The Fashion-Person Guide to Miami: Where to Stay, Dine, Shop, and Go


Welcome to Who What Wear Travels, a series of curated guides to destinations the fashion set loves. Consider this your download on everything from the chicest stays to the most memorable meals to the perfect travel wardrobe, all vetted by stylish locals and well-traveled fashion folks.

"Miami is growing a lot in every single way," explains model Isabela Grutman. And she's not wrong. In 2020, when cities like New York experienced a drain of residents escaping for a more agreeable lifestyle, cities like Miami were the destination for many. In fact, so many New Yorkers moved to South Florida over the last three years that you're reminded of the city's outsized population everywhere: in the traffic, in the new construction across the city, and in the trend of New York restaurants opening their doors in the zip code.


But it's not just the pull of a perpetually sunny forecast and proximity to the beach that's drawing many south. "There are a lot of new artists, designers, and creative talents moving here," Grutman continues. "Besides that, the different cultures that you find here are always very inspiring to me." Éliou co-founder Duda Teixeira agrees. "I think Miami has changed a lot in the past five years. It is slowly flourishing with creatives, and a community is growing. … Before, it was a fleeting destination—a place where you stopped to figure out the next step (which usually meant New York)," she explains.

The city is a melting pot of cultures and has strong influences from Latin America and the Caribbean. These are "cultures unafraid to immerse themselves in a vivid palette of colors," according to Teixeira, who adds that Miami still has a lingering essence of island life although it is a major city.

Who What Wear Travels Tip: For the best weather, Teixeira and Éliou co-founder Cristina Mantilla say to come during the winter months of December to March: "Miami is a tropical city with warm weather and lots of rain depending on the season. Summers can be tough for those unaccustomed to intense heat and humid climates. It also tends to rain a lot."


(Image credit: Groot Hospitality; @duda._______; @cristymantilla; Silvia Tcherassi)

Although Miami tends to project a strong image of what it is, there are many different facets of this city to be discovered. We tapped four fashion-industry locals to divulge where this city's style set actually goes to dine, drink, shop, and explore.

Wherever A-listers are in Miami, you're likely to find Isabela Grutman there too. The Brazilian-born model moved to Miami nearly nine years ago after meeting her now-husband, the hospitality mogul David Grutman of Groot Hospitality. In addition to running her ready-to-wear line Rangel, Isabela Grutman advises on the creative side of the hospitality business to oversee the aesthetic and experience of the venues. 

Mantilla and Teixeira launched Éliou five years ago with the goal of creating jewelry and now clothing that "capture the lingering feeling of summer—an extension of what it feels like living in Miami and [Teixeira's] time in Brazil." Mantilla grew up in Key Biscayne, a small island next to Miami, and Teixeira hails from Rio de Janeiro, but the two came together to launch a creative agency to fill the void of creative talent in Miami before starting their endeavor with Éliou.

Sofia Tcherassi is the director of ready-to-wear at Silvia Tcherassi, the brand started by her mother Silvia and grandmother Vera 30 years ago. Originally from Colombia, Tcherassi moved to Miami at the age of 6 and has immersed herself in the city's creative community ever since. Both the city and her family's brand are completely intertwined, she says, from the architecture of Miami's two Silvia Tcherassi boutiques to the collections the city inspires.

What to Pack


(Image credit: Esmé Hotel; Soho Beach House; The Standard Hotel)

(Image credit: Soho House)

The last time I was in Miami, I stayed at Soho Beach House, and I truly can't speak highly enough of my experience. The entire property felt like a home away from home right from the second I walked in. From the Pilates instructor who taught class on a sunny balcony to a group of regulars to the server who knocked on my door promptly at 5 p.m. to offer a craft cocktail made in-room, everything about Soho Beach House is curated to feel like you're part of the local community, which I appreciated as a New Yorker who only dreams of splitting time between the two.

As a guest, you get full access to all the amenities of the house, which makes it the best of both worlds: a chic and cozy hotel coupled with the exclusivity of any Soho House. Since I'm not a member myself, I relished accessing the many private spaces there are to choose from to take meetings and get some work done. Even the beach chairs get WiFi, something I didn't need to hear twice before padding down to spend the day with my laptop on one side and a club sandwich on the other. 

(Image credit: Esmé Hotel)

Sometimes, a Miami Beach trip is in order, but shelling out a small fortune to stay right on the beach isn't. That's where Esmé comes in. The charming boutique hotel has a prime location right on Española Way, but you wouldn't know it when you're inside. The Spanish Mediterranean architecture feels worlds away. "I'm a frequent visitor in Miami, and Esmé has been my home away from home ever since my first visit to the hotel for a work trip," associate editor Sierra Mayhew shares. "Everyone knows how busy the hustle and bustle can be in South Beach, but whenever I enter the doors at Esmé, I feel like I've escaped the noise. The interior design aesthetic is just as bright and colorful as what you're used to seeing in Miami but with much more of a sophisticated edge. If you head up to the rooftop pool, you're definitely sure to spot a fashionable crowd."

