Miami beyond fast food chains and malls


Miami is a Latin America melting pot with a mix of cultures, flavors, music, traditions and languages. It is also known as the Latin America capital, the Magic City due to its rapid growth and la Capital del Sol for the never ending summer. Here you will find people from all over South and Central America. The main language is Spanish, sorry English, but Spanglish is the local slang.

When in Miami, you will be able to eat amazing cachapas, drink a cortadito, enjoy a fresh ceviche and toast with an aguardiente. Lo-ve-ly! You end up knowing a little bit about the different cultures and enjoying other traditions. Miami is a paradise for sure. We couldn’t said different with those white sand beaches, tall palms trees framing the streets, blue sky, and shiny sun all over the place. Long story short, I live where everybody dreams to be and many come for vacations. The difference is that I don’t get to enjoy all of this as much as I would like. That’s why I decided to take a day to reconnect and relearn the city I call home, where my boys were born, where I have amazing friends, and where my day to day takes place.

Due to the lack of time, I was only able to visit one key area of Miami, Wynwood, the trendier, hipster and amazing graffiti-filled neighborhood. Since I only knew a small part of the hood I asked my friend Laura Bernal, a photographer and art lover who lives near the place, to walk me around.

The writer & the photographer

We start our tour in line at Zach the Baker, one of the top bakeries in Miami, where less is definitely more. Zach is the owner and the baker, who at some point decided to work on the life he would love deeply, making sure he was doing something that made him happy and at the same time bringing joy to others. This path included changes, trips, broken hearts, and finally his own place to create amazingly simple but delicious breads, toasts and pastries. The bread is hand made, yes, no mixers, and with a few basic ingredients. He doesn’t believe in marketing but he does believe in the quality of the product speaking for itself. This is a must, even if you need to wait outside, under the inclement sun, for a table. Don’t miss out on the goat cheese!

Zak the Baker toast and pastries

Feeling full but enthusiastic about a whole day just for the two of us, no kids, no husbands, we continue our tour. We try all the sunglasses at illsteva, take some pictures, get a fresh, cold squeezed juice, and packed sky water, not as tasteful as it sounds. We continue walking, reading all the stencils and admiring the walls that are art pieces from a great variety of artists. We spend almost an hour looking for some yummy donuts, but we were not aware that The Salty Donut is a pop up store and it was not the day, not the time for them to be there. We decide then to stop at Dr. Smood to enjoy some performance food with benefits, as they said, and sip an organic coffee. We loved the atmosphere and the decoration, not to mention the coffee.

Dr. Smood Wynwood

Dr. Smood

We then stop at a holistic store, The Bodhi Tree House, that we never thought possible to find in Miami. A space for meditation, to enjoy serenity and learn about crystals, oils and candles; with amazing products from Latin America artists and “meditation tents” that are so inviting you could stay there for a quick power nap.

The Bodhi Tree House

The Bodhi Tree House

We couldn’t end our day without getting some ice cream, but we were looking for something new, different, risky and amazing, that’s when we discover that whiskey can also be a delicious, decadent, mouth watering ice cream in Serendipity, a remarkable way of wrapping up.

Serendipity Creamery

I’m glad to say I was very impressed with the area, the coffee shops, restaurants and even small stores that feature local talent. Wynwood is not Miami for sure, but it is a window of what the city can become, of all the talent and mix of cultures we have. South Florida hasn’t been a trendsetter in terms of culture, gastronomic and arts, but lately you can find new offers that are far from chain restaurants and stores and more interesting than the malls.

Photography by Laura Bernal

Art, food and fashion lover. This Miami based photographer and mom of two boys, graduated from The Art Institute and specialized in capturing family and kids most memorable instants. She has been working in Nickelodeon Network as the Behind the Scenes photographer for series like Grachi, Every Witch Way, Wits, and Toni la Chef.

Comments 1

  1. Me encanto, poder conocer sitios a travez de tus ojos y luego ir a disfrutarlos personalmente!!! Bueno esa es la idea : )))

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