The Upper East Side neighborhood runs roughly from 50th Street to 77th Street along Biscayne Boulevard. Primarily composed of beautiful homes in Morningside and Bayshore, the true highlight of the neighborhood is the Miami Modernist Architecture Historic District (or MiMo). After years of neglect, preservation efforts began in the early 2000s and today many of its MiMo hotels have been turned into stores, restaurants, boutique hotels, coworking workspaces and even an advertising agency. Grab your walking shoes and get ready to take pics of the original forties and fifties hotel marquee signs that are beautifully preserved and make this such a unique part of of this city.
A good starting point is the gorgeous Chica restaurant at 5556 NE Fourth Court. It is hard to decide if you go for the delicious $23 two course lunch specials or the Happy Hour (M-F, 3-7pm) that has $2 Oyster Bloody Marias and an amazing selection of Celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia’s appetizers like the Asado Negro Arepa or the Crispy Tuna Taco for only $4. This is one of the sexiest bars in town and a perfect place to take refuge from the summer’s afternoon showers. Ask to see their private bar that can be rented for up to 35 people.
Up the street you will find Zoi Restaurant. This is a Mediterranean restaurant housed in a beautiful coral rock house built in 1923. You are here for the garden in the back that is one of Miami’s best kept secrets. They have Jazz on Saturday nights and a popular brunch on Sundays.
Go one block east to Biscayne and you will find the entrance to Morningside Park. Here you will be able to walk under a beautiful tree canopy while looking at historically preserved homes from the 1920s. They also have a ten acre park with beautiful views of Biscayne Bay.
Walk North on Biscayne and you will find O Munaciello, an award winning Neapolitan pizza restaurant. This place is loved by families that adore their extra thin pizza.
One block North you will find the entrance to Legion Park that hosts a popular farmers market on Saturdays (9-2pm) Here you can do yoga, shop for local plants and produce, vegan pastries, and even buy dresses.
Across the street is the hip Uptown 66 Taqueria. Locals come here for the delicious tacos like Barbacoa that has oxtail, beef cheek and short rib with pickled onion and radish. Or stay for the Happy Hour with $1 oysters and $4 jalapeño passion fruit margaritas.
A block up the street you will find Blue Collar an Upper East Side institution. Danny Serfer opened this restaurant in 2012 and it is known for its brunch, amazing daily specials like ribs or chicken parmigiana or its burger that year after year tops the city’s best burger lists. They also have an amazing vegetable plate where you choose from twelve options.
Up the street is El Bagel. This place has adoring fans but you have to order online and you don’t always get the time slot you want. Yes, you have to wait till its convenient for them and they run out of bagels so order early. That said, we seem to be the only ones that find this annoying since it is consistently named best bagel in town.
Who doesn’t love to sort through high-end designer jewelry you’d imagine Cher wearing? Or find a mid-century table lamp that perfectly completes a room? Fly Boutique is a treasure trove of vintage finds, and each week there are new things to sort through and imagine their origin story. Tuesdays are consignment days. Clearly the owners and talented team who select the inventory have an eye for what is “fly”.
We knew we would like a place that has the message: “Sundays are Disco Sundays at the Garden!” They have a giant disco ball hanging over their lush garden of plants and succulents. This is a wonderful oasis from the hustle and bustle of Biscayne Boulevard. If you need some houseplants or just a break from your day, we suggest you take a look.
Blvd Bae’s is a favorite neighborhood spot serves brunch all day in a beautiful backyard. But we love going for happy hour and getting the fire grill specials like Piri Piri chicken, rack of lamb or Korean short ribs.
Across the street is Doggi’s Arepa Bar. Venezuelans are passionate about their love for arepas and with dozens of combinations we challenge you to find a better deal for your money. We fell in love with the Patacon con Churrasco a mountain of marinated steak served over crispy tostones topped with avocado and shredded cheese. If we were to start a list of the best hangover/comfort food Doggi’s would be at the top of the list.
Next door is the beloved NiDo cafe. This quaint restaurant is known for its Italian classics like homemade pasta, fresh Burrata and seafood specialties. They have a beautiful terrace perfect for happy hour and music on Thursday nights.
Across the street you will find the famous Rat Pack hangout the Vagabond Hotel that underwent an award winning restoration a few years ago. If you face south, you can take the quintessential MiMo pic of the Vagabond marquee and the famous Coppertone girl across the street. Inside you will find Mr. Mandolin a casual cafe serving Greek and Turkish food. They have a great selection of meats and dips. For dinner parties at home pick up “the Feast”, a to-go platter that serves 4-6 people.
La Social, the aptly named pretty pink bistro is a MiMo locals gem. Enjoy a fresh and tasty locally sourced brunch or pop in one afternoon for a beautiful (and yummy) pink champagne cake or coffee mascarpone pastry with your favorite coffee.
Make a right on 78th street and you will find the gorgeous Tigre. This elegant wicker bar serves some of the best cocktails in town and is the perfect place for a date. Owner Deborah del Corral has created a delicious menu that mixes her native Argentina’s meat specialties with our love for seafood. The restaurant overlooks a canal with manatees and has a beautiful backyard making it the perfect Miami setting.
And for last we kept the neighborhood’s best kept secret: Wabi Sabi. Don’t be fooled by its simple and unassuming facade. Once you walk in, you realize it’s the real deal. They first opened 5 years ago with 5 authentic and flawless signature dishes and today have a full menu. Choose from an array of rolls, omakase platters, vegetarian choices and customizable options. Yet another example of the Upper East Side’s casual and pleasantly surprising experience.
Doggi’s Arepa Bar
+1 (786) 558-9538