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Guide

The Best Art Basel Fairs, And Where To Eat Around Them

These are the fairs to prioritize during Miami Art Week - plus some places to eat within walking distance.

37 Spots
Launch Map
38 Spots
Launch Map
Updated November 23rd, 2021

This may come as a shock to some, but one of the best things about Art Basel is still, in fact, the art. It’s a very cool thing to have our city flooded with some of the world’s best artists, and you’d be wise to take advantage of it. But, we’ll admit, there are a truly overwhelming amount of options.

So we made this guide to some of our favorite art fairs happening during Miami Art Week. We’ve been to them all in previous years, and really do feel they’re worth the traffic. And because we are The Infatuation, we’ve also thrown in some restaurant suggestions within walking distance to the fairs - both some quick and casual spots as well as some fancier restaurants. Now go eat something great and nod thoughtfully at a painting you can’t afford.

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The South Beach Fairs

Photo Courtesy Art Basel

Art Basel Miami Beach

$$$$ 1901 Convention Center Dr

Art Basel. Ever heard of it? The quintessential fair and headliner of the week, which takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, is indeed worth seeing. You could spend hours here, get lost several times, and still not see every single artwork. Another reason to come check it out: a lot of the art here will be bought by private collectors and not seen on the public market again for years. Also, you don’t want to be the person who misses out on seeing a banana taped to a wall that sold for $120,000.

Design Miami

$$$$ 1800 Convention Center Dr

Right across the street from Art Basel is Design Miami, a contemporary design-focused fair featuring the best of furniture, lighting, books, artist collaborations, and even some fashion displays. We know “furniture” may not be what comes to mind when you think of exciting Art Basel shows, but this is seriously our favorite fair of the week, and you are guaranteed to see a couch or chair you’ll briefly consider spending your entire life savings to purchase. Keep an eye out for works by big names like Daniel Arsham, Misha Kahn, Haas Brothers, and Katie Stout. It’s also a good place to take a seat in a slightly more relaxed space than the bustle of the Convention Center.

IFPDA INK Art Fair

$$$$ 1850 Collins Ave

Presented by the International Print Dealers Association, the INK Art Fair takes over different rooms in the Suites of Dorchester, a hotel right next door to the Convention Center. There’s mainly works on paper sold in limited editions here, which creates a slightly more approachable opportunity to acquire a piece of work from one of your favorite 20th century or contemporary artists. Or, you know, you can just have a glass of wine and look at them. That’s fun too.

For Something Quick And Casual Nearby:

Rami Sabban

Sweet Liberty Drink & Supply Co.

$$$$ 237 20th St Ste B

Sweet Liberty, which opens at 4pm, is only about a block away from the Convention Center and should be your go-to spot for Happy Hour drinks and food. This place is more of a bar (the cocktails are fantastic) than a restaurant, but the food is good, and we really like their oysters, fried chicken sandwich, and you should definitely order the caviar onion dip and chips.

Rami Sabban

Benh Mi

$$$$
$$$$ 1436 Washington Ave

When walking around South Beach reservation-less and hungry, consider Benh Mi. It’s mostly a takeout spot, though there are some stools inside and a few outdoor tables for parties of two. But the reason to come here is for one of the best bánh mì in Miami. There are five bánh mì options on the menu, including a cheesy egg omelette, char siu mushroom, fried chicken, roasted pork, and short rib. And they’re all just wonderful.

Photo Courtesy Bodega

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila

$$$$
$$$$ 1220 16th St

Bodega is a casual taco spot just a 15-ish minute walk from the Convention Center. Here, you can find some solid al pastor tacos, frozen margaritas, and there’s a bar in the back of the space too, in case you want to kill some time with another round of frozen margaritas. It’s a good option for takeout, but there’s also a decent amount of indoor and outdoor seating.

Photo Courtesy Toothfairy

Toothfairy Bakery

$$$$
$$$$ 1569 Alton Rd

If you’re hunting for dessert - and specifically ice cream - go to Toothfairy Bakery on Alton Road and 16th St. They have soft serve and an assortment of cookies, cakes, and pies. All of the above are really delicious, and will earn the love of your coworkers if you return with a box full of them. But the best thing here is the incredibly creamy and perfectly flavored soft serve. The rotating flavors are all outstanding.