(Image credit: The Standard Hotel)

"The Standard Hotel is always my top choice for stay," shares Teixeria, whose brand Éliou opened a pop-up shop there last year. Set on Belle Isle in the channel between Miami and Miami Beach, The Standard offers an exclusive oasis that plucks the best of the city without the crowds or chaos of the beach. "There is just such a sense of calmness when you're there," she continues, adding that its café serves one of the best matcha drinks in town. The hotel may be one thing, but the Standard Spa is a destination in and of itself that describes itself as part recovery center and part new-age ashram and boasts a stunning futuristic design and Turkish-style hammam.

More stays to jot down: Mantilla adores Mr. C in the Coconut Grove neighborhood that everyone agrees is the hidden gem of Miami. The Miami Beach Edition, with its gorgeous marble lobby bar, is the unofficial fashion-person outpost in South Beach. Tcherassi loves the well-lit rooms and minimalistic feel of the 1 Hotel. If committing to an aesthetic gets you going, then the Goodtime Hotel is a must.


(Image credit: Ngoc Minh Ngo; @anna__laplaca; @annadzhenderson)

(Image credit: Ngoc Minh Ngo; CG.Media)

Miami newcomer Casadonna is the latest project from Groot Hospitality, the same team behind Miami cornerstones Swan and Papi Steak. The sprawling waterfront restaurant has a coastal Italian-inspired menu with staples like campanelle and the delizie al limone dessert that Grutman says is one of her top Miami meals.

Who What Wear Travels Tip: Make reservations and consider traffic and long distances, advises Tcherassi. "Get to the beach earlier and think ahead when planning beauty appointments. I plan mine at least three weeks in advance!" she adds.

(Image credit: @annadzhenderson)

If you're willing to venture slightly off the beaten path to the neighborhood of Little River, I can guarantee that you won't be disappointed when you score a table at La Natural, a beloved outpost for sourdough pizza and natural wine. The concept first came to life in owners Javier Ramirez and Andreina Matos' backyard, where the duo would host alfresco dinners for friends and family. Ramirez made the pizzas in a wood-burning oven, and Matos poured up natural wine. Now, of course, word is out, and the restaurant is one of the hottest tables in the city, earning a Bib Gourmand award in the process.

(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

So many New Yorkers have made the move to Miami in recent years that they've started to import their best restaurants. Carbone, Sadelle's, and Pastis have all opened outposts in the zip code, but now, Miami gets to boast about one spot that New Yorkers will want to beg for. Set among the luxury retail stores in the Design District is Contessa, a Major Food Group–run restaurant with an interior design so good it might rival the fusilli genovese on the Northern Italian–inspired menu. 

More meals to jot down: Mantilla loves The Dunes, a small tiki hut with a bar wrapped around it that sits right on Key Biscayne's beach. Peel Soft Serve has become a weekend haven for Teixeira, where she and her friends gather for the signature banana-based soft serve. Joe's Stone Crab, a 100-year-old Miami Beach institution, is simply a must for any newcomer to the city. Wynwood's Uchi serves up some of the best Japanese in Miami. Teixeira also adores Macchialina and insists on ordering the off-menu caponata. For a quick and cheap pit stop, don't miss La Sandwicherie, a small window with French-inspired sandwiches and smoothies.


(Image credit: @anna__laplaca; Robin Hill/Courtesy of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens)

(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

Thousands of art admirers from around the world may descend on South Beach each December for the sprawling Art Basel exhibition, but it's the smaller interior design showcase Design Miami/ that's the real star of the week, if you ask me. It calls itself a "global forum for collective design" and shows museum-quality contemporary furniture, lighting, and objets d'art, but I like to think of it simply as my Pinterest dream home come to life. Last year, the highlight of exhibitions was the resin chairs that Bottega Veneta commissioned from Italian designer Gaetano Pesce.

(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

"The Rubell Museum is one of my favorites," Teixeira shares, "showcasing an extensive collection of contemporary art, including works from both emerging and established artists. In its collection, there is a painting from Oscar Murillo with the word 'Mango' on it. It feels very nostalgic to me because, growing up in Miami, we always looked forward to mango season and joked about life's essentials—having a friend who is a lawyer, a doctor, and, of course, one with a mango tree." 

