Once again, it’s the most wonderful time of the year – Art Basel Miami Beach and Miami Art Week! To get you both excited and totally prepared for the week ahead, DJ Tennis has got you covered. The “Basel” veteran has come up with a comprehensive list of his favorite places to eat, drink, shop, and be merry at the festival. Of course, the Miami-based Italian DJ has also included his picks for not-to-miss art exhibitions.
From delicious fusion food at Fooq’s to mobile vinyl record destination Terrestrial Funk, to beach party Rakastella where he’ll be DJing alongside Virgil Abloh and many more, here is DJ Tennis’ guide to Art Basel Miami Beach 2018.
In what appears to be an unassuming spot in downtown, around the corner from 11th street’s infamous club strip, Fooq’s serves up some serious global eats. A little French, a little Persian, a little Italian, a little everything else, Fooq’s deftly blends flavors and influences in a way that shouldn’t make sense, but you’ll be very happy it does anyway.
Fooq’s’ next door neighbor, All Day is a serious gem in Miami’s third-wave coffee scene, plus a killer brunch. That kind of upscale-but-hella-greasy breakfast food that stops a hangover dead in its tracks (and is also a perfect complement to a few hours of work or a lunch meeting, if you’re not just at Basel to party).
An icon in Miami, Mandolin’s exceptional Mediterranean fare perfectly complements a hot Miami night in a lush outdoor space. Get the octopus, it’s a must, and trust your server on the wine list. Don’t blame me if you end up on your 4th bottle and don’t make it to your first party of the night.
No matter how many people I tell about this place, no one seems to have ever heard of it before. I can’t decide if this is a shame because it’s excellent, or a blessing that I can keep keeping it secret. An Argentine spot in what looks to be a former tire shop, Bunbury pairs delicious small plates with an excellent wine list. Go here for the caña de cabra and a bottle (or two) of Torrontes.
Just going to come out and say it – 1800 Lucky will be packed asses to elbows during Basel, but it’s worth it. A sprawling late-night food hall featuring a variety of Asian offerings, including everything from a Vietnamese deli to New York’s, plus a full bar and patio that inevitably turns to a dance party as the night goes on. Get the whole damn pecking duck, because fuck it, you can. Pro tip: There’s a karaoke room in the back, but you didn’t hear it from me.
Featuring an dark, sexy cocktail bar and a lush outdoor space, 1306 will almost certainly have a week chock-full of wild Basel parties. Drop in before the party really gets started for the best old-fashioned in the city to get your night started right.
Located on the actual corner of 11th street and N Miami Ave, The Corner is a staple for the late-night crowds who frequent 11th Street’s 24-hour clubs like Space and Heart. When you’re not quite done partying after stumbling out of Space at noon on a Sunday, The Corner is almost definitely your next stop. If you happen to make it there before you’re incapable of ordering anything that isn’t just round of tequila shots, the craft cocktails are actually pretty damn good.
Vintage 80s vibes rule The Anderson, from the red tartan walls to the pac-man game installed in one of the booth tables. The ambiance is always right, with cocktails by the Bar Lab team and small plates complemented by an always-reliable selection of local DJs.
A jungle oasis to escape from South Beach’s insanity, Broken Shaker (inside the Freehand hostel) consistently claims spots on lists of the world’s best cocktail bars. Start your night here or recover with a dip in the pool during the day.
A newer spot located below the Electric Pickle, Melinda’s boasts a world-class mezcal selection and a curated selection of small plates in a 20s inspired space. Plus – they specialize in late-night gourmet nachos. If you’re not already on your way there, what are you doing?
Clubs & Parties
The Electric Pickle
The Pickle is an icon. Everyone has played here. It’s one of those magical universes where you get a little lost in time. Don’t be surprised if at 4am you find Seth Troxler or DJ Harvey jumping on the decks to play an unannounced set for 200 people that you’ll never quite be able to forget.
The Miami clubs certainly turn out for Basel, but lets be honest, it’s the parties that aren’t in clubs you should really be going to. Be on the look out, these are always announced at the last minute. Mexico’s The Mayan Warrior is popping up this year with Lee Burridge, and obviously – Rakastella will be a great time. I’ll be DJing there alongside heavyweights like Virgil Abloh, Seth Troxler, DJ Harvey, Dixon, and many more. It’s technically on a beach, but you get the idea.
One of Art Basel Miami Beach’s more comprehensive fairs, Art Miami (plus its sibling Context) offers a wildly vast contemporary collection, where you’ll see newer, rising artists exhibited alongside the likes of Basquiat, Damien Hirst and street-art icons like Banksy and Mr. Brainwash. It’s a staple of ABMB, and not one to be missed.
Not everyone can be a deep-pocketed art aficionado, and that’s where Superfine! comes in. Aiming to present art that is affordable to younger and aspiring collectors, expect a mix of local and rising presenters with more established galleries to bring an eclectic collection to Miami.
Never one to be missed, staple art mag Juxtapoz’s ABMB pop up always delivers in a unique, experiential, multi-sensory spaces. Past years have seen collaborations with Milk Studios and an appearance by the legendary Scott Campbell tattooing people’s arms through holes in the wall. This year, it’s not just a clubhouse, they’re taking over a whole damn district in downtown. Get excited.
Pérez Art Museum Miami
Though a permanent staple of Miami’s art scene, PAMM is not to be overlooked just because it’s not a flashy import art fair. Their exhibitions always turn it up a notch for the Art Basel Miami Beach crowd, but it’s honestly the parties that aren’t to be missed. This year’s Thursday-night kickoff features the likes of Kilo Kish and Antibalas, and you can expect the whose-who of art to be in attendance.
They haven’t announced anything for Art Basel Miami Beach yet, but they’re one to keep your eye on for experimental and eye-popping art. Back in 2012, artist Miru Kim spent 4 days naked in Primary’s gallery window – wallowing with a pair of pigs. Paying attention yet?
A longtime icon in Miami’s Little Haiti Neighborhood, Sweat is where you can find all Miami’s music nerds digging – which is usually a good sign it’s worth your while.
Lower East Coast
Boasting a brand-new storefront in Miami’s posh Design District, Lower East Coast is a retail concept shop highlighting local zines and indie mags, plus a collection of local designers like Stray Rats and their own limited-run apparel collaborations. It’s a little slice of Miami hipster heaven.
Brooklyn Vintage & Vinyl
A newer spot in Allapattah’s newly-trendy West of Wynwood district, Brooklyn Vintage & Vinyl specializes in used records with a wide-ranging collection. Get cozy in a big armchair at their listening stations, which basically feels like your friends comfy living room (but with better audio).
A neat mobile record shop with some of Florida’s finest and obscure disco, funk and soul. They also host the Miami vinyl fair at Gramps every first Saturday of the month.
Still need more guidance on Art Basel Miami Beach? Check out a full list of our 2018 art picks right here.