Brickell is a term for a neighborhood on mainland Miami centered around Brickell Avenue, an extension of Biscayne Boulevard just south of downtown Miami. With its glittering high-rise offices and luxury condo canyons, its aesthetic vibe is a bit Manhattan-by-the-Sea. However, Brickell has long been a Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking area, with most of those condos occupied by wealthy emigres from across Latin America.
That trend continues today, but with a new influx of second-generation, upwardly mobile Latin-Americans, with new residential developments catering to a younger and trendier audience than the older, more staid buildings. Brickell’s reputation these days is something of a younger, more lively alternative to Coral Gables, a less edgy alternative to downtown, and a classier alternative to South Beach.
Brickell now has its own complete network of dining and nightlife options, with especially bustling happy hour scenes. Whereas previously, Brickell was just a neighborhood to which office workers commuted, it’s now possible to live, work, and play there.
Traditionally, the neighborhood was known as Miami’s financial district, with a healthy dose of large law firms thrown in, and with many condo buildings built during the Miami Vice-era boom. In the 2000s, though, that began to change thanks to ambitious developers who sought to attract younger residents. The project was an even easier sell due to the fact that much of Brickell is served by the free Metro-Mover train, which can shuttle workers directly to Miami’s downtown core.
The area’s renewed youthful energy was also spurred along by the opening of Mary Brickell Village, an indoor/outdoor mall and entertainment district at the geographical center of the neighborhood. Though the first few years saw the development struggling to find tenants, soon a number of restaurants, both small chains and independent establishments, moved in. Those were followed by a few bars and lounges as well, and the increase in tenants also led to similar business opening on the blocks surrounding Mary Brickell Village. These days, both the mall and those adjacent blocks form the hub of Brickell-area nightlife.
Several longtime popular establishments outside of this cluster have also added to Brickell’s popularity, and have in turn benefited from it. Brickell is close to the historic bar Tobacco Road, and the nearby casual live-music venue Transit Lounge, for example. Similarly, longtime area restaurants like Perricone’s, an upscale indoor/outdoor Italian restaurant and market, have greatly profited from the added foot traffic.
Brickell remains a popular residential area for young families thanks to its amenities and good schools. The neighborhood counts a handful of well-regarded public elementary schools within its borders, as well as several private schools. Brickell also boasts several public parks of varying sizes, and even a historic landmark, the Miami Circle, an archaeological site thought to have been built by the Tequesta Indians.
For visitors, various points throughout Brickell are easily reached Metro-Rail or Metro-Mover. It is served by the Brickell station on the Metro-Rail, and give different stops on the free Metro-Mover. Otherwise, it can be reached by car by connecting with Biscayne Boulevard southbound from downtown, or by heading up US-1 from points south of Brickell.
Major Dining in Brickell
Acqua at the Four Seasons
Archie’s Gourmet Pizza
Area 31 at the Epic Hotel
Atrio at the Conrad
Azul at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Bahia at the Four Seasons
Cafe Sambal at the Mandarin Oriental
Deli Lane Cafe
Dolores but you can Call me Lolita Restaurant and Lounge
EOS at the Viceroy
Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market
JB Kitchen & Bar
La Provence Artisanal Bakery & Cafe
Morton’s the Steakhouse
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
River Seafood and Oyster Bar
Tony Chan’s Water Club
Tutto Pasta and Pizza
Brickell Happy Hours and Nightlife
Brickell Irish Pub
Club 50 at the Viceroy
Gordon Biersch Brewery
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