Tasty Planet

La Leggenda Pizzeria

$$$$
$$$$ 224 Espanola Way

La Leggenda is a pizzeria and even though it’s in a busy area and only a baseball toss away from a Señor Frog’s, it still feels secluded and quiet enough to have a conversation. It’s also only about a half-mile from the Convention Center. It’s a good place to relax over a glass of wine and one of their great Neapolitan pies - all of which are some of the best in Miami Beach.

Photo Courtesy Time Out Market

Time Out Market

$$$$ 1601 Drexel Ave

Time Out Market is a big food hall with tons of communal seating and a dozen or so food vendors. So, you will probably find both a seat and something you like here. They’re debuting a lot of new vendors for Art Basel, but you also can’t go wrong with Square Pie City, who make a very good Detroit-style pizza.

For Something Fancier Nearby:

Emily Schindler

Lucali

$$$$
$$$$ 1930 Bay Rd

Miami has its own Lucali, and - like the original in NYC - it makes very, very good pizza. Coming here for dinner might not be the best idea, since it’ll probably be slammed. But you might have better luck during lunch, especially with their expanded outdoor seating.

Cleveland Jennings

27 Restaurant

$$$$ 2727 Indian Creek Dr

Honestly, you’re probably not getting a table at 27 without a reservation. But, if you come very early or manage to snag a last-minute table, this is another great option about a mile north of the convention center. They’re only open for dinner, but it’s always a great dinner at 27, with a menu that’s an ode to some of Miami’s great cultural influences. Also, Broken Shaker, one of Miami Beach’s best cocktail bars, is right next door.

@Hot.Chefs

Casa Isola

$$$$ 1418 20th St

If you’re in search of great Italian food - and a lot of it - then go to Casa Isola in Sunset Harbour. If possible, ask for an outdoor table, because it’s prettier than sitting inside. But wherever you end up sitting, order the pane al prosciutto, a warm circle of bread with cubes of prosciutto baked in and a parmesan honey butter for smearing. Then go for the rigatoni alla vodka or veal parm. Then, unbutton your pants and take a few deep breaths because you will be very full.

Photo Courtesy Pubbelly

Pubbelly Sushi

$$$$
$$$$ 1424 20th St

If Casa Isola happens to be slammed, take approximately seven steps west and try your luck at Pubbelly, Isola’s sister restaurant right next door. This is a reliable restaurant serving solid sushi and other Japanese small plates. The food usually comes out lightning fast too.

Photo Courtesy Blue Ribbon

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill

$$$$
$$$$ 336 21st St

It’s worth stopping by Blue Ribbon to see if there’s any availability because it’s a very short walk from the Convention Center. Also, they make very good sushi and it’s an upscale restaurant good for dinner with clients or celebrating that piece of art you just bought. As long as that art wasn’t a banana duct-taped to a wall.

Photo Courtesy Layla

Layla

$$$$ 2216 Park Ave

Layla is just so close to the Convention Center that it should be on your list of options. The Mediterranean food here is hit and miss, but stick to the mezze and you should be fine. Also - if possible - sit outside. They have some really charming waterfront seating as well as a rooftop (open Thursday-Saturday) that’s perfect for a sunset cocktail.


A Couple More South Beach Fairs

Untitled and Scope are two more art fairs worth prioritizing. They also happen in South Beach, but about a mile south of the Miami Beach Convention Center. But one mile in South Beach during Basel can sometimes feel like 100 miles, so we’re offering some suggestions slightly closer to these two in case you’re in a rush.

Photo Courtesy Scope

Scope

$$$$ 8th Street and Ocean Drive

Scope is a fair hosted in a tent on the beach at 8th St. and Ocean Drive. This is a fun fair with a more casual environment than most. It’s easy to meet some of the art dealers here and ask them questions about their booths, too. Sometimes, the artists are hanging around as well.

Untitled Art

$$$$ Ocean Drive and 12th Street

Untitled also takes place in a tent on the beach a few blocks north of Scope (at Ocean Drive and 12th St.). This fair features a mix of established galleries focused on showcasing international contemporary art. So expect lots of cool modern pieces that will both confuse and intrigue the 47 people who still watch your Instagram stories. They also host some interesting events, performances, and talks throughout the week, which will likely be announced on their website or Instagram.

For Something Quick And Casual Nearby:

Tasty Planet

Taquiza

$$$$
$$$$ 1351 Collins Ave

There aren’t a ton of places in South Beach where you can 1) walk in without a reservation, and 2) expect to have an amazing meal every single time. This is why you should always keep Taquiza in mind. The casual restaurant always delivers, and is usually a low-stress affair - even when it’s crowded. Feel free to get some tacos on the table, but the best things to eat here are the totopos and squash blossom quesadilla.

