If you're headed to Miami and planning to save space in your suitcase for some destination-branded memorabilia, there is no shame in that. We can and do appreciate a good souvenir T-shirt! But we also love seeking out a different kind of memento — the harder-to-find gems that feed our palates and become a part of our homes. We've pulled together our top picks to bring back from the Magic City — some edible, some not — to remind you of all that Miami has to offer.
1. Key Limes
Nothing says Florida quite like citrus. And while you may be able to find key limes at your grocery store back home, we guarantee they'll taste better when you've hand-picked them and carefully packed them in your suitcase (stuff them in clean socks or pick up some bubble wrap for safe transport).
Where to find them: Head to the Lincoln Road Farmers Market in South Beach (Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) for key limes, plus oranges, guava, and mangoes, not to mention locally grown veggies, fresh-cut blooms, jams, jellies, and raw honey by KeezBeez. Get some baked goods from La Provence to nibble on while you shop.
Recipe to Try: Key Lime Smoothie Bowls
2. PAMM Reversible Tote Bags, $40
Before you head to the farmers market, why not pick up a new tote bag? These bright, fun satchels from the Perez Art Museum Miami are just the thing. We love their mixed-media makeup of canvas and recycled plastic and the ombre colors (yellow and pink, blue and green, or red and purple) that recall the ocean and sunset.
Where to find them: Perez Art Museum Miami (closed Wednesdays, 1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami)
Back home, make yourself a mojito and place your glass on one of these coasters from Wynwood Letterpress. Flaunting a flamingo, palm tree, parrot, and cocktail in fresh Florida green and pink hues, they'll keep you in a tropical state of mind long after your vacation is over.
Where to find them: Wynwood Letterpress (open daily, 2621 NW 2nd Avenue, Suite 21, Wynwood)
4. Panther Coffee Beans, $19 per pound
We love lingering at the ventanitas in Little Havana, but if you're after serious coffee, it has to be Panther. The hip, craft coffee shop with a focus on small-batch roasting fits right into its surroundings of street art and murals in the Wynwood Arts District and offers intimate indoor tables and communal seating outside (see above).
Their cold brew — brewed for nine hours and served over ice, black or with cream — is an obvious menu highlight since it's likely to be hot outside whenever you might be visiting. It was the first cold brew I've ever tried and, thanks to the mouthwatering notes of malted milk, chocolate, vanilla, honey, and cherries, it's been hard to beat since. The good news is that you can take beans home with you and make a cup yourself.
Where to find it: Panther Coffee (open daily, 2390 NW 2nd Avenue, Wynwood; 1875 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach; 3407 Main Highway, Coconut Grove)
5. Patio Party Miami Beach Plate, $29
If you really want something that says Miami Beach on it, may we suggest one of these plates from Golden Bar? It has an "Art Deco meets Cuba in the 1950s" sort of feel, and we can imagine using it as a spoon rest or catch-all dish in our kitchen.
Where to find it: Golden Bar (open daily, 3092-3094 Fuller Street, Coconut Grove; 1570 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 2085 NW 2nd Avenue, #103, Wynwood). We suggest checking out the Coconut Grove store on your trip so that you can explore this historic neighborhood shaded by giant oak trees.