When it comes to work and play, Miami is a pro at doing both. The city is buzzing with energy as it gets ready to host the Super Bowl, and if your head is spinning on where to go and what to do, we’ve got you covered.
Miami is extra as hell, and hotels, venues and restaurants are all competing to see who can throw the biggest pachanga. Whether you’re rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs or the San Francisco 49ers at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, one thing everyone will agree on is making sure to be at the right place and at the right time to spot their favorite celeb or player before and after the game. But in South Florida, there’s so much more to do. Adored for its Latino roots, Miami is an extension of Latin America and the Caribbean, and being a host for one of the biggest games in the world is surely going to be a firsthand introduction on Latinidad for some flying in.
Here’s a rundown on the top dining, partying, sightseeing and shopping you’ll want to do if you’re visiting the 305 and want to experience Miami.
What: A mishmash of Latin American flavors
Where: The Rooftop at Lifehouse, 528 S.W. 9th Ave.
This quaint bar boasts its title as Cuban neighborhood Little Havana’s only rooftop bar and restaurant. Terras is part of the Life House hotelier brand and is slated to open right around Super Bowl weekend. The menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner options, and cocktails will be served extra fresh with herbs from their garden. You can also quench your thirst with their locally sourced beer options.
Veza Sur Brewing Co.
What: Craft brewery with Latin American roots
Where: 55 N.W. 25th St.
#HechaEnMiami is Veza Sur Brewing Co.’s motto, and it’s going all out for the Super Bowl with its party bus. If you stay at the brewery, hit up the food truck Chi Fa in the back, which serves Chino-Peruvian street fare. If you decide to join the party on wheels, the fun starts on Wednesday, January 29, with rides through game day on Sunday, February 2.
Where: 2795 N.W. 7th St.
There are several Nicaraguan restaurants in Miami, but arguably, no one is doing it better than Caña Brava. And people in Miami know this because this spot is consistently full – like there’s nowhere to park and lines are out-of-control full. But once you bite into the tangy carne asada, the savory gallo pinto (which has the perfect bean-to-rice ratio) and the perfectly ripe maduros, you’ll get it. Here’s a pro tip: Caña Brava is open early (6 a.m. every day), so you can beat the rush by visiting in the morning – that is, if you don’t mind eating a very heavy breakfast. But if you get there and it’s too long a wait, you can always hit up the nearby La Leonesa Fritanga.
What: Puerto Rican
Where: 6789 Biscayne Blvd.
La Placita on Biscayne is the Miami outpost for San Juan’s original La Placita. Hailed as one of the best places to get authentic Puerto Rican food, the restaurant went viral when it opened for painting the archipelago’s flag across the entire building. Its hashtag #NoBorresMiBandera was also popularized when the eatery got into a battle with the City of Miami after neighbors in the area wanted the restaurant to erase the flag from the building.
Doggi’s Arepa Bar
Where: 1246 S.W. 22 St. | 7281 Biscayne Blvd. | 2250 N.W. 2nd Ave.
Miami is home to a vast Venezuelan population, and many will encourage new arrivals to their city to check out Doggi’s Arepa Bar for delicious eats. With more than 25 arepa options – including several vegan and vegetarian choices – as well as a full menu of pepitos and patacones, steaks, burgers, chicken and salads, there are tons of options that will have your mouth salivating and belly satisfied.
J Alvarez and Darell at Super Fan Fest
When: Friday, January 31 at 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Where: The Wynwood Marketplace, 2250 N.W. 2nd Ave.
Price: Free general admission with RSVP
Super Fan Fest is alleviating football fans’ pockets with their weekend of free concerts and activations. In the center is The Deck, an open space area transforming into a sports bar with TVs to enjoy the weekend’s festivities. On-site will also be the Thrifter Market and food options from Food Truck Alley. At the top of Fan Fest will be performances by Puerto Rican urbano stars J Alvarez and Darell.
