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Culture Secret Guides

The Secret Miami Guide To A Magical Day Out At Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

By Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz

The Secret Miami Guide To A Magical Day Out At Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

So you’re going to Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience in Downtown — why not make a day out of it?

We finally got to take a peek at the much-anticipated Van Gogh art experience that opened last week at the Olympia Theatre and many of you asked us for good places in which to grab a drink or a bite right after. So we’ve put a guide to some of the best bars and restaurants to check out around Downtown Miami so you can make the most of your day out at Van Gogh and have a 360º magical experience before, during and after the exhibit!

P.S.: Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of the article for a handy-dandy map with all of the locations listed below!

Brunch Spots:

1. Area 31

Surrounded by skyscrapers, this gorgeous rooftop bar perched atop Kimpton EPIC Hotel’s 16th floor offers some fantastic views of Downtown Miami and an epic brunch menu. Options include everything from classics such as Eggs Benedict and pancakes to Mediterranean specials such as Shakshuka and a Greek twist on the popular avocado toast. Plus, you can also pair up your breakfast with plentiful pitches of sangría, mojitos, and bloody mary or go bottomless with some mimosas and bellinis!

Find it at 270 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131.

2. Miami Diner

Go retro with a classic brunch at the Miami Diner. This new spot in Downtown offers a mix of sweet and savory dishes with a Miami twist such as bacon cheddar waffles, stuffed avocados with fried eggs, and their Huevos 305 (grilled shrimp on two avocado halves, topped with a fried egg) as well as a whole host of other comfort food dishes, over-the-top milkshakes and more. Brunch at the Miami Diner is available Saturdays and Sundays and also features bottomless mimosas for $25, and live entertainment from DJ Demenz.

Find it at 140 SE 1st Ave Suite A, Miami, FL 33131.

3. Café Bastille

This all-day French café is quite a popular destination for Brunch, especially on weekends, so make sure you arrive on the earlier side so you don’t have to wait in line for a table (it can go around the block sometimes!). But if you  do manage to snag a table, Café Bastille offers  a wide variety of breakfast specials all the way from Eggs Benedict (they have six different kinds!) to freshly made omelets and crêpes, as well as an assortment of bistro-style dishes including burgers, salads and steak frites. If you head on over during the weekend, you can also order one of their “Brunch Safety Kits” featuring bottomless pitchers of mimosas, strawberry bellinis, sangría and bloody marys!

Find it at  248 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131.

4. The Egg Spot

A great alternative if you don’t feel like waiting in line at Café Bastille. The Egg Spot offers comfort breakfast food all day long, every day — so think French toast, avocado toast, scrambled eggs with bacon, waffles and pancakes all day long. Its menu also features an assortment of scrumptious sides such as mac n’ cheese, tatter tots and extra lox to pair with your meal as well as a variety of coffee-based drinks, cold-pressed juices and more.

Find it at  228 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131.

5. B Bistro & Café

A bit further away from Olympia Theatre than the spots above, but a brunch spot worth trying out nonetheless. This new American restaurant and bakery is one of the best-rated brunch spots in Downtown Miami. B Bistro’s rotating menu features a variety of savory breakfast dishes and incredible-looking lunches including leafy and grain-based salads, open-faced sandwiches, housemade soups and veggie-heavy main dishes. Plus, their pastelito pancakes are some of the best in the whole of the 305!

Find it at  600 Brickell Ave #175, Miami, FL 33131.

Vegan & gluten-free spots:

1. Manna Life Food

This refreshing little spot in Downtown offers some of the best vegan food in the 305. All their food is made fresh from scratch every day and features quality organic ingredients free of gluten, artificial flavors, additives, refined sugars or GMO-S. Plus it also has wifi and offers major cozy café vibes if you feel like camping out here for a while!

Find it at 80 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132.

2. The Cocinita Miami

The Cocinita in Dowtown has set out to bust the myth that “vegan food is boring” with its super fun plant-based take on Latin dishes like cachapas and arepas as well as other classics like burgers, hot dogs and tacos!

Find it at 70 SE 5th St suite 107, Miami, FL 33131.

