And speaking of, the unique name Allapattah is actually derived from a Seminole Indian word that means “alligator,” which is, like, so Miami.
From authentic Dominican eateries to contemporary art and vegan pizza, this spunky neighborhood that borders Wynwood has a lot to offer. With forward-thinking investors already funding new real estate developments for the community, Allapattah has been deemed by many to be the latest “it” spot. And what better time to explore than during the pandemic when we all have plenty of time on our hands?
Here’s our list of the top 10 must visit spots in Allapattah, the Covid-friendly version (don’t forget your mask).
1100 NW 23rd Street
What do you get when you take a family with the largest private contemporary art collection in North America and a repurposed 100,000 square foot DEA warehouse? We’ll give you a hint: it’s the Rubell Museum (courtesy of Don and Mera). Thanks to the expansive campus, it’s one of the few museums that has been able to safely reopen during the pandemic, giving everyone a much-needed walk on the artistic side. Having made its debut during Art Basel 2019, the Rubell Museum presents incredible contemporary art from the likes of Keith Haring, Kehinde Wiley, and Takashi Murakami, to name just a few. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy an al fresco meal at their newly opened Spanish style restaurant Leku, where even the gardens are a work of art.
1200 NW 22nd Street #100
Since Hometown Barbecue arrived on the scene, it has given all the other local spots a healthy dose of ‘cue competition. An original Brooklyn concept, this Miami outpost is located a block away from the Rubell Museum at the former Miami Produce Center. With a rustic feel, this spot brings the heat with its authentic pit smoked ribs, brisket, and more along with finger-lickin’ wood fired dishes, sandwiches, and sides like melt-in-your-mouth cornbread.
Juan Pablo Duarte Park
1776 NW 28th Street
The silver lining of this whole crazy pandemic world we’re living in is the fact that we are all rediscovering our love for the great outdoors. In an urban city like Miami, it can be easy to forget that there are things to do other than just go to the beach. Juan Pablo Duarte Park is a beautiful space almost smack in the middle of Allapattah. While some of its facilities might be closed due to Covid, this park has no shortage of "wide open spaces" that even The Chicks would approve. Take your pick: there’s a playground, a sprayground (kids play area with water shooting out of the ground), basketball court, baseball diamond, outdoor gym, picnic tables, and just a ton of lush green space to walk around in or nestle under a tree to read a book.
3201 NW 7th Avenue Circle
Just on the outskirts of Wynwood lies a place where the vegans flock for their naughty indulgences. Whether you’re a proud vegan or just looking to try something out of the (pizza) box, Mora Pizza has you covered for takeout and delivery. All of the menu items are completely plant-based from barbecue sandwiches to their wacky and wild pizza creations. They’ve put everything you can possibly think of on their pies – from mac n’ cheese and spaghetti to falafel and Fritos. It’s kind of a vegan stoner’s dream.
Little River Cooperative
771 NW 24th Street
For all the green thumbs out there (and even brown thumbs), you’ll want to check out the Little River Co-op. A major pillar in Miami’s urban farming community, Little River Cooperative had its roots in the Little River neighborhood before growing into a multi-farm community supported agriculture (CSA) project. During their season from October to May, they provide locally grown organic produce of all kinds to families and businesses around Miami on a weekly basis. This is a double win since we are all doing a lot more cooking at home and looking for ways to support local farmers. Their plant nursery is in Allapattah, and it’s a fun lush place to roam around if you’re looking to bring home some new plant babies. In the off season, catch their quarantine-inspired online gardening workshops or order some seeds from their online store.
Lotus House Thrift Chic Boutique
2040 NW 7th Avenue
If the quarantine has you Marie Kondo’ing every square inch of your place, be sure to donate gently used items to a worthwhile cause like Miami’s own Lotus House women’s shelter. And when you’re exploring Allapattah, stop in for some good old school thrifting. Lotus House specializes in designer and vintage fashion as well as furniture and home décor accents. Whether you’re a mid-century modern gal or lover of all things antique, you’ll be tickled pink at the rare finds in this gem. They have even been going digital for those who want to thrift virtually at their online store.