Cardi B at LIV
When: Thursday, January 30
Where: LIV Nightclub, 4441 Collins Ave.
Price: $75- $25,000
In the words of Belcalis Almanzar, “I don’t do nothin’ for free. You know I gotta charge.” It’s going to cost a pretty penny to get a floor-side table, but if you have the shmoney to see Bardi perform, splurge on. However, if you just want to breathe in the same air as the Dominican-Trinidadian rapper, general admission is the way to go.
SuperLatino at Superfest Miami 2020
When: Saturday, February 1
Where: 19101 N.W. 27th Ave.
Put together by Dynasty Event Group, the team behind concerts for artists like Bryant Myers, Bad Bunny and Brytiago, DEG is hosting a party just in time to bring in Sunday’s game. The party in Miami Gardens promises to have nationwide DJs, athletes and top hip-hop superstars. Past performers include Fetty Wap, Ace hood and Tony Dize.
Shaq’s Fun House with Pitbull
When: Saturday, February 1 at 9 p.m.
Where: Mana Wynwood Convention Center, 318 N.W. 23rd St.
Price: $350 and up
Shaq’s Fun House is part-circus, part-concert, but it wouldn’t be a real Miami party without Mr. Worldwide himself performing at the helm of the event. Other artists include Diddy, Tiesto, Diplo, Carnage, Diesel and DaBABY. It’s not the first time the retired basketball player is the ringleader of the circus. His past parties have included oversized carnival rides, games, carnival fun foods and interactive performers. This year, he’s including a six-hour open bar and complimentary bites from restaurants like Pubbelly Sushi, Coyo Taco and Knaus Berry Farm Cinnamon Rolls.
Super Bowl 2020: "Fast & Furious 9" Party with Ozuna and More
When: January 31
Where: Time and location will be announced here on January 31.
Ozuna is one of the biggest names in reggaeton and Latin trap, and the Puerto Rican-Dominican singer-rapper is slated to perform during the Universal Pictures premiere party for the trailer of the 9th installment of the Fast & Furious franchise this Super Bowl weekend. And he’s not alone: Cardi B is also listed to be performing. How dope would it be to see Ozuna y La Cardi perform a bop like “La Modelo” on stage?
Roberto Clemente Park and Mural
When: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 101 N.W. 34th St.
Before Wynwood became the domain of snobby art hipsters, it was largely a working-poor Puerto Rican neighborhood. And while the forced displacement of boricuas has transformed the area, there are parts that remain the same, and for some locals, even historic. One of those spots is Roberto Clemente Park, a local baseball field and recreational center bearing the name of the iconic Afro-Puerto Rican baseball player as well as a vibrant mural that locals and tourists alike visit to pay tribute to the sports legend.
Where: Southwest 8th Street
Regardless of your cultural identity and which coast you rep, you’ve probably heard about Calle Ocho. While the festival, made particularly popular thanks to performances by and song mentions from Pitbull, has put the street on the national map, its history runs much deeper. Here, in the heart of Little Havana, is the decadeslong center of Cuban life and culture, with cars and restaurants alike still booming salsa, viejos in guayaberas playing dominoes and the smell of cafecito busting out of every cafe, bakery and restaurant on the block. In the last few years, the iconic street has seen an infusion of new restaurants and must-check-out spots, giving you even more reason to check it out if you haven’t been in a while.
Also: There are great murals of Cuban icons like Celia Cruz and José Martí. You can’t wholly experience Miami if you don’t take a stroll down Calle Ocho.
Cuban Memorial Plaza
Where: 999 S.W. 13th Ave.
For history buffs, a visit to Cuban Memorial Plaza might be worthwhile. Here, you’ll find a bust of José Martí, considered a national hero in Cuba and an inspiration to revolutionaries, writers and artists across Latin America for his lifelong fight and dedication to Cuba’s independence. There is also a monument dedicated to Martí at the Freedom Plaza in Coral Gables.