3. Happea’s

This new vegan spot in Brickell offers a variety of Mediterranean and Latin American fusion dishes,  smoothie and fresh-pressed juice bars, and all-day brunch. On its menu, you’ll also find Lebanese-style wraps and their scrumptious fusion bowls (aka Happea’s bowls) served with their warm hummus made on the spot!

Find it at  900 S Miami Ave # 125, Miami, FL 33130.

Restaurants:

1. NIU Kitchen & Arson

 NIU Kitchen and its sister restaurant Arson have joined forces to bring us the best of NIU’s Catalan flavors and the charbroiled touch of Arson’s flames. On their new menu, you’ll find some of their all-time favorites including NIU’s famous oysters and gazpacho as well as an extensive list of natural wines from around the world to help you find the perfect pairing for your meal.

2. Soya e Pomodoro

If you’re looking for a more romantic dinner spot to compliment your magical day at Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience then we suggest checking out Soya e Pomodoro. At this lovely Downtown spot, you can get the best of both for a traditional yet totally romantic dinner date. Plus it’s run by two native Italian expert restaurateurs, so you know you’re in for some authentic cuisine!

Find it at 120 NE 1st St #2502, Miami, FL 33132.

3. Meraki Greek Bistro

Looking for authentic Greek food in the heart of Downtown? Then look no further. Meraki Greek Bistro offers a wide selection of authentic Greek dishes including dolmades, spinach spanakopita, shrimp saganaki, dakos (a Greek version of the bruschetta), gyros, moussaka and more!

Find it at  142 SE 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33131.

4. Zuma

This chic and minimalistic spot in the heart of Downtown offers some of the best Japanese food in the city. Offering a more sophisticated take on Japanese Izakaya-style dining, its menu features bold yet authentic flavors with options such as wagyu gyozas, salmon teriyaki, and freshly-made sushi rolls.

Find it at  270 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131.

5. Sparky’s Roadside BBQ

Hailed as one of the best restaurants Downtown and one of the best barbecue spots in the whole of the 305, Sparky’s Roadside BBQ offers a unique take on traditional American barbecue by chefs Kevin Kehoe and Hans Seitz aka Sparky and Sparky. The restaurant tips its hat to several American styles of regional barbecue and holds true to its original rubs and six different sauces.

Find it at  204 NE 1st St, Miami, FL 33132.

6. Bali Café

One of the best AAPI-owned restaurants in the whole of Miami, this Downtown spot offers all kinds of Indonesian delicacies all the way from Beef Rendang to Rijsttafel, a complete Indonesian feast for two including all kinds of deliciousness like lumpia, shrimp shumai and many more!

Note: Bali Café is cash only.

Find it at 109 Northeast 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33132.

7. Ristorante Fratelli Milano

Another great option if you’re looking to enjoy some Italian food. Twin brothers, chefs Roberto and Emanuele Bearzi work together recreating regional Italian dishes they first tasted in their mother’s Milanese kitchen. On its menu, you’ll find scrumptious dishes such as spaghetti alle vongole, lobster ravioli, Vitello Milanese and more!

Find it at 213 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131.

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8. Kone Sushi

This new concept restaurant offers Japanese-Brazilian fusion dishes and drinks including sushi platters, temakis, rice and noodle dishes and an assortment of “sakerinhas” a sake-meets-caipirinhas fusion cocktails.

Find it at 247 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131.

9. Motek Café

Another great alternative if you enjoy Mediterranean food and you don’t necessarily feel like eating Greek. Motek Café offers a wide variety of Israeli dishes for lunch and dinner as well as a scrumptious-looking brunch featuring shakshuka, malawach Yemenite pancakes,  and hummus and labneh platters among other incredible options.

Find it at 36 NE 1st St Suite 132, Miami, FL 33132.

10. CVI.CHE 105

Self-procclaimed as Miami’s best Peruvian restaurant, CVI.CHE 105 is a bit further away than most of the restaurants above, but nonetheless an awesome spot totally worth checking out. As you’ve probably already guessed from its name, CVI.CHE 105 offers a wide range of Peruvian ceviches and tiraditos as well as a selection of traditional Peruvian dishes including arroz chaufa, ají de gallina, tacus, and scrumptious desserts like the suspiro limeño and tocinillo del cielo!

