When most people think of Miami, they think of seafood, Cuban cuisine, and cocktails — yet it also happens to be home to some of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the country. Ms. Cheezious is the food truck slinging them, offering patrons a build-your-own option, as well as clever takes on the comfort food classic that involve bacon and blue cheese, sliced apples and havarti, and crab meat with cheddar. Chili, tomato soup, and regular, sweet potato, and cheese fries round out the offerings, which move around from day-to-day — so be sure to check their website or Twitter feed to see when they'll be served up near you.
South Beach is known for its high fashion, and that includes sneakers, as well. The local authority on such things is Air Traffic Control. Slightly hidden away, ATC stays stocked with the latest limited editions and reissues from the likes of Nike, Adidas, Converse, Fila, New Balance, Puma, Reebok, and more. While the prices range wildly — from $65 Nike Ace 83s to $4,500 Louis Vuitton x Kanye Wests — it's worth a visit even if you can't quite swing the cost of your dream kicks.
There's no shortage of great places to stay in South Beach — but if you're looking for the most opulent accommodations, you need to check out The Villa by Barton G. Better known by its former name — Casa Casuarina, or just Versace mansion — this 19,000-square-foot property was recently renovated, and now offers guests 10 unreasonably opulent suites, two private lounges, fantastic ocean views from the rooftop, the Thousand Mosaic pool, and excellent food in the pebble-mosaiced Dining Room. The best part? Its ideal Ocean Drive location that puts you just steps from hundreds of world-class restaurants, bars, clubs, and, of course, the Atlantic.
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Fortunately for the patrons of Broken Shaker, their shaker isn't actually broken. Far from it, in fact. This pop-up bar turned permanent addition is located inside the Freehand hotel, and offers up a selection of handcrafted cocktails using fresh produce, high-end booze, exotic ingredients, and syrups, infusions, and elixirs that are made from ingredients from the bar's garden. Whether you enjoy your drink the in cozy interior or out on the pool deck, it's a nice respite from the hectic scene outside.
We've seen a lot of food trucks, but far, far fewer food trailers. Operating out of a customized vintage 1962 Airstream, Gastropod is a shining silver source of tastyness, serving up Chef Jeremiah's creations with a side of fun. The menu is constantly changing, but always uses the freshest fish, meats, and produce available to create everything from burgers and hot dogs to tacos and dim sum. No matter what's on the menu, you should give the short rib sliders a try if they're available — trust us, you won't regret it.
Only in South Florida do you find beer festivals in January. Still, if you've got the time, the Miami Beer Festival is likely the only one you'll find for the next couple months. Running from 6pm to 10pm Saturday at Marlins Park, the festival will bring in the area's best local breweries as well as craft and international hoppists, and will also feature live music and food trucks — because as we know from experience, a little food really helps out when you're putting away multiple random beers.
Given its physical proximity to Cuba, you'd expect Miami to boast some fantastic Cuban sandwiches — and few places are a better example of this than Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop. Indeed, this Wynwood establishment does serve up a fantastic Sandwich Cubano — topped with ham, cheese, and pork — but it also serves up a gangbusters breakfast, as well as the Pan Con Bistec Especial, a steak sandwich, and some mean tostones. A great lunch spot if you happen to be perusing the Design District.
It makes sense that a guy who wears sneakers at his job would be able to build a kick-ass sneaker shop. And that's just what Unknwn is. Founded by LeBron James and friends, this upscale lifestyle shop naturally offers tons of new kicks, including plenty of hard-to-find, limited-release pairs, as well as other essentials like jeans, tees, hats, and — surprise — art gallery-worthy recreations of James' no. 6 Heat jersey. Oh, and keep your eyes open for a celeb or two — Jay-Z, Kanye, and other members of King James' inner circle have been known to drop by.
When in Miami, you should always take advantage of the outdoor dining options — and few offer the ambiance or view of Juvia. Located on the penthouse level of what's probably the most spectacular parking garage we've ever seen, this unique eatery mixes flavors, ingredients, and techniques from around the world to deliver fresh, inventive, and most of all tasty food in an atmosphere that's second to none. Having trouble making it up to the amethyst bar, plant wall, and gorgeous views? Look for the private elevator, located on Lenox.
South Beach is famous for its Art Deco architecture, and there's few places better to experience it than at The Raleigh Hotel. Widely known for its baroque-style pool that's seamlessly connected to the beach via a cabana-filled oasis, the historic Raleigh boasts chic, modern rooms, a two-floor penthouse, the gorgeous, outdoor Royal Restaurant, an on-site boutique offering clothes, sunglasses, swimsuits, and more, and an ideal location on Collins.
South Florida might not be the first place you'd think of when it comes to soul food, but thanks to South Street, it has a fine place to get some. This "neo-soul" restaurant offers updated takes on classic recipes like fried chicken, BBQ wings, green tomatoes — grilled, not fried — and shrimp and grits. The cocktail menu is solid thanks to the work of Bar Lab, and is the perfect compliment to the upstairs lounge that offers live music from DJs as well as performers. If that's not enough, it's received the recommendation of King James himself.
It isn't just the newest hotel in Miami — it's also one of the best. Designed by Philippe Starck, the SLS Hotel South Beach sits on an oceanfront lot on Collins and is as notable for its food and nightlife as it is for its luxurious rooms. The Hyde Beach nightclub encompasses 8,000 sq. ft. of pool, beach, and indoor/outdoor space, and sports a drink menu inspired by renowned chef José Andrés, who is also behind the on-site Bazaar restaurant. Looking for additional celebrity cred? Book the penthouse suite or one of the poolside bungalows, both of which were designed by Lenny Kravitz.
Our great thanks to Cadillac for sponsoring the launch of Gallivant. Be sure to check out the all-new Cadillac ATS.