5 Best Kept Secrets for Visiting Miami

May 11, 2015 Updated: May 11, 2015

Miami is well-known for its popular nightlife and dining culture, which makes discovering enticing but lesser-known options even sweeter! Cozy up in a Miami hotel after indulging in these five best kept secrets for entertainment, food, and shopping in this ocean side paradise.

1. North Side Shopping Centre Flea Market

Ready to treasure hunt? First, you might need a map or the helpful guidance of a taxi driver. The North Side Shopping Centre is just off Northwest 70th Street and offers seemingly endless shopping opportunities. Whether you’re hoping to get summer-friendly dreads and beads or are on the hunt for the perfect inexpensive and unique necklace, this is the place to wander, and it’s no wonder it was named Miami’s best flea market. Try arepas, a flatbread popular in Columbian and Venezuelan cuisines, at one of the rows of food stalls — you won’t be disappointed!

2. Villa Azul

If the idea of French Mediterranean dishes prepared with an Italian twist makes your mouth water or your stomach grumble, this South Beach gem is for you. Enjoy elegant gourmet options paired with a signature cocktail or fine wine from the in-house “La Cave d’Azur” wine cellar in a gorgeous setting, including chandeliers and vintage wood finishes. Come for dinner and stay through the evening to dance to the beat of featured international DJs.

3. Tap Tap Haitian Restaurant

Hoping to avoid the “see and be seen” scene? Tap Tap Haitian is a local Miami Beach favorite, part art gallery and cultural center, part delicious Haitian home-cooking restaurant. Dine among murals made by Haitian artists and bring your patience and appetite — great, soulful food takes time, and the flavors are well worth the wait. Try the malanga fritters or the spicy marinated conch.

4. 1826 Restaurant and Lounge

This three-level restaurant and longue in South Beach has decor like you’ve never seen before. From lamps made of machine gun sculptures and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Collins Avenue, you won’t soon forget this modern eatery. If you head here, and you should, be certain to bring your appetite! Renowned Chef Danny Grant serves up creative dishes like deconstructed lobster lasagna, slow-roasted lamb loin with stinging nettles, and king salmon tartare with caviar and smoked cod mousse.

5. Intethe

South African sculptor Nicholas Hiobo’s first major project in Miami, Intethe (translated to “locust”) features eight monumental steel sculptures made of a variety of materials. Hiobo consulted with local Haitian musicians, and you can expect pops of color in this powerful exhibit that has references to gender identity and race. It’s may not be what you’d expect in the heart of Miami, but it’s an eclectic showcase of unique art that is worth a visit for art aficionados and admirers.

Come to Miami for the nightlife, stay for the rich culture and delicious array of food and drink!

This article was originally published on www.enlightentravels.com. Read the original here.