Tasty Planet

La Sandwicherie

$$$$ 229 14th St

La Sandwicherie is a lifesaver if you’re starving and don’t have time to wait 30 minutes for a table. Although the South Beach sandwich spot can be wild during late-night hours, it’s usually easy to place an order here during the day. If you want something huge and meaty, get the Napoli on a baguette, and then locate the squeeze bottle of vinaigrette and apply liberally.

Rami Sabban

Bettant Bakery

$$$$
$$$$ 1043 Washington Ave

Bettant is a great little French bakery on Washington Ave., which is a touristy strip without a lot of good food options. They do close at 3pm, but if you’re looking for breakfast or lunch, it’s a great choice. They have good croissants, tarts, and incredibly large baguettes, which they turn into tasty sandwiches. And you can buy more than enough to fill you up for under $10 too.

Tasty Planet

Las Olas Cafe

$$$$
$$$$ 644 6th St

Las Olas Cafe is always a quick, filling, and reliably good meal in South Beach. The Cuban spot serves juice, coffee, platters, and lots of sandwiches, including one of our favorite Cuban sandwiches in town. There are a few tables inside the cafeteria, but we usually just order from the ventanita and eat while people-watching on the sidewalk.

Buon Pane Italiano

$$$$
$$$$ 729 5th St

If you’re just looking for some quick takeout, Buon Pane is a great choice. The small, casual bakery in South Beach has a counter full of freshly baked Italian food. The pizza is fine, but try one of the calzones. Buon Pane’s versions are like little Italian hot pockets that can fit in one hand and are easy to eat while sprinting to that event you’re so late for.

For Something Fancier Nearby:

Tasty Planet

Macchialina

$$$$
$$$$ 820 Alton Rd

Macchialina is a South Beach classic and easily the best Italian restaurant in Miami Beach. Will you be able to get a table here without a reservation? That’ll be tough. However, they have outdoor seating now, and a lot of it. So it’s much easier to find a table here than it used to be, especially if you come right when they open. If you get a table, order any and all of the pasta, which is just incredible.

Photo Courtesy Abbale

Abbalé Telavivian Kitchen

$$$$ 864 Commerce St

Abbalé is a great South of Fifth option for a few reasons. The Israeli restaurant has some lovely outdoor seating, just in case it’s beautiful outside. They’re open for brunch, lunch, and dinner (and do all of the above very well). Plus, it’s a calm, relaxing restaurant where you can hang out, drink wine, and feel grateful that you’re not fighting for a table across the street at Joe’s. Order with confidence here - everything we’ve tried has been good, especially the Moroccan spiced fish and shawarma spiced wagyu.

Photo Courtesy Orilla

Orilla Bar & Grill

$$$$ 426 Euclid Ave

Orilla is one of the more chill upscale options in South Beach. It still might be a tough table to get (especially during the weekend) but it’s worth trying your luck because it’s a great Argentinian restaurant. You can dress fancy here without feeling stupid, enjoy very good steak and martinis, and not have to be harassed by party promoters on your way out.

The Downtown Fairs

Photo Courtesy NADA

NADA

$$$$ 1400 N Miami Ave

Nada is a great place to discover your next favorite artist because there are always lots of exciting new installations featuring works you won’t see on repeat elsewhere. And in case you’re trying to buy something, there are also booths dedicated to NADA Projects, where you’ll find limited edition works from emerging and established artists, many of which support non-profit and charitable organizations. We’ve been really impressed with NADA’s programming every year. This one should be no different.

Art Miami

$$$$ NE 14th Street and Biscayne Bay

Be careful that your GPS isn’t accidentally taking you to Art Basel Miami Beach. This fair - while also quite expansive - is located in a vacant lot Downtown, right next to Biscayne Bay. This makes it a bit easier to visit while avoiding some of the heavier Basel traffic. If you’re actually trying to collect some art, this is a good place to start since you’ll find so many of the same artists you’ll see at the biggest galleries (and maybe at a more approachable price point, if you’re really lucky). But we also always have fun here just strolling around without ever taking our credit card out of our pocket.

For Something Quick And Casual Nearby:

Cleveland Jennings

Bali Cafe

$$$$
$$$$ 109 NE 2nd Ave

Bali Cafe is easy to miss from the street, but the little cash-only Indonesian spot is a great casual option for lunch. The big menu has everything from dumplings to sushi rolls - but you should focus on their signature Indonesian dishes, like the nasi goreng special. It comes on a little cafeteria-style tray with separated portions of fried rice, coconut chicken curry, and a tender pile of rendang.

