Perhaps this is why Miami has become home to not one, but two designer cafés. Dior Café opened in January of 2019 as a pop-up but has been so successful it now has an open-ended run. This past May, the Fendi Caffè opened inside OTL Restaurant. It will last until Tuesday, July 6, as a pop-up. Both are situated in the Miami Design District, one street apart from each other.
The trendy cafés have been impossible to avoid on social media — but that’s because they were likely created with precisely this in mind. Beyond the opportunity for the perfect Instagram post, is a $25 coffee at one of these designer pop-ups worth the money?
On a Saturday afternoon, the Fendi Caffè had a line that began at the counter and ended in between the actual Fendi store and the café, directly beneath the afternoon Florida sun.
QR codes on the front door lead to a website with the menu, some free digital stickers, and an Instagram filter.
The café’s interior is bathed in Fendi’s signature yellow, inspired by the brand’s Fendi FF Vertigo Summer 2021 Capsule collection, created in collaboration with artist Sarah Coleman.
Drinks include an iced latte ($4.50), a "Coco" lemonade made with coconut water ($5.50), and the "In Pursuit of Tea," which is, basically, your choice of tea ($4).
We ordered French toast and a grilled cheese. After a 25-minute wait, the toast arrived, followed about 15 minutes later by the grilled cheese.
The French toast was sprinkled with sugar, and came with a side of maple syrup and fresh blueberries and strawberries. The syrup was sweet, the brioche toast soft and buttery. The grilled cheese was festooned with two tiny paper flags adorned with a psychedelic Fendi pattern — really the only thing that differentiated the sandwich from any other grilled cheese in Miami.
The café is a small rooftop terrace with lush greenery all around. Various sculptures of animals are scattered throughout the space, outfitted with patio furniture that sports Dior-branded pillows and umbrellas. The centerpiece is a selfie magnet in the form of the brand's name spelled out in large, golden capital letters, with a life-size sculpture of a monkey cheekily perched atop the R. The entirely outdoor space is outfitted with fans to mitigate the Miami heat.
A waitress helped decode vague names on the menu, such as “J’Adore” and “Dior Bee.” Like Dior's iconic handbags, prices are extravagant. An avocado toast costs $23, while an organic Greek yogurt with granola and berries checks in at $19. Sweet offerings include a mousse-like dessert called "Coconut Delice" and the above-mentioned "J'Adore," a mango mousse. Each dessert arrived with a Dior-branded chocolate on the side.
That chocolate was delicious, but the service was next-level. When my friend dropped his bonbon on the floor, our server noticed and swiftly delivered a replacement on a plate, with two dollops of whipped cream and a blue syrup "smile" to make a smiley face.
Priced at $25, the “Dior Café Miami” is a frozen coffee beverage served in a margarita glass, topped with the Christian Dior logo in cocoa powder and adorned with a mini green tropical umbrella. The drink was delicious, but $25 is a tad steep for a beverage without even the kiss of alcohol to deaden the pain.
If you're on a budget and just want to experience dining at Dior, the cheapest menu offerings are the beverages: espresso, espresso macchiato, and good old American Coca-Cola cost $8 a pop.
Overall, Dior Café brings the vibes, design, presentation, and service befitting the brand. Yes, it’s costly, but it's a quality experience.
Fendi Caffè Pop-Up at OTL. 160 NE 40th St., Miami; otlmia.com. Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Tuesday, July 6 is the pop-up's last day.)
Dior Café. 162 NE 39th St., Miami; miamidesigndistrict.net. Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday noon to 6 p.m.