Welcome to Miami’s MiMo district. Here’s what to do.

The Vagabond Hotel

It’s hard to believe that one of Miami’s most buzzed about neighborhoods was once a deserted wasteland of debilitated architecture and potential. But thanks to preservationists who saw the potential in all the mid-century Miami-Modern style motels and restaurants that dotted Biscayne Boulevard and the surrounding area between NE 50th to NE 77th Streets, this quintessentially Miami ‘hood has made a comeback. Take a look at what’s there to explore:

Stay

Vagabond Hotel

The Vagabond Hotel

In true MiMo fashion, this iconic boutique hotel has been restored to its original glory and is the perfect oasis to stay and enjoy during your neighborhood adventures. The 1950s inspired hotel, boasts a open courtyard with a glistening pool, as well as the Vagabond Pool Bar known as a happening and vibrant nighttime hangout for guests and locals alike.

What’s great about the hotel is that it serves as a one stop shop for dining as well, as it houses the casually glam and quirky Vagabond Kitchen and Bar. Pop in to the restaurant and get a taste of their globally-influenced cuisine (I recommend the grilled octopus and the mini wagyu burgers) or stop by for happy hour after a dip in the pool.  7301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; 305-400-8420

New Yorker Boutique Hotel

Motel New Yorker

Chances are, if you’ve driven through MiMo, then you instantly recognize the Motel New Yorker neon sign outside this charming hotel. It’s aqua and white exterior and retro decor are just some of the many Art Deco features available at the New Yorker. It’s walking distance from many shops and restaurants in the area, but also a quick ride to other Miami neighborhoods. Breakfast is included in your stay and you can take a break in their garden lounge area or the hotel pool. It’s a good bargain if you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank. 6500 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; 305-759-5823

Motel Bianco

Motel Bianco

If you’re a traveler on a budget but still want the MiMo experience, then book a room at the Motel Bianco. Motel Bianco’s retro interior decor and modern rooms make it the perfect place to experience all that MiMo has to offer. Free continental breakfast is included and guests are encouraged to hang out and enjoy their bites at the hotel’s tropical courtyard. What makes it even more ideal is that the gated motel is located mere steps from MiMo happenings. 5255 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; 305-751-8696

Dine

Phuc Yea

Phuc Yea

If you’re looking for Vietnamese cuisine with a twist, you’ll find it at this MiMo hotspot. Phuc Yea’s funky, artist-driven ambiance is the perfect backdrop for an Asian-influenced menu with highlights like the Sweet N’ Sour Roasted Pork Buns and the Cola Confit Duck. If breakfast is more your speed, their Boozy Bottomless Brunch offers such favorites as the Viet Coffee Banana Pancakes and the Sticky Rice with Eggs. But don’t just go for the food. Try a few cocktails in their awesome Lantern Garden. 7100 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-602- 3710

 

Blue Collar

Blue Collar

Some of Miami’s best comfort food can be found in what used to be a motel that charged by the hour. Blue Collar, located at the Biscayne Inn motel, serves up  goodness like Shrimp and Grits, Cuban Sandwich Spring Rolls, Conch Fritters and hearty pasta dishes like The Big Ragout (pappardelle with pork and veal shoulder, and brisket with San Marzano tomatoes). Expect to wait for a table, but it’s worth it. 6730 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; 305-756-0366

 

Jimmy’s Eastside Diner

Jimmy’s Eastside Diner

Consider Jimmy’s Eastside the “OG” of MiMo’s dining scene. Around since the 1960s, Jimmy’s has been in the spotlight after being featured in the Oscar-winning film “Moonlight.” Come for the no-frills diner classics like BLTs, tuna melts and the meatloaf sandwich. Grab a seat at their counter bar or a grab a booth with a view and enjoy the grub with a little bit of that neighborhood grit. 7201 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-754-3692

Hang

Anderson Bar

anderson
The Anderson

Welcome to your neighborhood bar. You will hear everything from ’80s hits to old school hip hop while sipping on innovative cocktails in a laid back, tropical chic outdoor patio. Located in the former Magnum Lounge space (the iconic red leather couches and piano still remain), The Anderson is your all-inclusive entertainment spot. Serving some good munchies like the Fried Chicken Sandwich (die!) and Coconut Shrimp with Mango-Lime sauce, but the bar is known for specialty cocktails like the Death by Stereo (Olmeca Altos Tequila, Ancho Reyes and Averna infused with Mexican chiles and Epazote syrup) or the Madonna-inspired Like a Virgin (a twist on the Cosmo with Beefeater Gin soaked lemon peels and Mandarin Napoleon infused with jasmine tea and citrus). 709 NE 79th Street, Miami; 305-757-3368

 

Winewood

You know a neighborhood is having a “moment” when they get their very own wine bar. Formally DeVita’s, the space has now been transformed into Winewood, a cutesy outdoor wine bar with an impressive selection of vino (the wine bottles on the outside wall is a nice touch), that also serves  Argentinian cuisine. Grab a couch or a table and enjoy a glass of wine or two with one of their popular tablas (get my personal fave, the winewood tabla – Brie, gouda, goat cheese, manchego, mediterranean olives, prosciutto and grilled Argentinean sausage, homemade eggplant vinaigrette served over a spring mix).  7251 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-754-8282

BarMeli 69

Bar Meli

Feel right at home at this spot in the space that was formerly Michy’s. The place literally feels like a good friend’s living room because owner Meli, who is of Greek descent, makes every visitor feel like they’re a part of the family. Enjoy a glass of Greek or Italian wine and sample the delicious Mediterranean menu, which includes dishes like spinach and feta balls and ouzo shrimp saganaki. Stop by on a Wednesday night for Meli’s Weekly Wine Tasting from 7-9 p.m. and taste two reds and two whites. At $25 per person, it includes unlimited wine until 9 p.m. as well as select tapas. 6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-754-5558

Shop

Fly Boutique

The Fly Boutique

Come and shop this vintage lover’s dream, ideally situated smack in the middle of MiMo’s shopping hub. Fly Boutique is curated with not just vintage furniture, clothing and accessories (hello Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and my old friend, Chanel), but the shop also offers new items and repurposed furniture courtesy of owner Jean Marie Deinnattasio. 7235 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-604-8508

Wild Eye Shop

Wildeye

Shop local at this Instagram-worthy shop, selling everything from Happy Socks to handmade Mexican beach bags. The store offers merchandise for women, men and children, making it the perfect shopping destination for the whole family. You’ll find lots of unique and fun gifts, like graphic tees, sunglasses, and Miami-centric greeting cards. Make this a stop on your MiMo travels. 6421 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-353-9796

Rebel

Rebel

Part boutique, part consignment shop, Rebel is one of the newer additions to the MiMo neighborhood. Specializing in women’s clothing, you’ll find up and coming designers coexisting with big brands. Whether you’re in the market for a new pair of jeans, or a pair of “whoa” heels for your next night out, Rebel has got your next outfit covered. 6621 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-793-4104

Kathy Buccio is a freelance writer who covers everything from food to fashion. She contributes to such publications as Miami.com, Oceandrive.com, People Magazine, Latina Magazine, Thebump.com. She's also a freelance entertainment producer for Access Hollywood, Extra TV, and E! News. She's the blogger and creator of @freshlysqueezedfashionista and has appeared on several television outlets as an on-camera lifestyle expert. When she's not producing and writing, she's busy hanging with her family and being supermom to her little meatballs, Rocco and Maya. She'll also be drinking wine while being said supermom.

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