Merritt Smail

Motek Cafe

$$$$
$$$$ 36 NE 1st St

Motek, a very good Israeli restaurant, isn’t visible from the street. It’s located inside an office building, and you really have to know where to look to find it. That means you (hopefully) will not have to compete for a table with the wandering Art Basel crowd. Once inside, order with confidence, because everything - shakshuka, schnitzel, hummus - is really good.

Rami Sabban

Hoja Taqueria

$$$$
Mexican  in  Downtown
$$$$ 19 SE 2nd Ave #4

Hoja Taqueria is the kind of low-key taco/margarita spot you want after waiting in lines all day. It’s small and slightly hidden inside an office building in Downtown. The counter service restaurant serves crispy shrimp and potato flautas, a koji sweet potato burrito, and some good tacos. All of the above go great with their smoky pineapple margarita.

Rami Sabban

Eleventh Street Pizza

$$$$
Pizza  in  Downtown
$$$$ 1035 N Miami Ave

Are you just looking for a great slice of pizza in a restaurant with no dress code? Then walk over to Eleventh Street Pizza. They make some of the best pizza in Miami - foldable slices with a delicious sourdough crust. Our favorite is the pepperoni and hot honey, which comes topped with Calabrian chili paste, caramelized onions, and little pepperoni cups. The huge Sicilian square slices are great too.

For Something Fancier Nearby:

Photo Courtesy Mignonette

Mignonette

$$$$
Seafood  in  Downtown
$$$$ 210 NE 18th St

Mignonette is one of our favorite spots for all things seafood. They always have a great selection of oysters as well as seafood towers, popcorn conch, and one of the best lobster rolls in Miami. It’s a nice restaurant, but not so fancy that you’ll feel self conscious when you sit down and realize you haven’t showered in 48 hours.

Photo Courtesy Verde

Verde at Pérez Art Museum Miami

$$$$
AmericanPizzaBrunch  in  Downtown
$$$$ 1103 Biscayne Blvd

Verde is the restaurant in the back of the PAMM, a gorgeous museum with a spectacular waterfront view. That view is the main reason to come here, but the food (mostly salads, pizza, and sandwiches) is consistently good too. Just know that Verde is only open for lunch. You also might want to try to get a reservation too, because the PAMM will be pretty crowded all week.

Micahel Pisarri

La Cañita

$$$$ Bayside Marketplace, 401 Biscayne Blvd 2nd floor

We don’t find ourselves recommending restaurants inside the incredibly touristy Bayside Marketplace, like, ever. But the area recently got a new restaurant that’s actually good - and has a nice waterfront view. The spot comes from the Cafe La Trova team, and has a solid menu of Cuban and Caribbean dishes like jerk chicken wings, ceviche, and arroz con pollo. The cocktails are great too, and they also have occasional live music in the big dining room

Tasty Planet

Soya E Pomodoro

$$$$
PastaItalian  in  Downtown
$$$$ 120 NE 1st St

Soya E Pomodoro is an Italian restaurant that looks like it was carved into the side of a Downtown office building. There’s no restaurant in the area with as much personality as Soya: a dim, cavernous space stuffed with books, mismatched furniture, and antiques. There’s also no restaurant in the area serving Italian food this good, and their fazzoletti di formaggio e pera is one of our favorite plates of pasta in town.

A Couple More Fairs To Know About

So Prizm is a fair we really love, but it’s going totally virtual this year. Still, we think it’s worth checking out - especially because tickets for the virtual viewing start at just $10. This year they’ll be exhibiting international artists from Africa and the African diaspora. The team behind this fair also operates a series of programs and talks to advance a critical dialogue of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the art world throughout the week. It’s probably the only way to enjoy Miami Art Week while completely and totally avoiding traffic. Plus, you can order pizza while you click through all the great art.

Together At The Seven Seas Motel

$$$$ 5940 Biscayne Blvd

There’s a very cool art show happening at MiMo’s Seven Seas Motel this week. A whole bunch of artists (including lots of local talent) have set up installations in various rooms throughout the motel. It’s a really fun show where you can grab a drink, bounce from room to room, and find your new favorite local artist. There’s also music and a few interesting performance art pieces in a couple of the rooms. It is a ticketed event, and you can buy a ticket here. And if you're looking for somewhere to eat nearby, check out our MiMo guide.

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