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Restaurants Shops and Bars in Miami’s historic MIMO district

Miami is known for glitz and glamour, and generating the latest trends. While it lacks centuries of history, Miami happens to possess valuable recent history. The Miami Modern (MIMO) District on Biscayne Boulevard is a major piece of this. Lined with motels rather than hotels, MIMO began in the 1930’s before degenerating in the 1960’s upon the completion of Interstate 95, which diverted travelers away from the shops, restaurants, and motels along U.S. Highway 1 (Biscayne Blvd).

James Dean on the wall
Travis Smith, Miami Fashion Network

Today MIMO varies from block to block, ranging from new restaurants to decrepit motels, often within 100 feet of each other. For the savvy traveler though, MIMO is a treasure map of independent restaurants, boutiques, and yes, renovated Art Deco motels.

One location contains a boutique, bar, and restaurant perfect for an evening of shopping, happy hour, and dining in Miami. Serving up clever Italian in a classic atmosphere, Via Verde Cucina Rustica offers indoor and outdoor seating, and importantly, free parking. Via Verde offers croquettes of olive and cheese, pasta with truffles, and polenta sticks. Travelers just passing by can try their recently opened cantina which sells custom packages of pastas, breads, and sauce. Romantic dinners should occur inside, while more jovial guests will enjoy the outside.

Depending on your itinerary, guests can get a drink next to the restaurant at Vezzoli 69 Martini Bar before dining, or extend the evening after dinner. Vezzoli 69’s ambiance is classic 1950’s American Italian, with black and white picture of stars such as Marlon Brando and James Dean adorning the walls. Obviously the emphasis is martinis, the classy drink of that era. But this being Miami, Vezzoli ably spins modern concoctions such as Apple Mojitos with homemade ginger sugar.

It’s probably best to shop before imbibing and consuming, and the La Boudoir boutique is situated literally upstairs from Vezzoli 69. Inside La Boudoir is a collection of retro fashion in medium price ranges from $20 to $200. This is not a consignment shop. Rather, most of the vintage items are classic labels. The store is legit and high quality, evidenced by a recent inclusion in Conde Naste Travel Middle East edition.

For travelers to Miami, visiting one location to enjoy three different experiences is a travel trifecta. After a day of photographing some of the MIMO motels, ease into thoughtful shopping, delectable dining, and refreshing drinks at this “three in one” on 69th Street and Biscayne Blvd.