Who What Wear Travels Tip: "Miami has a great nightlife, but I personally prefer activities during the day," says Tcherassi. "Plan a beach day, an afternoon in Bal Harbour, and have lunch on the terrace at Lido, or visit the Rubell and have lunch at Leku."

(Image credit: Robin Hill/courtesy of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens)

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens isn't just another museum—it's an immersive cultural destination. Set on a waterfront estate in Coconut Grove, the property is complete with 32 decorated rooms in the main house and a sprawling 10 acres of formal gardens. Built between 1914 and 1922, it was the former villa and estate of businessman James Deering, but today, it serves as a historic time capsule and impressive private art collection. The gardens are dotted with statues, busts, and vases that range from antiquity to the Renaissance and Baroque periods and include modern art from Deering's time.

More sights to jot down: Art Basel is a must if you're in town in early December when the art world's most impressive contemporary works are fixtured in the Miami Beach Convention Center. The Pérez Art Museum Miami has done a wonderful job elevating the art scene in the city, says Tcherassi, and currently boasts a Joan Didion exhibition. She also loves the De la Cruz Collection in the Design District.


(Image credit: @car0zilla; Monterrey Bar; @alexalkatz@rieukai_)

(Image credit: @alexalkatz)

"As any local will tell you, the nightlife in Miami is constantly evolving," says Tcherassi. Despite the clubby reputation the city gets, a closer look at the Miami nightlife scene reveals a lineup of smaller and more intimate spaces where talented DJs and craft cocktails are highlighted instead of strobe lights and bottle service. (Hey, no shade if that's your thing.) "A personal favorite right now is ZeyZey," Tcherassi continues. "They have a cool, unpretentious vibe, and the music is amazing. I may be biased, though—my brother Mauricio recently played a great set there!" 

(Image credit: Monterrey Bar)

Since Miami Beach is on the west coast, watching the sunset over the horizon isn't really a thing here. But at The Standard's bar, catching the sunset over a drink on its dock is a must if you're visiting from out of town, Teixeira says. She adds that the mezcal selection is especially noteworthy.

As the name suggests, an excellent listening experience is inevitable at Dante's HiFi. But just because it's considered a "listening bar" doesn't mean everyone is sitting around in silence—this is Miami, after all. DJs take turns spinning songs from the incredible record collection while bartenders serve up great cocktails and Japanese-inspired snacks.

More late-night spots to jot down: Jaguar Sun comes recommended by the Michelin Guide, having earned the Florida Exceptional Cocktails Award this year. Miami Sound Bar is a downtown cocktail bar inspired by Japanese listening bars. According to The Infatuation, Medium Cool occupies a sweet spot between a club and a cocktail lounge.


(Image credit: @johnblazeyvintage@annadzhenderson; CURIO at Faena Bazaar;

(Image credit: @annadzhenderson; The Webster)

Set in a historical art deco building on Collins Ave in the heart of South Beach, The Webster doesn't feel at all like a global retail chain. Instead, its flagship location inside of a 20,000-square-foot historic hotel designed by famed architect Henry Hohauser reimagines the luxury shopping experience into one that feels like stepping into someone's very well-curated home where everything just so happens to be on sale. Each year, the store hosts a slew of events and launches designer exclusives for Miami Art Week and Art Basel.

Who What Wear Travels Tip: Don't be afraid to be overdressed. "Miami is where you can always get away with taking it up a notch style-wise," says Tcherassi. "Use it as an opportunity to wear your favorite outfits."

When Tcherassi isn't focused on her mom Silvia Tcherassi's boutiques, she's probably making a trip to Antiques & Design on Biscayne Blvd. The mall is Florida's premier destination for antiques, collectibles, mid-century furniture, and art, and Tcherassi insists it's a great place to get one-of-a-kind heirlooms like the beautiful art deco jewelry box she recently scored there.

(Image credit: CURIO at Faena Bazaar)

Directly across the street from the famed Faena Hotel is Curio at Faena Bazaar, a truly unique shopping experience featuring fashion, jewelry, art, objects, and more in a 20,000-foot space. While you can certainly come here to source something specific from the selection of designers like Proenza Schouler and Rosetta Getty, you're more than likely to stumble upon something serendipitously from one of the many emerging labels that hosts pop-ups here.

More shopping to jot down: The celebrity-adored source for fine jewelry and rare timepieces, Material Good, recently opened its door in Miami Beach; More than just another neighborhood, Miami's Design District is the ultimate shopping destination featuring stores from established and emerging brands alike. Fly Boutique is a fashion-person favorite for vintage shopping. If you're in the mood for a luxury splurge, there's no better place to do it than at Bal Harbour.

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.