Wynwood has blossomed into one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Miami in just a short period of time.
This Midtown Miami mecca for street art rivals the art deco dominated South Beach as a place packed with some of the top things to do in Miami.
Just a few years ago, Wynwood was just rows of warehouses and apartments and the only graffiti to be seen was most likely the handiwork of vandals.
This changed when real estate developer Tony Goldman saw the windowless warehouse walls as blank canvases with the potential to uplift the urban landscape.
The inspiration for the Wynwood Walls came from a project between Goldman and contemporary art curator Jeffrey Deitch in New York City to commemorate the 50th birthday of pop artist Keith Haring.
Deitch wanted to recreate Haring’s famous Houston Street and Bowery Mural and the Bowery and the Houston Street Wall was now part of a building owned by Goldman Properties. The public reaction to the mural convinced Goldman to dedicate more space to street art.
Legendary graffiti artists like Futura, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, and Clare Rojas were attracted to the concept for the greatest collection of street art in the world and contributed to some of the early work. Since then, over 50 artists have painted on over 80,000 square feet of wall.
The Wynwood Walls put the area on the map, and in the space of a few months, the entire community was on board to further develop the Wynwood Arts District.
The official expansion was the Wynwood Doors and Garden but the spray painted murals spilled out into the walls of almost every building in the area.
Art Basel is a premier Modern and contemporary art fair and the only installment in North America is held at nearby Miami Beach, the annual influx of artists and art enthusiasts means that the Wynwood Walls gets constantly refreshed from artists across the globe.
The rapid influx of culture and people into Wynwood is reflected in the area’s evolving culinary landscape.
There’s the traditional Floribbean cuisine that can be found everywhere in Miami; Jimmy’z Kitchen has constantly been called the home of the best mofongo in Florida, and the nearby Wynwood Station and Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop both serve perfectly grilled and greasy Cuban Sandwiches.
Beyond traditional Miami food is where Wynwood stands out, with eateries that are helping Miami to catch up on gastronomic trends currently taking over America.
Panther Coffee is a Miami based small-batch roaster and retailer whose offerings rival third wave pioneers in Seattle or New York City. Amazing coffee goes with great donuts, and the current craft donut trend is also well represented in Wynwood.
Fancy donuts with gourmet glazes and freshly fried donuts tossed in flavored sugar are served alongside twice-fried Korean fried chicken at Federal Donuts.
The Salty Donut takes a different approach to this street snack. Co-owner Amanda Pizarro says that they “wanted to make a plated dessert inside a doughnut.” Their traditional brioche dough spends a day rising before being baked and garnished with gourmet ingredients prepared in-house.
These ingredients include homemade fig jam, pear butter and a reduced porter from local craft-beer establishment, J. Wakefield Brewing.
Wynwood has become well known for being the hub of South Florida’s growing craft beer movement. New breweries are constantly setting up shop and the established breweries are always releasing new creations.
Wynwood Brewing Company was the first craft beer company in the area, a family-owned company that strives to create a “work of art in every glass.”
Seasonal brews like the Tuttle Stout and Flagler Saison pay homage to the founders of Miami. Spray paint can tap handles can be found at bars throughout Miami, and they pay tribute to the many artists of the Wynwood Art District.
J. Wakefield Brewing is a Star Wars inspired brewpub that’s described as “industrial chic with a side of geek.” There’s a wall-wide mural by CP1 that depicts Boba Fett enjoying a pint and the Tatooine Cantina Scene. The walls are covered with framed comic book art and even the beer on tap seems inspired by science fiction; an IPA brewed with oranges is called “Space Drank”, and there’s “Dark Horizon”, a malty and toasty Dunkelweizer.
Concrete Beach Brewery is another recent addition to the Wynwood Craft Beer Scene.
As a project of A&S Brewing, Concrete Beach benefits from craft beer expertise from across the United States while making beer that’s distinctly Miami.
In addition to constantly rotating seasonal and limited edition beer, they offer three year round beers.
Havana Lager is smooth and easy-drinking. They describe at as “the quintessential lager to enjoy while watching the sun set over Miami.” A round and malty sweetness leads into a clean finish.
Stiltsville Pilsner is their opus to the renegade village on stilts in Biscayne Bay where weekend residents celebrate the peace, tranquility and spirit of Stiltsville. This hoppy Pilsner manages to balance a crisp lightness with lemony notes of hops.
TangeRica is a full-bodied wheat IPA with complex citrus notes throughout the beer. Rather than just cranking up the bitterness, there’s a delicate harmony of grapefruit zest, lemongrass, and orange blossoms.
The Concrete Beach year round beers are perfect for relaxing on the beach or sipping at a backyard barbeque but their other offerings are ideal for appreciating in their Social Hall on their own.
Plantain Pícaro Dunkelweizen has the smoky, sweetness of grilled plantains and the unfiltered beer is actually deep yellow with sediment swirling around the glass.
Size of the Coconut is a Belgian Quadrupel with chocolate rye and toasted coconut. The rich, dark and sweet tropical aroma is actually reminiscent of a rum cocktail.
With other options on tap like the zesty Key Lime Hibiscus Gose, or the tangy Tropic of Passion Wheat Ale a great option for the indecisive is to order a flight of four beers and understand that while their slogan is “Make Art, Drink Beer”, their brews are all art.
Visiting the Wynwood Art District is one of the top things to do in Miami, and as long as you’re in the area, a visit to the Concrete Beach Brewery Social Hall is the best way to escape the Florida heat and enjoy some local beer.
Complimentary beer for this post was sponsored by Concrete Beach Brewery an artisanal craft beer brewery located in the heart of the Wynwood Arts District.