Find it at 105 NE 3rd Ave, Miami, FL 33132,

Quick, on-the-go spots:

1. Las Palmas Cafetería 

Home to some of the best Cuban cafecito in town, Las Palmas offers ventanita-style service and counter dining. Its the perfect pit stop for some classic Cuban coffee and croquetas, although their full breakfast and Cuban sandwiches are pretty great too!

Find it at 209 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131.

2. La Licuadora

Another great spot if you want to enjoy some Peruvian food but don’t feel like having a long sit down meal. La Licuadora offers authentic Peruvian cuisine on the go including ceviches, tamales, arroz chaufa and rotisserie style chicken all available for take out.

Find it at  47 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33131.

3. Poke OG

Poke is always a good idea for when you’re in a bit more of a rush. At Poke OG, you can build your own Poke bowl all the way from the base to the sauce and toppings or if you don’t feel like taking on the pressure of deciding you can alway ask for one of their pre-existing combos!

Find it at 161 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131.

Bars:

1. Better Days

Once Brickell’s first pop-up bar, Better Days has become a local favorite for unique craft cocktails and a laid-back atmosphere.

Find it at 75 SE 6th St, Miami, FL 33131.

2. Lost Boy

This wild-west-meets-English-pub spot offers a laid-back atmosphere in which to enjoy some drinks over a game of darts and pool. On Lost Boy’s menu, you’ll find plenty of classics such as gin and tonic,  Old Fashioned, Negroni, and Penicillin, along with wine, tap beer and coffee.

Find it at 157 E Flagler St, Miami, FL 33131.

3. Mama Tried

This retro spot features strong drinks and awesome entertainment like a Pac-Man arcade game, jukebox, pool table, TVs, and a Bookleggers library. An upscale dive bar, Mama Tried offers a great quiet spot for Happy Hour and a rowdy crowd for late-night partying.

Find it at 207 NE 1st St, Miami, FL 33132.

4. Over Under

This no-frills bar on Flagler St. is an ode to our lovely state of Florida, offering an eclectic mix of  funky craft cocktails, frozen drinks and Florida-inspired bar bites!

Find it at 151 E Flagler St, Miami, FL 33131.

5. Black Market Miami

A great option if you’re looking for a Sports Bar kind of alternative. Decorated with Eighties Miami nostalgia, this retro bar on 1st street offers daily two-for-one Happy Hour specials, live DJs and a wide range of bar bites, cocktails and draft beer to enjoy a chill evening out with friends. Plus, if you’re going out with a large group, Black Market Miami also offers the possibility of renting out private areas for the ultimate sports lounge experience.

Find it at 168 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131. 

6. Sugar

Slightly further away from the Olympia theatre, but one of the best rooftops in the whole city. This lush garden rooftop in Brickell is an excellent destination for happy hour. Located on the 40th floor Sugar offers  360-views of the city, tasty cocktails, and a swank crowd. Beware though, it’s quite popular so booking a table ahead of time, especially if you’ll be wanting something to eat, is highly recommended!

Find it at 788 Brickell Plaza #40, Miami, FL 33131.

Coffee shops &  other cafés:

1. Borsalino Miami

Looking to make a stop at a café? Try Borsallino. This Downtown coffeeshop offers a wide variety of coffee-based drinks including cold brews, their signature cinammon vanilla lattes and chemex-brewed coffee as well as refreshing lavender and turmeric lattes. Its food offering also features some excellent Keto options too!

Find it at

2. El Sitio Coffee Bar

If its pastelitos and great arepas you’re after then make sure to stop by El Sitio. This Venezuelan Café offers 9 different kinds of Arepas along with other Venezuelan delicacies including cachapas and tequeños. Plus, its kids menu has been hailed multiple times as one of the best in the city, so its the perfect spot if you’re with your family!

Find it at 19 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132.

3. Juan Valdez Cafe

The perfect spot if you’re looking to enjoy some authentic and top-notch Colombian coffee.  There’s a reason why Colombians call Juan Valdez’s coffee the “coffee of a whole country.”

Find it at 101 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132.

4. Caffe Roma

Another great spot to enjoy a dark, intense and flavorful shot of Italian espresso with a slice of tiramisu.

Find it at 140 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132.

Don’t have your tickets yet? Book them here! 

[Featured image by Secret Miami]