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
When: Wednesday through Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: 3251 S. Miami Ave.
Price: $22, though prices are cheaper for students, children, seniors, veterans and wheelchair-users.
If you’re looking for a photo op, head to Vizcaya – the unofficial location for quinceañera photo shoots for the Latinas of South Florida. You’ll know why when you get there. The stunning national historic landmark is a 1916 waterfront estate home with 32 decorated rooms and 10 acres of formal gardens. Colombian garden designer Diego Suarez was the villa-turned-museum’s original landscape architect. Practice your teenage Myspace pose, get cute and snap some photos – trust, you won’t be the only one.
The Colony Theatre
When: Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Where: 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL
It’s true what they say, real Miamians never go to South Beach, but if you find yourself on the other side of the mainland, you’ll see locals and tourists alike on Lincoln Road. Here stands the Colony Theatre, an art deco establishment that houses one of South Florida’s best theater companies: Miami New Drama. Co-founder and artistic director of Miami New Drama Michel Hausmann is a Venezuela-born theater director, producer, writer and the man behind so many representations of Latino stories and actors on the stage. It’s also so incredibly close to the beach, in case you find yourself wanting to venture on the Miami Beach Boardwalk or watch pumped-up fitness devotees on Muscle Beach.
La Tiendecita by Martha of Miami
When: Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 8827 S.W. 40 St.
If Pitbull is the king of Miami, then Martha is the queen. The Cuban-American entrepreneur made her way into the hearts of Miamians with her T-shirt line Martha of Miami. Her popular Miami-isms have helped identify those quirky and cultural references only known to those who grew up in the city. Her “Cuban Bred” shirt, which features the paper packaging of Pan Cubano, made her Miami royalty. And now with her variety shop La Tiendecita, she sells items from her own brand as well as a mix of other local artisans, artists and designers.
When: Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 2328 NE 2nd Ave. Unit 2 | 7304 SW 57 Ave.
Verde Market is Miami’s shop for sustainable, bulk-buy goodies. The Latina-owned market sells environmentally friendly items like laundry detergent and soaps as well as foods and drinks for you and your pet, but its edge is that it forces Miami natives (or those visiting the Magic City) to shop consciously. Encouraging a zero-waste lifestyle, Verde asks shoppers to come in with refillable containers to package their liquid goods themselves and bag other products with their own totes or backpacks.
When: Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
Where: 314 NW 24th St. | 4525 Collins Ave. | 4525 Collins Ave.
Miami has been called the “Capital of Latin America,” and Boho Hunter is where folk who follow fashion trends from South America, Central America and the Spanish Caribbean shop apparel. The boutique, located in Miami’s Design District, is owned and operated by women from Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, and it offers stylish clothing, swimwear, bags, jewelry and accessories from high-end and less-known designers from across Latin America.
When: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: 2322 N.E. 2nd Ave.
While lunch at Caña Brava, dinner at La Placita and drinks at Veza Sur Brewing Co. will keep your belly full for the duration of your trip, don’t forget to bring a sweet treat back to your loved ones. Bunnie Cakes, a Latina-owned and local fave vegan bakery, has plenty of tasty and gorgeously decorated vegan and gluten-free cakes, cookies, doughnuts, cupcakes and more. When you’re done buying a goody for your partner back home (and two for you to gobble down while you’re still in MIA), make sure to take a look around the pretty pink shop, which has several Instagram-friendly walls to take photos by.
La Negra Francisca Botánica
When: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: 1323 S.W. 8th St.
Miami is filled with botánicas, but for years, locals have favored Botanica Negra Francisca. The small shop is owned by a family of Santería practitioners that offers insight on folk medicine, religious candles, statuary and more to spiritual patrons and everyday folk who happen upon the shop in Little Havana. While small, the store is filled with various beads, necklaces, bracelets, perfumes, colognes and votive candles and has put up a spirited fight against gentrification, which has caused many other botánicas in the area to close its doors.