It’s that time of the year again: Art Basel. Thousands of people are descending upon Miami Beach, Midtown and other local neighborhoods to admire amazing art, party all day and night long, and make the most of South Florida’s warm weather.
One of our favorite annual events is Art Miami, the popular art fair in Midtown that has attracted over 80,000 visitors each year, including collectors, museum professionals and art fans. At the event, 125 galleries showcase their work, so there’s plenty to see and do; this is Art Miami’s 26th edition, and it’s widely considered one of the most important shows in the U.S. contemporary art market.
CONTEXT, Art Miami’s sister (and adjacent) fair, is equally impressive with an emphasis on works from both mid-career and emerging artists. Three years old, the event takes place in its own 45,000-square-foot venue. Expect to see items from solo artists and gallery programs as well as curated projects. Together, Art Miami and CONTEXT feature 200 galleries
Here’s a taste of the great art you can expect while walking around the tent
All of that admiring is sure to make you hungry, so we’ve put together this list of nearby spots to satisfy your appetite. These five tried-and-true eateries are sure to hit the spot, whether you’re looking for quality food, a stiff drink or a treat to cool you off.
Proof Pizza & Pasta
If you know anything about us, we love Proof Pizza & Pasta. The sizeable, delicious portions at this casual neighborhood joint have made it one of our regular haunts. On the pizza side, you can’t go wrong with the restaurant’s most popular pie: the oxtail with mozzarella, black garlic, thyme and caramelized onions. Prefer pasta? The crab angel hair dish with calabrian chili and lemon breadcrumbs is divine.
Just make sure to save room for dessert: The macaron ice cream sandwich – whose flavor changes regularly — is a must.
Unlike the other restaurants on the list, this one isn’t within walking distance of Art Miami and Context. While you will probably have to drive over there, the ride is only a handful of minutes away and well worth it for tasty seafood and prime rib. Chef Danny (of Blue Collar) has developed a ridiculously good oyster bar and seafood restaurant with delectable daily specials and other fun stuff . Our favorites: the lobster roll and the prime rib
We also strongly suggest you consider the daily crudo and CBGB, which haven’t disappointed us yet.
We recently discovered this Midtown Miami French gem, which took over the old Mercadito location (RIP). You won’t find avant-garde fare here – this is traditional French cuisine through and through. But it’s really damn good traditional French food.
You’ll find all the classics here done right. Our go-to dish here: Mussels Marinieres with shallots, garlic, white wine and parsley. There’s just something about that white wine sauce that has us feeling all sorts of ways. Not a mussels fan? Opt for the rotisserie selections, where you can have your bird plain or liven it up with some truffle, rosemary and other flavors.
Eat great food and help save the planet by checking out Wynwood’s The Lunchbox. The fast-casual restaurant known for its new-traditional cuisine is also known for its planet-conscious approach to design and packaging. All disposable items in the restaurant – from napkins to to-go containers to bags – are 100% recycled and biodegradable materials.
Expect to find a variety of influences across the menu from Thai to Venezuelan to American; if you have a picky palate, this place is for you. We always opt for the soups and small bites – those shrimp taquitos are fire.
Even though the weather has cooled down a bit, it’s still hot here in South Florida. After some fun in the sun, make your way to Latteria Italiana for some incredible gelato from owner Antonio Carrozza and his team. There’s a variety of flavors to be had at this Midtown gelateria, and our favorites are the fruit ones – so fresh and so natural.
Not in the mood for sweets? There’s an extensive list of savory breakfast, lunch and dinner items, too. The classic lasagna as well as the flatbreads with cheese and other goodies are worth a look.