Aubi & Ramsa
172 N.E. 41st St., Design District
Far from the bubblegum whimsy of generic ice cream shops, Aubi & Ramsa is strictly for the over-twenty-one set. The premise explores the versatility of alcohol as a sweeter flavor, in the form of ice cream. Surprisingly, the combo of sharp booze (mainly whiskey) and flavored cream really works. The orange chocolate cheesecake is infused with Glenlivet Scotch Whisky, citrusy Cointreau, and silky mascarpone cheese, while the chocolate Azteca has hints of mezcal and cinnamon. Design-wise, every detail is considered—the smooth marble counter, copper stools, and extensive selection of booze mimic the experience of sitting at a chic, low-lit bar. Meanwhile, the containers holding your scoops of choice are beautifully branded with spoons to match.
151 N.E. 41st St., Design District
A pillar of sustainability and conscience in fashion, En Avance has been a Miami institution for nearly three decades. The boutique’s inventory spans clothing, beauty, accessories, and homewares. Browse through racks of Sacai, Ellery, and Preen; pick up a ceramic or two; and don’t leave without a bottle of miracle-working serum by the Vintner’s Daughter.
3930 N.E. 2nd Ave., Design District
Four international hairstylists are the brains behind IGK, which stands for their combined surnames of Izquierdo (two of the stylists are married), Grenia, and Kusero. The Philippe Starck–designed space, with its chevron-pattern wood floors and sleek marble counters, is modern and clean. Most notably, the chairs are supremely comfortable (an important detail given that hair color can take hours). The blowouts are, however, super speedy, and these stylists can cut hair like no other. Booking is essential as the services at IGK are always in demand.
3852 N. Miami Ave., Design District
Three Miami-based artists got together in 1998 to create a not-for-profit art collective, and Locust Projects was born. At the time it was in the Wynwood neighborhood, but it has since relocated to the Design District. The current show, Horizons by Justin Rancourt and Chuck Yatsuk, is a commentary on the current state of media, the nature of commercialism in our culture, and the appropriation of hope as a marketing device. Previous exhibits have included a series of collage-style self-portraits by Pepe Mar that map that artist’s past and present experiences in the gay cultural meccas of Miami and San Francisco. A recent video installation by LA-based artist Fern Vargas Vargas that explores the relationship between drivers and police.
goop GIFT Miami (Closed)
151 NE 41 St., Suite 127, Design District
Just in time for Art Basel, goop GIFT is setting up shop in the Design District through Dec. 24th. To make seasonal shopping as stress-free as possible, goop editors and buyers have done all the legwork for you, and with twelve personality-driven gifting categories there's something for everyone (and we mean everyone—pets included). Whether you need a special gift or token for the health nut, the cook, the dreamer, the host, or the lover in your life—to name but a few—we've got you covered. Shoppers will find everything featured in our goop gift guides IRL, alongside the very best of the goop shop across skincare, homewares, clothing, and accessories jewelry jewelry in a pretty, blush-colored space. The Bond St. outpost (other locations include Newport Beach and New York City) operates as a legit one-stop-shop. Once you've completed your shopping, enjoy the convenience of in-store wrapping, personalization (why not?), plus, local delivery to your home.
3930 N.E. 2nd Ave., Design District
Maison Martin Margiela’s Miami outpost looks and feels like a piece of Versailles dropped into a cavernous black-washed warehouse loft, which pretty much sums up the inimitable, endlessly cool, and iconoclastic aesthetic of this legendary fashion house (founded in Paris in 1988). The shop is located, naturally, in Miami’s Design District, which one might describe as a hipper, artsier Rodeo Drive. Avid shoppers will want to allot some quality time to hit all the stops: Virtually every big-deal designer is accounted for here.
I on the District
51 N.E. 40th St., Design District
Smack in the middle of Miami’s Design District (a must for any designer-brand shopper), this is the destination for designer and vintage sunglasses and optical glasses. This chic minimalist space houses the coolest international eyewear brands, from the avant-garde (Mykita, Matsuda, Thierry Lasry) to the tried-and-true (Cutler and Gross, Thom Browne, Oliver Peoples).
Mandolin Aegean Bistro
4312 N.E. 2nd Ave., Design District
Husband and wife Ahmet Erkaya and Anastasia Koutsioukis opened this warm, inviting restaurant in a restored 1940s bungalow in the Design District in 2009. In the years since, they've established themselves by serving up excellent, simple Mediterranean food. In addition to the property's garden, where they harvest their own seasonal ingredients, the 150-seat space boasts a beautiful outdoor dining area and a bakery. Small plates include grilled octopus, pickled beet roots, and keftedes; there are plenty of fresh salads to choose from in addition to heartier offerings, like lamb gyro or the whole grilled Mediterranean sea bass.
140 N.E. 39th St., Design District
This pop-up café has pretty much anything you'd want: Breakfast options include a smoked salmon roll with cream cheese and buttermilk pancakes; lunch and early dinner items range from a chicken tartine with hemp seed pesto to vegetable tacos. You can grab prepared food to go, but there is ample outdoor seating in the District’s Palm Court. As an added bonus, they serve Panther Coffee, beer, and wine.
160 N.E. 40th St., Design District
From some of the same people behind the Smile in Greenwich Village, OTL is a similarly great place to meet up for a casual lunch or coffee. The bright, eminently Instagrammable bilevel space is almost as much of a draw as the organic breakfast and lunch food, which includes fare like avocado toast, an egg and cheddar cheese sandwich with tomato jam and arugula on a brioche roll, kale salad with cashew vinaigrette and radish, plus your standard colorful grain bowl. Homemade pastries and excellent coffee round out the experience.