Hitting the Road

Years ago Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue might have been considered the epicenter of South Beach, but now Miami Beach’s definitive hub is, without a doubt, Lincoln Road. The pedestrian mall established in the 1920s as an upscale shopping destination by Morris Lapidus, which was all but abandoned in the ’80s and early ’90s, is now a thriving, integral destination for visitors and locals alike. The road is characterized by a plethora of local restaurants and outdoor cafés mixed in with unique stores. Cultural hotspots like The Art Center, Books & Books and design-minded shops like the iconic new 1111 Building round out the offerings.

1111 Lincoln Road, a new parking garage and retail space by Herzog & de Meuron, symbolizes all that is good with the road, and is located on the far west side. It, as well as the Raymond Jungles garden facing it, is definitely worth a visit. With dining like Rosa Mexicano and Shake Shack (two New York favorites) and the only Nespresso Café in the United States, 1111 is worth its weight in delicious eats and the retail is exciting, too. Highlights include a Y-3, the hip Adidas offshoot; Journelle Lingerie, a luxurious European lingerie store found only in Miami and New York; a Taschen bookstore, and a cute, one-of-a-kind gift shop called Babaloo you have to venture down the corridor to find. The best designer clothing on Lincoln can also be found here in Coltori (dsquared, Fendi,) and Alchemist (Givency, Ric Owens and Dior Homme), an ethereal shop floating five stories above that is equal parts art-installation. Interestingly enough, the store kept their original shop farther east on Lincoln for those who might not venture to find the new one.

The west end of Lincoln has its culinary rewards, including AltaMare, a local favorite for fish, and Haven, a small, but technologically advanced gastro-lounge with cryo-cocktals and all manner of gourmet sliders from duck to lamb. But if burgers are your fancy, head back east to the newly opened 5 Napkin Burger where nine varieties of burgers and four different types of fries and milkshakes await.

There are plenty of new shops, too. Met In Jeans exclusively sells the splashy Italian line often seen on Elle Macpherson. Expect adorned jeans, shredded separates and cool casual wear perfect for Miami Beach and back home. Another newbie, located just off of Lincoln on Jefferson is Kariza Swimwear. Store owner Kariza Fernandez, a Brazilian native, designs everything the store carries. While Brazilian bathing suits are quite famous for their skimpiness, fear not, Fernanez designs all kinds of suits with all sorts of cuts: everything from spangly, teeny-weenie bikinis to full-coverage options. Also look for all the relevant accessories for the suits too, including her famous wrap skirts, hats, sandals and more.

Just across the street is The Scarlet Letter, which is an old Miami favorite in a new location. The upscale stationery store is perfect for little gifts, beautiful pens and other great (and practical) keepsakes.

There are old favorites, too. The Ice Box, whose cake Oprah has anointed “Best in America,” serves good gourmet food all day, and Meat Market, which is so much more than a steakhouse, offers up imaginative fabulous sides and delicious fish entrées. Doraku Sushi, Sushi Samba and Miss Yip are excellent choices for Asian cuisine while the Café at Books & Books remains the place for breakfast and lunch.

There also are options for culture lovers. Two artistic offerings are the Art Center South Florida, an artist-in-residence space and gallery open to the public, and the Frank Gehry-designed New World Symphony building.

Stop by and be inspired. It’s all part of a day spent on this special road.