If a trip to Miami is on your radar, you’ve definitely heard about the Wynwood Arts District. The artistic center of the city is sort of like that scene in the Baz Luhrmann version of The Great Gatsby, where everyone’s murmuring about their mysterious host, eyes sparkling and cheeks flush.
“Have you heard about Wynwood?”
“If you like street art, you have to see Wynwood.”
“It’s like the best parts of Portland and LA had a baby.”
The buzz is real. Watch the next time Miami comes up in conversation — someone will rave about Wynwood in a matter of seconds. Ever since the famed Wynwood Walls became the largest gallery of street art in the country, back in 2009, the neighborhood has seen a massive boom. In the years since, it’s become a hub for bold creatives and outside the box thinkers. Art is literally everywhere, with small boutiques and one-off restaurants peppered throughout.
Over time, a skate, bike, or stroll around Wynwood has become a central part of any Miami itinerary. With all the art — and the visitors — come the other perks of a “hot neighborhood.” Small-batch roasted coffee (Panther is a gem), one-off clothing stores (Nomad Tribe is where sustainability meets streetwear), and farm-to-table restaurants (the fettuccine alfredo at Sette Osteria is pretty much perfect) abound. The craft cocktail scene has hit Wynwood too, transforming it from a midday destination to a place where you can happily hang deep into the night.
On a recent trip, I went searching for the very best bespoke cocktails in Wynwood. I was eager to find drinks that showed the same sort of creativity and attention to detail that I saw in the ever-present street art. Here are my three favorites:
HONORABLE MENTION: Chili Cucumber PaletaRita at the Coyo Taco “Nameless Bar.”
THE JOINT: Coyo Taco serves good tacos. Maybe the best in Miami (Miami Beach’s Bodega is also in the running). But the Obama-approved cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork) and carnitas de pato (duck carnitas style) aren’t the only specialties of the house. A hidden bar — which goes virtually un-publicized — in the back of the dining room serves mezcal-centric craft cocktails while also offering a venue for some of the best underground live music in the city.
When I walked into the nameless bar at Coyo Taco, I immediately felt a wave of coolness wash over me. There were bottles of mezcal and tequila lining the shelves, lit with votive candles. This look set the tone. Until the DJ gets going, the place feels sort of like a church… one where a different type of spirits are worshipped.
THE COCKTAIL: I found plenty of hits on the nameless bar menu, but none surpassed the balance and flavor punch of the chili and cucumber PaletaRita. The drink — a play on a frozen marg — is made with a locally-sourced paleta (a Mexican popsicle that’s far less saccharine than the American rendition). The chili cucumber version is rimmed with chili salt and is so perfectly balanced that you’d think it was made on a scale.
Not too spicy. Not too sugary. Not too tart. That’s a hell of a mark for a bartender to hit.
View this post on Instagram
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere; Paletarita please with some ☀️152 days until summer 2019! 🙌🏼 🍉 🍉 🍉 #love #followback #instagramers #socialsteeze #tweegram #photooftheday #20likes #amazing #smile #follow4follow #like4like #look #instalike #igers #picoftheday #food #instadaily #instafollow #followme #girl #instagood #socialenvy #bestoftheday #instacool #carryme #follow #colorful #style #explorepage