With over 1 million visitors a year, Wynwood is arguably one of the most popular neighborhoods in Miami.
As a person who is slightly obsessed with seeking out street art during my travels, I knew that no visit to Miami would be complete without traveling to see the street art in Wynwood.
During my most recent trip to Miami, I headed over to Wynwood with Miami Culinary Tours. I sought to understand the neighborhood’s history and also to try some of the best foods that the area had to offer.
How Wynwood Became The Center Of Street Art In Miami
The neighborhood of Wynwood has not always been the center of street art in Miami. Over the course of the past century, Wynwood has transformed from an industrial area to an artistic one.
Between the 1940’s to the 1970’s, Wynwood’s demographics shifted from middle-class whites to low-income Hispanics and African-Americans. As the neighborhood’s demographics shifted, the industries in the neighborhood also changed as it moved from manufacturing goods to manufacturing textiles.
During the 1980s, drugs and violence plagued the city of Miami. Riots broke out all over the city and many businesses in Wynwood were affected, causing the area to become depressed.
In 2009, New York developer Tony Goldman (who is credited with revitalizing the neighborhoods of SoHo and South Beach) set his eyes on restoring the declining neighborhood of Wynwood. Instead of tearing down and rebuilding the area, Goldman decided to turn the buildings that already existed into an open-air street art museum.
Miami’s Open-Air Street Art Museum: Wynwood Art District
There are two major areas of Wynwood’s Art District, the Wynwood Walls and Outside the Walls.
The Wynwood Walls Murals
The Wynwood Walls is a free open-air museum featuring massive murals from artists around the world. Some of my favorite artists in the area include David Choe, Dasic Fernandez (whose work I featured in my post on street art in Brooklyn), and Fin Dac. Every December during Art Basel, most of the works inside the Walls change, so every year that you go, you will see something completely different!
Catch the Wind, 2016 – Fin Dac (London, England)
Murals Outside the Walls
Outside of the Walls, visitors can see works by artists such as Alexis Diaz (whose work I featured in my post on street art in London), Jenna Morello, and Retna.
Exploring Wynwood’s Food Scene
Not only did the Wynwood Food & Art Tour provide me with the opportunity to view some amazing street art, I also got to do one of my favorite things in the world: eat!
The first stop on the tour was to Dr. Smood, a healthy cafe chain whose catchphrase is ‘Smart Food for a Good Mood’.
During the tour, we sampled the Vegan sandwich which was comprised of gluten-free bread filled with avocado, homemade hummus, tomato, spinach, and pesto. It was definitely one of the most delicious vegan sandwiches that I ever had.
People that are trying to eat clean will appreciate everything that Dr. Smood has to offer; their food is light, dairy free, and gluten free.
The next stop on the tour was to Wynwood’s first Peruvian restaurant named GK Bistronomie.
Founded by the famous chef Rafael Pérez Cambana, BK Bistronomie offers numerous savory Peruvian-inspired dishes.
During the dining experience, we enjoyed classic Peruvian ceviche made up of lime marinated Escolar, red onions, sweet potato puree, corn nuts Peruvian white corn, cilantro and limo peppers. A number of us also ordered Pisco Sours, a classic Peruvian cocktail.
Mister Block is a cafe specializing in coffee with ‘blends that stand out’.
In addition to coffee, Mister Block serves salads, sandwiches, and desserts. Additionally, they provide warm and crispy empanadas in various flavors ranging from corn to ham and cheese.
I sampled both the beef and spinach empanadas, with my favorite being the beef. The food was paired with beer from the local Wynwood Brewery.
After leaving Mister Block, we walked through Wynwood over to Jimmy’z Kitchen, a restaurant that specializes in Nuevo Latino foods.
One of the dishes that Jimmy’z is well known for is their mofongo. Mofongo is a traditional Puerto Rican fried plantain based dish. Jimmy’z serves their mofongo with various meats including fish, chicken, and pork. The mofongo is then covered with a sofrito sauce comprised of vegetables and spices.
I thoroughly enjoyed eating the mofongo, which reminded me of my past travels to Puerto Rico.
Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop
The final stop on the tour of Wynwood was to Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop.
Fireman Derek’s is a famous bake shop owned by a Miami fireman named Derek. The famous Miami shop has been hailed as ‘Wynwood’s sweet hidden gem’ by CBS, and according to all of the high reviews this shop receives, it is easy to see why.
During the tour, we tried Derek’s most popular item: the Key Lime Pie. Andrew Zimmern raved about this pie calling it the ‘perfect Key Lime Pie’. The pie was definitely on the rich side full of a bold tart key lime flavor.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the neighborhood of Wynwood with Miami Culinary Tours. I learned a lot about the history of the area, I got to try delicious food by popular Miami chefs & bakers, and I also had the chance to explore the street art. My guide, Jennifer, was very knowledgeable about both the food and the arts.
If you are traveling to Miami and you are interested in exploring the neighborhood of Wynwood with a knowledgeable guide, I highly recommend taking the Wynwood Food & Art Tour with Miami Culinary Tours.
Miami Culinary Tours also has a few other tours around Miami including tours on South Beach, in Little Havana, and around Miami City. Book here today, and tell them Chanel sent you!