Nitin Dominican Bakery
3100 NW 17th Avenue
If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Allapattah, look no further than Nitin Bakery. This corner bakery claims to have the best Dominican cakes in Florida, and we’ll take their word for it. They specialize in custom cakes for any occasion, and the sweet, talented employees work with you to create whatever your vision is – even if it’s a “Congrats you’re Covid-free” cake. Don’t miss the dulce de leche turron, or any of their other fresh local mini cakes and pastries. For those sans sweet tooth, they also have savory items like empanadas, Dominican Johnny cakes (aka Yanikekes), Dominican breakfast foods, and sandwiches.
1990 NW 22nd Avenue
Miami Bakery is Allapattah’s staple for a traditional Cuban bakery and cafeteria. Open for pickup and delivery, this is a great one stop shop with a wide variety of sweet and savory items. Fuel up for breakfast – order a Cuban coffee with pastelitos or croquetas – or indulge in a warm hearty lunch with a little slice of something sweet for dessert. The walk-up ventanita is perfect for an afternoon caffeine fix or refreshing tropical fruit juice to-go.
Papo Llega Y Pon
2928 NW 17th Avenue
With an almost entirely open-air footprint, Papo Llega Y Pon is a great location for an outdoor meal. While there is a shaded seating area, it’s more of a walk-up sandwich counter where locals grab a quick bite on the go. The Pan con Lechon is one of Miami’s best, and they proudly flaunt it. The popular Cuban sandwich is comprised of mojo-marinated pork that’s slow cooked, shredded and slapped onto a soft and airy Cuban bread loaf topped with onions and hot sauce. The move here is to order a sandwich to-go and eat it under a shady tree at Juan Pablo Duarte Park, just two blocks away.
Club Tipico Dominicano
1344 NW 36th Street
Club Tipico Dominicano has been the beating pulse of Allapattah since 1985. Even if you’re directionally challenged, you can’t miss it with the exterior painted bright red with white and blue accents indicative of the Dominican Republic flag. A restaurant meets nightclub, it merges Dominican culture through food, music, dancing, and family. While they do have an indoor nightclub part, you can also post up in the restaurant’s outdoor seating area where they play upbeat music for a fun, socially distanced dining experience. Club Tipico is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily serving delicious Dominican specialties with an expansive menu of meat, seafood, pasta, and of course plenty of ice cold Presidente beer.
791 NW 20th Street
For the more health conscious, Smart Bites is a delightful little gem hiding in an unassuming part of town. What started as a healthy meal delivery service has grown into a fully sustainable restaurant and farm in Allapattah. Vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike can rejoice in plenty of delicious options that are nutritious and wholesome. While they have a welcoming and rustic indoor area, there is also an expansive backyard with spaced out wooden picnic tables and umbrellas to keep things Covid-friendly. The menu is vast and can satisfy any craving—from salads, sandwiches and bowls to hearty entrees like a salmon burger. The most impressive part of all is that you can see where the greens, herbs, and produce actually come from thanks to their onsite garden and farm area, which visitors can tour. Now that’s eating smart.
In addition to the Rubell Museum, Allapattah will soon be home to another game changer in Miami’s art scene. Experiential art space Superblue will make its Miami debut right across the street from the Rubell on December 22, 2020. Created by Pace Gallery, Superblue offers a new way to experience art through immersive installations by contemporary artists (think: The Museum of Ice Cream meets Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room). The expansive site will feature Es Devlin, teamLab, and James Turrell for its grand opening in December.
Learn More about Miami
Want to learn more about our favorite go-to spots and hidden gems around the city? Check out our guides to Lincoln Road, Little Havana, and the Design District. Happy exploring!
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