Miami is known as one of America’s top destinations for glitz, glamor, and fun in the sun, as beaches, nightclubs and art fairs attract partygoers from around the world. In spite of the city’s reputation as a playful weekend destination, there’s plenty of authentic local culture to enjoy, much of which is present in the art, cuisine and everyday fabric of Little Haiti, a classic Miami neighborhood.
Home to thousands of Haitian immigrants, Little Haiti is a major epicenter of Haitian and Francophone culture in the heart of a major American city. The area sits just north of Wynwood, the home of Miami’s burgeoning art scene, and just across Biscayne Bay from Miami Beach.
Take a day to enjoy everything the area has to offer, indulging in local eats, drinks and activities, with help from our Little Haiti travel guide:
Eat: Restaurants in Little Haiti
Blue Collar blends classic American flavors with the contemporary tastes of South Florida to create a dining experience that is at once unique and familiar — and always delicious. With chef/owner Daniel Serfer at the helm, Blue Collar serves upscale eats in a very relaxed setting. Start with a taste of Miami by trying crispy Cuban Sandwich Spring Rolls before moving on to the main event: Grilled Mahi Mahi, Jambalaya, or Braised Brisket.Blue Collar 6730 Biscayne Boulevard Miami, FL 33138 www.bluecollarmiami.com / @bluecollarmiami
Soyka offers a no-holds-barred Miami dining experience, complementing its dramatic ambiance with vibrant flavors. The restaurant’s fresh Ceviche and Tuna Tartar are best enjoyed in its romantic outdoor space, in the company of live jazz and that special someone. Soyka serves brunch, lunch and dinner, along with a list of superb house cocktails.Soyka 5556 NE 4th Court Miami, FL 33137 www.soykarestaurant.com / @soykarestaurant
Eat like a local at Chef Creole, an ultra-authentic Miami mini-chain that serves creole favorites at reasonable prices. You can’t beat Chef Creole’s Stew Chicken, Steamed Conch, or Oxtail — except perhaps with an order of rich and delicious Rice and Beans, priced at just $1.50.Chef Creole 200 NW 54th Street Miami, FL 33127 www.chefcreole.com
Drink: Coffee Shops and Bars in Little Haiti
This quiet European-style spot serves more than just a solid cup of coffee. The cafe’s brunch is a hit among Little Haiti and Design District denizens, thanks to rich hangover cures like Nutella Panini, healthy hot and cold Veggie Wraps, and a full slate of smoothies and espresso specialties.Lemoni Cafe 4600 NE Second Avenue Miami, FL 33137 www.mylemonicafe.com
This legendary venue and bar is a fixture in the Miami Beach nightlife and live music scenes. Churchill’s calendar of events is as diverse as Miami’s populace itself, offering jazz jams on many Mondays, sets from nationally renowned hardcore punk bands on the weekends, and avant-garde dance music on other nights. The bar is as unassuming as its surrounding streets, serving not much beyond bottled beer and a good time.Churchill’s Pub 5498 NE Second Avenue Miami, FL 33137 www.churchillspub.com
The Federal Food Drink & Provisions
Wedged between busy Biscayne Boulevard and the quieter backstreets of Little Haiti, The Federal offers an upscale-yet-casual take on South Floridian dining and drinking. The Federal is billed as a “modern American tavern,” serving drinks like the Spiked Ginger Limeade and Michelada Mojitos alongside entrees like Chile-Rubbed NY Strip, Spicy Clams, and a hearty Jar o’Duck — duck confit rillette in a mason jar.The Federal Food Drink & Provisions 5132 Biscayne Boulevard Miami, FL 33137 www.thefederalmiami.com
Do: Things to Do in Little Haiti
This shop, cafe and cultural center has established itself as the heart of Miami’s indie music scene. Sweat Records sells vinyl both obscure and mainstream and hosts a variety of music-minded events. Be sure to check out the store’s website to learn more about their weekly record shipments and in-store happenings.Sweat Records 5505 NE Second Avenue Miami, FL 33137 www.sweatrecordsmiami.com
For a sample of authentic Haitian culture, step into Libreri Mapou, a bookstore and community space devoted to Creole life in Miami. Located in the heart of Little Haiti’s Caribbean Marketplace, Libreri Mapou stocks hard-to-find Creole and French literature and art, along with unique Miami Beach souvenirs.Libreri Mapou 5921 NE Second Avenue Miami, FL 33137 www.librerimapou.com
Exploring Little Haiti on foot allows you to discover a host of exciting attractions, activities and small details that make the neighborhood such a vibrant and vital destination. Stroll Second Avenue, stopping in at a fruit stand for a snack before stopping by the historic Caribbean Marketplace, offering arts, crafts, food, drinks and a 360-degree showcase of island culture in the heart of Miami.Little Haiti Caribbean Marketplace 5925 NE Second Avenue Miami, FL 33137 www.littlehaiticulturalcenter.com
For more Little Haiti travel recommendations, ask one of the friendly front desk staff employees at Winter Haven.