Hedges, who will create original works using fish the restaurant sources from local waters. Using lesser known species like

trigger, wreck, and barrel fish, Hedges will immortalize the creatures

in ink. Never has art been so fresh and delicious. 130 NE 40th Street, Miami

Best Use Of Art As Food - Area 31
When executive chef E. Michael Reidt traveledf to Spain over the summer, he got inspired by Joan Miro's art. Upon his return to Area 31's kitchen, he decided to use that inspiration for a  Crusted Diver Scallop and Confited Turkey Dish ($30). The turkey tenderloins are sous vide for four hours, then cut into cylinders to mimic the scallops. Both proteins are plated with an apple cider gastrique, spiced pumpkin puree, cranberry jam, toasted faro, and finished with a bacon powder. You can eat his artistically inspired dish during Art Basel. 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami

Best Place To Find An Artisan Cocktail - Sustain

Sustain's beverage director Daniel Toral constantly amazes us with inventive and intricate libations. Using house-made infusions from fresh herbs, flowers, and fruits, he creates cocktails worthy of their own gallery exhibition. Just in time for Art Basel, Toral's come up with two new cocktails. By Hook or By Crook is a combination of dark rum, grapefruit juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and absinthe. Wildfire combines 10 yr old single malt scotch, Earl Grey honey, lemon juice, ginger, thyme, and Jerry Thomas' bitters. Both serve as the perfect cocktail to warm you up before (or after) a long gallery stroll. 3252 NE 1st Avenue, Miami

Best Place To Ingest an Artist - Wynwood Kitchen & Bar

We all know that the next best thing to being artistic is to be

surrounded by artists. What better way than to literally drink in

artistic talent than by indulging in one of Wynwood Kitchen & Bar's

artist-inspired cocktails?  If pop art is your thing, drink in a little

Shepard Fairey (Pisco Porton, Aperol, St. Germain, Riseling, and

blueberries), or acid-trip with the Kenny Scharf (Plymouth gin,

grapefruit juice, Cointreau, lime, and fresh basil). If you're on a

budget, try the Beers and Bites happy hour, Monday-Friday from 5:30 to

7:30 p.m., enjoy $2 bites and 30 percent off beer, wine, and liquors. 2550 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami

Best Place For Music and Al Fresco Dining - Joey's Italian Cafe

After a long gallery crawl, it's time to just sit down under the stars

and rewind.  Turn off the brain, order a pizza and enjoy live music

nightly on the terrace during Art Basel evenings. 2506 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami

Best Place to People Watch - Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill

It's packed nightly with beautiful people on any average day, so imagine

what the scene is during Art Basel. This is the place to watch

collectors of art and the mini skirted women who love them in action.

Chef Timon Balloo's food is as good as the people watching. 3250 NE 1st Avenue, Miami

Best Late Night Bite - Gigi

It's late, you've been to one too many gallery party and you've got two

choices for a late night dinner: Denny's and Gigi. No competition,

buckaroo!  You're going to chow down on some serious ramen ($13) or udon

($14). Wash it down with some sake, and head home for a catnap before venturing out to do it all again tomorrow. After all, Art Basel is only

once a year. 3470 N. Miami Avenue, Miami

Best Bathroom as Art - Harry's Pizzeria

Chef Michael Schwartz's casual pizzeria offers a good selection of pies

that range from classic Margherita ($11) to Short Rib with cave aged

grueyre ($15). Add a Monk in the Trunk ale for $5 and you're still under

your dining budget. Now go wash your hands (yes, you need to wash your

hands)...because you'll want to check out the interactive chalkboard for

customers to doodle on. Feel free to add to the art - just don't write

your ex-girlfriend's cell number on the wall..that's bad karma. 3918 N. Miami Avenue, Miami

Cheap and Quick

Best Place to Grab And Go - Crumb on Parchment

Michelle Bernstein's casual daytime establishment serves up

sandwiches, chilled gazpacho, and salads, but we go for some quick scone

and coffee action. Baked fresh, the flavors change, but they usually

have both a sweet and a savory selection. 3930 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami

Best Homage to Facial Hair - Lester's

Owner Daniel Milewski is bringing the moustache lip at a

time.  Besides the large friendly space that's open to poetry readings,

music jams, gatherings, and comedy shows, you'll notice a lot of

photographs on the wall. Look closer and what do they all have in

common? They're all people...with moustaches.  Milewski invites patrons

to bring in their moustache portraits, which he frames and displays. Animals

(even walruses and schnauzers) are not invited, though the picture of

your aunt before electrolysis is totally legit.  While you're perusing

the pics, enjoy a selection of beer, wine, coffees, and light snacks. 2519 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami

Best Freshly Roasted Coffee - Panther Coffee
Screw Starbucks. Do you really want to caffeine up on overpriced, overroasted swill by a corporate mega-giant?  We thought not.  That's why we're suggesting you stop at Panther Coffee for a quick coffee break between gallery jaunts. The coffee is roasted in small batches on premises and the coffee is cold filtered. The result is a rich, full-bodied cup of java that will give you the boost to continue on in search of the next Jackson Pollock. 2390 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami

Best Slow Food Disguised as Fast Food - Sakaya Kitchen
Place your order at the counter, pay and wait. Sounds like fast food, right? Wrong! Richard Hales' place may look and order like fast food, but the flavors say slow cooked and soulful.  If you're hungry and pressed for time, satisfy your cravings with honey orange ribs with jasmine rice ($11.99), a mixed asian salad with hangar steak ($12.99), or an Angus beef Bulgogi burger ($6.99). Don't forget your greens! The ginger Brussels sprouts will make you want to eat your veggies.  Buena Vista Avenue, Between 34th and 36th Streets, Miami


Miami Thinkers and the Awarehouse present Art Basil 2011, a co-op farmers market featuring organic fruits, vegetables, herbs. vegan treats, sustainable clothes, yoga, and eco-friendly artists. December 2 - 4. Open Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free, $10 for VIP.  The Awarehouse, 550 NW 29th Street, Miami

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss